1 Wednesday, 25 January 2006
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, good afternoon, Madam Registrar. Could you
6 please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-03-68-T, the Prosecutor versus Naser Oric.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, madam and Mr. Oric can you follow the
10 proceedings in your own language?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours, ladies
12 and gentlemen. I can follow the proceedings in my own language.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And good afternoon to you, too.
14 Appearances for the Prosecution.
15 MR. WUBBEN: Good afternoon, Your Honours and also good afternoon
16 to my learned friends of the Defence. My name is Jan Wubben, lead counsel
17 for the Prosecution, within my team also including Mr. Gramsci di Fazio,
18 and our case manager, Ms. Donnica Henry-Frijlink.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Wubben, and good afternoon to you
20 and your team.
21 Appearances for Naser Oric.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good
23 afternoon to my learned friends from the OTP. My name is Vasvija Vidovic
24 and I appear here today with co-counsel, Mr. John Jones, and Ms. Jasmina
25 Cosic, our legal assistant.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Vidovic and good afternoon to you
2 and your team.
3 Any preliminaries before we bring in the witness?
4 MR. JONES: Just one, Your Honour which concerns the exhibit list
5 filed by the Prosecution for this witness, for today's witness, and it's
6 to anticipate an objection which I'll have. If, firstly --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Just to put you -- I haven't seen the list. I'm not
8 even aware of it.
9 MR. JONES: Okay. There is -- it's dated -- well, we received one
10 and there are seven items on it, eight items and it's dated 24 January
11 2006 and, as I understand it, two of those exhibits are reports by the
12 Prosecution's experts and I would simply say this: That we didn't ask
13 Professor Bilic to analyse the reports of the Prosecution experts and we
14 don't think it's appropriate for him to be asked to comment on their
15 reports. It wasn't part of his mission. It wasn't part of his mandate.
16 He's here to present his opinion. They presented their opinion. And we
17 would certainly object to him being asked to comment on their reports,
18 particularly when he hasn't analysed it, or be asked to conduct some ad
19 hoc analysis.
20 And secondly, on the list there are other documents which have not
21 been analysed by Professor Bilic in his report, and it's somewhat ironic
22 that the Prosecution are proposing to show new documents to this witness
23 which he didn't analyse, given that Mr. Wubben objected to any notion that
24 I would show new documents to the witness. In the event the documents I
25 showed were purely and simply to show a water-mark which is something
1 which anyone could see. It wasn't a question of analysis. It was a
2 question of visual demonstration, and again I would submit it's not
3 appropriate to ask this expert to conduct an ad hoc analysis of a
4 signature on a document which he hasn't analysed. I anticipate that in
5 any event, the expert will give an answer to that effect but I simply want
6 to signal beforehand that that will be my objection so that we don't
7 necessarily have to have the witness out when that matter arises.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: So, of course, Mr. Jones do you wish to answer to
9 the points raised by Mr. Jones, Mr. Wubben, before I speak my own mind.
10 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour, let me first find out how this
11 technical will be developed to put on and off the microphone and at the
12 same time can anyone hear me.
13 Well, first, the reports by the Prosecution experts were not
14 enlisted to -- with the aim to comment by the expert. They were enlisted
15 that whenever I refer or the Judges will ask questions about the report,
16 referring to it, then that we have available such an exhibit, and about
17 the other documents, these are not new documents, these are known -- these
18 are already tendered documents confirmed as the so-called known
19 signatures, known signatures from K9 up to K35. And these should be
20 available as I want to demonstrate also on -- in the same way as Mr. Jones
21 has done, with previous new documents, to demonstrate what is possible to
22 be seen without a expert examination for everybody, and to ask his opinion
23 about that. So not an expertise comment but the same as envisaged by
24 Mr. Jones when he introduced new documents, his opinion standing this
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you both, Mr. Jones and Mr. Wubben.
2 I think we would rather reserve our position as we go along
3 because obviously I haven't seen these documents. Today I don't even know
4 what documents he's referring to. And as we go along we see what the
5 question is, just as was the case yesterday with the documents with the
6 finger -- with the water-mark. At the time I was very much taken by
7 surprise by the position taken by the Prosecution because I simply
8 couldn't understand it, but we'll see, we'll play it by the ear as we go
9 along, of course. And as far as certain preoccupations are concerned that
10 you expressed, I'm sure that the expert witness will know how to handle
11 that, Mr. Jones.
12 Yes. There are a few things I would like to mention. We will be
13 working hard this weekend, all of us, trying to divide our work,
14 particularly because there is a lot to read. There are the following
15 motions: One dealing with the request of the Defence for the -- in
16 relation to the interview with the so-called interview with the Accused.
17 The other one with regard to Exhibit P84. And then this last motion on
18 rebuttal, which is accompanied -- has about two inches' thickness of
19 attachment to it.
20 We need to know beforehand, we were discussing this in my room
21 from -- practically from 1.00 until now, and other matters. We need to
22 know exactly where you stand time wise for example with regard to the two
23 motions filed by the Defence, where do you stand, Mr. Wubben? When are we
24 to expect your responses, without necessitating on our part having to
25 clamp down and fix shorter limit than that.
1 MR. WUBBEN: We cannot state for sure. We are at the stage of
2 organising the relevant information to -- for example, with translation,
3 to enable CLSS to work on it and to find out what is the background and
4 also the legal consequences, specific related to that other motion of the
5 interview of the Accused, and Your Honours, please, be assured that we are
6 working at a fast speed on it and now at the very moment and already
7 yesterday started, altogether. So I cannot envisage because these are
8 voluminous motions, I can't give you a specific date but perhaps in the
9 beginning of the following week, I think I can give you more specific
10 terms in -- as it comes to the time needed.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: They are no where near as voluminous as yours
12 basically. I mean, there isn't much. It's a question of the translation
13 process that you have been given pretty much advance notice of and that we
14 have understood throughout that you were -- you had undertaken this
15 exercise with regard to P84 and also the interview a long time ago.
16 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honours, but this is a pleading not only
17 for translation but with a view to the interview forming a basis for
18 excluding it with very legal propositions. So we had to --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: There is nothing voluminous there. That's a simple
20 argument. What we need to know very quickly, if this is possible, is
21 this: That in relation to the interview, for example, the Defence has
22 taken the trouble to separate the transcript into two parts, your
23 transcript and what they submit should be the correct transcript. And
24 there are various instances, I mean, detailed. If you are in a position,
25 which I think you should be now, to accept that the transcript should be
1 like or as submitted by the Defence, then please tell us. At least you
2 tell us that. It would spare us having to go through a lot of exercise
3 ourselves. That's number one. In other words, this exercise, I think,
4 should have been carried -- I mean, of course, you did not have specific
5 reference to specific parts but now you do. And I haven't gone through
6 the totality of those excerpts but if you are in a position -- I meant to
7 do that yesterday but I wasn't feeling well at all and I ended up not
8 doing it but if you are in a position to at least conclude that, then
9 obviously the -- what will remain is submissions on the rest, which form
10 the basis of the Defence request for the removal from the evidence of
11 the -- expunging of the evidence of the statement of the -- or the
12 interview of the Accused.
13 P84, again, I mean, P84 has been the point of reference during the
14 proceedings from both Prosecution and Defence, and the contestation
15 throughout has been mostly in relation to the interpretation, the
16 translation. So if it is ready, we can't delay the case depending and
17 waiting for CLSS to finalise a translation. I'm making this very clear.
18 If there has been an allegation that the translation is defective or
19 leaves much to be desired, then that should have been attended to.
20 I turn to you now, Madam Vidovic and Mr. Jones in relation to the
21 rebuttal. And I am drawing your attention to this because you had
22 anticipated without even knowing who was going to be named for purposes of
23 rebuttal, you had anticipated an objection. So if you still are of the
24 same opinion, please come forward as soon as you can. Now you have got
25 all the details, or relatively speak speaking all the details. Perhaps
1 you can let us know, not necessarily now, when we'll have the pleasure of
2 having a response from you because obviously the outcome of the issue
3 between you depends -- we'll need first to reach our decision and if there
4 is going to be a rebuttal, there needs to be sufficient time to allow the
5 Prosecution to bring over their witness, if that's the case. And then, of
6 course, please do start thinking about possible rejoinder. I think from
7 your experience you should be more or less in a position to know where you
8 stand when it comes to the rebuttal and therefore whether there will be a
9 case for rejoinder or not. But I think please do come back to us as early
10 as you can.
11 MR. JONES: Yes. I might just say this. At present, Your Honour,
12 because it does impact on the schedule of the coming weeks obviously, that
13 indeed as Your Honour has observed this is voluminous, I have it here,
14 it's several inches thick. Granted the motion is eight pages and the rest
15 are attachments but nonetheless we have to review all of it. But it's
16 true we certainly -- having reviewed it, we certainly will oppose these
17 witnesses being called in rebuttal because we say that they are not true
18 rebuttal witnesses at all. In fact, they are people about whom the
19 Prosecution knew during the Prosecution case, they decided for, I say, for
20 tactical reasons, I don't mean that in a pejorative way, but they decided
21 for tactical reasons not to call those people at the time and that it
22 would be inappropriate for plainly wrong to call these witnesses after our
23 case to have a second bite at the cherry.
24 So we intend to vigorously oppose this, for us it's a very
25 important point of principle that the Prosecution not to be allowed to
1 call evidence going to issues which have always been issues in this trial,
2 going to command and control or organisation or disorganisation of any
3 armed forces. And so we need to first of all address the arguments by the
4 Prosecution as to why they say this is actually rebuttal evidence. We
5 need to counter that by pointing to the pre-trial brief the opening
6 speech, our cross-examination of Prosecution witnesses, to say that all
7 these issues were live while the Prosecution still had a chance to call
8 these witnesses. And that involves a lot of reviewing of the transcripts,
9 the pre-trial briefs, et cetera. And so certainly we do intend to file a
10 vigorous response opposing, vigorous opposition.
11 And I might say that also, given the importance of this, if Your
12 Honours are against us we will seek leave to appeal naturally because it
13 does have profound implications for us, and I think that does need to be
14 built into the schedule obviously, in that what we wouldn't want to be is
15 overtaken by events so that a schedule which is put together in the
16 interests of -- legitimate interests of efficiency that a Prosecution
17 rebuttal be scheduled to start next week or the week after, so that in
18 fact there isn't sufficient time either for us to file a response or for
19 Your Honours to consider the matter or for leave to appeal to be sought.
20 And so I think to be realistic it would be almost impossible to envisage a
21 rebuttal case starting in the next couple of weeks simply because all
22 these steps have to be gone through. But I simply make those remarks.
23 It's a matter for Your Honours.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Obviously but whether you -- the only thing you
25 haven't told us is when to expect your response.
1 MR. JONES: Well, for the moment we would say we need the full
2 period allowed under Rule 126 bis which would be 14 days, and if
3 Your Honours wish to impose a shorter time limit then we'll obviously
4 abide by it. But we -- for the record that's what we say we need.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We haven't discussed this, Judge Eser,
6 Judge Brydensholt and myself. We'll discuss it and we'll tell you
7 tomorrow; both of you, actually, now that we have heard what your
8 submissions are.
