1 Thursday, 8 December 2005
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Registrar, could you call the case,
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-03-68-T, the Prosecutor versus Naser Oric.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam, and good afternoon to you.
10 Mr. Oric, can you follow the proceedings in your own language?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours, ladies
12 and gentlemen. I can follow the proceedings in my own language.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Oric. You may be seated and good
14 afternoon to you.
15 Mr. Wubben, appearances for the Prosecution.
16 MR. WUBBEN: Good morning -- good afternoon, Your Honours, and
17 also good afternoon to my learned colleagues of the Defence. My name is
18 Jan Wubben, lead counsel for the Prosecution. I'm here together with
19 co-counsel, Mr. Gramsci di Fazio, and our case manager, Ms. Donnica
20 Henry-Frijlink. And later on, Ms. Joanne Richardson will complete the
21 team, as well as acting case manager, Ms. Sanja Bokulic.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you so much, Mr. Wubben, and good afternoon
23 to you and your team.
24 Appearances for Naser Oric.
25 MR. JONES: Good afternoon, Your Honours. My name is Vasvija
1 Vidovic. Together with Mr. John Jones, I appear for Mr. Naser Oric. We
2 have with us our legal assistant, Ms. Adisa Mehic, and our CaseMap manager
3 Mr. Geoff Roberts.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you so much, Madam Vidovic, and good
5 afternoon to you and your team.
6 Shall we bring in the witness?
7 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, I have a very short submission.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead.
9 MR. WUBBEN: It's for the record. It's regarding the list of
10 issues regarding the interview of witness Dudley to be organised tomorrow
11 morning. I touched base with Defence and provided Defence -- and provided
12 Defence with the opportunity after the interview that will have taken
13 place on an informal basis, with a list of issues of which the US
14 government believe that there should be no problem anticipated in
15 requesting authorisation for use during cross. There might be some more
16 issues in which the request is not foreseeable as to be given no problem.
17 The manner in which the informal list of issues will be
18 communicated to the Defence will be agreed upon by parties, and a
19 decision-making regarding authorisation will be facilitated by the
20 Prosecution in order to achieve an expeditious decision-making as soon as
21 possible, or in the field to provide this information towards the Defence
22 to facilitate their proofing. This offer had been accepted by my
23 colleague, Mr. John Jones, and I appreciate that acceptance. And I
24 consider this as a good step in establishing good relationship between
1 Thank you, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Because reading the transcript and
3 listening to you, I'm not quite sure whether I am 100 per cent fine-tuned
4 with what -- with you and with what you say the Defence has agreed. But
5 if the Defence has agreed, come to an agreement with you, I am happy and I
6 am sure that my two colleagues will be happy with whatever you have agreed
8 MR. JONES: Yes. I can confirm, Your Honour, that there is an
9 understanding or agreement that we will be provided with an informal list
10 of issues before it's been authorised by the USG, and that as soon as
11 possible thereafter, once the USG has approved the list, that that will be
12 provided. So that's my understanding and we are happy -- really, we are
13 happy with any arrangement whereby we have the list before we start
14 proofing. That's the matter of timing which is key for us. But I can
15 confirm that understanding.
16 I would just make a couple of observations. First I would urge
17 the Prosecution to adopt your recommendation, Your Honour's
18 recommendation, that the interview be tape-recorded. I know it's not
19 arguably not a requirement, but I would urge the Prosecution to consider
21 I would also note that the interview will be governed by the
22 Rules, and if Rule 68 material emerges, that that would be disclosable.
23 And we above all hope that we won't discover during the course of proofing
24 that the witness feels in any way constrained, that he cannot have
25 complete free and full communication with us. If as a result of this
1 interview the witness feels in any way constrained that he can't say
2 certain things to us because of the interview by the Prosecution, that
3 will pose an enormous problem, and it's a matter I referred to before, and
4 I sincerely hope that that won't pose a problem because we can have no
5 secrets between us and our witnesses.
6 And then just on two separate matters. We filed our reply on
7 Rule 68, the further Rule 68 matter today. It's not an urgent matter but
8 just to let you know we filed that reply, and I believe electronic copy
9 has been distributed.
10 And thirdly, regarding Your Honour's decision on Rule 92 bis and
11 Mr. Paris, the whole object from our point of view of submitting a Rule 92
12 bis statement was to save time. In light of that decision, we would still
13 have to call Mr. Paris here, we would still have to proof him if he's
14 going to be cross-examined, and in our view in fact we wouldn't save any
15 significant amount of time.
16 In light of that, we want to withdraw that statement. We are
17 going to reconsider whether there is some way we can have an edited or
18 redacted version, but certainly our position now is that that we are not
19 going to call Mr. Paris, and therefore the statement which has been
20 admitted would no longer be so, as I understand it.
21 Thank you.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: That's, of course, you're entitled to that choice.
23 As regards the rest, I don't wish to say anything else in addition to what
24 we stated yesterday, except that once one of you, this time the
25 Prosecution, has selected a particular way in which to seek to obtain
1 information, this time by seeking to interview the Defence witness a few
2 days initially but before he's supposed to be proofed by the Defence and
3 before he starts giving evidence, instead of following the indication that
4 we had given way back in our September 29th, everyone will have to live
5 with the consequences of his or her actions.
6 Mr. Jones, that's our position. If as a result of this we will
7 have a cataclysm, let there be a cataclysm, that's it. And then everyone
8 will answer for his actions.
9 Yes, the witness.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: While the witness is being brought in, Your
11 Honours, last night I made some comments to you regarding --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I was thinking of you last night, Mr. Di Fazio. I
13 said while I am trying to relax, Mr. Di Fazio's probably working.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, that was right. But in any event, I made
15 those comments without thinking of all the pressures that both Defence and
16 Prosecution are under, particularly for next week. So I retract
17 everything that I said then. I'll proceed as normally. I won't be
18 seeking any special indulgence, and I'll try and get my cross-examination
19 done as swiftly as I can.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm very appreciative of that, Mr. Di Fazio. You've
21 always been very cooperative.
22 Incidentally, all things going as planned, and of course I have to
23 liaise a bit with my secretary and the rest of my staff, my intention is
24 to have you come together round the table with us this coming Wednesday
25 after we finish the sitting. We'll have a short tete-a-tete, and then I
1 invite you to a Christmas drink before we continue with the last witness
2 and finish off for the Christmas recess. All right?
3 I will come back with more information, more precise information
4 later on. But anticipate, try to leave Wednesday after the sitting free,
5 as much as you can, please. Particularly, you know, I mean, particularly
6 you two and Mr. Wubben and to Mr. Di Fazio and I don't know, the rest of
7 the team, all right? I thank you so much.
8 [The witness entered court]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Smajlovic, good afternoon to you, Mr. Smajlovic
10 and welcome back.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: We are going to finish with --
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: You know, my optimism took the upper hand. We are
15 going to continue - not finish - with your testimony today. We hope to be
16 able to finish tomorrow. And so I suggest you make yourself comfortable,
17 you're still testifying under oath or pursuant to the solemn declaration
18 that you entered the first day you arrived here.
19 So let's let Ms. Vidovic proceed with her examination-in-chief.
20 Please be seated.
21 WITNESS: SUAD SMAJLOVIC [Resumed]
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Vidovic.
25 Examined by Ms. Vidovic: [Continued]
1 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Smajlovic.
2 A. Good afternoon.
3 Q. In your yesterday's testimony, you told us that at one point your
4 wife reached the Oka warehouse in Kravica where the UN Dutch soldier,
5 where she saw her brother, whereupon she was taken back. Can you tell us
6 where was she in fact taken?
7 A. She was taken back to Potocari to the battery factory.
8 Q. Can you tell us for how long did your wife remain in Potocari in
9 the area of Srebrenica afterwards?
10 A. For a month.
11 Q. At the time, did she inquire after her brother and her family in
12 general but especially regarding her brother whom she saw at Oka?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Who did she talk to?
15 A. She spoke to a doctor, a Serb, who had been hired from Bratunac by
16 the UN forces in order to assist her and her child. She asked him what
17 was going to be the fate of the people in Kravica among whom she saw her
18 brother. His answer was, "I don't know. You shouldn't be asking too
19 much. You could get killed too."
20 The following day, the same doctor came to see her. She asked him
21 the same question. He answered, appalled that the situation over there
22 was horrible, that chaos prevailed. She inquired what was going to
23 happen. His answer was, "I can't tell you really. There is chaos there.
24 There's hundreds of men there who were massacred, and are to be found in
25 front of the cooperative there."
1 Q. Whilst talking to her, did the doctor pledges anyone?
2 A. Yes. He mentioned the name of Nikola Popovic, also known as Sojka
3 [phoen], and said that he was spear-heading the killing there, that he was
4 full of anger because he thought that the Muslims had killed his father in
5 the village of Kravica on the 7th of January, 1993.
6 Q. Could you pause there, please.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like the witness to be shown
8 a document. This is a document by the command of the 1st Bratunac Brigade
9 dated 5 July 1993 addressed to the command of the Drina Corps, sending the
10 information on the fighters killed, then families of fighters killed.
11 This is quite a voluminous document, Your Honour. We will only refer to
12 relevant pages. The ERN number is 04544200.
13 Q. Witness, please take a look at the name contained in the list
14 under number 35. Kostadin Popovic. Do you see that?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. Kostadin Popovic born in 1947, killed on the 7th of March, 1993?
17 A. I apologise, it says 7th of January.
18 Q. Yes. I apologise. I misspoke. Therefore, the 7th of January
19 1993. Does this date conform with the date of the death your wife heard
20 of as that of Nikola Popovic?
21 A. Yes, it does, fully.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could this document be
23 assigned a number, please.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: 985. So this document will become Defence Exhibit
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could we just enter a
2 correction into the transcript? My question that I put to the witness was
3 not interpreted correctly. My question was: Does the evidence contained
4 in this document correspond to the fact that your wife had heard about the
5 death of Nikola or, rather, Nikola Popovic's father, Kostadin? And that's
6 when the witness answered.
7 Q. Is that correct, Witness? Is this how you understood my question?
8 A. Yes.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. That's how we had understood it in any case.
10 Okay. Thank you, let's move ahead.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Witness, I will turn to a different area now.
13 At the beginning of your testimony, you told us that in the period
14 of May of 1992 was the time when the Muslim population was massacred,
15 raped and expelled from eastern Bosnia. You also told us that after the
16 Serbs had torched large areas of Srebrenica, they abandoned it and that in
17 mid-May or thereabouts, the Muslims started returning to Srebrenica. You
18 told us that you were in fact among them. Later on you'll tell us the
19 exact date of your return but this is my question for you now: Tell us,
20 did the majority of Muslim intellectuals and highly educated people leave
21 Srebrenica or not?
22 A. Yes, they did.
23 Q. You mentioned some Muslim villages around Srebrenica. Is it true
24 or not that in the course of May and June of 1992, Srebrenica was isolated
25 from most of the surrounding Muslim villages, especially those to the east
1 of Srebrenica?
2 A. Yes. Indeed it was isolated because the Serb villages were placed
3 between Srebrenica and the neighbouring Muslim villages.
4 Q. Can you tell us which Serb villages divided Srebrenica from the
5 eastern Muslim villages?
6 A. Yes. The villages of Pribicevac, Spat, Brezani, Srpska Jasenova,
8 Q. All the villages you're mentioning are Serb villages?
9 A. Yes, Serb villages that were positioned between Srebrenica and
10 Muslim villages.
11 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber which large Muslim villages were
12 located to the east of Srebrenica and which, in the period of May and
13 June, at least until the end of June, were isolated from Srebrenica?
14 A. Yes. Skenderovici, Stozersko, Brezevica, Mocevici, Dedici,
15 Potocari, Osmace, Osata [phoen], Karacici.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe we had quite
18 a number of witnesses pointing these settlements to us on the map. I
19 don't see the need, but if you do, the witness can point these for us on
20 the map.
21 Q. To your knowledge, were the following these -- were these villages
22 in touch, one with another at the time?
23 A. No. They were isolated, such as Mocevici, Podkorjen, Dedici,
24 because the Serb army set up ambushes in the area and they were unable to
25 move to and fro between the villages.
1 Q. Please tell the Trial Chamber how Srebrenica and its surrounding
2 villages had organised its defence in the period?
3 A. They organised themselves locally. In each specific area, there
4 was a group with its leader defending their village.
5 Q. To your knowledge, who chose group leaders?
6 A. The people locally, from the area.
7 Q. I understood you to mean that you were in Srebrenica at the time.
8 What was the way the defence functioned there? Who was over there?
9 A. In the town of Srebrenica, there were three groups. There was
10 Hakija Meholjic, with about 150 strong group; Akif Ustic with about 50 to
11 60 men; and I, I was at Kazani with a group of about 30 men.
12 Q. Your group in Kazani for which you said had some 30 men, who did
13 it comprise? Were they inhabitants of Kazani or some other men as well?
14 A. My group comprised people from Kazani --
15 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear the second locality?
16 A. And some other refugees who happened to be over there.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. In your house?
