1 Thursday, 27 October 2005
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.23 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Registrar, good afternoon to you. Could you
6 kindly call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-03-68, the Prosecutor versus Naser Oric.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
10 Good afternoon to you, Mr. Oric. Can you follow the proceedings
11 in your own language?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours,
13 ladies and gentlemen, yes, I can follow the proceedings in my own
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, please sit down.
16 And Mr. Wubben, appearances for the Prosecution?
17 MR. WUBBEN: Good afternoon, Your Honours and also good afternoon
18 to the Defence. My name is Jan Wubben lead counsel for the Prosecution.
19 I'm here together with co-counsel Mr. Gramsci di Fazio, Ms. Joanne
20 Richardson, and our case manager, Mrs. Donnica Henry-Frijlink.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Wubben and good afternoon to you
22 and your team.
23 Appearances for Naser Oric?
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours, my
25 name is Vasvija Vidovic and together with Mr. John Jones, I appear for Mr.
1 Naser Oric. We have with us our legal assistant, Ms. Adisa Mehic, and our
2 CaseMap manager, Mr. Geoff Roberts, and I wish to bid good day to my
3 learned colleagues from the OTP.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Vidovic and good afternoon to you
5 and your team. Any preliminaries? None? Later on in the day, probably
6 almost most definitely before 4.00 or before the Registry closes its
7 doors, we will file the Rule 68 decision. All right?
8 Any -- I hear you have no preliminaries? I have seen your lists
9 of proposed list of documents. Is that indicative that you will probably
10 finish your cross-examination by the end of business tomorrow?
11 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm certainly planning to. As I stated yesterday,
12 that's my plan.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no. Because if you think that is no longer
14 feasible, I will give instructions to Madam Registrar to contact the
15 Victims and Witnesses Section to start preparing for alternative
17 MR. DI FAZIO: I don't think you need be alarmed by that list. I
18 may even not use that. I do that to actually cover myself just in case I
19 want to.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: As you see, Mr. Di Fazio and Mr. Jones, and the
21 rest, we use our discretion. We distinguish between one witness and the
22 other, and put our foot down where we need to. Otherwise, we don't. So
23 let's bring the witness in, please.
24 He may have gone home already.
25 [The witness entered court]
1 SIDIK ADEMOVIC: [Resumed]
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 Examined by Ms. Vidovic: [Continued]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you, Mr. Ademovic. I hope the
5 earphones are in good functioning order and that you are receiving
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. Thank
8 you. Yes. I am receiving interpretation.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Your testimony will continue very soon, and it is
10 always in terms of the solemn declaration that you made before you started
11 giving evidence on the first day. I'm just reminding you of that.
12 Ms. Vidovic will finish with her examination-in-chief. She is
13 going to do her utmost to finish the earliest possible and then
14 Mr. Di Fazio will take you up for cross-examination and hopefully finish
15 by tomorrow. Thank you.
16 Madam Vidovic.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Ademovic, as you heard we are pressed for time
19 and I ask you wherever possible to answer request a yes or no or just with
20 a brief answer, thank you.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could I have the usher's assistance
22 in showing the witness a document by the command of the Drina Corps, a new
23 document which is called "request for assistance and engagement of
24 appropriate unit." This is a Drina Corps command document addressed to
25 the commander of the eastern Bosnia corps bearing the following number,
2 JUDGE AGIUS: While this is being distributed, Madam Vidovic and
3 Mr. Wubben, and the rest of the staff, we have succeeded in moving
4 tomorrow's sitting from the afternoon to the morning. I just received a
5 confirmation of it now. I take it that -- I mean, I gave instructions
6 that this is only confirmed after that I have the consent of everybody.
7 So I'm just informing you that tomorrow morning, we will have a sitting
8 from 9.00 until quarter to 2.00 rather than in the afternoon. All right?
9 Thank you.
10 [Trial chamber and registrar confer]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Your question, Ms. Vidovic. The document has
12 been distributed.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Witness, first of all, please look at the date of the document,
15 26th of December 1992. I will quote a small portion of the document. In
16 the first part of the document, it is stated, "Please help us physically
17 defend Bratunac town by engaging your unit under Mauzer's command. We
18 believe that the engagement of his unit would be most effectively carried
19 out along the Milici-Rogac-Lipenovici-Martinci-Kravica-Bratunac operation
20 axis. By using this axis we would achieve the following. We would
21 separate the enemy forces of Srebrenica and Konjevic Polje. We would
22 surround the enemy forces in the Glogova mountain sector, Halilovici and
23 Velika Glogova villages and we would lift the blockade of Bratunac town to
24 the west."
25 Here is my brief question for you. The axis described herein the
1 Milici-Rogac-Lipenovici-Martinci-Kravica-Bratunac axis, how far apart is
2 that from Bratunac, if you know?
3 A. 15 kilometres is Kravica, Kravica, and the
4 Milici-Rogac-Lipenovici-Martinci some 20 kilometres away from Bratunac.
5 However, the entire area is contiguous to the area under my control.
6 Q. Therefore, Lipenovici-Martinci-Kravica, have I understood you
7 well? You meant that these were the villages that neighboured your
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. In late December 1992, did you find out about the arrival of new,
11 fresh Serbian forces from different directions to the area of Kravica?
12 A. Yes. Over my Motorola.
13 Q. Did you learn about the arrival of Mauzer and perhaps some other
15 A. Yes, Mauzer and Krajisnik.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could this document be
18 assigned a number.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, certainly, Madam Vidovic, this document will
20 become Defence Exhibit D853. It consists of one page in B/C/S with ERN
21 04293309, and two pages in English. Thank you.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I wish to correct the
23 transcript. The witness said "Yes, the arrival of Mauzer, and
24 Krajisniks." That can be found 14.34.14. Is that the eighth line? The
25 8th line, 14.34.14.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: The question was, "Did you learn about the arrival
2 of Mauzer and perhaps some other units?", and the answer as it appears on
3 the transcript says "Yes, Mauzer and Krajisnik." What did you --
4 something wrong here, it seems. What did you answer to that question,
5 Mr. Ademovic?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Mauzer and units of the Krajina
7 men, therefore units from the Krajina area, Western Bosnia. The part
8 around Banja Luka to be more specific.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: That was necessary because Krajisnik has got
10 different connotations inside the four walls of this Tribunal.
11 Yes, Madam Vidovic?
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you could the usher please
13 show the witness the document by the Main Staff of the Republika Srpska
14 army dated 5 January 1993? The document was signed by the assistant
15 commander for logistics, Major General Djordje Djukic bearing the number
16 04261922. I will briefly quote from the document.
17 "The Main Staff of the army of Republika Srpska," and it says
18 "sent to the Drina Corps command." "By monitoring the conception of
19 ammunition from your daily logistics reports of 1st January 1993, 2nd
20 January, and 3rd January 1993, we have established that on these three
21 days, you used enormous quantities of certain types of ammunition. For
22 example, consumption of 7.6-millimetre bullets for automatic rifles alone
23 was 256.000 in the above three days, in brackets, which is the equivalent
24 of the total researches of this type in the 27th POB. In view of the
25 situation with ammunition reserves at our disposal, such a rate of
1 consumption is unsustainable. Serious attention should be paid to that."
2 Mr. Ademovic, is it true or not that the Drina Corps covered the
3 area of Podrinje.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. To the best of your knowledge, in early January 1993, the three
6 days mentioned in the document, namely 1st, 2nd and 3rd January, where
7 were the combat activities of the Drina Corps focused?
8 A. The areas of Susnjari, Brezevo Polje, Jaglici, Glogova, and the
9 region of Krivic [phoen] Polje. You can see what the consumption of
10 ammunition was and how high it was according to this document. For
11 instance, the consumption of 7.6-millimetre bullets, this document refers
12 to only one calibre, whereas at that period, we were being attacked by all
13 types of weaponry available, infantry weapons, artillery, and aviation.
14 Q. Witness the 256.000 bullets only refer to the ammunition of the
15 automatic rifles, is that true?
16 A. Yes, and only to the 1-calibre type of ammunition.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could this document please be
19 assigned a number, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. This document will become Defence Exhibit
21 D854, consists of two pages, one in English, one in Serbo-Croat, reference
22 number ERN number 04261922.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. In connection with this, Mr. Ademovic, I will ask you as follows:
25 Is it not true that the Serbs in this particular period, and I'm referring
1 to this several days in early January, were carrying out an extensive
2 offensive in the entire area of Susnjari, Bret -- Cizic [phoen] Polje,
3 Jaglici and Glogova?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. What was your personal reaction to that? I mean you personally.
6 And those who were with you in Susnjari?
7 A. I got in touch with the leaders of my groups and I deployed my men
8 wherever I could in order for them to let everyone know what was in store
9 for us that we were practically going to be destroyed.
10 Q. I just want to clarify one matter. Here it is stated "I got in
11 touch with the leaders of my groups." Which groups?
12 A. The groups that were nearby in Jaglici and Brezova Njiva. Those
13 were the areas under my command.
14 Q. When you say "my groups," does it mean that they fell under your
15 command or not?
16 A. No. In my area.
17 Q. You're referring to the adjacent groups to yours?
18 A. Yes, Jaglici and Brezova Njiva.
19 Q. What was going on during the night between the 6th and the 7th
20 January 1993 or were you able to listen in to the Serbian communications?
21 A. Yes. In the course of the afternoon on the 6th and in the course
22 of the night between the 6th and the 7th as I was listening into their
23 communications I realised that they were preparing for a large-scale
24 offensive and that the people in Glogova were in harm's way. According to
25 the information I heard, the thrust of the attack was to be directed at
1 Glogova from the direction of Bratunac, and Jelavci [phoen].
2 Q. Very well. Tell you what -- tell us what you did next.
3 A. Since some of the groups that were nearby were informed, we had
4 the leaders of the group from Milacevici, Brosevici, and the adjacent
5 group in Jaglici and Brezova Njiva arriving to our aid. They realised
6 that unless something is done, we are going to be wiped out. New refugees
7 were imminent and that is why we decided that we should do something about
9 Q. Who took this decision?
10 A. All of us, including myself.
11 Q. Did you set out in some direction and where?
12 A. Yes. Across Djermani towards Jezestica, not because it was
13 Christmas and because these religious holidays were not to be respected
14 but for different reasons, namely we knew that on that particular day,
15 they were going to be drunk and less careful. Another reason was that a
16 column of several thousand refugees from Glogova were in danger of total
17 extermination and also because in my region there were several thousand
18 refugees who were starving. Therefore, the third reason was the food.
19 Q. Mr. Ademovic, now you indicated the reasons behind such a
20 decision; is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Tell us, did you set out in the direction of Jezestica and how
23 many of you were there in the group?
24 A. Yes, we set out at about 10.00 and there were a total of around 50
25 of us.
1 Q. Were you armed?
2 A. Yes. We were armed. We had nothing to lose. We would have died
3 either way.
4 Q. At what time did you arrive in the area of Jezestica?
5 A. Across to Djermani and into Stara Jezestica I arrived at around
6 10.00 and I saw --
7 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is not sure of the time.
8 A. Where I saw a number of people who were fighting over a corn cob.
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation].
10 Q. Did you know where these civilians were from?
11 A. No. I didn't know them.
12 Q. Did you stay while in Jezestica or did you move on?
13 A. Yes, we moved on to Karici but it was difficult to advance because
14 there was shooting still and, upon our arrival in Kajici, intense shelling
15 started upon the entire area. We already came upon injured and wounded
16 and even dead civilians. Some of my soldiers were also injured, and we
17 could hardly advance because we will to take certain measures.
18 Q. Mr. Ademovic, let me ask you the following. The interpreter did
19 not catch the time you mentioned as the time of arrival in Jezestica.
20 A. At around 10.00, 10.00 in the morning.
21 Q. Can you tell us at what time did you arrive in the area of
23 A. In the afternoon hours, sometime after 12.00 p.m., because we were
24 advancing slowly. I had several men who were wounded. And we were under
25 intense shelling from the Serb forces from the direction of Rogac.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Was the shelling also directed at Kajici?
