1 Friday, 9 December 2005
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Madam Registrar. Could you call the
6 case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-03-68-T, the Prosecutor versus Naser Oric.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam.
10 Mr. Oric, can you follow the proceedings in your own language?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours, ladies
12 and gentlemen, I can follow the proceedings in my own language.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you may sit down. Appearances for
14 the Prosecution.
15 MS. RICHARDSON: Good morning, Your Honour, Joanne Richardson on
16 behalf of the Office of the Prosecution, making introductions to say --
17 this morning for Mr. Wubben who is unable to join us on -- during this
18 morning's sessions. I also say good morning to our learned colleagues
19 from the Defence. Joining me this morning is Mr. Gramsci di Fazio who
20 will continue -- who will start his cross-examination, and also joining us
21 this morning, Your Honour, is our case manager, Donnica Henry-Frijlink.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam and good morning to you and your
24 Appearances for Naser Oric.
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. My name
1 is Vasvija Vidovic. Together with Mr. John Jones I appear for
2 Mr. Naser Oric. We have with us our legal assistant, Ms. Adisa Mehic, and
3 our CaseMap manager, Mr. Geoff Roberts.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam and good morning to you and your
6 Can we bring in the witness? Any preliminaries? Okay. One thing
7 I wanted to -- in the meantime, usher, you can please proceed. There is
8 in the latest or most recent filing on Rule 68, which is the Defence
9 response, there is a new allegation, a fresh allegation, or an allegation
10 of a fresh violation, a new violation of Rule 68.
11 We were intending to come down with a decision very early next
12 week, that means Monday, on all the pending issues on Rule 68 and we would
13 appreciate if you could either respond verbally, if we will have time
14 today. If not, to file a short response on that new allegation by the end
15 of business today so that then when we meet on Monday the three judges
16 prefer to discuss this matter and incorporate our deliberations and
17 decisions in our decision.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Today we'll have one break, that's at
20 quarter to 11, of half an hour, and then we'll finish at 1.00.
21 [The witness entered court]
22 WITNESS: SUAD SMAJLOVIC [Resumed]
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, sir. We are going to proceed
25 with the last few questions by Madam Vidovic and then we will start with
1 the cross-examination.
2 Madam Vidovic.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
4 Examined by Ms. Vidovic: [Continued]
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could we move back into
6 private session where we left it off yesterday.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's go back to private session.
8 You have no opposition to be in private session on this matter,
9 Mr. Di Fazio?
10 MR. DI FAZIO: No, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
12 [Private session]
11 Pages 14709-14713 redacted. Private session.
11 [Open session]
12 JUDGE AGIUS: And I thank you so much, Madam Vidovic.
13 So good morning to you, Mr. Smajlovic. Now that the
14 examination-in-chief is over, the Prosecution takes over with its
15 cross-examination. Your responsibility is the same here. You need to
16 answer all the questions that are put to you truthfully and I suggest that
17 you also keep answering in a short, concise, and to-the-point manner.
18 Mr. Di Fazio will be cross-examining you. I don't know if we will
19 finish today. It's not likely that we do, which basically means that you
20 will be here over the weekend and then we'll finish with you on Monday,
21 for sure. If you haven't made arrangements already through the V and W
22 section of our Tribunal to advise your family that you will be staying
23 over in The Hague, please let me know and I'll make sure that they are
24 contacted immediately.
25 So Mr. Di Fazio.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honours.
2 Cross-examined by Mr. Di Fazio:
3 Q. Good morning, Mr. Smajlovic.
4 A. Good morning.
5 Q. You know my name. I've got some questions for you. The nickname
6 Soson was a nickname that you had in 1992 as well, wasn't it?
7 A. From January 1993.
8 Q. There must be some misunderstanding, I think. You just told us
9 that you had -- your nickname is Soson, that you had that nickname in
10 1992, didn't you? You had it all your life, haven't you?
11 A. Yes. Well, that nickname has several meanings and varieties.
12 Soson, Sole, Soso.
13 Q. Did you know that anyone else in -- from your village and from the
14 Srebrenica area who also had the nickname Soson, or are you the only
15 person it would had that nickname, as far as you're aware?
16 A. I was the only person.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: What does it mean exactly? I mean, because he said
18 it had several meanings.
19 MR. DI FAZIO:
20 Q. Can you answer His Honour's question?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Why out of all the possible nicknames that they
22 could have given you they chose this one for you, Soson?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Your Honours, I did not
24 understand your question.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: You did not choose this nickname yourself. It was
1 chosen for you by your friends, I suppose.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Sole, this nickname, was given
3 to me by my aunt who lives in America. When I was born she was in Bosnia
4 and she gave me this nickname Sole because that name is known in America
5 and they use it in that part of America where she lived. It is a strange
6 name in our area and my mother accepted that name but she also gave me my
7 real name, Suad.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. It's more or less what happened
9 to me. I was born and christened with one name and then immediately after
10 I was never called by it. So let's proceed.
11 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honours.
12 Q. You said in evidence when you -- on the first day that you
13 testified that you were the assistant commander for security in the 282nd
14 Brigade. When did you obtain that position? I know it was after the fall
15 of Srebrenica, but at what particular point of time?
16 A. That was my wartime assignment in 1994.
17 Q. And can you remember when in 1994 you received that appointment or
19 A. The 10th of January 1994.
20 Q. And is that when you became a member of the army of the Republic
21 of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
22 A. No. That was when I was given my wartime assignment.
23 Q. When did you become a member of the army of the Republic of Bosnia
24 and Herzegovina?
25 A. When I arrived in Tuzla.
1 Q. And when was that? Was that in 1997?
2 A. In 1995.
3 Q. Well, who employed you, who were you working for, from the 10th of
4 January 1994 as assistant commander for security in the 282nd Brigade?
5 A. I just told you that I received my wartime assignment. This was
6 just on the paper. I did not work for anyone. I did not have any duties
7 or did not hold any post.
8 Q. So you received some piece of paper or assignment to become
9 assistant commander for security but that was utterly hollow, it meant
10 nothing, it translated into no action, you had no duties, no
11 responsibilities in that regard. Do I understand you correctly?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: What's the problem, Ms. Vidovic?
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the witness did not say
14 that he received a piece of paper.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I did not say that. I did not
16 say that I received any paper, any orders, any appointment. I was simply
17 told at that time this fact.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
19 Q. Piece of paper or?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly. I can quite understand Madam Vidovic's
21 intervention but, at the same time, what he had said earlier certainly now
22 needs clarification. He said "I just told you that I received my wartime
23 assignment. This was just on paper. I did not work for anyone. I did
24 not have any duties or did not hold any post." So if it was on paper,
25 which paper are you talking about?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I did not say "task."
2 I said "assignment." Assignment is something else in this context.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Who gave you this assignment? Who communicated it
4 to you? I'm sorry to butt in.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: No, no, thank you, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: But I think it needs to be clear. Because it
7 doesn't work for heaven. I mean, someone must have told you, "Suad, this
8 is what you're going to do during the war."
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's not what I was told. I was
10 told that I was given an assignment within an establishment on paper, I
11 would be the assistant commander for security. I never received any
12 instructions, tasks or the job description.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Vidovic?
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have to apologise but
15 I have to intervene. There is a misunderstanding because the interpreter
16 keeps saying the word "imenovanje", keeps saying the word "zadatak"
17 instead of "imenovanje." So that's a misinterpretation. In fact, the
18 witness is using the word rasporad, assignment, and the interpreter uses
19 another term in B/C/S which can be translated as "task."
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. It will take me at least three days with
21 my limited intelligence to understand the difference between task and
22 assignment, but let's proceed. I think we can proceed and forget whether
23 it's a piece of paper or not. It's still not clear in my minds who told
25 MR. DI FAZIO: No. I would like to be clear about that if I could
2 Q. I don't care how you were told, whether it was by a piece of paper
3 or a conversation in a cafe or smoke signals. All I want to know is: How
4 did you become aware that you had received this assignment or tasking or
5 job? How did you become aware of it?
6 A. I learned about it from my commander.
7 Q. Which commander? What was his name?
8 A. Ibro Dudic.
9 Q. And was he a commander in the army of the Republic of Bosnia and
11 A. No. He had also been given his wartime assignment as the
12 commander of the Brigade where I had been assigned as -- that was my
13 wartime assignment, and one of his tasks was to inform all of us about
14 those assignments or appointments that is we had received.
15 Q. You would agree with me, wouldn't you, that this assignment or
16 tasking was a hollow one in that it meant in practical terms nothing? You
17 didn't do anything that might be remotely construed as being an assistant
18 commander for security. You did nothing that -- to carry out such a task?
19 A. No. I did nothing and the other people who had received their
20 wartime assignments, they did nothing either, because the place was
21 demilitarised at the time.
22 Q. Okay. And the same applies to Mr. Ibro Dudic, your commander? He
23 did nothing?
24 A. Yes. He did nothing.
25 Q. When you were informed of this by Mr. Ibro Dudic, what did you
1 say? Did you inform him that it came to you as a surprise that you were
2 being appointed as assistant commander for security even though it was a
3 meaningless assignment?
4 A. No. He merely invited us and told us that we had been given
5 wartime assignments, that we would not be doing anything, and that's all
6 there was to it.
7 Q. Did you express any surprise at this assignment that had landed in
8 your lap? You hadn't sought it, I take it.
9 A. Yes. I was surprised.
10 Q. Did you question Mr. Dudic and say, "I have no idea what you're
11 talking about. Why am I a being appointed as assistant commander for
12 security in the 282nd Brigade?" Did you query him?
13 A. No. We did not go into any details.
14 Q. At the time you were informed, of course, you didn't know that it
15 was an empty task in the sense that you wouldn't actually be doing
16 anything, did you?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes? Mr. Jones?
