1 Friday, 28 October 2005
2 [Open session]
3 --- On commencing at 9.07 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Good morning, Madam Registrar, could you call
6 the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, thank you, Your Honour. Case IT-03-68-T, the
8 prosecutor versus Naser Oric.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Registrar, and good morning to you.
10 Mr. Oric, can you follow the proceedings in your own language?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours, ladies
12 and gentlemen. Yes, I can follow the proceedings in my own language.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good morning to you. You may sit
14 down. Appearances for Prosecution.
15 MR. WUBBEN: Good morning, Your Honours, and also good morning to
16 the Defence. My name is Jan Wubben, lead counsel for the Prosecution.
17 I'm here together with co-counsel Mr. Gramsci Di Fazio, Ms. Joanne
18 Richardson, and our case manager, Ms. Donnica Henry-Frijlink.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Wubben, and good morning to you and
20 your team. Appearances for Naser Oric.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours; good
22 morning, my learned friends. My name is Vasvija Vidovic, and together
23 with Mr. John Jones I appear for Mr. Naser Oric. With us are our legal
24 assistant, Ms. Adisa Mehic, and our CaseMap manager, Mr. Geoff Roberts.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Ms. Vidovic, and good morning to you
1 and your team. Any preliminaries before we bring in the witness? And the
2 second thing -- yes, Mr. Wubben.
3 MR. WUBBEN: No, Your Honour.
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you think you're going to finish with this
6 witness today, Mr. Di Fazio? Before he comes in. Because yesterday you
7 showed a certain kind of -- and I can quite understand, as I said,
8 ambivalence especially since we did not interfere at any time. But it's
9 up to you. We certainly will not --
10 MR. DI FAZIO: I think I understand that, Your Honours. Yes. I
11 don't think I'll finish today.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: So I think --
13 MR. DI FAZIO: But I ask that you not be surprised if I abruptly
14 end during the course of the day.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I mean, I think, Mr. Jones, we have to -- at
16 this point we have to play it by the ear and keep both options open with
17 the VW section, as we did yesterday. Do you agree?
18 Yes, Mr. Wubben.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
20 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, by the end of the session today --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: You would like to make a submission?
22 MR. WUBBEN: Yes. It will be short and limited.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, certainly. So we'll stop five minutes --
24 Registrar, please remind me to stop five to ten minutes before the end of
25 the sitting with this witness so that we discuss something.
1 Yes. Madam Usher has probably already gone to fetch the witness.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 WITNESS: SIDIK ADEMOVIC [Resumed]
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, Mr. Ademovic.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Good morning, Your
8 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome back. I hope you are rested enough, and
9 we will now proceed with the cross-examination. We will make an effort to
10 try and finish today, but I'm not promising you that because much depends
11 on the way you answer questions, which could prolong the cross-examination
12 until Monday.
13 So, Mr. Di Fazio.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honours.
15 Cross-examined by Mr. Di Fazio: [Continued]
16 Q. Good morning, Mr. Ademovic. Mr. Ademovic, I want to ask you some
17 more questions about the local independent groups and the way that they
18 did or did not relate to each other.
19 You said on Tuesday, the 25th of October, this week, that all the
20 groups were independent and they did not act jointly, and you also said
21 that nobody trusted anyone else. And you further expanded on that when
22 you answered a question from Judge Eser regarding that issue, and you said
23 that there was distrust between group leaders because they believed that
24 they were the best ones to preserve their own villages, to look after
25 their own villages. Do you recall that evidence?
1 A. In my area of Susnjari, there were three groups, three of us: My
2 group, the Jaglici group, and the Brezova Njiva group. Each of us had our
3 own group. If you look at the map -- if you look at the map --
4 Q. I don't want to look at the map, Mr. Ademovic. I want to ask you
5 this: Do you recall your evidence that the groups, the leaders,
6 mistrusted -- the groups mistrusted each other and the leaders of these
7 independent local groups believed they were the best ones to look after
8 the concerns and interests of their village? Simple question. Do you
9 remember what you said last Tuesday? That's all. Yes or no, do you
10 remember it?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you. Did this distrust that you have mentioned continue
13 throughout 1992?
14 A. No. As the intensity of the fighting developed, trust was built
15 up because it became evident that we had to cooperate. But everybody was
16 the best one to defend their own village. You would probably defend your
17 own house best, just as I defended mine and they defended theirs. Those
18 were the beginnings.
19 Q. And -- and local knowledge, when you're underarmed, is really a
20 very important tool to have when you're fighting a technologically
21 superior enemy, isn't it? You'd agree with that, wouldn't you?
22 A. I was not leading a fight. I was not conducting the fighting. I
23 was being attacked.
24 Q. Yes, okay. I understand. You're being attacked and you're
25 defending. I understand that. Okay.
1 A. I was in my yard. I didn't go anywhere outside it.
2 Q. All right. So by about what time would you say that the groups --
3 and I'm really talking about your area and Susnjari, the Jaglici and the
4 third group that you mentioned whose name I've -- I can't recall at the
5 moment, something Njiva, I think, those three groups, they eventually
6 started to trust each other; correct?
7 A. As time went by and as the attacks intensified, we did build up
8 mutual confidence and we did assist each other, but we remained three
9 groups. There were three different group leaders.
10 Q. Yes. I hear what you say. By what time would -- would you say in
11 1992 that you'd reached a position where you trusted each other?
12 A. When the intensity of the attacks increased and when the numbers
13 of refugees grew to several thousand, then willy-nilly we had to cooperate
14 and help those people. Practically, it was a large group of refugees, and
15 there was no longer any accommodation in houses, sheds, barns, stables.
16 People had to stay outside. And there was hunger generally.
17 Q. Would you say that this point was reached in about May of 1992,
18 the point where you're forced to -- or you realised that you must
20 A. Mid-May, June, July. That was when the intensity of the attacks
21 was highest. In June or July, we already had several thousand refugees.
22 Q. Yes. But would you say that this notion that you had to
23 cooperate, the independent local groups had to cooperate, this
24 understanding was in place by May of 1992? That's what I'm asking you.
25 A. No. In May it was still independent activity. We would
1 occasionally meet, exchange information, but each group was independent.
2 There was no firm trust. I repeat, nobody believed somebody else could
3 defend their house.
4 Q. We'll return to the point at which trust built up, but I just want
5 to go now to the original -- sorry, to an earlier point of time when there
6 was this mistrust that you, that you have told us about. Is it your --
7 are you saying that there was mistrust between the local groups in April
8 of 1992, early April and early May of 1992?
9 A. In April, that was when I arrived up there. I said on the 18th of
10 April, I put myself at the disposal. On the 18th of April, I arrived
11 there and put myself at their disposal. Nobody knew what was going to
12 happen, what the situation was going to be.
13 Q. On Tuesday the 25th of October, Madam Vidovic asked you this
14 series of questions and you provided this series of answers:
15 "Q. Besides this group of yours which you said was
16 armed and which you led in the Susnjari area, were there any other armed
17 groups within the circle that you drew?"
18 Talking about the circle on the map.
19 "Q. Were there people in Jaglici, Brezova Njiva?
20 A. Yes. There were about 15 of them and ten in Brezova
21 Njiva. In Babuljica --" I'm sorry, I'm not sure if I pronounced it
22 correctly -- "there were about 15.
23 Q. And these groups, did they act jointly with your
25 A. No. They were independent.
1 Q. Can you describe your relationship to these groups?
2 How did that work?
3 A. It was all independent. Nobody trusted anyone else.
4 Everyone guarded their own village, their own house. It was such a
5 situation that nobody ever knew whether they would see the night alive or
6 see the morning alive."
7 Now, to use your words, "nobody trusted anyone else," when did
8 that atmosphere of mistrust exist? Was it in April of 1992 and early May
9 of 1992?
10 A. Both in April and in early May. It was only in June and July,
11 when the number of refugees grew, when this whole area became flooded with
12 refugees, when we were forced willy-nilly to look after these refugees.
13 Of course then we started to cooperate better.
14 Q. Yes. Susnjari is --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. Sorry.
17 Q. Susnjari is not at all far from Jaglici and the other small
18 village that you mentioned, is it? They're all actually quite close to
19 each other. If you look at the map, they all appear to be very close to
20 each other. Would you agree?
21 A. Yes. You can see that on the map. Why?
22 Q. And they're all Muslim villages, aren't they? You agree?
23 A. Yes, with one Serb house.
24 Q. Yes. And they're all surrounded by a hostile Serb enemy. You
1 A. I think I indicated the villages quite correctly on the map, and
2 you can see what the situation is if you look at the map.
3 Q. Thank you. You did that very well. And they're all surrounded by
4 a hostile Serb enemy. Do you agree?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Right. So -- and the people in Susnjari and Jaglici, for example,
7 knew each other quite well, didn't they? Villagers living in close
8 proximity, same ethnic group?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you find it peculiar that in those circumstances where they are
11 people who are living close together, the same ethnic group, find
12 themselves in the same dire situation with the same common interests, that
13 they mistrust each other, that they don't cooperate? Was that peculiar to
14 you back in April and early May of 1992? Did it strike you as peculiar?
15 A. Why would it seem peculiar? If they were cut off from each other
16 by constant shelling. On the 18th of April the intensity of shelling -
17 that's 1992 - it started at 10.05, the first shelling, and a large number
18 of shells of various calibres, fired from Vratinci, landed in the Potocari
19 area as well as in the Susnjari area. Even the cattle were shelled, and
20 even if people wanted to cooperate, they had no opportunity, because if
21 hundreds of shells land in a single area in a single day, or thousands of
22 shells land in a single day, people aren't able to walk about and to sit
23 down with each other and have coffee and talk. This is not good for
24 people. It gives rise to fear. You can evaluate that for yourself.
25 Q. In early -- sorry, in April and early May of 1992, were the people
1 from your village, Susnjari, able to communicate with Jaglici?
2 A. Very rarely. Only at night. But even then, people went about
3 very rarely at night because whenever anybody moved, there was shelling.
4 They even shelled cattle. They instilled fear right at the beginning
5 because they were able to do that.
6 From the village of Lisine, they had their observers and they
7 controlled every metre of territory. So how could one go out and risk his
8 life? That made it impossible to communicate. You can look at the map.
9 I don't object at all.
10 Q. And there was no let-up in the shelling, was there? You wouldn't
11 say that, would you?
12 A. Occasionally. Occasionally there would be a lull, and then people
13 would go back to their farms, and then again there would be both selective
14 and non-selective shelling in every area.
15 Q. In the lull periods, did you as the leader of the Susnjari group
16 ever say to yourself or consider going across to Jaglici and saying to the
17 group over there, "Let's pool our resources so that we can better resist
18 the enemy"? Did you ever consider that? "The few resources that we
20 A. I wasn't in the village. I was outside the village. My area was
21 Ravni Buljim. That is between Jaglici and Brezova Njiva. You can see it
22 on the map.
23 Q. I've got the map here. Did you ever consider going from Ravni
24 Buljim to Jaglici -- sorry, to Susnjari and getting the Susnjari group
25 together and then going over to speak to the lads in Jaglici and
1 discussing possible cooperation in order to better resist the enemy? To
2 do away with this idea of local independent groups so that you might
3 better resist the enemy? Did you ever consider that?
4 A. I'm saying that where I was with my group was Ravni Buljim. The
5 group from Jaglici was in Rupoglav. Look at the map. The geographical
6 area of Brezova Njiva was covered by a third group so that we were around
7 the edges of our area.
8 Q. All the three groups were around the edges of your area; is that
10 A. Yes. I wouldn't wait for the enemy in my own house. I would go
11 in front of house. Those are our farms. That was our area. I wouldn't
12 wait for him inside my house.
13 Q. I can understand that. I can understand that. And it makes good
14 sense, doesn't it, what you did, just to try and set up a line and protect
15 your villages. That makes good sense.
16 A. Whether it made sense or not, it was the only thing to do. This
17 was my turf, my backyard, and I was protecting it. I was protecting my
18 home, my family, and my friends, and so were they. Would you do the same?
19 Q. And when you were setting up this line to protect your own
20 backyard and your house and your -- and your family, were you acting
21 together in cooperation with these other groups from the other villages?
22 A. Look at the map. Everyone -- well, look at the map. If I divide
23 this desk into three areas, I'm active in one area, the second group in
24 the second area, the third group in the third area, and it all makes up a
25 whole. So look at Ravni Buljim and the other two areas. There's no need
1 for me to explain if you understand the map.
2 Q. Let's move on. You -- you --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Just one moment, because he -- after all of this
4 series of questions we still haven't got an answer to the basic question
5 that you put to the witness, whether at any time he thought it fit to
6 approach the other two groups to coordinate. He hasn't answered that
7 question as yet.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: I'll revisit the issue.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: So if you want to revisit the issue, please do. If
10 you don't, move ahead.
11 MR. DI FAZIO:
12 Q. I'll ask you the question again: Did you, in April or May 1992,
13 consider saying to the other groups in the area, "Let us work together in
14 defending ourselves against this technologically superior Serb enemy"?
15 Did you ever consider that?
16 A. In late May and early June, and also July, as I said, when the
17 mass of refugees grew to several thousand, I think I said quite clearly
18 that coordination and cooperation among the groups started. I said that a
19 long time ago. So cooperation did begin.