9 We could also decide during the break actually but the other thing
10 is this, that Professor Bilic has finished his testimony in chief, and the
11 position as it emerges is that some of the documents that were not in
12 evidence before have been tendered in evidence in a way that they have
13 been tendered. There are several other documents that Professor Bilic has
14 himself stated he has made use of, which I understand were handed to him
15 by your team, which are not available.
16 MR. JONES: The N documents the contentious --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: For example the specimens of handwriting or
18 signatures by Sacirovic, Fejzic, this is what I --
19 MR. JONES: Yes, I follow.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think I need to draw this argument much
21 further but if they are not available to our expert, there is no point in
22 asking him to examine the same document that were examined by your -- so
23 although we are not of course in a position as I explained earlier we
24 cannot tell you, you have to file these documents. There is more than one
25 reason for that. At the same time we are being very frank with you, what
1 the position is, that if there is nothing for the expert to make a
2 comparison with, he's going to tell us. So think about it a little bit,
3 the decision, of course, will ultimately remain yours and not ours.
4 MR. JONES: Yes, thank you, Your Honour. We can probably revert
5 to you on that after the break.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I'm mentioning it because I keep conducting
7 this trial in as constructive manner as possible.
8 So that being so, I think we can bring in the witness. I see
9 you -- is there a problem?
10 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour, one moment.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
12 [Prosecution counsel confer]
13 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, I request that Mr. Gramsci di Fazio to
14 make a short submission regarding the issue.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, of course.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: Just this, Your Honours. One would have expected
17 known signatures that an expert is providing provides one of the
18 fundamental bases of his report, one of the three main areas of evidence,
19 and he's analysing known -- contentious signatures of Hamdija Fejzic and
20 is using known signatures. It's a fundamental basis for his expert
21 opinion about those contentious signatures. Those signatures, known
22 signatures, have not been provided.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
24 MR. DI FAZIO: And should have been done so through the expert. I
25 mean one would think as I understand the situation, I don't know if there
1 is going to be evidence about this but as I understand the situation, he
2 provided, Fejzic provided the signatures to this expert. We've never seen
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: That's a problem for the Defence, isn't it? And
6 the Prosecution would object to any recalling of Bilic to examine him in
7 chief and reintroduce the documents. It's a matter that the Defence
8 should have attended to and should have, and it stands out, it stands out
9 clearly, it's a fundamental thing, fundamental matter, that they should
10 have provided those documents. The consequences that Your Honour has just
11 adverted to flow from their mistake.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
13 Yes, Mr. Jones.
14 MR. JONES: May I respond to that? It's certainly not a mistake.
15 We haven't made any mistakes whatsoever. The Prosecution are forgetting
16 two things. Firstly they never asked for these non-contentious
17 signatures, which is actually quite extraordinary if one wants to talk
18 about mistakes and extraordinary behaviour. Prosecution has never written
19 to us to request or to be provided with those documents, and it might be
20 an oversight by them. I don't think it's helpful for either of us --
21 either side to be casting aspersions or criticism at the other side or to
22 say what the necessary consequences will be of a particular course of
24 The fact is, the Prosecution - it's the second matter I think they
25 have forgotten - is they have the burden of proving the authenticity of
1 documents which they tender in evidence, and if we call evidence to the
2 effect that some of those documents are not authentic we will do that and
3 we will do that in a way we see fit. And it will be a matter for
4 Your Honours to weigh -- to decide what weight to give to that evidence.
5 And it's certainly not a rule of law that, unless we provide a certain
6 document, then Professor Bilic's testimony evaporates as being
7 irrelevant. It's still a matter of what weight you give to it.
8 And I might just say that obviously one of the categories of
9 non-contentious signatures is that of our client as well, and Your Honour
10 fully appreciates the issues of disclosing non-contentious signatures of
11 our client. In those circumstances, there is a real question about
12 whether if we are not going to disclose those, whether it makes sense to
13 disclose the others of Hamdija Fejzic and Hamed Salihovic. In any event I
14 said we would revert after the break as to whether we intend to offer
15 those but if we don't it's not shocking, it's not unexpected. It's
16 whatever Your Honours decide to make of it.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: It's definitely not shocking, and in fact, anyone
18 who has worked as a Defence counsel would know exactly why you have done
19 it. Have you ever worked as a Defence counsel, Mr. Di Fazio?
20 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, Your Honours, for 13 years in Australia.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: So you know exactly what's cooking at the moment and
22 that's why we haven't intervened because although we can leave matters to
23 stand as we are, with you carrying the burden of proof and they carrying
24 no burden and being sufficiently happy enough to throw in that reasonable
25 doubt, we still believe we should be in a position whereby we can try to
1 find out the truth.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: I understand that, Your Honours. No, I understand
3 it, Your Honours. And, of course, the procedures that might be adopted in
4 the situation in common law jurisdictions don't of necessity apply here.
5 I understand that. I understand that. But the point is that I wanted to
6 make is that it's not for the Prosecution to call upon the Defence to ask
7 for documents that should have been included in the report. I just make
8 that point. It's not for us to present their case. In other words.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: The point, Mr. Di Fazio, is you're jumping to the
10 conclusion that they should have been included in the report. Well, let's
11 say it would have been much better if they were included in the report,
12 and that would have been the normal thing to do.
13 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: But not including them in the report is also a
15 possibility which is acknowledged. Which is acknowledged. So at this
16 point in time we'll deal with it later on depending on what the decision
17 will be. Let's leave it here and we bring in the witness.
18 MR. JONES: Your Honour, just while the witness is being brought
19 it I should pledges that we are filing a motion today. I can assure you
20 it's not a lengthy motion. It's two pages, I believe, and it's a request
21 for an order that we be permitted to inspect certain material. And I just
22 mention that. We can provide a courtesy copy during the break.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: To inspect what?
24 MR. JONES: To inspect certain material in the possession of the
25 Prosecution. It will be -- it's very self explanatory, but I mention that
1 just since we were reviewing the motions which have been filed, and it may
2 be in light of the discussion just now that we'll file a motion regarding
3 signatures in possession of the Prosecution, of Hamed Salihovic, but
4 that's a matter that I'll deal with in due course.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Wubben.
6 MR. WUBBEN: I have no comment on that other than --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: You don't want to answer his motion before you see
8 it, do you?
9 MR. WUBBEN: No but there is, of course, 66(B). Apart from that,
10 Your Honours, we will file as well a motion today in response to the
11 request by the Defence counsel in the Srebrenica case to get access to
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I didn't get this. In the Srebrenica case, in the
14 mega-trial, in other words?
15 MR. WUBBEN: Yes. There is a request to get access to Oric case
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. The Miletic motion or something like that.
18 Miletic, I think it is.
19 MR. WUBBEN: Yes.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: In fact, I was expecting a response from you. You
21 are going to response to it or are you going to file it.
22 MR. WUBBEN: It's been --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: That's all right. Thank you. I have got already
24 someone working on it.
25 [The witness entered court]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Professor, good afternoon to you and my apologies to
2 you for having kept you waiting but we are always kept busy by the lawyers
3 in this case so we had some procedural matters to talk about and discuss.
4 Please make yourself comfortable.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: You're going to be cross-examined by Mr. Wubben who
7 is lead counsel for the Prosecution in this case.
8 WITNESS: ESAD BILIC [Resumed]
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Wubben.
11 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Wubben:
13 Q. Good afternoon, Professor Bilic.
14 A. Good afternoon to you, too, Mr. Wubben.
15 Q. Thank you. I have questions for you and I invite to you limit
16 yourself to a short answer if possible, that means a yes or no or you
17 don't know?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Wubben, the break will be at 4.00. So you have
19 an hour and 12 -- and 10 minutes. We'll have one break today.
20 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you.
21 Q. In your CV, you mention, Professor Bilic, societies of court
22 experts, you're a member of; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Does that mean that you're at the same time a member of
25 professional handwriting associations?
1 A. Yes. Except for handwriting, these are associations, not just
2 handwriting, that's to say. These are associations embracing experts of
3 all different fields.
4 Q. These are on a national level?
5 A. Mr. Wubben, these are associations at the federal level of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina. There is the Federal Association of Expert Witnesses.
7 And there is the Association of Expert Witnesses of Republika Srpska, and
8 I'm a member of both associations. That's the situation before the two
9 associations become united and then we will all be together under the one
11 Q. Are you also a member of an international association?
12 A. No. I did not have occasion to become one. There was a war on
13 and this is something that lies ahead of us, to take that step.
14 Q. And also you didn't try after the war?
15 A. I am still in the process.
16 Q. You mentioned last Monday that in that field you have regular
17 meetings with colleagues to harmonise work and methods; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. How many meetings should I take for that?
20 A. There were many such meetings. Whenever we have occasion to, we
21 meet, be it in court or in other places, in our offices. These are all
22 junior colleagues of mine. I used to be their mentor, and we still meet
23 quite often.
24 Q. So it's in the field of you, Professor, teaching the juniors?
25 A. Yes. I taught many. Some of them turned out to be very good
1 experts. Others didn't.
2 Q. Do you also include in those meetings proficiency tests in which
3 you yourself participate?
4 A. I'm afraid I don't understand tests. For what and who is tested?
5 I don't find this clear.
6 Q. You yourself, Professor.
7 A. We examine different cases together, discuss them, and try to take
8 a common view on matters, consult each other. In fact, we make use of
9 these meetings to see where we stand and whether we share the same
10 language in relation to some cases because there are many cases that are
11 very complex and it's much better for two or three experts to meet
12 together and discuss these things. That would be as much as I have to say
13 on that subject.
14 Q. Professor, does it mean that on a regular basis, you will not
15 exercise such proficiency tests as being organised as such?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Have you understood the question? Because I
18 MR. WUBBEN: Let me modify my question, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I thank you, Mr. Wubben.
20 MR. WUBBEN:
21 Q. Professor Bilic, professional associations on the international
22 level enable experts, handwriting experts, to submit themselves to
23 proficiency tests in which afterwards, after the test, results of such
24 test compared with colleagues all over the world, and then it is a kind of
25 outcome from a neutral expert laboratory that you enable yourself to see
1 the outcome of such a test. Are you a member of such an association?
2 A. I've said right at the start that I cannot be a member of an
3 association unless my country is a member, be it in Europe or in the
4 world. Before the war, I lived in such a state system where I could not
5 be a member of an association where the country did not have an agreement
6 to that effect. I worked for state services. However, we do strive
7 towards that now, to become part of the international community and
8 automatically, it will become possible also for us to take part in these
9 matters that you've been mentioning, because the colleagues that I meet
10 with all work for the state institutions and they cannot get involved in
11 these matters without the approval of their employer, their institutions.
12 The proficiency tests you've been mentioning are indeed a positive thing
13 for one's expertise and we will indeed endeavour to become involved in
14 something of the sort, to maintain and improve our expertise. If I've
15 understood you well, I've been testing myself for 30 years now and I do
16 that all the time. That's the sort of job I do.
17 Q. Professor Bilic, the question was not testing yourself but I can
18 take it that therefore you do not participate in any form of peer review
19 with international colleagues, that's correct?
20 A. I haven't had such an opportunity so far, although I would wish
21 to. I've told you the sort of environment I work in, and that's as far as
22 I can answer your question, Your Honour. That's as far as I can go.
23 Q. Professor Bilic, in a similar way, do you participate or submit
24 yourself to shared audits for standard operation procedures regarding
25 handwriting examination?