2 A. Yes, I've already stated that already in Kajici several of my men
3 were wounded, some of them seriously, some lightly, and even some
4 civilians were wounded.
5 Q. Was that the reason why you stopped there?
6 A. Yes. That but also the -- because the approach road was very
7 difficult to pass. It was in and around Kravica that the fighting was
8 going on from all sorts of infantry weapons. Q. Upon Kravica or from
10 A. No, no. From Kravica, from houses, from the school, from the
12 Q. Very well. As far as I've understood what you were saying you did
13 not go into Kravica, did you?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Let us leave Kravica for a while. I want to turn to some other
16 issues now. Is it not true that very soon you received information that
17 you had to return to your area because of a counterattack?
18 A. Yes. Some of the men from my group remained at Ravni Buljim.
19 That's the elevation point 820. From where -- which was constantly under
20 attack from the area of Rogac. That was my area. That was constantly
21 under artillery and infantry fire. And the attack against that area
23 Q. In the subsequent days after the 7th of January 1993, did you have
24 any information to the effect that the civilians were leaving your area to
25 go in the direction of Kravica?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did they -- did some of them get killed over there?
3 A. Yes. There was intense shelling upon the civilians and many of
4 them were massacred.
5 Q. Did you try to prevent them from going there?
6 A. Yes. Having been aware of what was going on there, and besides
7 one could see that for himself, despite that, they were hungry, they could
8 not be dissuaded and even if one tried to dissuade them, they stayed
9 there, lingered on, and found different reasons why they had to go out in
10 search of food. The most imminent reason being that they don't want to
11 watch their children starve.
12 Q. Very well. We will go back to Kravica later on, if time will
13 allow us. I just want to show you some documents now.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher show the witness
15 Prosecution Exhibit 290?
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, P80.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. This is the document by the staff of the armed forces of
19 Srebrenica, 19 September 1993, and that's the delivery of the information
20 on the breakdown of the formation structure of Srebrenica armed forces
21 during the past period. And under item 1 it's stated on 20th May 1992,
22 the Srebrenica TO staff was formed in Bajramovici. From 17 April 1992 to
23 mid-October 1992 the first regional units were formed under the auspices
24 of the TO of a regional character therefore.
25 I would like to dwell on this for a while. Mr. Ademovic, first of
1 all, in May 1992, were you aware of a meeting in Bajramovici where the
2 Srebrenica TO staff was formed?
3 A. No. I've heard about this for the first time in Nijaz Masic's
4 book or, rather, I read it there for the first time.
5 Q. Very well. Do you know whether some of the local group leaders
6 from Jaglici and Brezova Njiva attended the meeting?
7 A. No. They were my neighbours and I was in touch with them.
8 Q. Very well. Until October 1992, in relation to your groups, did
9 you use the term Territorial Defence on the ground?
10 A. No. These were the groups or units, as people said later on. In
11 essence they were groups of people from Susnjari, Jaglici. There was a
12 group from Brezova Njiva, a group from Slatina, and so on.
13 Q. When you talked about these units among yourselves, how would you
14 refer to other groups, for example?
15 A. I used to say Zulfo's men, Sidik's men, and so on.
16 Q. In the period from the beginning of the war, until October 1992,
17 were you active as part of Potocari?
18 A. No, independently, in my area of Susnjari, because I was
19 physically cut off and it was not possible.
20 Q. The transcript reads "as part of Potocari." Did you understand me
21 to mean were you part of any military formation, any part of a group in
23 A. No.
24 Q. Did anyone from Potocari --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous interpretation continues] ... because this
1 only made it worse actually.
2 When Madam Vidovic asked you the question in the period from the
3 beginning of the war until October 1992, whether you were active as part
4 of Potocari, what did you understand? What did you understand her to
5 mean, to be asking you?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understood the question to mean
7 whether I was in the composition of Potocari, if I understood it properly.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that was what I asked.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: But when you further asked about whether -- did you
10 understand me to mean -- and he answered "no." So it had to be clarified
11 because as it was, it could have -- I mean we would have understood it
12 just the same but you never know whether we will still be here when the
13 case is decided. So let's proceed.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I hope you will.
15 Q. Witness, you understood us to be discussing whether up to
16 demilitarisation anyone from Potocari was your commander?
17 A. No. What I've been saying all along is that I was independent and
18 that I was not in the composition of Potocari.
19 Q. Did you write reports to anyone throughout 1992 and all the way up
20 to the demilitarisation in 1993?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Did you receive orders or instructions from anyone?
23 A. No. Throughout 1992, all the way up to the demilitarisation, the
24 answer is no.
25 Q. Now, please take a look at this document, which reads, "TO
1 Potocari." Look at some of the names on this list. For example, the
2 Peciste company, "Peciste company," it says here, "Nasir Sabanovic,
3 commander." I want to ask you the following: From the 20th of May 1992
4 until mid-October 1992, were there any companies on the ground in the
5 military sense?
6 A. No. There were only groups. There was no Peciste company. This
7 village was depopulated.
8 Q. Do you know anything about Nasir Sabanovic?
9 A. It says here "commander." He was never a commander. I know him
10 well from peace time. He's from a place called Podcaus in Bratunac and
11 for two or three months he was a refugee in Caus in the Sase and Bratunac
12 area. He couldn't have been a commander. And this did not exist.
13 Q. Thank you. A little lower down it says, Budak company, commander
14 Ibrahim Mandzic. Before October 1992, did Budak have any kind of corporal
15 makes. Explain to Their Honours where it is and what it is, exactly?
16 A. Budak is physically adjacent to Bratunac at the exit point of
17 Bratunac. And in that period of time, there were no people there because
18 every house had been leveled to the ground.
19 Q. Thank you. Now look at what it says Susnjari company. It says 59
20 military conscripts. How do you comment on this?
21 A. There were not that many women or children, let alone men, in my
23 Q. And were there any refugees in your group?
24 A. No. This was a voluntary group. As I said, my group had 25 lads.
25 As for this number here, 95, well, I can't tell lies.
1 Q. Up to October 1992, were you under the command of Naser Oric whom
2 you know well?
3 A. No. I was independent, a group leader.
4 Q. Throughout 1992, did you have areas of responsibility in the
5 military sense of the word, established on the ground?
6 A. We didn't know about areas of responsibility in the military
7 sense. We didn't even know what this was about. We each had our
8 territorial area where we were active, as I was in the area of Susnjari,
9 Jaglici, and Brezova Njiva. However, the military sense of the word area
10 of responsibility is something else. I think Their Honours know.
11 Q. Does this document then contain correct information?
12 A. No. This is quite contrary to the truth, to reality, that is.
13 Q. You -- we mentioned demilitarisation. Can you explain what this
14 meant for your group?
15 A. Demilitarisation in the true sense of the word, means the
16 cessation of all activities having to do with combat activities or any
17 other military activities. For my group, demilitarisation meant the
18 cessation of all activities and all 25 of my lads, including myself, we
19 all handed in our weapons as required by the UN representatives who had
20 come into my terrain.
21 Q. And what did the activity of the army consist of? What was it
22 reduced to in these conditions of demilitarisation?
23 A. Only filling in forms on paper, relating to military conscripts,
24 and other kinds of information. There was nothing active going on.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Excuse me, if Your Honours please, what army is the
1 witness referring to? It's not clear to me.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. If you think it needs clarification,
3 Madam Vidovic can address that.
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] The witness said -- replied,
5 Your Honour, but it's not in the record. I think he was referring to
6 Tuzla, and it could be heard. I will repeat the question to you.
7 Q. To what were the activities of what remained under
8 demilitarisation after demilitarisation reduced? And you mentioned Tuzla.
9 Could you repeat your answer?
10 A. It was reduced to listing military-able men, making lists, putting
11 people on lists. These were technical, administrative matters.
12 Q. Just a moment --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Please, I do need a confirmation from him that he
14 had mentioned Tuzla before.
15 MR. DI FAZIO: I didn't hear it.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: You are not following in B/C/S like I am not
17 following in B/C/S. That's why I want a confirmation, because it has been
18 suggested by Ms. Vidovic and I have no reason to doubt her word but I do
19 want a confirmation from him. After the demilitarisation, which army are
20 we talking about? Or you were talking about?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what you understood me
22 to say. It wasn't an army. It was a list of military-able men. Their
23 names were put down on paper, on paper. These were technical matters.
24 Putting down on paper. It was nothing to do with an army.
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I see now what led to
1 the confusion. I in fact asked what military activities were taking place
2 after the demilitarisation. My question was misinterpreted. What
3 activities of troops, soldiers, army happened? My question was
5 Q. Witness, what were the remaining military activities, if any, on
6 the ground? That's what evidently led to confusion.
7 A. I understood you quite well, and that's what I replied. Technical
8 matters. No military activities. In the military sense, a list of
9 military-able men. That is administration, no military activity.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: But did you at any time mention Tuzla in this
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: In which context? This is what we need to know so
14 that we close this chapter.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These were these technical matters
16 that were ordered after the demilitarisation, to put on paper.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. And where did these instructions come from?
19 A. From Tuzla. From Tuzla because they didn't accept us as legal
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I suggest that during
22 the break, Mr. Di Fazio and I listen to the recording, part of the
23 recording, and you will hear what -- that what I have just described was
24 said. And the witness has repeated it.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: If Mr. Di Fazio is interested in that, because I
1 don't think we are interested.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: No, I'm not -- with all due respect to
3 Madam Vidovic, I think everything has been explained to me and I'll deal
4 with this in cross-examination.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
6 Yes, Ms. Vidovic.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Very well.
8 Q. Let me ask you, did you know of the existence of a Paket
9 connection with Tuzla when you arrived in Srebrenica?
10 A. Yes, I learned about it when I came to Srebrenica and that's
11 precisely what this related to, what I've just said, the Paket
13 Q. Did you hear about an order to form the 8th operations group?
14 A. No.
15 Q. You have not heard of such an order. Have you heard of the
16 formation of a large military unit in early 1994?
17 A. Yes, I did hear about it but it only dealt with technical matters.
18 It was just putting down on paper. They insisted that we put these units
19 down on paper.
20 Q. What you are trying to say is that it did not exist on the ground
21 but only on paper?
22 A. Yes. That's what I've been saying all along. After the
23 demilitarisation, there was nothing on the ground. It was all only on
24 paper, because they refused to accept us as legal members of the army of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina. So we had to deal with these technical matters on
1 paper. There was no activity on the ground.
2 Q. Just a moment, sir. Did you become a member of some such unit on
3 paper, on the ground?
4 A. Yes. The 280th Brigade.
5 Q. Were you assigned some kind of duty at that time?
6 A. Yes. I was told that I had been assigned some kind of duty but I
7 never received any document concerning that.
8 Q. What duty was that?
9 A. Allegedly they said I was assistant commander for security and
10 then assistant to the commander for morale but I was never that. I've
11 never even saw that.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio?
13 MR. DI FAZIO: Sorry, Your Honours, just a clarification that I
14 suggest needs to be made for you to understand this evidence - excuse me -
15 that the witness said "they refused to accept us as legal members of the
16 army of" --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm not quite sure, I don't know if it's clear to
19 you. It's not clear to me whether the witness is referring to "they" as
20 being the army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I think it's
21 important to know because this is what this whole issue turns on, so --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I didn't quite understand it like that.
23 But perhaps you can put the question direct to the witness so that
24 he can answer.
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Who did not want to accept you as legal members of the army of
2 Bosnia and Herzegovina?
3 A. In those documents and instructions, that arrived in -- from Tuzla
4 through those Paket communications, if we did not fill in those forms,
5 they would not accept us and recognise us as members of the army of Bosnia
6 and Herzegovina because we were physically cut off from them and not
7 connected to them, and they sent those instructions through those
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we will now look at a
10 specific document which will clarify this.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, let's proceed.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] We shall clarify this through two
13 documents and I think it will become clear then.
