1 Tuesday, 26 April 2005
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.25 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, good afternoon everybody. I apologise for the
6 delay, but I had an urgent meeting with one of the Judges of the Trial
7 Chamber, which unfortunately went beyond the time that I had expected. So
8 it's not a problem. We will probably finish early today in any case.
9 So, Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is Case Number
11 IT-03-68-T, the Prosecutor versus Naser Oric.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, and good afternoon to you.
13 Mr. Oric, can you follow the proceedings in your own language?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours, I can
15 follow the proceedings in my own language.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, and good afternoon to you. You may sit
18 Appearances for the Prosecution.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 MR. WUBBEN: Good afternoon, Your Honours, and good afternoon to
21 the Defence. My name is Jan Wubben, lead counsel for the Prosecution.
22 I'm here together with co-counsel, Ms. Patricia Sellers, and Ms. Joanne
23 Richardson, as well as our case manager, Ms. Donnica Henry-Frijlink.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, and good afternoon to you and your team.
25 Appearances for Naser Oric.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours, I'm
2 Vasvija Vidovic, together with Mr. John Jones, I represent Mr. Naser Oric.
3 Together with us are our legal assistant, Ms. Adisa Mehic, and our case
4 manager, Mr. Geoff Roberts, and good afternoon to our learned friends from
5 the Office of the Prosecutor.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Vidovic.
7 Are there any preliminaries? I see none.
8 MR. WUBBEN: No, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's bring the witness in, please and finish with
10 his testimony.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: While I was having the meeting with the other Judge
12 from Trial Chamber II, word reached me that you will be seeking protective
13 measures for tomorrow's witness, Mr. Wubben?
14 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour, indeed. We are seeking for
15 protective measures in the same way as her colleague priorly had been
16 granted. That's for the witness for tomorrow, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: What do you mean as her colleague had been granted?
18 MR. WUBBEN: Well -- Your Honour, there might be a
19 misunderstanding. Do you --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm reading from the transcript. There could well
21 be a misunderstanding.
22 MR. WUBBEN: Yeah. Your Honour, I will get back to this issue
23 before -- prior to the break if you allow me.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, let's deal with it immediately after we finish
25 with this witness, at the end of this witness. In anticipation of the
1 motion I will expect from you in any case, written motion.
2 MR. WUBBEN: Yes --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: But do give us some anticipation so that we'll try
4 and economise on time as much as we can for tomorrow's sitting.
5 MR. WUBBEN: I will, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. I know, I'm sure you will.
8 Madam Usher, please.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Headphones. Mr. Becirovic, good afternoon, we are
11 proceeding with the cross-examination and hopefully finish with your
12 testimony today. You are still testifying under oath and pursuant to the
13 solemn declaration you gave when you started your testimony. And once
14 more, if you have any problems at any time with interpretation and with
15 receiving interpretation in any case, do draw our attention straight away.
16 Okay. Please take a seat, and Ms. Vidovic will proceed.
17 WITNESS: IBRAHIM BECIROVIC [Resumed]
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 Cross-examined by Ms. Vidovic: [Continued]
20 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Becirovic.
21 A. Good afternoon.
22 Q. I'll move on to my second group of questions straight away.
23 From the month of July 1992, you were a member of the service for
24 communications and information which was established on the 1st of July,
25 1992, when the War Presidency was established. Is that correct?
1 A. That is correct, although I learned that only in August 1992.
2 Q. Very well then. Thank you. From then on this service acted as a
3 part of the War Presidency. Isn't that correct?
4 A. Yes, it is.
5 Q. I'm going to show you a document.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can I please have the usher's
7 assistance in showing the witness a document issued by the War Presidency
8 of the municipality of Srebrenica. The number is 121/92 and the date is
9 12 November 1992. It was signed by the president of the War Presidency of
10 the municipality of Srebrenica, Mr. Hajrudin Avdic.
11 Q. Witness, can you please take a look at the document. The date
12 again is the 12th of November, 1992. I'm going to quote the decision
13 because the decision is very short.
14 "The War Presidency of the municipality of Srebrenica at its
15 session held on the 9th of November, 1992, adopted the following decision
16 on the establishment of a commission: A commission is to be established
17 consisting of the following: Nijad Masic, chairman; Avda Hasinovic
18 [phoen], a member, and Avdo Husic, member. The commission is duty-bound
19 to check the work of the communications and information service from the
20 moment of its establishment up to now and to submit a report to the War
21 Presidency. The decision will come into effect on the date of its issue."
22 It was signed by the president of the War Presidency, Mr. Hajrudin Avdic.
23 In connection with this, Mr. Becirovic, I would like to ask you as
24 follows: You remember, don't you, that in November 1992 this commission
25 was established to check the work of the communications and information
1 service and that this was done by the War Presidency. Do you remember
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. Hamed Alic submitted to the War Presidency a report on its work
5 [as interpreted], didn't he? Do you remember that?
6 A. Yes, he did.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to tender
8 this exhibit into evidence.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: So this will be Defence Exhibit D2...
10 THE REGISTRAR: 263.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: 263.
12 One question to the witness following your question, Ms. Vidovic.
13 Your question was as a follow-up to showing this document to the witness:
14 "Hamed Alic submitted to the War Presidency a report on its work, didn't
15 he? Do you remember that?"
16 And the witness said: "Yes."
17 Hamed Alic is not one of the members of this commission. Why
18 would he submit a report or were you going to ask the question? I don't
19 know. If you were going to ask the question, you ask it; if not, I'll ask
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it is possible that
22 this has been misinterpreted. My question was as following: Hamed Alic
23 submitted a report to the commission on his work, the commission of the
24 War Presidency, on his work.
25 Q. Is that how you understood me?
1 A. Yes. That's how I understood you.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: So it wasn't a report on behalf of this commission?
3 What Hamed Alic -- what Hamed Alic sent or submitted to the War Presidency
4 was not a report of this commission that was appointed by decision of the
5 9th November, was it -- or did he?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Hamed Alic submitted a
7 report on the work of the service to the commission that was established.
8 And pursuant to that, the commission submitted their report on the work.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of the service.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour,
12 for the clarification.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
14 Yes, Ms. Vidovic.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. In other words, Mr. Becirovic, the War Presidency checked the work
17 of the communications and information service, did it not?
18 A. Yes, it did.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, has this exhibit been
20 given an exhibit number?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, it has, Ms. Vidovic, D263.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Now I would kindly ask the usher to
23 show the witness another document. This is D242. D242.
24 Q. Witness, can you please take a look at the document. This is a
25 document issued by the War Presidency of the municipality of Srebrenica.
1 The number is 77/92 and the date is 21 September 1992. This report was
2 submitted to the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina to
3 the armed forces Main Staff and to the general public. Can you please
4 take a look at the document. In connection with this document I'm going
5 to ask you some questions.
6 From Srebrenica information was sent to the Presidency of Bosnia
7 and Herzegovina, to the Main Staff of the armed forces, and to the general
8 public via the service of communications and information of the
9 municipality of Srebrenica. That is via your service. Is that correct?
10 A. Yes, it is.
11 Q. This is reflected in this document, and in your testimony so far
12 you have confirmed this on several occasions?
13 A. Yes, that is correct.
14 Q. This information was commonly sent by the War Presidency?
15 A. You are right.
16 Q. In your testimony you have also told us that in Sarajevo Murat
17 Efendic, a member of the War Presidency of Srebrenica, stayed in Sarajevo
18 for a while. Are you -- am I right in saying that?
19 A. Yes, you are.
20 Q. As a matter of fact, Murat Efendic was the contact person between
21 the War Presidency of Srebrenica and the Presidency and the government in
22 Sarajevo. Am I right?
23 A. Yes, you're right. And I have already said that on several
24 occasions during the course of my testimony.
25 Q. Regular contact with Murat Efendic were maintained by the War
1 Presidency of Srebrenica. Is that correct?
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. These contacts between the War Presidency of Srebrenica and Murat
4 Efendic were carried out only technically with your help. Is that
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. As a matter of fact, you were the person who just conveyed the
8 information by the War Presidency to Murat Efendic in Sarajevo. Isn't
9 that correct?
10 A. Yes, it is.
11 Q. These were not reports issued by the Territorial Defence Staff of
12 Srebrenica or by Naser Oric. Am I right?
13 A. I am not aware that either the staff or Naser Oric sent
14 information. I know that information was sent by the War Presidency of
15 the municipality of Srebrenica.
16 Q. So it would be absolutely wrong to say that Naser Oric had regular
17 contacts with Murat Efendic via the radio station that you manned. Am I
18 right in saying that?
19 A. You are right.
20 Q. As far as I understood your testimony, you yourself collected a
21 lot of information and you sent this information to Sarajevo or to the
22 general public. You collected this information talking to people who had
23 arrived in Srebrenica. Is that correct?
24 A. Yes, that is correct. For the most part, it was in my contacts
25 with the wounded and their escorts.
1 Q. This information that was forwarded and convoyed by way of the
2 radio station, you did not receive it from any of the commands or
3 commanders. Am I right in saying that?
4 A. Yes, you're right. While Hamed Alic was in Srebrenica, he
5 received that kind of information and he collected it in a certain way.
6 And I only conveyed this information. When he left for Tuzla, I myself
7 collected this information.
8 Q. You are not aware that Hamed Alic received this information from
9 the commands or their commanders?
10 A. You're right.
11 Q. You mentioned that you sent some reports to Sarajevo or Tuzla that
12 were relative to the events in certain villages and relative to some
13 attacks. In the way you described these events, you received information
14 about the events in Fakovici. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes, it is. I would sooner say that this was not reports but just
16 information. This is how I perceived that, and I still perceive that.
17 Q. As for the events in Bjelovac, you received information from the
18 wounded who had arrived from that area?
19 A. Yes, you're right.
20 Q. You did not receive this information from any military command or
21 the so-called military command?
22 A. No. I never received any information from any military command,
23 because at that time I knew that the military organisation was so
24 inadequate, so poor, that I did not even believe that they would be able
25 to provide me with any information.
1 Q. As for Kravica, you also received information about Kravica from
2 the wounded that had arrived in Srebrenica?
3 A. Yes, that is correct.
4 Q. The accuracy of the information that you relayed depended largely
5 on the reliability of the information that you received from other people,
6 from the wounded, for example?
7 A. You're absolutely right.
8 Q. And now let me ask you something else.
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask the usher to show
10 the witness a document issued by the War Presidency of Srebrenica
11 municipality. The number is 100/92 and the date is 31 October 1992. This
12 is a report issued by the service for communications and information and
13 sent to the Main Staff of the armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina and
14 the general public.
15 Q. Let me quote the document: "The aggressor has again used the air
16 force in the Srebrenica free territory. Today at around 10.30 an
17 agricultural plain from the Serbian Chetnik armada took off from an
18 improvised heliport of Bratunac and dropped its deadly cargo over the
19 villages of Budak and Pale it also machine-gunned the defender's positions
20 on the Budak-Pale line. Fortunately no one was killed or wounded. This
21 was followed by a fierce artillery attack in which the industrial zone in
22 Potocari was most affected. They fired at these positions as well as the
23 areas of Konjevic Polje and Cerska from their strongholds in the vicinity
24 of Bratunac and Rogac hill. The enemies devastating artillery fire was
25 also directed at the areas of Osmace and Kragljivoda from their well-known
1 positions on Tara mountain and the plateau of the Bajina Basta
2 hydroelectric power plant. As well as Jezero and the occupied territory.
3 Several civilians were wounded and this -- in this shelling, and a
4 5-year-old girl succumbed to her wounds. Nonetheless the defenders of
5 Srebrenica Konjevic Polje and Cerska are firmly holding their positions."
6 Mr. Becirovic, this is one of the reports that were sent via the
7 service for communications and information to Sarajevo, to the Main Staff
8 of the armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina, amongst others. Do you agree
9 with me that this is indeed where it went?
10 A. Yes. One of the addressees is the Main Staff of the armed forces
11 of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
12 Q. This document was received by the Ministry of Defence of Bosnia
13 and Herzegovina because it bears its stamp?
14 A. Yes, that is correct.
15 Q. It was sent by the War Presidency of Srebrenica municipality,
16 wasn't it?
17 A. Yes, it was.
18 Q. Neither the service nor you personally were duty-bound by the
19 Territorial Defence staff to send reports to the Main Staff of the armed
20 forces. Am I right?
21 A. Yes, you are.
22 Q. Thank you very much.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this document
24 into evidence, if it could be given an exhibit number, please.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. This will be Exhibit Number D264.
1 One question, Witness: Your department, though I may call it like
2 that, the communications and reporting service of Srebrenica municipality,
3 would send this message via radio to an amateur radio -- to a ham operator
4 or -- who would -- would he receive instructions to draw it up in writing?