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I would rather prefer, Mr. Wubben, that you
3 explained your question a little bit better. As it is, it may not
4 necessarily elicit the answer that perhaps you have in mind and we want to
5 make sure that both the question -- that the question is properly
6 understood by everyone, in the same manner, so that Professor Bilic is put
7 in a position where he can answer it.
8 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, thank you. I will modify my question.
9 Q. Professor Bilic, there are -- are you aware of international
10 standard operations, procedures?
11 A. Yes, I am.
12 Q. Are you aware that it is possible for any company's service to
13 acquire an audit in that respect in order to find out about the level of
14 quality of the standard operation procedure?
15 A. I don't understand you at all. We seem to be running in circles.
16 I simply don't understand.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: This is why I asked you to put your question in a
18 more -- in more simple terms because to tell him shared audits for
19 standard operation procedures, the system functions differently in
20 different parts of the world and there is -- there is --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: You can't have as a starting point that one section
23 of the world is simply better or if a system is functioning in one place
24 then if it isn't functioning in another place -- then I think -- I know
25 exactly what you mean but I think you ought to put to the witness your
1 question in more clear terms. Otherwise you're not going to have a clear
3 MR. WUBBEN:
4 Q. Did you -- Professor Bilic, did you describe your methods for
5 examination, analysis and findings, did you describe it as the standard
6 operation procedure for yourself, for your institution, for your company?
7 A. Yes. I apply the standard procedure for document examiners. Of
8 course, the equipment may change because every year new equipment is
9 developed, but the procedure of all examiners, be they in
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Netherlands or Italy, is the same. It cannot be
11 different. These are part of general knowledge. They cannot be knowledge
12 of only one country or only one part of the world. I hail, of course,
13 from the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that is what we apply there.
14 That's what I can tell you in answer to your question.
15 Q. Professor Bilic, that standard procedure that you use, have you
16 described it in written form?
17 A. Yes, in a concise form. It is part of the written findings I
18 provided, but it was in a very concise form. It could have been expounded
19 it could have taken up as many as 150 pages, it could have been a treatise
20 in fact, in relation to the examination I was required to carry out here.
21 Q. Yes, Professor, around 300 pages, that might do an international
22 standard, an international adopted standard. Do you compare that standard
23 you adopted, that written standard --
24 A. I did not say 300, I said 150.
25 Q. All right. 150 pages. Do you compare that written standard
1 procedure with other procedures from other countries or submit yourself to
2 an international standard organisation?
3 A. I submit to the international standards and I use the literature
4 that contains these. How else would I be able to do my job? You seem to
5 be angling for the fact that I am a bad expert for the fact that I am not
6 a member of an international association.
7 Q. No, Professor.
8 A. Of course I would like to make contact.
9 Q. No, Professor.
10 A. I do not follow you any more. I don't understand you fully. We
11 seem to be revolving around this all the time.
12 Q. For me, Professor Bilic, let me first state that I have no
13 knowledge about, as an expert, nor as a judge, to give an opinion about
14 your qualities. What I'm here for is to ask you questions that are
15 relevant to elicit in the field of the quality of your work and it is up
16 to the Judges to decide upon it. So that's my responsibility. I don't
17 draw any conclusions. It is just information.
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. Let me put then my final question in that regard, very simple. So
20 you don't have a description of your operations procedures that you send
21 to an international organisation or a similar association to examine, to
22 compare that description with international accepted standards?
23 A. What is the question, please? Can you give me the specific
24 question, laconica brevitas.
25 Q. The question is do you send your description of the methods,
1 examinations and findings, so the operational procedures, the description,
2 to associations, in order to compare these -- these descriptions with
3 international accepted standards?
4 A. As far as this particular case I worked on is concerned, I was
5 clearly told that this was the sort of case that could not be made known
6 to the general public, that the documents I had in my possession --
7 Q. No, no.
8 A. Were confidential documents under the Tribunal, and on the basis
9 of the instructions I was given -- please can I be allowed to finish my
11 I could have gone over to see my colleagues in Zagreb or Belgrade
12 even to see a colleague of mine in Banja Luka who is very good at what he
13 does. I could have gone to Skopje in Macedonia and carry out these
14 compare sons. I could not have consulted with my colleagues from the
15 former Yugoslavia -- from outside the former Yugoslavia, because we were
16 dealing with the type of script and the Bosnian language. So I could not
17 have consulted with someone from, let's say, Hungary. I cautioned about
18 that when we were talking about the type of script and the style of
19 writing, et cetera. Generally speaking, of course, I do appreciate the
20 international standards, published world wide, and I do consult these and
21 apply them in my work. So it's not that I am ignorant of these.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think you have actually either understood or
23 answered the question. The question was very simple. If someone were to
24 try and establish whether the standards that you use are comparable to
25 accepted international standards, what would he or she have to go by? Is
1 there anything originating from you that would give an idea to others as
2 to what standards you use and how you use those standards?
3 This is basically what you are after, no, Mr. Wubben?
4 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Because he hasn't answered that question yet.
6 MR. WUBBEN: He hasn't answered it.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: In other words, if I am not who I am but I want to
8 know exactly whether I could trust you with an expert job, the first thing
9 that I would want to know and make sure of is that the standards that you
10 use are accepted, international standards. How would I be able to know
11 that, not knowing you?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We would be able to know that if
13 another expert were hired from the same field of expertise, and then you
14 would be able to satisfy yourself. I think that in this case, the only
15 possible thing would have been to have two experts independently working
16 on this and then comparing their findings. However, I worked on my own,
17 and I didn't have anyone to compare my findings with. I believe I
18 understood your question well, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you so much, Professor Bilic. Judge Eser
20 would like to put a question.
21 JUDGE ESER: Just to make it easier, at the end of your report,
22 you give a list of literature which you seem to have -- which you use when
23 preparing your expertise. Now, does there exist any articles or book of
24 you on your methods which could be included in this list of literature and
25 which may be known to other experts in your field? I think you know your
1 list of literature at the end of your report. Your name is not mentioned
2 there so the question is: Does there exist any publication of you which
3 is somehow subjected to academic peer review?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Judge Eser.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will answer your question,
6 Your Honour. In my CV that I handed over here, I put down whatever I
7 published and where it was published. These were articles concerning the
8 identification of electric typewriters, identification of passports in
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the identification of bank notes, of money. These
10 are articles that I published. I did not mention them specifically here
11 although I could have. And these articles also contained the methods and
12 principles of my work. I could have well brought them along, these
13 magazines where this was published, the journals, had I known that this
14 would have been raised here. One of them was published by a journal
15 issued at the university of Sarajevo, criminology. One article was
16 commissioned by the central bank of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And then there
17 was another article which was published in Croatia where methods of
18 identification of electronic typewriters were published, which was the
19 first time they were published ever, these particular findings. And there
20 were several other articles in -- that were published. However, I do
21 intend to start writing more than I have so far and perhaps my prospective
22 membership in an international association will also contribute to that.
23 That's my answer to you, Judge Eser.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Professor Bilic.
25 MR. JONES: Can I just say I think the witness is having trouble
1 with his headphones. I just wonder if he could be helped so that -- he
2 put them uncomfortably. I've noticed that in the last ten minutes.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Usher, could you help the witness a little bit,
4 please? What's the matter?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't seem to make them fit on my
7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I think --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I put them down there, then they
9 keep falling off.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: So if you can expand them, extend the length.
11 THE WITNESS: Thank you, thank you, okay.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it better now?
13 Thank you, Mr. Jones.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's better now, thank you.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Wubben?
16 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honours.
17 Q. I will continue. Indeed in your CV, Professor Bilic, you refer to
18 articles you published. How long do you already work as an expert,
19 Professor Bilic?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Expert in what?
21 MR. WUBBEN: Expert in handwriting.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Because he's an expert in other things
23 as well.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have been an expert on documents
25 or for documents. However, within that category, there are very specific
1 fields. For example, expertise on typewriters, on signatures, on stamps,
2 on additions, and so on and so forth. There is no expert anywhere who can
3 say that he is only an expert on signatures. A signature is always
4 attached to a document. So in my view, one is an expert on the scientific
5 study of documents. That's what I have tried to clarify, Your Honours. I
6 have been doing this for 30 years, since 1976. When I graduated from
7 university, I started doing this, and I have been doing only this in the
8 Ministry of the Interior first, then when I left the police, I continued
9 working independently. I have often been called to testify in court. I
10 have been tried and tested in this field, which is probably why the
11 Defence team recruited me. I didn't ask them to recruit me. They must
12 have had their reasons.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Wubben.
14 MR. WUBBEN:
15 Q. Professor Bilic, you gave a quite extensive answer. I appreciate
16 it. But the question was only how many years. Your answer is 30 years.
17 Now within those 30 years, is that included 30 years of expertise on
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And -- you -- sorry. You published three articles --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I get the impression that he was going to answer, to
22 give us more information.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, as an expert, you cannot
24 analyse only a signature. You also have to look at the handwriting, the
25 numbers, the typewriters used or the printers. This is a field where
1 everything is interconnected. You're trying to say that there is a
2 specialty only for signatures. This might be the case in a large
3 institute with many staff members. In my country, I don't have that at my
4 disposal, nor have I had, although I do hope we will have something like
5 that in the future.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. It's pretty much the same in my country
7 but I think the question that Mr. Wubben or the answer that Mr. Wubben is
8 eliciting from you is the following. Throughout these 30 years of your
9 career as an expert on documents, have you consistently and constantly
10 throughout these 30 years examined also signatures? Or is the examination
11 of signatures only limited to a certain part of those 30 years? This is
12 the question that Mr. Wubben wants to know from you or the information
13 that Mr. Wubben wants to know from you.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I
15 understand a little better now and I will respond. I seem to be having
16 difficulty understanding, but I do understand you now, Your Honour, so I
17 will respond.
18 I have constantly worked with signatures and I can say that this
19 is my personal preference. This is what I like doing best. This is a
20 feeling one develops working over time and I have always preferred
21 examining signatures, handwriting. Seals and so on do not present so much
22 of a challenge to me and are not as interesting to me as signatures are.
23 I worked on a court case in Bosnia-Herzegovina involving
24 embezzlement, tax evasion, fraud and so on, involving thousands of
25 signatures and this is what I like doing best.
1 Q. Professor Bilic, I take it that you published three articles in
2 1989, in 1999 and 2002, and you gave information regarding that -- those
3 articles. Did you publish any more articles?
4 A. Yes, but they were only of an internal character, within the
5 service I was working for. I wrote instructions which I was unable to
6 publish because they were written for the institution that employed me. I
7 was also engaged on a large-scale research for my M.Sc., which vanished in
8 the war. I analysed the signatures of over 500 students to demonstrate
9 how signatures come into existence, how they are generated, and in 1992,
10 my literature and all my papers were destroyed in the war and nothing was
11 left. So in 1996, I started work again. I had a large library, I had
12 done a lot of research. I also did research on left-handed writers where
13 I came up with some general rules. I also studied the signatures of
14 alcoholics and drug addicts. They sometimes cause problems in banks when
15 they try to -- when they try to get money from their accounts and so on.