20 Q. Okay. And how did that cooperation begin? Was there a discussion
21 about it? Did you sit down with the other leaders of the other groups and
22 talk to them about the best way to deal with the situation?
23 A. Yes. First we discussed how to accommodate those people, what the
24 best way was, and that was when we began to link up the line. That's what
25 I've been saying all along.
1 Q. I understand that. Thank you. So you actually discussed with the
2 other leaders the need to start cooperating and working together, and that
3 was at sometime in early June; is that right?
4 A. I said late May, early June, and in July when the mass of refugees
5 grew to several thousand and accommodating and looking after those people
6 required cooperation. And then we also began cooperating along the line,
7 around the periphery of our area. We didn't fight among ourselves.
8 Q. I'm not suggesting that you did. When this cooperation amongst
9 the groups began to take place, manifest itself, did the groups consider
10 setting up a command structure amongst these groups that were now
11 cooperating so that they might be led together?
12 A. What command structure? What are you talking about, my dear sir?
13 Look at this area. I do apologise, but look at what I've been saying
14 these three days. Were there any elements or any prerequisites for a
15 command structure? How --
16 Q. Mr. Ademovic, I'm not talking about giving yourselves ranks like
17 field marshals and carrying out parade drills or anything like that. I
18 understand the situation that you were in. I understand that, okay? But
19 what I'm asking you is this: Did you, as the cooperation between the
20 groups developed, did the groups decide that they needed to have someone
21 who was in charge who was going to be able to make decisions that affected
22 all of the men in those -- those different groups? That's all I'm asking.
23 That's what I mean by "command structure."
24 A. Please. I repeat, please look at what I said. Was there time?
25 Was there room? Were there conditions for anything of that sort?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. So by the time this cooperation was established and the three
2 groups were -- and the village groups in your area were cooperating in
3 order to maintain the line, there was no overall leader or group of men -
4 it doesn't have to be one man, but a group of men - who were in charge of
5 all of the men in the three groups. That never emerged, is that what
6 you're saying?
7 A. No. Everyone was responsible for his own group. And as for the
8 refugees, we helped each other. Those who had more room would take
9 refugees in. Do you know what it would mean to be the leader or the
10 commander, to have people and soldiers come to you and say, "I have no
11 clothing. I have no footwear. I have no this, no that"? Do you know
12 what kind of logistic support one would need?
13 Q. Okay. So if during this period of time when cooperation had
14 overcome the mistrust and the groups were working and holding the line, it
15 was possible for any one group to simply leave the line, if it so decided,
16 and to do something else; or it was possible for one particular group to
17 disagree with another group as to what particular manoeuvre or action
18 should be adopted on any given day in order to maintain the line. Would
19 you agree with that?
20 A. I've already said that it was not mandatory to be a member of the
21 group. In my earlier testimony these three days I spoke to that effect.
22 Whatever need arose for an attack in June or July -- or, rather, when
23 there was an attack on the refugees moving in the direction of Konjevic
24 Polje, of course there was movement across Djermani, Jezestica to Ravna
25 Gora to fight the Serbian forces, to protect those miserable people who
1 were massacred down there.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me.
3 Can the witness be shown P25. Just before the witness is shown
4 that --
5 Q. Mr. Ademovic, would you -- Mr. Ademovic. Mr. Ademovic, would you
6 agree with me that it would have been desirable for these groups to have a
7 command structure?
8 A. I have been telling you all along that there were only groups, and
9 in my area, up until the 8th or 9th or 10th of August --
10 Q. I've heard what you said. It's a simple question: Would it have
11 been desirable to have a command structure in these groups, any sort of
12 command structure? Would it have been a good idea in the circumstances,
13 do you think?
14 A. I've already told you. There was no possibility to put something
15 like that in place because we had to fight for our survival. I told you
16 that in this period of time I ate such quantities of grass that would
17 exceed by ten times my own weight. And we had the refugees there to take
18 care of. What sort command structure would we be setting up when we were
19 cut off, when we didn't have any bread to eat for ten months?
20 Q. Okay.
21 A. Please. I hope you understand me.
22 Q. Yes, I understand you. Please look at P25. I want to read into
23 the record the first paragraph -- two paragraphs. Follow my words:
24 "After the action on the 21st of April, 1992, carried out in
25 Potocari, 14 members of the Arkan unit were killed, and somebody himself
1 was wounded and later succumbed to his wounds."
2 MR. JONES: Sorry, we're not able to find this.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Neither can I. Can you bring the document here,
5 MR. DI FAZIO: There's something wrong with our exhibit system.
6 We've got a document here that --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: It's all right. Is it possible to have it on
9 MR. DI FAZIO: It is, if Your Honours bear --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Because then we can simplify it. It is on Sanction
11 now, but --
12 MR. DI FAZIO: But this is not the document.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: This is what we were seeing on the ELMO in any case
14 and it's not what you were reading. Yes, he said P25, but what he was
15 reading does not match what we saw here. Can I have a look at it, please?
16 It's not. Mr. Di Fazio, let's not waste time. What you were
17 reading is not from what appears to us to be P25. It must be from some
18 other document. Arkan's men are not mentioned in this document.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: I've been proceeding on the basis -- it's a
20 mistake, it's not just my mistake. It says Exhibit --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me see. Yes. What could be the problem --
22 isn't either.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: The document I'm interested in is a document dated
24 the 23rd of June, 1992.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: So this is neither 26 nor 25.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: Okay. The document I'm interested in is the 23rd
2 of June. It's a report to the republican TO staff, signed by the -- by
3 Mr. Oric, signed on the 23rd of June, sent on the 24th of June.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: P25 is definitely purported to be signed by Naser
5 Oric, but it's not the one you're reading.
6 MR. DI FAZIO: Could you give us a moment, if Your Honours,
7 please --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, of course. I'm not angry at you, Mr. Di Fazio.
9 These things happen. But of course we need to see the documents as well.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: Sorry. P269, apparently. And may I see it before
11 it's given to the witness. My document, if Your Honours -- is stamped
12 with what appears to be official court document, saying P25. So obviously
13 there's been some sort of mistake somewhere in the past and ...
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Vidovic.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this document was not
16 on the list of the exhibits. We don't have it here with us.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's not make a major issue out of it.
18 If it was a mistake, let's try to find a solution. I understand, of
19 course --
20 MR. DI FAZIO: This is the one, if Your Honours please.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it 269 or --
22 MR. DI FAZIO: It's 269. No question. We've got the right
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, because we don't have it either.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Sorry about that. It --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it going to be on Sanction or not?
2 MR. DI FAZIO: We're trying.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. At least let's have it on the ELMO.
4 MR. DI FAZIO:
5 Q. All right. Now, I think we can start again. Mr. Ademovic, you
6 see the first paragraph that I started to read out earlier, and it
7 continues: "Until the 20th of May, several successful actions were
8 carried out on the territory of Srebrenica municipality. All those
9 actions were carried out without proper coordination, since all
10 representatives of authorities before the onset of the war had left the
11 territory of Srebrenica, including the then Srebrenica TO command, and
12 many of them found refuge in Serbia.
13 "Since there was evident need for coordination of all actions on
14 the territory of Srebrenica municipality, the organisers of previous
15 actions met on the 20th of May, 1992, in the village of Bajramovici and
16 made the decision to form a Crisis Staff of Srebrenica TO, which would
17 include Zulfo Tursunovic, Akif Ustic, Becir Bogilovic, Naser Oric, Hamdija
18 Fejzic, Sevket Djozic and Ahmo Tihic."
19 Now, this document, if your turn to the second page, is apparently
20 signed by Mr. Oric.
21 Now, if those are the words of Mr. Oric, would you agree that that
22 makes good sense, the sentiments contained in that paragraph, that there
23 wasn't any proper coordination and the representatives -- there wasn't
24 proper coordination and, therefore, there was a decision to meet and form
25 a Crisis Staff; in other words, a sort of leadership. Would you agree
1 with that? Does that make good sense?
2 A. I apologise, but I don't see any date, or, rather, it is not
3 clearly visible. I see 03/06/19, but I can't see -- I can't make out the
4 year entered into the heading.
5 Q. If there's any problem with the dates, Madam Vidovic will ask you
6 about it. But I'm not asking you about the dates of the document, I'm
7 asking you about the content.
8 Would you agree with these words: "There was an evident need for
9 coordination of all actions on the territory of Srebrenica municipality"?
10 Would you agree that there was such a need back then in 1992? Would you
11 agree with that?
12 A. I told you no. I heard about such documents for the first time in
13 Nijaz Masic's book. And as far as the signature is concerned, if I may be
14 allowed to further explain. Look at the signature and look at the stamp.
15 May I continue?
16 Q. Yes, please do.
17 A. Please look at the signature and the stamp. I hold you in high
18 esteem. You have far more experience than I do, although I have some
19 experience in graphics.
20 Look at the way in which the stamp was used here. I believe that
21 you know what the rules for the use of the stamp are. Do you?
22 Q. No, no, no, no. You tell us about the stamp. You tell us all
23 about it.
24 A. The rules governing the use of stamps in administration. That's
25 what I meant. This is pure forgery. You probably got this from the
1 project bureau, just as I did when there was this trumped-up document
2 bearing the name, I believe it was, of Milko Markovic, involving me. And
3 I noticed this bit.
4 Q. All right. So you can instantly tell that that's a forgery, can't
5 you, just by looking at it? Straight away you can tell it's a forgery.
6 A. This kind of a document bears no validity for me. I never saw
7 anything of the sort. There were no circumstances in place for this, and
8 I never heard of anything of this sort until I read it in Nijaz Masic's
9 book. I believe I told you so already.
10 Q. All right. Okay. Well, let's look at the content of this fake,
11 this forgery. Do you agree with the content of this forgery; namely, that
12 there was a definite need for coordination of all actions on the territory
13 of Srebrenica municipality? Would you agree with that, forgery or
15 A. Please, I told you nobody even pondered any sort of coordination.
16 Everybody took care of their own turf and had so many things on their
17 minds rather than walking ten or 15 kilometres away. Do you think that
18 Srebrenica was a free territory? It was cut off into different enclaves.
19 It looked like leopard skin.
20 Q. All right. I've finished with that document, Madam Usher, thank
22 If -- the scenario that you've been describing regarding the
23 workings of these local independent groups in your area and their
24 relationship with each other and the way they functioned, was that
25 happening on more or less the same basis all across the Srebrenica area,
1 the area throughout Srebrenica municipality where there were Muslim --
2 Muslim villages?
3 A. Consider this, I believe I made myself quite clear: Look at what
4 I marked on the map. Look at the map, please. It was only on the 10th of
5 August 1992, that I was able to look out into the world. The door finally
6 opened for me. Before that, I was in encirclement. How was I able to
7 know what was going on elsewhere? In that particular period of time
8 probably something similar was going on there to what was going on in my
9 area. But I could only imagine what was going on in Potocari. It was
10 only later that I realised that everything had been razed. You can go to
11 Potocari now and look at the traces of what had happened there.
12 Q. So what I was asking was, essentially, using all of the knowledge
13 that you have since 1992, anything that you -- any knowledge that you
14 might have acquired afterwards from talking to people, discussing the war,
15 thinking back on those events and those times, can you say that this
16 development of local independent groups, the scenario that you've
17 described happening in your area, was it happening over the wider
18 Srebrenica area amongst the Muslim villages, the same -- the same pattern;
19 the emergence of local groups that did -- that coordinated with each other
20 from time to time, if they chose, and didn't at other times?
21 A. When I was able to get in touch after the 10th of August, 1992, in
22 Potocari, Lehovici, I realised that I had experienced some of the things
23 that other groups in those areas had experienced, and that was only normal
24 because that was the only way for us to survive. Now, how did they make
25 do? Probably the same way as I did.
1 On the 10th of August, 1992 -- or, rather, before that date I did
2 not have an opportunity to know anything about it. It was when I started
3 receiving information about what was going on in the other areas from the
4 refugees who came from different directions that I realised that I had
5 been experiencing similar things - these refugees were coming from the
6 areas covered by the other groups - that there had been massacre -- they
7 had been massacred, people killed and taken away. This was confirmed
8 later on in Suha and Repovci. And you want to deny all that, that all
9 that had happened. These are the things that I have in mind when I talk.
10 Q. Let's move on. Let's move on to Motorolas. Your Motorola was a
11 police Motorola, had a range of four to five kilometres, correct, in good
12 country? I'm sure you can answer that with a yes or a no.
13 A. Yes. The one that I had, it was hand-held with a range of four to
14 five kilometres.
15 Q. Okay.
16 A. And of course if the territory was rugged, then the range would
17 have been less if there were any obstacles.
18 Q. And you've told the Trial Chamber that you could hear what the
19 Serb military was doing and also what it intended doing. That was, wasn't
20 it --
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. -- an invaluable tool that produced invaluable material, namely
23 intelligence about what the Serbs were up to; correct?
24 A. At the time, it was of little value, but I was able to obtain very
25 good and valuable information through it.
1 In 1992, the police equipment was already outdated and quite
2 unsophisticated compared to what the Yugoslav People's Army had, just to
3 make this clear.