5 Would he receive it in writing or would he receive it --
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: How would he receive it? Because he would hear the
8 words, no?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You are right. I've already said
10 that this operator would either handwrite it or tape it by means of a tape
11 recorder. And then, if possible, he would type it and the document would
12 receive the form you have in front of you. In Sarajevo, Murat Efendic was
13 duty-bound to take the information to the addressees indicated on the
14 document. There was no other way to send information from Srebrenica.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's take -- let me take you through the whole
17 Who would come to your office with this message to be relayed to
18 Sarajevo? Who would it be, for example, in this case who would it be?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In this particular case, it would be
20 Hamed Alic. At that time, Hamed was the head of the service for
21 communications and information. He would bring the information to me. He
22 would bring me a piece of paper, and with ham radio operators in Sarajevo
23 I had the so-called skads, or slots, when we would communicate. One slot
24 was in the morning and one slot was in the afternoon. And during those
25 slots when we talked, I would forward this information if I could because
1 it very often happened that the information that was sent from Srebrenica
2 was disrupted by the Serbian forces. That's why I was very often forced
3 to send one piece of information in several piecemeals over a number of
4 hours. I had to change frequencies in order to complete the job, in order
5 to send the entire information.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: And in drawing in message to be relayed, in drawing
7 it up, this message to be relayed to Sarajevo, Hamed Alic would receive
8 the information from whom?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For the most part, he collected
10 information the same way I did once he left. I don't know whether he
11 contacted the War Presidency every time he drafted a piece of information.
12 However, he did it more often than I did it later on, once he left, in
13 agreement with the president of the War Presidency, in other words.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: But his job was to receive information and then
15 relay it over to Sarajevo, wasn't it?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Right.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: So on military matters, who would give him
18 information? Where would he get the information from?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In most cases in the same way I did
20 when he left, in the hospital, from the wounded who had arrived, or from
21 their escorts, those people who arrived together with the wounded.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: So you would then relay this message in whole or in
23 pieces, I can understand you why, to a contact, ham radio contact, that
24 you would have, that you would establish. I take it from what you are
25 telling me that in spite of the difficulties that there obviously were,
1 this was pretty much well-organised in that I see here that you relayed it
2 on the 1st of November. And on the same day, it was received by the
3 Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. So whoever
4 received your radio communication, in whole or in piece, transcribed it,
5 reduced it into writing, and handed it over to the Ministry of Defence on
6 the same day. So do I take it that the system was pretty well-organised,
7 or am I wrong in my assumption?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. If you think that
9 this is good organisation, then yes, we were well-organised. However, it
10 very often happened that the radio operator who was sitting in Sarajevo
11 could not receive or forward information on the same day. Sometimes he
12 would do it on the following day. However, the goal was always achieved.
13 The goal was for the information to arrive at the addressee's address, and
14 it eventually did.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. And let's take it -- in this case, the
16 person who received the message on the other end and he had his own code
17 or signal 4, N4SGS. He would be known at the ministry in Sarajevo,
18 wouldn't he, because otherwise anyone could walk in with a typed message
19 and say, I have received this from Srebrenica municipality today. So it
20 had to be someone known and someone trusted?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Probably. I don't know where this
22 person worked, but it seems to me that this information was faxed through.
23 If I am not mistaken, there is a telephone number in the upper left
24 corner, the number of the telephone from which this information was sent
25 to the Main Staff of the armed forces.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: What I mean to say, because earlier on in your
2 testimony some days -- a few days back you told us that you were the one
3 who managed to establish contact with some ham radio operators.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So you selected these persons?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't understand. What do you
7 mean? I established contact with anybody who -- who answered me in
8 Sarajevo. I didn't know people in Sarajevo. I don't know who -- I didn't
9 know who was on the other end. I did not have any alternative.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: But if you were going to transmit to and through
11 that person confidential and top-secret messages for the Ministry of
12 Defence, wouldn't you take the burden or anyone else take the burden of
13 checking who the person was at the other end was and whether he was
14 trustworthy or not, whether he would be trusted or not. It could be a
15 Serb for all that matter with ham radio address in Sarajevo. You wouldn't
16 be able to know whether he was a Serb or a Muslim. Would you trust
17 sending him a message like this, not knowing whether he was a Serb or a
18 Muslim and whether he would relay this to where you wanted it to get?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it could happen. However,
20 Murat Efendic was in Sarajevo. In most cases he was the one who received
21 this information and took it personally to the addressees; and if not
22 personally, then he would fax it through.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, was Murat Efendic informed as to who your
24 contacts were so that he could check on them, whether they were
25 trustworthy or not?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course. He was sitting next to
2 the ham radio operator while the message was being transmitted.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: So the way it operated, you would inform the ham
4 radio operator that you would be transmitting a message and he would call
5 Murat Efendic to be present. And then you would know exactly what time
6 you would relay the message and that would be the time when Murat Efendic
7 will be there present next to the ham radio operator?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct. I've already said
9 that we had two allocated slots. One was in the morning and the other one
10 was in the afternoon. During those slots, Murat Efendic would go to the
11 place where the ham radio was, irrespective of the fact whether there was
12 something transmitted or not. And we talked about the situation in town
13 because he had relatives over there still.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I think that's clear enough.
15 Judge Eser.
16 Sorry, Madam Vidovic, we've taken over, but I think this needed to
17 be cleared up.
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Thank you
19 for bringing these matters up.
20 JUDGE ESER: I still have some problems to understand the
21 proceeding. Now, if you take D264, am I correct in assuming that the
22 original of this report was produced in Sarajevo? It was written in
23 Sarajevo? Is that correct?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
25 JUDGE ESER: Now, when you collected -- and it was on the 31st of
1 October, at that time I think the other person was still in Srebrenica.
2 Now, this is a rather long report. Was it given to you in writing or did
3 Alic tell you what you should transmit by radio to Sarajevo? Was there
4 something existing in writing which you transmitted?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I received all the reports in
6 writing, whether typewritten or handwritten. These written reports would
7 then be placed in a file in Srebrenica. That's what I would do.
8 Maybe you noticed that I always put the date and time on all of my
9 reports as well as the call signal of the addressee. Here you don't have
10 anything like that because the whole thing was drawn up in Sarajevo. I
11 may have sent it one day previously, but the day it was actually received
12 by the operator, Murat Efendic, in Sarajevo, they then prepared this to be
13 faxed through.
14 JUDGE ESER: And if we compare it, let's say, to Prosecution
15 Exhibit P310 where you had your signature there. This was faxed, so do I
16 understand it correctly that in this case you received the report already
17 written and then you faxed it to Sarajevo? Is that correct?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I would radio information.
19 Information of documents containing information on my signature were found
20 in Srebrenica and were brought over from Srebrenica. Information such as
21 a specific copy is something that was found in Sarajevo in the archives,
22 but the substance is the same, except that this specific document was not
23 in Srebrenica, one in which I entered my own information on the date and
24 time that it was forwarded. I was in no position to fax information from
25 Srebrenica for the simple reason that the phone lines were down at the
1 time. As I've explained, I would read reports into a microphone, and then
2 the Sarajevo-based operator would transcribe this information or tape it
3 first and transcribe it later.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I think there may have been a slight
6 You would report that during the examination-in-chief
7 you were shown some documents which at the top right corner showed some
8 words plus your signature plus a date and on the top left corner showed a
9 telephone number which you yourself said that that should indicate that
10 that document was faxed. There were a number of documents that you faxed
11 from Srebrenica to Sarajevo, weren't there, until it was possible to fax?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: And then after certain moment, you couldn't fax
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. As long as documents were
16 being sent by fax, you didn't have my signature or the time and date. The
17 moment we could no longer fax things through, when we started radioing
18 messages, that's when I started writing these things down. You couldn't
19 find a -- another document with all this information that I've now spoken
20 about or my signature.
21 JUDGE ESER: But what did you write down? Did you write down the
22 report or only that you have done something with the report, which you
23 received from somebody else?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Information usually found on such
25 documents as I have been shown, if I produced the documents, I wrote them
1 like that. And I said that they were in fact information. And the fact
2 that a report says "information," that for me was the most natural name to
3 give this sort of report or any information, indeed, to be forwarded.
4 JUDGE ESER: So it may be the case that some of the documents,
5 exhibits, have been drafted by you and then transmitted by radio -- via
6 radio to Sarajevo. Is that correct?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 JUDGE ESER: And as long as Alic still was in Srebrenica, you
9 would take reports written by him to you and you transmitted them to
10 Sarajevo. Is that correct?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I think that's clear enough. Now it has cleared
13 much of what seemed to be unclear until a few minutes ago.
14 Sorry again to you, Madam Vidovic, but I think it was necessary.
15 Let's proceed.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Becirovic, at any rate, this person who was receiving
18 information over in Sarajevo could not on their own write down the sender.
19 They would always be given accurate information on who the sender was and
20 what the substance was of what you were sending? In other words, this
21 person would never make things up or added things. Would I be right in
22 saying this?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. During your testimony on Friday, you were shown several documents
25 by the Prosecutor, and a minute ago you were asked about these documents
1 by the Chamber. These documents said "municipal staff of the armed forces
2 of Srebrenica," in the heading, communications and information service,
3 and the subject of these documents were these reports or information on
4 the situation in Srebrenica. It is in relation to this that I would like
5 to ask you a number of questions. I would also like to show you some of
6 these documents as well as some other documents.
7 First and foremost, Mr. Becirovic, 12 years later you no longer
8 remember the specific headings that these documents had, the documents,
9 call them appeals or whatever else you like, that you were sending from
10 Srebrenica to Sarajevo. Would that be a fair statement?
11 A. Even back then in 1992 and 1993, this didn't strike me as
12 essential. The important thing was to send information out of Srebrenica.
13 To the extent that I can now remember, all information went through the
14 communications and information service in the War Presidency of Srebrenica
16 Q. You testified about things that you were asked by the OTP, and you
17 said that you never received from the Territorial Defence Staff any sort
18 of documents. That's correct, isn't it?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. It is your conclusion that the reports that say "staff" in the
21 heading and that you were shown by the Prosecutor were sent by you to
22 Sarajevo, based on the memory and what the substance was of those
23 documents. Would that be a fair statement?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. It is also your conclusion now that you sent those documents based
1 on what you believed, that those documents have something that resemble
2 your signature or an abbreviated form of your signature as well as other
3 details that you claim might have been written by you. Mr. Becirovic,
4 would you agree with me when I say that after the fall of Srebrenica, many
5 documents were left behind that bore your signature or samples of your
6 handwriting or your initials. Wouldn't that be a fair statement?
7 A. Yes, indeed. If I may just clarify, I would like to say there was
8 a document I was shown here and I noticed certain information in it that I
9 was not want to write down.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment.
11 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, if I may.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
13 MS. RICHARDSON: It's apparent that we may be going down a line of
14 questioning regarding documents without any exhibit number or having the
15 witness look at the particular document with any reference, so it's
16 beginning to be a little bit ambiguous using the word document and having
17 the witness testify about, you know, anything with respect to that
18 document, be it his signature or information. I think it would be best
19 for these proceedings if we begin to be more specific.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, you're 100 per cent right, Ms. Richardson, but
21 that's how they will be treated. If they remain ambiguous, that's how
22 they will be treated. So coming from an adversarial system like I do, you
23 know that I will not interfere. Thank you for your observation. At the
24 end of the day, you have opened Ms. Vidovic's eyes.
25 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will be using
3 specific documents very soon. Right now I'm talking about all the
4 documents of a military or political nature that were left behind in
6 Q. Witness, these documents that remained in Srebrenica that bore
7 your signature, samples of your handwriting, or initials, whatever they
8 were, you are aware that they fell into the hands of the Serb forces and
9 the Serb intelligence services after the fall of Srebrenica. Wouldn't
10 that be right?
11 A. Yes.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can I have the usher's assistance
13 now to show the witness --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Madam Vidovic and Mr. Becirovic. For
15 example, you said "yes" before she hadn't even finished her question.
16 Please allow an interval of time between question and answer because we
17 need to follow, we need to have what you're saying translated to us, and
18 we can't -- and you're also creating difficulties for the interpreters.
19 So please allow Madam Vidovic to finish her question, allow a short
20 interval of time, then you give your answer, and then after a short
21 interval of time you proceed to the next question, Madam Vidovic.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can I have the usher's
23 assistance. I would like to show the witness document 1081621.
24 I would like to say that we obtained these documents at the last
25 minute, and we were in no position to secure an English translation. But
1 we will have these two in due course. They will be submitted to the
2 Chamber as soon as tomorrow, therefore can we have these documents placed
3 on the ELMO, please. I will be quoting so that the interpreters can
4 follow what I am saying.
5 Can the usher please show the witness document --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. I can't follow you. I can't follow
7 you, Ms. Vidovic. You said, at least from what I have on the transcript
8 here, document 1081621. Which one is that? Because the -- it's
9 definitely not the first two pages. No, no, the second two -- the second
10 batch is 01801622.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, my apologies, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: And then 1623, and it's not 1080, it's 0180. So
13 let's clear this up so we can follow.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] 018, yes. Thank you, Your Honours.