16 But this is all lost.
17 Q. Professor, can I take it that you didn't, did indeed not publish
18 any more articles than the three mentioned?
19 A. Yes. Yes. I've explained that. I can explain again. I could
20 have published 100 had there not been the war.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: It's enough, it's enough. Thank you.
22 Yes, Mr. Wubben, your next question.
23 MR. WUBBEN:
24 Q. Professor Bilic, what is your definition of contentious documents?
25 Are these referred to as questioned documents or contested documents,
1 including signatures?
2 JUDGE AGIUS: In other words, with reference to his report?
3 MR. WUBBEN: Yes. And in general.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah. No, no. It's with reference to his report
5 because it's in his report that he uses the terms contentious and
6 non-contentious. He has explained already what he means, what he
7 understands by non-contentious. Now he needs to explain what he means by
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The documents which, at the request
10 of the Defence team, were labelled as such. It was not I who labelled
11 them as contentious. In other words, these were suspect documents.
12 Whether they are contentious or not, that is for the Court to decide,
13 Mr. Wubben. That's my response to you.
14 MR. WUBBEN:
15 Q. And Professor, for the Defence to label?
16 A. It is the label used by the Defence team. I used S-1, S-2, S-3,
17 S-4, whereas you used P or Q. You have to label the documents you are
18 investigating. I was given them as contentious documents and I was given
19 a precise mandate, within which I worked. Perhaps they are not
20 contentious in the view of the Chamber or in your view, but that is
21 something that time will show.
22 Q. And Professor Bilic, the same applies with non-contentious
23 documents, in your view?
24 A. What do you mean by the same? Contentious and non-contentious are
25 not the same thing. Please be more precise.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think you have understood his question. His
2 question is, you've explained that the terminology, contentious, is not
3 something that you created but it's what you were presented with by the
4 Defence; two types of documents, one type is contentious, one type is none
5 contentious. In other words, he's asking you, I think it's a superfluous
6 question because he's already given you the answer. What Mr. Wubben is
7 asking you is this applies also for non-contentious documents. In other
8 words, you decided that they were non-contentious because you were told
9 that these were non-contentious.
10 Yes, Mr. Jones.
11 MR. JONES: Yes. Your Honour, for that question I think we have
12 to separate whether we are talking about non-contentious of Naser Oric or
13 Hamdija Fejzic because this witness did give a specific answer.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: You can visit that on re-examination.
15 MR. JONES: Yes, if you wish, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I fully agree with you but I think -- or, if he
17 prefers to answer it now that he's heard what you have to say, he can do
18 that. Yes. Go ahead.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I will
20 give my response. Contentious documents are defined as such in the
21 mandate received from the Defence team. The non-contentious documents
22 were collected not only from the Defence team. The Defence team did
23 provide some of these but I gathered others and we also looked for the
24 people themselves and asked them to write something, because the greatest
25 confirmation for me that something is non-contentious, if I see somebody
1 writing it down. This is something I have to establish, only when I have
2 established this can I approach my investigation. That is basic, when you
3 are doing this sort of investigation.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: That's clear enough as well. Any further questions
5 that you may have.
6 MR. WUBBEN:
7 Q. Professor Bilic, what do you mean by the statement of your last
8 mandate, that there has to be proof of the fact that a -- non-contentious
9 documents are produced by the writer concerned?
10 A. I don't understand your question. Proof that something is
11 non-contentious, what do you mean? I have tried to explain.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Wait. Mr. Wubben, can we go straight to the
13 transcript of Monday's sitting and read exactly what, according to you, he
14 said within the context in which he said it? Because there may be
15 previous question and answer that are relevant. So.
16 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honours --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: If you give it to me, I'll read it out to him,
18 Mr. Wubben, because I don't have the transcript here. It's -- you can
19 read it yourself as well but --
20 MR. WUBBEN: Yes.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Can you give the reference to the Defence.
22 MR. WUBBEN: The reference to the Defence is on Monday, 22 minutes
23 after ...
24 JUDGE AGIUS: What was the date on Monday.
25 MR. WUBBEN: 23rd.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: 23rd.
2 MR. WUBBEN: 15 hours, 22 minutes, 53 seconds. There is a
4 JUDGE AGIUS: 22 minutes, 53 seconds. Yes, how does the question
6 MR. WUBBEN: The question starts with, "as I say" --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, all right. Okay. Can I read out myself?
8 MR. WUBBEN: Yes.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Or if you prefer.
10 MR. WUBBEN: No, no, Your Honour, it's fine with me. It's a
11 lengthy question but more lengthy answer.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: This is why, this is what I suspected, that the
13 answer may have been given in a particular context and I would rather
14 prefer to put to the witness the entire context.
15 There was this question put to you on Monday, Professor Bilic:
16 That's, of course, Mr. Jones asking you. "As I say we are going to come
17 to your report in detail in a moment but I still have one or two general
18 questions. In referring to samples, you have referred to the importance
19 of the quantity and quality of the samples. Now quantity, I imagine is
20 self-explanatory; you need sufficient number of documents to analyse. But
21 for quality can you explain a little bit what factors are relevant to the
22 quality of the sample to be analysed?"
23 And this is your answer: "I will give you a direct answer. The
24 non-contentious document has to have sufficient quantities, of course,
25 that's first. As for the quality, it has to do with the following
1 categories. The way the non-contentious documents came into being. They
2 must have come into being outside of the contentious documents. However,
3 they should have come into being in that same year or the same month. But
4 the year is sufficient. Secondly, they should be in their original form
5 rather than photocopies. They should contain writings which were made in
6 the same writing implements as the non-contentious, as the non-contentious
7 documents. That's to say in ballpoint pen or in pencil and so on and so
9 Furthermore, there has to be proof of the fact that the
10 non-contentious document was in fact produced by the writer concerned.
11 How can we prove this? Well, this can be proved in the case of official
12 documents, for instance. The quality of the documents has to be
13 satisfactory. They have to be made on paper, which is of more or less the
14 same quality, and so on and so forth. This is, I believe, enough.
15 Everybody understands what I am saying."
16 You were wrong. Mr. Wubben didn't. He wants an explanation now.
17 This is the context and I think I was right in trying to put it in the
18 context. You are now asked by Mr. Wubben to explain exactly what you mean
19 to say when you say that there has to be proof of the fact that the
20 non-contentious document was in fact produced by the writer concerned.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand now and I will respond.
22 The document has to form part of an official correspondence. The document
23 signed by a person has to be a document sup as a pass port or an identity
24 card or a document applying to open a bank account or something of that
25 nature. So these are documents where the identity of the person has been
1 checked. The official asking for the signature asks for an identity card
2 or a passport and then the person who signs is given a form to sign. This
3 is a signature which certainly belongs to the person, the writer. This
4 document has nothing whatever to do with the contentious documents. Its
5 purpose is to prove identity.
6 Also, for example, there are documents people sign when getting
7 money from their bank account or signing a cheque, for example, or a
8 letter. Also, there are documents containing other proof that they were
9 signed by the person concerned. For example, if they have an official
10 stamp. If you look at my passport, for example, when I was entering the
11 country here, they looked at my passport, they looked at the stamp, an at
12 my signature and they looked at me. They didn't need any further proof of
13 my identity. These are documents which exist in archives and are not
14 generally available to one and all. There is a guarantee by an
15 institution, a municipality, a ministry, a bank, which officially
16 collected these signatures. Also, there are documents from private
17 correspondence, for example, bills paid by the person, various kinds of
18 receipts for the consignment of goods, for example, and there is a whole
19 art in finding such documents. Once you have found such documents, you
20 have signatures you can use without any problems. So there must be an
21 uncontested sample of good quality and quantity.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Does that answer your question, Mr. Wubben?
23 MR. WUBBEN: To a certain extent.
24 Q. Uncontested means that there is a check of that signature by
25 others than the originator himself or herself?
1 A. A check by others but also checked by me because ultimately I will
2 look at each and every signature and I will look at the material
3 critically. Before any investigation is undertaken, you have to look at
4 the material critically, both a contentious and non-contentious material.
5 Once we have collected these documents, if the person is still alive, the
6 writer, we find the writer and ask them for their signature. That is how
7 you create the material you use. This is fundamental for the
8 investigation, because once you have samples of signatures, provided by
9 the writer or the person to whom the signature belongs, then we can
10 proceed without any problems.
11 I hope I've been sufficiently precise now. I am familiar with my
12 field and you are with yours, so I would find it easier to communicate
13 with a colleague in my own field. I'm trying to simplify things as far as
14 I can. I'm not sure I always manage to provide the kind of answer you
16 JUDGE AGIUS: We needn't bother about it any further because
17 that's not going to stop Mr. Wubben from proceeding with his questions to
18 you. So Mr. Wubben.
19 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. So it is relevant that someone is witnessing the placing of the
22 A. Yes, yes.
23 Q. Professor Bilic, I refer now to one of the persons in your report,
24 Mr. Hamdija Fejzic. You know Mr. Hamdija Fejzic?
25 A. I had to meet Mr. Hamdija Fejzic.
1 Q. Did Mr. Hamdija Fejzic present to you his so-called
2 non-contentious documents mentioned in page 4 and 5, and paragraph
3 [inaudible] of your report?
4 A. Yes. When he came to see me in my laboratory, which is an
5 official laboratory, well known in Bosnia-Herzegovina, he had to bring his
6 identity card so I could establish his identity. On our identity cards,
7 there is a photograph and a signature, which has been scanned. Once I
8 established this, Mr. Fejzic spoke to me briefly. I explained to him that
9 I had been recruited by the Defence team and that they had arranged this
10 appointment and that's how things were. I then asked Mr. Fejzic to bring
11 any official documents he had with him, the kind of documents I have
12 described. He had other documents he couldn't give me, but he gave me two
13 bank cards of Raiffeisen bank, which I compared with his identity card so
14 I could be sure they were by the same person, Hamdija Fejzic, of his own
15 free will, without any duress of coercion, gave me a sample of his
16 handwriting and habitual signature. Once he had done this I thanked him.
17 I told him I would return to him the official documents he had provided me
18 with. They were official documents with his signature and the appropriate
19 stamps. He didn't know anything else. He spontaneously wrote his
20 signature several times on squared paper, which is how the sample was
21 created. So I got to know Mr. Hamdija Fejzic when I saw him pursuant to
22 the plan date given to me by the Defence team. That's my response with
23 regard to Mr. Fejzic.
24 Maybe I've spoken at too much length.
25 Q. Professor Bilic, with all respect indeed, it was a quite extensive
1 answer and in the following questions, I will be -- yes, I will be forced
2 to stop you because the only question was on the issue, do you know
3 Mr. Hamdija Fejzic and, well, thank you for the information and I will now
4 ask my specific questions.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Because it's true that he had a
6 lengthy -- but I think it was very useful, and your question was, did
7 Mr. Hamdija Fejzic present to you his so-called non-contentious documents
8 mentioned about -- so he answered that question.