4 Q. Don't worry. I'm not suggesting that you had better equipment
5 than the Serbs. I'm not going to make that suggestion, okay? All I'm
6 asking you is this: It was invaluable material that was produced, namely
7 intelligence. Okay? You agree with that?
8 A. Whatever I obtained through the little Motorola I had helped save
9 thousands of people. In fact, it saved my own life. And not only mine
10 but that of dozens of people who were passing through. I was able to warn
11 them to seek shelter away from the clearings, the meadows, and so on.
12 Although in spite of that, many of them were killed and massacred. I had
13 to use axes to cut off the limbs of those who were wounded, without any
15 Q. And did you share the intelligence that you obtained from
16 listening on your radio with the other groups that were operating in your
17 area? The ones that were holding the line, as you described?
18 A. Look at my position up there at Ravni Buljim. If the intelligence
19 had to do with Jaglici or Rupoglav, which was about a kilometre from where
20 I was, wouldn't you yourself find it necessary to get in touch with the
21 people over there and warn them? Because if they get to be destroyed, so
22 will I be. Of course, I had to take care as to what was going to happen
23 to them.
24 Q. You started sharing intelligence with the other groups and letting
25 them know what the Serbs were up to; right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did you put in place a system for making sure that the
3 intelligence that you got, you obtained, was disseminated through to the
4 other groups? For example, trying to use any captured radios or couriers
5 or any other means of communication?
6 A. I don't know what captured radios you have in mind. I had no such
7 captured radio sets. I --
8 Q. Did you put in place --
9 A. Please, let us make a distinction as follows: The radio, if you
10 have the same type of radio in mind that I do, is -- has a bit of a longer
11 range than a -- than an outdated Motorola.
12 As for the couriers that you have in mind, I could only use them
13 in my own area of Jaglici and Brezova Njiva to pass the message across. I
14 did not have a vehicle. I didn't have planes, like the Serbs did. I
15 didn't have shells.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just a reaction to the
18 transcript. The witness said as for the couriers, I could only send a
19 man. He did not really say "I could use them." He stated that he could
20 only send a man to notify them over there, not a courier.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Is that correct, Mr. Ademovic?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, of course, a man. There were
23 no couriers.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: We can simplify this part, Mr. Di Fazio, if you
25 don't mind me interfering.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: No, not at all, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ademovic, you've said that when you listened to
3 information over the radio, over the Motorola, which was of interest or
4 which was important to the nearby groups, Jaglici and the other one, that
5 you took it upon yourself to share that information, to pass on that
6 information to those two groups. How did you do it? This is basically
7 what Mr. Di Fazio asked you.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would send out a man who was there
9 nearby. We were all there. I would send Haso or Alija to let the other
10 ones know that they were moving in this direction, that there were ten or
11 20 or 30 Serb soldiers who -- who were about to attack them, that people
12 should take care. Because behind them there were people doing farm work
13 who could get killed, because there were such instances of people being
14 abducted from their fields and killed. It was in that sense that I meant.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Does this help you close this part here or move to
16 the next part, or would you like to pursue it further, Mr. Di Fazio?
17 MR. DI FAZIO: Just one more matter.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Sorry. My apologies to the interpreters. I had my
19 microphone switched off.
20 MR. DI FAZIO: Just one last topic on this.
21 Q. On the 8th of August, I think your testimony was, you were up in
22 the Rupoglav, which is the highest elevation in your area, you said,
23 looking at the battles that were taking place, and you said that you saw
24 -- and you -- you said that you saw Serb reinforcements arriving in some
25 trucks at one point to assist in some battle or skirmish.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did you use your radio to warn fighters of these coming Serb
4 A. Why would I use the Motorola when I was able to see the area with
5 my own eyes? As a professional, I knew what the use of my Motorola meant
6 under the circumstances. It would equal to suicide, because you -- you
7 have to see what sort of technology the Serbs had. They would have
8 located me within 100 metres, and they would have destroyed me. I was
9 only following closely what they were saying.
10 From my vantage point of Rupoglav, if you look at the map, the
11 surrounding terrain is low lying, and with the binoculars that I had, at
12 least one kilometre from Andagina Njiva and from Kravica to Kajici there
13 is this stretch of the road that links Kajici and Jezestica. That was the
14 area that I could see, and why would I be telling somebody else about
15 things that I could see myself?
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise for interrupting, but I
19 believe that this is very important. When the witness referred to the
20 Serb technology, he said specifically that they had goniometers, which did
21 not enter into the transcript, and it's very important.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, did you mention goniometers, Mr. Ademovic?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, precisely.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you explain to us, please, what goniometers
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me tell you this: The most
2 cutting edge technology that could be used at the time for espionage
3 purposes that the Serb forces had were positioned above Ljubovija, in that
4 area, and I knew about this before the outbreak, because this technology
5 was used for monitoring foreign intelligence services and collecting
6 intelligence to that effect. Within the range of 50 kilometres, every
7 conversation taking place on any sort of device could be detected within
8 50 metres. These were the kind of detectors, goniometers, that they
9 possessed. And I was aware of the existence of this technology and was
10 very careful in using my Motorola. My silence over the Motorola was to
11 save people's lives. I don't know if I've made myself clear. The same
12 type of devices, goniometers, were to be found in the area of Milicko Brdo
13 or Rogac.
14 I believe that yesterday or the day before yesterday in my
15 testimony I mentioned this in passing, but I did not have the chance to
16 expand on it.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. Thank you, Your Honours. Just about
19 finished up with this topic.
20 Q. When you're up there on the -- at the highest elevation in your
21 village and you see the Serb reinforcements arrive --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Please, let him finish the question.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. When you're up there on your high elevation in the village and you
25 see the Serb reinforcements arrive, did you arrange for someone to go and
1 warn the fighters, the Muslim fighters in the area where the
2 reinforcements were, to warn them that the Serbs were sending in
3 reinforcements? Did you do that?
4 A. I just said, from that area both myself and the Jaglici group
5 could see everything. Look at the map. You see it's a large clearing.
6 There a clear view in front. And they would have been able to see it for
7 themselves, so there was no need to go and tell them.
8 Q. Thank you. We'll move on. Did you ever join the 280th Brigade?
9 Did you actually become a member of that?
10 A. On paper, in early 1994.
11 Q. And was that the first time you ever became aware that you were
12 supposed to be in army?
13 A. I never tried to avoid being on the side of the army which was
14 defending its country. I never doubted whether I wanted to join it or
15 not. I always will want that.
16 When -- I was in the group then, and when demilitarisation was
17 finished and when technical issues were being resolved, instructions
18 arrived from Tuzla in 1994, and I was made part of the 280th Brigade.
19 Q. Okay.
20 A. But these were simply technical issues. There was no military
21 activity at the time because the area had been demilitarised. So there
22 was nothing we could do actively with respect to combat activities,
23 because, of course, I was very happy that this was over.
24 Q. So your position is that you were only ever technically a member
25 of the 280th Brigade.
1 A. Both de facto and de jure.
2 Q. You were asked some questions about being -- about your position
3 as -- or whether or not you held a position as assistant commander for
4 security, and you said that you -- and your reply was - this is 27th of
5 October, page 20: "Allegedly they said I was assistant commander for
6 security and then assistant to the commander for morale, but I was never
7 that. I never seen or saw that."
8 What exactly did you mean by that? Can you explain?
9 A. I don't agree with your interpretation of this text. It might
10 have been misinterpreted. I did not deny that I was an assistant
11 commander on paper in 1994, but I did deny categorically that I was
12 assistant commander for morale, or moral guidance. I would never have
13 performed that duty because it has nothing to do with me, my character, my
14 upbringing, because I feel this is a radically limited area and I am not
15 that type of man. I feel myself to be a bit different. However, as for
16 security, I did say, yes, I was an assistant commander. Let me clarify.
17 Assistant commander for morale, or moral guidance, as it was
18 called, is something that is not in line with my character. It has
19 nothing to do with me. However, as for the post of assistant commander
20 for security, I was that technically in the 280th Brigade, and that is
21 something that does suit my character. However, as for that period, it
22 was the time of demilitarisation so there could be no activities. But
23 they insisted on completing certain things in order for us to be
24 recognised. They said if we didn't do those things, we wouldn't be
25 recognised. So I had to provide proof retroactively of my membership, and
1 I even had to go through certain administrative proceedings because the
2 representatives in Tuzla were very rigorous and very critical in this
3 respect. And I think that I have stated this quite clearly. For every
4 man in my group, I had to personally go through administrative
5 proceedings. And even to this day with respect to the dead or missing,
6 the status of individual men has still not been settled. From 1995, that
7 is. And an injustice has been committed against these people because they
8 were Muslims. Individuals are implementing a certain ideology.
9 I respect you, but unfortunately, I have to say this.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. DI FAZIO: Your Honours, we're going to finish today. We're
12 going to finish, there's no question about that.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Di Fazio. Registrar, could you pass
14 on this information to Victims and Witnesses.
15 One moment, because I don't want to jump to conclusions.
16 Will there be a re-examination, Madam Vidovic?
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Very brief, Your Honour.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: So I wonder if we --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's --
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: So it's very likely we'll be able to finish today.
22 Please communicate this information to the VW section. Thank you.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: I wonder if you would be so kind as to break a
24 little earlier. I'd like to rework my cross-examination to make sure --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Any time. You know how --
1 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honours. It's about eight or nine
2 minutes, I think, before. Can we break now and I'll rework it and we'll
3 get to the end of it today.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly. That's the least of the problems. So
5 we'll have a 25-minute break. Do you need more than 25 minutes? If you
6 need 30 minutes, we'll give you 30 minutes.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: [Microphone not activated].
8 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll play it safe. Let's have a 30-minute break.
9 --- Recess taken at 10.23 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
12 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honours.
13 Can the witness be shown Exhibit D855.
14 Q. Firstly, Mr. Ademovic, did you actually see this particular
15 document back in 1994? Did you actually see this particular one? That's
16 what I'm asking.
17 A. I personally did not, but as I testified previously, I did work on
18 the basis of their instructions and what is contained in this document.
19 As I said, pursuant to this document, I was given a form to fill in. I
20 filled it in with the words "Susnjari unit," as far as I can recall, but
21 this was not accepted.
22 Q. Right.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: And while we're on it -- sorry, Madam Usher, I
24 should have asked you earlier, could the witness be shown D856. And
25 furthermore, P36. Yes, P36.
1 Q. All right. Firstly, look at P36. That's a form that's apparently
2 completed by Mr. Oric. It's the same type of form, isn't it, as D856. In
3 fact, it's identical, isn't it?
4 It's filled out by someone else, presumably or apparently by
5 Mr. Oric, but it's the same pro forma form or document; correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. All right. Now, both --
8 A. Just a moment. I haven't seen it properly. Yes, yes.
9 Q. All right. You agree they're the same form, one apparently filled
10 out by Mr. Oric and the other one which you filled out; correct? Okay?
11 A. Oric did not fill this in.
12 Q. How do you know? I'm talking about P36.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Usher, because I can see from here, I see he's
14 holding documents in his right hand and also documents in his left hand.
15 So I want to make sure that we don't have a confusion now. So could you
16 help us, please. Tell us what he's holding. P36.
17 MR. DI FAZIO:
18 Q. All right. You've got --
19 A. P36.
20 Q. Okay. Now, it's apparently completed by Mr. Oric. Just tell me,
21 do you agree that it is apparently, it looks like it on the face, when
22 your eyes go up and down the page and look at the information, it's
23 apparently completed by Mr. Oric. You agree, don't you?
24 A. Look, where it says 1, 2, as far as 9, the first page.
25 Q. What's wrong there?
1 A. Look. Look at the handwriting and the letters. Do you see?
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. Look at 11.
4 Q. I'm looking.
5 A. On the same page. Look at 11. Don't you see a difference there?
6 Look at 16, row 16, then -- isn't there an evident difference in the
7 handwriting? So it wasn't one and the same person who filled this in, all
8 of it. Do you agree with me? Do you see the difference? Have you
9 noticed it?
10 Q. This is another fake, a forgery, is it? We've just uncovered
11 another one; is that correct?
12 MR. JONES: That's an unfair way of characterising it. He's just
13 saying it's a different form of writing.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Jones.
15 MR. DI FAZIO: All right. I take the point.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Di Fazio.
17 MR. DI FAZIO: I'll approach it differently.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Please do.
19 MR. DI FAZIO:
20 Q. You're saying -- I want to understand you, okay? You're saying
21 there are two different types of handwriting, and what do you -- what are
22 you concluding from that?
23 A. I conclude that Mr. Oric did not fill this in. Look at the
24 difference. I'm talking about the handwriting. I'm neither saying that
25 it is or that it is not a forgery, but that one and the same person did
1 not fill in this entire document, which gives grounds to doubt that it is
2 not valid. And look at the end.
3 Q. What is at the end of the document that makes you suspicious?
4 A. It says, "In Srebrenica, the 10th of January, 1994." And down
5 below I see the year 1993 typed out. Am I right?
6 Q. Yes. Yes, you're --
7 A. Look, please. Look at the signature. Look at the signature.
8 Q. Yes, what about the signature?
9 A. There's a full stop after the signature, isn't there? After the
10 signature there's a full stop.