15 This is 01801621.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] This is a document of the Republic
18 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, War Presidency of Srebrenica municipality. The
19 number is 80/92, and the date is 25th of September, 1992.
20 The subject is: Report. The document was signed by the
21 communications and information service of Srebrenica municipality.
22 Your Honours, and this goes to the witness, too, we have added the
23 following number, P134 to the document, and the ERN is 01787841.
24 This document bears the following heading: Staff of the armed
25 forces of Srebrenica, communications and information service, 80/92, the
1 date is 25th of September, 1992. It was signed also by the communications
2 and informations service of Srebrenica municipality.
3 Q. Witness, if you could look at this carefully, both these documents
4 carefully, and please if you could just read -- if you could please read
5 the following document first, 01787841, which is OTP number bearing the
6 following heading: Srebrenica municipal staff. Please, Witness, can you
7 have a look at this document.
8 Witness, can you now please have a look at the other document if
9 you've finished looking at this one.
10 Witness, can you please now look at the other document 01801621.
11 The heading is: War Presidency of Srebrenica municipality. The number is
12 the same, 80/92, and the date is also the same, the 25th of September,
14 I will ask you a number of questions in relation to this. First
15 of all, do you agree -- please look at the protocol numbers and the date.
16 Do you agree that both these documents have the same protocol number and
17 the same date and that they were both signed by the same service, the
18 information -- the communications and information service of Srebrenica
19 municipality. Would I be right in stating that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can you please go through the other document too. I'm putting it
22 to you that the substance of this other document is identical to the
23 previous one. Can you have a look, please. This is of great consequence
24 to us. Can you please compare the two documents in terms of substance.
25 Witness, do you agree that in terms of substance these two
1 documents are identical?
2 A. Your Honours, I read halfway through the first and halfway through
3 the second document. I haven't finished reading either. What I read
4 appears to be entirely identical. It's the same information. It's the
5 same events. It's the same report. But there is a difference in the
6 heading. The sender is different.
7 Q. I'm about to ask you something about that, Witness. The only
8 difference between these two consists in the fact that one document has
9 the War Presidency in the heading and the other document has the municipal
10 staff -- the municipal TO -- the municipal staff of the TO in the heading.
11 But if you could please now look at 01801621, if you could please look at
12 the upper right corner.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous translation continues]... we are -- this
14 is getting all very much confused. Let's clear this up first of all.
15 Let's agree that the text of the message is the same. Do you
16 agree Defence, Prosecution, and Witness?
17 MS. RICHARDSON: Well, Your Honour, at this time we don't have the
18 English. We're trying to see if it --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, but even if you look --
20 MS. RICHARDSON: At 134.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't have the English either of the first one,
22 but if I look at the B/C/S text, I can easily see that it is exactly the
24 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, in fact maybe I can be of some
25 assistance. We located P134 and this is the English and it appears to be
1 the English of what the Defence exhibit is using at the moment, which is
2 01787841. And in fact, as I read the English, it is -- we can agree to
3 the fact that there is a difference in the sender, one is --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah. But for the time being, the text I'm saying.
5 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, we can agree on the text, certainly.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Do we agree that the sender is different? In the
7 first one, which has 01787841, it seems to be Republic of Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina and the "opstina ratno predsjednistvo" which is the
9 territorial staff of the Srebrenica municipality, while the other one is
10 the ratno -- the War Presidency of the -- of Srebrenica. Do you agree on
12 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I agree. I have, as I said, the
13 English, and I do agree with what Your Honour has just stated.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Do you agree that the protocol number 80/92
15 appears to be the same on both documents?
16 MS. RICHARDSON: Indeed, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you agree also that the date of this document
18 seems to be or purports to be the 25th of September of 1992 in both cases?
19 MS. RICHARDSON: That's agreed, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Do you agree that the subject matter is
21 report in both instances?
22 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you agree that the addressees, who should have
24 received these two messages, are different, Your Honour?
25 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And let's go through those. Let's start with
2 the first of these documents, 01787841. The first addressee is GS
3 Sarajevo, which means, if anyone can translate to me and to others. G --
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] General Staff, Main Staff.
5 MS. RICHARDSON: [Previous translations continues]... can I be of
6 assistance to the Bench by handing up -- excuse me -- as I said before, we
7 have the English translation. Maybe the registrar can hand the Bench
8 of --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Of P143 --
10 MS. RICHARDSON: 134, yes.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: So while this first document purports to have this
12 report transmitted to these three persons, GS Oruzanih Snaga in Sarajevo,
13 the Main Staff in Sarajevo, and then OKS Oruzanih Snaga in Tuzla, the Main
14 Staff in Tuzla. And then thirdly, publicity. The other document is meant
15 to be transmitted to the Presidency of BiH, the Main Staff of the armed
16 forces of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and publicity. Do you
17 agree on that?
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] [No interpretation].
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So now we have cleared that up.
20 Let me clear a few other things. Do you agree that the second of
21 these documents, the one which has the ERN number 01801621 at the top
22 right left-hand corner shows that -- or indicates that it was faxed and
23 that it was faxed successfully; in other words, that it -- the machine
24 from which it was faxed showed that it had been transmitted -- that it
25 went through, in other words. Do you --
1 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you agree with that, Defence?
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you agree that on the second document -- on the
5 first document 841, 7841, there is no indication that this document was
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: But there is indication on the top right-hand corner
9 that it was relayed by radio to -- at 16 hours to Ilijas, who happens to
10 be the same guy we saw earlier, with this call signal. I don't need to
11 repeat it. You have it there. Through Nada as well with the call signal.
12 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honour, the Prosecution agrees.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: So now your question, Madam Vidovic.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Mr. Becirovic, we used this document with the War Presidency in
16 the heading, the Srebrenica War Presidency. Could you now please look at
17 the upper right corner. Would you agree that this document bears the
18 incoming stamp of the Bosnia and Herzegovina armed forces, and that it was
19 received on the 26th of September, 1992?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can you now please turn the page and look at the lower left
22 corner. It says "received by ham radio 4M4SGS, Sarajevo received by
23 Ilijas Omerovic."
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. The document also bears the stamp of the town secretariat for
1 national defence, the OID service, and the control sector?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Is it possible that Mr. Omerovic worked with the town's
4 secretariat for national defence?
5 A. Yes. Judging by the stamp, it strikes me as possible.
6 Q. Is it possible that it was from the secretariat that he faxed this
7 stamp to the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. If you go back to page 1, it
8 says: "From GSNO, Sarajevo." GSNO stands for the town secretariat for
9 national defence. Is that correct, Mr. Becirovic?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Mr. Becirovic, would I be right to state that this in fact was the
12 document which made it to Sarajevo, the one bearing the War Presidency of
13 Srebrenica in its heading? Doesn't the incoming stamp of the army appear
14 to confirm that as well as the incoming stamp of the town's secretariat
15 for national defence, as well as Ilijas Omerovic's signature?
16 A. Yes, you're quite right.
17 Q. Thank you. So --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, because this needs some clarification.
19 Look at the first one of these documents, the ones which have ERN
20 number 01787841, which at the top right-hand corner shows in handwriting
21 the time and date when it's supposed to have been transmitted. If I were
22 to ask you: Where do you think the Prosecution recovered this document,
23 would it be from Sarajevo or would it be from Srebrenica? What would you
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Srebrenica.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: And that's what I thought you would answer. And if
2 you look at the second document, the one with the stamp of the army, where
3 would you say that the Prosecution recovered this document, from
4 Srebrenica or from Sarajevo?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sarajevo.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's proceed.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 Q. Mr. Becirovic, as a matter of fact, the ham radio station that
9 Ilijas Omerovic operated, please look at its indication at the end of the
10 document that the Judge has just shown to you and of which you have said
11 that it was located in Sarajevo. Can you look at the second page of the
12 document where it says received through the ham radio station. Please
13 look at that. The ham radio station which was manned by Ilijas Omerovic
14 had the marking 4N4SGS, and this is reflected in this document?
15 A. You're right.
16 Q. Can you please look at the second document, the one that you said
17 that it was probably located in Srebrenica; in its heading is the armed
18 forces staff. Please, it says here "at 1600 hours the radio station 4SGS
19 Ilijas," and in this connection I'm going to ask you as follows. You were
20 working in Srebrenica and you knew exactly which one was Mr. Ilija
21 Omerovic's radio station, and you would not have made a mistake in noting
22 the designating mark of that station. Am I right?
23 A. Yes. I knew the name and the code of that station.
24 Q. Do you agree with me that this number here in document bearing
25 number 01787841 is wrong? It is not the sign of the station that Ilija
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Omerovic manned?
2 A. I have to explain. I don't remember whether I put the entire name
3 or the entire sign of the ham radio station at all times. I did on most
4 occasions. On some occasions, I didn't. So I can't be sure of that as I
5 sit here. It is possible, though, that somebody, not knowing what the
6 sign was, put a wrong sign on this document.
7 Q. You certainly were familiar with the signs of all the radio
8 stations, otherwise you would not have been able to get in touch with all
9 those radio stations. You would not have put a wrong code for any of the
10 radio stations. Is that correct?
11 A. It is.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: One question, pardon me, Madam Vidovic.
13 Now, in your country, I don't know how it operated in your
14 country, but I suspect that it operates pretty much the same worldwide.
15 Ham radio operator licensed, in other words, registered ham radio operator
16 in Sarajevo, would he have a call sign which is indicative of Sarajevo,
17 while, for example, another ham radio operator from Belgrade would have a
18 call signal that could identify with Belgrade or a call signal that would
19 identify with him a particular location? Would SGS, for example, mean
20 anything to you in a call sign?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not much, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: So there is no reason why someone who wouldn't know
23 the call sign of this Ilija Omerovic would put an SGS at the end of the
24 call signal?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those who are aware of the entire
1 code -- let me explain. There is an association of ham radio stations in
2 Bosnia and Herzegovina that operated in 1992 and 1993 and later on.
3 Before the war, if you wanted to call a radio station in the former
4 Yugoslavia, you had to put YU before the radio station's number. And all
5 the ham radio operators from other states, when they heard "YU," they knew
6 that the radio club was located somewhere in the territory of the former
8 From the beginning of the war, the association of ham radio
9 operators of Bosnia-Herzegovina decided that the call sign for
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina would be 4N. The rest of the sign belonged to every
11 particular radio club or radio station. It was the common practice by all
12 the ham radio operators to introduce themselves during the first contact
13 and say the entire code, irrespective of whether the contact was
14 established within the state or with somebody outside of the state.
15 In further communication, they avoided to say the sign for the
16 state in order to be as brief as possible in their communication. It was
17 a common practice, though, to use the entire code signal minus the two
18 letters or numbers designating the country.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: So basically if you look at this document, what's
20 missing is the first two letters or two digits, 4N, which would be common
21 to all ham operators over there?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Bosnia and Herzegovina, yes.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: And the rest -- in other words, this is not as has
24 been suggested someone who didn't know the call signal of Ilijas and tried
25 to guess? This is someone who knew exactly that the call signal of Ilijas
1 was 4N4SGS and left out the first two digits, 4N, as was the practice and
2 still is the practice in many countries?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you're right.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we've cleared that up as well. I'm sorry to
5 intervene like this, but I think I need to intervene to keep --
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous translation continues]... because these
8 are technical matters that we know very little about and anyone who is
9 following knows probably less. So --
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. It helps us
12 Q. Witness, this report or both reports that you saw were drafted by
13 the same author because the contents of the two are the same in any case.
14 Wouldn't you agree with that?
15 A. Yes, I would. You're right.
16 Q. Thank you very much.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to tender
18 this document into evidence -- actually, I would like to tender both
19 documents in evidence under one number, despite the fact that one already
20 bears a P number.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We don't have a problem with that.
22 One last question before we do that. I don't know -- and I'm
23 asking this question because I honestly cannot remember. Looking at the
24 one document which ends with ERN number 7841, at the top right-hand
25 corner, fourth handwritten line next to the date, to the right-hand side
1 of the date, there seems to be a signature. Do you know whose signature
2 is that? Can you recognise that signature?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it was my custom to put
4 my shortened signature on the documents, and this resembles my shortened
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
7 So this will be Defence Exhibit D265, no?
8 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I need a clip because I was playing with it.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Becirovic --
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Just one more question before the
13 break, Your Honour.
14 Q. Mr. Becirovic, you told us that this resembles your signature, but
15 you're not sure that this indeed is your signature. Isn't that correct?
16 A. In this particular case I'm not sure.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will be showing the
19 witness two more documents, and I believe that this is a good time for a
20 break because I am not able to do it within the three minutes.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We'll have a 25-minute break starting
22 from now. Thank you.
23 --- Recess taken at 3.42 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 4.18 p.m.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Wubben.
1 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, if you allow me, it's just a short
2 procedural matter. We just filed before 4.00 a motion for protective
3 measures and we have here a courtesy copy.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. I appreciate that.