14 Q. Did you participate in listing those units on paper?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. When you put down that group on paper, what did you personally
17 call it?
18 A. I called it the Susnjari unit.
19 Q. And what happened after that? Let's take it step by step. So you
20 write it down, and you send it through Paket communications to Tuzla, and
21 you write down Susnjari unit. What happens in Tuzla?
22 A. In Tuzla they reject that name for the unit and they say that the
23 units are not to be listed by village. Instead, they send us instructions
24 that we have to use military terminology to name the units.
25 Q. Thank you very much.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Would the usher now show the witness
2 a document? This is a document by the 2nd Corps command of the army of
3 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina dated 24th of February 1994, bearing
4 the following title: "Appointments and proposals for appointments.
5 Warning." Below one can see that it was delivered to the 8th OG and so on
6 and so forth.
7 Q. Witness, I will quote item 3 of the document. The telegram is
8 signed by a commander, Brigadier Hazim Sadic. First of all I want to ask
9 you the following. Do you know who Hazim Sadic was in 1994?
10 A. Yes. He was commander of the 2nd Corps based in Tuzla.
11 Q. Very well. In connection with this, I will read out item 3 of the
12 document. And I quote: "In the future, no appointment proposal shall be
13 taken into consideration if it is not in accordance with the temporary war
14 formations which means that you must urgently restructure all
15 non-formation compositions and positions, and fit them within the
16 framework of the existing war formations."
17 Are you familiar with the contents of this document?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Is this what you were referring to, that you adopted one thing and
20 then those from Tuzla would instruct you that it was not possible, that
21 this could not be called Susnjari unit but some -- that a military term
22 should be used?
23 A. Yes. In fact, Your Honours, I told you that I wanted the unit to
24 be called the Susnjari unit and they wrote back by saying that we should
25 have a company, a platoon, a military term, and this is precisely what I
1 had in mind when I was talking earlier on.
2 Q. Mr. Ademovic, is this the only such document that you set eyes on
3 or did you perhaps receive several such documents?
4 A. We received several of them.
5 Q. Thank you. Having received these warnings from Tuzla, did you act
6 in practice in compliance with these instructions?
7 A. Yes.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could this document
9 please be assigned a number.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: This document will become Defence Exhibit D855. It
11 consists of two pages, one in English and one B/C/S, and the ERN number is
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Were you aware of the fact that the people from Srebrenica, after
15 the demilitarisation, filled out applications for active military duty?
16 A. Yes, I've heard something about it.
17 Q. In filling out these forms, did the people have to comply with the
18 instructions received from the 2nd Corps command and use military terms
19 for the names of the units rather than their own?
20 A. Yes. This is precisely what we were discussing earlier on.
21 Q. Yes.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I would now like the usher to show
23 another new exhibit to the witness. Could the witness be shown the
24 document 01837831? This is a request for admission into the active
25 military service with the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1 Q. Please take a look at this document. Do you agree that I showed
2 you this document during proofing?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Please look at the part of the document bearing the signature.
5 Did you sign this document?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Please look at the page bearing your signature, where it is
8 stated, "The date of entry into service with the army of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina." There is the official organ you applied to and you
10 wrote 18th of March 1992, the date of establishment of the Susnjari unit.
11 Did you write this down?
12 A. Yes. That was the day when I placed myself at the -- at their
14 Q. Fine. 18th of March 1992, when the Susnjari unit was established
15 and when I was chosen as its commander, and therefore the date I placed
16 myself at the army's disposal, 18th of March -- 18th of April 1992. Can I
17 ask you the following? Were you a member of the army of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina as of that date or were you recognised as its member at
19 a later date?
20 A. No. I was not recognised as being a member as of that date
21 because my unit, the Susnjari unit we referred to earlier on, was not
22 recognised as such, and I had to sort the matter out retroactively, even
23 through an administrative procedure.
24 Q. Now that you mentioned the administrative procedure, is it not
25 true that the people arriving from Srebrenica had to, after 1995, prove
1 that they had participated in armed combat and that there were members of
2 the army in large numbers?
3 A. Yes. There were thousands of such administrative procedures.
4 Some of them are still pending today. I had to personally attest for each
5 and every one of the members of my group, that they were members, active
6 members, because we were not recognised as such.
7 Q. Please stop there. Can you look at this questionnaire? Did the
8 military authorities accept this questionnaire as valid and admit you into
9 the military service on the basis of it?
10 A. No. They did not accept the document bearing this particular
11 title, and they did not admit me into service on the basis of this
13 Q. Did they ask you to draft another document?
14 A. Yes. But I refused to do so and I was never a member of the army
15 later on, and I was engaged in the business in which I'm engaged in to
16 this day.
17 Q. You refused to do so because you wished to remain in the police;
18 isn't that right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Very well.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher please show the
22 Witness P95?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. We need to give this a number.
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: That will become Defence Exhibit D856, and it
1 consists of, in the B/C/S, pages starting with ERN number 01837831. Is it
2 8 or 6, the third number? I'm not quite sure whether it's 8 or 6. 8,
3 according to the English translation, then, it's 8. Right through and
4 inclusive of ERN 01837834. That's four pages, and the corresponding
5 translation into English consisting of six pages. And that will be D856.
6 Thank you.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. You have the document before you. Please turn to page 6, to save
9 time. This is allegedly a document by the 8th operations group command.
10 Please turn to page 6. And you will see that this section has to do with
11 the 280th East Bosnian Light Brigade.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is page 5 in the
13 English text.
14 Q. Next, please turn to page 9. Item 4, which in English is page 7.
15 There are names of commanders and -- names of commanders and other
16 senior officers since the formation until 31st January 1994, sixth line
17 from the bottom in Bosnian, it is stated, "assistant commander for morale,
18 in brigade from 2nd December 1992, to 10 January, 1994, Sidik Ademovic."
19 Apart from you in the area was there another Sidik Ademovic who could be
20 placed in connection with the 280th Brigade?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Would you please, or rather once again, it is stated here that the
23 assistant commander for morale in the brigade from 2nd December 1992 to 10
24 January 1994, could you tell the Trial Chamber where were you on the 2nd
25 of December 1992 and throughout December 1992?
1 A. According to my earlier testimony, the entire month of December
2 and onwards, I was in the area of Susnjari.
3 Q. In the fighting that took place at the time?
4 A. Yes. I believe that suffices.
5 Q. Very well. Was there a brigade in place at the time? Were you a
6 member of a brigade on the 2nd of December 1992?
7 A. No. On the 2nd of December I had only that one group that I have
8 been referring to throughout my testimony.
9 Q. In your career, were you ever an assistant to the commander for
11 A. Well, this is not really pertinent for the sort of business I'm
12 involved in.
13 Q. Please look at page 11. It says "written commendation of the
14 commander of the armed forces of Srebrenica for -- on the occasion of the
15 first anniversary of the staff."
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe the witness's
17 answer was a bit different from the answer recorded here. Were you in
18 your career ever an assistant to the commander? He stated that this would
19 "not be compatible with the work that I do," and not perhaps "pertinent
20 to the sort of business I'm involved with."
21 Q. Please, tell us what did you really mean to say when you were
22 answering my question whether ever in your career you were assistant to
23 the commander for morale?
24 A. No, never, never, because the sort of work I do is not related to
25 that, and I never was an assistant commander for morale.
1 Q. Please look -- turn to the middle of the page. Among the names of
2 the persons, recipients of this certificate of merit, there is the name of
3 Sidik Ademovic. Can you tell us whether you ever received a written
4 certificate of merit from Naser Oric?
5 A. No, never.
6 Q. You didn't receive a written or an oral credit?
7 A. No, not even a verbal or a written or a pecuniary or any other
8 sort of a credit.
9 Q. You said that you were a member of this 280th Brigade on paper in
10 early 1994, and you were told that you were supposed to discharge the
11 duties of the assistant commander for morale. Can you tell us what were
12 you doing and where you were in the course of 1994?
13 A. Demilitarisation meant rest for me. I was in my village of
14 Susnjari, at home, at my parents' home, doing farm work. That was our
15 only source of income.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher please show the
18 witness a new exhibit? This is a document by the command of the 8th
19 operations group Srebrenica dated 9 September 1994. Weekly report by
20 Nedzad Bektic. And the document bears the number 02103048.
21 Q. Witness, please turn to page 2. And I will quote the words of
22 Mr. Bektic according to this document, what is contained on page 2 under
23 C. "The work of the commands and their cooperation is unsatisfactory. In
24 the beginning of the week, an assessment of the security situation was
25 sent to the 2nd Corps. The assessment was not done by organs of security.
1 The command of the 282nd Brigade, the commander had left the duty wilfully
2 and has not been discharging the duty for two months, without having been
3 released and a new person appointed.
4 "In the command of the 281st Brigade, the Chief of Staff, Zulfo
5 Salihovic, has been working as the president of the SDA party since April.
6 In the same Brigade, the assistant commander for morale, Abdic Hajrudin,
7 resides in Srebrenica and appears in the unit only rarely, and he never
8 comes to the meetings of the assistant commander for moral in the command.
9 The assistant commander for security of 282nd Brigade, Abdul Jovic, and
10 281st Brigade, they have been furnishing incomplete reports, not
11 reflecting the situation in the unit. They failed to produce and deliver
12 a weekly report. The commander -- the assistant commander for morale,
13 Sidik Ademovic," and so on and so forth. Is this your name?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Please look at --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop, stop, stop.
17 Madam Usher, just to -- wait, wait, just don't move anything.
18 Is this the only part of there document that you have shown on the
19 ELMO or did you show also the first page? Only this part. All right.
20 Let's go into private session for a while, please.
21 [Private session]
11 Page 13108 redacted. Private session.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
14 [Open session]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Before we continue, this document, which will
16 become Exhibit -- Defence Exhibit D857, will be preserved under seal. It
17 consists of two pages in B/C/S -- sorry, three pages in B/C/S, and two
18 pages in English, and with a sequential ERN number from 02103048 right
19 flew and inclusive of ERN number 02103052. All right? Thank you. So
20 Judge Eser has a question and Madam Registrar has a problem.
21 [Trial chamber and registrar confer]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: So this document, which has just been made use of
23 with this witness, is going to become Defence Exhibit D857, and because of
24 its contents, it will be kept and stored under seal. In consists of two
25 pages -- three pages in B/C/S and two pages in English, all five pages are
1 enumerated sequentially with ERN number 02103048 right through and
2 inclusive of ERN 02103052.
3 Yes, Judge Eser has a question -- I was going to say has a
5 JUDGE ESER: No, I have no problem. Just a matter of
6 clarification of the language. I have realised that when you asked the
7 witness a question or read from the exhibit, it was translated "assistant
8 commander for morale," but if I go to the English translation, it speaks
9 of "assistant commander for security." Now, in my understanding, morale
10 and security are different things. Now, what is the meaning in B/C/S? Is
11 it more in terms of morale or in terms of security?
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, will you please tell me
13 what part of the document you're referring to? Because Abdic Hajrudin,
14 commander for morale is mentioned as well as Mr. Sidik Ademovic, commander
15 for security. Which part of the document is Your Honour referring to?
16 JUDGE ESER: Referring to what you have just read. If you go to
17 the English translation which is the ERN number which ends with 052, you
18 ever assistant commander and it would say "for security."
19 JUDGE AGIUS: It's the only line which has highlighting.
20 JUDGE ESER: Yes. And the same with the other two persons you
21 mentioned here. It doesn't speak of morale but security.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, in the B/C/S it's on 3049
23 and the word is [B/C/S spoken] I believe.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: [B/C/S spoken]
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. That's the word I think we are concerned
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah.
3 JUDGE ESER: Exactly. What is the meaning of this B/C/S term
4 [B/C/S spoken].
5 JUDGE AGIUS: The thing is this. I think the point raised by my
6 colleague Judge Eser is very valid because if you look at the same
7 document a few lines before, with regard to Hajrudin Avdic, you will see
8 that you will have [B/C/S spoken]. Further down, you have [B/C/S spoken].