11 Q. You're absolutely right.
12 A. In the signature, isn't there a full stop there?
13 Q. Yes, I can see that. And what's -- what's the conclusion
14 therefore? I'm sorry, I'm trying to understand you.
15 A. When you sign your name or when I sign my name, do you put a full
16 stop at the end? I never put a full stop at the end of my signature.
17 Q. Okay.
18 A. I don't see why I should put a full stop after my signature, and I
19 don't see why Mr. Oric should do that, if he did this.
20 Q. Okay.
21 A. And if you look at the text, there's an evident difference. You
22 can't convince me that this was filled in by one and the same person. I
23 mean, these columns here. I can't say this was filled in by Mr. Oric.
24 You cannot convince me of that. It doesn't mean that he never filled in a
25 similar document.
1 Q. Okay.
2 A. There's no evidence that he filled in this one.
3 Q. All right. Just while we're on this particular document, and now
4 that you've raised these issues, do you know if -- just going back to item
5 number 2, do you know if Mr. Oric's father's name is Dzemal?
6 A. As far as I know, it is Dzemal.
7 Q. And do you happen to know if his mother's maiden name -- the name
8 of his mother and her maiden name was Hata Mustafic?
9 A. Not Fata but Hata Mustafic. I must say it is Mustafic because she
10 is the sister of my brother-in-law.
11 Q. Thank you for your observations about P36, but -- and in fact I'm
12 done with P36 now. But that type of document, including the one that you
13 completed, D856, you sent that back to Tuzla. You sent D856, your
14 particular application, back to Tuzla, didn't you?
15 A. I myself did not send it. I only filled it in.
16 Q. Why didn't you send it?
17 A. Why would I send it? I was out on the field. I filled it in in
18 my village, and I don't know who sent it. In my document, underneath, it
19 says 1994. In the case Mr. Oric, it says 1993. It's an evident
20 difference. My document, as far as I can recall, is correct.
21 Q. I just want to -- fine. Okay. I just want to be clear about
22 something. D -- you have D856 in front of you, don't you? You can answer
23 that, I'm sure, with yes --
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Okay. Fine. That's your form; correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. All right. Did you --
3 A. Which I filled in. But it wasn't valid. It was never recognised.
4 Q. Did you send it back to Tuzla? Did you get it physically somehow
5 from your location, wherever it was, on your farm or wherever, in the
6 Srebrenica area, from that area to Tuzla? Did you send it to Tuzla, that
7 document D856? Did you do that?
8 A. The form I filled in on the ground in my village of Susnjari in
9 1994 - it says here 1994 - I handed it over to the colleague in
10 Milacevici, and where he took it or how he took it, I didn't go into that.
11 All I know is that I received a negative reply and that what I filled in
12 was never accepted. As I said, I had to provide proof that I was a member
13 of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, because they would not recognise
14 the unit in Susnjari the way I filled it in. However, I had to prove
15 this, and fortunately, I did.
16 Q. Yes. Thank you. And you saw other documents, not just this type
17 of documents but other military documents coming from Tuzla, didn't you?
18 A. Whatever documents I saw, I filled them in, and these are
19 essentially the documents here. If there is another document, please show
20 it to me and then we will discuss it. I'm here for it.
21 Q. Do you agree with me that it was possible to communicate with
22 Tuzla, send correspondence, documents, to and fro, from Srebrenica to
23 Tuzla, and back? Would you agree with that?
24 MR. JONES: I'd like a time period.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I was going to intervene myself precisely on that.
1 What time?
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Early 1994.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you.
4 MR. DI FAZIO:
5 Q. Early 1994?
6 A. In early 1994, there was some sort of packet communication on the
7 basis of which we received the packet by Mr. Sadic, and we worked on the
8 basis of that. It was physically impossible to communicate because we
9 were too far. However, this arrived in my place in Susnjari, this
10 particular document, and then I personally filled it in. It bears my
11 signature. It is evident, because I recognise it. But without -- of
12 course, it's without the full stop at the end.
13 Unfortunately, this was never recognised.
14 Q. Okay. So the packet communication system facilitated you sending
15 or people sending documents from Srebrenica to Tuzla and back, in early
16 1994 at least; correct?
17 A. Yes, yes. That was when the packet communication functioned, in
18 1994 and 1995, when I was definitely put on paper technically as the
19 assistant commander for security. There are documents to that effect, and
20 I cannot now claim that this is contrary to what I was doing.
21 Q. And how about 1993? Was it possible to send documents to and fro
22 using this packet system of communication?
23 A. The only thing I know is that I wrote letters that the UNHCR or,
24 rather, the Red Cross sent my family. Now, by what means this was sent, I
25 don't know. It was all censored. I wrote letters to my children. They
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 wrote back. Whenever I received correspondence, the Serbian side censored
2 it and I never knew what was written beneath the black marker.
3 Unfortunately, this was also the case. Therefore, my right of speech was
4 denied in my correspondence with my children. I wasn't entitled to
5 express my sentiments.
6 I can bring you hundreds of documents of that kind that I still
7 keep where I was communicating with my children. Doesn't this amount to
8 terror, to ultimate censorship of what is usually normal in a civilised
10 Q. I understand your concerns. Do I take it, therefore, that private
11 correspondence, albeit censored, was possible in 1993 from between
12 Srebrenica and Tuzla? After demilitarisation.
13 A. Yes. This was taken care of from the Serbian side in Bratunac. I
14 think you are very familiar with these matters. I think we should move
15 on. I could speak for five days about my experience, things that I went
17 My own child sent me a letter three years later to see if I was
18 still alive. Was there really a need for it to be controlled and
19 censored? Do you consider that to be normal?
20 Q. Thank you very much. I take it from your -- just to close this
21 issue of communications and correspondence, I take it that you just can't
22 tell this Trial Chamber whether or not there was a packet communication
23 system operating in 1993 that facilitated the transfer of documents such
24 as D856 between the Srebrenica area and Tuzla? You just don't know.
25 There might have been or there might not have been. Do I understand you
2 A. One thing I'm sure of is the year 1994. The period prior to that
3 is something I cannot vouch for. I told you that in May 1993, I was going
4 through a very difficult period. My health was very poor, and I
5 apologise, Your Honours, but I believe that there is evidence to show that
6 I was ill. I was at my parents' home, undergoing a treatment, and I would
7 be speculating. However, I am definitely certain about the year 1994.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I saw -- I saw you standing up and then sitting down
9 again, Mr. Jones.
10 MR. JONES: I think the witness had clearly answered. He said
11 that was when the packet communication functioned, in 1994 and 1995.
12 Mr. Di Fazio was saying, "I take it from your answer that there's a
13 possibility that it worked in 1993." The witness never allowed for that
14 possibility and his evidence has only --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: That's okay.
16 MR. JONES: That's fine. Thank you.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: Just a couple more questions on this document,
19 that's all.
20 Entry number 40 of D846 -- I do apologise to Madam Usher for not
21 informing her that the document should stay there. 856. The same one.
22 The request for admittance.
23 Q. Items number 40 and 41, okay? Entry 40 and 41. There are two
24 questions in paragraphs 40 and 41. The date of putting yourself at the
25 disposal of the RBiH armed forces and the date of your deployment in the
1 RBiH army, and in both questions you answered 18th of April, 1992, as
2 being the date of putting yourself at disposal and date of deployment.
3 Why did you answer in that way?
4 A. Because on the 18th of April, 1992, I made myself available,
5 placed myself at disposal, and I personally thought that this date should
6 also be recognised as valid. However, as my papers arrived into Vlah
7 containing this entry, the Susnjari unit, I received a response as
8 contained in the document by Mr. Sadic and dated 1994, who cautioned us
9 about the inadmissibility of what we had written.
10 I stood by what I had written before, and when I arrived in Tuzla,
11 I had to retroactively, through administrative proceedings, prove the
12 validity of what was contained in this document. When again they refused
13 to recognise this, I went back to the job that I'm still doing today.
14 Q. Yes. But your evidence to this Trial Chamber has been that in
15 1992, you were a member of a local grouping. You were a member of a local
16 grouping, a local group of fighters with no command structure. You
17 couldn't enforce orders. There was no command structure amongst the
18 groups. How did you consider yourself to be a member of the RBiH army in
19 such circumstances?
20 A. Because I partially executed the order. In the technical sense, I
21 put it on paper, but again I did not fully accept their order. I did not
22 fully accept their order.
23 At a later stage, when I retroactively wanted to obtain my rights
24 through administrative proceedings, I simply abandoned the whole matter,
25 and I would never again in my life wish to be a soldier.
1 Q. Thank you very much for your assistance on this document. I'd
2 like to ask you some questions about some of the other documents that were
3 shown to you by the Defence.
4 MR. DI FAZIO: Madam Usher I'll be asking that D845 and 846 be
5 produced to the witness.
6 Q. This document, Mr. Ademovic, appears to be a confidential document
7 prepared by the Serb military. You were shown it and asked questions
8 about it by Madam Vidovic.
9 The second part of the document deals with a report.
10 And in the English, Your Honours, it's the ERN ending 67.
11 Do you have the second part of the document dealing with report?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Usher, I think we need to move the report. No, no.
13 You just -- that's it. Thank you.
14 Yes, Mr. Di Fazio. Which part of this page do you want us to
15 concentrate on?
16 MR. DI FAZIO: It's on page 67 in the English translation, and
17 it's the topic Defence, the small -- do you see that?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
19 MR. DI FAZIO:
20 Q. And the Serbs are saying in this confidential document: "While
21 conducting combat activities, units - Serb units - do not make adequate
22 shelters and rarely set minefields," and it goes on to talk about problems
23 the causes, and then they say this: "A small, organised enemy group is
24 able to make defence units move and run away ..."
25 Were you able to have that effect on the Serb forces when you were
1 operating with your group? Did you ever see the effectiveness of small,
2 organised groups on --
3 A. Excuse me. Which paragraph are you referring to? Is it document
4 967, which I have? Which paragraph are you referring to?
5 Q. It's under the heading "Defence" and -- "Defence." Do you see the
6 word "Defence"?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And the last sentence: "A small, organised enemy group is able to
9 make defence units move and run away (Kalesija-Brezik)." Do you see that?
10 And the document, they seem to be talking generally. All right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Do you agree with the Serb -- the Serbs' assessment about
13 themselves, that they were -- small, organised enemy groups were having
14 some impact, at least, by making defence units move and run away? Did you
15 ever see, observe that yourself?
16 A. As far as I can see, this portion refers to Kalesija. Do you know
17 where Kalesija is? It physically abuts Tuzla.
18 Q. What I'm asking --
19 A. Do you understand what I'm saying?
20 Q. I understand that. Did you ever observe similar, similar
21 phenomena in your area; small, organised enemy groups able to make defence
22 units move and run away? Did you see it or not? That's all I want to
24 JUDGE AGIUS: You're about to confuse him the way you put the
25 question, Mr. Di Fazio.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm going to withdraw the question.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
3 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm going to withdraw the question.
4 Q. Just forget about this part. Let's go to paragraph 7. Paragraph
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can I --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop, stop, stop. The question has been withdrawn.
8 Let's move to something else now.
9 MR. DI FAZIO: Just one more topic on this document, if Your
10 Honours please.
11 Q. Do you have paragraph 8?
12 MR. DI FAZIO: And Your Honours will see it at the page ending
14 Q. Paragraph 8. "Morale Amongst Fighters - Evaluation, Improvement
15 Measures." Do you see that part?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. The Serbs seem to say this in their confidential document:
18 "Morale is very low. What can one say about the morale of fighters when
19 they do not want to defend their own homes and abandon them? Fighters
20 from burned-down villages who stayed in this territory are rare."
21 Now, do you know what burned-downed villages the Serbs might be
22 referring to in this confidential military document? Have you got any
24 A. I don't know what they had in mind, but over at my turf, Jaglici,
25 Brezova Njiva, Susnjari, I did not torch a single village. I don't know
1 that there were any torched villages. And now they could have on their
2 part named the villages that they had in mind.
3 As I earlier said, I filled in the form with the entries that are
4 there, and I did not -- or, rather, I do not hesitate to say publicly they
5 should be the ones to admit which villages they had in mind. I am
6 convinced that this is mere propaganda, something that does not reflect
7 or, rather, deliberately, erroneously reflects the situation, because in
8 my area of Birac I never experienced such a situation. Quite the
9 contrary. Their morale was quite high. They were really intent on
10 destroying us.
11 I invite you to come over to my area. I returned there and I'm
12 still alive, and you will be -- we will receive you as a precious guest.
13 You will see where I was and where I was active. And this invitation
14 applies not only to you.
15 Q. Okay. And just to wrap up this topic, you never saw any -- I'll
16 withdraw that.
17 In -- in 1992 and 1993, you never received any information or saw
18 for yourself the deliberate burning and torching of Serb villages by
19 Muslim forces at all. That's something you -- that you never heard of or
20 saw; correct?
21 A. In my area where I was active in 1992, not a single house was
22 torched by the Muslims. And this refers to the area where I was. I only
23 told you that on the 8th of August, 1992, when we were under a fierce
24 attack from Djermani and Jezestica, the men from the 16th Muslim, under
25 the leadership of Rizvanovic, they acted and then things happened that we
1 know of. However, they did not set those facilities on fire, rather, the
2 fire was a result of the shelling. At least I speak for what I saw.