19 A. Yes, in my house.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Ms. Vidovic.
21 Judge Eser.
22 JUDGE ESER: Could the witness indicate on the map where we have
23 Kazani? Because I can't find it on the map.
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Otherwise -- anyway, the map
25 should perhaps be in front of the witness throughout his testimony.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I would suggest that the map is in front of the
2 witness throughout the entire testimony because we might have to refer to
3 it from time to time. Thank you.
4 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, there is a little mistake
5 in the transcript, line 16, it says 1350 I think he said --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, yes,.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: And also I don't I think the transcript picked up
8 one other place where the -- where the fighters came in from to join the
9 Kazani group.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. We'll ask him that, or perhaps he's heard
11 your remark now and he will come up with an explanation himself.
12 Let's start with marking or indicating on the map the location of
13 Kazani, please, Mr. Smajlovic.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it is already marked.
15 It's here.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I wish to thank my learned colleague
17 Di Fazio. His answers were not recorded well, as far as the strength of
18 these groups is concerned.
19 Q. Can you tell us how many men Hakija Meholjic's group had?
20 A. About 350 [as interpreted].
21 Q. Akif Ustic?
22 A. About 50 to 60 men.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness Hakija
24 Meholjic's 150, not 350.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: In fact, you know, I mean, in the transcript
1 initially it showed 1350. Now I heard 350. And two days ago or a day
2 ago, when he was describing how angry they were that Hakija Meholjic had
3 not accepted to go and help, he said even though he had 150 men in his
4 group. So is it 150? Certainly not 1350. Is it 150 or 350? I'm not
5 blaming you, I'm blaming the transcript. All we need is the correct
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, 150 men.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you very much. And you wanted to know,
9 Mr. Di Fazio where they came from or where they had --
10 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, of course, it's pertinent to the locality
11 issue, and if they are coming in from other areas or other places then I
12 would just like to know where from.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
15 MR. DI FAZIO: One was missed, just one, that's all.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Ms. Vidovic. I'm giving you the floor
17 soon. I just wanted to check that I am interpreting Mr. Di Fazio
18 correctly. Exactly. He asked -- he inquired whether the witness could
19 give the information as to where the fighters came in from to join the
20 Kazani group. Yes, Ms. Vidovic.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I just want to end
22 this topic.
23 Q. You said that Akif Ustic had some 50 to 60 men; is that right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. When you talked about your group, you said that it had 30 fighters
1 and you explained where they were from. Since this was not fully entered
2 into the transcript, could you please tell us where the men who were in
3 your group came from?
4 A. The men who were with me in my group were from Kazani, Kutlici,
5 which is a hamlet of Kazani, and some of them were refugees who found a
6 refuge in Kazani.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Kutlici is the second place,
8 K-u-t-l-i-c-i. Thank you.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Does that satisfy you, Mr. Di Fazio?
10 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, thank you.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Vidovic.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Witness, can you show the Trial Chamber where Kutlici is on the
14 map, please, and can you please underline?
15 A. [Marks].
16 Q. Thank you. Is it true that you had far more men over there but
17 you didn't have enough weapons?
18 A. Yes, that's true. We had quite a few men or, rather, many more
19 men than we had arms for them.
20 Q. Thank you. Which other groups you knew existed in May 1992 in the
21 area of Srebrenica, in the join area and in the town of Srebrenica?
22 A. I knew that there was a group at Suceska. It was Zulfo
23 Tursunovic's group. There was Naser Oric's group in Potocari; Mirzet
24 Halilovic's at Pale; Sidik Ademovic's at Susnjari; Hamdija Fejzic's at --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat? And, please,
1 Madam Vidovic and the witness, break between question and answer.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. So you said at Susnjari, Sidik Ademovic, and Bajramovici?
4 A. Hamdija Fejzic.
5 Q. Could you please make a pause before you answer because we are
6 producing difficulties for the interpreters who cannot follow. If you can
7 just make a pause after my question.
8 Is it true that around the 20th of May, 1992 that was the period
9 during which the population of Vlasenica and Skelani in -- particularly
10 was expelled and the period in which Srebrenica was under great pressure
11 with a view to being cleansed?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did you personally hear of the meeting at Bajramovici?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Tell the Trial Chamber where Bajramovici is located in relation to
16 your home?
17 A. Not far from my home.
18 Q. How did you come to know about the meeting?
19 A. I was called by Sefket Djozic and the meeting took place in his
21 Q. Can you tell us, tell the Trial Chamber who was present at the
23 A. The meeting was attended by Zulfo Tursunovic, Naser Oric, Sefket
24 Djozic, myself, Akif Ustic, and Zulfo Salihovic.
25 Q. Was Hamdija Fejzic there?
1 A. Yes, he was.
2 Q. Were there other people there, common folk in addition to the ones
3 you mentioned?
4 A. Yes, there were people from neighbourhood. The entire
5 neighbourhood was there.
6 Q. Do you recall whether some other people from Srebrenica itself and
7 its environs were invited to the meeting but did not show up?
8 A. Yes. Others such as Hakija Meholjic, Sidik Ademovic, and other
9 group leaders were invited but did not show up because they felt the
10 meeting was illegal, not having been called by any legitimate authorities.
11 Q. Do you recall what the subject of discussion at the meeting was?
12 A. Yes. Right at the start, we started to lament about the situation
13 in general, about the situation in the villages where we were, and which
14 we defended. Our conclusion was that we had to lend a hand to each other.
15 Q. What was the result of the meeting?
16 A. The upshot of the meeting was to elect a body which would try to
17 coordinate the different leaders.
18 Q. Why was such a decision taken?
19 A. If a group was to enter into clashes with the Serbs, in order to
20 prevent that the other villages came under threat as well, the decision
21 was that we should be in touch and constantly coordinate what we do.
22 Q. Was there any mention of who was to head the body at the time?
23 A. Yes. The body was to be headed by Naser Oric and his deputy was
24 supposed to be Akif Ustic.
25 Q. Was the decision-making procedure discussed?
1 A. Yes. By vote.
2 Q. Can you please explain to the Trial Chamber, does this mean that
3 Naser, who was elected to preside the body, does it mean that he himself
4 was unable to take any decisions?
5 A. No. He was not able to take any decisions on his own or too
6 decide on any important matters. It all had to be put to a vote.
7 Q. What did that entail? Did it entail for the people to meet and
8 then decide on certain matters by putting them to a vote?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you remember whether anybody made any special comments about
11 Naser being elected head?
12 A. Yes, I do. It was said that he was only the first among the
13 equals, that he was not able to take any decisions on his own, and that
14 the decisions were solely to be taken by vote.
15 Q. From the 20th of May onwards, up until the demilitarisation, was
16 this the way in which the things in fact worked?
17 A. Yes. Perhaps all the way through to the end of the war.
18 Q. At the meeting in Bajramovici, was a specific venue designated as
19 the place where the meetings would always be held?
20 A. No. No venue, and no specific dates were decided upon.
21 Q. You said that you have some military expertise that you gained
22 through -- during the war and after. Can you tell us how you perceive
23 Oric's role was at the time? You also had first-hand opportunity to
24 observe that.
25 A. His role was to be a coordinator in case difficult situations
1 arose on the ground, to be a coordinator for the different leaders.
2 Q. You said that he was supposed to be a coordinator in difficult
3 situations that arose between the different leaders. Is that what you
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Can you please illustrate this for the Trial Chamber by giving us
7 an example? Why was this necessary?
8 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, that's not what the witness
10 JUDGE AGIUS: In fact, to be honest with you, I have taken the --
11 we have taken the policy of not stopping leading questions, but if there
12 was ever one, this was it.
13 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. His role was to be coordinator in case
14 difficult situations arose on the ground. Now, that's crystal clear.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know. I mean, if it's a question of
16 interpretation of course --
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this was
18 misinterpretation. Quite clear. And I just wanted to save time and I
19 merely reiterated what the witness said.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: What is the -- what was the question properly
22 MR. DI FAZIO: Well --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: If it was not properly.
24 MR. DI FAZIO: It's the answer that's the important part, if Your
25 Honours please.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, but I want also to know because I --
2 MR. DI FAZIO: And if Your Honours please, you know why I --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I told you, Mr. Di Fazio, I was actually saying
4 nothing but I was surprised you were not on your feet even before that.
5 So what was the correct interpretation of Madam Vidovic's question
6 as put in Serbo-Croat? What we have here is: "You said that he was
7 supposed to be a coordinator in difficult situations that arose between
8 the different leaders. Is that what you said?" Yes. That was the
9 question. And then he said: "Yes," and then: "Can you please illustrate
10 this for the Trial Chamber by giving us an example." And then, of course,
11 Mr. Di Fazio stood up with his objection. So what --
12 The answer was not what we have here in the transcript as having
13 been said by Mrs. Vidovic. The answer was his role was to be a
14 coordinator in case difficult situations arose on the ground, to be a
15 coordinator for the different leaders.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: That's right. I don't exclude both possibilities,
17 both possibilities may apply and I've got no --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't understand the Serbo-Croat.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: No, no, I understand, Your Honour. What I'm saying
20 is I have no problem with Madam Vidovic leading evidence of both types of
21 situations being coordinated.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but one does not follow from the other. I
24 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, but one does not follow from the other, and
25 the first answer was very, very clear, and I'll proceed on my
1 cross-examination --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no --
3 MR. DI FAZIO: -- on that basis --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I agree with you
5 MR. JONES: Your Honour, this is extremely unfair the way Mr.
6 Di Fazio is proceeding, because it's been made very clear that this is a
7 problem of interpretation and my learned counsel has been struggling --
8 has been struggling to get a word in and, of course, she is a few seconds
9 behind with the interpretation and has been unable to make that point.
10 Mr. Di Fazio is saying I'm going to take the answer, the
11 misinterpreted answer, for the purposes of my cross-examination. Well, if
12 he does that we are going to request the tape, we will get the tape, we
13 will get the correct interpretation, and you'll see that the witness gave
14 the answer which my colleague said. So rather than trying to confuse
15 everyone and everything, why don't we actually proceed on the basis that
16 there have been a misinterpretation until we discover that --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but that's what I have been asking all along.
18 We want the correct interpretation of what the witness had stated and what
19 Madam Vidovic stated as being his reply.
20 MR. DI FAZIO: Can we get the tapes then because it's essential.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Of course. Let's get a replay of the tape. At that
22 point we are talking of page -- it's 14, we can start from 14.56.13. You
23 said that you had some -- and while we are listening, hearing the replay,
24 please everyone stay silent so that the interpreters can listen in
1 So, please, I beg you to cooperate with us. Technically to be
2 able to do that now takes a long time. So the suggestion is that we come
3 back to this after the break and we continue with the evidence now.
4 MR. DI FAZIO: That's fine by me.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it fine with you, Madam Vidovic? All right.
6 Let's proceed.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, it is.
8 Q. What was the role of Naser Oric the way you understood it at the
9 time? Could you please answer that?
10 A. Yes. The way I saw it, his role was to coordinate among the
12 Q. Can you explain to the Trial Chamber why -- can you perhaps give
13 an example why it was necessary for somebody to coordinate things among
14 the leaders at the time?
15 A. Yes, I can give an example. Hakija Meholjic could never see eye
16 to eye or cooperate with Akif Ustic. The same thing went for Hakija
17 Meholjic who was unable to reach an agreement with Zulfo Tursunovic. That
18 is why somebody was needed or that body was needed to be set up to
19 coordinate things among the leaders.
20 Q. I would now like the witness to be shown P73, Prosecution exhibit.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: By the way, there will be two breaks today, like
22 yesterday. All right? Thank you.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Can you please look first of all at the signatures at the bottom
25 of this document? Can you tell us, do you -- can you recognise Naser
1 Oric's signature?
2 A. Yes. I know his signature because before the war when we worked
3 at the police, he would sign off his reports at the end of his shift. And
4 I would never say that this is indeed his signature.
5 Q. Fine. Are you familiar with the signature of Hamdo Fejzic?
6 A. Yes, while we worked at Tenergoinvest [phoen] together, he worked
7 with me and his signature was much shorter.
8 Q. You have given a very clear answer about Oric's signature, and
9 again this has not been recorded. It's not in the record. But I don't
10 want to ask you a leading question. Can you please repeat what you said
11 about Oric's signature?
12 A. I said that I worked with Naser in the police before the war and
13 that he signed his reports at the end of his shift. And I would never say
14 that this is his signature.
15 Q. Thank you. Can you please look at the contents of the document?
16 If you can look at the name listed under number 7, this document refers to
17 Bajramovici, and it says here Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
18 Srebrenica TO Staff 1/92, Bajramovici, 20th of May, 1992, decision, and at
19 the end you have this number 7. Please, Ahmo Tihic, was he present at the
20 meeting in Bajramovici where you were present?
21 A. No. He was not there.
22 Q. Was his name mentioned at all at the meeting?
23 A. No. It was not mentioned at all.
24 Q. Did you know him from before the war?
25 A. Yes. I had known Ahmo Tihic before the war, and the first time I
1 met him in mid-August because I spoke to him about what had happened to
3 Q. And what did he tell you?
4 A. He told me that he had been wandering around the villages and that
5 he had been with the people fleeing from those villages in the woods
6 around the place, and that he was sorely disappointed with what had been
8 Q. Did the Muslim people in the villages around that area accept him
9 at all?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Can you please look at the words next to the name of Bogilovic,
12 Becir, from Srebrenica: "An outstanding activist in armed resistance
13 against the aggressor in the area of Suceska."