18 MR. JONES: Yes, well Your Honour this whole line of questioning
19 is clearly intended to make it sound as if there is something ridiculous
20 in this situation. The witness has explained the area was demilitarised
21 and that's why he understood the situation.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop, please. Please. Please.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.
24 MR. JONES: Your Honour, may I --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jones you may not. Please, when I say stop,
1 stop. You're hinting at the witness, you're suggesting to the witness the
2 way he should interpret and answer the question.
3 MR. JONES: I'm not hinting or suggesting anything.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones, please sit down. Sit down. When I
5 say stop, stop.
6 Mr. Di Fazio.
7 MR. DI FAZIO:
8 Q. When you received this tasking or assignment, did you query him as
9 to what you would be required to do?
10 A. No. I did not ask him anything. Let me repeat. At that time,
11 the place was demilitarised. We did not have any weapons. We did not
12 have anything. We were civilians. Everything had been taken away from
14 JUDGE AGIUS: You see, Mr. Jones, now?
15 MR. JONES: Your Honour, the witness explained --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: And I hope you will not do that again because --
17 MR. JONES: Your Honour, the witness explained --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: -- you will be punished, you will be severely
19 punished and reprimanded by this Trial Chamber if you do that again, you
20 or Ms. Vidovic or anyone from the Prosecution side. I will not tolerate
21 if. This is abusing of the process in the worst manner possible and it's
22 very unethical, Mr. Jones, especially from someone who's coming from the
23 kind of reputable jurisdiction that you do.
24 MR. JONES: Your Honour, the witness already answered that
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jones, you clearly suggested to the witness the
2 way he should deal with Mr. Di Fazio's question.
3 What is your problem, Ms. Vidovic?
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, please look at the
5 transcript just a few lines before the intervention by my colleague,
6 Mr. Jones. You will clearly see that the witness replied that this was
7 the time when the place was demilitarised. Please have a look at the
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. But it's still -- then that was followed by
10 another question and that's when Mr. Jones intervened and he suggested the
11 way the witness should answer that question.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: The incident is finished Madam Vidovic. Please sit
14 down and let's proceed with the questions.
15 MR. DI FAZIO: I'll proceed, if Your Honours please. In fact,
16 I'll move away from the topic.
17 Q. In 1997 you became a professional soldier in the army of Bosnia
18 and Herzegovina, didn't you?
19 A. No. In the federation army, not in the army of
21 Q. You conducted extensive training, including training overseas, I
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. In the course of your training as a soldier, you became aware,
25 didn't you, of the principle of subordination, what is called the
1 principle of subordination?
2 A. I did not understand the question.
3 Q. In the course of your training as a soldier from 1997 onwards, did
4 you become familiar with the principle of subordination, the notion that
5 you must follow orders, that the commanders are responsible for the
6 actions of their troops, the existence of chains of command?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did those principles of subordination exist in the army of the
9 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992 and 1993? Do you know that?
10 Are you aware of that?
11 A. No. It was not in existence.
12 Q. Sorry, what was not in existence, the army or those principles of
13 subordination, or you don't know?
14 A. The principles of subordination did not exist. Let me stress that
15 the conditions were not there. No staffs had been established. I have
16 already said the conditions were not there for any staffs to be
17 established. If you want to have staffs you need logistics,
18 communications equipment, uniforms, equipment, barracks, professionals,
19 ranks, and so on.
20 Q. Okay. Apart from the area of Srebrenica, do you know - if you
21 don't know tell us - but apart from the area of Srebrenica, and other
22 parts of the Republic of Bosnia, as far as you're aware, did the army
23 operate utilising the principles of subordination? Not the VRS, I mean; I
24 mean the Muslim army.
25 A. I don't know. It's possible.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Vidovic?
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like the
3 Prosecutor to place his questions in -- within a specific time frame work.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please do, Mr. Di Fazio.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: Sorry. I was talking about 1992 and 1993.
6 Q. But I'll -- does that clarify the question for you?
7 A. I do not understand you. What do you mean 1992, 1993?
8 Q. As far as you're aware, did the principles of subordination apply
9 in the Muslim army in 1992 and 1993? Outside of the area surrounding
10 Srebrenica. Apart from the area around Srebrenica. Do you know that?
11 A. I don't know.
12 Q. Finally, in 1992 and 1993, did any elements of the army of the
13 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina operate at all in Srebrenica or in the
14 area immediately around Srebrenica, including your -- Kazani and all the
15 areas that you saw and went to and fought in, in 1992 and 1993? Were any
16 army elements there at all?
17 A. No. Those were local groups that were operating in those areas.
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I did not want to
19 interrupt the questions asked by Mr. Di Fazio. I wish he would stop
20 calling the BH army "Muslim army" outside of Srebrenica because that's not
21 what it is, what it was. Bosnia and Herzegovinian army is something quite
22 different from a Muslim army.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, I object to this kind of objection. You
24 should have asked the Trial Chamber to send the witness out to make a
25 submission and we would have sent the witness out and you would have
1 made -- you would have had all the opportunity to make the submission.
2 This way you have told the witness what your position is with regard this
3 matter and how he should respond if he is asked questions referring to the
4 Muslim army.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, no, because -- not at
6 all. The witness had already answered the question. His answer is
8 JUDGE AGIUS: What you said is tantamount to a submission,
9 Ms. Vidovic and submissions should not be made in the presence of the
11 Let's proceed, Mr. Di Fazio.
12 I cooperate with both of you. Whenever you want to make a
13 submission, even it takes one hour, I will send the witness out, explain
14 to him that we need to deal with something which has got nothing to do
15 with him or her, whoever that be, and I will give you all the
16 opportunity. But please try to avoid making submissions, even if --
17 sometimes it does not occur to one's mind that it may be a submission.
18 But to us it's clearly a submission. Yes, Mr. Jones.
19 MR. JONES: Could we have the witness out, please, Your Honour
20 because this is really a critical --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please send the witness out, please.
22 Mr. Smajlovic we will be coming back to you very soon. We need to
23 discuss something. Thank you.
24 [The witness stands down]
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones.
1 MR. JONES: I for one, Your Honour, I really trust Your Honour
2 will actually hear me out and allow me to make this submission because
3 Your Honour has just accused me of some extremely serious professional
4 breaches of ethics, which is an extremely grave matter for me.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And there is more to come, Mr. Jones. Because
6 we have still not forgotten, although you think you did not commit any
7 grave misdemeanour here, when you called Mr. Wubben the high priest of
8 surprises in the context of ambushes that we were talking about at the
9 time, you did commit a grave -- and you haven't come back with a direct
10 apology to Mr. Wubben. As yet.
11 MR. JONES: Your Honour, may I say two -- may I first of all reply
12 to that.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: This is not the first time, Mr. Jones.
14 MR. JONES: Your Honour I opened by asking whether I could
15 actually -- whether Your Honour would hear me out. I'm not sure if I'm
16 being given the right to be heard out.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, oh, no, yes, of course not. You have never
18 been given the right to be heard, Mr Jones. You have I have every reason
19 to complain and everyone will take you seriously if you do.
20 MR. JONES: Your Honour, am I able to --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones, please don't use these tactics with
22 me. We have never shut you down. We have always given you all the
23 opportunities to say what you like even when you were saying things that
24 you knew yourself were not valid. So please go ahead.
25 MR. JONES: Well, Your Honour, for the first matter I have been
1 asked for the most basic right to be heard out and I hope I'll be able to
2 finish without -- without being interrupted. You've mentioned again this
3 matter of allegedly a grave misdemeanour of calling Mr. Wubben something.
4 I apologised on the very occasion. I immediately apologised. If -- I had
5 no idea the matter --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jones, Mr. Jones I didn't interrupt you because
7 you never did apologise.
8 MR. JONES: Your Honour, may I finish?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I have read through the transcript 100.000 times and
10 you did not apologise. You even pretended - us - to agree with you that
11 it was something which was not grave at all, if you look at the
13 MR. JONES: Well, Your Honour, the word "apology" is there. I
14 apologised and I apologise now unreservedly to Mr. Wubben and I trust the
15 matter is therefore closed.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: That is better.
17 MR. JONES: May I trust that that matter is closed, Your Honour?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, now it is closed, yes --
19 MR. JONES: All right. Now as far as --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: -- apologise to Mr. Wubben. We didn't want an
21 apology to us without an apology to Mr. Wubben.
22 MR. JONES: Right. Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Now as far as today is concerned, and it's at page 14, line 14 to
24 16 of the transcript, the witness answered -- he was asked, "You did
25 nothing to carry out such a task." He said, "No, I did" --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jones, I'm going to interrupt you. That platter
2 is closed.
3 MR. JONES: Your Honour, my reputation was attacked by Your Honour
4 and I'm defending myself.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: That matter is closed.
6 MR. JONES: So there is it no misbehaviour on my part.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: No, that matter is closed. We said that that matter
8 is closed and it's closed. Madam Vidovic tried to give that
9 interpretation which you are now going to try and give again. That matter
10 is closed. That was one question and the next question dealt with another
11 aspect, and that's when you tried to suggest to the witness that he should
12 still concentrate on the demilitarisation as the basis for his answer. So
13 that matter is closed. Yes, we think you abused the process, Mr. Jones,
15 MR. JONES: Well, then, I have to withdraw, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's proceed.
17 Go ahead, Mr. Di Fazio.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Vidovic?
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would ask you very
21 kindly if you could make a break now at this point.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll have a break of ten minutes.
23 --- Break taken at 9.57 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 10.08 a.m.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's bring the witness in.
1 And let me make it clear, we will not tolerate the least - the
2 least - hint at arrogance here.
