1 Tuesday, 13 September 2005
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Madam Registrar. Could you call the
6 case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-03-68-T, the Prosecutor versus Naser Oric.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I thank you. Mr. Oric, good morning to you.
10 Can you follow the proceedings in your own language?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
12 Gentlemen, yes, I can follow the proceedings in my mother tongue.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. And you may sit down.
14 Appearances for the Prosecution.
15 MR. WUBBEN: Good morning, Your Honours and also good morning to
16 my learned friends of the Defence. My name is Jan Wubben, lead counsel
17 for the Prosecution. I'm here together with co-counsel, Ms. Patricia
18 Sellers, Mr. Gramsci di Fazio, Ms. Joanne Richardson and our case manager,
19 Ms. Donnica Henry-Frijlink.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good morning to you and your team,
21 Mr. Wubben.
22 Appearances for Naser Oric.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. I am
24 Vasvija Vidovic. Together with Mr. John Jones, we represent Mr. Naser
25 Oric, and we have our legal assistant, Ms. Jasmina Cosic and our CaseMap
1 manager, Mr. Geoff Roberts with us. Good morning to my colleagues from
2 the Prosecution.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Vidovic, and good morning to you
4 and your team.
5 Any preliminaries?
6 MR. WUBBEN: No, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones?
8 MR. JONES: Yes, there is just one, Your Honour. We have been
9 served with some documents which the Prosecution intends to use with this
10 witness; I believe they intend to use it today as exhibits. I don't know
11 if Your Honours have been served with --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I am not aware of them anyway, so I have yesterday's
14 MR. JONES: Well, in any event, I have a submission to make.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Or at least they may be listed here but I don't have
16 a hard copy of it, in other words. I speak for myself. I don't know if
17 my colleagues have it.
18 MR. JONES: What I have in mind is ERN number 02115744, 02115781,
19 I believe. Anyway, there's a --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, they are listed. They are listed.
21 MR. JONES: Right. It's simply this: That firstly, obviously,
22 Racine Manas hasn't given any evidence about the provenance of these
23 documents. There is no indication on any of the documents of the
24 collection or the source from which they came. There are no -- we have no
25 seizure details. There are no signatures as far as I can see. They are
1 mostly undated or some are dated from 1995 or later, and there are names
2 of Serb places like Han Pijesak, places which were in Serb hands at the
3 relevant time, Han Pijesak, Bratunac. And it's simply this: That in
4 these circumstances, we -- sorry, my apologies.
5 Sorry, these submissions also cover yesterday's documents, which
6 were the lists of fighters from Osmace, purportedly from Osmace. And it's
7 simply this: That it could be that, you know, for all we know someone
8 yesterday or a year ago or two years ago sat down with a list of names and
9 typed up some documents and filled in some details of weaponry and
10 whatnot. And we are well aware that the approach of the Tribunal is to
11 basically put everything in the kitchen sink and then at the end of the
12 trial see what weight you give to it. But, in our submission, there has
13 to be some limit, and in these circumstances where we really -- these are
14 in our submission nothing more than scraps of paper which anyone could
15 have composed at any given time. To put it before the witness, firstly,
16 with any suggestion that they have any probative value may mislead the
17 witness firstly, so I would certainly, if these documents are used, object
18 to it being suggested in any way to the witness that he should think that
19 these are in any way of any probative value, that they are authentic or
20 anything. On the one hand, I know that when the witness is present, we
21 are not meant to say, well, we are not meant to make vocal our concerns
22 about authenticity, but conversely if must be the case that the
23 Prosecution can't suggest that these actually have any authenticity or any
24 authentic value, especially when they are undated, unsigned, and we have
25 got no idea where they came from. But I would also actually submit that
1 if the Prosecution uses these documents and applies for them to be
2 exhibits that this is the sort of thing which actually should be excluded
3 and declared inadmissible, unless there are some details about where these
4 documents came from.
5 Thank you.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you think there is anything on the face of it
7 which would render them inadmissible straight away?
8 MR. JONES: Depends on what criteria the Chamber is applying.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Because, for example, I will just mention one thing
10 with regard to the last document. I'm sorry I'm giving you my back, Judge
11 Eser. But with regard to the last document that -- okay. He's seeing me
13 That had the supposedly the list of the 121 members of the A3 unit
14 of the Osmace territorial force. I'm just saying alleged to be so. I
15 mean, it's -- your witness did recognise the names.
16 So let's put it like this. I mean, fortunately, in such a matter
17 we speak the same language, for sure, and we speak it in the most clear
18 terms, that this is a Prosecution document, exhibit, and it rests entirely
19 with the Prosecution to prove first the authenticity of the document and
20 the probative value in any case of the document because the document can
21 be authentic but also be -- contain false information and whatever. So
22 that is something that rests with the Prosecution until the very end. I
23 do appreciate of course you raising up the matter because I agree with you
24 that these are not signed, these are not stamped, these -- and we have got
25 no idea at all about provenance.
1 The same applies, although not to that extent, to one of the
2 documents you made use of during the examination-in-chief. I was leaving
3 it until the very end. I would like to know from the Prosecution because
4 it's obviously a document that has been provided to you by the Prosecution
5 because it has an ERN number, because -- I would like to know whether --
6 what the provenance of the document. I will point it out later on.
7 But again, where definitely Mr. Jones is 100 per cent right, is
8 that you have a number of documents, some of which you have made use of,
9 some of which you purportedly intend to make use of. We have no clue as
10 to the provenance of these documents. At least, you should provide us
11 with that much of information so that we would also be able to weigh as we
12 go along the probative value that you are attributing to this or these
13 documents because you're making use of them by showing them to a witness
14 and asking the witness to give his comments on these documents.
15 It cuts both ways. I mean, I don't need to explain why it cuts
16 both ways but it does cut both ways. But I think you do owe us and the
17 Defence at least information on the provenance. Now, whether these were
18 actually typed later on, whether they are invented, et cetera, for the
19 time being it's a proposition that is forthcoming from the Defence. It
20 could be something that can result ultimately to be true. It can be just
21 sheer, pure imagination or conjecture. But at this point in time, you're
22 right. At this point in time, you're right to express this concern
23 because they are unsigned and unstamped, and we don't know what the
24 provenance is, so at least we should know what the provenance is.
25 I will of course, for the time being, while this is being explored
1 by your case manager, or by whoever, I mean, I'm saying the case manager,
2 I don't know whether it's her role or not, I will ask you to proceed with
3 the cross-examination and make use of these, because I trust the
4 Prosecution enough to think that they will be coming forward and tell us
5 what the provenance is. I don't think the provenance is the Office of the
6 Prosecution, so -- for a moment I don't even suspect that for a moment.
7 So I am going to allow them to make use of these. Obviously, if as we go
8 along, nothing materialises, then we will come back to the matter. But I
9 think this is something that can be verified without any major problems.
10 I thank you for raising the matter.
11 MR. JONES: Yes, thank you, Your Honour, and obviously I don't
12 wish to draw it out. It was simply to get our concerns on the record.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no. If it was a futile or an uncalled for
14 comment I would have brushed it aside in my own style and you know that I
15 can do that. It's certainly not the kind of comment that would be better
16 brushed aside.
17 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: It calls for some action from --
19 MR. JONES: I'm obliged, Your Honour. And just to add that when I
20 put forward the possibility that these might have been forged or equally
21 in the context of the interview of the accused that it might not have been
22 conducted properly, these aren't conjectures which I obviously intend to
23 prove. I'm raising them in the spirit that the Prosecution has to
24 satisfy -- that that isn't the case.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Of course you don't need to explain that.
1 MR. JONES: All right.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
3 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, thank you. I understand everything that's
4 transpired, and I understand Mr. Jones's concerns. Just for the Defence,
5 for the sake of today's proceedings, the only other list that I intend to
6 use is that which I'll call the A4 Biljeg list which is 02115703 through
7 to 5711, so that's the only other one. I know of they've got more, but
8 I'm just putting them on notice so that they understand that that's the
9 only one that I'm going to use today.
10 The second issue is this: Yes, we can provide you with the
11 limited evidence that we have regarding provenance. And that would
12 have -- I can't give evidence from the bar table obviously, but I could if
13 the Defence so wish, or if the Trial Chamber so wish, eventually provide
14 you with MIFS and tender them into evidence which would -- you know what
15 the MIFS and the IFS are. So that would be at this stage of the
16 proceedings the only evidence that we can provide to you, and of course we
17 are more than willing to do so. I would simply be handing it up from the
18 bar table.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Di Fazio, let me make myself clear. Our
20 priority at this point in time is to finish with this witness. That's why
21 I said you will proceed with making use of whatever documents you intended
22 to make use of in the first place. Then we are expecting once the matter
23 has been raised to provide us with all due information on provenance. All
24 right? Now, whether it should be sworn evidence or not, that can be
25 attended to at a later stage but it should not take any of our time of
1 today. That's -- I think I've made myself clear there.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Crystal clear, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Now it's 9.18. How much of today's time do
4 you think you will need to finish your cross-examination?
5 MR. DI FAZIO: The lion's share of the day. I'm going to need a
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Because I would take it that there is going to
8 be a re-examination. We have got some questions of our own.
9 MR. JONES: Yes, five or ten minutes.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Five or ten minutes. Okay.
11 MR. DI FAZIO: I'll adjust accordingly.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's say leave the last half an hour for us.
13 MR. DI FAZIO: All right. Thank you.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: It could be 20 minutes. Even if we need to go a
15 little bit beyond, I don't think there is anyone sitting in this courtroom
16 in the afternoon. I would just ask for the usual indulgence. I always
17 find the cooperation of everyone, provided it doesn't go beyond a
18 few minutes.
19 So let's bring the witness in. I meant to discuss -- do you have
20 a quick response, Mr. Wubben, to the motion regarding D002? If it's yes
21 or no only for the time being.
22 MR. WUBBEN: No, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay.
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE AGIUS: If you plan to agree to the request, would you let
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 us know today, please?
2 MR. WUBBEN: We will.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Buric, good morning to you.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Welcome back. I hope you had a good rest. We were
6 discussing and see how best to try and make sure that we finish with you
7 today so that you can go back home because you've been here for quite a
8 long time already. So please take a seat. Make yourself comfortable.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, once more I remind you that you are
11 testifying under oath or in terms of the solemn declaration that you
12 entered last week.
13 Mr. Di Fazio.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 WITNESS: NESIB BURIC [Resumed]
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Di Fazio: [Continued]
18 Q. Mr. Buric, just a very brief reminder from me. If you can .
19 Please answers questions with a yes or no if you possibly can, and please
20 keep your answers short and that way we will whip through the remainder of
21 this cross-examination, God willing.
22 Now, yesterday we were talking about some -- the Osmace grouping
23 of men that you've spoken about. And I showed you a list. I want to show
24 you another list now.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, it's document bearing ERN
1 number 02115703 through to 5711. And while we are there, could the
2 witness also have P80, please?
3 Q. Now, okay. Do you have a -- I think you have a copy in -- of the
4 document. I see you nodding. I take that to be yes?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]. I want a confirmation
6 of that.
7 Mr. Buric, you have been given this document in your own language,
8 the first page starts with 02115703. Do you confirm that?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, yes, Mr. Di Fazio. Thank you.
11 MR. DI FAZIO: Okay.
12 Q. The document on the face of it seems to speak for itself. It's a
13 list of members of the unit A4 from Biljeg, and number 1 on the list is
14 this gentleman Ahmo Tihic who you've already spoken about. And it says
15 that he was born in Lijesce. Do you see that entry, number 1, entry
16 number 1?
17 A. Yes, yes.
18 Q. Ahmo Tihic, was he born in Lijesce, as far as you're aware?
19 A. I think that he was.
20 Q. Yes. Thank you. Now, what I'd like you to do is exactly the same
21 exercise as we conducted with that other document that I showed you. Just
22 go through, cast your eye down the lists - I'll give you time - and go
23 through it, and look at the names and tell us if any of those names are
24 names that you can associate with any grouping, any self-organised
25 grouping of men in or from the Biljeg area.
1 A. From this list, I know some lads from that area, from Miholjevina,
2 Mocici, Delici, Mehmedovici. In my opening statement I said that Biljeg
3 was a wooded, forested area where there was a lot of refugees from
4 Skelani, Lijesce, Zanjevo, from those villages that had been expelled in
5 May 1992.
6 Q. All right. Thanks. Now, if you go through the list, you'll find
7 that -- firstly, do you see that number, that printed number at the top
8 right-hand corner of each page? You see that number? That computer
9 number? Top, right-hand corner, 02115703. Do you see that? Yes, I
10 should be glad if you could point it out.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. All right. Thanks. If you flick through to the last page of this
13 document with a number ending 5711, it's different from the preceding
14 pages in that it bears the number or designation A4/1. You see that?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Right. Okay. Now on that particular page, the numbering of the
17 people is different because it starts at number 1 and finishes at 9. Now,
18 I'll be absolutely clear with you. If you add up those numbers, 127 from
19 the preceding page plus 9 is -- adds up to about -- adds up not to about,
20 but to 136 conscripts or, sorry, 136 people. Okay? And if you also look
21 now at the paragraph 4 of the TO Biljeg in document P80, which I think you
22 have there, that also refers to two companies, A4 and A4/1 consisting of
23 136 conscripts under the commander Ahmo Tihic. Do you see that?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. All right. Okay. You, I -- I'm sure Mr. Jones will correct me if
1 I'm wrong but I think this was a P80. I think P80 was the document that
2 you described as a work of fantasy. Bearing in mind what I've just shown
3 you, this new document with the list of 136 people bearing A4 and A4/1
4 designation, are you prepared to reconsider your evidence that P80 is a
5 work of fantasy or do you remain of that opinion?
6 A. I stand by my statement that this is just pure fiction. What you
7 showed me has no date. I know most of the lads, well, I know some of the
8 lads from this list. And it's like I said before, this is a list of the
9 population who happened to be in refuge from that area, from the villages
10 of Mocici and some other villages. This list was made after the relevant
11 time. It was probably during the demilitarised period and does not
12 represent the actual state of affairs on the ground at the time.
13 Q. Okay. To be fair to you, do you -- are you just speculating that
14 it was made after the demilitarisation, or is it the case that you just
15 don't actually know. You've got no idea when this document was created?
16 I'm not talking about P4. I'm talking about the Biljeg document that I've
17 just put to you.
18 A. I state with a great deal of certainty that this document was
19 drafted later because there were no lists, records, reviews or I don't
20 even know what to say, made in Srebrenica until the demilitarisation. Not
21 one single piece of paper was there to see in the Srebrenica area before
23 Q. Thanks. Could you just --
24 MR. DI FAZIO: Could Your Honours just bear with me for a moment?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
1 [Prosecution counsel confer]
2 MR. DI FAZIO:
3 Q. These lists that I've shown you, the one I've got just in front of
4 you -- the one you've got just in front of you now with Biljeg A4 and the
5 other list that I showed you yesterday in relation to Osmace, the names
6 that you saw on those lists of the men and the names that you're currently
7 looking at, aren't they all fighters who were part of the self-organised
8 groupings in Osmace, at some point or another, or Biljeg? You see, there
9 is no women listed here, for example. So is my -- am I correct in that?
10 A. No. As I said, this is a census, a list of people ranging in age
11 from 16 to 60. These are not members of units or armed groups. I state
12 with a great deal of certainty that this is a list of the population.
13 Q. Well, just look at the document that you've got in front of you
14 now. One of the -- right. The column, there's three columns and then you
15 can see the date of birth, okay? Look at the first page. A good number
16 of them, of these men, are aged -- well, were born in the early 1960s and
17 early 1970s, just on that first page with the exception of Mr. Ahmo
18 Tihic. He's not doing too badly; he was born in 1955. So they are not
19 old men there, are they? Older men, I should say. And if you cast your
20 eye -- in fact, if you cast your eye over the next page you've got fellows
21 born in the 1960s, the early 1970s. In fact, if you cast your eye over
22 into the third page the oldest one there was born in 1956. Sorry, I
23 apologise, I mislead you. There was one there born in 1946. Number 37.