14 Did you know Becir Bogilovic well?
15 A. Yes. I worked with him together in the police before the war. He
16 was never an activist. He was just a police officer.
17 Q. I want to ask you about this document. Apart from the group
18 leaders that were present at the meeting in Bajramovici, were there any
19 other groups in the Srebrenica area that were fighting against the Serbs,
20 that were not present there, nor had they been invited to attend the
21 meeting, as far as you know?
22 A. Yes. There were such groups. They could not be invited to the
23 meeting. That was the Jiljeskovik [phoen], the Poznanovici, the Osata
24 group, the Gladovici group, the Ostrika group, the Karacici group, the
25 Osmace group, and the groups that I had already mentioned. The groups
1 that were flee -- that had fled Tokoljaci and Trubari.
2 Q. What about Mocevici, Brezovica, Poznanovici, Dedici, Podkorjen,
3 Imici [phoen], Busmulici [phoen]? Do you know whether any of them had
4 been invited to attend the meeting or not?
5 A. No. And I've already mentioned the -- that the groups that I have
6 mentioned, Dedici group, Podkorjen, Mocevici, Brezovica, Skenderovici, and
7 Storasice [phoen].
8 Q. At the meeting in Bajramovici, was there any talk at all or any
9 decisions were taken about those groups of people?
10 A. No.
11 Q. What had been agreed in Bajramovici, did that also bound -- bind
13 A. No. It did not bind them. It bound only the groups that were
14 present or, rather, the group leaders that were present.
15 Q. Apart from those groups from the villages around Srebrenica, were
16 there any other groups of armed Muslims in the Bratunac area or in the
17 fringe areas of Srebrenica and Bratunac who were fighting the Serbs there?
18 A. Yes. There were groups in Bljeceva, Glogova, a group in
19 Voljavica, in Zaluzje, in Biljaca, in Zanjevo, in Abdulici, in Jagodnja,
20 in Joseva, and in Konjevic Polje.
21 Q. Let me clarify this. When you say Atolici [phoen], Zanjevo, are
22 you referring to the fact that they were positioned there or are you
23 referring to the people who had fled the -- those villages?
24 A. No, no, no. They were in large groups of refugees. They were not
25 positioned in those two villages.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. One moment, Madam Vidovic, please.
2 JUDGE ESER: Madam Vidovic, I have a question to you. If this --
3 these villages are important to be named, I think it would be necessary
4 that you are not so quick because on the -- in our transcript, we do not
5 have any names of villages. So either the villages are not important or
6 you should make sure that they are really named at least in your question.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: But they will fill them up later when they go
8 through the transcript, Judge Eser. But if she wants to go through them
9 now again, if you think that that is very important, we can -- I think we
10 can go ahead and then this matter will be looked up later when they go
11 through the transcript. Usually they do.
12 All right. Let's proceed.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] It may be done at a later stage.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Because Judge Eser prefers to have the complete list
16 JUDGE ESER: You don't have to repeat it now. It's more for the
17 future. You're naming the villages so quickly that it's completely
18 impossible to follow on the map, and if it is important that we get an
19 idea what's going on there we should be able to read them, to recognise
20 them. But if they are not important, then leave them. Either/or.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Witness, can you please slowly go through the villages? I asked
23 you about the groups. In addition to the groups from the Srebrenica
24 villages, were there any other groups of armed Muslims in the Bratunac
25 area or in the fringe areas of Srebrenica and Bratunac where they fought
1 with Serbs against Serbs and you went through them. Can you please now,
2 this is a very appropriate remark made by the Judge, could you please
3 slowly enumerate the names of those villages, so just repeat them once
4 again, the groups?
5 A. Bljeceva, Glogova, Konjevic Polje, Voljavica, Zaluzje, Biljaca,
6 Zanjevo, Abdulici, Joseva and Jagodnja.
7 Q. Were there any groups in the Srebrenica area of armed men from
8 Vlasenica or elements of the Muslim population in the fringe areas of the
9 Vlasenica municipality who also were fighting against the Serbs?
10 A. Yes. Those were the group of Becir Mekanic, the group of Fadil
11 Turkovic, and the groups in Cerska and the villages around it.
12 Q. Thank you. When you mentioned Glogova, is there any other village
13 where the people of Glogova had some connections with it and can you tell
14 us what it is?
15 A. Yes, Bljeceva.
16 Q. Does Bljeceva have a hamlet?
17 A. Cizmici.
18 Q. Thank you. Those groups from Vlasenica that you just mentioned
19 and the groups from the Bratunac municipality, did they have any --
20 anything to do with the agreement reached at Bajramovici?
21 A. No. They did not have anything to do with it.
22 Q. Now let us go back to the document of the 20th of May, 1992. If
23 you look at the document, you will see here that it says the Republic of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Territorial Defence Staff Srebrenica. This body that
25 was elected at that time in Bajramovici, was that in reality the
1 Territorial Defence staff or not?
2 A. No. It was not the Territorial Defence staff.
3 Q. Thank you. Now I would like the usher to show to the witness
4 Defence Exhibit D272, and I would like you to keep the document dated the
5 20th of May, 1992.
6 This is a document from the Supreme Command staff, temporary
7 formation, municipal staff of the defence, municipal defence staff with
8 headquarter support unit. I wanted to ask you whether you're familiar
9 with the term provisional establishment?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Do you agree that in the preparatory stage I showed you this
12 document and that you had a very thorough look at it?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Can you please tell me what is the purpose of the provisional
16 A. Provisional establishment is a document stipulating the
17 organisation of a certain unit at war -- during the war.
18 Q. Thank you. Now, please go to page 7 of this document. That would
19 be page 10 in the English version. This is a chart, the chart. You can
20 see here it says municipal defence staff organisation chart, types 1, 2
21 and 3. Do you agree, first of all, that you saw that this provisional
22 establishment referred to 1992? That's what you saw at the start?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Do you agree that according to this chart, the municipal defence
25 staff needs to have a commander, the Chief of Staff, assistant for IPD and
1 religious matters, a security organ, assistant for logistics, financial
2 assistant? Do you agree?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Do you agree that according to this document, the staff needs to
5 have an anti-sabotage unit, an engineer corps, technical service,
6 transport and traffic service and other services; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Please, that body set up in Bajramovici, did it establish a staff
9 along these lines or not?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Was that body a staff of this kind comprising all those units
12 listed here and everything else that is envisaged in this establishment?
13 A. No. It was not the way this is supposed to -- it is supposed to
14 be according to this establishment.
15 Q. Did it look anything like it at all?
16 A. No. It didn't look anything like that at all. The structure of
17 the people who attended the meeting, those people did not have any
18 military knowledge, and we didn't even think about -- we couldn't even
19 dream about setting up something like this because in the situation that
20 we faced, it was impossible to do anything. The conditions simply did not
21 exist for it.
22 Q. Did you discuss at all staff in the military sense of the term or
23 any other bodies of that kind at that meeting on the 20th of May, 1992?
24 A. No it was not discussed at any moment at that time.
25 Q. In Bajramovici, did you talk about the police, military or
2 A. No. We did not discuss the civilian police or the military
4 Q. You can remove the document.
5 And now I would like you to go back to the document P73. If you
6 can have a look, the statement of reasons somewhere down the middle it
7 says: "Owing to an urgent need to merge self-organised armed groups into
8 larger units, and establish a single command of armed forces in the
9 struggle against further enemy aggression, and unite the movement for the
10 liberation of occupied territories of Srebrenica municipality, a single
11 military command of armed groups shall be formed under the name of the
12 Srebrenica Territorial Defence staff."
13 I'm asking you, you attended the meeting and you were present in
14 Srebrenica up until the time when it was demilitarised. Is it correct
15 that at that time, or at any other time up to the demilitarisation, the
16 units really were unified and whether single military command was ever
17 established, yes or no?
18 A. No. The units were never unified and the single command was never
19 established throughout the time all the groups operated locally in those
20 areas, and they were called Hakija's group, Suad's group, Mujo's group,
21 Hazim's group and so on.
22 Q. At any time up until the demilitarisation, did you have the
23 equipment to establish the staff, the means to establish the staff?
24 A. No. We did not have any equipment or means to establish the staff
25 because you can see from this document what you need in order for the
1 staff to function.
2 Q. Did you have the communications equipment?
3 A. No. We did not have the communications equipment. We did not
4 have the barracks. We did not have the equipment. We did not have the
5 uniforms, weapons, ranks, insignia.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] This document can be removed now.
8 And I would now like the witness to have a look in parallel to two Defence
9 exhibits, D626 and D627.
10 Q. Those documents, D626 is a certificate concerning Naser Oric,
11 father's name Dzemal, that he attended a course for trainee police
12 officers, and the second one is the request for a job application for
13 Naser Oric and I would like you to look at both those documents. Do you
14 agree that under his education in both case, it says that he has a police
15 officer course, that he's a graduate of a police officer course?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You told us that you knew Naser Oric. From what you know -- first
18 of all, tell us, how old was he in 1992?
19 A. 22.
20 Q. Please, have a better look, Witness.
21 A. I'm sorry, no, 23, going on 24.
22 Q. No, I'm not referring to the document. I'm just asking you, at
23 the outset of the war in 1992, I'm asking you if you know how old Naser
24 was old [as interpreted]?
25 A. Oh, how old was -- he was? 24, 25.
1 Q. Thank you. From what you know, at that time, when the war
2 started, and when this body in Bajramovici was established, did he have
3 any military knowledge as far as you know?
4 A. No. He did not have any military knowledge from what I knew, and
5 on the basis of our conversations while we worked together I knew that he
6 had attended a police officer course and that he attended the specialist
7 course for body-guard and escort duties.
8 Q. Do you know whether he did his national service, and do you know
9 whether he held any rank at that time when he was doing his national
11 A. Yes. I know that he was a lance corporal.
12 Q. Do you know in what arm of service he was?
13 A. I think he was in the nuclear, biological and chemical defence.
14 Q. Do you know if he had any military knowledge regarding the command
15 and control?
16 A. No. I'm sure he didn't.
17 Q. When did Naser Oric appear in Srebrenica from what you know? When
18 did you see him?
19 A. In -- at the end of 1991.
20 Q. And do you know what he had been doing before that?
21 A. I know that he was a police officer serving in Belgrade, in
22 Pristina, and that that's where he worked.
23 Q. You said that he appeared towards the end of 1991. Did he gather
24 the Muslim youth around him? Was he a popular person among the young
1 A. No. He was not popular. At that time, he was the personal escort
2 of Slobodan Milosevic. Milosevic was a symbol of Serbdom and we would see
3 him quite often on TV. He was standing right beside Milosevic.
4 Q. Did you know Oric's father?
5 A. Yes, very well.
6 Q. What was he doing in 1990 and 1991? Well, in fact, up until the
7 beginning of the war?
8 A. Naser's father was a car mechanic, top car mechanic. He had his
9 own private repair shop.
10 Q. If somebody claimed that Oric had his car fixed in a car mechanic
11 shop owned by a Serb in Bjelovac, would that be correct?
12 A. No, it wouldn't be correct. Because when Naser came to Srebrenica
13 in late 1991, he drove in a new Renault 5 car and at that time his father
14 was the authorised -- had the authorised garage for that type of a car.
15 So he would never take his car to some other mechanic to fix the car.
16 Q. If somebody were to say that at that time Oric -- so I'm talking
17 about the period from the end of 1991 or in the course of 1991 up until
18 the beginning of the war, that he gathered the Muslim youth of Srebrenica
19 around him, would that be correct?
20 A. No, it would not be correct.
21 Q. Thank you. You can now remove those exhibits.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I would now like to play a video,
23 Your Honours. That's 2844. And now I would like you to listen to the
24 conversation very closely, and I would like to ask the interpreters not to
25 follow what is written in the transcript but to listen carefully to the
1 parts of conversation that we are playing here.
2 [Videotape played]
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] This part of the video recording
4 pertains to the events of the 20th of May and now I would like you to play
5 the video from 002253 to 000320.
6 [Videotape played]
7 "Unidentified Speaker: Before you continue on with the story,
8 I want to ask you about the [unintelligible] very briefly [unintelligible]
9 that meeting occurred on the 20th of May 1992, would that be correct?"
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Please, Witness, first of all I wish to ask you whether you know
12 anyone seen on this footage?
13 A. Yes, I do, Naser Oric.
14 Q. Please, do you agree that the following question was put by the
15 person seated on the right-hand side here, on the monitor?
16 First of all, I want to ask you whether you listened to this video
17 material in my presence several times?
18 A. Yes, I did.
19 Q. Do you agree with me that the person seated to the right is the
20 one putting questions? And before we continue with the story, there are
21 just a couple of things that I would just like to briefly ask you about
22 this meeting. We have information that the meeting was held on the 20th
23 May, 1992; is that correct? Is it correct that the -- this is the
24 question that was put? Is it correct?
25 A. Yes, it's correct.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please continue playing the
2 tape and please listen closely. Let's play the tape from 000320 up
3 until 340.
4 [Videotape played]
5 "That meeting occurred on the 20th of May -- information I think
6 about a meeting at the HQ. That was before."