3 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: We will not allow anyone to be the least arrogant.
5 You have both been treated in a manner which is almost incomparable to
6 anything that one would expect in such a Tribunal.
7 Yes, Madam Vidovic I saw you standing up.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
9 I would only like that the treatment be equally accorded to us and
10 the Prosecutor, the treatment accorded be equal.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: It has always been so. And what you're saying, you
12 mean that it has not been equal, please stand up and say so now. We have
13 been extremely patient, extremely patient allowing interventions simply
14 due to ignorance of what the procedural rules ought -- the real procedural
15 rules ought to apply in this Tribunal. We have been very, very, very
17 Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
18 WITNESS: SUAD SMAJLOVIC [Resumed]
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 Cross-examined by Mr. Di Fazio: [Continued]
21 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honours.
22 Q. Let's move on, Mr. Smajlovic, and I'd like to ask you some
23 questions about the Bajramovici meeting, the little meeting that you told
24 us about, that happened in Bajramovici. Can I ask you -- can I ask you
25 this: Had your group, the Kazani group, or whatever its correct name is,
1 been formed prior to the meeting?
2 A. Do you mean my group in Kazani? Is that what you're referring to?
3 Q. Yes.
4 A. Yes. That's right.
5 Q. And I just want to be clear about it. I think I'm clear but do I
6 understand that all the other groups, or many of the other groups that
7 eventually emerged in 1992 in the Srebrenica area, for example,
8 Mr. Tursunovic's group, were they already formed at the time of the
9 Bajramovici meeting? I'm talking about the meeting in May, the 20th of
10 May, 1992.
11 A. The groups, all of them, were set up at the time when their
12 villages came under attack by the Serbs, or, rather, the Chetniks.
13 Q. That might have been the process but what I want to know is had
14 they emerged as groups with identifiable leaders by the time of the
15 Bajramovici meeting, the 20th of May? Was there already a Kazani group
16 with you as its leader, a Suceska group with Mr. Tursunovic as its leader,
17 and so on?
18 A. Some of them were; some of them weren't.
19 Q. So groups later emerged with identifiable leaders, later I mean
20 after the 20th of May when the Bajramovici meeting occurred?
21 A. No. As I indicated a moment ago, the groups were set up at the
22 time when the Chetniks started attacking their villages, when they were
23 attempting to defend themselves. This meant that this was from the start
24 of the aggression in Bosnia-Herzegovina, meaning from their first attempt
25 to enter Srebrenica onwards.
1 Q. I've understood you. What I'm asking is this: Did groups emerge
2 with leaders, local groups with leaders, for example, like yours, after
3 the 20th of May Bajramovici meeting or had they already emerged or were
4 they already identifiable and their leaders known? That's what I'm
5 interested in.
6 A. I've already answered this. Some of them existed, and even before
7 the 20th of May 1992, whereas others emerged subsequently, depending on
8 when their villages came under attack.
9 Q. That's what I wanted to know. Now, you -- I couldn't get the name
10 from the transcript but I think the person you said who invited you to the
11 meeting was a gentleman named Sefket Djorzic; is that correct?
12 A. Yes. He invited me to the meeting.
13 Q. And did he -- did he explain what the purpose of the meeting was?
14 A. No. He didn't explain what the purpose of the meeting was, and I
15 didn't know anything about it until we all gathered up there.
16 Q. Did you know who was going to be there?
17 A. No, I didn't. I didn't know who was to attend the meeting.
18 Q. Why did you go? Why --
19 A. I went over to see what was going to happen, because this was
20 close to where my house was.
21 Q. You knew, didn't you, that it was going to concern at least the --
22 in some broad sense, the defence of the Muslim people in the area? You
23 knew that at least, didn't you? Or am I wrong?
24 A. I presumed so.
25 Q. Did you speak to your men about any particular position or stance
1 or view that you could adopt at the meeting regarding the defence of the
2 Muslim people? In other words, what position you might adopt on any such
3 issue at the meeting?
4 A. No, I didn't. I've already told you, and I will repeat, at this
5 meeting there was just discussion about what was happening to the Muslims.
6 Q. Yes. But I think you've told us that the -- that you presumed
7 that the meeting was going to concern in some broad sense the defence of
8 the Muslim people and your group was set up to precisely that reason, to
9 defend the Muslim people. Is there any particular reason why you didn't
10 consult with your group about what position to adopt on this very
11 important issue?
12 A. No. I never consulted with my group. I always took the decisions
13 by myself.
14 Q. Well, if we just diverge for a moment, when precisely was your
15 group formed, approximately when, the Kazani group?
16 A. Around the 20th of April, or rather from the 20th of April
17 onwards. I'm not sure that the 20th is the exact date. It may have been
18 later, depending on who joined my group and when.
19 Q. And within your particular group then you, is it fair to say, you
20 tell me if I'm right or wrong, is it fair to say that you held quite some
21 authority? You didn't have to consult with them and you were its
23 A. I was only a local leader, nothing more. They trusted me.
24 Whenever we set out somewhere, they trusted me.
25 Q. I understand that. You're a leader and it's local and it's a
1 group. I understand that and I've got no problem with that. I understand
2 what you're saying. But within this local group, you as its leader held
3 quite some authority. You didn't have to consult with them, as you've
4 said, about decisions that you took. Is that a fair assessment?
5 A. No. It is not. Although I sometimes made a decision that we
6 ought to go somewhere, the people had their choice to decide whether to
7 join or not. Nobody could force them to do something they didn't want to.
8 Q. I see. And on this particular occasion, when you were attending a
9 meeting to decide how best to organise resistance, how best to defend the
10 Muslim people, you didn't consult your group?
11 A. No. I didn't consult them. There was no need for that, as I
12 myself was unaware of what the discussion at the meeting would revolve
14 Q. Well, but you weren't -- with respect, that's not actually what
15 you've said, is it? You had an idea, didn't you, that the purpose of the
16 meeting was to discuss the defence of the Muslim people? Isn't that
17 correct? You may not have known the precise details but that was the
18 basic topic. You knew that, didn't you?
19 A. No. I said that I presumed as much. Knowing and presuming are
20 two different things.
21 Q. Just want to ask you some general questions about the situation in
22 Srebrenica and the outlying -- and the area in which you found yourself in
23 1992. You would agree with me, wouldn't you, that the -- that the Serb
24 forces in the area posed a very dangerous threat to you? They were a
25 dangerous and ruthless enemy, weren't they?
1 A. They were only very well armed and they had one sole purpose, to
2 carry out ethnic cleansing of the area.
3 Q. And they also had, I think you would agree with me here, wouldn't
4 you, that they had a superiority, a clear superiority in arms and military
5 technology, the means with which to wage modern warfare, correct?
6 A. Yes. They were well armed.
7 Q. Whereas the Muslim forces, or the Bosniaks living in the area,
8 including these local groups that emerged, they consisted of men who were
9 inexperienced and ill-equipped; is that correct? Ill-equipped militarily?
10 A. The groups were armed with hunting rifles, makeshift rifles. They
11 did not have uniforms. Therefore they wore civilian clothes.
12 Q. I take it then that you'll agree with me that they were
13 ill-equipped compared to the Serbs and inexperienced in the sense of not
14 being formally trained?
15 A. We practically had no professional weaponry of the type the Serbs
17 Q. Thinking back of your experiences in 1992 and early 1993, leading
18 up to demilitarisation, and bringing to bear everything that you've
19 learned as a professional soldier, would you agree with me that being able
20 to gather and direct the few military resources that the Muslims had, the
21 Bosniaks had, to deal with Serb threats would have been a desirable thing?
22 A. Could you please repeat the question? I haven't understood the
23 last part.
24 Q. Okay. Thinking back with everything that you saw and experienced
25 back then in 1992 and early 1993, and also bearing in mind everything that
1 you've learned as a soldier, professional soldier, would you agree with me
2 that in the circumstances that existed at the time, it would have been
3 desirable, a good thing, for you, the Bosniak forces, the Muslim forces,
4 to gather -- to be able to gather together and direct the few military
5 resources that you had to deal with threats, Serb threats, as and where
6 they arose?
7 A. I've been telling you that we only had some obsolete and damaged
8 weapons that we managed to seize from the Serbs. That was all.
9 Q. Yes. And I've heard you and understood you, and what I'm saying
10 to you is, in those circumstances, in precisely those circumstances that
11 you just described, don't you agree that it would have been desirable back
12 in 1992 for you and the other local groups to be able to gather and direct
13 their few, their limited military resources, to deal with Serb threats as
14 and where they arose? In other words, to be able to initiate military
15 action, be able to concentrate fire-power, the limited fire-power that you
16 had in hot spots, trouble spots, as and where they arose in the area?
17 A. Yes. I've understood your question, but I'll tell you again that
18 the groups were independent of each other and nobody could take the
19 weapons from a person who had captured the weapon in a different group.
20 Besides, there were no conditions, there was no time, there was no space
21 even for us to get organised that way.
22 Q. And I've heard you and understood you, okay? There is no problem
23 there. I understand, but -- and I know what you say. But thinking back,
24 with the knowledge of hindsight, okay? Thinking back now, looking back on
25 the situation, would you agree that it would have been a good idea to be
1 able to gather and direct the few military resources that you had in order
2 to -- and to be able to initiate military action and concentrate
3 fire-power in order to deal with Serb -- with the Serbs, as and when they
4 created problems in the Srebrenica area?
5 A. I reiterate that the groups operated independently and that the
6 region of Srebrenica, including the surrounding villages, was cut off
7 internally and there were no conditions in place for that, in order for us
8 to do that.