24 Do you see him? 37 and 48. They are the two oldest gentlemen on that
25 page from what I can see.
1 MR. JONES: There is a 1945.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: There we go, 1945, thank you.
3 Q. So number 47. Those three are the oldest on that particular page.
4 And I think, if you turn over on to page bearing the number 5706, again
5 you will see that the majority of them were born in the 1960s and 1970s
6 with the exception of number 60, Ismet Hodzic, who was born in 1940.
7 Which makes him about 52 during the war, right?
8 So my point is that these are all, the vast majority of these
9 names here are the names of younger men, men who would be quite capable of
10 fighting. Would you agree with that?
11 Sorry, what's your answer? Do you agree with me that the vast
12 majority are younger men who were quite capable of fighting?
13 A. It states so here in the list but that doesn't have to be so out
14 in the field, and it was not a rule for men to join a certain group and to
15 take part in combat activities. There were 30.000 people of this age in
16 Srebrenica. Had they all been soldiers, then we would have been well.
17 There were over 30.000 people born in this range of years in Srebrenica at
18 the time.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Di Fazio, just to make sure, because -- in
20 page 5709, number 97 and number 101, Bahrija Barakovic, Efendija Memic,
21 are those males or females? Is the name Bahrija the name of a man or of a
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Depending on the accent, Bahrija can
24 be the name of a woman or a man. And the second person is Efendija,
25 that's a man.
1 MR. DI FAZIO:
2 Q. What about number 109, Nurija, Nurija Salihovic?
3 A. That's also a man's name.
4 Q. All right. Okay. Anyway, but your position is that there is --
5 that these are just names, it's just a census and it's not -- there is no
6 characteristic about the names that you've seen here that tends to
7 indicate to you that this is a list or a grouping of young men capable of
8 fighting in 1992, the majority of them anyway?
9 A. I assume that these lists were drafted at some point in the
10 demilitarised zone. There is no date and the lists do not reflect or
11 refer to the situation out in the field.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I tender the document.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. This will become 5 --
15 THE REGISTRAR: 571, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: This will become document Exhibit -- Prosecution
17 Exhibit P571. Thank you.
18 MR. DI FAZIO:
19 Q. Okay. I -- just one quick question with respect to P75, if I
20 could ask the witness briefly to look at that.
21 I have just one very simple question in relation to P75. Well,
22 actually two or three.
23 You were shown this document by Mr. Jones, and he took you to some
24 of the content of it, and asked you some details about the personalities
25 mentioned here. First one he mentioned was Nedzad Bektic from Karacici.
1 And he asked you if it is true, as it says in this document, that he was
2 an organiser of armed resistance in the area of Kragljivoda, and you said
3 no, the organiser of resistance in the Kragljivoda group was Sefik
4 Mandzic. I don't think I need show you but do you know that book that I
5 showed you yesterday, the book that is apparently on the face of it
6 written by Mr. Naser Oric, if in that book it were to be claimed that
7 Mr. Bektic led the Kragljivoda unit, would that sway you? Would that
8 change your opinion about P75 in any respect?
9 A. No, Your Honours. I state with a great deal of certainty that the
10 organiser of the resistance in Kragljivoda is Sefik Mandzic. Bektic
11 Mandzic at the time, as a military cadet, was in Belgrade.
12 Q. Okay. And one of the -- one of the other reasons for -- as I read
13 your -- understand your evidence for you casting doubt on P75 is that the
14 fellow Atif Krdzic is described as being from Srebrenica, and I think the
15 thrust of your evidence was that he just had no connection with Srebrenica
16 because he had a house -- he had a house in Bratunac and he was from
17 Osmace. Did he ever --
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Did he ever live in Srebrenica at all, spend time there?
20 A. He didn't live in Srebrenica. He lived at Osmace and in Bratunac.
21 He had two houses, in Osmace and Bratunac.
22 Q. What was his occupation before the war?
23 A. He worked as an active police officer.
24 Q. Where?
25 A. In Srebrenica.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Thank. I've finished with P75.
2 Sorry, if Your Honours just bear with me I might be able to draw
3 some lines through my notes.
4 All right. I now want to show you another document. I just
5 remind you of your general evidence. There is no army in existence in the
6 Srebrenica area throughout 1992, no BiH army. That's correct, isn't it?
7 No command structures, no organisation of any sort at all, apart from the
8 self-organised, small self-organised group. That's correct, isn't it?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Okay. Thanks. Yes. Just want to show you this document. I'll
11 be very brief with this document, Mr. Buric. I can take you straight to
12 the part that I'm interested in.
13 This document is just -- it's a decision granting a certain
14 gentleman -- there is no need to mention his name incidentally. That's
15 not important for our purposes, okay? Who has received some sort of
16 assessment as -- that enables him to a disability pension, and it appears
17 to be signed by you. Would you have a look at the document and tell us if
18 that's correct.
19 A. I worked as a deputy chief for social security for war veterans
20 and the disabled but this is not my signature. When I issued documents or
21 dealt with the process of granting assistance, this was in the office,
22 until the year 2005, but I don't think this -- this is definitely not my
24 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Just -- it seems -- Mr. Di Fazio, may I
25 please -- and Madam Vidovic and Mr. Jones, please follow me carefully.
1 This seems -- no, not seems -- this is obviously a photocopy of a document
2 which you must have in your records. Now, it seems to me that in the
3 photocopying process, the right-hand side of the script is not photocopied
4 entirely. I think there is something missing from top to bottom. If you
5 look at the very bottom of the --
6 MR. DI FAZIO: Last page, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, on the last page. If you look at the very
8 end of that last page, I'm saying 00686335, right-hand corner, to the
9 right of what you suggested could be the witness's signature and which he
10 contests, there is something written which I suggest to you could be "za,"
11 and "za" means "for," so if you have the -- do you follow me or not?
12 MR. DI FAZIO: I understand you, yes.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: So it could provide the explanation for the whole
14 matter, whether there is his signature or not. If it's -- because if
15 it's -- be -- whatever signature Buric, Nesib or Hasib or whatever and
16 "za," that would mean that it is "for" someone, put the name but it's --
17 and -- anyway, I don't know, perhaps you can trace the original, if you
18 have it in your document, in your records, and it would show "za" if there
19 is indeed "za."
20 MR. DI FAZIO: I understand. And anyway, the witness has said
21 it's not his signature.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: But if there is "za" it would strengthen the
23 statement of the witness.
24 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, I understand that and -- I understand, Your
25 Honour, and I'll make every inquiry to see if the original sheds any light
1 on that and if it does, then of course we will make it instantly clear to
2 the Defence. So we will undertake to do that.
3 Q. All right. So it's not your signature --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Also, I find it strange that one -- in signing one's
5 name you put the initial for your surname but then your entire first name.
6 I mean, it's -- I take it that the family name of the witness is Buric,
7 not Nesib. Why would one sign B full stop and then Nesib.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: I don't know.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I mean, I can see Nesib on its own without a B and
10 without the surname. I mean, that occurs in many cultures, but it's the
11 first time in my life that I see the surname, the family name, being
12 initialised only and the first name in full. I mean, but anyway it's up
13 to you, Mr. Di Fazio.
14 MR. DI FAZIO:
15 Q. You say that's not your signature. Did someone else write, if
16 you're aware, did someone else write your name there under the name
17 "sekretar" where your name is printed?
18 A. Someone else conducted administrative procedure, and this is
19 another person's signature. I signed quite a number of decisions but
20 never in this to call it style because I signed in a different way.
21 Q. There is nothing -- having seen the document, forgetting about the
22 signature, there is nothing -- would you agree with me it's a perfectly
23 innocuous decision granting some chap a pension? Is there any reason for
24 you to doubt the -- whoever wrote your name at the end of it, is there any
25 reason for you to doubt that this is a genuine decision? Can you tell us?
1 A. I don't know this Kadric, Nedzad, and I don't know this document,
2 and where it came from and what the intention was. The ministry that
3 issues decisions concerning servicemen keep their records, and I don't
4 know whether this handicapped person is a genuine person, who he was,
5 where his file is kept, and I don't know what the intention of this
6 document was.
7 Q. Right. Okay. Well, I think the intention was to give him a
8 pension, wasn't it?
9 A. Not a pension. Pensions were approved by the ministry for
10 veterans affairs and this concerns the aid for the disability.
11 Q. Cut to the chase with the document. Look under statement of
12 reasons, please. See that -- an application dated 23rd of April, the
13 gentleman from Srebrenica requests to be recognised as a war disabled
14 serviceman on the basis of the evidence provided and enclosed, the
15 following has been established, that the above member was -- that the
16 above was a member of the RBH army in Srebrenica, VJ, military unit, in
17 the period from 10th of May, 1992, and that he was wounded on duty on the
18 13th of July, 1995.
19 I've got a very simple question. If this document is true, if it
20 really is a granting of a pension to -- or something, something to this --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Disability allowance.
22 MR. DI FAZIO:
23 Q. Disability allowance to this man, okay? If it truly is that, is
24 there any particular reason why the municipal secretariat for the
25 protection of disabled servicemen would consider that he was a member of a
1 non-existent army from the 10th of May, 1992? Non-existent on the basis
2 of course of what you said.
3 A. I claim with full responsibility that there was no army. This
4 document was compiled in 1998, and I stated earlier that during the
5 demilitarisation, on paper some structure was established concerning the
6 operative group and the 28th Division. I wasn't there when they were
7 putting together those documents, but prior to the demilitarisation there
8 were no military units. There were only organised groups. And the way
9 they structured it during the demilitarisation, I don't know how they went
10 about it but they created the operations group and the 28th Division.
11 MR. JONES: My objection was to the characterisation of this
12 witness's testimony as being that there was no army of RBH and it was
13 therefore a non-existent army. His evidence was clearly relating to
14 Srebrenica if not Osmace. He's not saying there was never any -- as far
15 as I heard his evidence, that the army of the Republic of Bosnia and
16 Herzegovina never existed. So long as that's clear.
17 MR. DI FAZIO: No, that is clear, and that is the -- exactly what
18 I intend to --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: That's how I understood it throughout. And that's
20 why I told to you wait because I -- I don't think that was ever an issue.
21 MR. DI FAZIO: No.
22 MR. JONES: Lines 10 to 11, a non-existent army.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, yeah. Oh, yes, but I understood throughout
24 yesterday when the questioning was taking place that we were talking of a
25 particular, localised army, army unit, and not the army, the entire army
1 of --
2 MR. DI FAZIO: I understand Mr. Jones --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we have documentary proof of that, when that
4 came into being in any case.
5 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 MR. DI FAZIO: I seek to tender that into evidence.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. This will be 572, P572.
8 MR. DI FAZIO:
9 Q. I think, Mr. Buric, that's the end of documents for the time
11 I want to ask you some questions about Fakovici. You gave
12 detailed evidence that described the disposition of Serb forces, Serb
13 units, in the Fakovici area, quite detailed information, including that
14 Serb units were there from Bijeljina and the White Eagles were operating
15 there. Do you remember that evidence?
16 A. Yes. I said that they received people from the units of Skelani,
17 Bratunac and Bijeljina, with the help of the Serbs from Serbia proper.
18 Q. Did you have that information before you went to Fakovici in 1992?
19 A. No.
20 Q. When did you acquire that information?
21 A. Later on we found some documents of theirs, diaries, agendas.
22 When the civilians departed towards Fakovici, some of their documentation
23 was found in various houses. And we all concluded that all what the units
24 were that came to the area of Fakovici.
25 Q. Who collected these documents?
1 A. I said that the farmers who went there to get food found some of
2 their documents. They would write down where the aid came from, and it
3 came from the areas I specified previously.
4 Q. Who would write down things? The farmers? The farmers who went
5 there to get food? Or are you saying the Serbs -- I withdraw that
6 question. I'll withdraw it.
7 What aid are you -- what aid are you talking about? Are you
8 talking about military aid? Do I understand you correctly?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Okay.
11 A. Military aid.
12 Q. All right. And the farmers who went there to get food, are
13 they -- are they the civilians who went into these villages in search of
14 food? Is that right?
15 A. Not farmers per se but people who lived in the surrounding
16 villages who went to Fakovici to get food.
17 Q. If there is any problems with the transcript, I would like to be
18 alerted now before I proceed any further.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Madam Vidovic?
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, when the witness was
21 telling about the documents found in the Serb houses, he never said that
22 anyone wrote anything down. It can be deducted from the transcript that
23 the farmers were writing things down, but perhaps the witness could
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I think that definitely -- if that -- if Madam
1 Vidovic is correct, in other words, if the witness never said that they
2 wrote down --
3 MR. DI FAZIO: Okay.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me read out to the witness what I have in the
5 transcript and the interpreters please make sure that this is interpreted
6 verbatim to the witness.
7 The witness is at page 22, line 11, he is, according to the
8 transcript, reported as having answered to your question, who collected
9 these documents, as follows: "Answer: I said that the farmers who went
10 there to get food found some of their documents. They would write down
11 where the aid came from and it came from the areas I specified
13 Now, I would rather prefer not to comment what that means, whether
14 who wrote down whether it's the farmers or whoever wrote down -- wrote
15 down those documents. First of all, did you -- does this reflect what you
16 said? Or would you like to explain to us exactly what you meant and what
17 you said?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said the following: The farmers
19 from the nearby villages who went to get food in Fakovici found some Serb
20 papers. They found Serb papers and what was stated there was who was in
21 that area, what units.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. That's how I had understood it in the first
23 place. When I read the transcript, I didn't understand it as meaning that
24 the witness had said that the farmers had written down these details. I
25 had understood it that whoever had drafted those documents had written
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 down the sources of military aid. That's how I had understood it anyway.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: And I'm grateful to Madam Vidovic for clarifying
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, yeah, same here. And I think you realised
5 that when you withdrew your question, actually, I think.
6 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, I think so
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam Vidovic.
8 MR. DI FAZIO:
9 Q. So the farmers found the documents that gave information in --
10 presumably in Serb, Serb buildings, and what did they do with the
11 documents thereafter?
12 A. I don't know what they did with the documentation, but I know that
13 the first groups to arrive, the ones in Joseva and Jagodnja, these
14 documents were shown, they were showed pieces of diaries, articles from
15 newspapers, even proper documents, with specific units. When the Serbs
16 withdrew from Fakovici, they left their documentation behind.
17 Q. Well, but hang on. When did the farmers show you the documents?
18 Because you said -- you said that the first groups, when they arrived
19 Joseva and Jagodnja they were shown the documents, but the operation in
20 Fakovici occurred after that, didn't it?
21 A. No. I said they were showing it to the guys from those villages,
22 and they were never shown to me. I said that some information reached us.
23 Q. I see. So your evidence relating to military dispositions of Serb
24 units or forces in that area is based on documents found by farmers in
25 houses who related it to other soldiers from or fighters Joseva and
1 Jagodnja, who in turn related it to you?
2 A. No. You asked me where did we get the information from as to what
3 units were in Fakovici during the war, so I tried to explain where we got
4 the documents from. These were Serb documents, and when Fakovici fell,
5 people continued finding those documents in various houses for days. So
6 we are talking about the period after Fakovici fell and we are talking
7 about documents that were found in their houses, and they were taken to
8 Jagodnja and Joseva, and these documents were being shown to the guys
10 Q. Would you agree with me that such material showing the disposition
11 of Serb forces, where they are located, what units were there, what types
12 of units, were absolutely invaluable to these self-organised groups,
13 absolutely crucial to have such information, because that would tell you
14 where they were, what plans they had, what strengths they had? You would
15 agree with that, wouldn't you? Crucial information. It's called
16 intelligence in a more traditional warfare situation.