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Witness, did you hear Naser answering, "No, not the meeting then.
9 That's the information I mean -- I mean when the meeting of the staff took
10 place, that was before, we hadn't arrived by then. We hadn't arrived by
11 then?" Was that the answer that you hear him say?
12 A. Yes, that was it.
13 Q. Do you agree with me that the meeting that the Prosecutor in his
14 question claimed to have taken place on the 20th of May, that Naser
15 responds to that that the meeting was not held then, on the 20th of May,
16 but, rather, that they had not arrived by then?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's true.
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I wish to refer you to
19 transcript 3 of this video footage, which is page 1 in the English
20 version, where the question -- the answer was not interpreted correctly
21 because to the question concerning the meeting on the 20th of May, Naser
22 Oric answered, "No, no." Here, the entire answer by Naser Oric was left
23 out, where he says, "We had not arrived yet. By then."
24 I also wish to draw to a series of confusions and discrepancies
25 that exist between the B/C/S and the English version because in the
1 English version apparently the question is put by Carl Koenig [phoen],
2 whereas the B/C/S version has the initials ST. This isn't the reason why
3 I'm showing the witness this transcript. I have a different reason for
4 doing so. I just wanted this to be stated for the transcript. I wish to
5 continue further.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Like the Defence, if Your Honours, please, the
8 Prosecution is also concerned about discussions of evidence in front of
9 witnesses, and this is the sort of matter that's best reserved for another
10 occasion. I have no problem with Madam Vidovic putting the transcript to
11 the witness, of course. That's most proper.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. I fully agree with you, Mr. Di Fazio.
13 Let's proceed. Please avoid any discussions in the presence of the
14 witness. And one other thing about this exhibit and the other one
15 where -- the interviews with -- the alleged interviews with the accused,
16 these, as you can imagine, I mean both Prosecution and Defence, these are
17 of absolute importance, and if they are, it's equally absolutely
18 paramount -- of paramount importance that we get the correct translation
19 or interpretation.
20 MR. DI FAZIO: Particularly on this issue. Particularly on this
22 JUDGE AGIUS: It's very important, it's very important.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I'll make sure that this
24 particular segment is given particular attention to, raised with
25 translation services, or we will resubmit it and make sure that the --
1 it's correctly translated. And I heard what the English was too. And I
2 understand the point that Madam Vidovic is making.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Please try to understand our concern is -- goes a
4 little bit further than what you have just stated. What we are inviting
5 you to do is to make sure -- and this invitation is being made now because
6 we've got very little time left, Mr. Di Fazio. Make sure that this tape
7 and the other one, the whole entire interview is reviewed and that the
8 translation/interpretation is agreed to by both parties, and if there is
9 disagreement on any particular part, that we may be made privy to it so
10 that if it is necessary for us to intervene to make sure that we have the
11 right interpretation or translation, if one of you contests it, then we
12 will be able to do so in good time. In a timely fashion, in other words.
13 Yes, Ms. Vidovic.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] May I respond, Your Honour, why I
15 decided to take this course? Every time I have a witness, I, of course,
16 wish to place this marker just for the record. However, in this case, the
17 matter is far more serious than catches the eye, especially of the OTP's.
18 The matter at hand is also the translations by -- of the documents handed
19 in by the Prosecution concerning Oric. Especially when we have a witness
20 seated here who is aware of these matters, who knows whether the meeting
21 took place before or after, then it is necessary to have the response from
22 the witness, because Oric himself hears that the interpretation is wrong.
23 That is why I wanted this to be entered into the record, the reason why I
24 wanted the witness to see this.
25 Can we continue playing the tape? From 001950 up until 002050.
1 [Videotape played]
2 "Do you understand that? Yes. I just wanted -- one or two short
3 questions I wanted to ask you about some of the things we said yesterday.
4 As I understand it, we now are getting to the 20th of May, 1992, and that
5 meeting at Bajramovici.
6 One thing I'm not sure of, and maybe you can clarify it for me,
7 the re-entry into Srebrenica, did that occur before or after that meeting?
8 No, no.
9 No, I mean after or before?
10 The entry into Srebrenica took place after this meeting.
11 In the --"
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Witness, please, can you confirm hearing the Prosecutor repeating
14 the question concerning the 20th of May, 1992 and the meeting that took
15 place on that day and the question is put to Oric?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Is it correct that the Prosecutor asked Oric whether the re-entry
18 to Srebrenica took place before the meeting at Bajramovici and that Oric
19 decisively answered no?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. In saying no, did he explain that the re-entry to Srebrenica took
22 place after the meeting at Bajramovici?
23 A. Yes. That's what Naser confirmed, that this was not true.
24 Q. Therefore, I want to ask you. You were at Bajramovici. You
25 attended the meeting at Bajramovici. When did the Srebrenica residents in
1 fact return to Srebrenica?
2 A. The people from Srebrenica returned to Srebrenica after Goran
3 Zekic's death, not before. On the 9th of May, 1992, Hakija Meholjic and
4 Akif Ustic were already there and many people were already there.
5 Q. Were you there?
6 A. Yes. I was there with my group from Kazani.
7 Q. Does Oric provide accurate information here?
8 A. No, he does not.
9 Q. I want to ask you something else. You heard the Serbo-Croat or
10 Bosnian language used by this interpreter. What is your opinion thereof?
11 A. The interpreter interpreting at this meeting is not that familiar
12 with the Serbo-Croat language. He seems to be guessing, because the terms
13 "ulaz" [phoen] and "ulazak" [phoen] in B/C/S are two different terms.
14 Q. Please look at document P75 now.
15 This is purported to be the document of the Srebrenica Territorial
16 Defence staff dated 26 May 1992, whereby the TO Srebrenica -- TO staff
17 Srebrenica is expanded to include Atif Krdzic, Nedzad Bektic and Senaid
18 Tabakovic. Look at the document, Witness, and please look at the name of
19 Atif Krdzic. Is this man from Srebrenica?
20 A. No. He does not hail from Srebrenica. He is from Osmace, and
21 lives in Bratunac.
22 Q. Nedzad Bektic --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, I mean, on computer monitor, we are
24 still see seeing this still from the video and not the document that is on
25 the ELMO, if this could be corrected, please. Okay. Thank you. Just for
1 the record to give the opportunity to whoever is following to know which
2 document we are talking about basically.
3 I thank the technicians and we may proceed.
4 Thank you, Ms. Vidovic for being patient.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Next to Nedzad Bektic's name, the text reads: "Organiser of armed
7 resistance against aggressor in the region of Kragljivoda."
8 Do you have any comment about this?
9 A. Yes. Nedzad Bektic come to Karacici, and he has nothing to do
10 with Kragljivoda because there was a different leader.
11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear the name.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation].
13 Q. Therefore, the allegations in this document, are they true?
14 A. No, they are not.
15 Q. Can you please repeat the name of the actual group leader in
16 Kragljivoda because this is not in the transcript?
17 A. Sefik Mandzic.
18 Q. Witness --
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Or, rather, Your Honour, if this is
20 an appropriate time for a break, I can stop here.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank so much, Madam Vidovic. We'll have -- how
22 are you doing for time, Ms. Vidovic?
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm doing my best to
24 end today.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Now, we have one minute. If you want to
1 go back and listen to that part of the tape, I understand it's ready. Do
2 you want to listen to it now before we go to the break?
3 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, we may, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah. No, we listen to it in the original language,
7 in B/C/S. I mean -- and then it's translated to us.
8 [Audiotape played]
9 "Q: Did anybody make any specific comments about Naser's
11 A: Yes. I do remember it was said that Naser was only the
12 first among the equals and that he was not able to decide about anything
13 on his own, but that exclusively it had to be done by vote.
14 Q: From that date, from the 20th May onwards, through to the
15 demilitarisation, was this how in fact the matters functioned in reality?
16 A: Yes, perhaps even through to the end of the war.
17 Q: At this meeting at Bajramovici, was a specific venue agreed
18 upon where the body was to meet, a headquarters?
19 A: No. Neither a place nor the time.
20 Q: You explained to us that you have some military expertise,
21 that you even gained after the war. Looking back at these events, how do
22 you see Oric's role at the time and you also had the occasion to observe
24 A: Oric's role there was only to be a coordinator in difficult
25 situations arising on the ground, amongst the leaders."
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly. And then her question, Madam
2 Vidovic's question, which is what you contested.
3 MR. JONES: Your Honour, that confirms the correct translation.
4 That was the correct translation. He said difficult situation and surely
5 that resolves the very issue which was in dispute.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you agree, Mr. Di Fazio?
7 MR. DI FAZIO: No, I think it's a mixture of both. It's a mixture
8 of both. He was a coordinator of difficult situations on the ground
9 amongst the leaders.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Absolutely not, Your Honour.
11 Absolutely not.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I will not allow any further discussions on this in
13 the presence of the witness.
14 Let's have the break now. It will be of 25 minutes, just to be on
15 the safe side. Madam Vidovic and Mr. Wubben, would you be agreeable to
16 that? And the rest?
17 All right. 25 minutes starting from now.
18 --- Recess taken at 3.48 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 4.21 p.m.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I'm waiting for the accused. I want to make
21 sure that he is here.
22 May I suggest that you forget about what we've heard and more or
23 less now we know what the witness said in any case, and we move ahead.
24 Mr. Di Fazio particularly.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, I'm perfectly happy with what I've heard. My
1 quick query is answered. Thank you.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Vidovic. Let's move ahead with the next
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I wish to let you know
5 that in the course of this session, my colleague will unfortunately have
6 to absent himself from the courtroom to attend to an urgent matter and we
7 will continue outside his presence until tomorrow. I will move on with my
8 questions now.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I trust the urgent matter is not the reception at
10 the Japanese embassy which I'm going to miss because I'm sitting here.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Certainly not, Your Honour.
12 I'd like the witness to be shown D4.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, P4.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. This is allegedly a document by the Srebrenica TO staff dated
16 15 June 1992. Is it true, Witness, that I've shown you this document?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Please look at the document and specifically at the name under 4,
19 TO Osmace, Atif Krdzic, or, rather, I will quote the document: "With the
20 aim of confronting the aggressor and engaging in the struggle for
21 liberation, all the local leaders of self-organised armed groups are
22 ordered to immediately commence developing the organisation and
23 establishment of the Srebrenica TO units," in particular the date here is
24 15th of June.
25 My question has to do with number 4, TO -- Osmace TO, the name is
1 Atif Krdzic. Is it true that Atif Krdzic was at the head of the group in
2 Osmace at any point in time throughout the war?
3 A. No, that's not true. Mirsad Dudic was the group leader there.
4 Q. You told us that the Nedzad Bektic did not lead the Kragljivoda
6 A. Yes, that's correct, he did not.
7 Q. Can you tell us again whether on the 15th of June, 1992 Ahmo Tihic
8 had any contacts with Srebrenica?
9 A. No. We -- he did not have any contacts with Srebrenica, nor did
10 we have any contacts with him.
11 Q. Please look at the person under number 9, Luka TO, Mustafa
12 Durakovic? Have you ever heard the name? Do you know the man?
13 A. No, I've never heard this name before.
14 Q. Have you heard of Luka?
15 A. Yes. I have. I know that Ikan Mujic was the group leader there.
16 Q. Thank you. I wish to refer you now to the part which
17 says: "Services attached to the Srebrenica TO, war hospital." On the
18 15th of June, 1992 and in the subsequent period up until August 1992, was
19 the war hospital set up in that period, as far as you know?
20 A. No, it wasn't. The building that was called hospital was razed to
21 the ground basically after the Serbs had left Srebrenica. There was
22 nothing. There were just the walls standing. There was no equipment.
23 There was no furniture, no fittings. The roof itself was dismantled and
24 taken in the direction of Skelani. The hospital itself was located in my
25 house and that's where the wounded and the ill were taken at the time.
1 Avdo Hasanovic, medical doctor from Suceska, came over to look at the
2 people and assist them as far as he could.
3 Q. The building you were referring to, as far as you know, when was
4 it made operational? When was it made serviceable?
5 A. It was partially made operational only at the end of July, when
6 people of their own accord started going from house to house collecting
7 whatever they could, sheets, blankets, mattresses, to make it look like a
8 hospital, although it was not a proper hospital even then.
9 Q. Was it anything like a proper hospital throughout the war?
10 A. No, it wasn't. During the war, we took desks from offices and the
11 school building, and it was on these very desks that the people were
12 operated on. People were -- their wounds were dressed and then they had
13 to lie on these desks, and they were nothing like beds, and these were
14 wounded people.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Madam Vidovic.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: Minor point, no objection. Is the witness talking
17 about his house here or some other structure?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I take it so, but I stand to be corrected if he's
19 not, of course. But that's how I understood him.
20 MR. DI FAZIO: It's just not clear. I mean, I would think the
21 Defence would want it to be clear, so ...
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Perhaps you can ask the witness to explain
23 whether he is still talking about his house.
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 Q. Witness, please, is it true that the hospital up until the end of
1 July 1992 was in fact located in your own home?
2 A. Yes. In my own home.
3 Q. And then you went on to explain that the hospital or, rather, the
4 building that you said was called the hospital was made operational?