9 So I take it that one means morale, the other one means security, as per
10 the translation that we have. And very rightly. So perhaps an
11 explanation is appropriate.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, let me just look at
13 exactly what it says in the Bosnian version. This is a translation we
14 received from the Prosecutor's office, and I have not had an opportunity
15 to check it because we have only just received it. However, I will read
16 out exactly what it says about Mr. Hajrudin Avdic: "In the same Brigade,
17 the assistant commander for morale or moral guidance, Avdic, Hajrudin
18 lives in Srebrenica and turns up in the unit very rarely. And as for
19 meetings, at the assistant commandment -- commanders for the morale in the
20 operations group, he hardly ever comes there. Assistants of the commander
21 for security" - these are other people now - "of the 281st Brigade,
22 Abdulah Ahmetovic, and the 282nd, Suad Smajlovic sent incomplete reports,
23 thus covering up the real situation in the unit. The weekly report for
24 this period has not been done by them or delivered." This is -- and then
25 it says, assistant commander for security of the 280th, Sidik Ademovic.
1 That's what it says in the original. "Assistant commander for security of
2 the 280th, Abdulah Ahmetovic, assistant commander for security, Azmir
3 Golic, of the SVB." That's what it says in the original.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly. It's -- the clarification that we need now
5 is this: Was Sidik Ademovic, that's the witness, assistant ever -- ever
6 assistant commander for morale, as has been suggested some time back, or
7 was he actually or supposedly assistant commander for security, as seems
8 to show -- as seems to appear from this document? This is basically what
9 the clarification that we require because so far it has been suggested to
10 the witness that he may or may not have been assistant commander for
11 morale or moral guidance.
12 MR. JONES: If I may be of some assistance, Your Honour, because
13 the fact is, in P95 there is reference to assistant commander for morale
14 and assistant commander for security. So there were two separate posts
15 which the witness was asked about and which he answered. So the reference
16 to morale before wasn't a mistake or an error. In this document it's
17 simply security and I think will be -- that -- we can deal with that per
18 this document.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you satisfied with that? Oh, yes, let's go on
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, please, I put the
22 question to Mr. Ademovic very clearly, and Your Honours, with all due
23 respect, I really sometimes cannot understand some questions of part of
24 the Chamber. With all due respect, I asked Mr. Sidik Ademovic very
25 clearly, "In your entire career, why you ever an assistant commander for
1 morale?" He said "No." Then I moved on to another document which very
2 clearly deals with what he's talking about now, that on paper he was the
3 assistant commander for security.
4 So believe me I myself am confused now and it's very hard for me
5 to follow my own questions because the witness answered quite clearly and
6 now this is confusing for me, let alone for the witness. Now I understand
7 that Judge Eser is referring to two different documents. One document is
8 something I've dealt with and the witness has clearly stated that never in
9 his lifer was he an assistant commander for morale and now I have very
10 important questions about this other document that we are dealing with
11 now. I do respect the Court. I was a judge myself for 14 years. But
12 sometimes I really need to say that I fail to understand Your Honour's
13 questions. I do apologise, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's proceed. Let's proceed.
15 JUDGE ESER: Just to make it clear, if you look to the transcript,
16 page 29, line 4, it was within your question that you formulated, the
17 commander, the assistant commander for morale, Sidik Ademovic, line 4,
18 that's what I was referring to. It was your language, assistant commander
19 for morale. You find it in the transcript, at least in the English one.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's -- let's move because we need to finish.
21 Yes, Ms. Vidovic.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm sorry, I cannot
23 follow the transcript. I do believe there are mistakes in the transcript.
24 I cannot look at both the document and the transcript. But however that
25 may be.
1 Q. Mr. Ademovic, we were discussing this document and now I will put
2 a question in connection with it.
3 If you look at the part on page 02103049, it says here "the work
4 of the commands and cooperation with the commands is unsatisfactory," and
5 the date of the document is the 9th of September 1994. Do you agree with
6 what is stated in this document, that the work of the commands and
7 cooperation with them during 1994 was unsatisfactory?
8 A. I fully agree, this is the time when there was demilitarisation
9 and there was no work going on, and you could see.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Ademovic.
11 A. I apologise.
12 Q. The document goes on to say that, when evaluating the security
13 situation, "the security organs did not participate, that some of them
14 abandoned their posts, that the Chief of Staff of one brigade is working
15 as a member of the SDA party, that Hajrudin Avdic, although he is an
16 assistant commander for moral guidance, doesn't turn up in his unit or
17 attend meetings." Does this document describe the actual situation in the
18 alleged commands of these brigades and the 8th operations group?
19 A. Precisely so. There was nothing happening. There was no work
20 going on.
21 Q. It goes on to say that the assistant commanders for security are
22 delivering incomplete reports and that you have failed to deliver a weekly
23 report at all. Is this correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, please look at what it says in the document below the date on
1 the 9th of September 1994, "the municipal assembly of Srebrenica had on
2 its agenda the political situation in the enclave and members of the SVB
3 have not been invited to that meeting."
4 Is the SVB the military security service?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Which illustrates the cooperation with civilian structures. It
7 goes on to say "I would add that on the 8th of September 1994, I spoke
8 with the president of the municipality, Mr. Osman Suljic requesting that
9 this point be placed on the agenda and that I should be present but I was
10 not invited."
11 Please, do you agree that it follows from this document that the
12 civilian organs even did not want to invite to their sessions security
13 people or have contacts with them?
14 A. They neither invited them nor did they need to invite them.
15 Q. Another question in connection with this: After the
16 demilitarisation, did the military police exist and function properly in
18 A. No. There was only the civilian police.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] May this document be given an
21 exhibit number.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, yes.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Sorry.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown
3 Prosecution Exhibit P578? This is an enactment of the transitory
4 municipal council of Srebrenica dated the 11th of March 1995. P578. I
5 will quote one portion of the document. This is somewhere in the middle
6 of the document.
7 "After a couple of hours of analysis, we all unanimously concluded
8 that the political security situation in the enclave was very complex and
9 difficult, conditioned by a number of factors, but certainly the major
10 factor that influenced the worsening of the situation was the incident
11 caused by senior captain Ejub Golic, commander of the independent mountain
12 Battalion. With the aim of overcoming the situation that can and should
13 be overcome, we adopted a number of conclusions among which we would like
14 to point out the following. Full support was given to our commander of
15 the 28th division, Brigadier Naser Oric. Decision was taken to imprison
16 and take Merdzic, Nezir [phoen] and Sadik Begic to the municipal prison
17 which was already done."
18 Have you heard about this incident.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Do you know what the outcome of the incident was?
21 A. Yes. I do.
22 Q. Who was the source of information for you?
23 A. From Ejub Golic himself.
24 Q. What did he tell you? How did this incident end? Briefly,
1 A. Naser Oric took him to Tuzla to the 2nd Corps command.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
4 another exhibit, which is a document by the district military court in
5 Tuzla, number SU 106/95, dated 25th of April 1995. Security organ of the
6 2nd Corps, or rather "the district military court of Tuzla addresses the
7 2nd Corps command, to Colonel Mehmed Zilic and signed by Ismet Krumic."
8 It says as follows: "On the 20th of March 1995, the Tuzla Security
9 Services Centre informed us that the Srebrenica prison had come under an
10 armed attack during which a number of individuals were helped to escape
11 with the use of force. A group of some 20 members of the army were led by
12 the commander of the independent Battalion, Ejub Golic. The CSB report
13 also says that in late 1992, Ejub Golic murdered two people and was never
14 held to account. There is also suspicion that in March 1995, he set on
15 fire the flat of a Srebrenica judge, possibly because he was angry that
16 some of "his men" had been remanded in custody. I have information that
17 in the meantime Ejub Golic has moved to Tuzla and that he's still there.
18 You are kindly requested to check the allegations from the above CSB
19 report and to undertake measures within your competence and
21 You've told us that you spoke to Golic. Can you tell us, please,
22 when this was.
23 A. Upon his return from Tuzla.
24 Q. Did he tell you whether the judicial authorities in Tuzla were
25 informed of the criminal offences he allegedly perpetrated?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. According to what he told you, if so, did they talk to him about
3 his alleged criminal offences in the command of the 2nd Corps?
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch the answer.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could this document be
6 assigned a number.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: He needs to repeat his answer because the
8 interpreter did not catch it.
9 What was your answer, Mr. Ademovic, please?
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. My question to you was: Did they talk to him in the command of
12 the 2nd Corps, or rather who talked to him, please?
13 A. Yes. They did. Commander Sead Delic and a certain Mehmed Zilic.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: This document, Madam Vidovic, will become Defence
15 Exhibit D858, it consists of two pages, one in B/C/S, one in English, with
16 ERN number 02622028.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher please show the
18 witness a new exhibit, which is an interview with General Sead Delic in
19 the paper Dani. Delic-Dani, Oric left Srebrenica of his own will. It was
20 published on the 7th of March 2000. Witness, please turn to page 3 of
21 this document. That's page 3 of 8, and Your Honours in English, that's
22 page 2 in the middle of the page. The interview was taken by Vildana
23 Selimbegovic. The question by the journalist was, "Dani: Perhaps, but
24 the time of schooling is quite controversial. Besides that is one of the
25 questions that the military leadership has failed to answer. Delic
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 answers: I can only state my opinion. Brigade commanders were not in
2 that group. As far as I know, Naser came of his own accord. No one had
3 invited him. I know for sure that late Ejub Golic, commander of a
4 battalion, also came with them (died in the breakthrough through the Serb
5 lines), in order to have him responsible for several murders in
6 Srebrenica -- to have his responsibility for several murders in Srebrenica
7 established. I know his case very well. The commander, Rasim Delic,
8 charged me with deciding whether to send him back or try him here, since
9 there was substantial evidence that he had been implicated in several
10 murders in Srebrenica. We discussed this for a long time and finally
11 decided that his potential crimes do not fall under the statute of
12 limitations, that he would be held responsible for them sooner or later,
13 and that the priority at that time was to send him back to Srebrenica. I
14 thank God that he was sent back since he led the breakthrough from the
15 other side.
16 Q. Mr. Ademovic, I have a question in connection with this. Did you
17 talk to Mr. Oric as to how it came to have him return from Tuzla to
19 A. Mr. Oric organised his return by helicopter.
20 Q. Did this Mr. Golic tell you?
21 A. Yes, when I visited him when he was involved in an accident, when
22 a helicopter was taken down. That was several days later.
23 Q. Was that the same helicopter that Mr. Delic had organised for his
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Please allow me to finish my question. Was that the same
2 helicopter that Mr. Delic had organised in Tuzla to facilitate the Golic's
3 return to Srebrenica?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Another question in connection with this: If someone were to
6 claim that Naser Oric decided not to have Ejub Golic prosecuted for the
7 alleged criminal offences, would that be true?
8 A. No. That would not be true at all. Naser did whatever he could
9 on his part.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could this document
11 please be assigned a number.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. This document will become D8 -- 859. D859.
13 It doesn't have an ERN number. It consists of eight pages in B/C/S, and
14 five pages in English. Thank you.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I need a further 15
16 minutes, not more, but I wonder if this would be an appropriate time for
17 the break.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: We will have a break now of 30 minutes and then we
19 will resume soon after.
20 --- Break taken at 4.01 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 4.37 p.m.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Sorry for keeping you waiting but a break means time
23 for others to come to your Chambers with more work and new drafts and
24 problems. So that's how I spent the last 40 minutes.
25 Let's continue and finish, Madam Vidovic, and then Mr. Di Fazio
1 can start.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Witness, in the course of your testimony you stated that you knew
4 Ejub Golic very well. According to your knowledge of him, did he, in the
5 course of 1992 or later, during the war, ever have the position of deputy
6 commander or commander of the group in Biljecevo?
7 A. No. Golic was always a leader of the group.
8 Q. Where?
9 A. In Cizmici. He was never a deputy. He was always the leader of
10 his fighters.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] The transcript should be corrected.