17 A. No.
18 Q. Why not? Why isn't it important to know?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment.
20 MR. JONES: Your Honour, I think -- I mean, certainly for my part
21 I'm aware that there is a lag in interpretation. I can even hear it when
22 it is still being interpreted. But the interpretation was still going
23 when the witness said no, and then Mr. Di Fazio was in with his next
24 question. It's not fair to the witness.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Fair comment, yes.
1 So let's go through this. You said no. What did you say no
2 for -- to? When you said no, what did you mean?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I meant that we didn't
4 have information prior to that. We didn't know where their positions and
5 forces were. Those documents were found afterwards.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Please repeat your question, then, Mr. Di Fazio.
7 MR. DI FAZIO:
8 Q. I understand what you've said. My question is about --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Jones.
10 MR. DI FAZIO:
11 Q. -- the use to be made of the documents after they had been found
12 and after they have been shown to the self-organised groups of fighters.
13 Would you agree with me that the information contained in such papers --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Wait until -- wait until Mr. Di Fazio finishes his
15 question and it has been fully interpreted to you before you answer,
16 because then we can end up with a confused answer or a confused
17 interpretation of your answer.
18 Mr. Di Fazio, I'm -- I apologise to you for having interrupted
19 you, cut you halfway but I noticed that the witness was again trying to
20 answer when you were still in the process of finishing your question.
21 MR. DI FAZIO:
22 Q. Would you agree with me that the information contained in these
23 papers concerning the disposition of Serb forces was -- would be
24 invaluable to self-organised groups such as your own and the others that
25 you've mentioned? Absolutely invaluable.
1 A. No. The information we had came later when Fakovici fell, so such
2 information meant nothing to us. We only learned what the units were
3 before in that area.
4 Q. But the Serb units remained in the area, didn't they? And it was
5 important to know what type of units were operating in the area, what type
6 of equipment they had. So I suggest to you that such information would
7 have been almost as valuable as diamonds in that situation. What do you
9 A. No. Later on, we didn't move to those areas, only civilians to
10 get food. When with we retreated around 3.00 or 4.00 in the afternoon,
11 the armed Muslim groups never returned to that area again. We were not
12 interested. Only civilians came in their search of food.
13 Q. Did you preserve the documents and hand them on to any other armed
14 groups in the area?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I can see the objection. He never said that he
16 came in possession of these documents. In fact, he said that they were
17 not even shown to him.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: I'll withdraw my question. That's quite correct
19 and I apologise.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: We're not letting you but I anticipated what the
21 objection was going to be.
22 MR. DI FAZIO:
23 Q. Can I ask you this: Are you aware of the documents having been
24 preserved and passed on to other groups?
25 A. I don't know.
1 Q. All right. Were there other occasions when you came across such
2 documentation giving you information about the disposition of Serb forces
3 in other locations? For example, in areas around Osmace or perhaps later
4 in the Kravica area?
5 A. There were none in the area of Osmace. And as for Kravica, that
6 was the only time when I was there and I returned around 4.00 p.m. I
7 don't know.
8 Q. You gave detailed information about the disposition of Serb forces
9 in Kravica. How did you acquire that information?
10 A. Not in Kravica, but in the axis that we underdid the
11 reconnaissance on which was Avdagina Njive.
12 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter missed the other toponym.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Could you repeat -- could you please repeat
14 this last part of your answer? Not in Kravica, but in the axis that we
15 underdid the reconnaissance on which was --
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, reconnaissance,
17 Avdagina Njive-Kajici. That's what we saw in the field.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
19 MR. DI FAZIO:
20 Q. So in Kravica, you had no documentary evidence to inform you as to
21 what Serb forces you faced, what their disposition was?
22 A. My group from Osmace didn't have.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me for a moment?
24 [Prosecution counsel confer]
25 MR. DI FAZIO:
1 Q. All right. Let's leave this topic and move to another area of the
2 Fakovici episode.
3 You said that on the 4th of October, you and the grouping of
4 self-organised fighters from Osmace went to assist in Kragljivoda and that
5 you went to assist in defending against a powerful attack. Do you recall
6 that evidence? This is before -- before you get to Fakovici, of course.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Okay. How many of you went from your Osmace grouping?
9 A. I don't know exactly. Perhaps around 20 from my group.
10 Q. All right. All of them armed?
11 A. No. About ten of them had rifles.
12 Q. Did you see fighting in Kragljivoda? Or to be more precise, were
13 you and your group involved in fighting, actually involved in fighting, in
15 A. Yes. There was daily combat from Jezero and Vitez towards
16 Kragljivoda. Artillery was used. Their APC was moving about, firing at
17 the position of Kragljivoda.
18 Q. All right. Who made the decision to go from Osmace to
19 Kragljivoda? If anyone.
20 A. No one made that decision. If you have the written form in mind,
21 whenever there was any danger, as soon someone would come to tell us that
22 a certain area was under attack and since it was close as the crow flies,
23 and when we could hear shooting, then we would go there, so we went
24 towards Kragljivoda.
25 Q. I just had a decision in mind, any sort of decision. Whether it
1 was an oral decision or a written decision is not what I'm seeking. I
2 just want to know who decided that the 20 men are going to go from Osmace
3 to Kragljivoda to assist in this action. It might have been a committee,
4 it might have been you, it might have been put to the vote. I don't know.
5 It might have been in writing. I just want to know the mechanics of the
6 decision. How was it arrived at?
7 A. I said that there were always around ten guys in my group from the
8 same village. It was a somewhat larger village of 70 or 80 houses, and we
9 were there in the street, we assembled and went towards Kragljivoda.
10 Q. Okay. That's what happened. But who made the decision? Who made
11 the decision? Did you all show your hands? Did you --
12 A. I said already it was me. No, no, there was no discussion. When
13 you needed help, there were all volunteers. It was all on a voluntary
14 basis. I proposed it, and about 20 lads who were around me agreed and we
15 all immediately set off in the direction of Kragljivoda.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Vidovic?
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I heard when the
18 witness replied "I" and this did not get into the transcript.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. What is still not clear -- I mean, I've
20 been following your questions and his answers. You put a question -- let
21 me take you back a little bit, at the previous page.
22 You put a question, it was two questions in one actually, and this
23 is what probably caused it. We are page 30 -- sorry, page 29, line 24,
24 lines 24 to 25, and the first page on -- first line on page 30. Your
25 question was the following: Did you see fighting in Kragljivoda? That
1 was the first question. And then you continued: "Or to be more precise,
2 were you and your group involved in fighting, actually involved in
3 fighting?" And his answer at the time was: "Yes, there was daily combat
4 from Jezero and Vitez towards Kragljivoda. Artillery was used. Their APC
5 was moving about, firing at the position in Kragljivoda." Which to me
6 seems more of an answer answering the question, did you see fighting in
7 Kragljivoda? Since you started with that question, it probably was
8 interpreted, did you see with your naked eyes fighting in Kragljivoda.
9 And he missed completely the second part of the question, which was
10 explanatory of the first part. And he never gave us a statement. He's
11 explained that he went there. He decided to go there. He suggested to --
12 and he had volunteers to go there, but he's never actually stated that his
13 group of 20 people, including himself, were actually involved in the
14 fighting. I know what you asked in the first place, but the way it was
15 interpreted must have misled him.
16 MR. DI FAZIO:
17 Q. Okay. So the question is: Did you actually get involved in
18 fighting, firing your weapons, and so on, actual fighting?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Okay. Of course, at any point in time, the 20 or so men could
21 have decided they didn't want to stay there, couldn't they?
22 A. Yes. We could have decided not to stay there.
23 Q. Well, not just we could have decided. Any individual or group of
24 two or three, or four or five, or six or seven, or eight or nine out of
25 that group of 20 could have decided at any moment that for good reason or
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 for bad, that they just wouldn't want to stay there and fight, and go back
2 to Osmace. That was always possible, wasn't it?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did that ever happen at all in 1992, with your Osmace group?
5 A. To leave the positions? This happened on several occasions.
6 Q. What did you do in that situation, in the midst of fighting?
7 A. If I can just give you one example.
8 Q. Yes.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When Kragljivoda was falling on
11 the 20th or the 21st of March, 1993, I was at that position, and that's
12 when food delivery action by parachutes began there. And I already talked
13 about large columns of Serb artillery weapons going in the direction of
14 Jezero, Vitez, Kragljivoda. And if you believe me, on the line where
15 there was supposed to be about 50 men, there were about 11 who remained
16 from that Kragljivoda group, 11 of them. When the line was falling, all
17 the people left in order to look for food.
18 MR. DI FAZIO:
19 Q. Okay. So any military action that any self-organised grouping
20 engaged in depended entirely on individual members of that self-organised
21 grouping deciding to remain; correct? Or depended to a large extent on --
22 A. Everything was on a voluntary basis. If they wanted to stay, they
23 stayed. If they did not want to stay, they would go.
24 Q. All right. Now, turning to the next day, I think you said that
25 civilians from Joseva and Jagodnja came to Kragljivoda on the morning of
1 the 5th. Do you remember that? Do you remember saying that?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Were you still engaged in fighting in Kragljivoda? You and the
4 Osmace grouping, self-organised grouping?
5 A. We were there and when we saw the first civilians going into the
6 villages of Gladovici and Sljivica, we decided to go and see what they had
7 set on fire there. On the 5th in the morning. We decided, Sefik and I,
8 to go to Joseva and Jagodnja to see what had been burnt and what had
10 Q. My question is: On the morning that the civilians from Jagodnja
11 and Joseva arrived, were you still engaged in fighting in Kragljivoda?
12 Were you still engaged in actual combat there?
13 A. There was a line from Kragljivoda, from Vitez to Kragljivoda. In
14 the morning, the infantry fire was weaker. The Serbs were just shelling
15 the positions intensely. When they would go to one side, they would
16 compensate by shelling on a different side. So that that side would
17 receive aid. So there was active shelling. That's what happened that
18 morning with Kragljivoda.
19 Q. So you became aware of the civilians coming down from Joseva and
20 Jagodnja. You and Sefik went to another village, and do I understand you
21 correctly, you spoke to them there about what was happening further north
22 in -- further north-east in Jagodnja and Joseva?
23 A. Yes. We went in that direction where the village was burned, the
24 Joseva and Jagodnja villages. We went in that direction.
25 Q. Okay. And who made the decision at that point to move the Osmace
1 grouping from that area to -- up to Jagodnja and Joseva?
2 A. It was my decision. I said that we should go there to see what
3 was going on, and the majority of the group accepted this, and they went
4 with me.
5 Q. You weren't -- I want to understand you clearly. Did you just say
6 that you went up there to see what was going on?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. That's the reason that you went there, to see what was going on?
9 A. Muslim villages were burning. Civilians were killed. We went to
10 help people. We didn't go for a picnic. We went to help the Muslim
11 villages. Joseva, Jagodnja were burning. The Serbs made an incursion
12 there on the 5th, and people were getting killed, houses were burning. We
13 went there to help people.
14 Q. And just to -- so we are absolutely clear about the reason that
15 you moved from the Osmace area up to Jagodnja and Joseva, I just want to
16 put some evidence to you before the break. You were asked by Mr. Jones on
17 the 9th of September, page 3, this is the question: "When we left off
18 yesterday, you were describing how, I think it was on the morning of the
19 5th of October 1992, and correct me if I misstate any of this, you and
20 Sefik Mandzic and your men set off for Joseva and Jagodnja because you
21 heard those villages were attacked and on fire. Is that a correct summary
22 of what you're telling us?"
23 Answer: "Yes."
24 And question: "Just for the transcript, and again I think you
25 stated yesterday but specifically that those villages had been attacked by
1 Serbs in Fakovici. That's what you told us."
2 Answer: "Yes."
3 A. Not in Fakovici, but from Fakovici.
4 Q. Thank you. Yes. And later, when he was asking you about the
5 captured civilians, Mr. Jones sought further clarification. "Let me
6 approach it this way. You set off with Sefik Mandzic and his group to
7 Joseva and Jagodnja. Part of your information was that Muslim civilians
8 had been taken captive. Was it any part of your intention to -- or not it
9 try and rescue or liberate those captives?"
10 Answer: "We came to help. Our intention was to assist the Muslim
11 villages, Jagodnja and Joseva, to defend themselves against the attack,
12 for the villages not to be set on fire. In Joseva and Jagodnja, there
13 were refugees from various places. So our primary intention was to defend
14 that Muslim village, those two Muslim villages, Jagodnja and Joseva."
15 You agree with that. Firstly, you said that and you agree now,
16 don't you, that that was your intention, okay?
17 A. Yes, yes.
18 Q. Your intention was, and it's very, very clearly stated,
19 repeatedly, repeatedly stated in your evidence-in-chief, that you wanted
20 to go to Jagodnja and Joseva to defend Jagodnja and Joseva; right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. So we are crystal clear about that.
23 A. Yes.
24 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, this might be an
25 appropriate moment.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Di Fazio, we will have a 25-minute break
2 starting from now. How are you proceeding?
3 MR. DI FAZIO: I'll perform more surgery during the break.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm going to take, as predicted, a goodly part of
7 JUDGE AGIUS: But I want to make sure because what I want to
8 ensure is that we are proceeding -- you are proceeding more or less
9 according to what you had planned.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: I think I'll finish, yes.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. We'll reconvene in 25
12 minutes' time. Thank you.
13 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I see Mr. Wubben standing.
16 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honours. Just a short response by
17 Prosecution related to the motion filed yesterday by the Defence. We will
18 oppose it and we will file within a couple of days.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. As early as possible because
20 I think that witness is in the pipeline.
21 All right. So if you can respond within two days, please, we are
22 not going to issue an order shortening the time, but I take it as a
23 commitment on your part that you will file within the couple of days.
24 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
1 Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
3 Q. Did you have any plan before you got to Jagodnja and Joseva on
4 what to do, what role you were going to play, in the defence of those
6 A. No.
7 Q. Did you know if you would be able to play any role, that you would
8 be actually able to do anything, to assist in the defence of those
10 A. No. We didn't know anything.
11 Q. You said in evidence that when you got there -- yes, when you got
12 there, you found the presence of other groups. I'll just read it
13 briefly -- your evidence to you from the 9th of September, page 6. You
14 were asked: "Did you remain in Jagodnja?"
15 And you answered: "No. Other groups had reached Jagodnja before
16 us from Miholjevine, Mosici, a group from Jagodnja ... the group that was
17 there. They were chasing the Serbs, actually, and shooting after them.
18 And that's how they managed to chase away the Serbs who had come into
19 their village and torched it."
20 So we had in Joseva and Jagodnja on that day the group from
21 Osmace, the group from Kragljivoda, a group from Jagodnja itself, of
22 course, the group from the village, I suppose, and a group from Mosici.
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 Q. How did these groups come to be concentrated in that area? I
1 mean, we've heard about you, of course, and I suppose Jagodnja, we know
2 that they are based in the village of Jagodnja, but what about the other
3 two, Miholjevine and Mosici? How did they find themselves there at the
4 scene, so to speak?
5 A. The optical visibility of those villages, Miholjevine, Mosici,
6 Mehmedovici, they could optically see what was happening in Jagodnja and
7 Joseva, and as soon as they saw that there was burning, they set off in
8 that direction.
9 Q. So did burning act as a type of attractant or lure to these
10 self-organised groups? Wherever they saw burning, that's where they went?
11 Or did this happen just on this one occasion?
12 A. I said that burning, shooting, everything they could see that,
13 because when it's quiet, when there is no shooting from the village, and
14 then as soon as they are attacked, optically -- there is optical
15 visibility, they defend themselves, as soon as there is burning, they go
16 in that direction, and then those groups go up there, groups that are able
17 to help.