5 A. Yes.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the witness mentioned
7 this yesterday. I think we are wasting time on this. I'm doing my best
8 to finish.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
10 Judge Eser, yes .
11 JUDGE ESER: I'm just not clear, the witness talked about that the
12 building had been torn down. And where was this building located, in
13 which part of Srebrenica?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the entrance into the town of
15 Srebrenica. That was Baratova, the neighbourhood of Baratova.
16 JUDGE ESER: A building on the other side of the street?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: You can ask him direct whether it was in the
18 proximity, whether --
19 JUDGE ESER: Was it in the proximity of the PTT building?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Is this the billing we are talking about?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, across the street from the PTT
22 building. It was not torn to the ground. It was just simply totally
23 devastated. Everything had been taken away from it. Just the walls were
24 left standing. The entire -- all the fixtures and fittings had been taken
25 away, but the building itself still stood.
1 JUDGE ESER: The translation we have had perhaps has not been the
2 same. It looked as if the whole building had been destroyed. Thank you.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you, Your Honour, because
4 the witness did clarify the matter. This is probably due to the speed,
5 the rate of speed.
6 Q. No matter how much in a hurry we are, please leave some time
7 before you start your answer.
8 Here is says the platoon of the military police will be set up by
9 Mirzet Halilovic. In June 1992, as far as you know, was the military
10 police set up in Srebrenica?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Do you know when it was set up?
13 A. It was on the 1st of July, when the War Presidency was elected.
14 It was in the village of Bajramovici in Hamdija Fejzic's house.
15 Q. Can you please tell the Chamber whether you were present at that
16 meeting on the 1st of July, 1992 and what happened there?
17 A. Yes. I was present there. That meeting was convened by some
18 prominent people from Srebrenica and the people who were the mainstays of
19 the SDA party. I went to that meeting because I had been invited by Zulfo
20 Salihovic, a neighbour of mine. He was one of the main figures in the SDA
21 at that time.
22 Q. Do you have any special reason why you would remember the 1st of
23 July, 1992? And is there anything about that meeting?
24 A. Yes. I do. Resid Efendic, who was my colleague from the police,
25 he was a police inspector, he used to be a police inspector before the
1 war, he also attended that meeting, and at that meeting he nominated me as
2 the commander of the military police, and then most of the people there
3 did not agree, and they said, since Mirzet Halilovic is an expert in
4 martial arts, and he holds a black belt in -- a karate black belt, they
5 thought he would be a much better person for that job.
6 Q. Let me go back to this -- the previous document. Is it true,
7 then, that the military police was set up on the orders of the body that
8 had been established in Bajramovici on Oric's order, as far as you know?
9 A. The military police was established pursuant to a decision issued
10 by the Presidency, not the decision by Naser Oric, nor had Naser Oric
11 anything to do with that.
12 Q. I will now go back to -- I will in fact be asking you some more
13 questions about this meeting, the meeting of the 1st of July, 1992 where
14 you said that the War Presidency was elected. Can you please tell us who
15 was the main person at that meeting? Who was in charge?
16 A. Yes, I do remember. Those were the representatives and, in fact,
17 the main figures in the SDA party: Hajrudin Avdic, Zulfo Salihovic,
18 Hamdija Fejzic.
19 Q. What did they say? Why was it necessary to establish the War
21 A. At that meeting, they said the things that we actually knew at
22 that time. In the town of Srebrenica itself, the -- there was a huge
23 influx of refugees from the areas that had been taken by the Serb
24 military. Those refugees did not have any accommodation, and then they
25 started breaking and entering into apartments and homes of the people from
1 Srebrenica who had fled into the woods as parts of those large groups of
2 refugees and who had not yet returned to their homes. There were also
3 quite a few civilians who carried weapons. They were totally out of any
4 control. They were carrying weapons around the town. And they agreed
5 that some order should be restored to Srebrenica itself.
6 Q. Now let me show you a new document. Its number is 1839572 A and
7 it is dated 1st of July, 1992.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, before the witness has
9 a look at this document, there is a mistake here. It says Dudic, Dudic
10 Hajrudin, whereas in the English -- in the original it says, Avdic,
12 Q. Witness, have you seen this document before, together with me?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Do you agree that at the top of this document, by way of a title,
15 it says, "Send the decision for appointment." You attended the meeting on
16 the 1st of July, 1992. Do you have any idea why this title is here in
17 this form?
18 A. Yes. The names that are listed here, I remember that quite well,
19 Hamdija Fejzic explained that they cannot appoint themselves but that the
20 decision on the appointment needs to be issued by the War Presidency of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was located in Sarajevo for this body to be
23 Q. Can you look at those names here. It says Hajrudin Avdic, Hamdija
24 Fejzic, Dzemal Becirevic, Resid Efendic, Naser Oric, Jusuf Halilovic,
25 Becir Bogilovic, and then deputies, Azir Zekic, Mirsad Dudic, Sefik
1 Mandzic, and then below there is a line, military police commander, Mirzet
2 Halilovic. Do you agree whether in fact those people were in fact
3 appointed to those posts on that date as it is stated here in the
4 document. Please have a good look at the document?
5 A. Yes, those people were elected. The people that were above the
6 line, elected by the people, and by the prominent persons in Srebrenica.
7 Q. What were they appointed to?
8 A. They were appointed members of the Srebrenica War Presidency.
9 Q. Do you recognise the handwriting of -- in this document?
10 A. Yes, I do. This was written by Resid Efendic, who was appointed
11 the technical secretary of the body.
12 Q. Were you familiar with his handwriting?
13 A. Yes. As I explained a while ago, we worked together. He was an
14 inspector in the same police station where I worked.
15 Q. So there is this line here, and do you agree that it is written in
16 the same hand, military police commander, Mirzet Halilovic?
17 A. Yes, I agree.
18 Q. Does this document reflect the actual situation, what was
19 happening at the meeting of the War Presidency, the fact that the -- that
20 Mirzet Halilovic was appointed the military police commander?
21 A. Yes. When the people elected those people here into the War
22 Presidency, they sat down and they elected the military police commander.
23 So the body that I'm talking about the is the War Presidency of
25 Q. Was there any discussion at the meeting about how the military
1 police was to function, whether independently, as part of those armed
2 groups, as part of the Public Security Service? Can you remember?
3 A. I do remember. It was said that the military police would be
4 working hand in hand with the civilian police and that their chief would
5 be Becir Bogilovic. Their premises where they were supposed to be housed
6 were the premises of the public security station, so both the military and
7 the civilian police would share the same premises in order for Becir
8 Bogilovic to be able to exercise control over the work of both police
10 Q. The last thing that you say, was that one of the conclusions
11 reached at that meeting on the 1st of July, 1992?
12 A. Yes. That was the conclusion reached at that meeting.
13 Q. Thank you very much.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like this
15 document to get a number.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Thank you, Madam Vidovic. And thank you for
17 also pointing out the mistake at the top and first name. This document
18 will now become Defence Exhibit D986.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Was an agreement reached at that meeting for -- in fact, let me
21 rephrase: What was agreed regarding the War Presidency at that meeting,
22 what it should or should not be?
23 A. Could you please repeat your question? I did not quite understand
25 Q. Was it agreed what place in the government the War Presidency
1 would have, what role it would play?
2 A. Yes. It was said that as of that time on, the War Presidency
3 would be the Supreme Command.
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I would now like the witness to be
5 shown document P254. This is an order from the War Presidency dated the
6 14th of October, 1992. We have the signatures of the SJB chief, Becir
7 Bogilovic, on one side, and Hajrudin Avdic on the other side. And let me
8 quote: "Anyone in possession of a firearm, ammunition, explosives,
9 communications equipment and medical supplies must immediately report it
10 to the commander of the nearest unit or military or civilian police for
11 verification and utilisation thereof."
12 Q. First of all, you told us that at the session that you attended
13 yourself on the 1st of July, 1992, when the War Presidency was
14 established, that the issue of people carrying arms without any control
15 was discussed. Do you remember what was concluded? Was anything
17 A. Yes. The conclusion was that all the weapons that were not
18 controlled should be seized, but that both the military and the civilian
19 police should take part in this effort.
20 Q. Do you agree whether a specific person was specifically tasked
21 with this?
22 A. Yes. That was the chief of the civilian police, Bogilovic.
23 Q. Was Bogilovic at the same time the chief of the military police?
24 A. Yes. Becir Bogilovic was the chief of both the civilian and the
25 military police.
1 Q. Does this document in fact reflect what was agreed immediately
2 after the establishment of the War Presidency, that the weapons should be
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now I would like to ask the usher to show the witness document
6 Defence Exhibit D5. P5. This is purported to be an order of the
7 Territorial Defence staff of Srebrenica dated 29th of October, 1992. It
8 says here: "The military police is hereby ordered in accordance with
9 order number 92/92 to carry out an investigation in Krusev Do and place
10 the seized weapons at the disposal of the Srebrenica armed forces."
11 First of all, do you agree that this purported order is referring
12 to an order of the War Presidency number 91/92?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Let me quote from this document some more.
15 "According to available sources the following persons are in
16 illegal possession of weapons." And then we have names of three people,
17 Zijad Mandzic, all of them are from Krusev Do. First of all, please tell
18 the Chamber where Krusev Do is. Is it near Srebrenica at all? And if you
19 have that map and if it is on the map at all, you could perhaps point it
21 A. Yes. If it is on the map, I will point it out. Krusev Do is
22 about 80 kilometres away from Srebrenica. So that would mean that
23 Krusev Do is closer to Zepa. It's about ten kilometres away from Zepa.
24 It's closer to Zepa than to Srebrenica. And Krusev Do and Luka were never
25 part of the Srebrenica enclave. That's one thing.
1 Secondly, it would be illogical to dispatch anyone, because I've
2 said a little while ago that there were Serbian ambushes on the territory
3 and Serb positions, and now to send somebody to that place to get a rifle,
4 that would make no sense.
5 Third, Luka and Krusev Do, up until the demilitarisation, had been
6 under intense artillery and infantry attacks from the direction of
7 Han Pijesak and Milici throughout the time. So that this order is
8 illogical. What is written here is just not logical.
9 Q. Do you think that this order contains accurate information, that
10 the contents are logical and accurate?
11 A. No. The contents are not logical.
12 Q. Thank you. I will ask you if you can just point Krusev Do here.
13 A. No. I can't see Krusev Do here. It's somewhere here in this
15 Q. So it's not on this map?
16 A. No, it's not.
17 Q. You've told us that it's a -- how far away from Srebrenica is it?
18 A. About 80 kilometres.
19 Q. Thank you. I will now ask you something else. When it comes to
20 Becir Bogilovic, do you have any knowledge of the fact that he was wounded
21 at one point in 1992?
22 A. Yes. On the 2nd of July, 1992, at Likari, and he was replaced by
23 Nurija Jusufovic in that period.
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like the usher to show a new
25 document to the witness. It's numbers 03592911. The name here is the SJB
1 commander Srebrenica, Nurija Jusufovic.
2 And let me just point something out to you, Your Honours. We have
3 an error in the English translation. It should say citizens from Karno.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Thank you, Madam Vidovic. That's pretty much
5 obvious. So there shouldn't be any questions from the Prosecution. Yes.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Let me quote: "Avdic: The citizens of Serb ethnic background
8 from Karno are detained at my place, there are nine of them. They had
9 been brought in last night during the night and now they are at my place.
10 Please find a solution for us, what to do with those citizens."
11 And my question to you in this regard is: When the SJB chief
12 was -- Becir Bogilovic was appointed, and Mirzet Halilovic as the chief
13 of the military police, was there any discussion at the meeting who they
14 should report to?
15 A. Yes. Mirzet Halilovic was supposed to submit his report to Becir
16 Bogilovic, and Becir Bogilovic to Hajrudin Avdic, the president of the War
18 Q. This document mentions Nurija Jusufovic and the SJB Srebrenica.
19 Was that the man that you said replaced Bogilovic?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. This man by the name of Avdic, who would that be in your opinion?
22 A. That would be Hajrudin Avdic, the president of the Presidency.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like this
24 document to get an exhibit number.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And that will be Defence Exhibit number D987,
1 Ms. Vidovic.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Now I would like the witness to be shown Prosecution Exhibit P590.
4 The document has a title, it's written in Cyrillic, military police,
5 copies. That's what it says. And then on the relevant page, it
6 says, "Armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina, military police station,
7 Srebrenica, the list of the military police staff."
8 And I would like you to look at this document. Did you go through
9 this document in detail with me, Witness?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. The document counts 47 names. The first one is Mirzet Halilovic,
12 and now I would like to ask you about some people on this list. Do you
13 know the person listed under 11 here, Damir Salihovic?
14 A. Yes. He was a fighter in my group.
15 Q. Do you know the person listed under 28, Ibrahim Kancetovic?
16 A. Yes. He was also a fighter in my group and he didn't have
17 anything to do with the military police.
18 Q. Number 32, Ahmir Jahic?
19 A. Yes, he was in my group, a fighter. He did not have anything to
20 do with the military police.
21 Q. What about Damir Salihovic? Did he have anything to do with the
22 military police?
23 A. No, he had nothing to do with the military police.
24 Q. In your group, up until the demilitarisation, so from the
25 beginning of the war until the demilitarisation, did you have any military
1 police officers?