5 MR. WUBBEN: We already handed over the courtesy copy to the
6 Defence and the Defence already expressed a positive response, a very
7 positive response towards to me, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. If that is the case, perhaps we can
9 decide it here and now orally.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we have considered the
11 Prosecutor's motion, and our position is that we will not object to the
12 protective measures due to the very specific job that the witness is
13 engaged in and that mean that he might be exposed to some unpleasant
14 situations. That's why we don't object.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: So the Trial Chamber seized with a confidential
17 motion -- let's go into private session, please. The witness, I think,
18 needs to leave the courtroom for a while. It will only be one minute, the
19 time to go out and come in again.
20 [The witness stands down]
21 [Private session]
14 [Open session]
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in the absence of the
16 witness, just for the record --
17 [The witness entered court]
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] -- we have been able to provide the
19 English version of document 01787841, and we have handed it over to Madam
20 Registrar. That's the document that we have just discussed.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: For which the previous document forms part of it,
22 okay? In the previous document Madam Vidovic said the two documents be
23 put together and be given one number. This will form part of that
24 document. Thank you.
25 Yes. Your next question, Madam Vidovic. Thank you,
1 Madam Vidovic.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like the usher
3 to provide the witness with the Prosecutor's document P307.
4 Q. Mr. Becirovic, the Prosecutor has shown you this document already.
5 It is true, isn't it, that this document contains in the upper right
6 corner the indication, communications officer. This is something that you
7 yourself never used in communication?
8 A. You are right. I have already said that in the course of my
10 Q. Will you agree with me that you can't be sure that the rest of the
11 document is credible, and I'm primarily referring to your signature. Are
12 you in agreement with me when I say that you cannot be sure that the
13 signature on the document is yours?
14 A. Yes, I agree with you.
15 Q. Thank you very much.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] And now I would kindly ask the usher
17 to show the witness another document, P79.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: P79.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Please take a look at the document once you receive it. This is
21 allegedly a document sent by the armed forces of Srebrenica. The number
22 is 15/92, and the date is 19th September 1992.
23 Mr. Becirovic, could you please look at the part after the
24 word "subject," the title of the document. Do you agree with me it says
25 here: "Draft decision regarding the setup of departments and appointing
1 chiefs of these departments in the operations staff of the armed forces of
3 A. This is what I says here.
4 Q. This document therefore is a proposal to the War Presidency to
5 issue a decision. Do you agree that this is exactly what the title of the
6 document indicates?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. The Prosecutor has shown you this document and you have answered
9 that during the year of 1999 [as interpreted] there was no communications
10 department in the staff, and Muhamed Alic [as interpreted] did not work in
11 the staff but in the centre for communications and information in the
12 municipality of Srebrenica. In other words, this proposal regarding Hamed
13 Alic has never taken off the ground. Am I right?
14 A. As far as I know you're right.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] We no longer need this document.
16 And now can the witness be shown another document. The number is
18 Q. Witness, can you please take a look at the document. This is a
19 document issued by the War Presidency of municipality of Srebrenica. The
20 number is 47/92, and the date is 16 August 1992. It was signed by
21 Mr. Hajrudin Avdic on behalf of the War Presidency. It is a short
22 document. I am going to read it to you.
23 It says here order: The employees Evrim Vrankovina [phoen] and
24 Sabahudin Gluhij to go to Suceska local commune on the 17th of August,
25 1992 in order to make a video recording of the war damage and general
1 situation in the local commune of Suceska."
2 In your testimony you have told us that the two persons who were
3 recording were members of the service for communications and information,
4 and that they were charged with recording of damaged factories and houses,
5 and they were Sabahudin Gluhij and Evrim Vrankovina. Isn't that correct?
6 A. Yes, it is.
7 Q. Do you remember that together with them throughout the year 1992
8 and 1993, in addition to Nijaz Masic, there was also Mustafa Sacirovic who
9 worked with them. Do you remember Mustafa Sacirovic?
10 A. I remember him. He was --
11 Q. Do you remember that he worked there?
12 A. Yes, I remember that he worked there. As far as I know, he did
13 not start at the very beginning. He was there maybe in October and
14 November, and in addition to them there was another person, a girl
15 Elmedina Jamakovic.
16 Q. So all these people you have just referred to were gathering
17 information for the War Presidency, weren't they?
18 A. Yes, you're quite right.
19 Q. They would be given orders to make video recordings and to gather
20 information on war crimes, and these orders were issued by the War
21 Presidency. Isn't that the case?
22 A. Yes.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I move for this
24 document to be admitted into evidence.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: So this document is being received and marked as
1 document -- Defence Document D266.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can I have Madam Usher's assistance
3 again. I would like to show the witness an OTP exhibit, and the number
4 is P160. The document bears the following number: 01239547. The
5 document purports to be a document of the armed forces of the subregion.
6 The number is 194/92, and the date is 27 December 1992. The signature is
7 communications and informations service of the subregion.
8 Q. First and foremost, Mr. Becirovic, do you agree with me that you
9 think that you sent this document based on your familiarity with the
10 substance of this document and based on your belief that in the upper
11 right corner we can find your signature. Would I be right in saying that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. It's true, isn't it, that the communications and information
14 service of the subregion never existed in Srebrenica. There was no such
15 thing there?
16 A. Yes, you're right.
17 Q. Furthermore, you never put a stamp on any of the documents that
18 you sent. Is that correct?
19 A. Yes, that's correct.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 Witness, another question related to this document. Are you
22 certain -- is there any way for you to be certain that the initial that
23 this document bears belongs to you? Can you be positive about this?
24 A. No, I can't be positive.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] The document is no longer required.
2 If I can have the usher's assistance, please, to show the witness
3 yet another document.
4 Q. This is a document by the Srebrenica municipality subregion
5 Bratunac/Vlasenica. The number is 118/9, the 18th of November, 1992.
6 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, subregion of Bratunac, Ministry of
7 Defence, BH army, armed forces headquarters, and the public. I'm just
8 quoting a portion of the document to save time. "Faced with the same
9 problems and endangered by the same enemy, armed forces of Srebrenica,
10 Bratunac, Vlasenica, and Zvornik gathered and put themselves under a
11 single command, because these areas had been endangered by both Serbia and
12 the extremist faction of the SDS for seven months already, and they have
13 been completely surrounded. Recently the aggressor has piled up their
14 armoured mechanised units along the Drina River and especially in Skelani
15 and on the bridge on the Drina near Bratunac."
16 Mr. Becirovic, let us leave aside for the time being the question
17 whether this subregion, as a form of organisation, ever really got off the
18 ground. There is something else that I want to ask you about this
19 document. This document was sent to Sarajevo using a ham radio. Isn't
20 that a fact? Is this something you can tell just by looking at the
22 A. Yes, you're quite right.
23 Q. Since November 1992 and onwards, you were in touch with Mr. Hamed
24 Salihovic, weren't you?
25 A. Yes, you're right.
1 Q. He sent several reports like this to Sarajevo using your services
2 in his capacity as the president of the War Presidency of the Srebrenica
3 subregion. Isn't that a fact?
4 A. There were just several reports, not many though.
5 Q. It is safe to say that there was several such reports, isn't it?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. There was never any other service that was sending these reports
8 with the exception of the information service, of which you were an
9 employee. There was no other subregional service of that kind. Am I
11 A. Yes, you're right. There was no other service like that.
12 Q. His reports about the disastrous situation of the free areas of
13 the Podravanje region were mostly produced in February and March of 1993.
14 Would I be right in saying that? Do you remember that?
15 A. I'm afraid I can't be very specific about the time frame. The
16 fact is, this was at least the way I remember, after the beginning of
17 1993, it was in 1993.
18 Q. These were actually appeals launched to both the domestic public
19 and the world, and he signed these in his capacity as president of the
20 Presidency of the subregion. Am I right?
21 A. Yes.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I move that this
23 document be assigned a number.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: So this document, Madam Vidovic, with its English --
25 corresponding English translation into English will be marked as Defence
1 Exhibit 267 and 267E respectively.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Becirovic, along the same lines I have another question. It's
4 true, isn't it, that Mr. Salihovic at some point early in November 1992
5 used your radio to send a report to the Presidency of Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina and the general public, saying that he had been elected
7 president of the subregion's War Presidency. Would I be right in stating
9 A. Yes, you're quite right.
10 Q. Now for something different. You testified that the ham radio
11 communication lines were open and entirely unprotected in terms of
12 confidential information. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes. I believe I said that a number of times.
14 Q. Thank you. You have described listening in to the Serb forces
15 using radios to talk about attacks. Isn't that right?
16 A. Yes. That was in late May 1992.
17 Q. Therefore, you heard your enemy and their communications. You
18 recorded this and passed it on to someone. Isn't that right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Any confidential reports sent in this way could always be
21 intercepted by the enemy. That's a fair statement, isn't it, as long as
22 they were radioed?
23 A. Yes, that's a fair statement.
24 Q. Mr. Oric never used this line for military communications because
25 you had pointed out to him the danger of being overheard or intercepted by
1 the enemy. Isn't that correct?
2 A. Yes. You're quite correct there.
3 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, if I may. At this point with
4 respect to this question, I think it needs to be clear that Mr. -- if the
5 question is that Naser Oric never used military communication, I think it
6 should be with respect to -- in this witness's presence, I think if you go
7 global, then this witness is just speculating at this point.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: It's obviously as far as his being made available
9 for such communication is concerned. He is not speaking --
10 You don't know whether actually Mr. Oric communicated with anyone
11 else on military matters not involving you? You can't say that, can you?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But he didn't.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: How do you know --
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It wasn't possible for him to
16 JUDGE AGIUS: We saw him yesterday -- or at least the Prosecution
17 showed videos purporting to show him, you identified him as being Naser
18 Oric, with a hand-held radio in his hands. What was he doing with it,
19 playing with it? We also saw a dish antenna nearby. What was that for?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did ID Naser Oric yesterday,
21 and the device he was using is a short-range device. And in addition to
22 seeing Naser Oric carrying this kind of equipment, I also saw Ibrahim
23 Mandzic. He may have been somewhere nearby.
24 Talking about the satellite dish, it was not part of the equipment
25 that was ever used by Naser Oric. I suppose this was something used by
1 the blue helmets or blue berets, if I can call them that. I can't tell
2 you who these people were precisely. They may have been someone from
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Thank you
6 for this clarification.
7 Q. Mr. Becirovic, this is what my previous question was about. Oric
8 was not using your line --
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Because, Your Honours, I was talking
10 about Mr. Becirovic's line specifically.
11 Q. -- your line for military communication because you had pointed
12 out to him the danger being intercepted by the enemy. Am I right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Your Honours, I believed it was my duty whenever anyone came to
15 use my services and to use the radio that I should tell them that anything
16 they said could easily be overheard or intercepted. Anything -- any
17 traffic on the same frequency, including intercepted by the Serbs. I
18 wanted to get people to talk about their families because that's what they
19 were usually interested in. That's what they usually wanted, but nothing
21 Q. Thank you, Witness. Yesterday you identified Mr. Oric holding a
22 type of radio device in his hand. You just told us that this was a
23 short-range, low-power radio device. If you know, Mr. Becirovic, can you
24 please specify the range of that device, or that type of device, if you
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Those are low-power, low-range radios. If you have in mind the
2 lie of the land in Srebrenica, the range could have been 10 kilometres at
3 the most.
4 Q. Thank you. I would like now to go back to the kind of
5 communication that you were in charge of. Mr. Oric talked to Izetbegovic,
6 Halilovic, and a person known as Munja who was from the 2nd Corps. The
7 reason was that the pressure by the Serb forces during those talks had
8 mounted to such an extent that it seemed very likely that Srebrenica would
9 fall soon. Wasn't that the case?
10 A. Yes. I didn't identify Munja as someone who was necessarily in
11 the 2nd Corps at the time. I was not aware of that. It was based on the
12 gist of their conversation that I came to the conclusion that he may have
13 been a member of the regional staff or of the Territorial Defence.
14 Q. Thank you for that explanation, Witness.
15 At the time these conversations occurred, I'm talking about the
16 beginning of 1993 up to the run-up to the demilitarisation, so at this
17 time Srebrenica was faced with the threat of genocide, wasn't it?
18 A. You are entirely right.
19 Q. At the time the conversations took place, Mr. Oric was in fact
20 quite conscious of the possibility that he was being intercepted, but
21 there was no choice. He had no other way to come out and seek help for
22 the people of Srebrenica. Isn't that a fact?
23 A. Yes, definitely.
24 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Richardson.
1 MS. RICHARDSON: I would object that this is all speculation at
2 this point. What -- I think the witness to testify to what his knowledge
3 was of the ability, but outside of that I think that's pure speculation.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: And it's one step short of speculation,
5 Ms. Richardson. It stands to logic what the question was -- the way the
6 question has been put is really asking the witness to confirm that it was
7 logical for Mr. Oric to suspect or feel sure that any conversation would
8 be intercepted. And the obvious answer is yes.