9 Q. Okay. At the meeting, you've given evidence that Mr. Oric was
10 appointed as a coordinator, and he was responsible for coordinating
11 matters between the military leaders, possibly other things, but certainly
12 coordinating matters between the -- the local commands, I should say. You
13 remember that evidence?
14 A. Yes, I remember. I said that he coordinated on the ground among
15 the leaders, and I wish to say the following: The leaders themselves
16 could never agree on what they should do and how they should do it. I
17 gave you an example that Hakija Meholjic and Akif Ustic could never agree
18 on anything at a given point in time, about how to approach a certain
19 matter. The same went for Hakija Meholjic and Zulfo Tursunovic. He
20 wanted to balance out their relations, their mutual relations. At no
21 point in time did I mean that he coordinated over something because
22 coordination can be carried out in many different ways. Coordination is
23 no military term. You can coordinate matters on a stadium between players
24 there or matters in a school environment. At no point did the term body
25 or the term coordination meaning that he had the role of a commander.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Vidovic?
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the witness answered --
4 the question concerned coordination between military commands, a matter
5 that he never even mentioned. He spoke about group leaders.
6 MR. DI FAZIO: If I said something about military commands, I
7 apologise. My understanding is clear about what the witness has said and
8 I understand absolutely the fact that --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: You said the local commands, as it is in the
10 transcript, but I don't know if you said that or you said local
11 commanders. I think you said the local commanders, if I remember well.
12 MR. DI FAZIO: I apologise, and if I said local commands I didn't
13 mean that in the slightest. I meant local leaders and, rest assured,
14 Mr. Smajlovic, that I've understood your evidence concerning local
15 leaders, okay?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
17 MR. DI FAZIO:
18 Q. At the meeting at Bajramovici, was there any other model
19 considered for resisting the Serbs? For example, creating a unified
20 military command with chains of command so that a leader emerged who could
21 issue orders and direct the forces that were available to deal with the
22 Serb threat? Was that ever discussed?
23 A. No. It was not discussed. As I've already said, this body could
24 only make decisions by vote, no other way was envisaged.
25 Q. Well, let's go to the actual meeting itself. It's held in
1 Bajramovici and the local leaders, some -- some, I should say, sorry, some
2 local leaders of local groups turned up. How did they know to attend the
3 meeting? We know how you got there from the invitation from Mr. Djok --
4 from Sefket but how did the other leaders, local leaders, get there?
5 A. Messages were sent.
6 Q. Whose idea was it to organise this meeting, do you know?
7 A. No, I don't know that.
8 Q. And -- okay. Do I take it that you didn't know at the time and
9 you have never found out who it was that called this meeting?
10 A. No. This was not discussed at the meeting.
11 Q. It was a big -- it was a very important event, wasn't it, for the
12 local people, the Muslim -- the Bosniak people in the Srebrenica area,
13 given all of the horrors that were starting to unfold? Extremely
14 important matter, wasn't it?
15 A. No. I would not agree with you, because, had this meeting been
16 very important only the group leaders would have attended not the women,
17 the people who were there from that neighbourhood, from the houses in that
19 Q. Who proposed the model of coordinator of local leaders and local
20 groups, do you know?
21 A. We all proposed something or other so nobody said, "This is how it
22 will be." I don't remember exactly somebody said the best thing will be
23 to have a body, to elect a body. It doesn't matter who would be heading
24 the body but let us do this by vote so that nobody can feel any rancor
25 towards the others.
1 Q. And was this -- was this particular proposal made by the local
2 leaders or everyone else who had gathered there?
3 A. All those present there.
4 Q. And the issue of coordination, was that -- was that discussed at
5 length at the meeting and clearly defined and worked out?
6 A. No. Nothing was done in detail.
7 Q. Did you press for perhaps some detail to be added to the
8 proposal? Yourself, you personally. Did you suggest that perhaps you had
9 to do something a little more given the situation that confronts us, that
10 we have to have something more concrete?
11 A. No. I did not. The only discussion that I participated in and my
12 only proposal was for to us help each other and to save our lives in the
13 face of the impending attack by the aggressor who was already at the gates
14 of Srebrenica.
15 Q. Did you walk away from the meeting knowing what sort of
16 coordination Mr. Oric was going to conduct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Could you just explain to us once again what the -- what precisely
19 his role was and who explained it at the meeting? Who made clear what
20 coordination actually entailed?
21 A. I said yesterday that his role had been to coordinate among the
22 leaders because the individual leaders could not agree, could not see eye
23 to eye, and I said that if a group fought the Serbs, then another village,
24 in order not to come under threat, we decided to also arrange this. So he
25 was supposed to smooth things out among the leaders so that even those
1 leaders who did not want to provide any help or did not have any interest
2 in helping, that they would also lend a hand when needed.
3 Q. And would you agree with me that in the circumstances, given the
4 threats that you faced, this role of coordinator was really quite an
5 important one?
6 A. Well, I wouldn't agree. He could go there and ask that person,
7 then try to coordinate things, but nobody was bound to obey. If I wanted
8 to go, I could have gone and it did not matter if the fact that he was
9 there to coordinate things between me and the other leader, that wasn't
10 really important.
11 Q. If it wasn't really important and you could have done the job, can
12 you offer any -- us any insight as to why it was necessary to have a
13 coordinator in the first place?
14 A. Well, as I've already told you a little while ago, if a group was
15 fighting the Serbs, in order to prevent any threats from spreading to
16 another village, this was in order to attempt to make some kind of a
17 balance and to get the others to help that group.
18 Q. Well, important or unimportant, for a coordinator to be able to
19 carry out his job effectively it's important, isn't it, that he enjoy some
20 confidence amongst the local leaders? Would you agree?
21 A. I wouldn't agree.
22 Q. So -- so the situation is you've got local leaders who are falling
23 out with each other or can fall out from time to time, fall out with each
24 other and disagree, correct? Is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And you're surrounded by a ruthless Serb enemy who is intent on
2 ethnic cleansing and is clearly superior in terms of arms, correct? I'm
3 sure you can answer that with a yes or a no.
4 A. Could you please repeat the last part of your question?
5 Q. And you and the other groups at Bajramovici, and the people who
6 attended there and the people they represented, were surrounded by a
7 ruthless Serb enemy who was intent on ethnic cleansing and clearly
8 superior in terms of arms, correct?
9 A. Yes. It was the -- the enemy was vastly superior in terms of
11 Q. And the local leaders were the only form of resistance to the
12 Serbs that was available in the area at the time, correct?
13 A. Yes. The local leaders were that.
14 Q. And in such circumstances, is it your evidence to the Trial
15 Chamber that the job of coordinating these local leaders, who provided the
16 only resistance to this ruthless enemy, was not so important? Is that
17 your evidence?
18 A. I've told you. I've explained to you how important it was. He
19 could not replace any of the local leaders, remove them from office. One
20 example was when he tried to do that with me.
21 Q. I'm not asking you about appointments or dismissals of commanders.
22 I'm not asking you about that. I'm asking you about the importance of the
23 role of coordinator. You say -- I suggest -- I'll make it clear, okay?
24 If things happened in the way you say they did, and I don't accept that,
25 but if they did, then such a coordinator, such a man, carry out those
1 positions in all of the circumstances would have had an absolutely
2 fundamentally crucial role, absolutely fundamental role. Wouldn't you
3 agree with that?
4 A. I don't agree with you. He did not play a crucial role. Let me
5 repeat. Independent leaders made their own decisions.
6 Q. All right. All right. At the outset of war -- sorry, not at the
7 outset of war -- at the time of the meeting, Mr. Oric was quite a young
8 man, wasn't he? I think you said 24 or 25, thereabouts.
9 A. Yes. He was 24 or 25.
10 Q. All right. He -- he didn't have any significant military
11 knowledge, did he, according to you?
12 A. He did not have any military knowledge.
13 Q. Not only that but his -- the military service that everyone did in
14 the former Yugoslavia made him particularly -- let me rephrase that.
15 Not only that, but given his military training that he'd done,
16 which was in nuclear, biological, and chemical defence, he really didn't
17 have much at all in the terms of military experience according to you to
18 be able to apply, to bring to bear, on the situation in which he and you
19 found yourselves in, correct?
20 A. No. He did not have any military knowledge and based on his
21 training in nuclear, biological, and chemical defence. So this training
22 did not provide him with any military knowledge.
23 Q. And he -- he wasn't popular either, was he, in the area? That's
24 your evidence, correct?
25 A. No. He was not popular. I've already explained why. He had been
1 Milosevic's escort at that time.
2 Q. He'd been seen on television, standing next to Mr. Milosevic,
3 hadn't he?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You knew that at the time of the Bajramovici meeting, didn't you?
6 A. Yes, I did know that.
7 Q. And he certainly -- I think you twice said that he held no
8 particular -- in fact, twice you said that he was unpopular -- sorry, that
9 he did not enjoy any popularity amongst the Muslim youth in the area.
10 That's so, isn't it?
11 A. He was not popular among the Muslim youth.
12 Q. Does it strike you as odd that a man who is unpopular, has no
13 military experience, no relevant military experience, who has been seen on
14 television standing next to Slobodan Milosevic, should get himself elected
15 as -- or appointed as coordinator of local groups? Does that strike you
16 as odd?
17 A. No. It's not odd. I can give you an example.
18 Q. Please do.
19 A. At that meeting, I personally, and all the others present there,
20 who were members of the young generation, and in fact I had some other
21 reasons, Zulfo Tursunovic and Akif Ustic were older men and they kept
22 quarrelling among them. And I myself said that Naser should be appointed
23 because he was young, because we were in the same generation, we had been
24 working together, and he had fought against the -- Arkan's men who had
25 tried to enter Srebrenica. So the younger people sided with me. It would
1 be easier to agree with younger people, a younger man, because the older
2 people always had other issues, more issues, than we, the younger people.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: We need to have a break of 30 minutes now.