3 Otherwise, I would be speculating.
4 There are neighbours in Lipenovici and Vratinci and the area where
5 I even perhaps had the opportunity of making an incursion and attacking
6 them. I chose not to. We are still good neighbours and friends. We
7 still have coffee together today. Perhaps you won't believe me, but
8 that's the accurate situation on the ground.
9 When I came before this institution, I met a neighbour who I was
10 able to drink coffee with and have a chat, and I will tell you that the
11 houses of my neighbours, some of them are still intact while mine is
12 destroyed. You should look into that as well.
13 Q. Do you have a relative called Sead -- Sead --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Vidovic.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't know why but
16 there are many errors on the transcript today. The witness said that the
17 neighbouring houses were all intact, whereas the transcript reads some of
18 them are still intact, and these were Serbian houses that were destroyed.
19 And "my house was destroyed," that's what the witness said.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Thank you both.
22 MR. DI FAZIO:
23 Q. Right. Do you know --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Di Fazio.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. Do you know a person called Sead, Sead Ademovic?
2 A. Yes. There were two Seads. One is the son of Ramo.
3 Q. And the other?
4 A. And the other is the son of Alija. They were born in the same
6 Q. Right. And from your area, from your village perhaps?
7 A. The Ademovics were in my village and then in the village of
8 Gologvina [phoen]. There are Ademovics in three or four municipalities in
9 the Drina area. There are Ademovics in Sarajevo as well, and if you want,
10 you can check it up and see how many there are.
11 Q. Do either of the two Ademovics that you mentioned, the son of --
12 the two Ademovics that you mentioned named Sead, did they ever operate in
13 the military police, in any military police formation?
14 A. I don't know which period of time you're referring to when you
15 talk about the active military police. Is it the course of 1992? But I
16 need a date. What do you have in mind? Because in the course of 1992, I
17 never left my area. If you're referring to the active military police,
18 then this could not have been the case.
19 Q. I'll show you some documents.
20 MR. DI FAZIO: And Madam Usher is getting her exercise today, and
21 I apologise for this, but P40 and P41, thanks.
22 Q. And while that document -- and while that document's -- sorry.
23 Your Honour, there's -- I think there's a problem, if Your Honours
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we don't have P40 and
2 P41 on the list or, rather, we don't have P40 on the list. We would like
3 to see what this is all about.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: P41 was on the list, and P40, too. I agree with you
5 that I don't see P40 myself either, unless there is a revised -- which
6 there was this morning, I didn't bring it with me. But I think that one
7 which was revised referred to P441 and P441.1.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: I agree. It's probably not on your list.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think she's objecting to the use of this
10 document. She just wants to, obviously, have access to it.
11 MR. DI FAZIO: Oh, I see. I misunderstood.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: That's how I understood it, yes.
13 Yes, please, Madam Vidovic.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I would only like to look at the
15 documents to see what their contents are. I mean the P40 document.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: They're three-liners, four-liner documents.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: We can put them on the ELMO or we can use the
18 Sanction if it's available on Sanction.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: Whatever is simplest and fastest.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, the simplest and fastest, please.
21 MR. DI FAZIO: They're essentially the same type of document, if
22 Your Honours please. Okay. Thanks.
23 Q. You can look at these two documents at the same time, I think, for
24 -- to save time. It won't take long to read them. They're very short.
25 Okay? And it talks about a patrol group consisting of two fellows, Midhat
1 Zukic from Potocari, and a gentleman named Sead Ademovic, carrying out
2 various duties. That's in P40.
3 The same two fellows appear in P41, and both documents are dated
4 the 19th of December, 1992. And P41 also refers to those two fellows
5 carrying out various duties.
6 Now, now we've got a date that I'm interested in, December 1992.
7 Did either of the two Sead Ademovics that you know carry out military
8 police duties in December of 1992? Yes.
9 A. My dear sir, on the 19th of December, 1992, on that day the ground
10 was aflame in Susnjari. There were thousands of refugees on the run.
11 What sort of insinuations are these? I have already stated Ademovic Sead
12 son of Ramo and Ademovic Sead son of Alija. Is this physically possible
13 or, rather, was it physically possible under the circumstances at the
15 Q. Mr. Ademovic, I really don't want to trouble you a lot with these
16 documents. It's a simple question. Having seen the documents and the
17 content, my question is this: Did either of the Sead Ademovics that you
18 know, did they perform duties in December 1992 in any type of military
19 police organisation? If you don't know, say so. If you -- if that did
20 not happen, tell us; and if it did happen, tell us that as well, okay? I
21 just want to know.
22 A. Absolutely not. I have to clarify this. You refuse to understand
23 me. You don't want to follow the situation as I described it, the
24 situation I myself was in and all those people up there on the 19th of
1 Please look at the stamp. I refer you again to the stamp. Can
2 you convince me that this is an original document? This is pure
4 Q. Okay. And just to finally wrap it up, are both documents pure
5 fabrications or just one of them?
6 A. Both. Just look at the difference between these two documents.
7 Look at the way the stamp is used. You're an educated man. You know what
8 stamps are used for and in what manner. Please don't misunderstand me,
9 but ...
10 Q. All right. Thank you very much, and let's move on.
11 MR. DI FAZIO: And if Your Honours please, I think we're making
12 reasonable progress.
13 Q. When you first came here to testify, you briefly described village
14 guards, and Madam Vidovic was asking you questions, page 26. She was
15 showing you a document, and you gave -- and you gave an answer and said
16 this: "The village guards are something completely different. They
17 consist of smaller disorganised groups that are not coordinated with
18 others. They are not well equipped, and they possibly have some sports or
19 hunting weapons."
20 And then you went on to describe what was in the document by
21 saying: "Whereas here we clearly deal with a well organised, well
22 equipped, well coordinated units, both locally and in the general area
23 which form part of the system, and I repeat, the system."
24 Now, it's your definition of village guards that I'm interested
25 in. You're quite clear about them, aren't you? They have to be small.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 They're disorganised. They're not coordinated. They're not well
2 equipped, and they don't have military -- military weaponry. They've got
3 sports or hunting weapons.
4 How did you come to that definition of village guard? Why do you
5 say that that's what makes up a village guard?
6 A. Because that's what it was like in practice. I don't exclude the
7 possibility of there being one disorganised group of three or four men
8 with a weapon that is not a sports weapon or a hunting weapon, but there's
9 a lack of equipment, and I think you understand what the equipment and
10 materiel of an organised unit linked up to a system should be. So these
11 are two quite different concepts.
12 The man in a village guard has two, three, or five bullets, or one
13 round, while a member of a well-organised group that is linked up in a
14 system has logistics both in the field and in the rear. In the rear, he
15 has logistics in depots. He has artillery support; 60, 80, 120-millimetre
16 mortars, tanks, multiple rocket launchers and so on and so forth.
17 Another thing, a village guard is near its village, whereas
18 organised units are linked up and go to other places.
19 Q. We can move on really fast from this. Did you ever see any
20 village guards, the type you understand to be village regards, operating
21 in Serb villages? Were you ever aware of the presence of the sort of
22 village guard that you had in mind when you gave your definition?
23 A. Please, I have been quite clear. Working as a police officer, I
24 went to various areas in the Srebrenica municipality, and I saw something
25 like that throughout Srebrenica municipality, both in Serb villages and in
1 Muslim villages in March, April, up to the 18th of April when I definitely
2 made myself available. However, the information I received from the
3 ground and in the operations centre was sufficient for me to comment on
5 Q. Do you know if the Serbs kept those village guards after April of
6 1992? The ones operating in their villages, I mean.
7 A. No. In certain areas and certain villages, they had already
8 organised themselves well and linked up into a system of the army of
9 Republika Srpska. They had also linked up to the JNA. And they were
10 joined by units, as I said. They were supplied with equipment and
11 materiel by units withdrawing from Croatia. I think it's quite clear to
12 this Court, so I do apologise for saying this, but it's absurd to ask me
13 such questions.
14 Q. I'm sorry about that, Mr. Ademovic.
15 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness be shown P84.
16 Q. While that document is being prepared, do you know a place called
17 the Domavija hotel?
18 A. It's a well-known health resort, and I invite you to be my guest
19 there. Not just you yourself but others. It's a well-known health
20 resort. I see you're smiling. It has a century's-long tradition.
21 Q. I could use it, Mr. Ademovic.
22 A. I invite you there.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I believe that even Mr. Wubben would be prepared to
24 join you. The thing is I don't know whether we're talking of the same
25 thing. And your question was the Domavija hotel, and the witness is
1 referring to the Domavija resort, which I think are not exactly the same
2 thing. And the Domavija hotel that you referred to in your question, I
3 take it, is the Domavija hotel in Srebrenica.
4 MR. DI FAZIO: It is.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: And the Domavija resort that he's referring to may
6 not necessarily be in Srebrenica. So I think -- let the witness explain.
7 We are talking about the Domavija hotel in Srebrenica, which we
8 saw and which doesn't look like much a Domavija spa resort or health
9 resort any more, if it ever was.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I clarify?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The building called Domavija is a
13 hotel which is part of the Guber Banja spa system, which is where I was
14 inviting this gentleman to be my guest, really my guest. And this is in
15 the immediate vicinity, some 300 metres away from Argentarija, another
16 building within this hotel complex where they had warm baths, saunas, and
17 so on.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's stick to the Domavija hotel building in
19 Srebrenica, which I suppose you know about.
20 So your question, Mr. Di Fazio.
21 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. All right. Now, Madam Usher, I want to
22 look at portion of the P84 that has ERN number ending in 131.
23 This is a handwritten document, if Your Honours please. And in
24 the English, if Your Honours please, it's at page 61.
25 Now, you should have in handwriting there, and it's -- an
1 indication that it appears to be minutes of a staff meeting held on the
2 8th of July, 1993, at the Domavija hotel, starting at about 11.00. And it
3 says that a number of people attended the meeting, including Mr. Oric,
4 various other personalities, and your name appears there, Sidik Ademovic.
5 Did you ever attend a meeting at the Domavija hotel on the 8th of
6 July, 1993?
7 A. This part of the document I have here I see has been extracted
8 from its context. I don't want to deny I was there. As far as I can
9 recall, I was, but this document is incomplete. I don't know what this is
11 Does this document have an end? Is this a complete document? Is
12 there more material accompanying this document? Give me the entire
13 document if you have it.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Don't worry about that. I mean, just confirm or
15 deny your presence at the Domavija hotel for a meeting, I think of the
16 Srebrenica OS staff, on the 8th of July, 1993, which you seem to confirm
17 from -- at least, you're not denying.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1993, this is the time of
19 demilitarisation. There was demilitarisation. I don't see that there was
20 a staff there, but I don't deny attending a meeting, but a staff?
21 MR. DI FAZIO:
22 Q. Okay.
23 A. Please, this is demilitarisation. There was no staff.
24 Q. All right. Okay. I understand. I understand what you're saying.
25 Now, look, you don't have to worry about what the document says.
1 You've told us independently of what the document says that you did go to
2 a meeting in July --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: He's not denying. He's not saying that he did.
4 He's not denying.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: I'll have to go a bit further.
6 Q. Did you go to a meeting on the 8th of July, 1993, at the Domavija
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Any meeting now you're being asked.
9 MR. DI FAZIO:
10 Q. Any meeting at the Domavija hotel.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. What's the problem, Ms. Vidovic?
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is confusing for
13 the witness. What the witness testified to earlier was that he attended a
14 meeting in November. I remember that well. But saying that he had been
15 there in July, no.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: He has already testified that he doesn't deny having
17 been to a meeting on the 8th of July now, but he denies or he finds it
18 strange that it could be as Srebrenica staff or OS staff meeting.
19 Now he's being asked a different question. Does he recall ever
20 having been to a meeting, having attended a meeting in the Domavija hotel
21 in -- on the 8th of July, 1993. Any kind of meeting, not necessarily of
22 the Srebrenica OS staff.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not attend a meeting of the
24 Srebrenica staff. I did attend a meeting in the Domavija hotel. I seem
25 to remember it was on the 24th of November, yes, but I know that this was
1 a time of demilitarisation and there was no staff.
2 MR. DI FAZIO:
3 Q. All right. I just want to be clear about it, that's all. So what
4 you're saying is, "No, 8th of July, 1993, I was not at any meeting at the
5 Domavija hotel." That's your position pure and simple; correct?
6 A. I truly don't remember attending a meeting on this date here, and
7 I don't remember there being a staff. This was a time when there was
8 demilitarisation. At that time, my health was not so good. I was still
9 recuperating. I do not deny attending a meeting in 1993. It was one
10 meeting, probably in October or November. I think it was November.
11 Q. And what was that meeting in October or November of 1993 at the
12 Domavija hotel? What was that meeting about and who attended?
13 A. As far as I can recall, the issue discussed was the condition of
14 the refugees and the events that were taking place.
15 Q. Was Mr. Oric at that meeting in October --
16 A. Beg your pardon? I don't think he was, but I could be wrong.
17 It's a long time period. But as far as I can recall, I was quite lost at
18 that meeting. Nothing was clear to me, if I'm not wrong. To the best of
19 my recollection. A long time has elapsed since then. Perhaps I said
20 something at that meeting, a single sentence, or maybe not, but I don't
21 even remember what the meeting was about.