13 The witness always stated that he was always the leader of his Glogova men
14 rather than fighters.
15 Q. Did I hear you well, Witness?
16 A. Yes, that's what I stated, Glogovac -- Glogova men.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam Vidovic. Thank you, Witness.
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could the witness be
19 shown another document? This is a document by the command of the unit
20 6338 from Potocari dated 19 May 1993. With the heading "war crime"
21 allegedly signed by the assistant commander for security, Sidik Ademovic.
22 Your Honours, I wish to state the following for the record in relation to
23 this document. This document was delivered to us in three different
24 versions. One of them was here when Mr. Rasim Manas testified. It was
25 P357. However, later on from the OTP we learned that they no longer have
1 this document on their list. Whatever the case, we were delivered the
2 document on several occasions in several different versions and I wish the
3 witness to look at the document and comment upon it.
4 Q. Witness, please look at this document. Do you have in front of
5 you a document bearing the stamp "Yugoslavia Belgrade Law Centre"? Do you
6 have that in front of you?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you hear about the law project centre in Belgrade? And how
9 did you learn about it?
10 A. Yes. This is the law project centre, which is the co-author of
11 the report on Srebrenica, which stated that with the fall of Srebrenica in
12 1995, only 1.500 to 2.000 people had been killed. This report was
13 condemned by the major part of the international public. I believe this
14 document is well known.
15 Q. Very well. I will quote from this document. It is stated
16 here, "Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, command post 6338,
17 strictly confidential number 06-08/95, Potocari, 19 May, 1993, security
18 organ, war crime." And this is the way this event is described. "In the
19 course of my work in the field, as assistant commander for security of the
20 280th Eastern Bosnia Light Brigade during extensive investigations into a
21 wide array of issues falling within the scope of security, I have come
22 across information and exact circumstances relating to the death of Milko
23 Markovic, father's name Jovo Markovic from Susnjari. Namely after Arkan's
24 men had left Srebrenica and Goran Zekic, when the Serbs fled, that is left
25 the town, among those who remained in the town of Srebrenica was Markovic.
1 The letter was in his apartment in Srebrenica where he was always
2 intoxicated and repeatedly fired from his weapon. At that time, the army
3 entered Srebrenica and on orders from ex-Veliki the above mentioned was
4 captured and delivered to Mes [phoen]. He was taken across a place,
5 mistreated, prodded a little with a knife, and when he was brought to a
6 brook where his throat was partially slit, he was -- a fire was set and he
7 was left to gradually burn."
8 My question is as follows: Are you the author of this document?
9 A. This is an apparent forgery. To me, as a professional, these are
10 ludicrous statements.
11 Q. Is this your signature?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Did you ever hear of an incident involving Milko Markovic, son of
15 A. No. I heard about this matter for the first time -- or rather I
16 learnt about this matter for the first time from the Belgrade press. This
17 is a pure fabrication.
18 Q. Look at the reference number for this document 06-08/95. Do you
19 agree this is a reference number dating from 1995?
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. Do you see that the document bears the date of the 19th of May
22 1993? You are a policeman. According to the -- to your -- the practice
23 in our parts, is it possible for a document to be dated 1993 and to bear a
24 reference number 95 or should it bear in the reference number the same
25 date as that in which the document was produced?
1 A. According to what I see from the document, this is in
3 Q. In May 1993, did you have a stamp with a lily at all?
4 A. No, no.
5 Q. Do you know when the documents bearing a stamp with lilies
6 appeared in your parts?
7 A. In early 1995.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown Exhibit
9 P31? I wish us to compare this document with the present one. P31 is a
10 document by the staff of the Supreme Court of Sarajevo dated 1st January
11 1994, an order concerning organisational changes-establishment. Under D,
12 the 280th Light East Bosnian Brigade should be set up with the
13 establishment number T31327.
14 Do you see that.
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. Do you agree with me that this document indicates that the order
17 for the formation of the 282nd Brigade came from Sarajevo only on the 1st
18 of January 1994?
19 A. Yes. This is an apparent contradiction.
20 Q. Do you agree with me, then, that it arrived only on that date?
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. Do you agree with me that part of this order is also unit 6338?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. Please look at this document bearing the date 15th of May 1993,
25 the earlier document, which was apparently signed by you, the command unit
1 6338, strictly confidential and so on. Do you agree with me that
2 according to this document, you were the assistant commander with the
3 280th Brigade on the 19th of May 1993 and that the unit bears the number
5 A. Yes, that's what the document says. However, I was not a member
6 of any specific unit.
7 Q. Would you agree with me that on the 19th of May 1993, you would
8 have had to be a prophet, clairvoyant, to draw upon the name or a number
9 of a unit which did not exist in 1993 and which was established by an
10 order issued a year later?
11 A. Precisely.
12 Q. Mr. Ademovic, in this period, on the 19th of May 1993, did you
13 hold the rank of a captain?
14 A. No. It was much later, much, much later, that I was given a rank,
15 upon arrival in Tuzla.
16 Q. Would you tell the Trial Chamber, what were your whereabouts in
17 1993, in May 1993?
18 A. I have to tell the Trial Chamber that at the end of 1992, and I
19 mean December 1992, January, February, and March 1993, there were intense
20 fights in my area and I suffered from chilblains that I still have in my
21 hands and feet, and on the 7th of May 1993, I was in the hospital. I was
22 severely ill. I was -- I underwent a surgery that I hardly survived.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher please show the
24 witness another document, which is a letter of discharge from the hospital
25 to the name of Mr. Sidik Ademovic.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: In the meantime, we have not yet given a number to
2 this last document that you made use of before showing the witness
3 P-whatever. Anyway, the document which is being tendered and marked as
4 Defence Exhibit D860 consists of two pages, one B/C/S with ERN 70632892
5 and one which purports to be the English translation thereof with a
6 different ERN number, that is 00650936.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Ademovic, I hope you have this document before you, which
9 says, "Sidik Ademovic, 1962, operated due to acute infection of pancreas
10 and calculus gall bladder on the 7th of May 1993," and in connection with
11 this, I will ask you the following: You were operated on in the hospital
12 in Srebrenica which was in a very difficult situation?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Would you tell Their Honours for how long you were unable to move
15 around or work after this operation?
16 A. Two months, and after that, I suffered serious consequences and
17 the UNPROFOR representatives in the UN who had their offices in Potocari
18 made it possible for me to be examined very often.
19 Q. Let me show you another document now.
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, before that, can we
21 have an exhibit number, please?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. This document will become Exhibit D861. It
23 consists of two pages, one in B/C/S and one in English. There doesn't
24 seem to be an ERN number. Thank you.
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Please look at document D756 now. This is a list of war criminals
2 known to the command of the 1st LPBR who perpetrated war crimes in
3 Srebrenica, Bratunac, Milici, Vlasenica, and Skelani, and there are
4 indicia that they are in Srebrenica, and it says below that "officials and
5 organisers." Mr. Ademovic, please take a look at this list and you will
6 see where it says commanders, your name, where it says -- it's on the
7 third page in Bosnian,?
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] And, Your Honours, on page 2 of the
9 English translation, it's under number 74.
10 Q. Mr. Ademovic, I want to ask you: Have you ever committed a war
12 A. No. On the contrary.
13 Q. Thank you. I'll proceed. Now please look at page 1. Can you
14 look at page 1?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Look at the name under number 11, Dr. Sabit Begic. Do you know
17 this person?
18 A. Yes, I do, Dr. Sabit is a very well respected citizen of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the town of Srebrenica, and he spent the whole of
20 the war in Sarajevo, from the 17th of April 1992, when he left Bratunac,
21 at 1550 hours after the talks.
22 Q. Look at the name under number 23, Murat Efendic. Did he spend
23 time in Srebrenica?
24 A. No. For three years before the war, he was in Sarajevo, and he
25 spend the whole war there.
1 Q. Under number 26, Besim Ibisevic?
2 A. Just like Dr. Sabit at 1550 on the 17th of April 1992 after the
3 meeting of Bratunac he left the area and he spent the entire period
4 outside Bosnia and Herzegovina.
5 Q. Look at number 70 and then 51 -- and then 51. Mr. Ismet
6 Dautbasic, number 17, was a Professor and dean of the faculty of law in
7 Sarajevo and he's not from Bratunac as it says here. He's from Brezovica
8 and this man spent not more than 24 hours in Srebrenica over years and
9 years. And this other person, Rizo Salmanagic [phoen]?
10 A. He was an eminent lawyer and he had spent very little time in
11 Srebrenica and he had nothing to do with Srebrenica.
12 Q. Look at Adil Osmanovic, Konjevic Polje, number 42.
13 A. Yes. He was known as Theron [phoen]. This person spent some time
14 in Tuzla after the outbreak of the war. After that he spent the entire
15 period in Germany.
16 Q. Does this document then contain correct information and can these
17 people be considered organisers, perpetrators, war criminals?
18 A. No. This is a pure fabrication, pure forgery from this institute
19 in bell grey, headed unfortunately by Mr. Ivanisevic. I apologise to
20 Their Honours, but Mr. -- and the gentleman here and ladies, but Mr.
21 Ivanisevic who invented these lists put me on one of these lists saying
22 that I was an executioner in Jezestica on the 8th of August in his book
23 about the chronicle of our graves.
24 Q. Very well.
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Would the usher now show the witness
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 THE INTERPRETER: 458, interpreter's correction.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Please look at page 03593125 and page 03593126. These are pages 2
5 and 3 of this long document. Look here. It says "list of people in the
6 Srebrenica municipality who are not assigned anywhere." Did you know the
7 population of Jaglici well?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did you know all the people living there?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Look at the numbers 6 and 34. Six, Senahid Gusic, Jaglici. And
12 then Osman Gusic, Jaglici, 34?
13 A. Yes. I've seen them.
14 Q. I want to ask you, in the Srebrenica and Bratunac area, is there
15 another place called Jaglici close to Susnjari?
16 A. Neither in Srebrenica municipality nor in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
17 Q. Thank you. These two persons here, Osman and Senahid Gusic, were
18 they ever residents of Jaglici?
19 A. No, never.
20 Q. Now, please look at the next page and you will see under number
21 42, but let me ask you first, did you know all the inhabitants of your
22 village of Susnjari?
23 A. Yes. I was born there and I still live there.
24 Q. Was there ever a person called Zijad Lilic living there?
25 A. No, never.
1 Q. Is there another place called Susnjari in the Srebrenica or
2 Bratunac area?
3 A. No. In the Krajina, near Banja Luka, there is a small village
4 called Susnjari.
5 Q. In the Podrinje area?
6 A. No. As I said, only as far as I recall in the area of Banja Luka.
7 Q. Thank you. I will now put just a few brief questions to you. Do
8 you remember in connection with some documents --
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, which the OTP
10 disclosed intending to use them -- I won't be able to discuss this now.
11 It has to do with this witness.
12 Q. Witness, I'll ask you a general question first. While you were in
13 Susnjari were you nominated as a member of some sort of Srebrenica
14 assembly on behalf of Potocari during 1994, to your knowledge?
15 A. This is the first time I've heard of this.
16 Q. In October 1994, did you attend some sort of meeting in the
17 Srebrenica area or the Susnjari area or anywhere in your area at which
18 there was discussion of a letter by the army commander General Rasim Delic
19 addressed to Colonel Tihomir Blaskic?
20 A. There is the first time I've heard this. What has Tihomir Blaskic
21 got to do with Srebrenica?
22 Q. Could you please explain to Their Honours who Tihomir Blaskic is?
23 A. I heard of that gentleman in early 2000 or 2002. Unfortunately,
24 through this institution here.
25 Q. Was he a commander of the HVO, the Croatian Defence Council, in
1 central Bosnia?
2 A. Yes. That's the man. That's the man I meant.
3 Q. In the Srebrenica area, did you ever discuss such topics?
4 A. No. There was no need. There would be no logic in it. Why would
5 it have anything to do with our area?
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Vidovic.