4 Mr. Di Fazio, we'll reconvene at 11.20.
5 --- Recess taken at 10.49 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 11.39 a.m.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I see Mr. Wubben. Yes, now what do you have,
8 Mr. Wubben?
9 MR. WUBBEN: I apologise, but for the record, Your Honour, I'm
10 happy to join the team again.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I think so are we. We can't tell you how much.
12 Let's continue.
13 Mr. Di Fazio.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: Thanks, Your Honours. Your Honours, I think I
15 could probably give you a very brief, one- or two-minute reply to the new
16 matters in the motion. If we do they in the reply -- you remember earlier
17 this morning.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: I don't propose to do it now but I just read it
20 and, if Your Honours are thinking about the part of the reply that deals
21 with additional Rule 68 matter, I think I can just say something about it
22 and that would complete everything we want.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I suggest we stop five minutes, would five minutes
24 suffice? MR. DI FAZIO: We'll be finishing at 1.00?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: At 1.00, yes. So we will stop five minutes before
1 with this witness.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's proceed, and at the end of the sitting
4 make sure that there is liaison, Mr. Wubben, and Madam, with the Defence
5 as regards the major Dudley, in other words as per our decision.
6 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: All right. Thank you.
9 Q. I don't want to spend too much time on the topic of the
10 appointment of Mr. Oric, Mr. Smajlovic.
11 Just before the break, you said that -- I was putting to you that
12 it was odd that a man with Mr. Oric's background would be appointed as
13 coordinator and you said, no, you -- assisted him or, rather, took the
14 view that he would be a good appointment and you represented the younger
16 Did you mean by that that his -- he was supported at the meeting
17 by younger local leaders?
18 A. No. That's not what I said.
19 Q. Okay. Sorry. Then I --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. I read from his answer, page 38, lines
21 18, 19, 20, that's the area. His answer: "And I myself said that Naser
22 should be appointed because he was young, because we were in the same
23 generation, and we had been working together, and he had fought against
24 Arkan's men who had tried to enter Srebrenica."
25 This is the important part. So the younger people sided with me.
1 This is what he said.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, thank you. That's what I recall.
3 Q. Okay. So you just heard His Honour read out what you said. You
4 supported Mr. Oric and the younger people supported you, sided with you,
5 in taking a favourable view of the appointment of Mr. Oric as coordinator,
7 A. Yes. But not all of these people were leaders. There were
8 ordinary people there from the neighbourhood who attended the meeting as
10 Q. Fine. How do you reconcile that with your evidence to Madam
11 Vidovic on yesterday, Thursday, when she asked you question: You said
12 that he appeared -- that he appeared toward the end of 1991. "Did he
13 gather the Muslim youth around him? Was he a popular person among the
14 young people?" And you answered, "No, he was not popular. At that time
15 he was the personal escort of Slobodan Milosevic, Milosevic was a symbol
16 of Serbdom and we would see him quite often on TV. He was standing right
17 beside Milosevic."
18 So I understood that yesterday he was saying that he wasn't
19 popular and that included amongst young people. You seem to be saying
20 something different. I'm putting to you that you're saying something
21 different. Am I correct or not?
22 A. I said that he was not popular at that time. However, with the
23 attacks and the crimes committed by the Serbs at the very beginning of the
24 war, and with their advance towards Srebrenica, people regarded themselves
25 as Muslims and not in terms of what they had been before.
1 Q. All right. You mentioned I think earlier this morning, that one
2 of the -- one of the reasons he was elected had been his exploits with
3 Arkan or Arkan's men, I should say, earlier. Are you saying that played a
4 part in the fact that he was appointed coordinator of the local groups?
5 A. Perhaps this played a part in it too, but the most important part
6 of it was that he was Muslim, a member of the same peoples who were under
7 the attack by the Serbs.
8 Q. Yes. I understand that. But just the fact that he was Muslim
9 didn't have a particular -- that wasn't the specific reason that he was
10 successful in being made coordinator of the local groups, was it? It
11 wasn't just that.
12 A. I haven't understood. Can you repeat, please?
13 Q. I will repeat my question. Is the fact that he had dealt with
14 Arkan or Arkan's men earlier, before the Bajramovici meeting on the 20th
15 of May, did that play in your opinion or your view a part in his
16 appointment as coordinator of local groups? Did that help him get the
17 position, so to speak?
18 A. My answer was perhaps it did.
19 Q. Was it mentioned at the Bajramovici meeting? Did anyone say,
20 "Mr. Oric, he's the man who dealt with Arkan's men" or words to that
21 effect. "He should be local coordinator."
22 A. No. Nothing was mentioned to that effect. These were only
23 comments we made.
24 Q. Are you aware of Mr. Oric ever having had any experience in
25 Kosovo, military experience?
1 A. No. I'm not aware of that. But I'm sure he did not have any such
2 experience. He was a police officer there, as far as I know.
3 Q. You were shown various documents yesterday that, broadly speaking,
4 dealt with or suggested that Mr. Oric was appointed commander of the
5 Srebrenica TO, in particular they were P73 and P75. Isn't it the case
6 that at the Bajramovici meeting he was appointed or elected or chosen as
7 the commander of the Srebrenica TO?
8 A. No. I've said so and I repeat, he was merely a coordinator among
9 the leaders. As for what is written on paper, anyone could have written
10 that and I believe this was written in Sarajevo or in Tuzla, I'm not sure.
11 Q. Okay. And that was understood amongst everyone in the Srebrenica
12 area, that Mr. Oric -- and I'm talking about 1992 and early 1993, leading
13 up to demilitarisation. It was understood that Mr. Oric was no commander,
14 that there was no commander of the local groups, that there was no
15 commander of Muslim resistance; that was clearly understood in the
16 community, correct or not?
17 A. I'm telling you, all the leaders operated independently, locally,
18 in the area, and they did not know --
19 Q. Yeah. What I'm saying is that as far as you're aware there was no
20 perception amongst people in Srebrenica or the area around Srebrenica that
21 Mr. Oric was the commander of local leaders, local groups, there was no
22 perception, everyone understood that, that was clear?
23 A. No. There was no such perception. He was just a group leader
24 Potocari. That was all.
25 Q. I think we understand each other. Okay. In later years, in 1993
1 or 1994, would there have been any reason that you can think of for people
2 to have the perception that Mr. Oric was the commander of Bosniak forces
3 or Bosniak groups operating in Srebrenica and the area around Srebrenica?
4 A. In 1993, no. There were no appointments or assignments to any
5 duties. I repeat that as of the 10th of January 1994, there was -- there
6 existed a wartime assignment, and people received their respective wartime
7 assignments in that period.
8 Q. Thank you. I would just like to you look at a video clip.
9 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me? Yes it's
10 Exhibit P431. It's known to Your Honours as I think the anniversary
12 Can we just play that, please?
13 Q. Could you look at this video clip and follow it, please?
14 [Videotape played]
15 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "The Srebrenica municipal assembly
16 cultural centre and the Srebrenica folklore club. I'm inviting the
17 operations group commander Mr. Naser Oric to open.
18 "Before I start I would like to greet all the president who wish a
19 happy Kuban Bajram to the troops and people.
20 "Dear guest, officers, and soldiers, we've gathered here today to
21 honour the anniversary of the Srebrenica Territorial Defence staff."
22 MR. Di FAZIO: Can I just interrupt the viewing there.
23 Q. And can I ask you did you ever hear in 1992 or 1993 of something
24 called the Srebrenica Territorial Defence staff? Have you ever heard of
25 that body?
1 A. The staff of the territorial -- can you just repeat, please?
2 Whether I ...
3 Q. Have you ever heard of a body called the Srebrenica Territorial
4 Defence staff? Have you ever heard of them? Have you ever heard of it?
5 A. In Srebrenica, no. I didn't. There were local groups operating
6 in their respective areas as best they could. There was no Territorial
7 Defence and no staff.
8 Q. Just incidentally, Mr. Smajlovic, while we are we, for the
9 remainder of today and perhaps Monday, let me assure you that you have
10 understood perfectly well your evidence concerning the local leaders
11 and -- although I don't agree with it, I understand what you're saying
12 very, very, very well, okay? So just to assure you about that.
13 Now, let's just continue, please.
14 [Videotape played]
15 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Of the Srebrenica armed forces and a
16 brand new formational command the operations group of the army of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina in the formation of the 2nd Corps. Gatherings like
18 this one always give us the chance to remind ourselves of the very
19 beginning of the war. Exactly 25 months ago the people in Eastern Bosnia
20 fell into the clutches of the combatants of the new fascist wave founded
21 on the still-existing barbarism in the middle of Europe. Our
22 25-month-long story and I don't know for how much longer it will go on
23 about the misfortunes of this Muslim Bosniak people cannot be told during
24 a meeting of this kind. That [unintelligible] of historic science and
25 this time I hope without a demagogic approach. But let me remind of the
1 inception of the Srebrenica Territorial Defence staff two years ago on
2 this day. The appearance of leaders, the success of party leaders then,
3 unarmed Muslims people started off a defensive war beyond the living
4 memory and [unintelligible] organised in such a way the first combat
5 started on the 20th of April 1992 in Potocari. And then came the first
6 and second of May 1992. The defence of [unintelligible] 5th, 6th, and 7th
7 of May".
8 MR. DI FAZIO:
9 Q. Bearing in mind what Mr. Oric -- let me withdraw that question.
10 You would agree with me, wouldn't you, that Mr. Oric is as well placed as
11 you are to comment on the emergence of organisations for the defence of
12 the Muslim people in Srebrenica and the area around Srebrenica. Would you
13 agree with that comment? He's as good a historian as you could be because
14 he was there, he lived through it?