22 Is anything I said reflected in the minutes of that meeting?
23 Q. Okay. Thanks for that. One last issue on this document, Madam
24 Usher, and Mr. Ademovic. I'd like you to look at ERN -- the page with the
25 ERN number ending 156.
1 If Your Honours please, page 71 of the English.
2 A. You haven't read out to me what I said if I attended that meeting
3 in November 1993.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Don't worry about it, Mr. Ademovic. Please answer
5 the questions. You're not here to say whatever comes to your mind.
6 You're asked -- being asked questions, and stick to answering those
8 Yes. We have that page on the Sanction now, on Sanction.
9 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honours.
10 Q. Now --
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do apologise. Thank you, Your
13 JUDGE AGIUS: You don't need to. I know it's stressful being
14 here, sitting, answering questions for four days.
15 MR. DI FAZIO:
16 Q. Okay. It's just another similar type of inquiry on my part. Here
17 you have 15th of December, 1993, and it says present at the meeting and it
18 goes through various people, and it says here that -- yes. It says that
19 Mr. Oric is present, and it also appears to have your name there, Sidik
21 Now, again, it's the same sort of question: Did you in fact
22 attend a meeting with these people, the people who are mentioned there, on
23 or about the 15th of December -- or on the 15th of December, 1993?
24 A. I can neither deny nor confirm it.
25 Q. All right. Thank you.
1 Madam Usher, I'm done with that document.
2 Mr. Ademovic, do you want to hand it back to the usher, please.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm letting him have a further look at it. Maybe it
4 possibly makes him remember more.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, well --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: That's why I didn't interrupt.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, I don't want to deprive the witness of the
8 chance --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: That's why we did not interfere, actually.
10 MR. DI FAZIO:
11 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Ademovic. Do you want to keep looking?
12 A. Thank you. Thank you.
13 Q. Do you want to keep looking?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you want to have a further look at that document
15 or are you finished with it?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There's no need for me to look at it
17 any more. As I said, I can neither confirm nor deny it.
18 MR. DI FAZIO:
19 Q. Is it possible that you attended meetings throughout 1993,
20 meetings at which Mr. Oric was present, throughout 1993?
21 A. I recall one or perhaps two meetings. To the best of my
22 recollection, the issues discussed were technical and had to do with the
23 situation on the ground as regards the refugees in every area; the number
24 of refugees, their health, food, and so on. But as far as I can recall, I
25 was often late for these meetings, and I often left early because the area
1 I was coming from was far away. I would leave because these meetings were
2 confused. Things were vague. Nobody knew what the meetings were about,
3 why they had been called.
4 MR. DI FAZIO: All right. Okay. If Your Honours please, I'm just
5 approaching the end, but I can't finish it that quickly. I wonder -- I
6 know it's only five past 12.00. I wonder if you would be prepared to
7 break now. I guarantee that we will finish today and there will be ample
8 time for the Defence for re-examination or any questions on the part of
9 Your Honours. I've really basically got two more topics which I think I
10 can deal with in half an hour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: There is certainly no problem if there is no problem
12 with the Defence.
13 So we will break now. If we break for 30 minutes, that will leave
14 us ample time.
15 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. There's no question. We will finish.
16 --- Recess taken at 12.06 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 12.39 p.m.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honours.
20 Q. I just want to turn and very briefly look at the events on the 8th
21 of August, 1992, which included fighting around Jezestica. You -- on that
22 day you were at the highest point of elevation at the small village of
23 Lupoglava; is that right? Is that right?
24 A. Lupoglava is not a village. Jaglici is a village. I believe it's
25 the elevation point 654 or 456. In any case, it is above the village.
1 Q. Yes, okay. Thank you for that clarification. And that gave you a
2 good view around the area so you could see everything; correct?
3 A. Yes. As you can see, according to the map, I had full control all
4 the way along the Bratunac-Kravica road, the forking off towards Kajici.
5 Q. And you had with you on that day your Motorola.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What time did you go up to this high elevation, this high point at
9 A. I hardly left this elevation point because the intensity of the
10 attack and the shelling never subsided in that period. On that morning,
11 during that night, and the entire day until the afternoon, I spent my time
12 at that point. So from the -- during the night from the early morning
13 hours. I said I was there on the 6th and the 7th when there was the
14 massacre against the column of people in the direction of Hajducko
15 Groblje. Those were refugees.
16 Throughout this period I was in -- at that particular point
17 observing what was going on. Such were the circumstances. They dictated
18 my whereabouts. It was actually dictated by the Serbian army.
19 Q. Why did you stay there on the 8th, the 8th of August? Was there
20 any particular reason that caused you to remain there on the 8th of August
21 at this high elevation with your Motorola?
22 A. I was there with my Motorola because the highest intensity of the
23 infantry attack from Jezestica and Djermani was such that they wanted to
24 capture this elevation point. Some 100 to 150 metres further down, there
25 is a village there in the valley, and in order for this elevation to be --
1 or, rather, if one captured this elevation point, one could control the
2 entire area. Large numbers of refugees would then be exposed to the risk
3 of being massacred. I had the following choice: To stay alive or die.
4 Luckily, I survived.
5 Q. Were you up there with your group of men from Susnjari?
6 A. Yes. To the left of that particular site, according to the map -
7 that would mean to the east - my group was deployed in the direction of
8 Ravni Buljim, and since this is where the epicenter of the attack was, I
9 wanted to be there in person.
10 To my right, along the Rupoglav axis, along that edge, that part
11 was covered by the lads from the Jaglici group. Further down --
12 Q. How do you know that was covered by the Jaglici group? Did you
13 speak with them, arrange it beforehand, or not?
14 A. They held the area. This area is -- overlooks their village.
15 They followed what was going on clearly, because in front of us there are
16 some clearings and forests. In Djermani, there are meadows. In Stara
17 Jasikovaca, some 200, 300 and 400 metres away from Stara Jagoda were
18 meadows, and you were able to follow what was going on. Just look at the
20 Q. Okay. Just so we're clear, on that particular day, on the 8th of
21 August, 1992, your group participated in active fighting, as did the
22 Jaglici group, and you cooperated with one another; is that correct?
23 A. Yes. Had we not helped each other, we would have definitely been
24 defeated by the Serb forces, massacred and destroyed as early as on that
1 Q. Okay. Thank you. And in evidence when answering questions from
2 Madam Vidovic, you said that -- you were asked this question and gave this
3 answer: "Apart from Ejub Golic's group and Nurif's unit, were you aware
4 of some other Muslim groups participating in the fighting around
5 Jezestica?" And you answered: "No."
6 What I want to know is this: Did you mean by that that as far as
7 the immediate area around Jezestica, the immediate area around Jezestica,
8 it was only Ejub Golic and Nurif Rizvanovic fighting, but you also were
9 fighting in the area that you've described in your testimony; you and the
10 group from Jaglici. Is that right?
11 A. I participated in the defence, and I believe this is clearly
12 stated in my statement. I was along the defence line, and when I was
13 attacked, of course I took part in defensive action. This was not an
14 offensive action on my part. It was defensive. You should draw that
16 In my area, the Serb forces intensified their infantry supported
17 by artillery from all directions, but from the direction of Djermani,
18 Jezestica, Kajici, and Brezik, and especially from the Rogac plateau. And
19 on my flank the attack was from Lipenovci. I don't want to repeat this,
20 but the infantry intensified their attack, and this is what is stated in
21 my testimony, that I forced to defend myself. And this goes for the
22 Jaglici group and the Brezova Njiva group, as there was an attack also
23 coming from the direction of Bukova Glava and Dubovi. That was the area
24 where I took an active part, but I took an active part in defence. I
25 believe that the attack and the defence are two distinct terms. I believe
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 you know that.
2 In subsequent developments, around noon, as I was listening in
3 over my Motorola to the Serbian forces, I learnt that something similar
4 was also going on in Veresinje from the direction of Cizmici, where
5 Golic's men were mentioned. I believe that's what the transcript shows.
6 And in the area of Hajducko Groblje and Siljkovici, this was in front of
7 my area, and I was able to hear and know what was going on. It wasn't
8 impossible to see and hear what was going on.
9 Q. Are you saying that you had no --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 MR. DI FAZIO: Sorry.
12 Q. Are you saying that you had no idea that there was going to be
13 fighting -- sorry, that Nurif Rizvanovic and Ejub Golic's men were going
14 to go into action on that particular day? Do I understand that correctly?
15 You didn't know?
16 A. According to the information I had and I obtained, I knew that the
17 Serbian side was about to attack me. When the infantry attack against me
18 started, then the artillery from the direction of Veresinje and Cizmici
19 also opened fire. After these attacks - I believed so at the time but
20 this was confirmed to me later on - Golic simply decided to retreat
21 because they had many -- or, rather, no. Golic decided to push them back
22 because they had many wounded and massacred, and he decided to push them
24 Now, as for what was going on in Konjevic Polje, Lolici and
25 Kamenica, where Nurif's unit was stationed, it was only at a later stage
1 that I found out what was going on, and I wish to thank them for having
2 helped me.
3 Q. So I take it your answer is no, you had no idea that Nurif
4 Rizvanovic was going to go into action that day and operate around
5 Jezestica and you had no idea that Ejub Golic's unit was going to go into
6 action around Jezestica that day. You only found that out afterwards. Do
7 I understand you correctly?
8 A. Yes. I made that quite clear. I did not have any official
9 information about him arriving down there, Golic. It was only later on
10 that I learnt about how they arrived over there, where they got their
11 equipment from, and so on. And as I said, I wish to thank them again,
12 because without them, I would not have survived.
13 Q. Thank you. Do you agree or would you agree with me that it would
14 have made good sense for Ejub Golic and Nurif Rizvanovic to try and let
15 you and your men know what they were going to do and vice versa, since you
16 were all fighting in a fairly close area or area that's relatively close?
17 A. I don't know how they would even try to attempt to let me know
18 about it. I was physically cut off. I told you that the means of
19 communications did not exist. I was only able to follow over my
20 communications device what was going on on the ground.
21 Q. Thank you. You described -- you described of the visit, I think,
22 by Mr. Rizvanovic after fighting had subsided on that day. He came and
23 you saw him on the 8th of August. Do you recall that evidence?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Yes, Madam Vidovic.
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness never
1 stated so that he had seen Nurif Rizvanovic and that he had toured the
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I may be allowed to speak.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but before you do: Mr. Di Fazio, what's your
5 comment on Madam Vidovic's remarks?
6 MR. DI FAZIO: Wednesday the 26th of October, if Your Honours
7 please, page 53, the -- the witness described fighting subsiding in the
8 late afternoon hours. Page 52. And some men arrived wearing uniforms.
9 Do you recall that evidence?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: But really, I don't have the transcript here in
11 front of me.
12 MR. DI FAZIO: Oh, I see.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I am relying on what you are reading.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: All right. Well, I'm just giving you -- and then
15 I'll get to the crunch. That was the preface to the comments. And there
16 was talk about --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: No, I want you to read where he states that
18 Mr. Rizvanovic arrived and --
19 MR. DI FAZIO:
20 Q. "Did you know Mr. Nurif Rizvanovic from before?
21 A. Yes, I knew him well from before the war. He was a
22 military man. He was quite a controversial figure, but everything that I
23 knew about him then was before the war, from the workplace where I was.
24 Q. Did you talk with Hodzic Safet and Dzemo Tihic and
25 Nurif Rizvanovic about the events in August 1992, and what did they tell
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Wait, Madam Vidovic.
3 MR. DI FAZIO:
4 "A. They told me that in early August they arrived in
5 the Konjevic Polje area and that on that day they were in the area of
6 Lolici and the nearby village of Kamenica. Through their communications
7 devices they had -- they had heard that the Serbian side wanted to seize
8 the area of Jaglici and Susnjari, Lupoglava, and Ravni Buljim."
9 So I might have misunderstand. The witness wanted to talk about
10 subsequent conversations and Madam Vidovic may be quite right.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: That's why I allowed Madam Vidovic to intervene and
12 stopped the witness and asked you to go to the transcript because I was
13 sure Madam Vidovic was right.
14 You don't need to go through this. Please wait until the next
15 question and answer the next question. Thank you.
16 MR. DI FAZIO:
17 Q. Anyway, did you see any men from Nurif Rizvanovic's unit on that
18 day, on the 8th of August, 1992?
19 A. Dear sir, please do not put names into my mouth. Nurif Rizvanovic
20 never came to me. That is not what the transcript states.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I said stop. I told you forget what you had heard
22 before and answer the next question. And the next question does not deal
23 with Rizvanovic himself. It deals with his men, whether you saw those men
24 on the 8th of August. Please answer that question and forget the rest.
25 Otherwise, you'll be here -- we're trying our best to send you home
1 tomorrow. If you're not going to cooperate, you're going to end up here
2 until Monday or Tuesday.
3 MR. DI FAZIO:
4 Q. So the question is: Did you see any gentlemen from Nurif
5 Rizvanovic's unit late in that day?
6 A. Yes. They came to me, Safet Hodzic, Hakija Malic, and Ahmo
7 Tihic's brother Dzemo Tihic, son of Mujo, from Skelani. Do you need any
8 further information?