9 MS. RICHARDSON: Well, Your Honour, my objection is to the line
10 which went into whether or not Naser Oric had a choice, and that's where
11 my objection lies.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I think the witness has answered that already.
13 Yes, Ms. Vidovic.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 Q. You used to see Mr. Oric at the time because he would come to see
16 you to get in touch with his family. Isn't that a fact?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Whenever you met him throughout the war, he wore a beard, didn't
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Mr. Becirovic, you stated that Oric would come to Srebrenica every
22 now and then. Do you know that he actually spent the best part of his
23 time in Potocari. Is this something you're familiar with?
24 A. Yes, I know about that.
25 Q. Do you agree with me when I say that Potocari was a part of the
1 defence line that was highly sensitive because of being subjected on a
2 daily basis to attacks from the Bratunac area and the Kravica area?
3 A. You are right.
4 Q. If we leave aside what happened in Srebrenica in 1995, we would be
5 entitled to say that the most difficult period in Srebrenica was that
6 between mid-January 1993 and the 1993 demilitarisation, and you personally
7 witnessed all these events. Am I right?
8 A. I would shift this time frame slightly, and I would put the
9 beginning at late November and early December 1992 and then all the way to
10 the demilitarisation period. If ever there was hell on earth, it was
11 Srebrenica at the time under consideration. People were starving in a
12 quite literal sense.
13 Q. And this is because since November, as you suggest, or December
14 1992 the Srebrenica area was being subjected to enormous pressure by the
15 Serb forces, including those from Serbia?
16 A. Yes, you are right.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can I have the usher's assistance
18 now, please. I would like to show the witness the following document.
19 This is Defence Exhibit D184. This is a document produced by the War
20 Presidency of the Srebrenica municipality. The number is 168/93, and the
21 date is the 17th of January, 1993.
22 Q. Witness, please have a look. I will quote a portion of this
23 document. "Since the 1st of January this year" --
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Just for your reference, Your
25 Honours, this is the second passage of the document.
1 Q. And that applies to you, Witness. It says: "The artillery
2 attacks have been intensified since January 1st this year, and the former
3 Yugoslav army air forces have been carrying out bombardments of the
4 Srebrenica area every day and aircraft have been taking off from the
5 Ponikve airport near Uzice. The world knows precious little about this.
6 In night between the 15th and the 16th of January, 1993, the Uzice Corps
7 crossed the bridge in Skelani from Bajina Basta with 12 tanks, seven APCs,
8 and several trucks in order to carry out an attack against the territory
9 held by the defenders. There has been heavy fighting since that moment
10 and this fighting goes on as we speak. In the above-mentioned combat, the
11 aggressor has been using the air forces and the result is that over 100
12 civilians have been killed. The aggressor's advance has been halted, but
13 fresh forces are now being brought over from Serbia and sent into combat."
14 Mr. Becirovic, do you agree that this document by the War
15 Presidency faithfully reflects the situation throughout the Srebrenica
16 area at the time?
17 A. Yes. Maybe it was even worse than this, if anything. I see no
18 reference here to the spreading diseases.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Becirovic. From the period described in this
20 document to midway through 1993, there was the so-called winter offensive
21 that was launched by the Serb forces. Is this something you're familiar
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. There were attacks on Srebrenica and the surrounding villages that
25 had remained free up to that point throughout February and March 1993.
1 These attacks came from everywhere, didn't they?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. The pressure was enormous. One by one, the Muslim villages fell.
4 A. Yes, you are right.
5 Q. Yet again, people were killed and the Muslims were expelled from
6 the area?
7 A. You are right.
8 Q. There ensued a great amount of panic among the Muslims of
9 Srebrenica and those who were in the villages around Srebrenica that were
10 still free. Wasn't that the case?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You will agree with me, won't you, when I say that throughout this
13 period, January, February, and March 1993, Oric hardly ever, if at all,
14 came to Srebrenica itself?
15 A. You are right.
16 Q. He was where the going was really tough at the time. That's where
17 he was. Isn't that the case?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Thank you. Now for something different. You knew Hazim Omerovic,
20 didn't you, his nickname was Mrki. Did you know this person, Hazim
21 Omerovic, also known as Mrki?
22 A. I can't remember really. There were several people who were
23 called that. If you can specify, please.
24 Q. Hazim Omerovic, Mrki. Do you remember if Hazim Omerovic, Mrki,
25 was someone who looked very much like Naser Oric? Was there another such
1 person in Srebrenica, I mean Hazim Omerovic from Voljevica?
2 A. Yes, there was a look-alike, and the person's name was Hazim. I'm
3 not sure about the person's last name, but it might as well have been
4 Omerovic. The nickname was Mrki.
5 Q. People who didn't know them very well would not have found it very
6 difficult to confuse them, to mix them up?
7 A. Yes. That would have been quite possible.
8 Q. You heard, didn't you, that Hazim played all sorts of practical
9 jokes about this and that he was in the habit of falsely identifying
10 himself as Naser Oric. This is something that was going on in Srebrenica
11 at the time. Did you hear anything about this?
12 A. Yes, you're quite right.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Can you give us some instances, for example,
14 Mr. Becirovic, some instances of these practical jokes played by this
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's been a long time since. I'm
17 not sure I can remember. But he would very often accost girls and
18 introduce himself as Naser Oric.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
20 Ms. Madam Vidovic.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Hazim Omerovic, also known as Mrki, was close to Akif Ustic,
23 wasn't he? They were close. Do you know about that?
24 A. Yes, I do, you're right.
25 Q. They spent a lot of time together and this person spent a lot of
1 time in Srebrenica itself, didn't he?
2 A. Yes. He had been expelled from Voljevica. He used to spend a lot
3 of time with Akif Ustic, and he was a member of his group.
4 Q. I would like to go back to radio communication.
5 Radio communication involved a serious problem, and that was how
6 to supply electric power to operate the radio. Am I right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Until November 1992, there had been a single generator that was
9 used for the purposes of the hospital, and this generator was used to
10 provide power to everyone else, wasn't it?
11 A. Yes, that's true.
12 Q. It was as late as November 1992 at the Krizevici River that
13 another electric engine was improvised, a makeshift one, that produced
14 about 300 kilowatts of electrical energy and it was not a stable source of
15 electricity, was it?
16 A. Yes. This is something I've already explained in my testimony.
17 Q. Until as late as the arrival of UNPROFOR and when UNPROFOR allowed
18 you to use their sources of electricity, this remained the only source.
19 Is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You said that the package radio communication only took off in
22 early March 1993. Is that not right?
23 A. Yes, that's right.
24 Q. This package line was used by a variety of people, including the
25 War Presidency and all the other authorities, or is this perhaps something
1 that you don't know about because that wasn't where you worked?
2 A. I do know that it was used by the War Presidency and other
3 authorities in Srebrenica.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can I have the usher's assistance
6 now, please, to show the witness the following document.
7 This is a document issued by the ministry of the secretariat for
8 national defence of the municipality of Bratunac. The date is 11 July
9 1994. It was signed by the secretary of the municipal secretariat for
10 defence, and the computer number is 01838911. It was signed by Mr. Sadik
12 Q. Can you please take a look at this document. We are not
13 interested in the contents of the document, Mr. Becirovic. Just look at
14 the left lower corner of this document. It says here, and I
15 quote: "Agrees with the package, chairman of the War Presidency of
16 Srebrenica municipality, Fahrudin Salihovic."
17 Is it true that Mr. Fahrudin Salihovic was the president of the
18 War Presidency at the time in question?
19 A. Yes, it is true.
20 Q. Mr. Becirovic, then it would be absolutely wrong to say that
21 Mr. Oric controlled the package communication?
22 A. You're right.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to tender
24 this document into evidence.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: This will be 268.
1 One question, Mr. Becirovic. Would it make you comment further if
2 I pointed out that this document refers to what seems to Bratunac
3 municipality and not to Srebrenica as such? This is -- submits such
4 report for Bratunac municipality on personnel, livestock, structure and
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're right there. As far as I
7 know, in 1994 after the demilitarisation or long after it, the population
8 of Bratunac who had been expelled to Srebrenica tried to establish their
9 bodies of power in the villages of Cizmici and Bljecava, which belonged to
10 the municipality of Bratunac. I believe that the reason for that -- that
11 it is for that reason that they sent this document to Tuzla.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. However, whoever sent this document, Mr. Becirovic, had to have
16 the agreement of the president of the War Presidency of Srebrenica, and
17 this was done?
18 A. Yes, that's true.
19 Q. In your testimony, you have told us that before the war 17 local
20 communes, or some of them which did not have telephone lines, before the
21 war that is, had Iskra radio stations. Did I understand you well? You
22 were talking about the prewar period, weren't you?
23 A. Yes, you're right.
24 Q. You don't know the lot of these prewar radio stations of the Iskra
25 type, save for those you mentioned explicitly in your testimony yesterday?
1 A. You're right.
2 Q. The system of radio communication between the villages in
3 Srebrenica municipality in the course of 1992 and early 1993 was never set
4 up. Am I right?
5 A. You're right.
6 Q. You have testified about having made operational a ham radio
7 station. You did not make operational any military radio equipment?
8 A. Yes. That is before the second half of 1993.
9 Q. In other words, no military radio equipment or any such equipment
10 existed in Srebrenica before the second half of 1993. Is that correct?
11 A. You're right.
12 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Richardson.
14 MS. RICHARDSON: I really do hate to interrupt, but perhaps if we
15 could have clarification of what military radio equipment is being
16 referred to. There are a number of different communications systems that
17 this witness testified to.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, you are right. You're 100 per cent right.
19 Yes, Ms. Vidovic.
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Before the war you operated communication equipment, and you can
22 make a difference between the military communication equipment and
23 ordinary ham radio stations. Am I right in claiming that?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. So you will agree with me that the former JNA had special military
1 radio equipment and military radio stations?
2 A. You're right.
3 Q. Nothing like that existed in Srebrenica before the second half of
4 1993. Am I right?
5 A. Yes, you are.
6 Q. You have also told us in the course of your testimony that you had
7 contacts with many ham radio operators, sometimes even with those who were
8 located in Serbia?
9 A. Yes, you're right, I had such contacts.
10 Q. Within that context, are you familiar with the name Milos
11 Okanovic? Does that name ring any bells?
12 A. No, it doesn't ring any bells at all.
13 Q. Thank you. I'll go back to some other forms of communication.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask the usher to show
15 the witness Prosecutor's document number P7.
16 This document bears the ERN number 01239517, which purposes to be
17 the document of the armed forces of Srebrenica. The number is 51/92, and
18 the date is 31 October 1992.
19 Q. Witness, please take a careful look at this document. I will read
20 the relevant part to you. "Pursuant to the legally binding decree on the
21 armed forces of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina (Official Gazette of
22 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina 4/92) I hereby order all units of the
23 armed forces of Srebrenica are to be assigned with the following codes:
24 Armed forces staff, Suceska Brigade, Potocari Brigade, Kragljivoda
25 Independent Battalion, and Srebrenica," and so on and so forth. Next to
1 each of these names there is a number.
2 Let me ask you this: It is true, isn't it, that on the 31st of
3 October, or around that time, there were no brigades in the territory of
4 Sebesic. Do you agree with that?
5 A. You are absolutely right.
6 Q. There was no mortar unit. Srebrenica did not have a mortar unit
7 or platoon. Am I right?
8 A. You're right.
9 Q. There was no armoured company. Am I right?
10 A. You're right, there wasn't.
11 Q. There was not an engineering platoon either?
12 A. You're right. There wasn't anything like that.
13 Q. There was no communications platoon on the 31st of October, 1992,
14 or around that time?
15 A. No, there was none.
16 Q. Could you please take a look at the numbers next to the names in
17 this document. You never saw these codes or numbers being used in the
18 communication between any of the units. You actually never heard of units
19 bearing certain number codes before the demilitarisation?
20 A. You're right. I'm not aware of that.
21 Q. And something else with regard to this document. The heading of
22 this document of the introduction into it makes a reference to the decree
23 law on the armed forces of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it
24 mentions the Official Gazette of the Republic of Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina 4/92.
1 Mr. Becirovic, before the 31st of October, 1992, you never
2 received any Official Gazette or a decree law either from Tuzla or from
3 Sarajevo by means of the communication equipment that were at the disposal
4 of your service. Is that correct?
5 A. That is correct. We haven't received any such thing.
6 Q. A courier service between Srebrenica and other Muslim villages or
7 Srebrenica and Tuzla was exceptionally dangerous. Did you hear that many
8 people were killed in the attempt to transmit a message in that way?