2 A. No. A group that counts about 30 people is not a formation. It's
3 not a unit for it to have military police officers.
4 Q. Were these people in 1992, particularly in that period, July 1992,
5 linked in any way with Mirzet Halilovic?
6 A. No. They did not have any links with him.
7 Q. Now I would like you to have a look at the person listed under
8 number 22, who would that be, if you say it says Ikan Mujic?
9 A. Yes, Ikan Mujic. He was the leader of the Luka group. This was
10 the man who never left Luka up until the end of the war.
11 Q. Now I would like to you have a look at the name listed under
12 number 34, Fahrudin Ahlic, born in 1966. Please, do you know who that
13 person is?
14 A. Yes. That was my colleague, a police officer, who was the group
15 leader in Brezovica, and later on, he became the member of the extended
16 War Presidency.
17 Q. Did he have anything to do with Mirzet Halilovic or the military
19 A. No. Neither with Mirzet Halilovic nor with the military police.
20 Q. What about number 46, Senad Golubovic?
21 A. Senad Golubovic, as of the 1st of July, when Mirzet went to become
22 the military police commander, he was the leader of the group at Pale up
23 until the day he died.
24 Q. Now, could you please look -- you can go over to the next page and
25 look at the name listed under 61, Sead Ademovic. Do you know that person?
1 A. Yes. He was also a reserve police officer who worked with me. He
2 was the brother of Sidik Ademovic, the leader of the Susnjari group. He
3 never had anything to do with the military police.
4 Q. Thank you. On the basis of what you saw here, does this document
5 contain accurate information?
6 A. No. It does not contain accurate information, and this document
7 lists some people who had never even come to Srebrenica at all up until
8 the demilitarisation.
9 Q. Can you perhaps mention some names?
10 A. Yes, Zijad Jakubovic and some other lads that I know on this list.
11 Q. Thank you very much. In reality, on the basis of what you know,
12 how many people were in the military police in the summer and autumn of
13 1992? Could you please tell the Chamber?
14 A. It was a small group, they did not have any weapons. They wore
15 civilian clothes. They did not have any insignia.
16 Q. Just one more question pertaining to this. As far as you know,
17 from the beginning of the war, until the demilitarisation and in fact up
18 until the end of the war, did Naser Oric ever have any body-guards or
20 A. No. He didn't need one.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I would now like to play a video
22 recording, that is Prosecution Exhibit P329, tape runs from 292092. I
23 would like the tape to be played from 013250 to 3406.
24 Q. And please listen carefully, Witness. You did listen to this
25 carefully with me, did you?
1 A. Yes.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could you please play the tape from
3 013250 to 013406.
4 [Videotape played]
5 "Invention should you have known that this was going on?
6 "What do you mean how am I supposed to know?
7 "Was it military police who were in charge of the prison?
8 "Of course. This was the duty of the head of the military police,
9 what the military police were doing there. This was also the duty of
10 Hamid Salihovic, who was carrying out the interrogation of these
11 prisoners, and I had much bigger problems elsewhere, protecting villages
12 from Chetnik attacks and from Chetnik breakthroughs."
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Witness, based on what you've heard here, do you agree that in
15 answering the question as to whether the military police officers had kept
16 a prison, Naser Oric did not reply with either a "yes" or an "of course"?
17 A. Yes, I agree.
18 Q. Do you agree that in answering the question put by the Prosecutor,
19 Naser literally said, "Commander of the military police, I don't know what
20 that is -- what that's about, what the military police officers were
21 doing. I mean military police officers." Is that exactly what was said
22 in our language?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Also, witness, did you hear Oric saying in his reply, "The
25 commander of the military police was charged with that, and Hamed
1 Salihovic to conduct interviews with these prisoners"?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Do you agree with me that at no point in time did Naser say that
4 this was also Hamed Salihovic's duty who interviewed or interrogated these
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you agree that in our language, the following has a completely
8 different meaning? Was charged with holding interviews, and held
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. What did you hear Naser say, please?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment because I'm sure it makes sense in
13 Serbo-Croat but as it is, it doesn't make sense in English. How are we
14 going to make the distinction? You say "Do you agree that in our language
15 the following has a completely different meaning, 'was charged with
16 holding interviews' and 'held interviews.'" In English obviously the two
17 things are completely different but I don't know which expression in your
18 own language you meant to refer the witness to. At least we can have an
19 indication of that, Ms. Vidovic.
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. My question
21 was --.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Did I make myself understood?
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, you have. You've made
24 yourself clear. I only call on the interpreters to follow me. My
25 question was as follows: Do you agree that in our language, it is quite
1 different to say "was charged with holding interviews" and "held
3 Q. I don't know which way this was interpreted, but when you say
4 "held interviews" this is something that was in the past and it was done,
5 do you agree with me.
6 A. Yes.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the transcript of this
8 interview reads, the text, as was translated into English because the
9 transcript says that Hamed Salihovic held interviews, which means that he
10 was holding them, that he interviewed these people and, of course, there
11 is a great difference to that. It's quite a different matter if you're
12 charged with doing something and if you in fact do that. This was the
13 essence of the matter.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, Madam Vidovic and I hope that this
15 is another matter that you will look into, Mr. Di Fazio.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: We will examine it minutely, if Your Honours
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
19 Ms. Vidovic.
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we continue playing the
21 footage and namely from 013406 up until 013427.
22 [Videotape played]
23 "A question that those [unintelligible]. Is the military police a
24 branch of the military under which -- of which you were the commander?
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Witness, is it true that the question put by the person seated to
3 the left was translated to Oric as follows: "Is the military police part
4 of the military structure?" And the -- Oric immediately answered "yes"?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Do you agree that after that, Oric was interpreted the following
7 question: "Under which you were commander"?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. How would you understand this question to mean, had it been put to
10 you, "under which you were commander"?
11 A. It is definitely an illogical question, "Under which." What does
12 this mean? This question put to him made no sense.
13 Q. Generally speaking, the way the question was interpreted to Oric,
14 do you agree with me that the very fact that the question was cut into two
15 parts means that the question put to him was general?
16 A. Yes. That's how I understood it to mean.
17 Q. How did you understand this Prosecutor's question?
18 A. He asked him whether the military police was under the military
20 Q. Was it a general question or --
21 A. It was general.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we play the tape further,
23 Your Honour, please?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I would rather have it played back a little bit so
25 that I hear it again first. Because I'm getting a little bit confused
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's play just this last segment and then we can
4 proceed. I just want to rehear it, Ms. Vidovic.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Gladly, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
7 [Videotape played]
8 "There is no question that those were big problems. Is the
9 military police a branch of the military, under which -- of which you were
10 the commander?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We can go ahead. But I could hear, at
13 least in the English part, in the English interpretation part, that
14 it's -- indeed the gentleman on the left did say, "under" but immediately
15 then went on to say "of which". First he said "under" and then he said
16 "of which" you're a commander. Let's proceed because this would become
17 an argument and I want to avoid arguments. This is testimony basically.
18 Let's proceed.
19 [Videotape played]
20 "Would you have expected there to have been the type of inquiry
21 that you had into the one death for these other deaths if there had been
22 deaths in custody?"
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Please, first of all, the way the question was put, is it
25 understandable in our language?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Did you at any point hear the interpreter interpreting to Oric the
3 part, "if there were deaths in the" -- "in prison" -- "in the prison"?
4 Did you ever hear the interpreter mentioning the word "prison"?
5 A. No. The words "prison" or "death" were never mentioned.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to play
7 another clip of this footage and I would like then the witness to leave
8 the courtroom.
9 Can we continue, please?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead. Let's proceed with the video.
12 [Videotape played]
13 "If -- if I had found out that there had been such cases, then we
14 would have started an investigation. And in fact we did start an
15 investigation [unintelligible] other such cases. So to give you a
16 concrete example, with Envir Halilovic, which happened after this."
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. You said you'd like the witness to leave the
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] First I would like to put a question
20 to the witness in connection with this.
21 Q. Witness, you have heard Oric's answer. Do you agree with me that
22 Oric literally said the following: "If I found out about something of the
23 sort happening, either I or the War Presidency would, of course,
24 initiate," and so on? Do you agree that Oric had clearly stated "War
25 Presidency" just as he said investigation?
1 A. Yes. He clearly said "I or the War Presidency."
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I would now like the witness to
3 leave the courtroom for two minutes only.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So I don't think there will be time for
5 him to have a coffee, Madam Usher.
6 [The witness stands down]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I take it, Mr. Jones, that we are to expect no
8 further problems with regard to Major Dudley -- or, not major, sorry,
9 Lieutenant Colonel Dudley? Has he arrived?
10 MR. JONES: That's what I'm about to see.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Please, if there are any problems envisaged, do
12 alert us.
13 MR. JONES: Yes, I certainly will do.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you and I appreciate that. And good evening
15 to you, Mr. Jones.
16 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour. Good evening.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Vidovic?
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, for the sake of the
19 record I wish to state the following: As you had occasion to see, and my
20 learned colleagues from the OTP do have a person there speaking Bosnian
21 and can ascertain that easily, the words "War Presidency" were left out
22 here. The interview is swirming [phoen] with cases such as these that I
23 have illustrated here and I -- we will file an application in connection
24 with this. But I wish to state the following: At the first Status
25 Conference, when we were assigned this case and when I received this
1 interview, I read it, I compared the Bosnian and English versions in the
2 presence of the Chamber's legal officer, I drew their attention to these
3 errors in the interpretation and I asked them to remedy them. This has,
4 however, not been done.
5 The case at hand is not merely to correct a misinterpretation, but
6 indeed, in many situations, Oric himself received wrong interpretation,
7 and we believe that this is something we should draw your attention to and
8 we will submit a very detailed filing in connection with this.
9 I think the witness can return now.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you so much Madam Vidovic for this
11 information because, as you know, I came to the picture in this trial just
12 before it started, and I don't even think I had one Status Conference. I
13 had the Pre-Trial Conference. But once you have mentioned this, I'm going
14 to give instructions to my staff to go back through the documentation
15 relating to the status conference and I'll try to find out what is in the
16 record there.
17 Yes. I recognise Mr. Wubben, and then Judge Eser has asked for
18 the floor. Mr. Wubben?
19 MR. WUBBEN: For the record, Your Honour, as I recall, as I came
20 also later than Madam Vidovic in the -- in this case, but what I recall
21 there had been an instructions to our CLSS to make a complete new and --
22 new review with a view to a translation of the interviews, and that has
23 been done, that process, and I invite in that field to the Trial Chamber
24 to also take a look at that process as well, and the evaluation
25 afterwards. Thank you.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
2 Judge Eser?
3 JUDGE ESER: I'm not quite clear. Perhaps you can give me an
4 answer. I'm not quite clear of the role in which the witness was asked
5 here. Was he a sort of expert to say that it was incorrect way in which
6 the translation occurred or was performed or was it that he should confirm
7 whether what has been said in the interview was reality? Could you
8 explain what the role was of asking the witness these questions?
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I will do that gladly, Your Honour.
10 The initial parts had to do with the meeting at Bajramovici and
11 the witness had direct knowledge of the time when the meeting at
12 Bajramovici was held, about what Oric said there, and what the discrepancy
13 between what the witness was saying and what Oric was saying consisted in.
14 This is something he also commented on. And in the part that had to do
15 with the organisation of the military police, I asked him about that part
16 and it was only in passing that I showed the witness these inaccuracies.
17 The purpose of the witness's presence here was not that of an expert but,
18 rather, that of a participant in all these events that we talked about,
19 and it was in passing that I wanted to draw Your Honour's attention to the
20 fact that these errors exist.
21 All the time, the Prosecutor has been using individual, isolated
22 sentences from this interview, and use it against our client. We have a
23 right to confront the witness with this, and to do it by simply showing
24 him these matters just as the Prosecutor did, extracting single sentences
25 and confronting witnesses with them.
1 JUDGE ESER: I didn't want to deny any right of you to ask. I
2 just wanted to know the purpose of this exercise.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I thank you, Judge Eser. I'm sure no one
4 doubted that either, from the other side. But as I understand it to be,
5 and I want to make myself clear on this, is basically, Ms. Vidovic has
6 been using this witness to show once more to us that the transcript or the
7 translation into English of what is being said in Serbo-Croat in reality
8 during the interview is not reliable, that it contains a lot of mistakes
9 and errors. And I take what Mr. Wubben has stated, that they have gone
10 through all this again.
11 I was told two days ago by one of my staff that we would be handed
12 the new -- that you had some problems with the CD, with the DVD,
13 incidentally and that we were expecting it one day and that it wasn't
14 ready and we were going to have it the day after. Has it been handed?
15 MR. WUBBEN: Not yet, Your Honour, but I'm happy to do it by now.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no. I'm not mentioning this to make you run.
17 MR. WUBBEN: No, no. I'm glad you asked, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: It just came back to my mind and I just wanted it
19 make sure.
20 MR. WUBBEN: It's ready.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you so much. Ms. Vidovic, please proceed.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please. Just one -- I don't want
23 to embark on any further submissions. I do say this, though. Insofar as
24 this particular interview was concerned, accuracy is, of course, important
25 and -- it's supremely important.