9 Q. That's fine. That's fine. Thank you, Mr. Ademovic. That's good.
10 Did they tell what you they had known about Serb intentions prior
11 to the 8th of August? Serb intentions in relation to that area, what they
12 were planning on doing.
13 A. I already stated in evidence that they told me that they were in
14 the locality of Lolici and the hamlet of Kamenica - Topuska Kamenica,
15 because there is another Kamenica in Zvornik - and that they had all the
16 necessary means of communication and they were able to follow what was
17 going on, and that the Serbian forces along the axis towards Lupoglava had
18 the intention of seizing the area.
19 Q. That's exactly right. That's what I'm asking you about, you see.
20 So they came and told you, didn't they, that they knew what the Serbs were
21 up to. They hadn't told you about that, had they? They didn't tell you
22 that the Serbs were going to attack and try and seize the area of Jaglici,
23 your very own village Susnjari, Lupoglava, and Ravni Buljim. They hadn't
24 informed of you this crucial information, had they? You might have known
25 about it, but they hadn't told you about it.
1 A. I didn't know about it, but they were not able to inform me about
2 it. I was physically separated from them.
3 Another thing: They did not know that I had a communications
4 device, because I did not know that they were in the area. They found out
5 about what was going on through their communications device and then acted
7 Q. You said also that, in answer to a question from Madam Vidovic,
8 that no Suceska unit could have participated in this fighting on the 8th
9 of August in your area. Why precisely is that?
10 A. Look at the map and you will see that I was encircled, and look at
11 what the distance was across the rugged terrain. I believe it is of some
12 15 kilometres as the crow flies, although I'm not an expert. I believe it
13 was practically impossible.
14 Q. All right. So even if the -- even if the Muslim forces had been
15 able to plan any operations in the area of Jezestica on the 8th of August,
16 1992, and think ahead, plan for it, your position is that it would have
17 been impossible for the Suceska unit to participate. Do I understand you
19 MR. JONES: He said practically impossible.
20 MR. DI FAZIO: Practically impossible.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, that's correct, Mr. Jones.
22 MR. DI FAZIO:
23 Q. Yes, practically impossible.
24 A. Yes, in any sense including the practical one. They were unable
25 to participate.
1 Q. And just as far as events -- you were asked some questions about
2 events in Kravica in early January of 1992 -- 1993.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: 1993.
4 MR. DI FAZIO:
5 Q. 1993. 1993. If I suggested to you that that was a planned
6 attack, a dawn attack by Muslim forces on the village, would you agree
7 with that proposition or not?
8 A. No, it was not planned.
9 Q. Thank you. I just -- last topic, very, very last topic, I promise
10 you, Mr. Ademovic. I just want to show you some footage of a speech given
11 by Mr. Oric, and I'd like you to listen to it. Just have a listen to it
12 and then I'll ask you something about it.
13 Can the witness be shown the video clip P441, please.
14 [Videotape played]
15 MR. DI FAZIO: Can you hear? Good.
16 [Videotape played]
17 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] I'm especially honoured today to
18 present a programme of the festive academy marking the second anniversary
19 of the Srebrenica Armed Forces Staff, which nowadays bears the name of the
20 command of the 8th Operations Group Srebrenica, and is in the structure of
21 the 2nd Corps of the army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. On
22 behalf of the command of the 8th Operations Group Srebrenica, the
23 Municipal Assembly of Srebrenica, the cultural centre and the cultural
24 club Srebrenica, I call upon the commander of the 8th Operations Group,
25 Mr. Naser Oric.
1 "Naser Oric: Before I begin, I want to greet everyone present
2 and congratulate all soldiers and people on Kurban-Bajram.
3 "Dear guests, officers and soldiers, we have gathered here today
4 to mark the day when the staff of the Srebrenica Territorial Defence was
5 founded, the staff that developed into a command body of the Srebrenica
6 armed forces and the formation and the command of the 8th Operations Group
7 of the army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina within the structure
8 of the 2nd Corps. Such gatherings are always an opportunity to recall the
9 very beginning of the war. Precisely 25 months ago these people in
10 Eastern Bosnia fell into a trap of unilateral fascist wave, poisoned with
11 nationalistic ineradicable barbarism in the centre of Europe, a story that
12 has lasted 25 months so far and I do not know how long of -- the
13 Muslim-Bosniak people cannot be told at one such gathering. I hope this
14 time without demagogic approaches, but I must remind you that two years
15 ago on today's date the staff of the Srebrenica Territorial Defence was
16 founded. Then the municipal and party politicians. The bare-handed
17 Muslim people entered a defence war unrecorded in history.
18 Self-organised, the first battles began on the 20th of April, 1992 in
19 Potocari, followed by the defence of Suceska on the 1st and 2nd of May,
20 1992, the combat in the town of Srebrenica on the 5th, 6th, and 7th of
21 May, a sabotage on the 7th of May, 1992 in Potoci near Osmace. The first
22 combat actions in Vidikovac on the 8th of May 1992 and the 15th of May in
23 1992. Commanding officers of self-organised units met on today's date two
24 years ago in Bajramovic and established the Joint Command of the entire --
25 the Srebrenica staff. I will not bother you today with all the tasks and
1 decisions performed by the staff in the past period. I shall just mention
2 that the staff members had to perform for us duties ..."
3 MR. DI FAZIO:
4 Q. Okay. All right. Firstly, do you -- do you -- are you aware of
5 any of the military structures that Mr. Oric is apparently referring to;
6 the staff of the Srebrenica TO, the command body of the Srebrenica armed
7 forces, the 8th Operational Group? Are you aware of the existence, the
8 actual real existence of such bodies?
9 A. I only know of the existence according to the directives. We
10 worked upon the first document of Mr. Sadic and that these were technical
11 issues and administrative matters, as I have previously stated.
12 Everything else was just groups and group leaders. And as far as I can
13 see, this is the point in time when commander Naser Oric was appointed
14 from Tuzla. I don't know who appointed him. He was not my commander.
15 Q. And last question: Would you agree with me, Mr. Ademovic, that
16 Mr. Naser Oric is a man who is extremely well placed to comment upon the
17 formation of armed groupings in the Srebrenica area? Would you agree with
19 A. As I said, I don't know who from Tuzla appointed him. I won't go
20 into that.
21 Q. Okay. Just -- but that's not -- I'm not asking about Tuzla and
22 who appointed who. I'm just asking you this: You agree with me, don't
23 you, that Mr. Naser Oric, he's a man who knows a lot about the formation
24 of armed groupings in the Srebrenica area, the formation of any military
25 groupings and how they developed. Don't you agree with that?
1 A. I don't think he had information. He could only have had
2 information about his own village, Potocari. I probably had more
3 information than he did because I had three groups in my immediate
4 vicinity, and afterwards I had Babuljice, Lehovici, and so on. He could
5 only know about Potocari.
6 Q. Thank you very much for answering my questions, Mr. Ademovic.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I have no further
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you very much, Mr. Di Fazio.
10 Madam Vidovic, is there re-examination? Go ahead.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, only a few questions.
12 Re-examined by Ms. Vidovic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Ademovic, you saw this video clip shown to
14 you by the Prosecutor which was taken when the alleged commemoration was
15 taking place.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you observe that Mr. Oric was reading from a piece of paper?
18 A. Yes, I think he was reading something.
19 Q. Did you notice that he was holding a piece of paper in his hands
20 while speaking?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Very well. Thank you. Before the demilitarisation, did you spend
23 any time at all in Srebrenica apart from that one occasion you described
24 in November 1992?
25 A. I can only confirm the date. Around the 24th of November, 1992,
1 when I was asking for assistance, and I think around January 1993.
2 Q. 1993? I'm asking you about before the demilitarisation. Apart
3 from that meeting or encounter you described with somebody in Srebrenica,
4 did you go to any other meetings in Srebrenica, and were you familiar with
5 the situation in Srebrenica throughout 1992 until demilitarisation?
6 A. No. I assert with full confidence: No.
7 Q. Did you have any other contacts apart from the ones you described?
8 A. No. I couldn't have had, and I did say that in these proceedings.
9 Q. Thank you. Mr. Ademovic, I will ask you now to look again at
10 documents P40, P41 and P269.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will have a question
12 connected to all three documents.
13 Q. While the documents are being distributed, I'll ask you the
14 following: Is it correct that Bosnia and Herzegovina, before the war, was
15 part of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia?
16 A. Yes. It was a legally recognised republic, yes.
17 Q. And was the socialist system in place there?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. In that socialist system, you were a policeman. Do you recall
20 whether the use of stamps was regulated and prescribed in detail?
21 A. Yes. I think this is pursuant to international rules, not just
22 local rules.
23 Q. But I'm asking you, Mr. Ademovic, whether this was strictly
24 regulated in the former Yugoslavia.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. In order to better understand your testimony, on more than one
2 occasion you told the Court today and asked the Prosecutor to look at the
3 stamps on documents. I will ask you to look at all three of these
4 documents in the place where the stamp is, and then I'll ask you a
5 question about that.
6 A. Excuse me. I only have two documents.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Usher, he is saying that he has only got two
8 documents, and Madam Vidovic wants him to refer to three documents. So
9 the third one has arrived.
10 What I suggest that we do is that we also see these -- if they are
11 available on Sanction, I think it would be much easier. These are
12 Prosecution exhibits. Because all we need to see is the stamp, actually.
13 Otherwise, Madam Usher can put the page on which the stamp is affixed on
14 the ELMO.
15 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, there has to be -- we have to log back on.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's put them on the ELMO and the witness can see
17 them on the monitor himself.
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] If possible, can you put those parts
19 of all three documents where the stamp is on the ELMO, or first you can
20 put P40 and P41, and then we can look at P269 if you can't put all three
21 on at once.
22 Q. Witness, please. In the former Yugoslavia, in practice, was a
23 stamp ever placed on top of a signature? Did you ever see this as a
25 A. No.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Was it the rule that a signature had to be clearly visible and so
2 did the stamp used?
3 A. Yes. The stamp had to be separate from the signature. If there
4 was no "MP" there, then the stamp could cover only the first letter of the
5 signature, possibly the first two letters. But I can say that using a
6 stamp on top of a signature is a forgery.
7 Q. Do you agree that this was never done on official documents in
9 A. Never, according to the rules when forging.
10 Q. Would you now please look at the third document.
11 Mr. Ademovic, your answer is not clear in the record. I asked you
12 whether you agreed that in official documents in practice a stamp was
13 never put on top of the signature. What was your reply?
14 A. That's correct. It was never put on top of a signature. And then
15 I clarified this.
16 Q. Very well. Now, look at the third document. When you were
17 explaining this document, is this what you were trying to tell Their
18 Honours, that the stamp is covering the signature?
19 A. Yes, just as in the previous document. This is wrong.
20 Q. Very well. Apart from this being wrong, Mr. Ademovic, I want to
21 ask you the following: In your life, did you ever have an opportunity to
22 see Naser Oric's signature?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And that signature, did it look like this? Is this the signature,
25 if you can tell us?
1 A. According to what I see now with the stamp placed there wrongly, I
2 can assert with full liability no. And the printed name beneath that is
3 inappropriate. And there's not just one signature here, as far as I can
4 see. There's another one here below the stamp.
5 Q. Thank you. And in connection with this document, look at the
6 first page of this document P269. It says: "After the action on the --"
7 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch the date.
8 MR. DI FAZIO:
9 Q. "-- carried out in Potocari where a number of Arkan's men were
10 killed and Arkan himself wounded and later succumbed to his injuries."
11 Have you seen this, "Arkan himself wounded and later succumbed to his
13 Please, did you ever get the information that Arkan was wounded in
14 this area and especially that he succumbed to his injuries?
15 A. I never heard anything like that. I would have been very happy if
16 that had happened on that day. This world would be a much more peaceful
17 place had this been so.
18 Q. Do you know when Arkan was killed?
19 A. He was killed by his own men in Belgrade, the men who prepared him
20 to be the way he was.
21 Q. And did this kind of information go round Srebrenica and Potocari
22 in May while you were still able to move around there?
23 A. No. I assert that the answer is no.
24 Q. I will now ask you briefly something about your Motorola. The
25 Prosecutor asked you how you sent information to neighbouring groups, and
1 you said -- when there was a Serb attack, and you said you would send
2 somebody who was in the vicinity, or Alija, to tell them. Did you use
3 particular men every time or were the names you mentioned only an example?
4 A. These names were used at random. It was different people. I said
5 Huso. It could have been Murat. It could have been Osman. It could have
6 been Omer. It could have been my next-door neighbour Markovic, Dusko
8 Q. Thank you. The Prosecutor asked you whether or not you were only
9 technically a member of the 270th Brigade [as interpreted], and you
10 replied that it was your position that you were only technically a member
11 of the 280th Brigade. At least, that's what the record states. And your
12 answer was: "De facto and de jure."
13 My question is: Were you a member of that brigade de facto, or
14 was it only on paper?