9 A. You are right.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask the usher to show
11 the witness --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, one moment, because correct me if I'm
13 wrong but I am under the impression that yesterday when he was being asked
14 about courier service for military communications he said that he's not
15 aware that there was any. I stand to be corrected, but that's -- that's
16 what I think he said yesterday. So if there were no couriers or courier
17 service, how can he answer your question that many people died in trying
18 to deliver messages? I don't know. It's up to you. I'm not going to ask
19 any question myself, Ms. Vidovic.
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the gist of my question
21 was as follows: Did many men get killed in the attempt to act as
22 couriers? That was the gist of my question. I'm not claiming that there
23 were couriers, but that many men got killed in the attempt to carry
24 messages. I don't know how this was recorded. In any case, I'm going to
25 clarify this with the witness.
1 Q. Witness, did you hear, and I'm not claiming that there were
2 courier services, but -- actually, I'm going to try to prove the contrary
3 with the help of some documents.
4 My question is: Did you hear that certain people did try to carry
5 messages and that they got killed in that attempt?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: He has already answered that question in the
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you.
9 And now I would ask the usher to show the witness an excerpt from
10 P84. The page bearing the follow number: 02115085.
11 This is page 32 in the English version of this document, Your
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Vidovic.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Becirovic, it is -- this is about a meeting of the armed
16 forces which was held on the 4th of December, 1992. Would you please take
17 a look at the first sentence on this page. This sentence reads: "Zulfo
18 is saying, It is our big shortcoming that we go into action without any
19 means of communication."
20 Were you able to read that?
21 A. Without your help, I wouldn't be able to read this.
22 Q. It is rather illegible, I agree. Once again, it is a big mistake
23 to launch any actions without communication means. Then Smajo, then Ahmo
24 says, and I quote: "Do you see here a paragraph where Ahmo is saying --
25 do you see the name Ahmo and I will quote. He says: "Our biggest
1 shortcoming is communications. However, large sets of RUPs, mobile radio
2 communications stations with batteries cannot be carried around."
3 In connection with this, Mr. Becirovic, let me ask you this: This
4 document reflects the real situation of communication between the
5 units in the course of 1992 as late as December 1992. Is that correct?
6 A. In my testimony so far I have tried to explain and I have stated
7 that to my knowledge there were no communication means used by something
8 that I didn't call the staff of the armed forces. I referred to those as
9 poorly organised groups of people in the territory of Srebrenica.
10 Q. Very well then. Let me ask you something else. This document
11 confirms, doesn't it, that these people would go into action without any
12 communication means?
13 A. You're right there.
14 Q. And let me ask you something else now about the RUP stations.
15 When it comes to RUP stations, in order for them to be operational they
16 had to have batteries?
17 A. Yes. The RUP set had to contain a battery for their power supply.
18 Q. And for that you had to have electricity to charge those
20 A. Yes, you're right.
21 Q. In the Muslim villages around Srebrenica in the course of 1992 up
22 to the demilitarisation in 1993, there was no electricity at all.
23 Witness, leave aside Srebrenica. I'm asking you about the villages around
24 Srebrenica. They did not have electricity. Are you aware of that?
25 A. Yes, I am. You're right. And I would say even after the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 occupation of Srebrenica.
2 Q. It says here that you said "after the occupation of Srebrenica."
3 Are you referring to the fall of Srebrenica?
4 A. I said until after the occupation of Srebrenica, until the moment
5 people started coming back in 1997, 1998, and 1999. All of these villages
6 had been burned down, and there was no electricity in those areas.
7 Q. Very well then. You don't know whether it was possible at all for
8 the batteries to be charged, for the RUP stations to be operational if
9 there were any, or do you perhaps think that this was not at all possible?
10 A. It was not at all possible to charge those batteries if they
11 existed. I'm not aware of the existence of RUP stations.
12 Q. In your testimony you have also told us that the RUP frequency was
13 not enough to reach Suceska from Srebrenica due to the lay of the hilly
14 terrain. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes, it is.
16 Q. It is also true that the entire area of Srebrenica and the
17 surrounding villages is rather hilly?
18 A. You're right.
19 Q. The RUP communication in such areas, even if the RUP stations
20 could have been operational, would have been practically impossible. Am I
22 A. Yes, you are, and this is for two reasons. First of all is the
23 source of energy and the second is the layout of the ground.
24 Q. You told us that the RUP station in Srebrenica was made
25 operational only after the end of 1993. Is that correct?
1 A. Yes, this is exactly what I said.
2 Q. The attempt for the villages to become connected started in August
3 1993, that is after the demilitarisation. Is that correct?
4 A. Yes, it is.
5 Q. The -- when we're talking about communication suing a RUP, if this
6 communication had been possible, it would have been open and exposed to
7 the interception by the enemy. Isn't that correct?
8 A. Yes, it is.
9 [Defence counsel confer]
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. In your testimony yesterday, the Prosecutor asked you about the
12 Atlas radio. The question was whether it was possible to communicate
13 between Srebrenica and Cerska using this type of radio.
14 Let me put it this way: Many things are possible, Mr. Becirovic,
15 however you are not aware of the fact that somebody from Srebrenica used
16 an Atlas radio in order to communicate with Cerska and vice versa. Am I
18 A. In my testimony I said that in December 1992 an Atlas radio
19 station 210X was mounted in Cerska. The intention was to try and send the
20 information to Tuzla and Sarajevo about the situation in that area.
21 Because of the layout of the ground, communication with Sarajevo was not
22 possible. On several occasions, I communicated with that radio station in
23 Cerska from Srebrenica. The reception was very bad, but the fact is that
24 during that brief period of time while that Atlas radio existed in Cerska
25 before Cerska fell, we could establish several contacts.
1 Q. Mr. Oric did not communicate with Cerska in this way?
2 A. No. Mr. Oric did not communicate with this way. I also said that
3 the information that I received from Cerska I forwarded to the general
4 public. I would summarise the information and I would join it with the
5 information that I myself collected in Srebrenica.
6 Q. Mr. Becirovic, again we are talking about your appeals and reports
7 on the very difficult situation that prevailed in Cerska that was faced
8 with a major disaster?
9 A. Yes, you're right.
10 Q. Now for something different. Mr. Becirovic, you know, don't you,
11 that in Tuzla there was a group of people from the Srebrenica area, people
12 who had left the Srebrenica area at the beginning of the war. These
13 people established a body whose name was also the Srebrenica Territorial
14 Defence Staff. Am I right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. It's true, isn't it, that this body was in touch with the district
17 defence staff and the authorities in Tuzla. Do you have any information
18 on that?
19 A. Yes. Based on information that I obtained later, it was in the
20 second half of 1993.
21 Q. If this body in Tuzla that called itself the Srebrenica
22 Territorial Defence Staff received any documents in May, June, and July
23 1992 and later, this would not mean that these documents were really
24 received by the Territorial Defence Staff in Srebrenica, would it?
25 A. No, it wouldn't.
1 Q. Throughout 1992 you never received anything through this
2 Territorial Defence Staff that was based in Tuzla via communications
3 equipment, you received nothing from the district defence staff in Tuzla
4 or any other bodies based in Tuzla, did you?
5 A. Earlier I testified that communication was only one way, from
6 Srebrenica out and not back into Srebrenica. Nothing from Sarajevo or
7 Tuzla ever reached Srebrenica.
8 Q. Thank you, Witness.
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can I have the usher's assistance
10 now. I would like to show the witness a document. This is an OTP
11 document. The number is P29. This is P29. It's a document by the
12 district defence staff -- Territorial Defence Staff is Tuzla. The number
13 is 01/31. The date is 28th of May, 1992. The ERN number is 01819864.
14 Q. Witness, can you please go through this document in its entirety
15 and please pay close attention. The title of this document is Acts and
16 Behaviour of the Members of the Territorial Defence Unit in relation to
17 the population during combat activities. This is an order signed by
18 commander Lieutenant Colonel Zeljko Knez. This document is an order to
19 stop the burnings, the lootings of both mobile and immobile property of
20 the population during and after combat by TO units in the areas where
21 there were combat activities.
22 Please, Witness, if you could have a look at this document. Once
23 you've looked at that, can you please look at the left corner. It says,
24 delivered to the Tuzla municipal staff, Zivinice, Lukavac, abbreviation,
25 Kalesija, Srebrenica, Gradacac, Banovici and files.
1 First of all, Witness, you have never seen this document before,
2 have you?
3 A. Yes, you're quite right.
4 Q. In late May 1992, the communications and information service of
5 which you were on employee had not even been set up, had it?
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 Q. Hamed Alic set up a communications line to the outside world in
8 late June 1992, and he used a fax machine. Am I right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Can you please look at this document closely now. This was not
11 something that was faxed to Srebrenica and received by fax in Srebrenica?
12 A. I'm not aware of any such document having been received.
13 Q. Look at the document itself. There is nothing to suggest, unlike
14 some of the previous documents, that this document was received by fax?
15 A. Yes, you're quite right.
16 Q. Therefore, the information service did not receive this document
17 in Srebrenica, not in any way in fact. Would I be right in saying that?
18 A. Yes.
19 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Richardson.
21 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you. I'm just saying this calls for
22 speculation. We've gone through the fax machine. Now the witness is
23 being asked if this has ever been received in Srebrenica. As far as he
24 knows, through the mechanism he's aware of.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my colleague has just
2 drawn my attention to something. There was no way I said what the
3 transcript reflects. I asked the witness the following question: This
4 document never came to Srebrenica through the communications and
5 information service that you worked for? I was very accurate.
6 Q. Wasn't that my question, Witness? Wasn't that your understanding
7 of my question?
8 A. Yes, that was my understanding.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. That solves the problem. Let's proceed
10 to the next question, please.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. It's true, isn't it, that the end of May and the beginning of June
13 1992 was a period of heavy fighting in the area between Srebrenica and
14 Tuzla. Would I be right in saying that?
15 A. Yes.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this would be a very
17 convenient time to break. I don't have many questions left, but this
18 would be a very good time. I have a bit of a sore throat.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I think that will leave time for
20 re-examination if there is going to be one and also some time for us to
21 put some questions.
22 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
24 How much more do you think you have?
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, 15 or 20 minutes tops,
1 I think.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Richardson?
3 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I'll try to use no more than 15
4 minutes as well.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: It makes it difficult. So I'm going to impose an
6 embargo now. 15 minutes for you, Madam Vidovic; 10 minutes for you; and
7 the rest for us. Thank you. And let's have a shorter break, 20 minutes
8 instead of 25 minutes.
9 --- Recess taken at 5.39 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 6.05 p.m.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's try to finish.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'll be very brief but
13 I do feel a need to say something.
14 The Defence, especially myself, are someone who really appreciates
15 the Tribunal and we're trying to do our best to help. But one thing I'm
16 very unhappy about is that the Prosecutor every time oversteps the mark
17 and the allotted time, the time allotted by the Trial Chamber, which puts
18 me in a spot, and I always have to keep my cross-examination as brief as I
19 possibly can. I understand that, and out of respect to the Trial Chamber
20 I will oblige. I understand that you need to ask certain questions, too.
21 But in relation to our future witnesses, especially these three or four,
22 we find them at least as important as the OTP.
23 So if both parties are allotted a certain time limit, I think we
24 should both do our best to comply with the time limit. We will certainly
25 try to do our best. I've never had any complaints with regard to this,
1 but I would just like to say that we certainly should expect the OTP to
2 stick to their allotted time, just like we do.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, in actual fact, you've both exceeded the time
4 that you had indicated in the first place, and of course I can understand
5 that happening in the Defence much more than I can understand it happening
6 from the Prosecution's side. But it won't happen again; we told you this
7 very clearly yesterday. From now onwards you will each have a time limit
8 and we will not allow one single minute beyond that.
9 In the meantime, we have lost another minute. Yes, Ms. Vidovic.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can I have the usher's assistance
11 now, please. If I can please show the witness the following document
12 02622758, P143. P143.
13 Q. This is a document by the Tuzla district staff. The date is the
14 14th of October, 1992. This is an order signed by Mr. --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Vidovic, go straight to the question. You don't
16 need to tell the witness what there is or us what there is on this
17 document; we can see it. Your question, go straight to the question and
18 you will finish all the questions that you have.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Please, Witness, can you look at the upper part of this document,
21 the top half. In the upper right-hand corner you can see first the
22 incoming stamp of the Kladanj 3 operations group and then the incoming
23 stamp of the Municipal Assembly of Kladanj and the Kladanj Territorial
24 Defence Staff. Is that a fair statement?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. This document was received in Kladanj, which is quite a long way
2 from Srebrenica. Can you please tell us the distance between the two,
3 roughly speaking?
4 A. Over 100 kilometres.
5 Q. Thank you very much.
6 Can you please go through the entire document closely. There is
7 nothing in this document that appears to indicate that the document was
8 ever received in Srebrenica, does it?
9 A. At first sight, there is nothing to indicate that the document was
10 ever received in Srebrenica.
11 Q. There is no incoming stamp of any kind, no signature, nothing at
12 all to indicate that the document was ever received in Srebrenica?