9 MR. WUBBEN: You're correct, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: What I would like to know is this from the witness:
11 It seems to me that you had at this time during your meeting with Hamdija
12 Fejzic, two kinds of documents from him. One was documents that he
13 brought with him, that he handed to you, and which you returned back to
14 him, the so-called official documents with stamps, as you call them. The
15 other documents that he signed there and then in your presence, specimens
16 of his habitual handwriting and specimens of his handwriting. Did you
17 keep those or did you give them back to Mr. Hamdija Fejzic?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for observing this,
19 Your Honour. I kept these documents and handed them to the Defence, on
20 condition that I told Mr. Fejzic that when these proceedings are over, the
21 documents would be returned to him. He needs them in his archives. He
22 doesn't need them urgently.
23 MR. WUBBEN:
24 Q. Well, Professor Bilic, in your report, you refer to five documents
25 from Hamdija Fejzic. Apart from those five documents, can I take it that
1 you received more samples of his signature, as you refer to receiving
2 several samples from his signature in your laboratory?
3 A. Mr. Wubben, on page 4, under item 3, I exhaustively listed
4 whatever samples I had. I do not wish to read them out here but everybody
5 can see there is point N-1, N-2, N-3, N-4, and N-5, which can be found on
6 page 5, and that's as I said one sheet of squared A4 paper which contains
7 a sample of Hamdija Fejzic's handwriting and signatures taken on the 10th
8 of November 2005. This was a good sample of Fejzic's signature, both in
9 terms of quantity and quality.
10 Q. Now, Professor Bilic, you stated that he placed in your presence
11 several samples of his signatures. Is that correct? Yes or no.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Where are these samples in that list of N-1 up to N-5, Professor?
14 A. I've just answered that, Mr. Wubben, if you've been following me.
15 Q. But in the list of documents, only N-5 referred to the 10th of
16 November 2005, and that's only one signature. Where are the other several
17 samples or am I mistaken? Please correct me if I'm wrong.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I think will let him explain. Yes,
19 Professor Bilic. If there is a problem we can go through these, N-1 to
20 N-5 straight away. One by one and he will -- I think it's better. One
21 moment. Okay. Finish with your answer first and then --
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I'll give
23 you my answer. Let us go back to page 4. Item 3, N.1., bank cards by
24 Raiffeisen bank, DD, BiH Sarajevo. These were two bank cards, and each
25 contains Hamdija Fejzic's signature. Furthermore, a receipt number such
1 and such from Tuzla also containing Hamdija Fejzic's signature. In 3 on
2 page 4, a sales contract, officially certified in the municipality,
3 otherwise it wouldn't have been valid, number such and such, with the
4 municipal court of Visoko which is a town near Sarajevo. N.4.,
5 preliminary contract on joint venture, also certified, with the municipal
6 court one Sarajevo. This document is also certified. Therefore it must
7 have been beyond doubt verified. That's to say the signature. And then
8 N.4., one sheet of squared A4 paper --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop there. Let's deal with these four documents or
10 N.1., N.2., N.3., and N.4., right? Where are these documents now? This
11 is what Mr. Wubben actually has asked you. Where are they now?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've said that these documents were
13 handed over to the Defence together with my findings.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: The Defence to the Defence or to Mr. --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would wish them to be shown.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Were they handed to the Defence or to Mr. Fejzic,
17 these four documents?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've said that these documents were
19 taken from me -- him to be kept until such time as the -- this procedure
20 is over. These documents are here in their original form.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I'm going to stop. I'm not going to ask
22 any further questions.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may be of
24 assistance, we apologise but it seems that the confusion has been caused
25 by the translation of a word under N.5. It says one sheet of squared
1 paper, in brackets it says, "handwriting and signatures by Hamdija
2 Fejzic," whereas in the translation, it says signature. And expert Bilic
3 was talking of signatures, in plural. And I believe that's the -- what
4 caused the entire confusion.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I have two versions of testimony now which I want to
7 Let's start with page 4 of your report, Professor Bilic. N.1.,
8 N.1., Raiffeisen bank.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Where is that document, did you give it to Fejzic or
11 to the Defence?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I had to give the bank cards over to
13 the man because he needed them. I have the photocopies. I examined the
14 originals, of course, but I had to give him his cards back.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I think we have to go through them one
16 by one. N.2., receipt number 14/2001, released in Tuzla, 24 April 2004,
17 signed by Hamdija Fejzic. This N.2., did you give it back to Hamdija
18 Fejzic or did you give it to the Defence?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I gave that to the Defence.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. N.3., sales contract verified copy of
21 the 23rd September, did you give this to the Defence or to Hamdija Fejzic?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I gave that to the Defence and I
23 said so.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: N.4., preliminary contract.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Same as above.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: And N.5., containing handwriting --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Same as above.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I think that's clear. Last question. Last question
4 is, apart from these N-1, N.2., N.3., N.4., and N.5., did you have any
5 other documents which were made available to you by Hamdija Fejzic or by
6 the Defence, for examination?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was quite sufficient and there
8 was no need for me to seek anything further. Had it been necessary I
9 could have sought more but it hadn't been.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: To make sure that the various signatures that
11 Hamdija Fejzic signed in your presence, and the specimen handwriting, were
12 all in this one checked A4 sheet and not on several pieces of paper? A4
13 it says here. N.5., in other words.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
15 MR. DI FAZIO: With respect, Your Honour has clarified the
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said one sheet of paper, one.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: That's how I understood it, yes.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: Just to put the final cross on the T, N.1. was a
20 photocopy. He didn't actually say whether he provided that to the Defence
21 or not. Other than that, Your Honour lass covered anything.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: He said that N.1. he gave back to the me ...
23 MR. DI FAZIO: And he said he made a photocopy but I didn't say
24 whether or not he provided the photocopy to the Defence, that's all.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, of N.1. you made a photocopy of the credit
1 card. What -- did you keep that photocopy yourself or did you hand that
2 to the Defence? This is the question.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I had to give it to the Defence.
4 They had to see what the basis of my work was.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we have cleared this and I think Professor
6 Bilic has been in the witness box for too long. I think we'll have a
7 30-minute break straight away. Everyone is getting tired.
8 --- Recess taken at 3.55 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 4.34 p.m.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Wubben.
11 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honours. I updated myself with a view to
12 the two motions and extent of work they're needed for. It will be
13 substantial even given the accent on -- only on the translations with a
14 view to the motion P84, we are working on that from yesterday, we
15 definitely need time into the coming week. The motion regarding the
16 interview, Your Honours, that's not a matter so much for translation as
17 for learning what the audio tapes itself reveal. It means a
18 time-consuming listening to all the audiotapes mentioned, I'm updating
19 what the outcome is and the outcome is that indeed we need substantial
20 time for that, as we cannot do it ourselves, and need to rely on expertise
21 in that respect.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And you had a whole year and a half to do
23 that. You've been put on notice all the time that the interpretation or
24 the transcript was not correct. I'm not saying that it wasn't. I'm just
25 saying that you were put on notice by the Defence that it was so.
1 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour, and that's why -- and that's why,
2 Your Honour, we kept up a correspondence with the Defence, even in
3 November in that respect, and they refused to cooperate and to give to us
4 their findings. Also, Your Honours, with a view to the interview, the
5 Naser Oric interviews, there had already been an exercise of going through
6 the interviews and that was more than a year.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Anyway.
8 Stop, please, Mr. Jones.
9 Later on, during this sitting we are coming down with an order,
10 oral order, giving you a time limit, both for the filing of the responses
11 and even in relation to the rebuttal. So we've discuss it, we've come to
12 a conclusion. I just want to itemise it one after the other, and my
13 Senior Legal Officer is working on it. So that's the end of the
15 Yes, further questions you might have for Professor Bilic, please.
16 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: You must understand both of you that we need to
18 finish this case. We simply cannot allow you to reopen almost the entire
19 case at this point in time. It's unheard of.
20 MR. WUBBEN:
21 Q. I have a question, a following question, related, Professor Bilic,
22 to the document mentioned as N.5 on page 5 of your report. N.5 is -- and
23 the Presiding Judge already referred to it is a checked A4 sheet a letter
24 of 10 November 2005. Sarajevo handwriting and signatures. I appreciate
25 the additional information by Defence counsel, signatures by Hamdija
1 Fejzic. Now my question is, Professor Bilic, how many signatures did
2 Hamdija Fejzic provide to you on that sheet?
3 A. Could I have that sheet of paper, please, to see how many
4 signatures there are? I did not count them but there are many of them,
5 quite a sufficient number. I would have to count them and if you have the
6 document I would please like to have it. Or else, if you have the
7 document before you, perhaps you can furnish us the number. If the
8 Defence, that is, could do that.
9 MR. WUBBEN: Is the Defence counsel able to provide this to the
11 MR. JONES: Your Honour, this would be a surreptitious way of
12 achieving the result that we end up tendering or offering precisely the
13 documents which are in question. As we indicated before, we still have to
14 revert as to whether we intend to disclose those documents at all and we
15 are not in a position to make them available to the witness.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Your next question, Mr. Wubben.
17 MR. WUBBEN:
18 Q. Your -- do you recall how many signatures, not the exact number,
19 what was the number more than two or three or more than ten signatures?
20 Approximately how many?
21 A. Mr. Wubben, there were quite a few of them, not one but several.
22 I cannot recall at this time but the number was sufficient for an
24 Q. You provided, Professor Bilic, a bibliography of books and
25 articles included in your report, didn't you?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And is it true that one of the reports you referred to is the book
3 called, "The Scientific Examination of Documents" by David Ellen?
4 A. Yes. That's the book I think very highly of. I translated it
5 after having received it in 1999, I believe. It's a very good book and I
6 can -- well, I could go through all of these but I would definitely not
7 put on paper here any of the books that I did not read. I even have it in
8 my room, if you want to see it.
9 Q. And you did include, Professor, this in your book -- in your
10 bibliography because you regard his book as a solid and reliable text and
11 handwriting and analysis, isn't it?
12 A. Not only of handwriting but there are other relevant examinations
13 of documents, and the author is a very experienced examiner. It's a very
14 good book.
15 Q. Now, I would like to quote a part of this book, Professor Bilic.
16 It's page 73 of that book, and I will ask the usher to provide copies of
17 it, page 73.
18 MR. JONES: I wonder if the witness could actually have the book?
19 And as we all know, all of this matter is in context and rather than just
20 one page. I don't know if that's actually going to be of assistance to
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know. I would rather have the witness tell
23 us himself. It's not one page. It's a whole -- what seems to be a whole
24 chapter here, chapter 5.
25 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour, it's only page 73 that I will in
1 this stage refer to. I have further questions but at this stage, I will
2 only refer to one particular page and I don't think I need to provide the
3 whole book in that respect, just a photocopy of the part of it and the
4 initial page. Shall I continue, Your Honour?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment. Ms. Vidovic?
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I wonder whether the
7 witness -- the expert witness has received it in the Bosnian language? We
8 have not received it in the Bosnian language. That's why I'm asking.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think it was written in the Bosnian language
10 or published in the Bosnian language. I would be very surprised and I
11 would think --
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I am aware of this.
13 However, we always provide expert witnesses with translations in order for
14 the witness to understand the text in his own language rather than hearing
15 what Mr. Wubben is reading out aloud.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's do it in a different manner.