10 Mr. Ademovic, look at me, please. Do you have a problem?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may make a
12 suggestion, may I address ...
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, that's why I'm asking you whether you have a
14 problem. Because if you have a problem we need to solve it for you.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was one question, with all due
16 respect to all of you, there was a misunderstanding. The question
17 concerned Kravica. For your sake, for the sake of the Prosecution and the
18 Defence, if I can say that I will be very grateful to you.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Go ahead, please. You have a duty actually if
20 there is a misunderstanding somewhere or you think that part of your
21 testimony was not reported accurately, then you have a duty to point that
22 out to us and rectify it. Go ahead. Take your time, as much time as you
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's about something very important,
25 an issue which will probably be important to everyone concerned. I
1 understood the question, when asked by Madam Vidovic as to whether I
2 entered Kravica, and I replied "no." I replied no because I had things in
3 my hands and I didn't understand the context of the question properly. I
4 think that Madam Vidovic --
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, the witness said
6 before that that he entered Kajici.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I said I hadn't entered
8 Kravica. I was in Kajici, not Kravica. That is the context. So I did
9 enter Kravica after 1200 hours, and I feel the need to tell you all this.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I put a question
11 to clarify this?
12 Q. Is Kajici a part of Kravica?
13 A. Yes.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] The witness replied that he entered
15 the hamlet of Kajici and not Kravica proper, the centre of Kravica.
16 Q. So witness you did not enter Kravica proper, the centre of
17 Kravica, but you did enter Kajici?
18 A. Yes. I was in Kajici, not yet in Kravica. I hadn't entered
19 Kravica yet because there was shelling, there were people wounded, and
20 this made it hard for me to move. That was the context, and I failed to
21 express myself clearly to Your Honours.
22 Q. Thank you, Witness. That's sufficient.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Are you satisfied that you have explained it
24 well now? Or do you want to give us further information or explanation?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. When asked by Madam Vidovic,
1 if possible, she can put any other questions to me if she feels it
2 necessary as to what I saw and experienced. I think it will be useful to
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, do you want to put further
5 questions to the witness?
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour. No, Your Honour,
7 because I tried to avoid repeating testimony supplied by several previous
8 witnesses. So I tried to abbreviate this testimony. I think the essence
9 has been stated.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam Vidovic.
12 Thank you, Mr. Ademovic. Mr. Di Fazio is now going to start his
13 cross-examination. Your obligation pursuant to the solemn declaration
14 that you made when you first started giving evidence, Mr. Ademovic, is to
15 answer Mr. Di Fazio's question truthfully in accordance with your
16 undertaking. May I also suggest now that more or less we know exactly how
17 much time we have left until the end of business tomorrow, that you keep
18 for the back of your mind the time left and you try to restrict your
19 answers to what is necessary, without volunteering more details, unless of
20 course you want to give explanations. Otherwise, you will be here over
21 the weekend and we will have to continue with you on Monday, even though
22 Mr. Di Fazio himself will be doing his utmost.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, well, I will, Your Honours. But can we
24 revisit this matter just prior to breaking up for the day today, this
25 issue of scheduling and timing and so on?
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, certainly.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: If that's okay with the Trial Chamber.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly. And if you think here and now that you
4 require more time after the end of business tomorrow, then tell us so
5 and we will-- I told you we make a distinction between one witness and
6 another obviously.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: I understand that and I'm grateful, Your Honours.
8 I fear we might have got to the point where I can't see wrapping up this
9 witness, especially with the Defence who need time for their
10 re-examination and any questions that you may have.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Not a problem. Ms. Vidovic took, I would imagine,
12 more than seven hours, and I will not deprive you of any time which is not
13 unreasonable anyway. Because if it does become unreasonable then we stop
15 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: But Madam Registrar, I think at this point you
17 better alert the victims and witnesses office and, towards the end of
18 today's sitting, then I will explain to the witness, all right?
19 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio, please go ahead.
21 Cross-examined by Mr. Di Fazio:
22 Q. Mr. Ademovic as you heard my name is Di Fazio. I'm one of the
23 prosecutors here and I have some questions for you. And I endorse what
24 everyone said to you. If you can keep your answers brief that will help
25 you and me.
1 Did you go to school in Potocari?
2 A. Yes, in Potocari.
3 Q. Did you go to school with Mr. Oric, Naser Oric, in Potocari?
4 A. I didn't. I -- I'm his senior.
5 Q. Yes. So you're his senior?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, this witness was born in '62 the other one was
7 born in '67. There is five years' difference.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. Okay.
9 Q. So -- thank you. Did you know him at school?
10 A. Not really. We were children.
11 Q. And what about in your later life, as an early adult? Did you
12 know him then?
13 A. I was in Sarajevo at the time.
14 Q. I take it your answer is no. Is that right?
15 A. That's right. No.
16 Q. Okay. Thank you and what about in Srebrenica in late 1989, 1990,
17 1991. Did you know or meet Mr. Oric again around that time?
18 A. Yes. We used to come across each other but I did not know him as
19 a person really. I did not know anything about his personality or
21 Q. Do I take it from your answer that you formed no particular
22 relationship other than the fact that you were mere acquaintances? Is
23 that what you say?
24 A. Yes. We were acquaintances, but I had many acquaintances with
25 whom I was much closer than with Mr. Oric.
1 Q. Sure. Did you ever become aware of Mr. Oric going to Belgrade,
2 working in Belgrade?
3 A. Yes. I was aware of that, and that is why I told you that I grew
4 up in one part of the world and he in the other, and we didn't know each
5 other very much.
6 Q. Do you know what he did in Belgrade?
7 A. According to the earliest information I received, I knew that he
8 was in security, on the police force, and later on he provided security
9 for Mr. Milosevic.
10 Q. And when did you first hear that and from whom? Or how did you
11 hear that?
12 A. I heard it from my colleagues, police officers in the Srebrenica
13 police station. Mr. Oric would periodically come to the area in his spare
15 Q. Right. So I think you were a policeman from about 1981 up until
16 about 1989 when you enrolled in the faculty of political science; is that
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And it was during this particular time that you were a policeman
20 based in the Srebrenica area that you saw Mr. Oric from time to time on
21 his return from Belgrade and it was then that you learned of his
22 activities in Belgrade?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did you become aware of his working in any other area apart from
25 Belgrade? For example, in Kosovo?
1 A. I was following this from the media. Because of the security
2 situation in that region in the former Yugoslavia, it was there for
3 everyone to see, not just me.
4 Q. Yes, I'm sure you were following it. But my question actually is:
5 Did you become aware, did you ever become aware, of Mr. Naser Oric working
6 in Kosovo for security forces?
7 A. I only know that he was part of the security forces for
8 Mr. Milosevic. Now, where he was assigned, there must have been his
9 superiors who were privy to that, and I did not really have occasion to
10 find out about it.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I just wish to correct
12 the interpretation. The witness stated that I knew that he worked for
13 Milosevic providing security, but not in the security forces, which is
14 totally different sense.
15 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, let's move.
17 MR. DI FAZIO:
18 Q. Do I take it that you have no knowledge of any activities
19 undertaken by Mr. Oric in Kosovo? Is that your position?
20 A. What his activities were and under whose orders, how would I know
21 that? I was in Srebrenica and he was in Belgrade doing his job. It would
22 be quite improper for me to say things before this Trial Chamber that are
23 not then to be untrue. That would mean that I would be lying.
24 Q. I'm not inviting you to lie. On the contrary. On the contrary.
25 So please don't -- just relax about that and you just tell us the truth.
1 You -- okay.
2 You met -- you said in evidence yesterday that you met Mr. Oric in
3 April of 1992, in fact you said around the 20th of April 1992. And you
4 were talking about uniforms at the time. I want to ask you about that
5 meeting. First of all, where was the meeting? I'm not suggesting it was
6 a formal meeting. An encounter. We will call it an encounter. Where was
7 the encounter?
8 A. It was at Livade, in passing, in the village, just as everybody
9 else that came across each other.
10 Q. Yes. And was Mr. Oric there in company with other men?
11 A. He was in the company of several lads, five or six of them, and
12 there were always civilians there, women, children, and elderly, refugees
13 who had started arriving by then.
14 Q. But just to clarify so that you understand me, I'm not talking
15 about refugees and civilians and the general population of the village.
16 I'm talking about Mr. Oric. Now, who was in company with Mr. Oric, with
17 Mr. Naser Oric, on this occasion on the 20th of April? Can you give us
18 some details? You've said lads. What sort of lads? Can you remember how
19 many lads, where they were from, remember their names, anything like that?
20 A. I said about the 20th of April, which doesn't necessarily mean
21 that it was on the 20th of April.
22 Q. All right. Fair enough. Perhaps not on the 20th. Around the
23 20th. Please continue.
24 A. Who were the lads with him? They were his acquaintances. I met
25 these lads for the first time and if you're referring to their uniforms, I
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 saw this uniform -- these uniforms on the -- for the first time after the
2 11th of April 1992, after I left Srebrenica, and this remained impressed
3 in my memory.
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter's correction, after the 17th of
6 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, okay.
7 Q. Just to be absolutely clear, can you give us any idea of the
8 numbers of men who were in company with Mr. Oric at this time? I'm still
9 not entirely clear. Is it a question of ten or 20 or 30 or four or five
10 men? I know -- and I know there has been a long time has passed since
11 then but try and give us an idea of the size of the group in company with
12 Mr. Oric.
13 A. Around the 20th, the first time I met them, there were around five
14 or six of them. Later on probably the numbers increased. I heard there
15 were some 10 or 15 men and the number varied from -- at different periods.
16 I believe that there may have been at most 15 to 20 men. But at the time
17 that I saw them, there were five or six of them and I cannot tell you
18 anything else because I would be making things up.
19 Q. Sure, sure. And this is the occasion when you discovered that
20 they had acquired the uniforms, Mr. Naser Oric and the group of men, the
21 five or six men who were with him, they had acquired their uniforms from
22 Arkan's men by setting up an ambush in Potocari. Is that -- that's right,
23 isn't it?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Arkan was well known back then, wasn't he, in 1992? He was a
1 notorious figure, wasn't he?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Famous throughout the former Yugoslavia, correct?
4 A. Yes. And everybody knows why.
5 Q. Yes. Exactly. Quite right. And so for Mr. Oric and his
6 associates to have ambushed Arkan and taken the uniforms from them, was a
7 very considerable feat of bravery, wasn't it?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones?
9 MR. JONES: Yes, Your Honour, just that the evidence is it was
10 Arkan's men, not that it was actually Arkan himself. I think that needs
11 to be made clear.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, and that's --
13 MR. DI FAZIO: That's quite correct.
14 Q. It was Arkan's men. Arkan and his men were notorious throughout
15 the former Yugoslavia, weren't they?
16 A. Yes. And I've already said that one knows why they were famous
17 and it was with these intentions that they came to the areas of Bratunac
18 and Srebrenica. I believe everybody was quite clear about that.
19 Q. Sure. And for Mr. Oric and his associates to have dealt with
20 these Arkan's men was a feat of quite some bravery, wasn't it?
21 A. At that time, yes. And if I may continue? If the Arkan's men
22 entered Srebrenica, torched and killed, scorched and raped many
23 inhabitants of Srebrenica, was it not then courage to stand ground and
24 oppose such villains at the time? Had I been there I would have done the
1 Q. Yes. You're quite right with respect, aren't you? It was -- it
2 was something that had to be done and Mr. Oric and his associates had
3 performed a feat that was going to become well known in the Srebrenica
4 area. Am I correct or not?
5 A. Yes. And he was thought to be a very brave man. After that,
6 he -- I always considered him a courageous and honest man. Had I been
7 there I would have participated in the ambush after all the crimes that
8 the Arkan's men had committed in Srebrenica.
9 Q. And this feat in ambushing Arkan's men, these tough fellows,
10 became well known throughout the Srebrenica area and made Mr. Oric a
11 popular, well-known figure in the area, didn't it?