13 A. You're entirely right.
14 Q. Thank you very much.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] The document is no longer required.
16 Thank you.
17 Q. I will ask you some questions now about a different matter.
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please now show the witness
19 P208. This purports to be a document by the armed forces staff in
20 Srebrenica 3/93. The date is the 4th of January, 1992. I will quote the
22 Q. Mr. Becirovic, you saw this document yesterday. I am now quoting.
23 It says: "Order on readiness. Deliver. Do nothing without an agreement
24 with Naser first. Be at the ready if Naser needs you and await further
25 orders. The radio is to be put into operation immediately and respond
1 regularly. This order was received by radio."
2 Mr. Becirovic, this document was purportedly written by your
3 brother. You knew your brother well, didn't you? You were familiar with
4 the way he wrote and spoke, were you not?
5 A. Yes, that's correct.
6 Q. Your brother was an educated man and he knew how to write, didn't
8 A. Yes, that's correct.
9 Q. He was known as a pedantic person, a neat person, a well-organised
10 around Srebrenica, was he not?
11 A. Yes, you're right.
12 Q. Do you agree with me when I say that this document was written in
13 an extremely incoherent manner, and this seems to suggest an author who
14 was not well-educated and not particularly given to writing documents?
15 A. Yes, that is true.
16 Q. Your brother would never have written or signed anything like
18 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I think this calls for speculation
19 at this point. We're talking about an order --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
21 Rephrase your question, Madam Vidovic.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Your brother, therefore, would never produce a document that did
24 not reflect a certain education background. Anything he produced would
25 have seemed like the product of an educated person, which might lead you
1 to believe that this document was not produced by your brother. Is that
2 not a fact?
3 A. You're quite right in saying that this was definitely not my
4 brother, Ramiz's, style.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Richardson.
6 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I really do hate to object. I know
7 we're short on time. But I think that with respect to what was produced
8 by this witness's brother, via what he knows about the brother, I think
9 that there should have been some foundational questions put to this
10 witness about whether he has ever seen any order written by his brother,
11 does this conform in fact to similar documents he's seen. And I think any
12 answer that he has given at this point, even though he has given one, is
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Next question, Madam Vidovic.
15 I'm not going to tell Madam Vidovic what questions to ask.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Becirovic, do you have any suspicions whether your brother
18 actually produced this document?
19 A. Yes, I do have my suspicions.
20 Q. You testified that Naser had the nickname Gazda and that this
21 nickname was used in his conversation with a person known as Munja. Do
22 you agree with me when I say that the nickname Gazda is a very frequent
23 nickname where we come from? Would that not be a fair statement?
24 A. Yes, that's a fair statement.
25 Q. Many people when talking address each other using such words as
1 Gazda, boss, chef, also meaning boss. Would that be correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. It was perfectly normal for local commanders to introduce
4 themselves as Gazda or for other people to address them using this word.
5 Is this something you're aware of?
6 A. Yes, this was normal practice.
7 Q. Many people in prominent positions would be addressed as Gazda or
8 would in fact introduce themselves as Gazda, not just commanders, other
9 prominent people, too. This is something that is usual where we come
11 A. Yes. That was the case both before the war and throughout the
12 war. This was a perfectly normal thing for people who were in any way
13 prominent, perhaps well-off or something like that.
14 Q. You couldn't really say that Naser was the only person in the area
15 who used this sobriquet name Gazda or who were referred to as Gazda, could
17 A. Yes, you're quite right.
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have no
19 further questions.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
21 Madam Richardson.
22 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honour, thank you. I will proceed.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: And you have also time for objections, Madam
25 Re-examined by Ms. Richardson:
1 Q. Mr. Becirovic, you were shown documents -- a document by the
2 Defence, and that is document 267.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: So what time did Ms. Richardson start?
4 MS. RICHARDSON: Defence Exhibit 267.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: 1817.
6 MS. RICHARDSON:
7 Q. And this -- without giving you the document again for you to
8 review in the interests of time, this document you testified indicated
9 that Hamed Salilovic had sent a message as -- within the position that he
10 held as the War Presidency of the subregion. I believe you agreed with
11 the Defence that this document had been sent.
12 Secondly, when you were asked how this document was sent you said
13 it was sent via ham radio. Now, on this document itself there's an
14 indication that it was received by Ilijas Omerovic and it was sent to
15 Sarajevo. Now, I will read for you the numbers for the ham radio, the
16 amateur radio station that received this document, and that is 4N4SGS.
17 Now, having heard those numbers and letters, does this reflect
18 that this document in fact went to that station, based on your knowledge
19 of the station and the numbers that were used?
20 A. Yes. In my communication with Ilijas Omerovic, I could recognise
21 his modulation.
22 Q. So indeed, if other documents which I believe the Defence
23 indicated one -- one such document where it was sent to Ilijas and only
24 4SGS was used, that would not be an indication that it was not sent to
25 him. Is that correct? Because here -- let me finish my question --
1 here's an indication that all of the numbers were used, and it was
2 never -- and your testimony was that it was sent to him?
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe that the
5 witness -- witness should have the document before him if asked to answer
6 these questions.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's not waste time on this very much because
8 in the Trial Chamber's mind it's very clear.
9 MS. RICHARDSON: I understand, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Basically Ms. Richardson --
11 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I'll move on.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: -- for Malta an amateur radio -- ham radio operator,
13 apart from requiring a license, will always have a 9H, and that is the
14 indicative of Malta, and then he explained what the rest is.
15 When you are communicating, they have a system of cards that they
16 keep and that the modulation that they send and receive, and you know this
17 is all oral, verbal. I mean, this is not something sent -- you're not
18 transmitting a document in the sense that a paper goes in and comes out of
19 the other end. This is all a verbal conversation, an oral conversation.
20 MS. RICHARDSON: I understand, Your Honour. I'm just seeking to
21 make sure there is no misunderstanding with respect to the consistency of
22 the receiver and the radio station, which is why I would like the witness
23 to just briefly look at the station.
24 Q. Mr. Becirovic, if you can, in the document before you, it's
25 indicated in the lower left-hand corner, it's the very last piece of
1 information that's indicated.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: The question basically is this, Mr. Becirovic, in
3 case it's not clear in your mind. The fact that on the document that you
4 are seeing you don't have the entire call sign, you don't have the initial
5 4N, would that put any doubt in your mind that that transmission or
6 that -- that transmission could have never taken place? Or is it a way
7 you record -- you and other colleagues of yours record things just to
8 speed up the procedure? Because anyone you are communicating with in the
9 territory of ex-Yugoslavia would always have 4N? Or in Bosnia would
10 always have 4N, so you don't need to write that. All you need to write
11 are the remaining four characters for the purposes of your record.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In this document I have only the
13 signal of the radio club in Sarajevo, and the 4SGS received information,
14 the information that I sent. And this sign confirms that to me.
15 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: In other words, you don't need to have 4N to confirm
17 that that message has been sent.
18 MS. RICHARDSON: I just wanted to make sure that that was clear,
19 Your Honour. I appreciate it.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, it is clear.
21 MS. RICHARDSON:
22 Q. Now, Mr. Becirovic, with respect to Prosecution Exhibit 29E that
23 was shown to you, and I've just referred to the document. It was in
24 reference to a document issued by Colonel -- Lieutenant Colonel Zeljko
25 Knez. And this -- it was asked if you recall receiving this document.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Now, my question to you is whether or not you were present on the
2 20th of May [sic] at the Territorial Defence of Srebrenica. Do you recall
3 if on that day you were present or the day after you had a meeting with
4 them or was present?
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was not present during this
7 particular period of time.
8 MS. RICHARDSON:
9 Q. And so that we're clear you --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Now wait one moment.
11 Now, yes, Madam Vidovic.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I had an objection.
13 The witness never said that he was present at the meeting of the
14 Territorial Defence Staff on the 20th. The question was: Do you remember
15 that you were present on that day? Did you have a meeting with them? The
16 witness never said anything to that effect.
17 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: The question is -- my question to you is whether or
19 not you were present on the 20th of May at the Territorial Defence of
20 Srebrenica? Do you recall if on that day you were present or on the day
21 after you had a meeting with them or was present? There is no allegation
22 at any time that he was. He's being asked whether he was present or not,
23 whether he recalls any such presence. I mean, it's not being suggested to
24 him that he was.
25 Anyway, let's move, because we are running short of time.
1 MS. RICHARDSON: Indeed, Your Honour.
2 Q. And my question to you is: You don't know if this document had
3 been delivered by hand or courier or by any other means, do you, to the
4 Srebrenica armed forces?
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have to object again.
6 The document was issued on the 28th of May. The Prosecutor is now
7 confusing the witness, asking him about the 20th of May.
8 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, the 28th of May, and I'm not sure if
9 in the transcript, it says the 20th, but it is certainly the 28th --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: The transcript showed 20th, 2-0.
11 MS. RICHARDSON: I certainly need that corrected. It's the 28th.
12 Not meant at all to --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: So for the record wherever there is 20th in this
14 part of the transcript, it should be 28 and not 20th. Thank you, Madam
16 MS. RICHARDSON:
17 Q. Mr. Becirovic, you were also asked to review minutes which
18 contained information about whether or not there was any communication
19 ability within the armed forces of Srebrenica. And my question to you is
20 whether or not you attended any War Presidency meetings or any meetings of
21 the Srebrenica municipal forces during 1992 and 1993, specifically October
22 of 1992?
23 A. No, Your Honour. I was never present at the sessions of the War
24 Presidency of the municipality of Srebrenica or any other organisation for
25 that matter. I've already said that I'm not aware of the fact that there
1 was an organised Territorial Defence Staff of the municipality of
2 Srebrenica, not before the demilitarisation.
3 Q. All right.
4 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, just with respect to my last series
5 of questions I asked about whether or not the witness was aware of whether
6 the document had been delivered by hand or courier. I don't think the
7 witness ever answered.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think he answered as yet.
9 That particular document that you were shown last, supposedly
10 signed by Mr. Knez -- well, not signed but attributed to general or
11 Commander Knez, are you -- can you tell us whether it was to your
12 knowledge ever delivered to the -- you restricted it only to the
13 territorial staff, didn't you, Ms. Richardson?
14 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honour, I did.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: To the territorial staff.
16 MS. RICHARDSON: By courier or hand.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: By courier or by --
18 MS. RICHARDSON: Or by any other means.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: In any manner.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, Your Honour, this
21 document never reached Srebrenica.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
23 MS. RICHARDSON: All right, Your Honour. With respect to my next
24 question, it has to do with whether or not you attended any of the
25 territorial staff meetings and I believe, if I'm not mistaken, that you
1 said that you did not. And so I would like to read for you from page 5
2 of P84. If you would listen I would read it very quickly. It's dated
3 October 3rd, 1992. Present unit commanders under number 9 it says
4 communication. The --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's put it on the -- we need to show it to him.
6 MS. RICHARDSON: ERN number to the specific page is 02115047.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: 5047.
8 MS. RICHARDSON: And it is page 5 of the English.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, you can start --
10 MS. RICHARDSON: Number 9. It states: "The military police must
11 take mobile radio transmitters and walkie-talkies. They must be
12 distributed. The command post is at the anti-aircraft machine-gun sight.
13 The pass word is Bosna Dzihad, and it lists the number of troops.
14 Q. Now, as far as you know, you were not involved in this meeting,
15 were you, where these things were discussed?
16 A. No, Your Honour. I was not involved in this meeting.
17 Q. All right. And I just have one more question with respect to the
18 same document and that is ERN number 02115087 [sic] and this was the --
19 just a follow-up question with respect to what had been asked earlier. It
20 is page, excuse me, 33 of the English version of the document. ERN number
22 JUDGE AGIUS: 5085 you have to look at.
23 Yes, your question.
24 MS. RICHARDSON:
25 Q. My question is there's a portion after Zulfo Tusunovic it's a
1 comment being made by Smajo or Samo [phoen]. It states, the second
2 sentence: "The motors telephoned our attacks. A big mistake was made
3 during reconnaissance. My group was last to retreat."
4 Now -- and secondly I'll read what Ahmo said. "Our biggest
5 shortcoming is communication. We have a large sets with batteries.
6 Cannot be carried around."
7 Now, in fact there is no indication here that this communication
8 equipment was not operational at the time, is there?
9 A. Your Honour, if I may give you my view of this period, in the
10 course of my testimony I have already stated that there were no RUP
11 equipment or any other means of communication that could be used in this
12 way and that could be commented upon in this way.
13 Q. Mr. Becirovic, if you could answer my question. In fact, this
14 information here does not state that the equipment is not operational,
15 does it?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: In other words, it just says that it is not
17 practical to carry them around. It does not purport to state that they
18 are not operational if they existed.