17 Do you understand English? Do you read English and understand
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand very little, but I have
20 a very good translator in Sarajevo who I go a long way back with and who
21 provided me with a translation of the text. Your Honours, am I here to be
22 tested in the field of graphology? And I am presented with different
23 books here. Perhaps I should ask the Prosecutor about some of the books I
24 have been using. I mentioned here only some segments of the book. I
25 believe I am -- I should not be asked about one author only, about this
1 particular author, David Ellen. There are other authors in the world that
2 one can consult.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you for pointing that to us, Professor Bilic,
4 but, please, let us decide exactly which questions are to be allowed and
5 which not.
6 So, Mr. Wubben, I suggest that this is also made available to the
7 interpreters. I can't see -- yeah, they have it. You have it as well.
8 Yes, I see that they have it. You need to tell the interpreters in
9 particular which part you're going to refer to, and this will be
10 interpreted as we go along.
11 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour. Let me first submit that this is
12 not a choice by myself. This is a part of his bibliography he referred
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Wubben, I have not entered into the question of
15 whether you should put the question or not. Please proceed. And then we
16 see afterwards.
17 MR. WUBBEN: Okay.
18 Q. I would like to quote a part of page number 73, and it relates to
19 signatures in bold. I start, "Signatures are important as known writings
20 written in the course of business. A wide variety of these written
21 without the knowledge that they may be later used as comparison material
22 gives a better indication of the whole range of variation used by the
23 writer than a small sample taken at one sitting. The documents listed
24 above will provide useful sources for signatures, which can also be found
25 on questionnaires, charge sheets, labels on exhibits, credit cards, and
1 driving licences."
2 Now, my question, Professor Bilic, first, is could you follow the
4 A. To a certain extent I've understood it. Not the entire text but
5 some of it, yes.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, then we need to have it read out to him,
7 translated again. I'll read it out slowly and the interpreters please try
8 to interpret the text in the witness's language. "Signatures are
9 important as known writings written in the course of business. A wide
10 variety of these written without the knowledge that they may be later used
11 as comparison material gives a better indication of the whole range of
12 variation used by the writer than a small sample taken at one sitting.
13 The documents listed above will provide useful sources for signatures,
14 which can also be found on questionnaires, charge sheets, labels on
15 exhibits, credit cards, and driving licences." All right?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Now I'm
17 waiting for the question that Mr. Wubben will put to me, but I understand
18 it far better now.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
20 MR. WUBBEN:
21 Q. So, Professor Bilic, you agree with the proposition from that book
22 that whenever you request a sample, it's important that the sample of a
23 signature is written without the knowledge that it may be later used as
24 comparison material? Do you agree?
25 A. In my previous answers, I indicated that, and I absolutely agree
1 with that, and thank God that we can get hold of such material, otherwise
2 we would not be able to have conclusive findings on handwriting
3 examination and we would not be able to pin down criminals.
4 Q. Professor Bilic, when Hamdija Fejzic visited your laboratory, he
5 did put samples of signatures on a sheet, didn't he? Yes or no?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Upon your request, isn't it?
8 A. But before that, he gave me all the documents that he had brought
9 along and I first checked his identity against an identity card that he
10 gave me, and then we proceeded to the taking of the samples of handwriting
11 and signatures, which he did of his own free will. It has to be subject
12 to one's free will before one proceeds to taking a sample.
13 Q. And Professor Bilic, did Hamdija Fejzic put those signatures on
14 that sheet knowing that he put these on that sheet in the field of an
15 examination of handwritings and signatures?
16 A. As I said, he did it of his own free will, and in his own hand,
17 and I told him before that that the sample was required for the document
18 examination. I did not show him the contentious documents I had received
19 from the Tribunal because I had received it along with an instruction that
20 these ought not to be shown to the members of the public. I abided by the
21 instructions, and he provided me with a sample of his own free will.
22 Q. Now is the request to him by you in your laboratory to put samples
23 of the signatures in the context of this handwriting examination and
24 signature examination, contrary to the proposition in the book we just
1 A. In his book, Mr. Ellen addresses only one part of the process of
2 taking handwriting samples. In another part, he also showed -- talks
3 about how the samples are to be taken. He is discussing this approach
4 because he's talking about a -- signature samples that are to be taken
5 this way. He put it rightly in saying that this was the best way of
6 approaching examination, to have the documents written by the writer
7 concerned, without his knowledge of the purpose of the writing. Therefore
8 his signatures on the credit cards and so on and so forth as stated in
9 this book.
10 Therefore I don't see in what way this differs from what I did. I
11 had Fejzic's credit cards, I had certain decisions and official documents,
12 which were created independently of my examination, and then, in order to
13 make the entire sample a better one, I asked Mr. Fejzic to give me a
14 sample of his handwriting and a series of his signatures. I hope that I
15 have been able to provide you with an answer.
16 Q. And it was Hamdija Fejzic who selected the signatures given to you
17 under N.1 to N.4, isn't it?
18 A. Hamdija Fejzic brought with him quite a lot of documents, many
19 documents that he had to keep and these documents which he was able to
20 give me. So I took these and archived them for the purposes of the
21 Defence and the Court. People need to keep their personal documents in
22 their possession. They need to have them available. So you cannot take
23 them. So it could not be otherwise.
24 Q. So you had -- do I understand you correctly that you even received
25 more documents than N.1 to N.4?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And you didn't kept them but you gave -- you returned them later
4 A. I returned them on the same day because these were documents that
5 this person had to have. He could not relinquish them. I only took a
6 look at them. That's all.
7 Q. You didn't include it -- these other documents in your
9 A. No. I didn't, because I had to give them back to Mr. Fejzic. The
10 Court can obtain these documents if need be but I had to give them back to
11 him because he needed them. I could not deprive him of those documents.
12 It was his labour permit and some other documents that he had to keep in
13 his possession because he has his own company that he is in charge of.
14 Q. And why did -- and did you photocopy those other documents?
15 A. Perhaps I did. I'm not able to remember at this point in time,
16 but they were no longer relevant for me.
17 Q. So would you choose to photocopy and to -- to photocopy documents
18 and give the originals, to return the originals, because you considered
19 the samples provided sufficient enough to do an examination; is that
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I think he's answered that question several times
22 before, Mr. Wubben.
23 Yes, Mr. Jones.
24 MR. JONES: That's the thing. I think he's been extremely clear
25 the documents were required by Hamdija Fejzic. He returned them. He may
1 or may not have copied them and he included the ones in his answer which
2 are in his report.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think the point needs to be elaborated any
4 further, actually.
5 MR. WUBBEN:
6 Q. Did you include the photocopies you made of those other documents
7 as well in your examination?
8 A. I did not include any photocopies in my examination. I do not
9 value photocopies. In my view, it would be useless. I would never
10 include photocopies. The man was alive, he had brought sufficient
11 quantities of documents and there was really no need to use photocopies
12 and I would not use photocopies.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Wubben, I hate to interrupt you, but are you
14 going to tender this extract from David Ellen's book into evidence.
15 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour, I will. I ask for a number.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: That will be P --
17 THE REGISTRAR: P617, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: P617. I thank you.
19 MR. WUBBEN:
20 Q. Does that mean that whenever you are addressed with a photocopy,
21 Professor Bilic, that you have no opinion?
22 A. By no means. I must have an opinion. But I cannot give a
23 conclusive opinion. I always have certain reservations when dealing with
24 photocopies, and I have explained this in my report on several pages. So,
25 please, read that part of my report. I have told you what my general
1 standpoint is with respect to photocopies, and Mr. Hilton and Mr. Ellen
2 and all the others will tell you the same. The uses of photocopies are
3 well known, and most experts would agree on this point.
4 Q. Next question: How can you, Professor Bilic, exclude any
5 imitation or version within the alleged non-contentious documents? I
6 mean, any imitations of versions from the originator, the alleged
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we need to because otherwise this will
9 elicit a very long answer. Let's separate the non-contentious documents
10 into two parts, two kinds, two segments. The ones on which he himself
11 witnessed handwriting and signature but we excluded, all right? So we are
12 talking about the others.
13 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: The other non-contentious what have been classified
15 as non-contentious documents.
16 MR. WUBBEN:
17 Q. So the question is, Professor Bilic, the alleged non-contentious
18 documents, N.1 up to N.4, how do you exclude the possibility of any
19 imitations by the originator?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: "Originator," again, needs to be explained but in
21 this case, since we are talking of Hamdija Fejzic's document, do you mean
22 originator being Hamdija Fejzic or someone else, because a credit card
23 comes from a bank, a receipt comes from whoever issued it, and so on and
24 so forth. What do you mean precisely by the originator?
25 MR. WUBBEN: Well, Your Honour, it can be an imitation, imitation
1 can be done by someone else than the one that is proposed to be the owner
2 of the signature and can also be done with the person himself, Mr. Hamdija
3 Fejzic, and then it's nor a pseudo imitation.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let me take you back two days,
5 Professor Bilic. Two days ago, in the very early stages of your
6 testimony, you were asked to explain to us what you mean by
7 non-contentious documents. And your answer was or the suggestion was, do
8 you mean these documents you consider to be authentic? And your answer
9 was yes. You considered these or you worked on the assumption that these
10 were authentic documents. The question that is being put to you now by
11 Mr. Wubben is the following: How sure can you be that what you considered
12 to be authentic may, after all, not have been authentic at all? Would you
13 give -- would you allow for that possibility? Would you allow for that
14 possibility or not? We are talking of N.1, N.2, N.3, and N.4. Forget N.5
15 because N.5 was created in your presence. If I have not reflected the
16 question rightly, please stop me and correct me, but I'm trying to make it
17 a little bit more clear.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I told you at the outset that when
19 Hamdija Fejzic arrived in my laboratory, the first thing he did was to
20 show me his identity card because I don't know the man, I really don't
21 know him. When I saw his identity card, it's a card showing his
22 photographer and his scanned signature, and I've been doing this work for
23 a long time. I took a look at this. After that we sat down. He had
24 already brought documents with him. After that, I asked him to write his
25 signature on squared paper because I wanted to observe his hand movements
1 while he was writing, while at the same time observing the documents I had
2 before me. I observed his hand movements, the way he formed the letters,
3 how he positioned them on the piece of paper, the speed of writing. It
4 would take a long time to describe everything. But I was convinced that
5 these were his signatures.
6 The signatures were on bank documents. You can have suspicions of
7 documents, but there is such a thing as a re-test. That is why a sample
8 has to be prepared and verified before one even begins to approach the
9 expert investigation. There was not even a tiny microelement that gave
10 rise to suspicion on my part or I would have investigated further and
11 looked for more originals. I would have contacted the police, I would
12 have looked at his passport. There are forms that he would have had to
13 fill in and sign to obtain these documents. He would have had to deceive
14 large numbers of people in order for me to be deceived also, and the
15 possibility of that is extremely remote. It's very, very small. I
16 think -- well, I've done my best to respond. The questions are rather
17 broad and abstract.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
19 Are you satisfied with the answer, Mr. Wubben?
20 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: So then we can move to the next.
22 MR. WUBBEN:
23 Q. The next one is why didn't you include that analysis, that
24 examination, that observation, in your report?