12 A. Yes. But only by his courage, by nothing else. For the rest he
13 was just a citizen, just as I was. In some other areas of life I enjoyed
14 more respect than Oric. It was only in this respect and for these reasons
15 that he was respected.
16 Q. But given the situation that was developing in your area, in your
17 particular area, and in the Srebrenica area, this feat in ambushing
18 Arkan's men, presumably wounding or killing them to the point where he was
19 able to secure uniforms, was something that made him respected and brought
20 fame to him, isn't it? Would you agree with that?
21 A. No. He was respected only for his courage but not for anything
22 else. I repeat: I enjoyed more respect as a citizen in some other walks
23 of life in Srebrenica than him, and I speak upon full responsibility. I
24 was there.
25 Q. All right. How did -- can you recall how it came up in
1 conversation that the ambush had occurred and that Arkan's men had been --
2 had had their uniforms taken off them?
3 A. I haven't understood your question, how it came up.
4 Q. Well, on the 20th or -- sorry, around the 20th of April 1992,
5 Mr. Naser Oric turns up at this location that you've mentioned and he's
6 got five or six men who are dressed in camouflage uniforms which you find
7 out were taken, retrieved, from Arkan's men. Okay? How did that topic
8 come up in conversation? How did you find out about it? That's all I
9 want to know. On this day around the 20th of April 1992.
10 A. It was because I heard the shooting, and because the people talked
11 about it. The people were moving from Potocari to my village all the way
12 up to the 2nd of May. At that time, I myself descended to Potocari.
13 Q. And what were the people saying about this episode where Arkan's
14 men had been ambushed? What were they saying?
15 A. The stories varied of course because the people talk. I went down
16 into the area to see for myself what had really happened. Of course,
17 different men tell different stories, and one always prefers to see things
18 with one's own eyes before believing them.
19 Q. Sure. And so I take it that it was -- that the whole episode had
20 already acquired a notoriety? I don't mean that in any bad sense but the
21 whole episode was already famous and well known. Different groups of
22 people were talking about it. You actually went down to see the site
23 where this ambush had occurred, correct?
24 A. Yes. It was on that day and all the way through to the
25 demilitarisation, or rather after the 10th of August 1992, that I did not
1 have an opportunity to meet the man.
2 Q. No, no.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I think there is a mix-up here.
4 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Anyway, you put -- repeat the question, please, and
6 the important thing is that we make sure that it is being interpreted well
7 or at least that he understands.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: I'll try and make it simpler.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: If you can, yes, please. I don't think it was
11 MR. DI FAZIO:
12 Q. The episode with Arkan, the ambush that Mr. Oric and his -- sorry,
13 with Arkan's men, that Mr. Oric and his men had participated in was quite
14 well known throughout the Muslim community. Different groups, different
15 people were already talking about it, correct?
16 A. Yes. This raised our spirits and our morale for all of us. It
17 made us stronger. It made us believe that one can oppose even the Arkan's
19 Q. Yes. Sorry. Please continue.
20 A. That not even they were impossible to conquer, and invincible, and
21 that even they could be stopped from further bloodshed, massacre, and
22 intimidation. I don't think we should dwell much on the Arkan's men.
23 Q. I might just dwell on it a little bit longer, if that's all
25 When you say --
1 A. Fine.
2 Q. When you say that it raised our spirits and our morale, you're
3 talking, aren't you, about the Muslim people in the wider Srebrenica area,
4 not just talking about your village, your more -- the area just around
5 Susnjari. You're talking about the wider area around Srebrenica, aren't
6 you? That's where spirits were raised and morale was raised amongst the
7 Muslim people, correct?
8 A. I can only speak for Potocari and my area. I cannot speak for the
9 rest. This is a very wide area, some 40 or 60 kilometres. I was unable
10 to know what was going on over there, what their morale was, what the
11 people were talking. I can speak for my environment.
12 Q. Okay.
13 A. I don't think it would be necessary for me to speak about the
15 Q. From everything that you heard and saw and observed in 1992, 93,
16 94, and 95, would you agree with me that Mr. Naser Oric was a brave and
17 courageous soldier?
18 A. He was as brave a soldier as I was and all the others.
19 Q. Okay.
20 A. One of the leaders of a group of some 15 to 20 men, just as I was
21 the leader of my 25 men, and Naser Oric had a group of some 15 to 20 men.
22 Q. Would you say that you were as well known throughout the
23 Srebrenica area, amongst the Muslim population, Bosniak population, as
24 you -- as he was?
25 A. In my village of Susnjari, I was a respected man, as well as in
1 the neighbouring villages of Jaglici and Brezova Njiva. I was a
2 respected, honest man then, just as I believe I am today.
3 Q. I'm not -- honestly, I'm not suggesting anything about your
4 respectability or your honesty. I'm just asking you a very simple
5 question. Would you say you were as well known throughout the Srebrenica
6 area amongst the Muslim population as Mr. Oric was? If you can comment on
7 that, please let us know. If you don't know, say so.
8 A. The citizens of Srebrenica, all of them, including Serbs, Muslims
9 and Croats, knew me as a policeman and trusted me because I discharged my
10 duties in a professional manner and with full responsibility, without
11 making any distinctions on any basis. As for my own village of Susnjari
12 and the neighbouring villages of Jaglici and Brezova Njiva, naturally the
13 people liked me, just as they did in some other places, but, of course, my
14 village had a special place.
15 Q. I'll try and approach it this way. Was Mr. Naser Oric well known
16 in the Srebrenica area in 1992 and 1993? Was he famous?
17 A. Only by what he had done in Potocari. For the rest, there were
18 better, more diligent and honest men. To the best of my knowledge.
19 Perhaps in his group, yes. I myself respected him for that particular
20 segment. As for the other matters.
21 Q. Thank you. Did you ever hear the Serbs speaking about him when
22 you were listening to what they had to say over the radio? Serb forces, I
24 A. Yes. They used to mention him and his group.
25 Q. Sorry.
1 [Prosecution counsel confer]
2 MR. DI FAZIO:
3 Q. Did he have a nickname, Mr. Naser Oric? A nickname? Did
4 Mr. Naser Oric have a nickname?
5 A. No. To the extent I know, he didn't.
6 Q. All right. Okay. Well, let's move on from Mr. Oric and let's
7 talk about your group. You gave evidence that there were some groups that
8 were formed in the Susnjari area and you recall you said there was a group
9 formed in your village. You were the leader. And just to be clear, there
10 were groups also formed in Jaglici and a place called Brezova Njiva; is
11 that right?
12 A. Yes, groups. There was a group in Jaglici and a group in Brezova
14 Q. Thanks.
15 MR. DI FAZIO: I wonder if the witness can be shown the map very
16 briefly. It's D841. It's the big one.
17 Q. Mr. Ademovic I've had trouble finding Brezova Njiva. I wonder if
18 you can point it out to me. I had no problems with Jaglici and Susnjari.
19 But Brezova Njiva what I would like to you find for me, please.
20 MR. JONES: The witness did mark it on the map.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. My recollection is that he did. But ...
22 MR. DI FAZIO: Look, I'm sorry, I didn't want to --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: It is marked on my map, for example. It's marked by
24 2 letters, B and N. The problem is --
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Sorry, Your Honours, is it just slightly to the
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I can show you where I marked it but I have to find
3 my map first.
4 MR. DI FAZIO: I thought it was a different spelling.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I marked it for my own uses, obviously. It is
6 between Jaglici and Susnjari and he pointed there at roughly equal
7 distance between the two.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm sorry, I can see now it's BN.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I put BN there.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: I apologise to the Chamber. It went over my head.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: No problem. This gets complicated sometimes.
12 You're not the only one who finds it difficult.
13 MR. DI FAZIO:
14 Q. And again, pardon my -- sorry, Ms. Usher, I don't need the map
15 just for the moment. My apologies.
16 And was there another group also formed in a village called or an
17 area called Babalica or Babuljica, something like that?
18 A. It was established only later, later. I said it had 15 men and
19 its leader was Mensur Misanovic [phoen]. I think I said quite enough
20 about it.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, because I think again there is a
22 misunderstanding. You're asking about a village.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think he is answering about a village. He
25 is answering about a group.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: Okay. Look, I'll try and deal with it again.
2 Q. You've given history -- you've given testimony about the formation
3 of your group in Susnjari, in Jaglici, Brezova Njiva, and now I'm asking
4 about a fourth place, a fourth location, something like Babalica or
6 A. Yes. That is a village. It is a village quite far from me. To
7 the south of my area. But initially, the people had moved out of it.
8 Q. All right. Let's concentrate on the three villages --
9 A. I -- excuse me. You can see if you look at the map. I apologise.
10 If you look at the map, you can see in the map that it's not in my area.
11 Q. All right. We will concentrate on the villages in your area,
12 okay? Now, were they all formed at about the same time, these groups that
13 you've been speaking about?
14 A. At various intervals of time. I put myself at the disposal on the
15 18th, which doesn't mean that the group was actually formed on the 18th,
16 because I said in my testimony that we already had problems around
17 recognising people's status and membership, because of these groups,
18 because they wouldn't accept us as such, as legal members of the army of
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina. We had to prove in an administrative procedure,
20 retroactively where we had belonged.
21 Q. I don't know if I'm not making myself clear and I apologise to you
22 if I'm not. I'm not asking you about the legal niceties of whether or not
23 you were or were not a member of the ABiH Army. What I'm asking you is
24 this: Were the groups that you talked about, the independent local
25 groups, in Susnjari, Jaglici, in Brezova Njiva, were they all formed at
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 around the same time?
2 A. Somewhere in the first 10 days after the 18th of April, and up to
3 the end of April, in that space of time. It was all spontaneous. It
4 wasn't well organised. People were still leaving Srebrenica and Bratunac,
5 going off towards Tuzla or other European countries. There was still a
6 lot of confusion, a lot of fear.
7 Q. Fine. As far as your particular group was concerned, the Susnjari
8 grouping, at the beginning, when it was first formed, you had about 20
9 rifles and some pistols, thereabouts, right?
10 A. Yes. I said that. Some 20 weapons, either rifles or pistols, but
11 I do have to point out, as I said, that these were weapons for which
12 people had licences. They were hunting rifles and this includes pistols
13 or carbines. I had my official automatic rifle.
14 Q. I heard all your evidence, thank you, yesterday and the day
15 before. Thank you. That's fine. Did your group acquire more weapons
16 throughout 1992? Now, I know that you said in evidence in late June you
17 got a few more. But I'm talking about the whole year. Did your Susnjari
18 group acquire more weaponry as the year wore on?
19 A. Yes. Yes. In the way I described during conflicts, clashes. Let
20 me just mention one detail. On the 29th of June, the 29th of June, at
21 Hajducko Groblje when we set an ambush -- or, rather, when an ambush was
22 set for the refugees going off, we captured some weapons and a combat kit
23 and some infantry weapons and we exchanged these so that we replenished
24 our weapons, our store of weapons.
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's a question of the
1 transcript. The witness said when -- that they got the weapons, when an
2 ambush was set for the refugees, whereas here it says when they set an
3 ambush for the refugees, which is quite different.
4 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm sure that's correct.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you, Madam Vidovic.
6 MR. DI FAZIO:
7 Q. All I want to know is this: As the year wore on and you
8 approached the end of the year 1992 what sort of numbers of weaponry did
9 your group have and what type of weapons did your group have?
10 A. We had mixed, a mixed assortment or weapons, hunting rifles,
11 carbines, still all with licences. Then there were the automatic weapons
12 we captured, in the way I described, when we were ambushed by Serb forces
13 in various places and during the fighting, when we were attacked, and then
14 we would wait until we were sure and they would throw their weapons away
15 and we would collect them.
16 Q. I heard all of that. That's not a problem, okay? My question is
17 this: By the end of the year, what had you acquired? Just that. What
18 did you have? Dutch one Zolja, 15 Zoljas, 35 automatic weapons, grenades?
19 Just tell us -- give us a brief summary of what your group had by way of
20 weaponry by the end of the year. That's all I wanted to know.