15 A. Yes. He was on the front line together with his group, as a local
16 leader, throughout the period.
17 Q. Okay. But you agree with me, don't you, that he is as well-placed
18 as you are to be able to comment on the -- any organisations that emerged,
19 that were dealing -- that were responsible for the defence of the Muslim
20 people? You would agree with that or not? He certainly knew about his
21 role as coordinator of local groups, didn't he?
22 A. He did not necessarily have to know what was going on at all
23 points in time.
24 Q. We will deal with this quickly. Having heard what Mr. Oric has
25 said so far on this video clip I showed you, and would you agree with me
1 that there -- a Srebrenica TO did emerge at Bajramovici in May of 1992 and
2 that he was a commander of it, Mr. Oric?
3 A. No. I wouldn't agree. Oric was appointed a commander in the
4 course of 1994 on paper. He received his wartime assignment roster just
5 as I did. He was given assignment as commander, just as I was given
6 assignment as assistant commander for security. This was only on paper.
7 I repeat that this was the periods of demilitarisation. There was no army
8 there, only civilians.
9 MR. DI FAZIO: I think I've finished with the clip. I don't need
10 to go on with that any more.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Judge Eser?
12 JUDGE ESER: Just a matter of clarification, since we always have
13 problems with translation of terms, could perhaps the witness asked
14 whether the Serbo-Croat term for Srebrenica Territorial Defence, if he
15 does know this term and if this term already existed at the time of 1992.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.
17 Q. His Honour's question is evident. Had you ever heard of the term,
18 Srebrenica TO? Is that a term that is familiar to you? Srebrenica
19 Territorial Defence. Is that a term that you are aware of?
20 A. No. It was never mentioned. The term Territorial Defence was
21 never used.
22 Q. And you've never heard it being used at all? It's not a term that
23 you're familiar with? Do I understand you correctly or not?
24 A. The term itself, Territorial Defence, yes, but now if you're
25 asking me whether it was mentioned or whether the establishment of the
1 Territorial Defence was talked about, that never was the case in
2 Srebrenica until 1994.
3 Q. I think that's clear enough. Thank you.
4 I'd like to show you some -- a document or two, please. I'd like
5 to show you documents bearing ERN, range 01837894 to 97.
6 Now, Mr. Smajlovic, this document or documents consists of two
7 documents, one appears to be an application form consisting of one, two,
8 three pages in B/C/S, and another page apparently signed by Mr. Oric. I
9 would like you to first to look at the three page application form.
10 That's your application. That's your document, isn't it, with your
11 handwriting on it?
12 A. No. This is not my handwriting. This is the first time that I
13 see this document.
14 Q. And --
15 A. I can -- I can explain, sir. You can see several different hand
16 handwritings in this document. Also if you look at the education --
17 Q. Okay. Let's go through it in a bit more detail. Let's start at
18 the top. First of all, there is a unique number of citizen. You see
19 that, all those numbers there? Do you know what that number is?
20 A. Yes. That is the ID number.
21 Q. Is it your ID number or was it your ID number back then in 1994?
22 A. Yes, that's my number.
23 Q. Your father's name is indeed Avdo and your mother's name, maiden
24 name was Fadila Salihovic?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And you already told us about your nickname. What about the date
2 of birth? That's correct, isn't it?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And what about item 16, which deals with your working years? Are
5 those details of employment and -- yes, and -- yes, are those details of
6 employment correct?
7 A. No. This is not correct. First of all, you can see a different
8 handwriting here, and in 1990 I joined the reserve police force, and then,
9 after that, I became an active duty police officer and I remained an
10 active-duty police officer until the beginning of the war.
11 Q. And under item 29, there are details of your family. We don't
12 need to mention them. But are those family details correct, names and
13 dates of birth?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Then -- well, let's go right to the end of the document. Is that
16 your signature there or not?
17 A. No. This is not my signature.
18 Q. Okay. And are the details under item 40, namely the date of
19 engagement in the RBiH army and the answer there being 20th of April 1992,
20 commander of Company Kazani from 12th of July 1992, are those details
22 A. Yes. The 20th of April, but as the group leader, not the company
23 commander or anything like that.
24 Q. Just pausing there, what happened on the 20th of April? What is
25 the significance of that date in relation to your -- the Kazani group, is
1 that the date of your election as leader or is it some other significance?
2 A. No. That is not the election as leader, but on that day, in the
3 morning, strong Serb forces attacked the village of Kazani from the
4 direction of Zalazje. First they started shelling the village and then
5 they carried out an infantry attack.
6 Q. Okay. And -- okay. Look, what I'm -- earlier, moments ago, I
7 asked you about the date in item 41, the 20th of April, and I asked you
8 about whether the details were correct and you said, "Yes, the 20th of
9 April is correct." And then I asked you about the significance of the
10 20th of April, and then you told us about a Serb attack.
11 Now, I'm trying to understand you as best I can. Am I correct
12 that on the 20th of April there was a Serb attack and that therefore a
13 group, like the Kazani group, was formed on the 20th of April and you were
14 made its leader? I don't want to put words in your mouth but is my
15 understanding correct?
16 A. No, I was not made a leader on that day; I became the leader as
17 time went by. But that was the day when they attacked and when we offered
18 resistance to the Chetniks who were attempting to enter the village of
20 Q. Okay. And was the Kazani group, of which you were leader, formed
21 after the 20th of April in response to this attack?
22 A. Sir, there was no organisation here, no gathering together. We
23 simply all headed out to defend ourselves, and that is how the group came
24 into being.
25 Q. All right. So your position is that this is the first time you've
1 ever seen this document, you've never seen it before?
2 A. Yes, this is the first time. I only filled in a form in Tuzla on
3 the 3rd of October 1997 when I became a professional soldier and
4 active-duty serviceman in the federation army.
5 Q. And you have no knowledge of anyone substituting -- sorry,
6 completing this form and putting it through its -- whatever
7 bureaucratic -- let me rephrase that.
8 You have no knowledge of anyone completing this form on your
9 behalf or with your knowledge?
10 A. No. I have no knowledge of that. But I can see that the person
11 who had filled this form in was not quite familiar with the dates, the
12 situation, those elements.
13 Q. Would you agree with me that whoever did fill in the form had
14 access to personal, quite personal details, for example, your nickname and
15 the details about your family?
16 A. Yes. But anyone could have filled this in who had any contacts
17 with my file at the police station.
18 Q. What file at what police station?
19 A. At the Srebrenica police station where I worked.
20 Q. It's dangerous to speculate and I'm not inviting you to speculate
21 and if you can only answer this question by speculation, then don't, okay?
22 But can you think of anyone who would have any good -- any reason to
23 complete this form other than yourself? If you can't that's fair enough;
24 I don't want you to speculate. But if you know of anyone who would have a
25 reason, tell us.
1 A. No.
2 Q. Fair enough. Okay.
3 A. No. I don't know anyone.
4 Q. Okay. Move on to the other part of the document and that is the
5 part which appears to have been signed by Mr. -- a Mr. Oric. Would you
6 have a look at that document? It's headed, "Opinion and proposal of the
7 8th Operations Group Srebrenica." Just quickly cast your eye over that
9 A. Yes. I have seen this document. In fact, I read it here and I
10 think that it contains quite a lot of illogical and inaccurate things.
11 Q. All right.
12 A. If I may?
13 Q. Yes, yes, please.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I may make a few comments, this
16 document first of all does not have a date when it was written. That's
17 number 1. Number 2, here it says that on the 14th of December 1992, I was
18 wounded at Kunjarac, which is not correct. I was wounded on the 16th of
19 December 1992. It says here that I was a deputy police commander, and I
20 have already said that at that time, I was at the front line and I was the
21 leader of the Kazani group. I was never deputy or I was never involved in
22 the military police at all.
23 Q. So I take it from your evidence that you regard this document with
24 mistrust, you don't think its authentic and you've never seen it before,
25 not until you came to The Hague, any way, correct or not?
1 A. I've never seen this document before.
2 Q. Did Mr. Oric ever intercede on your behalf or do anything on your
3 behalf in respect of your joining any armed forces?
4 A. No, never, except on that one occasion when he wanted to dismiss
6 Q. Yes. I remember that -- your evidence about that.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, can I tender those documents, please.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Do you want to tender them as one document or
9 separate, two documents.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: I think as one document.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I think so, too, but, Madam Registrar, what's the
12 next number, approximate Exhibit.
13 THE REGISTRAR: P611.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: 611. So this will become Prosecution Exhibit P611.
15 Before we set it aside, if someone could help me. At the -- on the first
16 page of this document, right at the very top right-hand corner, above the
17 ERN number, there is something handwritten there which is not reflected in
18 the English translation. I would like to know if that makes sense to
19 anyone who can read B/C/S. Can anyone indicate to us what those letters
20 and digits mean or --
21 MR. DI FAZIO: I can. It seems to be a combination of letters
22 and --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: But there is what I'm asking. I don't see a
24 reflection of it in the English translation.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: No it's not.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. But --
2 MR. DI FAZIO: I will ask the witness.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: You can ask the witness, of course. I asked for
4 assistance basically if someone can help me there but, to me, it doesn't
5 mean anything when I look at it but equally I don't see a reason why it's
6 not reflected in the English translation. At least as far as the letters
7 and the numbers are concerned.
8 MR. JONES: Yes apparently -- in Bosnian, it doesn't mean anything
9 apparently. Apparently it indicates a collection, the name of the
10 collection this is from.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I see.