18 Q. And was that the -- is that what in fact happened throughout 1992
19 and early 1993? The Serbs would attack somewhere, somewhere in the
20 Srebrenica area, there would be burning, and whatever group could see the
21 burning would then go to that area? Is that your evidence? As far as you
23 A. No. That's not my evidence. The majority of the villages could
24 not help each other, and those who couldn't help, you know, what could
25 Lijesce, Skelani or Resavici help? They couldn't help Skelani. They were
1 powerless themselves, so what could they do as a rule?
2 Q. Okay. In your experience in 1992 and early 1993, whenever you
3 were in a place at which groups had converged, different groups, different
4 self-organised groups, had converged, they did so whenever possible
5 because of the sight of smoke. That's what got them there.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones.
7 MR. JONES: Yes, Your Honour, I don't think this witness can
8 sensibly give evidence or be asked to give evidence in this general way
9 covering a two-year period, or covering 1992 and early 1993, whenever he
10 was in different places, where groups had converged it was because of
11 smoke. I mean, it's such a general question. I mean, unless he's
12 actually asked about specific incidents, he's bound to give an answer
13 which is then going to be pounced upon as unclear or too general.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Fair enough. Thank you, Mr. Jones.
15 I think you need to rephrase your question, Mr. Di Fazio, limiting
16 it only to -- based on his experience and his knowledge. What would be
17 the general practice, the norm.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, yes, I entirely agree. And that was my
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Otherwise, the question as you put it was indeed, as
21 Mr. Jones points out, very generic.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: But --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Make it clear that you were asking him, limiting
24 only to what he personally knows to be the general practice.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: I entirely agree. My point was -- I had asked that
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 but I'll do it again.
2 Q. In your experience, I'm talking about your experience, not anyone
3 else, okay, on the basis of what you saw and observed and heard of in 1992
4 and the early part of 1993, whenever these self-organised groups converged
5 on a particular action, for example, the one you've just been talking
6 about, Jagodnja and Joseva, were they -- did they go there on the basis of
7 seeing burning following a Serb attack?
8 A. No. They didn't as a rule go where -- there was the physical
9 contact of the territory of Muslim villages so that they could help each
10 other, then they would help each other. I'm -- I said several times that
11 there was the case of Muslim villages burning and then it was not possible
12 to help them. Where there was some minimal physical contact, certain
13 groups would go there to help each other.
14 Q. All right. But your convergence on this particular occasion, to
15 Jagodnja and Joseva, your going there in your grouping, self-organised
16 grouping of Osmace men, that wasn't because of burning that you could see,
17 that was because someone had come and called, the villages had come and
18 sought assistance; correct?
19 A. It's humane to help a person when they are in trouble. We went
20 there. Civilians asked us to help. There wasn't an order. No person
21 arrived. We saw women with children fleeing, leaving the villages. They
22 told us what happened. And then we went to -- we went because of our own
23 humanity, in order to help that particular place that was burning.
24 Q. How many groups -- turn to another scene of action for just a
25 moment, if we could. How many groups turned up in Kravica in the period
1 of time that you were there? Can you remember?
2 A. In the Avdagina Njive-Kajici direction, there was my group and the
3 Miholjevine group, which came before we did to the Glogova area. And
4 that's where it joined us there, at Glogova. It didn't come together with
5 us but it joined us later.
6 Q. Okay. I just remind you of your evidence regarding Kravica that
7 you gave on the 9th of September, page 55. I'll read it out to you so
8 that -- we entered Kravica on the 7th of January -- this is an answer: We
9 entered Kravica on the 7th of January, between 10.00 and 11.00 on the
10 7th of January.
11 Question: How many were in your group?
12 Answer: There were about 50 lads in my group. And during the
13 night, we were joined by lads from Miholjevine -- I can't tell. I think
14 it's Mocici, Delici, led by someone called Zis. Some people from Zanjevo,
15 this group from Osmace, Jagodnja and Joseva.
16 These different groups, and not to mention of course the presence
17 of Ejub Golic's group itself in that area already.
18 Now, how did they all find their way to Kravica at the same time,
19 or at about that time?
20 A. Either I didn't get the proper interpretation or I didn't
21 understand properly. I just wanted to say between 40 and 50, there were
22 in our group, and how they -- I said group, I mentioned a group, I
23 mentioned Jagodnja, Joseva, Miholjevine, that's one group, and I don't
24 know how that group came and that group joined us in the region. And Ejub
25 Golic was not in the area. This is his village that he held throughout
1 the war period. He was in Glogova. You know, and it was cut off from
2 that village towards Bratunac, so not in the area. He was in his village.
3 Q. Look, Mr. Buric, all I'm saying is that -- I put it to you that
4 the portion of evidence that I just read out to you when you were talking
5 about Kravica indicates that different groups converged to carry out
6 action in those -- that period of time, early January, 7th, 8th and even
7 before, around Kravica.
8 A. I don't know. I can talk about my unit only which came to that
9 area around the 5th. We came to help Ejub Golic.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: The question basically is do you have an
11 explanation, how come that all these groups, including your own, all
12 happened to converge in the area to help Ejub Golic more or less at the
13 same time or at least on the same day or day and a half or two days? Do
14 you have an explanation for that? If you have, you have. If you don't
15 have, you don't have.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. I don't have an
18 JUDGE AGIUS: That's clear.
19 MR. DI FAZIO:
20 Q. Let me suggest an explanation to you. I suggest that these groups
21 all converged in places like Jagodnja and Joseva and Kravica, these
22 disparate groups, because there was a central command structure, a central
23 command structure of which you're aware and a central command structure
24 who was headed at the top by Mr. Oric. Would you agree or not with that
1 A. No. I would not agree with that in the least. That is not true.
2 Q. And that's your right to disagree. That's okay. Thank you.
3 A. Because I know what -- how it was out in the field.
4 Q. Fair enough, fair enough. I'm just putting to you what I -- what
5 I suggest is the case.
6 All right. Now, you have told us that -- and you're absolutely
7 certain about this -- that the purpose in your going to Jagodnja and
8 Joseva in the first place was to assist the people there, but it's your
9 evidence - in fact, I just read it out to you a moment ago - that when you
10 got there, the other groups that had reached Jagodnja before you had
11 managed to chase away the Serbs who had come into their village. So you
12 must agree with me -- you would agree with me that the purpose that you
13 had in moving through dangerous, mined territory, from Osmace all the way
14 up to Jagodnja and Joseva, had vanished by the time you got there. There
15 was no longer any need to help, at least in a military action, up there.
16 That's so, isn't it?
17 A. No. That is not so. I said that those groups that came before
18 that, these were villages which had physical contacts with each other,
19 meaning they were three or four kilometres apart. They touch on each
20 other. Nobody came intentionally from those places. There was no
21 gathering, no convergence, no agreement. It was all spontaneous because
22 Muslim villages were burning, Muslim villages were burning and it was
23 necessary to help those people. Nobody ordered. Nobody was preparing
24 this for days. Yes, let's go to Jagodnja. What it means is that the
25 village is burning, it started burning two hours ago, and those people had
1 to be helped. That was the only reason to go to Jagodnja or Joseva.
2 Q. Your evidence-in-chief you said the villagers came down from
3 Jagodnja and Joseva and they told you how the Serbs had come into the
4 village and captured some people. You gave evidence about that. And that
5 they -- and you said that they -- there had been fighting with the Serbs
6 entering the village. In fact, I think you said that they -- the Serbs
7 from Fakovici had gone into Jagodnja and Joseva. That's what was reported
8 to you. Fair enough? Is that a fair comment of what you said?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. All right. And you went up to defend Jagodnja and Joseva;
11 correct? That was your only -- that was the purpose?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. When you got up there, you found that the Serbs had been chased
14 away; correct?
15 A. Those units, those groups from Jagodnja and Joseva, as well as
16 Miholjevine and Mosici, they fought the Serbs inside the village and they
17 forced them to retreat towards Fakovici, Boljevici, so the villages of the
18 Fakovici region.
19 Q. That's what you said and you just said it again. Now, that means,
20 therefore, doesn't it, that your purpose to defend Jagodnja and Joseva,
21 that was gone. There was no longer any reason for you to be there. My
22 question, therefore, is why did you remain in the area?
23 A. We remained because there was shooting non-stop. There was no
24 straight line in the field by which you could tell the Serb side from the
25 Muslim. The Serbs continued shooting, shelling, with all the weaponry
1 they had. It wasn't cut off and there was no point where you could say
2 this area was Serb and that area was Muslim. That was simply the reality
3 in the field.
4 Q. Just let me remind you of another portion of your evidence that
5 you gave on the 9th of September. Mr. Jones asked you about tanks that
6 were pulling up. And you answered: "When we got to Joseva, a group from
7 Joseva had already pushed Serbs away into the direction of Radijevici, and
8 Sefik and myself, with our ... groups ... went in the direction of
10 So there might have been shooting, there might have been artillery
11 fire, but isn't it the case on your own evidence that the main purpose for
12 you going to this place, Joseva and Jagodnja, had evaporated?
13 A. I didn't understand the question. What evaporated? What reason?
14 Q. The reason no longer existed. The reason that the villagers had
15 come down and sought your assistance to help with the attack on Joseva and
16 Jagodnja, the capturing of the prisoners, and the defence of those two
17 Muslim villages. When you got there, no such reason existed because they
18 had -- the Serbs had been pushed out, pushed away, into the direction of
19 Radijevici. So the reason no longer existed, did it? The reason you went
20 there in the first place.
21 A. We were firing so there was some reason. The same one that we
22 came for. There were groups that used infantry weapons and artillery. We
23 followed them because had we returned, they would have continued
24 attacking, so we chased those groups that were still offering resistance.
25 It wasn't a soccer match. It was war. So we followed those groups.
1 Q. Okay. So you were chasing the Serbs? Is that what you say? Do I
2 understand you correctly? Chasing the Serbs as they were being -- from
3 Jagodnja and Joseva into the direction of Radijevici?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Okay. Who made the decision to switch to the offensive and chase
6 the Serbs back in that direction?
7 A. No one was making decisions. There was shooting in the field.
8 Q. These were -- movement in -- back then in this area, Mr. Buric,
9 was a matter of life and death, as was illustrated to you on that day
10 because Sefik Mandzic stepped on a mine and blew himself to pieces and
11 other men. Correct? Decisions as to whether or not to chase Serbs to
12 Radijevici, to switch from defending a village to actually an offensive
13 operation to chase Serbs were not light decisions, were they? You just
14 couldn't make a decision like that lightly. You'd have to agree with
15 that, wouldn't you?
16 A. No one made the decision. As I said, we followed those groups.
17 We weren't aware as to where we were going in the field. Had we known
18 that there were, say, minefields, that a person would be killed, we
19 wouldn't have gone there. It was a forested area and you didn't know what
20 belonged to who, and there was shooting from both sides. We followed
21 those Serb units and that was the only reason there was. There were
22 constantly shooting. We had some killed and wounded on our part. That
23 was the reason.
24 Q. All right. Okay. So you moved through the forest towards
25 Radijevici and then your evidence is that you continued -- I don't know
1 which way but you certainly continued on towards Fakovici. Why?
2 A. When Sefik and another two men were killed, my group supposed that
3 to the right there were mines and anti-aircraft machine-guns and guns were
4 firing from the village of Radijevici which is closer to Joseva. That was
5 closer to Joseva than Radijevici. And we stayed to the left close to the
6 creek. So we went to the left, and we came out to the Muslim village of
7 Zanjevo which is to the left of Fakovici.
8 Q. That basically accords with what you've already told us but it
9 doesn't really answer my question. Why did you go towards Fakovici? What
10 was your intention as you were going along this creek in between the
12 A. There was no intention. We saw that to the right there were mines
13 and that there was shooting there and that we couldn't approach the Serbs
14 that way, to the side from which they were firing. That's why we used the
15 creek and went to the left.
16 Q. That might have been why you used the creek and went to the left.
17 But why did you go to Fakovici, in the direction of Fakovici? We know
18 that you ended up there, but why? Why did you go there?
19 A. We didn't have any sort of intention. It was incidental. It was
20 a natural thing to do. We followed the creek to the left, we didn't have
21 a particular aim, to approach Fakovici.
22 Q. All right. Well, you -- you didn't have any aim and you
23 incidentally fought your way into Fakovici. Is that a fair assessment of
24 your evidence?
25 A. Yes.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. And your entry into Fakovici was fairly, according to you, from --
2 from your evidence, a fairly torrid sort of episode. There was relentless
3 shooting as you approached Fakovici; correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You were being fired on before you even got into Fakovici, and as
6 you entered Fakovici?
7 A. We were fired on throughout, from Joseva and Jagodnja, all the
8 time, all the way up to Fakovici.
9 Q. And in Fakovici, the fighting was hard. You described Serb
10 resistance coming from behind each of the salas [phoen], which I think are
11 barns, in Fakovici, and you described how you had to use Zoljas to take
12 out the five or six Serb soldiers whose bodies you later saw. Do you
13 remember all of that evidence?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Incidentally, you also said in your evidence that -- that in
16 Kravica there was no significant resistance -- on the 9th of September,
17 page 62: "... there was no significant resistance, because ... they were
18 celebrating. Because we found food, lambs on the spit, pigs, ... caught
19 them by surprise, until we reached the centre of Kravica. By that time
20 they ... realised what was happening and they returned fire from
21 everything they had."
22 Yes, it's a mistake.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: You got the date wrong.
24 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm talking about Kravica, the 7th of January. And
25 they had to exit towards Polom and Zelinja.
1 Q. So what is the situation? Did you actually have to fight your way
2 into Fakovici or did you catch them by surprise as they were feasting?
3 A. I don't understand.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones.
5 MR. JONES: Yes, sorry, it's bound to be confusing.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, it is. I agree with you.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: It's my fault entirely and I apologise.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. But it's easy to apologise. Just repeat
9 everything and get the places and the dates right, please.
10 MR. DI FAZIO:
11 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Buric. My question is: What is the situation?
12 Did you have to fight your way into Kravica -- I'm doing it again -- into
13 Fakovici or did you find them feasting? Sorry.
14 A. I don't understand the question.
15 Q. I withdraw my question. I think I've misled the witness on this
16 particular -- on this particular portion of evidence, if Your Honours
17 please, and I apologise.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you need a break, Mr. Di Fazio?
19 MR. DI FAZIO: No, just let me gather my -- yes. I think I see
20 now what I've done.
21 Q. Anyway, the fact of the matter is you had to fight your way into
22 Fakovici; correct?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, is it Fakovici or Kravica that we are talking
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Fakovici.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: If you want to talk about Fakovici, stick to
2 Fakovici. But -- all right? Go ahead. But make up also your mind what
3 period of time you were talking about, especially if you're thinking about
4 feasting and all that.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. That part was wrong. That's completely wrong
6 and I'll withdraw that. I'm talking about Fakovici.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: If you want to stick to Fakovici, stick to Fakovici.
8 MR. DI FAZIO:
9 Q. We're talking about Fakovici, your approach through Radijevici
10 along the creek and into Fakovici, okay? Now, on that particular day did
11 you encounter resistance as you were going into Fakovici?
12 A. All the time that we were moving from the direction of Jagodnja
13 and Joseva, they were firing from all directions. From the right side
14 from Radijevici, Kutijesevi, Boljevici, they used mortars and
15 anti-aircraft machine-guns. And from the left side they used the three-
16 and four-barrelled guns. So it is a depression and we were moving towards
17 the east, and there was a hillside there. They supposed that we were in
18 the forest and they were trying to cover that area, firing non-stop.