21 A. Everything I've enumerated so far. I had this and after the 6th
22 of August, the big ambush and massacre at Hajducko Groblje, another M53,
23 and approximately, because I can't recall the exact number, several
24 semi-automatic rifles. That was all.
25 As for Zoljas and what you're talking about, I knew nothing of
1 that because it was the other side firing from those weapons in my area
2 where people were killed.
3 Q. All right. Thank you. Thank you for answering my question. Now
4 what about membership of your group? By the end of the year what sort of
5 numbers did your group have? And I know you told us that it fluctuated
6 from time to time, but at the end of 1992, how big was it, the Susnjari
8 A. I had 25, sometimes the number would increase for various reasons.
9 Sometimes people would leave because this was not obligatory so they would
10 leave to look for ford for their families so that you would come to the
11 position where you left him and he would be gone. More or less --
12 Q. You would agree with me on -- sorry, let me withdraw that and
13 rephrase it. Am I correct that there was really no significant
14 improvement in the weaponry held by your group or the numbers of men,
15 fighters, in your group from the time you started out by the end of 1992?
16 A few more extra automatic weapons and that's about it?
17 A. I said several automatic rifles and, in the course of 1992, two
18 M53s but we took this in two different ways. One was on the 29th of June
19 and the other on the 6th of August and the little on the 8th of August but
20 that was very little.
21 Q. So you had the same shortage of weaponry throughout all of 1992?
22 You could never substantially improve your position?
23 A. I don't know how. We were only helped in a certain time period
24 depending on the situation and the attack by the group from Jaglici or the
25 group from Brezova Njiva, if in their areas there were not intense
1 infantry attacks. And if they came to our assistance, they got weapons or
2 ammunition in the same way. And that was it.
3 Q. Okay. But apart from the scavenging of odd weapons following
4 military encounters, you didn't actually acquire much in the way of
5 weaponry or fighters throughout 1992, right?
6 A. The amounts the Serbs had, we didn't have. But we had enough to
7 wait because every bullet was worth its weight in gold. Every bullet
8 could mean a life. So we didn't waste any. We didn't have bread to eat,
9 let alone ammunition.
10 Q. Your capacity to resist the Serbs and their technological -- and
11 their technological advantage that they had didn't change substantially,
12 did it, from April 1992 to December 1992, on your evidence? Would you
13 agree with that proposition; no significant difference, a few extra
14 automatic weapons, that's all you got, correct?
15 A. That's correct as far as my group goes. I did have another
16 advantage because our geographical position, location, gave me a greater
17 chance with far less equipment and, by making sure that no bullet was
18 wasted, to survive. Otherwise we would have suffered a disaster like the
19 one in 1995. I have to say that there were two other groups in the area
20 who would occasionally come to my assistance.
21 Q. Okay. I was going to ask you about those other two groups, the
22 Jaglici and the Brezova Njiva group, okay?
23 Did their position vis-a-vis weaponry and fighters remain
24 basically static throughout 1992, as yours had?
25 A. The situation was the same as in my case. The numbers increased
1 somewhat but not a lot.
2 Q. All right. Thank you. Now we will move on to another aspect of
3 these groups that I'd like to know about.
4 Firstly, can you briefly tell us how it came to be that you were
5 made leader of your group? Briefly, please, Mr. Ademovic. I just want to
6 know how it happened. Was it a meeting, an election, discussion? Just
7 tell us briefly.
8 A. There was no meeting. There was no election, if you mean a legal
9 procedure, systematic and chronological process. It was all spontaneous
10 on the part of the local villagers in the village because they saw what
11 was going on from Croatia and further afield. I was hesitant to accept,
12 and had not the situation been what it was, I would never have accepted.
13 But with hindsight I would do the same again. I would not, however, wish
14 my experiences on my worst enemy. I wouldn't want my worst enemy to be
15 put in the same situation that I was in. You can imagine what I knew,
16 what I'd seen, and when you're desperate --
17 Q. Mr. Ademovic, I'm very fortunate not to have had your experiences.
18 All I'm asking you is a very simple question, okay? How did you become
19 leader? That's all. How did it happen? I'm not asking for -- I'm not
20 suggesting you should have followed any procedure or that you wrested
21 power from someone. I'm just asking you: How did you become leader?
22 That's all.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Basically if I could assist here, intervene.
24 What Mr. Di Fazio want to know is how come that out of all the
25 people in Susnjari -- in your village, the choice fell on you and not on
1 someone else? This is what we want to know.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll put it simply. I arrived in my
3 village through the woods. I brought an official automatic rifle with me.
4 And they saw their entire security hanging on that one single automatic
5 rifle at the time. I would have been happy had someone else taken it or
6 had there been more such weapons, unfortunately. But I happened to have
7 this weapon. And people saw their security as hanging on that single
8 rifle. And although I did so reluctantly, I --
9 MR. DI FAZIO:
10 Q. All right. Well, what sort of control did you exert over this
11 group in the months that followed your becoming leader of the group? In
12 particular, what I want to know is this: Were you able to tell the men
13 where to go and fight, how to -- first that question. Were you able to
14 tell them where to go and where to fight?
15 A. As for control and issuing orders, it was all voluntary. There
16 was a patriotic commitment, but I couldn't issue an ultimatum to someone
17 or say to them, "You have to go there. You have to do this." I want to
18 clarify this. I do apologise, but I have said in my testimony that it was
19 not an obligation. People would leave. They did leave. People from my
20 group left to look for food because the situation was what it was, for
21 various reasons.
22 Q. Okay. So if you had planned an action to take place in two or
23 three or four days' time that required ten men, at any point of time in
24 the next two or three or four days, any number of those ten men could have
25 come and said to you, "No, I'm sorry, I'm not going to go and participate
1 in that action." That was always a possibility?
2 A. Please, sir. With all due respect, what could we have planned?
3 Does it say anywhere we planned anything? All the time we just waited.
4 We didn't go anywhere. There was no planning. What kind of planning? I
5 was only in my own area with these men with the capacities we had. The
6 manpower I had, the -- and the gun I had --
7 THE INTERPRETER: The rifle, that is, interpreter's correction.
8 THE WITNESS: -- the MTS. All I could do was make use of the
9 configuration of the terrain in order to save myself and others.
10 All I wanted was to avoid being hit by a bullet and being killed.
11 Q. But you've given us extensive evidence of being involved in --
12 well, yes, of being involved in military encounters at the very least.
13 And when you were involved in these military encounters, you were doing so
14 with members of your own group, weren't you, Kravica, and places like
15 that? That's correct, isn't it?
16 A. Yes. With the groups who came to me under the circumstances that
18 Q. Thank you. Now, when you were involved in these military
19 activities with members of your group, did you ever think in advance about
20 what you were going to do? Did you plan it?
21 A. I didn't have any opportunity to plan anything.
22 Q. Okay.
23 A. The only thing that happened --
24 Q. So --
25 A. Please, please. Let me describe it specifically. When I set out
1 towards Kravica, I didn't plan anything. The only thing I could plan was
2 looking for bread and perhaps a bullet or two, because, as I said, I was
3 hungry and I ate grass.
4 Q. Okay. So is it that your testimony to the Trial Chamber, that
5 from April of 1992 until demilitarisation, you and your group made no plan
6 for any military activity at all? Is it -- do I understand you correctly?
7 A. My whole testimony, if you followed it, you and the esteemed
8 gentlemen, described my own area, the struggle to survive, to survive, to
9 stay alive, and to help the refugees, of whom there were enormous numbers
10 there, to help them somehow.
11 Q. Mr. Ademovic, I'm not asking you about the suffering of your
12 people, okay? I'm not. I'm asking you about military activity.
13 A. I apologise. I apologise. I, as far as military activities, or
14 plans to attack, I had none of that. There was no possibility of that.
15 And everything I've said so far goes to confirm this. There was only the
16 struggle to survive. You can imagine planning an attack.
17 Q. All right. Okay. You made no plans for any attacks. What about
18 plans for defending your village? Did you make any plans for defending
19 Susnjari using this group of people?
20 A. Please. If you're being attacked, with that kind of force, would
21 you defend your own house? Under the circumstances I was in, I was born
22 there, I was not attacking anyone. I had what I had. And what I had, and
23 they were slaughtering and killing people, and people wanted bread. They
24 had nothing to eat. What would you have done in my situation?
25 Q. I'm not criticising you, Mr. Ademovic. I can fully understand
1 that you would want to --
2 A. I do apologise. I do have feelings.
3 Q. Yes. I understand that. I'm not seeking to mislead you or to
4 upset you in any way. All I want to know is about planning and how your
5 group operated. I want to know how they worked, how they functioned,
6 okay? So did you make any plans for the defence of your village? Because
7 you had good reason to, okay? So did you make any plans?
8 A. If in one day on Ravni Buljim and Rupoglav in that tiny area,
9 there would be 3.000 projectiles of various calibres falling, landing in
10 that area. What would you have done in that situation? Would you have
11 climbed the tree or dug a dugout?
12 MR. DI FAZIO: Your Honour, we have got five minutes to go.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: We have eight minutes to go.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: Eight minutes to go.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: It's up to you, of course.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: I think I've reached the end of this particular
17 topic for the moment, if Your Honours please, and I'd like to consider
18 what I -- my position as far as cross-examination goes. I may be able to
19 finish tomorrow.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
21 MR. DI FAZIO: I don't know. I'm not -- certainly not making any
22 promises but I might be able to.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: But -- I do appreciate what you're saying and I
24 think -- I know exactly what you mean. However, you have to understand
25 that we cannot operate in limbo as regards witnesses. I cannot leave
1 today here and leave the witness not knowing whether he is going back on
2 Saturday or whether he is going back on Monday or on Tuesday. As we are
3 going, if you continue and finish your cross-examination, we will be here
4 Tuesday if not Wednesday.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: No question.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: And that's a fair assessment, believe me. I know
7 what I am saying. But he has got a family, I presume.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: I understand that.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: And he needs to let his family know when he is going
10 back. And I have, together with Judge Brydensholt and Judge Eser, and we
11 have talked about this several times, a responsibility to minimise the
12 costs of this Tribunal as much as possible.
13 MR. DI FAZIO: Your Honour, I find myself in a peculiar situation.
14 Let me say this. If I proceed with the cross-examination that I have
15 planned so far, and plan on working on tonight, there is no way that we
16 will finish tomorrow. It's out of the question, I think.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I can quite understand that.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: I, however, just wish to tell the Trial Chamber
19 that I may decide to at some point tomorrow cut it short. That's all I'm
20 saying. As presently advised we are not going to finish tomorrow.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Madam Registrar, I understand that the
22 Victims and Witnesses Unit are monitoring the sitting so they follow
23 what's going on. So I'm just tasking you with coordinating with them,
24 explain to them if they have not understood what the situation is, and
25 then they know which preparations to provide for or make.
1 As far as you, Mr. Ademovic, the situation -- you've heard me. I
2 wish I were in a position to tell you here and now tomorrow we'll finish
3 and you can go home on Saturday. As it is, I don't know what the
4 situation is. So I am informing the victims and witnesses unit, who are
5 usually in charge of making arrangements for your return back home,
6 that -- to leave options open. In other words, not to close the option of
7 taking -- sending you back home on Saturday if Mr. Di Fazio brings his
8 cross-examination to an end tomorrow. If not then we are obviously leer
9 Monday, if not also Tuesday, and I don't know what days there are flights
10 to wherever you wish to go because I don't know where you're living now
11 and I don't want to know. So that's the position. Just wanted to put
12 your mind at rest that we are taking an interest in trying to leave all
13 options open so as not to leave you here unnecessarily. All right?
14 So we will adjourn now. Tomorrow, as I said, Ms. Vidovic and
15 Mr. Wubben, it's 9.00. Is it the same courtroom? It is still here in
16 Courtroom I at 9.00 in the morning instead of quarter past 200. All
17 right? Thank you.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.12 p.m., to
19 be reconvened on Friday, the 28th day of October,
20 2005, at 9.00 a.m.