1 These issues arise from time to time, and before we finally put to
2 you what the full, complete situation is with respect to moves that are
3 being made to enhance accuracy, check accuracy, look at accuracy, on the
4 part of the Prosecution, I need to go back to the correspondence, and I
5 need to speak to my case manager and get more details. These issues
6 arise. You can't deal with them in this environment, so can we revisit it
7 briefly, and I'll give you a full and better report at some later --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Definitely. Please do not take it for a moment that
9 I am suggesting that this matter has now been sufficiently debated and
10 closed. Far from it. I think it hasn't even started, to be honest with
11 you. I just hinted sometime back what the legal position is, namely that
12 this is your document, and therefore you have got the full onus of proving
13 the reliability and probative value of this document.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: Absolutely, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: The Defence hasn't got any onus to prove anything.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: And we understand and agree with you.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: So at the end of the day, please don't put us in a
18 position where something which is considered in any procedural setup as
19 the queen -- we call it in my country, the queen of evidence. I mean,
20 when you have a statement by the accused himself, that's how we refer to
21 it, but if that becomes unreliable because there is not only a suspicion
22 but a continuing indication that the translation is unreliable, I mean,
23 you can imagine what --
24 MR. DI FAZIO: I understand. I understand all of these issues,
25 and Madam Vidovic is quite within her rights to highlight anything that
1 she feels needs to be highlighted. All I was saying is that insofar as
2 the background is concerned, can we revisit at a later stage when I'm
3 fully -- of all of the surrounding issues.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Definitely. I thank you for that as well,
5 Mr. Di Fazio. And ourselves will also check what happened during the
6 Status Conference.
7 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I only wish to assist.
9 I raised this matter at the first conference, that was the first 65 ter
10 conference, after my client was indicted. That was at the first 65 ter
11 conference in the -- during the pre-trial stage, and then I raised this
12 matter repeatedly later on. But I would now wish to continue with my
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Bring the witness back, Madam Usher.
15 [The witness takes the stand]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: So Mr. Smajlovic, we are in a position to continue
17 now. We needed to discuss something which didn't concern you, but since
18 it was a submission we needed to discuss it in your absence because no
19 submissions should be made in the presence of a witness.
20 Madam Vidovic.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Witness, in this last recording you heard, did you hear the name
23 of Hamed Salihovic mentioned?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did you personally know Hamed Salihovic?
1 A. Yes. I knew him. Hamed Salihovic was my chief in the police. He
2 was the chief of the police.
3 Q. During the war, that's to say from the beginning of the war
4 through to the demilitarisation, did you have any contacts with him?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. To your knowledge, at a certain point in time, was Hamed Salihovic
7 a member of a body in charge of security matters?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Do you know until what time he discharged these duties? Did you
10 ever talk to him about it?
11 A. Yes. I spoke to him. He discharged these duties until the end of
12 1992, when he resigned having been already at the time appointed to a
13 different post.
14 Q. Are you aware of the fact that his name is linked with the
15 subregion or not?
16 A. Yes. I'm familiar with that. He was elected president of the
18 Q. In that capacity, that's to say president -- in the capacity of
19 the president of the Presidency or the president of the subregion, as you
20 put it, as far as you know, from the contacts you had with him, did he
21 have anything to do with security in combination with that?
22 A. No. It with not be logical for him to wear two hats at the same
23 time, to do two jobs.
24 Q. Did he himself confirm to you that he had resigned to his duty in
25 charge of security matters?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. I will briefly put some questions to you with regard to the
4 The units from Vlasenica and Bratunac, were they at any time
5 during -- and until the demilitarisation, under the command in Srebrenica?
6 A. No, never.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to play
8 another videotape now. This is P328, 2/2, or rather, 2844-722, tape 13,
9 and could we play the tape from 004730 until 004835.
10 [Videotape played]
11 "I have just one thing. Yesterday you asked me if there was a
12 military court. In Srebrenica after Zalazje, a military court was formed,
13 and I found this very -- I found this out yesterday [intelligible] through
14 contacting my fighters after the demonstration outside. I'm not a
15 computer. I cannot remember all of this stuff. They told me -- they told
16 me and I remembered later on that Zulfo Tursunovic was at the military
17 court, as some kind of military judge."
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Witness, based on what you know, is it true that at any time
20 during the war, a military court was set up in Srebrenica?
21 A. No. A military court was never set up.
22 Q. The fact stated here by Naser Oric that the military court was set
23 up after the Zalazje action, is it true?
24 A. No. The information he gave is not true. He did not know at the
25 time what was going on.
1 Q. From what you heard here, is it not completely clear that he came
2 by this information through communications he had with his fighters after
3 the -- yesterday's part of the interview or actually that he did not have
4 this information himself? Do you agree?
5 A. Yes. I agree. And on several occasions, he made contact with me
6 concerning some events and what was happening at Bajramovici, at Zanik, at
7 Peciste. As a police officer, I told him that he should only divulge
8 those stories that he himself knows about or is certain of, and if he is
9 able to, to immediately hire a lawyer who has experience in international
10 humanitarian law to be able to communicate with him.
11 Q. To your knowledge, did Naser Oric have such a lawyer at that time?
12 A. No, he did not.
13 Q. Do you know who his lawyer was?
14 A. Yes. It was Mr. Konjic.
15 Q. Was that a local lawyer from Tuzla?
16 A. Yes. A local lawyer from Tuzla, a lawyer that specialised in
17 fraud, not in international humanitarian law.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, it's a matter of
19 clarification. Do I -- I think what the witness is saying, but it should
20 be clarified, is that on several occasions, Mr. Oric made contact with him
21 concerning some events and what was happening at Bajramovici and then
22 he -- this witness provided him with his advice. In order to understand
23 that evidence, you should know when that was occurring, whether -- I
24 understand it to be occurring during the interview process, but if not, if
25 that's not correct, then I think it should be explicitly made clear.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I think you are right in your assessment.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: When you say earlier on: "And on several occasions
4 he made contact with me concerning some events and what was happening at
5 Bajramovici," when did these contacts happen? When was this? When did he
6 contact you on several occasions? Which year?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was in 2001, when Naser gave
8 this interview.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly. I mean -- I think --
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: -- the way of understanding, because otherwise this
12 lawyer of -- with international humanitarian law expertise wouldn't fit in
13 anywhere, Mr. Di Fazio.
14 Anyway, let's proceed.
15 Ms. Vidovic.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Witness, do you know whether Oric contacted other people apart
18 from yourself to get the information he needed for the interview? Do you
19 know about that?
20 A. Yes. He did.
21 Q. Let me now move on to something else. I will now show you two
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] We will move on to another topic,
24 and I would like the witness immediately to be shown P33 and P76.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Which one do you start -- do you want to start with
1 first, Madam Vidovic?
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] P76, Your Honour. P76.
3 Q. Witness, please have a look at Exhibit P76. The Territorial
4 Defence staff Sarajevo signed by Sefer Halilovic. It says: "I appoint
5 the -- Naser Oric as the commander of the Srebrenica municipality TO
7 Could you please comment on this document?
8 A. Yes. I can. First of all, the format of this document is not
9 proper. For somebody to be appointed to a post, it should say "Order."
10 That should be the title. And then it should say such and such a person
11 is appointed to such and such duty.
12 Q. Thank you. Can you please look at the other document, that's P33?
13 The last page. In the middle of this document, which is dated the 8th of
14 August, 1992, in the middle of this document, it says, that is listed
15 under R: "To the municipal TO staff, Naser Oric to the establishment post
16 of the commander of the municipal staff."
17 And I want to ask you something. You were one of the commanders
18 of the group in Srebrenica. Did you ever find out about the existence of
19 those two documents, the order about the appointment of officers, stating
20 that Naser Oric was appointed to this post and the same kind of
21 appointment made by Sefer Halilovic? Did you ever know about the
22 existence of those documents from the summer of 1992 until the
24 A. No. And at that time it was impossible for anything of this sort
25 to be communicated to Srebrenica at all, to be relayed.
1 Q. When you say relayed or communicated, are you aware of the
2 existence of radio ham operators in the summer of 1992?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Let me ask you something else. After the 8th of August, 1992, was
5 the single command for the groups existing in the territory of the
6 municipality of Srebrenica become operational [as interpreted]?
7 A. No. It never became operational. As I already said, this was all
8 done locally, at the local level, and in the areas from where the local
9 leaders were originally.
10 Q. Why was it so? Why, after the August, the month of August, 1992,
11 did you not manage to organise, to unify, all those groups?
12 A. Because we did not have the proper conditions. We had some
13 obsolete weapons. In order for all of it to become operational, you would
14 need the barracks, uniforms, ammunition, weapons, communications
15 equipment, logistics, and so on.
16 Q. In Srebrenica itself, how did it function? For instance, I will
17 ask you: Hakija Meholjic, did he ever accept Oric's command?
18 A. No, never. Hakija just went there to assist when he wanted to do
19 so. He would not take anyone's orders.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like the witness to be
22 given Prosecution Exhibit P80.
23 P80. This is the submission of the information on the formation
24 structure of Srebrenica armed forces. You have first establishment
25 structure, then you have page 2, where it says: "7 TO Srebrenica" and
1 then you have the companies.
2 Q. Please, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that under
3 the title, first establishment structure, it says on the 20th of May,
4 1992, the Srebrenica TO staff was formed in Bajramovici from the 17th of
5 April 1992 to mid-October 1992. The first regional units were formed
6 under the names of TO as follows.
7 And then go to the next page, number 7, TO Srebrenica, and I would
8 like your attention to be drawn to the last item here, when you enumerate
9 the units, it says: "The Kazani, Bajramovici platoon, F 22, 20
10 VO conscripts, commander Suad Smajlovic."
11 Do you agree that if you look up there, that the item number 3 is
12 also Bajramovici company? I wanted to ask you, were you established as a
13 platoon at that time?
14 A. No. We were an independent group of about 30 men. We did not
15 have anything to do with Bajramovici.
16 Q. Below that, it says: "The commander of the TO Srebrenica is Akif
17 Ustic. TO Srebrenica has 803 conscripts."
18 Was Akif Ustic at any point your commander?
19 A. No, never. He had his group in Stari Grad, in the old town. And
20 before that, as I said, he was appointed the deputy in that body that was
21 established in Bajramovici.
22 Q. When it comes to the old town, Stari Grad, you see Hazim Omerovic
23 here. Was Omerovic, Hazim, at any point at the head of some kind of a
24 company in Stari Grad?
25 A. No, never. He was just a very good friend of Akif Ustic.
1 Q. Please look at page 2, where it says the second establishment
2 structure. The 3rd of September, 1992, the staff of the armed forces of
3 Srebrenica makes a decision to appoint the operational staff, appointing
4 Osman Osmanovic as its chief.
5 And please go to page 4; the number is 0207584. Please look at
6 number 4. It says Independent Battalion Srebrenica, headquartered in
7 Srebrenica, commander Safet Mujic, five companies, and then below that, as
8 the third company, headquartered in Kazani, commander, Suad Smajlovic.
9 What I want to ask you is, first of all, your group, were you ever
10 part of something that was called the Independent Srebrenica Battalion?
11 A. No, never. We were always acting on our own accord.
12 Q. Thank you. Was Safet Mujic at any point your superior officer?
13 A. I don't know that man. I had never met that man during the war
14 and while I was in Srebrenica.
15 Q. Please look at the last sentence here, it says: "5th Company
16 based in Srebrenica, commander Hakija Meholjic."
17 I want to ask you there this Safet Mujic was the commander --
18 whether -- of Hakija Meholjic?
19 A. No. That man did not accept anyone's command. He didn't
20 recognise anyone.
21 Q. Are the quotes that I just gave you from this document accurate?
22 A. No, they are not.
23 Q. Let me ask you regarding this document, in 1992, in fact up until
24 the demilitarisation, were there companies, battalions, brigades,
25 established in the military sense of the word in Srebrenica?
1 A. No. At no point. Somebody may have written this down on paper
2 but in reality, the picture on the ground was different. There was just
3 those groups on -- armed groups operating independently.
4 Q. Hakija Meholjic and his men, despite the fact that Hakija did not
5 recognise anyone's command, did they fight against the Serbs at any point?
6 A. Yes. I just said, when he felt like it.
7 Q. What about Akif Ustic?
8 A. Well, the same thing. He also acted wilfully and that's how in
9 fact he went on this mission and he got killed.
10 Q. Did he accept Oric's command, despite the fact that on paper he
11 was his deputy?
12 A. No. He did not. He did not take orders from anyone.
13 Q. Generally speaking, the local leaders of those groups, were any of
14 them appointed by Naser Oric, to your knowledge?
15 A. No. It was always something that was done by the people.
16 Q. And when we talk about the geographical location of Potocari, you
17 said that Oric had a group in Potocari. Did Oric's group control the
18 whole of Potocari, geographically speaking?
19 A. No. There were other groups that acted independently in Potocari.
20 For instance, the group in Susnjari, Sidik Ademovic in Jadici, in
21 Brezevo Njiva, in Pale, the Budak group, Pestica [phoen], Gogazi [phoen],
22 Duge Polje [phoen]. These are all the groups that were operating
23 independently from each other.
24 Q. Could Oric have replaced -- removed from office any of the leaders
25 from that area and appoint others?