19 Q. Okay. But what I'm actually interested in is as you're going
20 into , into the little hamlet or village of Fakovici, was there resistance
21 to you?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And fairly relentless, hard fighting to get into the -- into
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Were there civilians about?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. That's right. You've -- you with asked questions by Mr. Jones
4 about this episode. And, page 20, on the 9th of September, Mr. Jones
5 asked you: "I want to go back to where we left off, because in fact you
6 haven't described your movements yet in Fakovici. We dealt with what was
7 captured. So I want to go back to your entry into Fakovici. I want to
8 first of all ask you -- first of all ask, whether at that time and that
9 day in Fakovici, whether you saw any civilians, Muslim civilians." And
10 you answer yes.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Before -- "Before we moved in that direction, Joseva, Radijevici,
13 and towards the left, I saw thousands, perhaps ... 5.000 and 10.000 people
14 who have already entered the Muslim village of Zanjevo. So a large number
15 of people was coming back with wheat bags from Fakovici and" -- I don't
16 have it very clear in my transcript. I think it's a place called Ambarijo
17 [phoen] or something like that. Okay. Thank you. And: "There were
18 masses of civilians, women and men. In my estimate, between 5 to 10.000
19 people. And when I was returning, I believe there were ... 15.000."
20 And then to be clear, Mr. Jones says: "All right. You've
21 mentioned they were coming back with wheat bags. It may be an obvious
22 question, but why were the civilians in Fakovici, to your knowledge?"
23 And then you said: "When I was going there, I said from the
24 Muslim of -- the village of Zanjevo. First we went to the left of
25 Zanjevo, and they have already been coming in, looking for food, wheat,
1 corn, whatever they could find, and ... they were returning towards
2 Jagodnja and Joseva."
3 So bearing in mind what you've said of seeing this vast mass of
4 civilians coming back from Fakovici, am I correct that they were already
5 in Fakovici collecting their food, the wheat bags and so on, as you were
6 fighting your way into Fakovici?
7 A. No, I didn't mention Fakovici. That is not correct. I said they
8 were returning from Muslim village of Zanjevo. A large number of
9 civilians moved when we forced the Serbs to withdraw. And they came from
10 Miholjevina, Mosici, Delici. They followed us, and since the Muslim
11 village of Zanjevo was in between, they entered the Muslim houses there to
12 collect corn and wheat.
13 Q. All right. I can only go on what is in the transcript.
14 I just -- I won't dwell long on this, but you were asked whether
15 on that day in Fakovici you saw civilians, Muslim civilians, and you said
16 yes, before we moved in that direction, you saw thousands, and then you
17 confined it to Joseva and Radijevici. But then you said: "So a large
18 number of people were coming back with wheat bags from Fakovici." Now, is
19 that just a slip of the tongue? Or is it the case that you --
20 A. I don't know what there is in the transcript, but I said the
21 following: I saw people from the Muslim village -- in the Muslim village
22 of Zanjevo and not in Fakovici or Radijevici. So people were returning
23 from the Muslim [as interpreted] of Zanjevo. That village was attacked by
24 Serbs in May 1992 and they were turning towards Jagodnja and Joseva.
25 Q. All right. Well, we'll leave that topic.
1 You also described the weaponry that you say was seized in
2 Fakovici and you gave detailed descriptions of that. I'm not going to
3 take you through that. But you recall giving that evidence, don't you?
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness be shown D740?
6 Q. All right. You see this -- this document, confidential, Bratunac
7 Brigade document. Yes, sorry, Bratunac garrison command document which is
8 sent to the Birac Brigade command, lists the sort of weaponry that they,
9 the Serbs, seem to think was captured in Fakovici. Now, in your evidence
10 you testified very clearly that when looking at this document, that the
11 Serbs had seized five to six times more weaponry than is listed here. Do
12 you remember that evidence?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: The Serbs or the Muslims?
14 MR. DI FAZIO: Sorry, the Muslims, I'm sorry, the Muslims.
15 Q. Do you remember that evidence?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You would agree with me, wouldn't you, that the Serbs therefore
18 have made a massive miscalculation in the amount of weaponry they lost?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones.
20 MR. JONES: Yes. I'd just object to that question because it
21 presumes that this purports to be an exhaustive list of what was
22 captured. It doesn't say this and only this was captured. Some items are
23 mentioned, so I don't think it can be presumed that it purports to be
25 JUDGE AGIUS: So limit your question, please, Mr. Di Fazio, to
1 this particular document.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: It's just on the face of this document.
3 Q. And the face of this document you say it's clearly wrong because a
4 lot more material was in fact recovered, military equipment, was recovered
5 by the Muslim self-organised groups; correct?
6 A. We seized more weaponry than what can be found on the list.
7 Q. A lot more, a lot more, five to six times more. You agree with
9 A. Yes. When I said that, I had ammunition in mind. They didn't
10 mention ammunition here, and as far as I can remember, we took away two
11 tractor loads of ammunition.
12 Q. Yes. Okay. Thank you. I've done with D740.
13 All right. So that list that I just showed you is inaccurate and
14 you've told us that five to six times more was seized.
15 Who did that weaponry go to?
16 A. I didn't say that the list was incorrect. But I said that what is
17 on the list had been seized, plus whatever there was they didn't mention.
18 Most of that weaponry went to Kragljivoda, Jagodnja and Joseva.
19 Q. And it wasn't just weaponry, but it was also I think a --
20 significantly two tractor loads of ammunition as well?
21 A. Tractors.
22 Q. Okay. And who made the decision -- who made the decision that it
23 was to go to Kragljivoda, Jagodnja and Joseva and in what proportions?
24 Who made that decision?
25 A. No one made that decision. Whatever was seized would be given to
1 an area that had priorities because those Muslim villages were exposed to
2 daily shellings and attacks. And they were the only source of ammunition
3 and weaponry for the Muslims. There was no particular distribution but it
4 went to Jagodnja and Joseva.
5 Q. That makes excellent sense, doesn't it, to -- if you get a large
6 amount of weaponry and ammunition, and you're surrounded by a well-armed,
7 ruthless enemy, and you don't have much weaponry and ammunition, then it
8 really makes good sense to be able to prioritise which of the
9 self-organised groups should get weaponry and what proportions. Don't you
11 A. I don't agree. It wasn't a lot of ammunition or weaponry. It
12 would be a day's worth of ammunition of what was needed for Kragljivoda,
13 Jagodnja and Joseva. It wasn't a lot in the end. So since they received
14 entire convoys, this was just a small chunk.
15 Q. You mentioned priorities.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me.
17 Q. Yes, you said whatever was seized would be given to an area that
18 had priorities. Whatever was seized would be given to an area that had
19 priorities. How were those priorities worked out so that an intelligent,
20 rational decision could be made?
21 A. No decision was made. Kragljivoda was the first village closest
22 to the Serbs on the front line, and it was exposed daily to combat
23 activities. As well as Jagodnja and Joseva on the other side. So on a
24 daily basis.
25 Q. All right. That might be so but you said, it's your words. The
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 apportionment was based on an area that had priorities. Now, --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Basically let me try and shorten the debate on this.
3 What Mr. Di Fazio is interested to know from you is who actually
4 decided that it would be Kragljivoda, Jagodnja and Joseva that would take
5 or share amongst them the ammunition and the weapons, and not some other
6 unit or some other place? Because these decisions had to be taken on the
7 spot. So who took these decisions?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. It all was spontaneous. There
9 were no decisions. All the groups were there and then they would take
10 those weapons and that ammunition, and we were aware that they were more
11 in need of it and that's how it was in those areas.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: But I would assume that there would have been some
13 kind of discussion amongst the various groups or the various leaders or --
14 nothing. Just answer, because I saw you make a gesture with your mouth.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was no discussion. There was
16 no discussion.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: So discussion. So it was a spontaneous thing.
18 Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 MR. DI FAZIO:
21 Q. Was it the case that different territorial groupings had different
22 military needs, depending on the amount of weaponry they had, the amount
23 of ammunition? For example, someone in Suceska might have needed a lot
24 more ammunition, but another grouping in another part of the Srebrenica
25 area might have needed more guns but not so much ammunition? Did that
1 sort of scenario ever arise as far as you're aware?
2 A. I know one thing: We never participated in anything anywhere
3 close to Suceska, nor did Suceska take part in anything near us. We had
4 no idea what they had, what they were capturing, what they were receiving.
5 I can state with a great degree of certainty what happened with
6 the Osmace group. Osmace is seven kilometres from Kragljivoda. That
7 line, that forest, Kragljivoda, so whatever bullets we had, because we
8 knew that Kragljivoda needed it, so we would give it to them.
9 Q. But again, that was entirely a decision to be made by people in
10 Osmace as to whether or not the people in Kragljivoda would get any of the
11 ammunition or weapons?
12 A. No. No. I said there was no decision. It was spontaneous. They
13 took it spontaneously or you would just give it on the road, spontaneously
14 when it was found out -- it wasn't found out all immediately. It would
15 take days, perhaps the civilians collected more, women maybe found more
16 ammunition on that day or something like that. So this all turned out
17 spontaneously. There was no decision, no counselling. It was all
18 spontaneous. If something was given up there, what do I know how it was?
19 Who is going to carry for 30 or 40 kilometres? I mean, it's hard to carry
20 five kilogrammes at that distance, never mind to carry a case of
21 ammunition. It wasn't like that out in the field.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it's the case of moving to something
24 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, I will.
25 Q. Let's just ask you very briefly about damage to Fakovici, and I
1 just want to remind you of your evidence. You said 99 per cent of the
2 houses destroyed in Fakovici were destroyed by Serb shelling and not a
3 single house was set on fire. Do you remember that evidence?
4 A. I said that when I returned the next day, the next day meaning on
5 the 6th of October in the morning hours, when I was there, what I saw,
6 meaning that was the only time that I was in Fakovici, that 90 per cent of
7 the devastation was a result of Serb tanks and the fighting that was
8 conducted there in the village.
9 Q. Okay. And were you there I think over a two-day period on --
11 A. Meaning I said that I said that I withdrew at around 3.00 or 4.00
12 on the 5th, and then I came back in the morning to collect the dead.
13 Q. All right. So one thing the Trial Chamber can be absolutely
14 certain about is that in the course of your group entering and fighting in
15 Fakovici, in the course of the fighting that took place in Fakovici, it
16 wasn't ever necessary for you and your men from Osmace to burn or destroy
17 Serb houses and buildings? That's absolutely crystal clear, isn't it?
18 A. I can just say, Your Honours, something that perhaps you don't
19 know, but it's -- it's true for sure. My group, Osmace group, never set
20 one single barn on fire, never mind a house. In the territory of the
21 Srebrenica municipality, there were about 20 churches. Not a single
22 church was damaged.
23 Just allow me to finish. There were 80 mosques, and the Serbs
24 burnt all of them. They razed them all to the ground. Not burned them.
25 They brought bulldozers and burned them. 80 imams were killed in
1 Srebrenica. Not a single Christian priest was killed. Not only -- I
2 mean, we had the chance to burn these facilities but we never did. All
3 the burnings, 99 per cent of the property that wasn't burned in fighting
4 was burned by civilians. The army had no need for that, because after two
5 or three hours they withdrew from that zone, from that area and it was
6 left to the civilians to come back there over days and months to get food.
7 Q. That might be so. But in Fakovici, the destruction that you saw
8 and observed was entirely caused by -- almost entirely caused by Serb
9 artillery, Serb tanks firing from across the river, and I think you also
10 said an APC and so on, right? I see you nodding. I take it that's
11 agreement. If you could just speak. Thank you.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thanks.
14 A. Yes, I agree.
15 Q. Let's move from Fakovici to Kravica.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just one clarification
17 for the transcript while Mr. Di Fazio moves to a second question. What
18 the witness said, and it concerned leaving the area. He said, as far as I
19 understood him, that after two or three hours, they withdrew and left that
20 area and then civilians would come for days after that. However, as it
21 states here, on line 11, in the transcript, you could say that they
22 withdrew and that it was left to the civilians, meaning the army left it
23 to the civilians.
24 So could the witness please clarify that part? Could he tell us
25 exactly what he said.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I said exactly was that the
2 army withdrew after two or three hours, meaning that they never came back
3 there again, and that civilians would go back there day after day for
4 days, so individuals, groups, I don't know what kind of civilians went
5 there, but nobody left anything to them. We, these armed groups,
6 withdrew, and then the civilians, without asking anyone, would go back
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, Madam Vidovic. That was important
9 because the transcript could -- actually meant something different.
10 MR. DI FAZIO:
11 Q. Just one more clarification from your last answer. When you said
12 that the army withdrew, I assume that was a slip of the tongue and what
13 you really meant was the self-organised groups withdrew. Is that correct?
14 A. I said, as you said, army, but I said the armed groups withdrew,
15 meaning that I at no point in my testimony said army or soldiers, but it's
16 as you say, we had armed groups in our terrain.
17 Q. Now, let's go to Kravica.
18 You said that Ejub Golic had cut the road between -- between
19 Kravica and Bratunac, right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And that disrupted communications for the Serbs, didn't it?
22 Because they were --
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. They were based in Kravica and also had a presence in Bratunac,
25 and if that road was cut, that impeded communications between those two
1 Serb areas; correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And a gentleman named Kadir Music, I think his name is, told
4 you -- came to see you and told you that the communication line had been
5 cut; correct?
6 A. I think I said I'm not sure that his name is Music. Kadir Music
7 or Hamidovic. This can go into the transcript. Hamidovic. Music or
8 Hamidovic is his last name and he came to us at Osmace. He was sent by
9 Ejub, that he entered his own village, meaning all the time that's what we
10 are talking about. Glogova is a purely Muslim village of 700 houses,
11 meaning 700 houses, which was burned in May, the early part of May, 7th,
12 8th or 9th of May, it was burnt. They held the northern part of Glogova
13 the entire time, and Ejub went to his village, to the western part of the
14 village, and that's where he cut the Bratunac-Kravica communication, where
15 they would use that road every day, received weapons, food, logistics.
16 And then on the other side, the northern side, or the western side, you
17 had the Muslim settlement or village of Konjevic Polje. That's Kravica
18 was very important, actually that Bratunac-Kravica road was very
20 Q. Right. I want to ask you about decisions again. I'm sorry to
21 keep harping on about it but I'm interested in the process. Who decided
22 that Ejub Golic's request would be entertained and that you would -- that
23 men would be sent from Osmace up to that area?
24 A. As far as I can recall, Mirsad Dudic was the person in charge in
25 our group. We gathered there. He was -- Kadir was there, and he told us
1 what was being done, and since he could not resist the attacks every day,
2 Ejub, could we then go and help Ejub Golic.
3 Q. Yes. I understand that. That was the request. That's what this
4 man came down to speak to you about. And Dudic was in charge. Do I take
5 it that Dudic made the decision, Okay, we are going to go?
6 A. He didn't make the decision. He proposed it. We all of us heard
7 it. There were about, I don't know, in Osmace, about 70 or 80 of us that
8 were there on the spot, and he said, who wanted to go? Volunteers? And
9 volunteers volunteered in that group.
10 Q. About how many volunteers?
11 A. I'm saying about approximately 40 or 50 lads maybe. I don't know,
12 40 or 50. I don't exactly remember the number.
13 Q. All armed or not?
14 A. No, no. Perhaps half, about 20 of us had arms.
15 Q. What did the other unarmed men intend to do? How were they going
16 to be of any use?
17 A. I don't know what use they were going to be. Perhaps if they
18 captured a rifle, then you could give it to someone or something like
20 Q. Yes. The leaving this group in Osmace -- I withdraw the question.
21 By making the decision to leave Osmace and going up to Glogova,
22 the result was that Osmace was left undefended. Is that right or not?