12 Yes, Madam Vidovic?
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. This type of
14 designation is put on some collections. The words itself, the designation
15 itself does not have any meaning in the Bosnian language but we have
16 noticed such marks made on some other documents we received from the
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Does it mean anything to you, Mr. Smajlovic? At the
19 top right-hand corner, you see those -- there are eight numbers. On top
20 of that, there are some letters handwritten and some numbers. It looks
21 like CA -- I don't know because I don't even know if that is a Latin --
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it doesn't mean
23 anything to me.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. We can leave it at that, then. Are you
25 finished with your cross-examination, Mr. Di Fazio?
1 MR. DI FAZIO: On this, yes.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
3 MR. DI FAZIO: Sorry, I misunderstood you.
4 Q. I just want to return briefly to the meeting at Bajramovici again.
5 Just two small topics. At the meeting, was Akif Ustic appointed the
6 deputy coordinator, the 20th of May?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. What was his role supposed to be?
9 A. No, this was not discussed.
10 Q. Who -- did anyone propose him, that he be appointed deputy
11 coordinator of local groups?
12 A. The same people that I spoke before. Some -- somebody said Akif
13 and then that was supported. That's how it was.
14 Q. And how was -- how did the support manifest itself? Was it a show
15 of hands or was a vote taken? Did the crowd vocally indicate the support
16 of these appointments? How did it actually happen?
17 A. I've already said that the people vocally indicated that this
18 person or that person should be appointed and that the body itself could
19 make decisions only by vote.
20 Q. All right. And in the months that ensued, June, July, August,
21 September, October, November, December and January, February, and March of
22 1993, how many occasions were votes taken on any actions that Mr. Oric
23 took as coordinator? I'm talking about 1993 -- 1992 and 1993.
24 A. I did not attend those meetings because I was on the front line,
25 in the areas where the attacks were occurring.
1 Q. All right. Were you aware of votes being taken? I'm referring
2 now to your evidence yesterday that it was -- that Mr. Oric couldn't
3 actually do anything, couldn't take any decisions, and everything had to
4 be put to the vote. What I'm asking is how many votes -- how many
5 occasions did voting occur in those months in 1992 and 1993 on issues that
6 were --
7 A. As I have said a little while ago, I was not there. I don't know.
8 I was at the front line where the fiercest attacks were occurring.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Vidovic?
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the witness has
11 testified that he was present when the decision was taken to make
12 decisions in the future but vote. He did not say that he had actually
13 been present when those further events took place.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: That's fine. And I think the witness.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: That's correct. And he's confirmed it.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: He's confirmed it again, okay.
17 Q. Did you hear of any votes being taken, even though you weren't
19 A. No. I did not hear of any because I did not have the time to
21 Q. You saw Mr. Oric quite often, didn't you, in -- throughout 1992
22 and early parts of 1993?
23 A. Yes, I did. But we never discussed those things. We only
24 discussed the issue how to stop the Chetniks' advance on those lines.
25 Q. You said that -- I can't recall when precisely but you said in
1 evidence that he came to your group at one stage, the Kazani group, and
2 had some dispute with you. I think that was the effect of your evidence,
3 that he wanted to remove you as leader and that you -- anyway, the result
4 was that you remained as leader. Do you remember that -- that evidence?
5 A. Yes. I do remember.
6 Q. Was there any vote taken on that particular issue, your removal as
7 leader of the Kazani group? Was that put to the vote, as far as you're
9 A. No. I don't know about that. I know that he came and I know what
10 happened, and that's what I actually already described.
11 Q. Did you, bearing in mind his role as coordinator amongst local
12 leaders, did you consider saying to Mr. Oric, "Mr. Oric, this is a matter
13 that needs a vote."? Did you consider that?
14 A. No. It never occurred to me.
15 Q. All right. You were also asked some questions about Exhibit P4.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me? I may not
17 have to produce it. No. I think it's probably better I do.
18 Can the witness be shown P4?
19 Q. You remember this document, it was shown to you yesterday, I
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Madam Vidovic asked you -- sorry.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me?
24 Q. Well, let me withdraw that question.
25 This is a document, obviously you can see on the face of it it's
1 apparently comes from this body called the Srebrenica TO. And under
2 number 10, item number 10, C, there appears a phrase, "At the VP, the
3 organisation to be carried out by Mirzet Halilovic." Do you see that
5 A. Yes. I can see that it's written there.
6 Q. Now, VP, is that military police, Vojna policija or something like
7 that? Pardon my B/C/S.
8 A. Yes, military police.
9 Q. And you remember giving evidence that this document, P4, that's
10 not correct, because, in fact, the military police were set up by the War
11 Presidency. Do you remember saying that?
12 A. Yes. I remember that the War Presidency had established the
13 military police.
14 Q. Yes. Okay. And, look, apart from that fact, that you say is
15 wrong at number 10(C), is there anything else on the face of the document
16 that you can see that makes you suspicious of it or causes you any concern
17 about its authenticity?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. What was that?
20 A. TO Osmace, Mirsad Dudic was the group leader there and the
21 organiser. Atif Krdzic was not there in that capacity ever.
22 Q. Okay.
23 A. And likewise, whether it comes to TO Kragljivoda, Nedzad Bektic
24 was never the group leader there. It was Sefik Mandzic. Furthermore,
25 Luka TO, Ikan Mujic was the group leader. It was not definitely not
1 Mustafa Durakovic.
2 Q. Fair enough to say this: What causes you concern about there
3 document is the content but there is nothing on the actual -- in the
4 actual writing or on the face of the document, on the page, that causes
5 you any concern other than that? It's the inaccuracies of the
6 information, right?
7 A. There are quite a few inaccuracies when it comes to the services,
8 where it says war hospital, Avdo Hasanovic. I explained yesterday that
9 the war hospital was actually located in my home and, furthermore, the
10 signals and information service, Hamed Alic was appointed, and on the 20th
11 of May 1992, Hamed Alic was a survivor of an execution, both his wife and
12 his father were killed on that occasion, and at that time he was very much
13 distressed, in a shock.
14 Q. Okay. Thank you.
15 And you -- this passage of evidence occurred in relation to this
16 document, and the military police.
17 A. The military police was mentioned for the first time on the 1st of
18 July 1992. You could see from other documents that Mirzet Halilovic was
19 group leader of the Pale group up until the 1st of July. This document is
20 dated 15 June.
21 Q. All right. Okay. Well, really my question is this, I suppose:
22 If there is no military operating in the area of Srebrenica in 1992, and
23 the first three months of 1993, there is no army, no military, just local
24 leaders leading groups, what -- why is it necessary to have a military
25 police? Why did the War Presidency find it necessary? Why?
1 A. The War Presidency had the following considerations. There were
2 people, armed, who were out of anyone's control, walking around the town,
3 and both the civilian and the military police had the duty to keep these
4 people under control, to disarm them, and both the civilian and the
5 military police forces were under the command of Becir Bogilovic.
6 Q. Well. I understand what you're saying about the War Presidency
7 and its role in setting up a military police, and I understand what you
8 say about the dangerous and uncertain times and with people walking around
9 being armed. But why set up specifically a military police? Why not
10 simply have a police force to deal with these armed people? Why is it
11 necessary to have a civilian police and a military police if there is no
12 military? That's what I want to know.
13 A. In the description of his post, it was never within the duties of
14 a military police officer to disarm people. It was always within the
15 competence of the civilian police. And we didn't know what to do but
16 therefore decided to put it under the command of the civilian police.
17 Q. No, I'm sorry. With respect, Mr. Smajlovic, I suggest that you're
18 not answering my question.
19 I'll be as clear as I can. Okay? The War Presidency set up a
20 military police - you've told us this - and they did it on July, I think,
21 and this is wrong, this document, P4. Now, and you've testified this
22 morning and yesterday and the day before that there was no army, no
23 military, operating in Srebrenica in 1992 and 1993. Okay? So why have a
24 military police if there is no military? If there is a simple
25 explanation, tell us and I'll move on, but I want to know that.
1 A. Mr. Prosecutor, there is no simple explanation for that. I told
2 you that the civilian police officers cannot disarm armed men. They are
3 there to maintain law and order.
4 Q. If there had been an existing army structure in -- operating in
5 Srebrenica in 1992, and early parts of 1993, you would have expected that
6 structure to create or appoint or deal with or control a military police,
7 wouldn't you?
8 A. I'll explain this to you in view of my military experience. The
9 military police was never under any staffs of the Territorial Defence. It
10 always came under corps or brigades. Since there was no TO staff set up
11 and there were no brigades or corps in Srebrenica, it could not come under
12 a military structure. We didn't know what else to do but to place it
13 under the command of the civilian police.
14 Q. How did the civilian police differ from the military police? Did
15 they -- I assume they didn't have uniforms because no one had uniforms,
16 correct? But in what other way -- what ways did they differ from each
18 A. They differed from each other in that the civilian police had an
19 additional task which was to restore law and order among the population.
20 It was in charge of disorderly conduct. Whereas the military police will
21 no business there. It could only, together with the civilian police,
22 disarm people who carried weapons in Srebrenica and were out of anyone's
24 MR. DI FAZIO: Sorry, would Your Honours just bear with me?
25 Q. All right. Do you remember the military police ever arresting
1 anyone or dealing with them for military -- some sort of military
2 infringement? Some sort of military offence, I should say.
3 A. As far as I know, the only thing the military police did was seize
4 weapons. For everything else the civilian police was in charge.
5 Q. Seize weapons from whom precisely? Civilians walking around or
6 fighters in the local groups? Can you tell us?
7 A. They seized weapons from civilians who -- as they entered
8 Srebrenica, whenever they went in search of something they would find
9 wherever, be it in a ditch or on a meadow or amidst garbage they would
10 find pieces of weapons that had been abandoned by the Serbs who had been
11 retreating from the area.