1 A. No, never.
2 Q. Let me ask you: Did he on one occasion try to remove you from the
4 A. Yes. He received information that I had not gone to Baranovce
5 [phoen]. That was misinformation. I tried to tell him that. He wouldn't
6 listen to me. And in the end I told him, "Let's go to Kazani and then you
7 tell my group that I can no longer be the leader of the group." And when
8 we got to Kazani, I got my group together, and Naser tried to say why, and
9 Medo Hakic [phoen], one of my fighters, got up and he told him, "You go to
10 Potocari and remove from the post whoever you want there in your group.
11 You will not do that here." And they all left, leaving Oric and myself
12 alone. And then he told me, "You made them say that." And I said, "No,
13 because they only trust me and no one else."
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. This might
15 be a convenient place to make a break.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: So if we have a 30-minute break, do you think you
17 will finish, Ms. Vidovic? If not, we will have a 25-minute break.
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think I will be able
19 to complete the examination, and I think we should have a 25-minute break
20 because it gives me an additional assurance if I have the five minutes
22 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We will have a 25-minute break starting
23 from now.
24 Thank you.
25 --- Recess taken at 5.48 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 6.20 p.m.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Yes, go ahead, Ms. Vidovic.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Witness, does the name Almaz Hasanovic mean anything to you?
5 A. Yes. Almaz Hasanovic hailed from Zanjevo. He was sent over to
6 Biljeg to Ahmo's to be the group leader there. Those who were over there
7 made him go back immediately by saying, "You should go back to where you
8 come from, to those who sent you over here in the first place." From
9 there, he proceeded on to the village of Joseva where he was told the same
11 Q. And how do you know about this?
12 A. Because he himself told me as much once he returned from up there,
13 and he spent the whole time in Srebrenica.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown
16 Prosecution Exhibit P3, please.
17 Q. Witness, before I turn to this document, I wish to ask you the
18 following: Who sent him back from Biljeg? Who told him, as you said, to
19 back from where he came from?
20 A. Ahmo did. Ahmo Tihic did.
21 Q. Thank you. Please turn to this document now. Do you agree that
22 you have seen the document before, that I showed it to you?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Look at the heading. It refers -- or rather draws back to the
25 decree of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In October 1992, in the
1 area of Srebrenica, did you hear of the -- of a decree issued by the
2 Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
3 A. No. The first time I heard of the decree was when I arrived in
5 Q. Look at item 1, which says "Unauthorised movement of fighters from
6 unit to unit is prohibited."
7 Then look at item 2. "I order that by 25 October 1992, constant
8 communication be fully established by couriers and communication means
9 from lower units to higher units and superiors in accordance with the
10 military organisational establishment structure as defined in order number
12 Witness, do you agree with me that this is a generic order
13 applicable to all units or not?
14 A. Yes. I believe it was applicable to all the units.
15 Q. As a group leader, did you ever receive this order?
16 A. No, never.
17 Q. Based on what was going on after the 18th of October, 1992, can
18 you say whether men moved from one group to another of their own free
20 A. Yes. And nobody could bar them from doing it. They went wherever
21 they thought they'd feel better or they'd be better off.
22 Q. Up until the demilitarisation, has there ever been a communication
23 through couriers that took hold?
24 A. No, never.
25 Q. In that period, was there a communication system introduced from
1 lower to higher units in accordance with the establishment structure, as
2 stated in this document?
3 A. No, never.
4 Q. Was there a system in place of reporting among the groups on the
6 A. No. There never was one. I for one know that I never wrote or
7 submitted any reports to anyone.
8 Q. In the period through to the demilitarisation?
9 A. Yes, in the period up to the demilitarisation.
10 Q. Did you have any information to the effect that somebody else
11 apart from you ever wrote any reports to Naser Oric?
12 A. No. Never. We lacked paper for rolling up cigarettes, let alone
13 for reports.
14 Q. I just want to correct my question. Did you have any information
15 to the effect that somebody else from any other group wrote any reports to
16 Naser Oric? Because it was interpreted as if I suggested that he himself
17 wrote the reports. Did you understand me?
18 A. No. I haven't quite understood.
19 Q. To your knowledge, did any member of any other group ever write
20 any reports to Naser Oric?
21 A. No, never.
22 Q. Why? You were saying?
23 A. Because we lacked paper to roll up cigarettes, let alone to write
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher please show the
2 witness P20. Prosecution Exhibit P20.
3 Q. Witness, this is allegedly an authorisation issued by the
4 commander of the armed forces of Srebrenica. Please pay particular
5 attention to the date here, 24 March 1993. It says: "The commander of the
6 Srebrenica armed forces hereby issues authorisation. The Kutlici unit is
7 hereby authorised to mobilise the entire population temporarily housed in
8 Kutlici village and send it to positions. Any person who refuses to obey
9 the order on mobilisation shall be taken into custody at the prison in
11 Based on what you know, was there a special Kutlici unit in the
12 Srebrenica area or is that the group of men you mentioned as having been
13 with you?
14 A. No. There was no separate or special unit. These were men from
15 my group. In the period mentioned here, or in the period before that, it
16 was quite absurd for anyone to issue or write an authorisation. This was
17 the time of the fiercest battles for the survival of Srebrenica. At that
18 time one expected Srebrenica to fall at any -- any day. Especially the
19 people from Kutlici, Kazani and other places, they all joined fighters who
20 had weapons and they took along axes, hoes, whatever they had, with them
21 to prevent the Chetniks from entering the town.
22 Q. The date of the 24th of March, 1993, isn't that the period in
23 which Mladic was with his staff in the period -- in the area of Jadar, the
24 footage we saw, the video clip, isn't that the same time period?
25 A. Yes, it is.
1 Q. As the leader of the group including the men from Kutlici, did you
2 ever see this document?
3 A. No, never. All the men were with me on the front lines.
4 Q. Was there any need for any such authorisation to be issued?
5 A. No. I said it was quite absurd that any one would actually write
6 something like that.
7 Q. Very well. We will move to another topic now.
8 Do you know that Srebrenica was demilitarised on the 24th of
9 March -- on the 18th of April, 1993?
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. Do you know that an agreement was signed about the
12 demilitarisation of Srebrenica?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Under this agreement, were the demilitarised zones of Srebrenica
15 areas where any military organs such as the military police or any other
16 units, were they able to be active?
17 A. No.
18 Q. To your knowledge, you, the people in Srebrenica, did you do your
19 best to cooperate well with UN forces?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. With UNPROFOR forces?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. How would you yourself estimate the relations between the UNPROFOR
24 force and the Srebrenica population?
25 A. They were very poor. First of all, UNPROFOR members regarded us
1 as primitives, simpletons, looked down upon us. They placed all the blame
2 on us. They regarded us as savages, the reason why they had to be there.
3 Q. To your knowledge, superior officers of UNPROFOR, did they exert
4 pressure on Naser Oric, his group and other groups, to leave the entire
5 demilitarised area of Srebrenica immediately after the demilitarisation
6 took place? That's to mean to leave physically, not just to surrender
8 A. Yes. These were officers of the United Nations who repeatedly
9 called on Oric to leave the area of Srebrenica as a matter of urgency,
10 together with all the local leaders. On several occasions, Oric spoke to
11 me about this matter, and I told him that I myself did not know what
12 should be done. And I advised him to consult with the authorities in
13 Sarajevo, to see what their opinion about this was.
14 Q. Is this something that the Sarajevo authorities suggested that he
15 do themselves?
16 A. I don't know specifically what the Sarajevo authorities told him,
17 but I know that he himself refused to leave Srebrenica as long as people
18 were there. And if Oric and the other groups left, the people would be
19 left to their own devices.
20 Q. Based on what you know, did UNPROFOR start sending contradictory
21 information about Naser Oric's conduct towards them and about the conduct
22 of the other groups toward them to the authorities in -- of
24 A. Yes, he did.
25 Q. As far as you know, did they have any reasons warranting such
2 A. No. They did not. I don't know what their purpose in doing this
4 Q. To your knowledge, what sort of relations did UNPROFOR have with
5 the Serbs? Were you able to observe anything of the sort?
6 A. Yes. I myself was able to observe this and thousands of other
7 people who were in Srebrenica at the time. It was at this point in time
8 that UN APCs contained Serb officers.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, if Your Honours please, there is a passage of
11 evidence that in my submission simply doesn't make, with respect, much
12 sense. The question based on what you know did UNPROFOR start sending
13 contradictory information about Mr. Oric's conduct towards them?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I know where you're heading. Yes, he did --
15 should be yes, they did, because I noticed your face at the time and how
16 surprised you were. Yes, he did. Should be yes, they did.
17 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. But also there is no explanation of what
18 "contradictory information" is.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know. But let's put it like this. You know
20 what our function is. If you want to --
21 MR. DI FAZIO: I won't say any more about that.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: If you want to ask him on cross-examination, then
23 ask him on cross-examination.
24 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honours. I'll withdraw my
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Don't fill in blanks. It's neither for you nor the
3 Yes, Ms. Vidovic.
4 We were -- he had just mentioned that he used to see Serb soldiers
5 in UNPROFOR trucks and so on and so forth.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could my learned
7 colleague from the OTP permit me to finish my examination-in-chief? I
8 believe that in this case, as in general, there must have been an error in
9 the interpretation, because I never mentioned the witness contradictory
11 Q. Witness, please, did I not ask you that based on your knowledge,
12 UNPROFOR started sending the authorities in Bosnia-Herzegovina different
13 information on Oric's misconduct, improper conduct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And did you have information to that effect?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. My question to you was what sort of relations UNPROFOR had with
18 the Serbs?
19 A. I omitted to say that -- or rather, I did not say that these were
20 Serbs or -- in a truck but, rather, these were Serb officers in a -- in a
21 UN APC, who passed through Srebrenica, made -- drove all the way -- all
22 the way around Srebrenica and went back.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: When?
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Witness, do you remember when this took place?
1 A. After the demilitarisation of Srebrenica. That's to say, the
2 months of May or June.
3 Q. How did the people in Srebrenica take this?
4 A. When the people saw these Serb officers, they went in front of the
5 base which was in -- within the compound of a weaving company there at the
6 entrance to Srebrenica area and they protested the fact that the Serb
7 officers were to be seen with the UN members. They were so enraged that
8 they wanted to shatter the vehicles that were parked within and without
9 the compound of the UN base.
10 Q. To your knowledge, in the course of 1995 in particular, did not
11 the UN soldiers under different pretexts attempt to make Oric leave
13 A. Yes.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will now move to a
15 different topic. I would like the witness to look at three Defence
16 exhibits at once, at one time. These are documents 02621750, 02621517 and
17 02621437. I will have the same questions in relation to all the three
19 Q. Please look at document 02621750. It says the "attack on
20 Zalazje," and please turn to the last page of this document. And then
21 please look at the document entitled "the attack on Jezero" and then have
22 a look at the last page of the document again. And then have a look at
23 the form that is entitled "the attack on Brezani" and, again, I invite to
24 you look at the last page of that document.
25 Do you agree that you had already had been -- had looked at these
1 documents in detail together with me?
2 A. Yes.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it is always the last
4 page of the document because it appears that the witness's name appears on
5 this document.
6 Q. Witness, what I'm asking you is: Have you at any point been the
7 source of information for the analysis of combat operations of the
8 Territorial Defence or the Bosnian BH army from 1992 until 1995?
9 A. No, never.
10 Q. Did you in any way cooperate on this project, either as a
11 researcher or as a reviewer?
12 A. No, never.
13 Q. In May 1997, were you at Zivinice, work there, went there?
14 A. No. I was a member of the 281st Brigade in Dubrave, which was
15 part of the 2nd Corps under the command of the 2nd Corps.
16 Q. Did you look at all those documents and do you agree that on all
17 of those documents there is your name, Suad Smajlovic?
18 A. Yes, I can see it here.
19 Q. Can you tell us whether this is your signature?
20 A. No. That is not my signature.
21 Q. Now I would like you to look at the document 02621473 [as
22 interpreted]. That would be the attack -- the form that pertains to the
23 attack on Brezani. Can you please look -- look at the last page again?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: There is a mistake in the transcript, it's not 1473,
25 it's 1437.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] 37, Your Honour. Thank you.
2 Q. Can you please look at this document, the last page, where it
3 says -- please look at what it says here, "Commander and signature." Do
4 you -- can you tell the Court what name is this?
5 A. Yes, this is Haris Saric [phoen].
6 Q. Haris Saric, was he the commander of the 28th Division?
7 A. Yes, at that time he was.
8 Q. Do you know whether that man is still in the BH army?
9 A. No. He has been suspended for unknown reasons.
10 Q. Thank you very much.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if those documents
12 could be given an exhibit number I would be grateful.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. The first one, which starts with ERN 02621750,
14 will now become Defence Exhibit D988.
15 The second one, which starts with ERN 02621437, will become
16 Defence Exhibit D989.
17 And the last one, which starts with ERN 02621517, will become
18 Defence Exhibit D990.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would now like us to
20 move into private session for the next couple of questions.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: By all means. Let's move into private session for a
22 short while.
23 [Private session]
11 Pages 14697-14704 redacted. Private session.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.04 p.m.,
17 to be resumed on Friday, the 9th day of December,
18 2005, at 9.00 a.m.