19 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. If it relates to the question, let him
22 answer it first; if it relates to the transcript, then go ahead.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the person says two
24 sentences and the Prosecutor just reads one. These two sentences are
25 related. The Prosecutor is confusing the witness in this way. The
1 speaker uttered two sentences, not just one, and this is how it should be
2 presented to the witness. In other words, it says: "Our biggest
3 shortcoming are communications," and then this is followed by the sentence
4 that the Prosecutor read out.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Vidovic, this is the last time I'm saying
6 this. I gave you instructions not to proceed if the objection that you
7 had related to the answer that the question was supposed to -- that the
8 witness was supposed to give. Don't do this again because I will take
9 further steps.
10 Now, the -- Ms. Richardson had read the first part as well and her
11 question is a very simple one. Does that mean that -- does that part of
12 the statement indicate that these RUP or whatever they are called were not
13 operational or that that was just not practical to carry them around?
14 That's the question that was asked.
15 So answer it -- please answer -- give us your answer and let's
16 please move to the next question.
17 And this was my final warning. I will not tolerate interruptions
18 before the witness has given the -- his answer. I mean, I will give the
19 go ahead, and if I tell you to stop, stop. And I told you very clear, if
20 you have got comments to make on the transcript, yes, go ahead. If it's
21 relating to the question itself, stop. And if you don't, there will be --
22 there will be consequences.
23 Yes. Witness, what does that actually say? Does it say that
24 there were RUPs that were not operational, or that there were RUPs which
25 couldn't, however, be carried -- carried around, was not practical to
1 carry them around?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the gist of this
3 sentence is as follows: The RUPs were not practical to be carried around.
4 But as I've already said earlier, I was not aware of the existence of the
5 RUP equipment.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
7 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: That's fair enough. You can't be expected to know
10 Yes, Ms. Richardson.
11 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I just have one last question and
12 again it pertains to this document. If the usher could assist. It's
13 page 17, the English version, the ERN is 02115064. The previous page is
14 dated the 3rd of November, 1992, but the actual page that I'd like to make
15 reference to is 02115064. And it states: "As for the work of
16 communication and information service, in fact it consists of two
17 services, the communications service operating within the armed forces and
18 the information service, something is illegible, it is believed that a
19 special commission of the War Presidency must be formed from the
20 communication and information service for information regarding war
21 destruction and losses."
22 Now, Mr. Becirovic, you I believe already testified that you did
23 not attend meetings of the armed forces. You are not familiar with
24 this -- you weren't advised of this information, were you?
25 A. I'm not aware of the fact that there were two services for
1 communication and information. I can't read this text, and if I
2 understand your question well you're asking me whether there were two
3 services for communication and information. And as I've already said, I'm
4 not aware of that. I know that there was one service for communication
5 and information, and it was part of the War Presidency.
6 Q. And I guess my final question is: Since you did not attend the --
7 the meetings, you weren't advised of this particular information?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: It doesn't follow, Ms. Richardson, it doesn't follow
9 necessarily. If there was a decision that it was believed that a special
10 commission of the War Presidency must be formed from that, it would have
11 been formed and he may have come to know about it later.
12 MS. RICHARDSON: That's correct, Your Honour, and I don't have any
13 further questions.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
15 Judge Brydensholt.
16 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: Well, I have now only one question.
17 Questioned by the Court:
18 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: Could you give us the exact date when the
19 telephone lines to Srebrenica was cut, or roughly the date?
20 A. Your Honour, I don't know the exact date. This was sometime
21 mid-July 1992 or maybe even in the first half of July.
22 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: Thank you.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
24 Judge Eser.
25 JUDGE ESER: I am still in need of clarification with regard to
1 this reporting system, how you reported and how you collected your
3 You told us that you gathered your information that you sent out
4 to Sarajevo and to the world by asking people who have been in the
5 hospital, wounded people. Is that correct?
6 A. Yes, it is correct.
7 JUDGE ESER: Now, would the usher please put Defence Exhibit 265
8 on the ELMO.
9 Now, in September -- in the September 1992, I think it was, if I
10 remember correctly, it was that Hamed Alic still was in Srebrenica. Is
11 that correct?
12 A. Yes, it is correct.
13 JUDGE ESER: Now, if you look to this document, it reads: "Around
14 10.00, criminals from Podravanje military attacked the villages of
15 Kutuzero, Derventa, Zutica, and Suceska," then it goes in a speedy and
16 effective action the Srebrenica armed forces moved to counter attack on
17 the line Suceska, Kutuzero, and Bucje villages. In exceptionally
18 well-prepared sabotage actions, a Chetnik Bracan stronghold was taken. A
19 T-53 tank and a PAT anti-aircraft gun were quickly seized from the
20 aggressor and two armoured personnel carriers were destroyed."
21 Now, I guess these are different villages that are mentioned here.
22 Is that correct?
23 A. Yes, that is correct.
24 JUDGE ESER: Now, if you wanted to collect information from these
25 villages, I suppose that you would have had wounded people in the hospital
1 from all these villages. Is that correct?
2 A. In principle, this does not have to be so, but it is correct. The
3 territory of Suceska local commune had about 25 to 30 hamlets in the area
4 covering about 10 square kilometres. So a wounded who came from one
5 village was also aware of the happenings in other villages. To be more
6 specific, in this particular attack, the Serb forces launched a fierce
7 attack from Milici and Podravanje. Those are the western and the southern
8 axes of the local commune of Suceska. All the wounded who arrived in the
9 Srebrenica hospital from any of the villages were able to know and could
10 hear what happened in the other villages, in the villages that they
11 themselves were not from.
12 JUDGE ESER: They could also hear and observe what was seized by
13 the army? Or by the fighters, let's put it this way, by the fighters.
14 A. That is correct. I believe that I've already said that the
15 credibility of this information depended on the accuracy of what people
16 told me. I never checked how many people were captured, if any. So I
17 can't say this information was received a day after the attack. And it
18 was drafted on the 25th of September, a day after the event.
19 JUDGE ESER: Now, another question. You told us about the use of
20 these communication devices in the PTT where other people, civilians, were
21 able to use it to get in touch with their families. And in your testimony
22 yesterday you told us that members of the Territorial Defence in cases
23 where they tried to stay in touch with their families using this
24 equipment, they had a chance of using the equipment under my control.
25 Now, what do you mean with "under my control"? What does it mean?
1 A. I've said that amongst others, members of the Territorial Defence
2 used my services, which means that I was the one who was supposed to
3 establish contact with a ham radio operator in another place. When that
4 contact was established, I handed the mike over to the person who actually
5 wanted to talk, and I was present during that conversation of course.
6 JUDGE ESER: Does that mean that you could overhear everything
7 that was spoken during this communication?
8 A. Yes.
9 JUDGE ESER: Now, you also told us that General Morillon was using
10 this communication. Should I conclude from your answers that you would
11 also overhear what General Morillon was talking with other people?
12 A. Yes, you're quite right. I was able to hear what General Morillon
13 was saying. But I do not speak French and French was the language he
14 used. So at the end of the conversation, there would be an interpreter
15 who would convey to me the gist of the conversation.
16 JUDGE ESER: Then you also testified with establishing a
17 communication with a man called Munja and that he wanted to get in touch
18 with Naser Oric. Now, how did you get in touch with Naser Oric? What was
19 the way of telling him that he is wanted by Munja to talk -- have a talk
20 with him?
21 A. Your Honour, as I've explained, people came over almost every day
22 to get in touch with their families. I can't remember any specific
23 details of notifying Naser, but the usual thing to do would be to use
24 someone from the Potocari area to get the message to Naser. The message
25 would say that there was a person called Munja who wanted to speak to
2 JUDGE ESER: Now, coming back -- my last question to today's
3 testimony with regard to the presence of Naser Oric in the period of
4 January, February, and March 1993 in Srebrenica, and you have been asked
5 by the Defence: He was where the going was really tough at the time.
6 That's where he was. Isn't that the case? And you would answer "yes."
7 Now, what would have been these tough places that you assume that
8 he was?
9 A. The fringe areas of the Srebrenica free territory. I mean the
10 general Potocari area, the Suceska area, the Kragljivoda, and the Osata
11 [phoen] area. If we imagine a circle there, the radius would amount to
12 about 30 or 40 kilometres. It was a very small area at the time.
13 JUDGE ESER: Now, Ms. Vidovic did not mention any places. Now,
14 how can you suppose that she had the same places in mind which you
15 described now?
16 A. When she said where the situation at its worst, what I took that
17 to mean was places where there was the heaviest fighting.
18 JUDGE ESER: No further questions. Thank you.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
20 I don't have any questions for you, which brings us to the end of
21 your testimony, Mr. Becirovic. I thank you on behalf of the Tribunal; on
22 behalf of the Trial Chamber; on behalf of my colleague, Judge Brydensholt,
23 from the Kingdom of Denmark; and Judge Eser from Germany; and also on my
24 own behalf. I thank you for having come over to give testimony in this
25 case, for also having stayed here more than I thought you were needed to
1 stay, but I thank you.
2 You will now receive all the assistance that you need from the
3 staff of this Tribunal to facilitate your return back home at the earliest
4 opportunity. I can assure you that that assistance will be forthcoming
5 immediately the moment you walk out of this courtroom.
6 You will now be escorted by Madam Usher. And my last words to
7 you, also on behalf of everyone present here, is that we all wish you a
8 safe journey back home. Thank you.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, tomorrow we sit in the afternoon like today.
12 We have agreed that the new witness will testify with special protective
13 measures that we have agreed upon, thanks to the cooperation of the
15 We need to decide for how long she is going to be. You said three
16 hours, you need three hours, Ms. -- I don't know who is going to be
17 responsible for that. Yes.
18 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, tomorrow that will be Mr. Gramsci
19 Di Fazio. And what we would like to do from the Prosecution's stance is
20 to -- instead of enunciating how many hours, three hours, five hours, is
21 to speak in terms of the days needed to testify. And I have been informed
22 that this witness will take no longer than tomorrow and that there's a
23 possibility that the direct examination will be shorter than one full
24 court day.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. That -- so the position is as follows --
1 how much time do you require, Mr. Jones?
2 MR. JONES: Yes, I'm answering because I'll be cross-examining the
3 witness. I wanted to put it really this way: That looking at the
4 potential testimony to be given by this witness, if the Prosecution adopt
5 a fairly sensible approach and limit the testimony to really what that
6 witness can testify about, which is actually in our submission fairly
7 limited, in other words, if Mr. Di Fazio adopts a sensible approach and
8 he's a pretty sensible chap, then I think I can be finished fairly
9 quickly, within an hour or an hour and a half. I think, you know -- if we
10 do adopt a sensible approach with this witness, perhaps the witness can be
11 completely finished within one day, cross-examination and re-examination.
12 So I could certainly be very brief with this witness, provided the
13 witness stays within what that witness can reasonably testify about.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I thank you.
15 When is the next witness arriving in The Hague, number 44?
16 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, the next witness should be arriving
17 this evening.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Who is in charge of that witness?
19 MS. SELLERS: I'll be taking that witness, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: So start proofing him as quickly as you can.
21 MS. SELLERS: As of 9.30 tomorrow morning.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. So that if we can advance his testimony to
23 before the 2nd of May, we'll try to do that. This is going to be a
24 crucial witness, as I see it, and the sooner we start, the better.
25 MS. SELLERS: Yes, Your Honour. We anticipate starting him and we
1 will try and do it as soon as possible. I think the Prosecution also
2 would like to inform you that there is a possibility that if witness
3 protection is required we will file a written motion on that also as soon
4 as possible for deliberations.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, if you file that, I think it can be decided
7 MS. SELLERS: Yes, Your Honour. We'll do our best.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. But what I mean to say is this: If
9 there is a slight possibility that we would finish with this next witness
10 tomorrow, then let's not waste the next day. So this is why I'm saying
11 try to get the proofing --
12 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: -- cracking.
14 MS. SELLERS: If we did finish with this next witness tomorrow,
15 using all sense and sensibilities on behalf of both parties, I do think
16 that it would be highly impossible to start with that next witness the day
17 afterwards anyway. This witness has been allowed to have an appropriate
18 time period for proofing. We've had to, as a matter of fact, ask for
19 special measures. I believe that the Defence certainly would be sensibly
20 in agreement with us to not limit our proofing to one day on this witness.
21 And I do believe that only in proofing him could we reach absolutely the
22 core of what the Trial Chamber would want to hear without going into other
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. -- you must have misunderstood me. I never
25 meant to say that your examination-in-chief will be limited to one day or
1 that the proofing will be limited to one day. I'm just saying that if you
2 can, get the proofing process cracking and make it possible to start with
3 this witness on the 28th instead the 2nd -- of the 2nd May. If that is at
4 all possible, then please do it, because it seems to me that there is a
5 great possibility of finishing with tomorrow's witness tomorrow.
6 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, then I would like to inform the Trial
7 Chamber that it will take longer than one day to proof this witness.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: To proof this witness.
9 MS. SELLERS: And we will not be able to start on the 28th.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We'll deal with this tomorrow.
11 Good evening everybody, and we'll meet again tomorrow.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.57 p.m.,
13 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 27th day of
14 April, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.