15 A. When I said "De facto and de jure," what I meant to say was
16 technically only on paper, and that's what I said in my previous
18 Q. So you meant only on paper.
19 A. Yes. I meant technically, only on paper, and I think I clarified
20 this sufficiently. I explained how I was put there, because I
21 participated in making the list of those men. I didn't deny that.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have no
23 further questions.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you have any questions? Do you have any
1 We don't have any further questions for you, Mr. Ademovic, which
2 basically means that you're free to go back home. But before you leave
3 this courtroom, on behalf of Judge Brydensholt, Judge Eser, and on my own
4 behalf and on behalf of the Tribunal, I wish to thank you for having come
5 over to give evidence at this trial as one of the Defence witnesses. You
6 will very soon leave this courtroom and you will receive all the
7 assistance you require from our staff to facilitate your return back home
8 at the earliest. Before you leave, I also wish you a safe journey back
9 home on behalf of everyone here.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, thank you very much.
11 I wish to thank the Presiding Judge especially, the ladies and the
12 gentlemen from the Defence, and also the gentlemen from the Prosecutor's
13 office, and my -- Mr. Oric, and all those who participated in the
14 proceedings during my testimony. I hope I will be of assistance and that
15 my testimony will help establish the truth. It was not my intention to
16 defend anyone here but simply to tell the truth.
17 Once again, thank you all.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Ademovic.
19 [The witness withdrew]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, I understand, Mr. Wubben, that you wanted to
21 raise a matter.
22 No, no. It's -- you have got 20 minutes in which to do so, and I
23 hope you won't take as much.
24 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honours, I will be brief. It is a matter of
25 seeking guidance from Your Honours as it pertains to the decision by
1 yesterday, and we are working on the disclosure -- the disclosures and
2 organising as such.
3 We find out about the orders Your Honours gave, and a part of it
4 raised -- rose two questions. It's the -- it's the fifth page, in which,
5 and I quote Your Honours' orders: "The Prosecution to conduct a thorough
6 and complete search for Rule 68 material."
7 With a view to that order, the question raised whether or not is
8 meant to be for the Prosecution to start from scratch again a search for
9 Rule 68 material, as we are already doing for years upon our own
10 initiatives, upon new material, and upon request by the Defence giving us
11 search terms do already those searches, or that the accent of that order
12 is within the declaration that is requested, stating what searches have
13 been made, et cetera, and giving details about that.
14 So is the accent a request, an order to conduct a new search from
15 scratch, totally new, or is it that we should provide the Trial Chamber a
16 statement giving a complete overview what searches has been done,
17 including the new searches as raised and discussed in the past week?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. That's number one. Perhaps we can
19 address that straight away. And if my two colleagues disagree with me on
20 anything or wish to add or clarify anything beyond what I will be saying,
21 please do so.
22 As it is obvious from our decision itself, from the body of our
23 decision, we are guided first and foremost with -- by our responsibilities
24 under the Rules to make sure that you fulfil all your obligations, which
25 basically means that all the rights of the accused under -- emerging from
1 Rule 68(1) are fully respected. And in addition, our responsibility and
2 to which we attach a great importance, to preserve to the best our
3 abilities the integrity of these proceedings. This is what guides us.
4 When we say "a thorough and complete search for Rule 68(1)
5 material," we have chosen precisely those words because we want your
6 search now, at this late stage of the proceedings when we have moved
7 almost halfway through the Defence case, to be complete. How you conduct
8 that research is your business. We are not going to tell you where to
9 look for this material, whether you should go back through what you have
10 searched already. That's your business.
11 What concerns us, Mr. Wubben, and you will understand me
12 completely, is that even in the process of elaborating the discussion on
13 Mr. -- on the Defence motion, we started with one document, and in a space
14 of two, three, four days, we ended up with more documents. And even at
15 the very end, we were supposed not to have a second page of a document and
16 at the end a second page appeared as well. So it's -- our concern is only
17 one; that there is a full, thorough, and complete disclosure under Rule
18 68. We are definitely not going to tell you what to do or how to do that.
19 That's your responsibility.
20 What we want to know at the end of this exercise, on the 11th of
21 November, is what you have done. Whether you have unearthed new
22 documents, in which case, as per our decision, they have to be disclosed
23 immediately and therefore, we would have a report on that. Of course, if
24 you haven't unearthed anything, we would have a report on that, stating
25 that. We would also require to note for future reference, because first
1 we don't know how -- whether this is indeed the last case of violation
2 that we have had. I mean, we might have, even after your fresh searches,
3 we might end up with fresh documents. Right? That's number one.
4 So we would want to know what you have found out, what's the
5 result of your search, what kind of a search you did. We are -- it's none
6 of our business where you searched except until you have concluded your
7 search. Then you are supposed to tell us. And of course the results of
8 such searches.
9 I can't tell you more than that. We are only interested in a full
10 and complete search precisely because it's your responsibility to do that,
11 and that responsibility existed from even before the start of the trial.
12 It existed even during the pre-trial -- the pre-trial stage, as you know.
13 Because we are concerned about the rights of the accused to the maximum,
14 and because we don't want a situation to obtain where, after having gone
15 through a trial lasting a year plus, we end up with a possibility of
16 having the whole proceedings endangered. So we have taken the steps that
17 we consider necessary at this moment within our limits to ensure that
18 there is full compliance with Rule 68(1). We can't control your searches,
19 but we can impose on you the obligation to conclude a thorough and
20 complete search.
21 Now, where you search, I don't know because I don't know where
22 your documents are. I mean, they can be in the electronic database. If
23 you are happy with the searches you have conducted before, that's your
24 business, but please do tell us at the end of this exercise what you have
25 done, because it may be important later on for the record.
1 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Have I been clear? If I haven't been clear, please
3 come back to us and I will give you any further information, but I don't
4 think I can go beyond what I have stated.
5 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 The second issue, if I may, is the order for immediate disclosure,
7 and then I refer to the part "the ethnic cleansing by Serbs in the
8 locations referred to in the indictment." Those locations, is it meant to
9 be the relevant locations, all the locations meant in the indictment, I
10 mean from Sarajevo up to Tuzla and so on, or is it meant the -- let's say
11 12 villages and hamlets attacked?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. You would notice immediately that the words
13 "in the locations referred to in the indictment" are not our words but
14 they reflect what is contained in the motion. That's number one.
15 Number two, you would notice also that, in addition, we added
16 after that "or which is in any other manner material to the Defence under
17 Rule 68(1)." And we added that so that in your mind you would not have to
18 worry whether there are any limitations as regards the locations. Our
19 concern is this, and I repeat it, and I'm sure that with your experience
20 you will understand me: Rule 68(1) deals with three aspects, and one is
21 material which may suggest the innocence of the accused, material which
22 may mitigate the guilt of the accused, or material which may affect the
23 credibility of the Prosecution evidence.
24 Now, understandably, the motion dealt with Slobodan Misic.
25 Understandably, also, because of the concern of the Defence, which the
1 Trial Chamber shared -- shares, you could read in a very clear way from
2 the motion itself that they were very much suspecting that there may be
3 other Rule 68(1) material. They put it within the parameters of locations
4 referred to in the indictment, which I agree with you could leave doubts
5 exactly as to what it is meant. In order to make things clear that we
6 really want the most thorough and the most complete search possible, we
7 have included the words "which is in any manner material to the Defence
8 under Rule 68(1)."
9 I can assure, Mr. Wubben, that if you try and limit your search to
10 the locations in whichever wide or narrow interpretation that you might
11 choose to give it, you will probably end up not fulfilling your
12 obligations under Rule 68(1) in a thorough and complete search, because it
13 is beyond my reasonable understanding that exculpatory material,
14 mitigating material, or material which affects the credibility of witness
15 can only be found in material that relates to the locations referred to in
16 the indictment. That material can exist elsewhere. In other words, it
17 can exist in dossiers relating to other locations, dossiers relating to
18 the war in general, dossiers coming from wherever. They don't need to be
19 limited to the concept of locality, and that's precisely beyond that.
20 When I drafted that, in my mind I had the question, "Is this ultra
21 petita?" Does it go beyond what is asked by the Defence? But as I said,
22 I was prepared to take the risk and decided, together with the agreement
23 of my two colleagues, the way we did because we have got this big
24 concern: We the ultimate responsibility of preserving the integrity of
25 this case. God forbid that at the end of the day, if there is a
1 conviction, because of course I don't know if there's going to be a
2 conviction or not, but if there is a conviction, God forbid that at the
3 end of the day, after all this travail, then we come up with further
4 documents that should have been disclosed in 2003 or early in 2004 which
5 were never disclosed and which will send the case back to trial or
6 whatever the consequence will be.
7 We are here to ensure that justice is done, and justice is done
8 only if you fulfil your full -- your obligations to the full and the
9 rights of the accused are protected and observed and respected to the full
10 too. And we are responsible for that, and that is why we have decided the
11 case -- the motion the way we have.
12 I hope I have -- if you have further questions, please feel free.
13 We have got another five minutes to go.
14 MR. WUBBEN: No. Thank you, Your Honour. If we might have
15 additional questions, I will get --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Thank you. Incidentally, on this, do you wish
17 to contribute or not? I mean, it was seeking clarification from the Trial
18 Chamber, but if I have said anything which doesn't ring nicely to your
19 ear, then please say so.
20 MR. JONES: Well, just maybe one -- one thing, Your Honour, which
21 is simply that our concern is -- is not that after a conviction that that
22 conviction should be -- should be safe and that disclosure shouldn't mess
23 that up. We say there should be a conviction under no circumstances. We
24 simply want to have the documents so that we can effectively
25 cross-examine. So I just -- I bridle slightly at the suggestion that the
1 concern is that the proceedings will be endangered because -- the
2 integrity of the proceedings, because, decoded, that means there will be a
3 conviction, and we don't want that upset afterwards by disclosure
4 breaches. We have a different perspective as far as that is concerned.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I can quite understand that, of course.
6 MR. JONES: The other point is --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: But your responsibilities are different from ours,
8 Mr. Jones. I mean, we have a responsibility too to preserve the
9 proceedings to the end.
10 MR. JONES: Indeed, I just -- I -- I hope I'm not reading Your
11 Honours incorrectly, but I'm troubled by the suggestion that perhaps it's
12 already in Your Honours' minds to convict and the disclosure concern is
13 simply that the integrity of that proceedings shouldn't be jeopardised.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know why you are saying this because if you
15 were following what I said, I said I obviously don't know how this case is
16 going to end up.
17 MR. JONES: Indeed. Okay. I'm reassured, Your Honour.
18 The second point is that I'm also concerned that in discussion of
19 this topic, it always seems to be focused on searches as if disclosure is
20 simply a matter of sitting in front of a terminal and entering search
21 terms. There are analysts, there is, as I said before, institutional
22 knowledge in the Office of the Prosecutor. The Rules refer to material in
23 the actual knowledge of the Prosecutor, so if there's an analyst who works
24 in the Office of the Prosecutor or a trial attorney who has information
25 which is exculpatory, in my submission, that resource needs to be tapped
1 and it would be a violation if those people weren't consulted if it could
2 be reasonably expected that they would have information which would be
3 exculpatory. So we don't accept the suggestion that Rule 68 is simply a
4 matter of entering search terms in a database and looking for documents.
5 It's obviously more subtle than that. There are, as I say, there are
6 analysts and there is a more intelligent way, I would submit, of
7 approaching the issue.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I fully agree with you, Mr. Jones. How,
9 however, the Prosecution fulfils its obligation is the Prosecution's
10 responsibility. We will only come in when we find out that there have
11 been faults in the fulfillment of that obligation, as we have done.
12 MR. JONES: Yes, indeed Your Honour.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: And as we will continue to do, but our hope is, and
14 this is why we have given this decision the way it is, our hope is that
15 this last motion of yours will indeed mark the last time that there has
16 been a violation of Rule 68. This is what we are seeking to achieve,
17 because that is our responsibility, after all.
18 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honours, and I want to share that hope and like
19 to add to it that our perception of our disclosure obligation does not
20 only stop with searches but an active approach. Whenever we receive new
21 documents, new seizure of documents, we inform the Defence and we update
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So we'll meet again on Monday in the
24 morning. I can't remember which courtroom but it's definitely in the
25 courtroom, with a new witness, who I suppose is here already.
1 MR. JONES: Yes. He arrived last night, I believe.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. And my information is that you need him for
3 about six hours, six and a half hours?
4 MR. JONES: Yes.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So be prepared. Six hours. And I'm
6 told four hours from your part. Oh, it's Ms. Richardson.
7 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Ms. Richardson will respond to that, thank you.
8 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes. Good afternoon, Your Honours, and indeed
9 you are perceptive and correct, that I will no doubt be requiring the same
10 amount of time, and of course we'll see how that goes with the
11 examination-in-chief. Thank you.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So please make your calculations,
13 Mr. Jones and Madam Vidovic, as we go along next week, whether you will
14 require another witness or not.
15 MR. JONES: I think our main concern is to definitely finish with
16 that witness obviously before the break. That's the -- because we --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: What do you mean before the break?
18 MR. JONES: Well, we're not sitting next Friday, and then the
19 following week we are away, so obviously we would want to finish --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Oh, I see. All right. I misunderstood you. I
21 thought --
22 MR. JONES: Not by December, although one never knows.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So that's it. I wish you all a nice
24 weekend and we will reconvene on Monday morning. Thank you.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46. p.m.,
1 to be reconvened on Monday, the 31st day
2 of October, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.