25 A. I didn't include it because this was simply preliminary. I
1 focused on explaining my expert opinion. It would have been too
2 voluminous to have included all this. Of course, I could have included it
3 but it would have taken a fortnight to read the report then. I did not
4 feel it necessary in view of my mandate but I did go through these
5 preliminary stages because, I reiterate, that 90 per cent of the success
6 of an expert investigation is proper preparation of the sample. I think
7 I've been clear enough about this.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I thank you, Professor Bilic. I think we need
9 to cut down on the length of your answers. Please try to answer the --
10 any question as briefly as you can because otherwise you're going to be
11 here Friday and even Monday, I'm trying to help you go back home.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I wish the truth to be
13 established. I'm not in a hurry. I can testify for 10 days, if
14 necessary. I don't want my testimony to be shortened and have things
15 remain uncertain and obscure as a result. I want things to be done
16 properly, as they should be, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
18 Yes, Mr. Wubben, your next question.
19 MR. WUBBEN:
20 Q. Related to the so-called non-contentious documents, with a view to
21 Hamed Salihovic, how can you exclude any imitation or version within the
22 alleged non-contentious documents?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you referring to all of them, Mr. Wubben?
24 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Because again they are not exactly all in the same
2 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, I know.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I think to be practical, if there is one answer that
4 you could give that would cover all the documents put together at one go,
5 yes, go ahead. Otherwise I think it will be much more practical and
6 quicker to go through this one document at a time.
7 MR. WUBBEN:
8 Q. Professor Bilic, can you give me one answer to that?
9 A. I'll try. I'll do my best, Mr. Wubben. I understand your desire
10 for me to explain everything and I will try. These are documents that
11 could not be doubted. They were at Sarajevo university where the deceased
12 Hamed Salihovic studied and obtained a degree in geography. As this man
13 is deceased, everything had to be done and we could find a sample only at
14 the university where he had studied. The rule is that these documents
15 have to be archived for a hundred years. In his file, there were many
16 samples of his handwriting in the period from 1969 to 1974. This was a
17 continuous period of time. As such, it's true that there was a long time
18 that elapsed between the creation of these documents and the expert
19 investigation. But this was the only thing that could be done, the only
20 sample that could be used. I have stated this with precision. All these
21 documents are in the keeping of the Defence, so you can see them all, and
22 everything I have listed here was collected by the Defence team and myself
23 jointly. That's all I can say about that.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you satisfied with that?
25 MR. WUBBEN:
1 Q. One additional question. And on that basis you exclude the
2 possibilities that there is in fact any imitation or version within those
3 signatures and handwriting?
4 A. Yes. I think that the professors who examined the deceased
5 student were not so naive as to be taken in by imitations of his
6 signature. He had to sign those documents himself. No one else could
7 have done it for him. So I don't think there is any doubt here, that
8 there was no disguise or imitation. Had I had any such suspicions I would
9 not have taken this sample and used it in my analysis. I would have said
10 that it would not be done.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Someone clarify this for me, please. In this
12 category of documents, the Salihovic, N.8, N.9, N.10, N.11, and N.12, am I
13 correct in saying that these have what is alleged to be a signature of the
14 Accused as well on the face of the document?
15 MR. WUBBEN: No, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Knows are not. Which are the ones which have the
17 signature of the Accused.
18 MR. WUBBEN: These are in paragraph 2 subsequent on page 4,
19 Your Honour, and --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Okay. I just wanted to make sure
21 that -- all right.
22 So basically, let's put it like this: From N.1 to N.12, these are
23 all documents that were handed to you by the Defence, Professor Bilic.
24 They are all -- they all referred to the period 1972, 1970 to 1974, the
25 time when Salihovic was a student.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, from 1969 to 1974, when
2 he graduated. Yes, Your Honours. It took quite a long time to find this
3 sample but we managed to find it in the end. It was my idea and this was
4 all we could find where there could be no suspicion about the documents.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. And the reasons are what you stated a
6 few minutes ago, being university documents in the archives of the
7 university. N.13, consisting in two --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: -- A4 sheet forms. Document by the Ministry of the
10 Interior, CSB, Centre for Public Security Tuzla SJB, Srebrenica, number
11 18-13/09, 11118 of 1 August 1991, proposal for the nomination of the
12 Skelani/Srebrenica unit commander, signature by Hamed Salihovic. On what
13 basis do you exclude the possibility that this document may not be
14 authentic, as far as the signature of Hamed Salihovic is concerned?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'll respond. I listed
16 the documents as given to me by the Defence. N.13 and N.14 are absolutely
17 suspect. There was no way in which I could verify their authenticity,
18 especially as we had no handwriting samples from the person himself, as
19 he's not alive. That's why I had reservations about these two documents
20 and I did not use them in my comparative analysis. I did use them in the
21 photographic documentation but I, as an investigator did not trust those
22 documents and that is my right as an expert. Let the Court decide about
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Professor Bilic, for having made this
25 clear. Yes, so you have got the entirety now, all.
1 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: The documents in that category.
3 MR. WUBBEN:
4 Q. Now the category referred to Naser Oric, and listed, Professor
5 Bilic, on page 4, under N.1 up to N.4, the so-called non-contentious
6 documents. How truthful is it that Naser Oric is indeed the originator of
7 the signature on the mentioned documents?
8 A. It's absolutely truthful. First of all, for Naser Oric to be able
9 to open his company, he had to go to the national audit service. This is
10 the institution which issued permits for people to engage in enterprise --
11 in entrepreneurial activities. There were two forms he had to fill in and
12 sign there, one for hard currency and another was a different form. He
13 had to collect a lot of evidence in order to get the documents from this
14 national audit service. This no longer exists. Now it's business banks
15 who deal with such transactions. Therefore, there could be no doubt that
16 those were his signatures.
17 We also have the other documents that were in use in that company,
18 containing his signature and a seal. We also had a number of signatures
19 on the contentious documents, in the margin, on the 23rd of May 2001, or,
20 rather, on the -- I took these into consideration and this was of
21 specially importance. These were documents created between 1996 and 1999,
22 at which time he had no idea that there would ever be an expert analysis
23 of his signature on those documents. These were documents found in the
24 national audit service and in the archives. For this reason, this was an
25 absolutely sufficient sample. I don't wish to undervalue the other sample
1 that was available to me, but this was very important. That's why there
2 was no need for him to provide a sample again because there were these
3 signatures already in existence written by him on the same day, and had
4 there been any need, in 1993, for him to provide a sample, you could have
5 obtained it from him.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I need to have a very short break. I need to leave
7 the courtroom for a while.
8 --- Break taken at 5.24 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 5.29 p.m.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I thank you.
11 Mr. Wubben?
12 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Please proceed.
14 MR. WUBBEN: May I proceed?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, certainly.
16 MR. WUBBEN:
17 Q. So, Professor Bilic, you explained referring to N.1 and N.5 up to
18 N.12 for the source documents signed by Naser Oric, alleged signed -- to
19 be signed by Naser Oric. And when it comes to N.2, N.3, and N.4, how did
20 you exclude the possibility of imitations? How truthful --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. I need to clear this up.
22 Who made these documents available, N.1, N.2, N.3, N.4, N.5? Who
23 gave them to you? Or where did you get them from?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I got them from the Defence. The
25 Defence knows where the documents come from.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I just want to make sure that they are not in the
2 record, basically.
3 MR. WUBBEN: Yes. And to confirm, Your Honour, N.5 up to N.12,
4 those are the so-called known documents, K documents, K number 1 up to 8,
5 under P100. N.5 to N.12, these are eight documents, so-called known
6 signatures, provided by this Tribunal as P100. So my question focused on
7 N.2 and N.3 and N.4.
8 Q. How truthful -- how could you indicate that these were the
9 signatures from Mr. Naser Oric and no imitations or variations?
10 A. I compared these signatures with the signatures I had on the
11 documents signed by Naser Oric on the 23rd of May 2001. I examined these
12 signatures for the so-called matches, and I came to the conclusion that
13 they were identical, consistently written, and that there was nothing that
14 would give rise to suspicion about their truthfulness. I have included
15 all these signatures into my photographic documentation. They are there
16 to be seen and had there been any need I would have insisted that the
17 Defence obtain from the Accused, Naser Oric, further samples of signature
18 but there was no need for that.
19 Q. Did you --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Let me check something, Mr. Wubben,
21 before you proceed.
22 These documents from N.1 to N.4, were they original documents or
23 were they photocopies of -- they were original documents?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were originals, yes, that's
25 correct, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: My question especially with regard to N.1, file of
2 deposited signatures with ZPP Tuzla of 12 July 1996 with two
3 non-contentious signatures by NO. How would you be able to be in
4 possession of these documents in their original? Because I suppose that
5 the original would be with the ZPP in Tuzla.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I received the originals from the
7 Defence, and probably the Defence obtained the documentation from the ZPP
8 Tuzla against receipt for the purposes of this case.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
10 Yes, Judge Eser has a question.
11 JUDGE ESER: I just have a question for clarification. You just
12 said in your testimony, "I examined these signatures for the so-called
13 matches. I think the signatures which Naser Oric have given, has signed,
14 on the 23rd of May 2001, examined these documents for the so-called
15 matches and I came to the conclusion that they were identical,
16 consistently written, and that there was nothing that could give rise to
17 suspicion about their truthfulness." And now the sentence I would like to
18 ask you, "I have included all these signatures into my photographic
19 documentation." Is that -- but I think, if I count them, are we now
20 talking about Naser or about Salihovic?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Naser, about Naser Oric,
22 Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ESER: If I count these non-contentious signatures in your
24 list, you had, I think 14 signatures altogether, if I count correctly, but
25 in your report, I can only find seven signatures. Could you perhaps
1 explain this difference?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I indicated that
3 a rather large number of signatures is to be found on the samples N.5 to
4 N.12, and these are signatures that are found on the contentious documents
5 at the top right-hand corner. There are several of them but I placed them
6 together. These are signatures N.5 and N.6 on page 30 and N.7 and N.8,
7 then N.8, N.10. However, N.1 comes from the other document, from the file
8 of signatures deposited with the ZPP Tuzla, and you can see that that's
9 the document. It has a stamp there. N.11 is the signature written on
10 request of, probably, an investigator in 2001. N.3 comes from the
11 document which is the offer for transportation of goods from 1999
12 containing Oric's signature. Then N.1 which contains two non-contentious
13 documents, as we said. Then N.12, which also belongs to the batch of
14 documents I indicated earlier. I did not take photographs of all, but
15 this -- these are documents that are contentious where Oric signed his
16 name and put a date. Then we have N.2, which is the "AOR" company, that's
17 Oric's company, which is actually an itemised list of a bills of lading
18 for the shipment of goods.
19 These are all signatures that I analysed one against the other,
20 that took most of the time, and I came to the conclusion that all these
21 signatures were written by the same writer. Had I not come to that
22 conclusive finding I would have sought other samples of his signature. I
23 believe that the sample that I had was highly appropriate for the type of
24 examination I carried out. We could have obtained thousands of Naser
25 Oric's signatures but I believe that the sample we had was enough.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Judge Eser.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Wubben.
4 MR. WUBBEN:
5 Q. So this is an important conclusion, an important finding that you
6 did, that in your opinion you believed that these signatures, N.1 up to
7 N.4, were the signatures from Naser Oric upon your analysis; is that
9 A. Yes, that's correct.
10 Q. And did you include that analysis and findings in your report?
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. Where? Can you please point out?