12 Q. Why couldn't the civilian -- I don't understand that, with
13 respect, Mr. Smajlovic. Why couldn't the civilian police go and get these
14 unfortunate people who were carrying arms, these civilians, why couldn't
15 they perform that task? Why was it necessary for the military police to
16 do that?
17 A. They were unable to. At the time there were about 30.000 refugees
18 in Srebrenica. What can a handful of police officers do in the face of
19 such a large crowd of people?
20 Q. All right. And the military --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
22 Madam Vidovic?
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't see how this
24 particular witness would be able to answer such a line of hypothetical
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't agree with you that we are in hypothetical
2 areas here because he was by profession a policeman. He formed part of
3 the civilian police at a certain time. So when Mr. Di Fazio asks him to
4 explain why a civilian police wouldn't have been able to do that, I mean
5 he's perfectly capable of giving an answer.
6 So let's proceed along these lines. I don't know if you are
7 satisfied with his answer already, Mr. Di Fazio, or not, whether you want
8 to proceed with this matter or pursue it any further.
9 MR. DI FAZIO: I think we'll leave it, if Your Honours please.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: He's already told you more than once that they were
11 unable to do so.
12 MR. DI FAZIO: Sorry, one last question.
13 Q. Do you know what happened to the weapons that were seized from
14 the -- that the military police seized from the civilians?
15 A. No, I do not. I was not privy to that. Probably they were handed
16 over to the groups that found themselves in the most vulnerable areas.
17 Q. Thank you. I'd like to show you some --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment before you do that. Judge Eser, please.
19 JUDGE ESER: Just to wrap up this question with military and
20 civilian police, did I understand you correctly that you said the civil --
21 military police was necessary because the civil police was not big enough,
22 didn't have enough people, to get hold of the problem of disarming people?
23 Was this your answer?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. This was not my answer. The
25 civilian police has a totally different set of duties that it's in charge
1 of. That was the case yesterday. That was the case at the time, and is
2 today. It never had within its duties the duty to disarm people and
3 collect the weaponry.
4 JUDGE ESER: But I think that in quite a few countries to be in
5 possession of illegal arms would be an offence and then the civil police
6 would have jurisdiction to deal with this problem. Is that different --
7 or has that been different in your country, that disarming people would be
8 a matter of military police and not of civil police?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That may be the case in peacetime,
10 but not in time of war, when you don't know what belongs where.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Judge Eser.
12 Mr. Di Fazio.
13 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honours.
14 Q. Before I show the documents I just want to ask you some other
15 questions. You were wounded in 1992 in Kunjarac, weren't you?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. All right. Were you wounded again in 1993?
18 A. No.
19 Q. All right. And your father's name is Avdo. What year was he
21 A. 1943.
22 Q. Was he -- did he fight at all during the war?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Was he wounded?
25 A. Yes, he was.
1 Q. When?
2 A. I don't recall the date.
3 Q. Where? Where was he wounded?
4 A. I don't know. I only know that he was wounded in his leg.
5 Q. I'm sorry, I think we misunderstood each other, where,
6 geographically, where was he wounded?
7 A. No. I don't know when or where he was wounded.
8 Q. Okay. Was he in your group?
9 A. Yes, he was.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, would this be an
12 appropriate moment to ask the witness to call it quits for the day? I
13 still have that submission to go and I also seek a little -- I mean I can
14 finish my submission probably before one but I would just like --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: You have to finish it by one, because by one, one of
16 us has to leave.
17 Mr. Smajlovic we have to stop here for the day. We will continue
18 on Monday. Please try and rest as much as you can. It has been a long
19 week for you here, and I want to make sure that you receive all the
20 attention you require to be able to rest throughout the weekend. We will
21 continue and finish on Monday.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
23 [The witness stands down]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Before you deal with that, how much longer do you
25 require this witness, Mr. Di Fazio?
1 MR. DI FAZIO: I --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Because I don't want to disrupt the schedule
3 anticipated for next week.
4 MR. DI FAZIO: I think I'm going to be -- take a goodly portion of
5 Monday. I don't know what -- how that affects the Defence.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: How does that affect not only the Defence but also
7 us because we have the responsibility of managing the trial. There are
8 two witnesses and the time-frame indicated to us inclusive of Defence and
9 Prosecution --
10 MR. DI FAZIO: Your Honours, now that I've got the weekend to go
11 over what I've prepared and what remains to be done for my purposes I can
12 certainly try and streamline matters as much as I can. And I'll do so. I
13 understand --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Because we have got this problem. One is coming
15 from the United States. The other one, I don't know where he is coming
16 from, but he is then going to the Far East with an intimation that we had
17 time back that it's very difficult to bring him back at any -- any time
18 soon. And I have all the responsibility to make sure that we finish with
19 the two witnesses by Friday of next week. The day after we will all be
21 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. I understand that, Your Honour, and all the
22 difficulties that we have and I understand your concerns, okay?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I also want you to not only understand but also sit
24 down, discuss it with your lead counsel, and also coordinate with the
25 Defence, in the spirit that we have advocated throughout.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: Your Honour can -- you will have my utmost
2 cooperation in trying to keep what I have for Monday as brief as I can.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay.
4 Submission on this fresh Rule 68 allegation.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: It's very, very brief, if Your Honours please.
6 The complaint -- I think the new material, if I understand, is
7 contained in paragraphs 4 to 6, and it is said that the fact of Serb
8 prisoners being taken to the Domavija hotel and then that Mr. Oric would
9 take them to Potocari for exchange is not exculpatory in the sense that it
10 doesn't actually say anything about custody and control and responsibility
11 for the -- for the -- for the prisoners. If it does, the Prosecution's
12 submission is that, in all the circumstances, the prejudice is absolutely
13 minimal, and furthermore, you recall Hakija Meholjic actually testified
14 about Serb prisoners of war being held at the Domavija hotel and he
15 provided that testimony on the 7th of April 2005. I haven't reviewed that
16 testimony because of obvious reasons but I understand that that's the
17 testimony, and you can find it there on the 7th of April 2005, and I
18 recall from his evidence that he did say -- he gave some sort -- I recall
19 that he gave evidence of an occasion when he came to the hotel and he --
20 there were some Serb prisoners there and they had been mistreated and he
21 leapt to their defence and threw out the men who had mistreated
22 the Serb prisoners. I remember that evidence.
23 So there is some evidence already in the Prosecution case that,
24 indeed, some Serb POWs were taken to the Domavija hotel and from my
25 memory -- would Your Honours just bear with me? That's in
1 examination-in-chief so it was led by the Prosecution.
2 So that's -- those are the submissions that I just wanted to make
3 on that particular paragraph. There has been evidence about it already.
4 We led it. And that's -- so therefore, any prejudice is really got to be
5 minimal. That's all.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Defence would like to address this?
7 MR. JONES: Yes, just extremely briefly. This is the limb of Rule
8 68 which concerns the credibility of Prosecution witnesses. Our
9 submission is simply that this is information which goes to the
10 credibility of a Prosecution witness which we should have had in time for
11 the cross-examination of that witness. The fact that it was let's in
12 chief in a way makes the point that in fact if the Prosecution hadn't led
13 that evidence-in-chief, we wouldn't have known about it and we wouldn't
14 have been able to raise it and I just reiterate the submission which is in
15 the reply already, which is that this argument that there is no prejudice
16 isn't really an answer because the point is, unless we have the
17 information in a timely fashion so that we can make our tactical decisions
18 about how to use it, then there is a violation and we ask you to find that
19 there has been one in this case.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. This for your information will be
21 incorporated -- in other words, our decision on this new allegation will
22 be incorporated in the decision that we anticipate to hand down early next
23 week. The idea is to have the drafting completed over the weekend by
24 Monday, then we sit down and discuss it again, the three judges, and then
25 either hand it down on Monday, end of the day, or Tuesday morning.
1 All right?
2 We are going to adjourn now. Please make sure, Mr. Wubben, that
3 the Defence has been given the list of additional topics that Lieutenant
4 Colonel Dudley is authorised to be cross-examined upon by his government,
5 by the US government, as agreed beforehand.
6 I think that you have already given a list which -- have you been
7 given a list which then had to be edited according to the permission
8 granted or withheld by the US government?
9 MR. JONES: No, the agreement is that following the interview with
10 Mr. Dudley, that we'll receive a provisional list which the Prosecution is
11 going to submit for authorisation to the USG. So it's that provisional
12 list which I understand we will receive shortly, and then if and when
13 authorisation is received, then I understand we will be informed of that
14 subsequent list.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Who is interviewing? I thought you were going to
17 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: You were supposed to start at 2.00, no?
19 MR. JONES: Yes, I'll be starting shortly.
20 MR. WUBBEN: May I refer to the agreement? The agreement is
21 indeed as I already stated yesterday that we will provide the Defence
22 after completion of the interview, that should be done now for any moment,
23 we will provide them with a list, an informal list of issues in which
24 there is considered to be no problem on authorisation in that respect
25 because authorisation still has to be -- function as a kind of official
1 decision making but we will provide them with a list as soon as possible.
2 And after this adjournment I will take a contact with Madam Vidovic how to
3 process this information as soon as possible, after this proceeding to
4 her. Thank you.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. And we will continue with this witness
6 on Monday.
7 Again, I recommend that you keep in mind the schedule for the next
8 two witnesses, and that definitely, as I read it, would entail four days,
9 four days as a minimum, as a minimum. Definitely more actually, but four
10 days is the absolute minimum that need to be left for those two witnesses.
11 And the indication is that there should also be some additional time to
12 that. So you need to discuss amongst yourselves a little bit how you're
13 going to approach this.
14 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good -- have a nice weekend,
16 everyone. Thank you.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.56 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Monday, the 12th day of December
19 2005, at 9.00 a.m.