23 A. I mentioned that Osmace is seven kilometres from Kragljivoda,
24 meaning that line was seven kilometres from Osmace.
25 Q. Okay. But it -- the effect of this group from Osmace going up to
1 operate in the north around Glogova meant that Osmace was left either
2 undefended or the lines were significantly weakened, weren't they?
3 A. There were no lines at Osmace, meaning there were some 30 men left
4 in Osmace, 30 or 40, I don't know.
5 Q. The decision to take the group from Osmace up to Glogova meant
6 that the Glogova -- the Osmace area was -- the defence of the Osmace area
7 was weakened. Correct or not?
8 A. As I said, Osmace was not on the front lines and it wasn't
9 weakened. It was inside the territory. Kragljivoda was at the front
11 Q. Did the people from Osmace play any role in helping or defending
12 the front line at Kragljivoda?
13 A. No. Not every day, because we went when there was need for it at
14 Kragljivoda, when there was a fierce attack always a group of volunteers
15 would go, meaning August, September, October, right until the 23rd of
16 March, 1993. It would be helping Kragljivoda.
17 Q. Would it have been safer for the inhabitants or the people who
18 were in Osmace in December of 1992 for your armed group to stay in Osmace?
19 Would it have been better and safer for those people, the women and
20 children, the refugees, who were gathered in Osmace?
21 A. It would have been better, but we weren't thinking like that. The
22 thinking was different, because in Glogova, as we know, hundreds were
23 killed. There were burnings, people were captured. All that they had was
24 destroyed. So we were primarily there to defend the Muslim property.
25 People had entered their houses. They didn't have any where to live.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 They were dying of hunger, poverty. So in all of that, people had decided
2 to return to their own homes, meaning we were helping people to survive.
3 We are speaking about the struggle to survive in our own homestead. Well,
4 if they don't have a right to do that, then I really don't know.
5 Q. Did you have any idea what your role was to be before you went to
7 A. No.
8 Q. The request had come, had been transferred to you, from Ejub
9 Golic. In other words, the man that came to see you said, This is a
10 request from Ejub Golic and his self-organised group. Is that right?
11 A. He didn't request for help. He asked for it. It was an appeal
12 for a person in trouble for help.
13 Q. Sure. The appeal for assistance to deal with their troubles came
14 from Ejub Golic and his self-organised group; correct?
15 A. Kadir came to us, said that he was sent by Ejub Golic.
16 Q. All right. Okay. And you went up to the Glogova area, but you
17 didn't speak to Ejub Golic, did you?
18 A. Yes. I went there, but we did not speak with Ejub Golic.
19 Q. You just said, "We did not speak to Ejub Golic." Do I take it
20 that not only did you personally not speak to Ejub Golic but no one in
21 your group spoke to Ejub Golic?
22 A. Nobody from our group, because we had Kadir and he showed us where
23 we were supposed to be, because Ejub was completely on the other side,
24 some six or seven kilometres away.
25 Q. All right. So what was the plan when you got there? What -- what
1 were you told to do?
2 A. We were supposed to defend Glogova from the Kravica and Kajici
3 direction. There were daily attacks from those directions, and --
4 Q. Thanks. That's all I need to know.
5 Didn't you consider or men in your self-organised group consider
6 it appropriate to go and speak to Mr. Ejub Golic or at least make some
7 sort of -- communicate with him in some way?
8 A. No. Because we had Kadir, who took us precisely to the western
9 part of Glogova. We didn't have any need because in the direction where
10 Ejub Golic was, daily or hourly attacks were taking place. They were
11 transporters and tanks from the direction of Bratunac. He cut the
12 communication. And the fighting was going on there. You couldn't cross
13 over to the other side. We couldn't get to Ejub.
14 Q. Did you know what the purpose of your role was, the role of you --
15 of your Osmace self-organised group? What precisely its role was?
16 A. Our role specifically, from what Kadir conveyed to us, was the
17 defence or the guarding of the Kravica-Kajici-Avdagina Njiva
18 communication, to prevent the Serbs from Kravica approaching Ejub from the
19 other side. They would then have to withdraw automatically from those
21 Q. Did you have any contingency plans in the event that your grouping
22 was attacked and forced to retreat or move from the area?
23 A. Kadir told us -- actually, Kadir showed us the road we could use
24 to withdraw. That's the southern part of Glogova, which we held the whole
25 time. He showed us that direction if the Serbs were to break the lines
1 from Bratunac or Kravica where we could go back, withdraw to the southern
2 part, towards Bljeceva. That part of Glogova.
3 Q. Now, on this occasion, other groups also arrived to help as well,
4 didn't they?
5 A. That first evening, us -- well, in the morning, we surveyed the
6 Serb lines and the positions and then we told Kadir that we could only see
7 a few men in that direction. I'm talking strictly about asphalt. My
8 group was stationed near the asphalt road, and in that sector we didn't
9 see too many men, since we knew that they had withdrawn, that they had
10 already started drinking and celebrating because they were using a lot of
11 shells. We saw that, and then we sent Kadir to convey further what we saw
12 on the ground.
13 Q. Were there other groups operating in the area apart from Osmace,
14 the Osmace grouping, and Ejub's group? Operating in conjunction with you
15 and/or with Ejub, that you're aware of.
16 A. In the morning, or actually evening hours, or when it was getting
17 light, we were joined by a group, a group as I said led by a certain Zis.
18 I don't know where it came from, maybe from Bljeceva. That group at our
19 direction, Avdagina Njiva-Kajici-Kravica. That's where that group joined
21 Q. And I think there were groups from Miholjevine and Mocici as well,
22 weren't there?
23 A. That's the group, meaning the person in charge was a certain
24 Mefail, or Zis. Miholjevine, Mocici, yes, that's that group.
25 Q. Now at any point in time any of these groups could have withdrawn
1 from the area and gone back to their local areas if they had so wished;
3 A. Yes. They could have. It was all on a voluntary basis.
4 Q. All right. All right. I want to ask you about your entry into
5 Kravica. You -- I think you said that you entered Kravica on the --
6 sorry, at around 10.00 a.m. Would that be -- does that accord with your
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And as you went into Kravica, Kravica, the Serbs started shooting
10 at you with all available means; is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. So you agree that you had to fight your way into Kravica, and that
13 you did so at some point after 10.00 in the morning?
14 A. Between 10.00 and 11.00 a.m., I said there were few men. There
15 were a couple of houses there on that road, the Kajici-Kravica road.
16 There wasn't a lot of resistance there. Up until the approach to Kravica.
17 Right up until the very approach to Kravica.
18 Q. All right. Okay. So the fighting started at some point after
19 10.00 or 11.00 in the morning?
20 A. The fighting lasted for days there. They were firing all the time
21 from all sides, but that was -- they were looking for a moment of
23 Q. Sure, sure. Now on the 6th you did a reconnaissance of the lines
24 and on the 7th you entered into Kravica; correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And they were already underway feasting and drinking and eating;
3 A. I don't know what it was they were doing. But they were firing
4 from all sides, from all weaponry available, and when they withdrew later
5 we saw that food was left behind.
6 Q. All right.
7 A. I suppose they were feasting.
8 Q. So it was a surprise attack at about some time about -- sometime
9 after 10.00 or 11.00 in the morning?
10 A. It appeared so, along that axis [Realtime transcript read in error
11 "exist"]. It was their moment of weakness. And we approached the
12 settlement. We came very close.
13 Q. Just the time, Mr. Buric. It was sometime after 10.00 or 11.00,
14 you attacked sometime after 10.00 or 11.00; is that right?
15 A. No.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones.
17 MR. JONES: Sorry, it's a matter of the interpretation and the
18 transcript. I mean, it says at line 12, page 68, "along that exist." I
19 know that's probably going to be corrected to "along that axis." But I
20 understood that witness said something more like in that direction, or in
21 that particular part, i.e., that was a surprise attack in that particular
22 area or something of that nature which was said, and I don't think that's
23 going to appear in the final transcript. So we might want to clarify
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you, Mr. Jones.
1 Do you confirm that, Mr. Buric? Please say "da" or --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was talking about a direction, by
3 the asphalt road that was taken by my group.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
5 MR. DI FAZIO:
6 Q. Look, would you disagree with me if I suggested to you that this
7 was a surprise drawn attack on Kravica?
8 A. No. Not a surprise attack. I don't know on what day Ejub entered
9 Glogova precisely but on those days they were using all weaponry and
10 attacking from all directions. Serbs held Avdagina Njive which was a
11 Muslim settlement. We came during their moment of weakness where they had
12 few men. We came in and went along in that direction.
13 Q. So it was not a dawn surprise attack.
14 I'd like you to look, please, at D469.
15 You were shown this document by Mr. Jones during your
16 examination-in-chief, and he took you through the contents of it. I want
17 you to turn to the Serb version, just be -- if we can get through this
18 quickly before the break.
19 You see the words [B/C/S spoken], then a sentence and then a list.
20 I want you to read into the transcript the list beginning with the words
21 [B/C/S spoken].
22 A. In the course of fighting, the 3rd Kravica Infantry Battalion,
23 that included the 3rd Kravica Infantry Battalion, on the 7th of January,
24 1993, from 6.30 until 2.00 p.m., in the course of withdrawing, the
25 3rd Infantry Battalion left the following MTS behind in Kravica.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. One moment, Mr. Di Fazio. Before we proceed
3 any further. Because again, I need this cleared up. The witness clearly
4 said reading out from this document on the 7th of January, from 6.30 until
5 2.00 p.m., 6.30 in the morning, I take it. But in the English text that
6 we have it says in the course of combat between the hours of 0830 and 18
7 hours. So ...
8 MR. DI FAZIO: That's right.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, okay. But we need to address this.
10 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, you are correct. This
12 is yet another mistranslation. The original Bosnian document states
13 during the fighting, that included the 3rd Kravica Battalion, on the
14 7th of January, 1993, between 6.30 until 4.00 p.m., during the withdrawal
15 of the 3rd Kravica Infantry Battalion the following MTS was left behind in
16 Kravica. And it was stated that the combat lasted between 8.30 until
17 6.00 p.m. The document in our language has a different meaning than what
18 was translated into English. Perhaps the witness could comment. So the
19 original doesn't specify that the combat lasted during those hours, but,
20 rather, that the battalion was withdrawing in that time period. Perhaps
21 Mr. Buric could comment.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said around -- around 10 hours,
23 that was the direction that was used. We heard shooting from other
24 locations as well. They withdrew in the evening towards the north.
25 Towards Polom and Zelinja.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I am looking at the B/C/S version and the second
2 line it says 0630 to then 16 hours.
3 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, with respect, it does, it
4 does, and it's plain as a pikestaff. It's absolutely crystal clear, isn't
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes. I know that the whole exercise basically
7 arises from your previous question as to whether he would agree that this
8 was a surprise dawn attack. So please concentrate on that and let's get
9 moving on it.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. I'm not going to be long on the topic and
11 then perhaps we'll break.
12 Q. So having read there document that says that in the course of
13 combat, which the Serbs seem to think started at about 6.30 in the morning
14 and went to 4.00 in -- yes, 4.00 in the afternoon, does -- does that make
15 you think that perhaps you might be wrong about the attack starting at
16 10.00 or -- sometime later in the morning, and it not being a dawn attack?
17 A. No. I didn't say 9.00. I said approximately between 10.00 and
18 11.00, in that direction. So I kept insisting on that direction,
19 Avdagina Njive-Kajici-Kravica, the asphalt road.
20 Q. All right. Okay. I think I've gone as far as I need to with this
22 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, this would be an
23 appropriate time for the break. Looking at my notes I will finish and I
24 will finish soon after the break, I hope.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. But out of an abundance of precaution, I think
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 I will restrict the break to 25 minutes and would appeal to everyone to
2 try and be as punctual as possible.
3 Yes, Mr. Jones.
4 MR. JONES: Can I just say one thing? I mean, in case there was
5 any implications that, as Mr. Di Fazio said, it was plain as a pikestaff I
6 think was his expression, what the correct translation should be. This
7 was the Office of Document Management that translated for us, it's not our
8 translation -- I don't want it suggested that we missed something which
9 was blatantly obvious.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: I am not making that suggestion at all.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. It didn't even cross my mind, actually.
12 Anyway, 25 minutes.
13 --- Recess taken at 12.26 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 12.53 p.m.
15 MR. DI FAZIO: I just have three --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio, I see they put my name expecting
17 me to say Mr. Di Fazio. Go ahead.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: I have just a very few more questions for you which
19 I'm sure we can whip through fairly quickly.
20 Q. Firstly, I needn't take you through all the evidence but you gave
21 quite a bit of evidence regarding all the weaponry that was seized in
22 Kravica. You described the place being -- well, I think you said every
23 house had some weapons in it and that you seized a lot of weapons, and you
24 also said that most of the weaponry was given to Biljeg, Glogova and other
25 villages. Was this again just a spontaneous thing as happened in the case
1 of the weaponry seized in Fakovici or was there some sort of
2 decision-making process going on here, as far as this weaponry was
4 A. No. There were no decisions made those guys collected most of
5 that weaponry. In Glogova there was the line, and there was Miholjine,
6 Mosici, the villages there, there were daily attacks there, and we seized
7 a bit of weaponry there. A little bit.
8 Q. You testified on Thursday last week that none of your men knew how
9 to lay mines in March of 1993. But you -- sorry, I don't want to misquote
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I see that -- and the reaction of course would be
12 justified because although we could follow the interpretation of what the
13 witness was saying, his answer did not show up in the transcript. Or only
14 a part of it did. So perhaps you could --
15 MR. DI FAZIO: In relation to the previous question about the
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. As you see, there is no interpretation and I
18 saw Ms. Vidovic and Mr. Jones --
19 MR. DI FAZIO: No, no, that's fair enough.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: -- conversing. So I anticipated that myself.
21 MR. DI FAZIO:
22 Q. Look, I'm just reminding you about the weaponry. You said that a
23 lot of weapons were seized and that there it was a lot of weaponry in
24 Kravica. And that it was given to Biljeg Glogova and other villages. Was
25 this particular distribution of weapons a spontaneous thing as happened in
1 Fakovici, or was there some other way of deciding who was to receive what
3 A. There were no decisions made. It was spontaneous. If you found
4 something, you took it. And there was no distribution or an agreement on
5 it. It was far more spontaneous.
6 Q. All right. Okay. Now, let's turn to mining.
7 You said that none of your men knew how to lay mines in March
8 1993. Do you remember that evidence?
9 A. I said throughout the activities in the area of the Srebrenica
10 municipality, in April and March, so April 1992 until March 1993, no one
11 from amongst my group of people knew how to lay mines.
12 Q. And that's because it's a -- something that requires a great deal
13 of special training, according to you; correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. However, in Kravica, members of your group, none of whom knew how
16 to lay mines, went in and demined the building, the building of the
17 farmers' cooperative, and it was mined heavily. Where did they acquire
18 the skills to go in and demine this heavily mined building if they didn't
19 know how to do it?
20 A. I don't know where your information came from. There is one type
21 of mines laid out in the field but this was just dynamite under the
22 building, and one needed a plain lighter to light it. Mines in the field
23 are a completely different thing.
24 Q. Well, hang on. You didn't mention any dynamite laid under the
1 Let me just remind you precisely of what you said, page 61, on the
2 9th of September: "I saw on the left, in the centre of Kravica, next to
3 the supermarket, there was a building, I believe a building of the
4 farmers' cooperative, and it was mined. My group went in, and they
5 demined the building and we seized large amounts, and it was mined
6 heavily, and we also seized a lot of weapons."
7 You mentioned mines on three or four occasions in that answer,
8 nothing about dynamite. You were very clearly talking about land-mines,
9 not dynamite, weren't you, when you gave that answer?
10 A. You are mistaken.
11 Your Honour, if something is being set up an explosive, in Bosnian
12 we say "miniranje." They used industrial dynamite used for bringing down
13 buildings or in mines. So they put dynamite, plate [as interpreted]
14 dynamite with a fuse, and one had to approach it and light it with a
15 lighter or a match. They simply took out the fuse to defuse it. I don't
16 know how much dynamite was there, but it was in at least three to four
17 locations. So these are two different categories. And we use the word of
18 "miniranje" to set up explosives. You mentioned minefields but that's a
19 different category.
20 Q. How long were the fuses?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, for the transcript,
23 which remains unclear, two or three times the witness said "miniranje,"
24 and that it has a wider connotation in our language. I -- perhaps the
25 transcript missed that. It does not appear in the transcript, the word
1 "miniranje." So I would kindly ask the witness to confirm whether he
2 mentioned the word of "miniranje."
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, "miniranje." It means setting
4 up explosives, dynamite, to mine something. That's what we used in our
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Just to confirm that in the interpretation
7 that I was receiving in my ear phones, I mean, it was mentioned each time
8 the witness mentioned it. So let's proceed.
9 MR. DI FAZIO:
10 Q. What's the word for dynamite in your language?
11 A. Dinamit.
12 Q. Well, why didn't you use the word "dinamit" when you were
13 describing the soldiers who went into the cooperative building in Kravica
14 and plucked out the fuses from the dynamite or dinamit?
15 A. I said it was mined and there was no need for me to say "dinamit."
16 I said the building was mined but not in the sense of laying mines. I
17 meant the word of "miniranje" which has a much wider connotation in our
19 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note that we may be of
20 assistance in need of spelling out the word for the transcript.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: I would be grateful.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: It can be arranged later on.
24 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
25 Q. All right. Last topic. Just that the destruction that you -- you
1 observed in Kravica, your position is that you -- the destruction that you
2 saw in Kravica was clearly caused by Serb shells fired from Serbian tanks
3 into Kravica. Is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You saw no damage or aware of any damage having been caused by
6 arson or deliberate torching of houses, Serb houses or buildings; correct?
7 A. I didn't see it during the time I was in that area. I didn't see
8 anything like that. I didn't see torching of houses.
9 Q. And once again, it wasn't necessary for you and your fighters in
10 carrying out your combat actions in Kravica, to burn or set fire to Serb
11 houses and buildings; correct?
12 A. I said a moment ago, as part of my evidence and I claim with full
13 responsibility that my group from April 1992 until the end of March of
14 1993, never set a single Serb barn on fire, let alone a house.
15 Q. All right. And just lastly, just confirm this for me. It wasn't
16 necessary, was it, for you and your group when carrying out combat
17 fighting operations in Kravica, to burn down houses? I'm not asking if
18 you did it but there was just no reason to do such thing. You were able
19 to carry out your combat actions in Fakovici -- in Kravica without burning
20 down Serb houses or buildings, right?
21 A. We conducted an operation, an activity and we didn't set anything
22 on fire.
23 Q. All right. Thank you very much for answering my questions,
24 Mr. Buric.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I have no further
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Di Fazio. And also for your
3 efforts to finish in good time to allow for a re-examination and questions
4 from the Bench to come to an end today.
5 Yes, Mr. Buric, there is going to be a short re-examination now
6 from Mr. Jones.
7 Mr. Jones, go ahead. Please leave us about ten minutes maximum.
8 MR. JONES: Yes, certainly, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Even more.
10 MR. JONES: Right.
11 Re-examined by Mr. Jones:
12 Q. Yes, Mr. Buric, firstly I want to start with something you said
13 yesterday. And it's page 43, line 16 to 17 of the transcript. "I never
14 saw Naser or Masic in 1993. The first time I saw Naser was - I don't
15 know - sometime in late March or ... April of 1993."
16 My question is: It follows from that, I take it, that you never
17 saw Naser Oric in Osmace in 1992 or the first three months of 1993?
18 A. No.
19 Q. All right. And now when you were being asked about the book by
20 Masic, and also the book allegedly by Oric, and it's page 44, lines 23
21 to 25. You were asked whether Mr. Naser Oric would be in a good position
22 to write a book about events in 1992. And you said: "I wouldn't agree,
23 and I believe ... with 99 per cent certainty that Naser did not even have
24 80 per cent of the information about what was going on in the Srebrenica
1 My question is: Sorry, I shall continue a tiny bit. You said:
2 All the events that would come out later, exaggerated, I don't know,
3 that's something that happened, and I believe that Naser did not have the
4 right or the proper information about what was happening in the territory
5 of the Srebrenica region.
6 I just want to ask you why do you say that? Why do you not
7 believe that Naser Oric had the right or proper information about what was
8 happening in the Srebrenica region?
9 A. I suppose rather I claim that he wasn't in the area throughout, in
10 the area of Jagodnja and Joseva, Kragljivoda, Osmace. He never saw those
11 areas. It's a vast area. I said that in May of 1992 over 2.000 houses
12 were set on fire in that area. And another two to two and a half thousand
13 houses later, in March of 1993, and he didn't see that area.
14 Q. All right. Thank you.
15 MR. JONES: I have one question which I'd like to put in private
16 session, please.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's go into private session for a couple of
18 minutes, please.
19 [Private session]
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
12 [Open session]
13 JUDGE AGIUS: We are back in open session.
14 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Now, I want to ask a question which relates to P566, which is the
16 Masic book.
17 MR. JONES: The one complication, Your Honours, is that yesterday
18 you were provided with an extract and you'll recall that one page had a
19 photograph of the witness, and I believe you removed the other page which
20 in fact I want to refer the witness to.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's -- we had two separate documents, and I'm not
22 even in the position to confirm that they were both from the same book.
23 We kept that two-page exhibit which has allegedly the photo of Mr. Buric
24 in the Bosnian/Serb version, front page, and the other document was
25 withdrawn by the Prosecution. In other words, they said we don't -- we
1 are not going to make use of it, so we never saw it.
2 MR. JONES: I might have to reintroduce it then.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not a problem at all.
4 MR. JONES: The ERN -- because we might not have copies for
5 everyone now. We can provide copies tomorrow. I have one copy which I
6 can --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I think they might still be available from
8 yesterday; I don't know.
9 MR. JONES: It's 01099834 is Bosnian. And there's the English.
10 That's one spare copy in any event.
11 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I don't object to new
12 evidence going in as long as it's to clarify a point in the evidence.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I mean, let's wait and see. Let's not jump to
15 MR. DI FAZIO: I assume that's why it's there.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: What's the purpose of trying to reintroduce this
17 document into the records during re-examination? What are you seeking to
19 MR. JONES: Well, Your Honour, it goes to the reliability of this
20 book which was a matter in cross-examination, which was -- it was put to
21 the witness that actually since he hadn't read the book all he could say
22 is that the one small section which I'd showed to him wasn't accurate.
23 This was distributed by the Prosecution, and we noted that there is
24 something else where the witness's name is mentioned and it was in the
25 extract with his photograph, so it seemed that only a matter of one
1 question. I can clarify.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: No problem, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I would expect you to say no problem. But we can
4 make use of this document now, and as soon as you finish with it we give
5 it a number, an exhibit number, and Madam Usher will seek to have it
6 photocopied --
7 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: -- for everyone. Thank you.
9 MR. JONES: It's the section in English, it's under the
10 heading, "organisation of the local authorities and possibilities of
11 defence." And it says in English, there we go: "All activities of the
12 local authorities during the combat activities were done by the War
13 Presidency and the executive authority of Srebrenica municipality, War
14 Presidency, executive board was done by." And then there is a list of
15 names, and the very last name is Nesib Buric. Do you see that, Mr. Buric?
16 Do you see that? I have a question.
17 A. I see it. Yes. I saw it.
18 Q. Simply this: If we read combat activities to refer to the period
19 before demilitarisation, were you actually involved in the activities of
20 local authorities or the activities of the Srebrenica municipality during
21 combat activities?
22 A. The first time I went down into Srebrenica - I'm now talking about
23 the April 1992, March 1993 period - was on the 23rd of March, 1993 to the
24 Kragljivoda line, the village of Osmace and so on. So that was the first
25 time I came to Srebrenica. This actually is incorrect.
1 Q. That was all. That was simply it.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you.
3 This will become Defence Exhibit D7 --
4 THE REGISTRAR: D749, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: 749, D749.
6 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Now, Witness Buric, you were asked some questions about offensive
8 and defensive use of land-mines today, if you recall that. I just want to
9 ask you four questions in that regard and you can provide short answers if
10 possible. You told us how in Fakovici on the 6th of October 1992, the
11 Serbs had mined dead bodies of Muslim civilians. Are you able to say
12 whether that's an offensive or a defensive use of land-mines? Do you see
13 any meaningful distinction there?
14 A. I said that their mines were used as means of combat. They knew
15 we would come to gather the corpses and they were mined, meaning the idea
16 was to destroy as many Muslims as possible.
17 Q. Thank you. You've also told us how the Serbs mined Muslim
18 villages, for example Zanjevo. And you might have mentioned Voljavica as
19 well; I'm not sure. But in any event you said that Muslim villages where
20 the inhabitants had been expelled were nonetheless mined by the Serbs.
21 My question is this: Did the presence of land-mines contribute to
22 the problems of starvation in the enclave? In other words, did they --
23 did they present an obstacle to people getting food?
24 A. Yes. Wherever Muslim civilians moved in search of food, the Serbs
25 would lay mines there, and if you were to take a map of the mined areas in
1 Srebrenica, you would find that 80 per cent of the Muslim villages had
2 minefields in them.
3 Q. All right. So if we imagined a situation where you're a group of
4 people surrounded by mines and you have no food and you're not able to go
5 out and get food because of those land-mines, do you see whether that's an
6 offensive or a defensive use of land-mines, if it's a meaningful
7 distinction even?
8 A. It would be the offensive use of land-mines.
9 Q. All right. And finally on this, I don't want to dwell too much,
10 but I don't know if you appreciate it but it was being suggested to you
11 that when Serbs put land-mines around their villages because they were
12 frightened they were cowering in their villages, fearing an attack by a
13 powerful Muslim army, that's the gist --
14 MR. DI FAZIO: That's exaggerated the point of the evidence. I
15 don't mind Mr. Jones clarifying that but he misstates what I put and the
16 effect of my cross-examination. I agree that it was put as a defensive --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Could you rephrase your question now.
18 In any case, the words have been said now, Mr. Di Fazio.
19 So perhaps you could rephrase your question.
20 MR. JONES: Yes.
21 Q. Simply this: When it comes to Serbs laying land-mines around
22 their villages, do you see that as a defensive use of land-mines or is it
23 still in the spirit of the use of -- the offensive use which you've
25 A. Offensive use.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. JONES: If the witness could be shown P21, please.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, P21, please, usher.
4 MR. JONES:
5 Q. Now, you were shown this document and it's simply to ask you this:
6 If we look at this -- this obviously relates to -- to Naser Oric. We see
7 at number 6, active policeman in the Srebrenica SGB, and then at B, it
8 says, corporal, BH army, scout.
9 Now, to your knowledge, was Naser Oric a corporal in the BH army,
10 and did he ever act as a scout?
11 A. I don't know.
12 Q. All right. Would a scout be the same thing as a courier?
13 A. No.
14 Q. All right. I'll leave that. Thank you very much.
15 P22, please. I'm moving through the exhibits as quickly as I can.
16 You were also shown this document. One point the name at the
17 bottom, Dragan Kovacevic, is that a Serb or Muslim name?
18 A. Dragan, I think that's a Serb name.
19 Q. All right. On this document, do you see any sign that this
20 document was ever received in Tuzla?
21 A. The 8th Operations Group in 1994 was in Srebrenica, so why would
22 this be received in Tuzla?
23 Q. Yes. That's fine. Thank you.
24 Now, you were asked about the interview which appeared in Dani,
25 which you spoke to a journalist. You were asked a number of questions
1 about that. I might get that in front of me for a moment.
2 Now, you explained what you meant when you used the expression
3 Naser, and it doesn't say Oric, I note, in the original, but the Naser who
4 honourably led us, and you explained what you meant by that, so I'm not
5 going to dwell on that.
6 I simply want to ask you this: I'm sorry, I'm just going to find
7 the reference.
8 Sorry, Your Honour, in the interests of time -- well, no.
9 There is an expression here where it says, and I think it's
10 attributed to you, "I'm a hundred per cent disabled, a brother of sehid."
11 And then there is a reference to a "sehid" family. Just to clarify that
12 point, can you explain what's meant by that, in particular, is that -- is
13 that anything to do with -- with Mujahedin and martyrs as we've come used
14 to the term in the context of other countries, or does it have some other
15 meaning in Bosnia?
16 A. I said after I was heavily wounded in the Srebrenica demilitarised
17 zone, I am a hundred per cent disabled person. My brother was killed,
18 meaning, also in the demilitarised zone. The word "sehid" is a Bosnian
19 word which means a person who is killed. A person who is killed, that
20 word, the word to denote this person, is sehid. A person who was killed
21 is a sehid. It's not a Mujahedin term or anything. It's a purely Bosnian
22 word, a word of Bosnian Muslims. The word sehid is used to denote a
23 person who was killed.
24 Q. Thank you. I thought that was worth clarifying.
25 MR. JONES: I'd like to ask a couple of questions about P570
1 and P571. Could the witness be shown those documents. And those are the
2 lists which he was shown purportedly from Osmace and from Biljeg. I think
3 it might help, as the Prosecution did, to have P80 as a comparison.
4 First I want to ask you this: Would you agree that it appears
5 that this document was prepared either with a typewriter or with the aid
6 of a computer? It's not handwritten, in other words.
7 A. No. It's either typed or drafted on a computer. I don't know.
8 Q. All right?
9 MR. DI FAZIO: Which document is the witness looking at? It's
10 just not clear --
11 MR. JONES: P570 it should be.
12 MR. DI FAZIO: P570, and that's -- thank you.
13 MR. JONES:
14 Q. In 1992 or early 1993 in Osmace, did you have either computers or
15 a computer or a typewriter?
16 A. No. Not a single one.
17 Q. Did you have electricity?
18 A. No.
19 Q. All right. You described this document as a census. By that, do
20 you mean a census of the whole population or just the male population? We
21 noted that there are only male names in this list.
22 A. Probably a census of the male population in one village.
23 Q. Right. And then when we look at the document which is very
24 similar from Biljeg, you told us the other day how in Biljeg it was a
25 wooded area, you even compared it to the Sehiti camp, or spoke about it in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the same breath. To your knowledge, did they have computers or
2 typewriters in 1992?
3 A. Yes.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. What? To your knowledge, did they have
5 computers or typewriters in 1992 in Biljeg.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. I'm not getting a
7 translation. But no, no.
8 MR. JONES: Yes, I think just to be clear for the record he said,
9 yes, confirming the --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: The answer to your previous question was yes. And I
11 would have found it really difficult to --
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, there were none, no, no. I
13 didn't say yes. I said that there were none.
14 MR. JONES: All right. Thank you.
15 Q. It was also pointed out to you that many of the people in these
16 lists were of fighting age or military-capable age. Two questions in that
17 regard. Was everyone at the time who was capable of fighting in fact
18 armed with a rifle and actually engaged in fighting?
19 A. No, no. I said throughout the whole period of resistance, it was
20 all on a voluntary basis. Only those lads who wanted to go on a voluntary
21 basis, there were no lists, nothing to report, to, nothing like that. It
22 was strictly on a voluntary basis.
23 Q. Thank you. Yes, one thing on the Biljeg document. It's right,
24 isn't it, that in Biljeg there were a lot of refugees from Skelani?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, it was suggested to you that there weren't many old people in
2 these lists. Do you know what happened to a large number of the old
3 people, old Muslims, in the Skelani area in May 1992?
4 A. All the people that did not manage to flee to the woods were
5 killed in Skelani, Lijesce, Resavici, Dodrak [phoen]. All the people who
6 did not manage to escape were killed. I said the elderly, the retarded,
7 the disabled. They were all killed.
8 Q. Right. Thank you. Now it was pointed out to you that in the P570
9 Osmace list we have 121 people, a very precise number, and we have 136
10 people for Biljeg. And then it was pointed out that in P80, those exact
11 same figures appear for Biljeg and for Osmace. I think Osmace company and
12 the Biljeg company.
13 Now, my question is, and only if you can help us, do you think
14 that possibly P80 was based on these documents as the source? In other
15 words, that they are based on the same information rather than independent
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Why are you asking the witness this question? I
18 mean, it's a submission that you can make at a later stage, but --
19 MR. JONES: Right, okay. That's fair enough.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think the witness can help us.
21 MR. JONES: Okay. Thank you, Your Honour. I will make that
22 submission. It's already on the record anyway.
23 If I could show the witness P75 quickly. I am bearing in mind the
24 time. I hope to finish shortly.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Because we need more than ten minutes.
1 MR. JONES:
2 Q. In fact, rather than showing the witness the document I think I
3 can take the point this way: You were shown a document in which it was
4 stated that Atif Krdzic was from Srebrenica and in that context you gave
5 evidence that in fact he had worked in Srebrenica. Before you retired,
6 where were you working?
7 A. I worked at the Brezani elementary school before the war. And, as
8 I said, Atif worked in Srebrenica before the war. And I said clearly that
9 he lived in Osmace and Bratunac, meaning that he worked in Srebrenica and
10 lived at Osmace and Bratunac.
11 Q. To make this point really, after the war, where were you living
12 and working?
13 A. After the war, in 1993, I lived in Srebrenica as a refugee and an
14 expellee. With the fall of Srebrenica and after my wounding, I lived in
16 Q. Did you work in Tuzla?
17 A. Yes. In the Srebrenica municipal office which was formed in
19 Q. You work in Tuzla. Are you from Tuzla?
20 A. No. I am from Osmace, and I worked in Tuzla.
21 Q. Thank you. Now, concerning Fakovici, you were asked about
22 documents which were recovered from Fakovici and whether they would have
23 been useful as a matter of intelligence. You told us how you'd captured a
24 certain amount of weapons and ammunition in Fakovici. At that stage, did
25 you actually need information from some other source as to what you had
1 captured or, as far as you were concerned, was that sufficient, you had
2 what you had and didn't need to be told what you had?
3 A. No. We were not interested in information at all.
4 Q. All right. Is there any way that information -- well, I'll
5 withdraw that question.
6 I want to explore very briefly, because we are short on time, the
7 notion of the voluntariness of fighters in this period in 1992, and you've
8 told us a lot about that. But it was suggested to you that perhaps that
9 it was strange that people might be able to just come and go and leave an
10 action in the midst of it.
11 Now, firstly, or you've told us that actually people did leave the
12 lines on at least one occasion. At the same time, though, people often
13 remained, did they not, in an action even though they could leave? They
14 remained and they fought in the action?
15 A. I mentioned just once but it happened on several occasions that a
16 part of the volunteers would leave the lines and then come back, as soon
17 as they heard. It wasn't controlled. I mean, somebody may or may not
18 have been able to have any influence on another person.
19 Q. Yes. And simply this: When people did remain, when they did
20 actually fight together, at the risk to their lives, why did they do that
21 rather than simply leaving and going home?
22 A. I said in -- at the beginning of my testimony that this was a
23 struggle for survival. A man knows -- I mean, he can run wherever he
24 wants to, but his turn will come. And like I said, people went from
25 Kragljivoda to Osmace, from Osmace somewhere else. But then their turn
1 came. It was just a struggle for survival. That was the only thing a
2 person had. Their lives. And they were going to lose that as well. Like
3 I said, in the beginning of my testimony, 12.000 people lost their lives
4 from that area.
5 Q. Thank you. I just have three last questions. For Fakovici, would
6 it be a fair summary of your testimony that there was an attack from
7 Fakovici towards Joseva and Jagodnja and that then you were in pursuit of
8 the Serbs and in fact you pressed the advantage and went into Fakovici?
9 Is that a fair summary of what you were telling us?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous translation continues] ... answer yes or
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones, next question.
14 MR. JONES: Yes.
15 Q. There were questions about whether you had said that Muslim
16 civilians were leaving Fakovici with wheat bags or somewhere else and you
17 referred to Zanjevo. Is Zanjevo part of Fakovici or is it part of some
18 other village?
19 A. Muslim villages that are bigger than Fakovici is Zanjevo,
20 Abdulici, that's right next to that village. Zanjevo is an ethnically
21 pure Muslim village, and it's larger than the Serbian village of Fakovici.
22 Q. All right. But it's part of Fakovici; correct? The broader area
23 of Fakovici.
24 A. I don't know how that municipality is organised. That's the
25 Bratunac municipality. I corrected myself. I didn't say that they went
1 from Fakovici but from the Muslim village of Zanjevo. That's where they
2 were carrying the sacks from. I don't know. I assume that the Serbs
3 organised the local communes in such a way that that would be the Fakovici
4 local commune.
5 Q. Thank you. And the final question in relation to D469, an exhibit
6 which you were shown and you were asked about whether it was a dawn attack
7 in Kravica. My question is simply this: Aside from what your group was
8 doing in the direction in which you were travelling, do you know what was
9 happening in the whole broad area of Kravica? Do you know when any
10 actions or combat occurred in the whole area of Kravica? Or do you simply
11 know what your group was doing?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: On that particular day, that is, the 7th of January.
13 MR. JONES: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 7th of January, all I knew is
15 what my group was doing on the Avdagina Njive-Kajici-Kravica direction.
16 MR. JONES: Thank you.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Jones.
18 Judge Brydensholt.
19 Questioned by the Court:
20 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: Yes. When this Kadir Hamidovic arrived, how
21 long do you think he has been under his way from Glogova? Do you have any
22 idea? Did he tell you anything of that?
23 A. He didn't tell us anything. Maybe -- I don't know if he walked to
24 Srebrenica, four or five hours, or two or three hours by truck to Osmace
25 and then another hour to actually reach Osmace. So he needed at least
1 seven or eight hours.
2 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: You mentioned again the possibility that he
3 got a lift on a truck. Were there at all truck traffic on that road, that
4 means Muslim truck traffic?
5 A. No. This was very rare. Perhaps a tractor would pass by on the
6 road. I'm talking about January or before January. People did as best
7 they could. They took fuel from the electrical power stations. There was
8 a shortage of fuel so these vehicles were not used very often.
9 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: When your group then decided to go to Kravica,
10 how were you transferred there?
11 A. I said that we walked to the asphalt road and then we took a lorry
12 to Srebrenica. From Srebrenica we walked to -- I don't know exactly which
13 villages, Milacevici, Pale, Avdagina Njive.
14 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: So again there were lorry to transfer you to
16 A. Yes.
17 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: How -- how could you explain that there was a
18 lorry there? Was that just by chance or was that something you had agreed
19 with somebody that it should be there? You were a big group, weren't you?
20 A. In our village, it's a rich village with a lot of tractors,
21 trucks, these were private trucks, two or three, and a lot of tractors.
22 I'm talking about five or six. But there was no fuel. I don't know how
23 they managed to get some fuel, but we took the truck from our village to
25 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: Well, when you came to Kravica and the attack
1 started, did you notice any trenches?
2 A. Yes. We noticed Serb trenches, which they had their own trenches
3 on the approaches to Glogova and Avdagina Njive but our people didn't have
4 them, no.
5 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: Were those trenches manned when you attacked?
6 A. Not on the 7th. They were celebrating, as I said, and on the
7 right side, there was four-barrel Flak which, at that point in time, as
8 they were celebrating, was covering the entire area.
9 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: During the afternoon at around 4.00, you got a
10 message, I understand, that Kragljivoda was under attack. How did you get
11 that message?
12 A. I don't know exactly. Somebody from the group, probably as a joke
13 or, I don't know for what reason, said that Kragljivoda was attacked, and
14 we went back at about 4.00. I don't know.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you mean to say -- I want to make sure that the
16 interpretation is correct because it says, I don't know exactly. Somebody
17 from the group, probably as a joke or, I don't know for what reason, said
18 that Kragljivoda was attacked, and we went back at about 4.00. I don't
19 know. I mean, would you -- would you have reacted and organised a group
20 and went to help upon a joke? Or a possible joke? I mean, I don't think
21 these were matters that called for a possible joke, you know.
22 A. Let me just say this: The main information was conveyed orally.
23 There was no means of communications. No communication devices existed in
24 my group throughout that time -- we are talking about until March.
25 Meaning that we understood that as correct information and we went back.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 We received that information that Kragljivoda was attacked, and we
2 returned at about 4.00. I'm talking about my group.
3 JUDGE ESER: I have a follow-up question to this Kravica event.
4 Now you gave testimony that you --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, before you proceed, I want to make sure
6 it's okay with the interpreters and the technicians and the rest of the
7 staff that we go beyond our time for a few minutes. I see okay from the
8 left-hand side and okay from the right-hand side. I take it that there
9 are no objections. Go ahead.
10 JUDGE ESER: Now, you had testified that you have been in Kravica
11 with a group of about 50 people. Then you told us we have been informed
12 to go back and who decided that you would go back?
13 A. Dudic, Mirsad was with us in our group, and he said, Let's go, we
14 will return to Osmace, or actually go up there towards Kragljivoda because
15 Kragljivoda was attacked.
16 JUDGE ESER: So he decided to -- that you would go back and all
17 the people followed this decision?
18 A. Yes.
19 JUDGE ESER: Now, this was a decision in former instances you
20 always would deny that there was a decision, and I had the impression
21 that, for instance, with regard to distribution of ammunition, that you
22 would not call a decision if it was taken spontaneous. Is that a correct
23 interpretation of your image, or what you mean with decision? Or would
24 you agree that a decision can also be spontaneous?
25 A. To clear this up, spontaneous versus decision, this was an area
1 that was 50 to 60 kilometres away from Osmace. Hence, we had to go back
2 on foot. We went on foot as far as Srebrenica, and then by a truck. So
3 whoever was left behind the group had to go on foot for days, and it was
4 cold. So they obeyed for that reason, and I reiterate that everything was
6 JUDGE ESER: That wasn't actually my point. I only wanted to make
7 sure that even a decision can be made on the spot, but somebody has to say
8 that because this way or we go that way.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Make it to him as a proposition. Would you agree
10 that a decision can also be a spontaneous -- can be spontaneously taken?
11 Just answer yes or no. I mean, it's a plain question.
12 A. Yes, spontaneous.
13 JUDGE ESER: Now, on your way to Kravica, you told us that "there
14 were about 50 lads in my group." This is on page 1078 -- 10718 in the
15 transcript. You said: "And during the night we were joined by the lads
16 from Miholjevine, Mosici, Delici led by Mefail, nickname Zis." And you
17 would say: "And they came to the area independently of us."
18 Now, what does it mean, "independently of us"? What do you mean
19 by independently?
20 A. Independently? Well, that word means that we were not in our
21 group and we saw them for the first time between the 6th and the 7th. So
22 they didn't come with our group. I don't know how they came there.
23 JUDGE ESER: You said "independently of us." So would it be
24 possible or do you know whether the others from Miholjevina, Mosici,
25 Delici came together?
1 A. I don't know.
2 JUDGE ESER: Okay. Now, with regard to distinguishing civilians
3 and fighters, you had told us in connection with Fakovici, that is on
4 page 10680 -- 106 -- "Most of the people from my group had weapons but we
5 had no coordination, no links with our civilians. We were interested in
6 them and they were not interested -- we were not interested in them and
7 they were not interested in us."
8 Now, how did you -- could you distinguish civilians from fighters?
9 A. We didn't. Only by weapons. By people within armed groups who
10 had a rifle. Otherwise there was no difference.
11 JUDGE ESER: You told us in another connection that among your
12 group you had those who had weapons and others who had no weapons.
13 A. Yes.
14 JUDGE ESER: Now --
15 A. So there was no distinction. Everyone was wearing, say, a
16 civilian shirt, pants, trousers, a jacket, and there was no distinction.
17 Only if someone had a rifle that meant that he was counted within the
19 JUDGE ESER: Now, if I could -- could I conclude, when you
20 said "we were not interested in civilians," that you were not interested
21 in people which did not have weapons? Although they belonged to your
23 A. No. That's not what I meant. I said the movement, if I may call
24 them carpet-baggers, that I meant their movement.
25 JUDGE ESER: Okay. Thank you. No further.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Judge Eser. I'm not going to put any
2 questions to you.
3 MR. JONES: Your Honour, may I put -- I hesitate to ask but I have
4 one question. It's just in light of the questions put by Your Honours in
5 reference to a joke. I'd like to clarify, if I can, with one question
6 what that might be about, because I'm not comfortable with that.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead, because it's still there in the transcript
8 and not say that you are never used to it. Go ahead, but please be as
9 short as possible.
10 MR. JONES: Very short.
11 Further re-examination by Mr. Jones:
12 Q. Mr. Buric, when it comes to your group going from Osmace to
13 Kravica, was it always your intention to go back to Osmace after the
14 action or were you planning to remain there?
15 A. No. We went with the intention to return.
16 Q. And when you mentioned a joke, and correct me if I've -- if I'm
17 under a misapprehension, but was it something of the nature of someone
18 saying, We better get back or we will be attacked, too, or something like
19 that or was it something else that you had in mind? What sort of a joke
20 was it?
21 A. No. It was -- the correct information was that the Serbs launched
22 an attack at Kragljivoda from all artillery weapons. They were doing that
23 regularly. And their aviation participated as well as their artillery.
24 From all positions.
25 I wanted to add something. I felt the need to explain something.
1 Since I worked in the school, I can ask you what has a school done in
2 Srebrenica that it should receive a grenade or a shell or a bomb from a
3 plane? There were refugees in the high school centre and the plane
4 dropped a bomb there.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I'll put the question myself.
6 You mentioned a joke earlier on. You said I don't know, it could
7 have been a joke. I mean, someone could have said it as a joke. What
8 would -- what would the joke sound like? What would this person say as a
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Just to tell you, Your Honour,
11 perhaps I may offer a fact.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Please answer the question. Mr. Buric, we are here
13 over the time. Otherwise we will bring you here again tomorrow. I mean,
14 we have to come to an end. You mentioned a joke. You said it possibly
15 could have been a joke. I don't know. That's what you said. What would
16 have been the joke? What would have been the words used as a joke? This
17 is all I want. It's a short sentence, which would be --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was no joke. The attack was
19 real. I may have used a wrong word, but the attack against Kragljivoda
20 was underway.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones. If you want to ask another
22 question, but that will be the final one.
23 MR. JONES: I'm satisfied with that.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Buric, that brings to an end your testimony
25 here. Before you are escorted out by our usher and you are assisted to
1 your return home, I wish to thank you on behalf of Judge Brydensholt,
2 Judge Eser and myself but also on behalf of the Tribunal for having been
3 kind enough to come over and give evidence in this trial.
4 Also, on behalf of everyone present here, I wish you a safe
5 journey back home.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And before we quit, you will allow me
8 just a few seconds to thank the interpreters, the technicians and all the
9 members of the Registry and the staff, plus the cooperation of both
10 parties, to have made it possible for this witness to go back according to
11 schedule. I appreciate it all on behalf of the Trial Chamber and on
12 behalf of the Tribunal.
13 We will meet again tomorrow morning at 9.00 with a new witness.
14 Right. Thank you.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.56 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 14th of September
17 2005, at 9.00 a.m.