13 A. It must be on one of the pages. I'll tell you in a moment. From
14 page 15, including page 16, page 17, 18, which is followed by the
15 so-called C comparative stage, the comparison starts from page 29 and so
17 Q. I can follow that, but my question is: You agree that this is an
18 important analysis and finding that you examined N.1 up to N.5 -- sorry,
19 N.1 up to N.4 as being truthful signatures by Naser Oric as a finding and
20 you compared those with N.5 to N.12, and I asked you where is that finding
21 and examination clarified in your report?
22 A. This finding, which I arrived at during the preliminary stage, I
23 did not believe it necessary to expound it here. This was part of my
24 preliminary work, which was also done in relation to all the other
25 samples, and it was after that that I carried out the examination. I
1 believe that that was the mandate that I was assigned. It was in this
2 preliminary stage that I removed any suspicion that there may have been in
3 relation to the non-contentious samples. Had I found anything that would
4 give rise to suspicion, I would have contacted the Defence immediately to
5 tell them that there was something wrong with the non-contentious sample.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's cut down this to its proper proportions. It's
7 true, from what I can see, that there is no categoric, explicit
8 declaration by the expert in his report. I confirm that these are the
9 authentic, this is the authentic signature of Naser Oric, but if you read
10 on page 21, the entire paragraph 2, then you have the reasons why he must
11 have concluded that. Basically that would amount to precisely the same
12 thing. He is basically explaining why he considered these to be
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. You observed it
15 correctly. On page 21.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Otherwise we would have had an explanation of why
17 these signatures were not non-contentious or were not going to be taken
18 into consideration by him. Anyway, let's move forward and please feel
19 free to put any questions you like, Mr. Wubben.
20 MR. WUBBEN:
21 Q. Were you aware, Mr. Bilic, of the existence of more non-contested
22 material than documents N.5 to N.12, being signatures placed by Naser Oric
23 on original documents?
24 A. I don't understand the question. You were mentioning both
25 contentious documents and original documents. Can you please be more
2 Q. You enlisted N.5 up to N.12 as source documents signed by Naser
3 Oric, isn't it? Page 4.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Are these documents N.5 to N.12 in evidence? They
6 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I just wanted to confirm that.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I answer, Your Honour?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Please.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 When I received documentation from the Registry, I also received
12 documents which had non-contentious signatures at the top. They were
13 written in ballpoint pen on photocopied, contentious material. I was
14 quite surprised by this. Who would have allowed entries to be made in
15 hand on contentious documents? Therefore, Naser Oric placed his signature
16 at the top right-hand corner, probably on someone's request, and I was not
17 happy with this because this is not the sort of documentation you use in
18 examination, because if you have contentious documents, and 12 of them, or
19 rather from N.5 to N.12, more of them, and then you ask someone to place
20 their signature on this, I don't like that. However, I was satisfied that
21 authentic signatures were placed in blue ballpoint pen. There was the
22 time and the date when the signature was placed, and without any doubt,
23 Naser Oric did put his signature on these documents. Otherwise, one could
24 have his doubts in relation to all and sundry. I kept for myself the fact
25 that I was not happy with the way the signature was placed but that's all
1 I have to say about it.
2 MR. WUBBEN:
3 Q. Professor Bilic, were you aware that apart from these eight
4 documents, there were also, in addition, here at the Tribunal, 27 similar
5 documents available with the signature of Naser Oric, the original
6 signature of Naser Oric?
7 A. I was unable to know that. I had only the documents sent to me by
8 the Defence and by the Registry. I can only talk about what I had and
9 what I had I indicated in my paper. You can see clearly, and I can show
10 you, which signatures I used, which signatures I took photographs of and
11 used in my examination. I only had the documents that I received from the
12 Tribunal's office in Sarajevo and the Defence. And I'm talking about
13 non-contentious documents because the Defence did not have the contentious
14 document. I received those from the Tribunal. And there is documentation
15 to that effect which shows when I received the documents from the Tribunal
16 and when I returned them.
17 Q. Professor Bilic, have you asked the provider or the Defence for
18 more documents, whether or not there are more documents available, more
19 signatures by Naser Oric?
20 A. I did not ask for any more because there was no need for that. I
21 felt that I had a sufficient sample. I wasn't worried about which
22 documents these were or where they came from. I believed that the sample
23 sufficed. I did not want to -- I wanted to approach the job I was doing
24 seriously, not make a parody out of it. If you have any further questions
25 for me, please continue.
1 Q. Sure, Professor Bilic. But wouldn't that make you more happy as
2 an examiner to have more documents, 27 documents, you know, with the
3 original signature of the Accused?
4 A. I believe you when you say that. However, findings can be made
5 with a lesser sample. I believed we had a sufficient sample, and I made
6 my findings. If you need that or if there is need for that, if there are
7 signatures I haven't seen, you give -- if you can give me enough time, I
8 will make findings in relation to these other signatures you believe are
9 non-contentious as well. I did not shrink from that. I can do that as
10 well, if necessary.
11 Q. Please take a look at me, Professor Bilic.
12 A bigger sample, anyhow is better, isn't it?
13 A. I will. I am looking at you.
14 Q. Thank you. A bigger sample anyhow is better, isn't it?
15 A. Well, it doesn't have to be a rule. Conditionally, yes.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we have laboured the point sufficiently,
17 Mr. Wubben. His answer is I would have asked for more had I considered or
18 come to the conclusion that I did not have enough. That's his answer.
19 MR. WUBBEN: And that it doesn't have to be a rule, yes. Thank
20 you, Your Honour.
21 Q. I would like to move to your bibliography. You listed a book,
22 "Scientific Examination of Documents" by Ordway Hilton, isn't it?
23 A. Please, go ahead. I don't have the book here with me.
24 Q. But you enlisted it on your bibliography, didn't you?
25 A. Yes, yes.
1 Q. And you did it because you regard this book as well as a solid and
2 reliable text on handwriting and analysis?
3 A. For document examination in general. You should read the title of
4 the book carefully. Scientific examination of documents, not handwriting.
5 And, of course, we could discuss what a document is and how it can be
6 examined. This is one of the first books I read even before the war. I
7 lost it in the meantime.
8 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honours, I would like to ask the usher to
9 provide the parties, the witness, the expert, with a part of this book, an
10 excerpt. And I refer to page 300. Your Honours, shall I quote or, as you
11 did it previous time, it is from the part of the sentence, "Amount of
12 standard writing."
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Page?
14 MR. WUBBEN: 300, Your Honour. "Amount of standard writing" up
15 until, let's say, ten lines from under, "Including additional specimens
16 can greatly fortify the finding." It's on Sanction, Your Honour, as well.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Until where?
18 MR. WUBBEN: Until "additional specimens can greatly fortify the
20 JUDGE AGIUS: And from the beginning.
21 MR. WUBBEN: From "amount of standard writing."
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. He's trying to make my earn my salary
23 today. "Amount of --" do the interpreters have a copy of the text
24 already? Yes. "Amount of standard writing."
25 Now, if as I go along, anything is not clear or is not interpreted
1 to your satisfaction, Professor Bilic, please stop me and we will go
2 through it again. Or else, we will go through it and if you have any
3 problems --
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: So I'll start. "The amount" -- we are dealing with
6 "amount of standard writing." "The importance of an adequate amount of
7 writing has already been emphasised as the keystone of good writing
8 standards. There is a common belief that a writer can be positively
9 identified from only one or two of his signatures. Unfortunately, this is
10 far from the truth. Normal writing variation alone generally makes this
11 impossible. Only with a quantity of material, therefore, can all the
12 writing characteristics of an individual and the variations that usually
13 occur from specimen to specimen, be accurately determined.
14 "That everyone does not sign his name or write any combination of
15 words in exactly the same way twice is one of the more complicating
16 elements of handwriting identification. This natural variation must be
17 revealed by the known writing. Variation in writing is a personal
18 factor -- it is not the same for each individual either in extent or
19 nature. Besides, it can be influenced by the conditions under which the
20 writing was done. Here is the reason that no hard and fast rule can be
21 set for a minimum number of signatures or a minimum amount of general
23 "With many problems, 10 or 20 signatures should constitute an
24 adequate sample, but there are a certain number of cases that may require
25 30, 40 or even more signatures in order to accurately reveal the writer's
1 habits, ability, and range of variation. Actually, it is poor policy for
2 the investigator to be satisfied with the bare minimum when just a few
3 additional specimens can greatly fortify the findings."
4 Do you wish us to read it again to you, Professor Bilic, or is
5 that enough?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is quite enough, Your Honour.
7 This is basic knowledge, elementary school knowledge, for persons to --
8 who are laymen in the area to learn something about it. I don't know what
9 the purpose of this is. I mentioned my samples several times, both their
10 quantity and quality. I said many things. I apologise, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I would suggest you stop and wait for the question,
12 because you haven't been asked a question yet.
13 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. I thought you had put
15 a question to me, Your Honour.
16 MR. WUBBEN:
17 Q. Professor Bilic, do you agree with the proposition that everyone
18 does not sign his name exactly the same way twice, yes or no?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I can confirm that to you, Mr. Wubben.
20 MR. WUBBEN: It's important for me.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes.
22 MR. WUBBEN:
23 Q. And also the proposition that this natural variation must be
24 revealed by the known writing?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And the second proposition that ten or 20 signatures might be
2 sufficient but that sometimes even more might be needed to reveal the
3 writer's habit, ability and range of variation?
4 A. Yes. Yes, Mr. Wubben.
5 Q. And that it is poor policy to be satisfied with just the bare
6 minimum when just a few additional specimens can fortify the findings?
7 A. Could you put your question, please?
8 Q. And linked to that, that it is poor policy to be satisfied with
9 the bare minimum when just a few additional specimens can fortify the
10 findings? Do you agree?
11 A. This statement is really true, as written by this author. I read
12 this some 20 years ago. As for the number, quantity is not equivalent to
13 quality. What matters is whether it is relevant. Ten signatures can be
14 sufficient if their origin is beyond dispute. A person might have to
15 provide as many as a thousand signatures over days, and this all depends
16 on the nature of the investigation. You can have quantity but the quality
17 also matters. Quantity and quality always have to go together. We can
18 have a hundred non-contentious signatures of insufficient quality. For
19 example, if it is written on a certain date, in a certain form, that can
20 have special weight.
21 Q. Professor Bilic, my question now is: Why didn't you ask for any
22 additional samples regarding the number of documents provided by the
23 Defence in relation to Naser Oric?
24 A. There was no need. I had quite enough. Had there been any need,
25 I would have asked for more. You can count the signatures yourself.
1 There were quite enough. They covered a long time period so that, as an
2 investigator, I found this sufficient. I could proceed to make my
3 analysis and reach my conclusions.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Wubben, I draw your attention to the beginning
5 of the third paragraph of -- from the extract that I read out to the
6 witness. And it starts with the words "with many problems." So that's
7 the key to assessing well what is being stated in that paragraph.
8 Otherwise, what's contained in the last sentence of the previous
9 paragraph, namely that there is no hard and fast rule for a minimum number
10 of signatures or a minimum amount of general handwriting is the general --
11 is the principle that one has to work with.
12 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Obviously as the problems arise, you need more and
14 more signatures, and the wise thing to do is to get as many as you can, if
15 there are problems or the bigger the problems are. But there is what is
16 basically --
17 MR. WUBBEN: That was my question.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: But he's more or less answered. He's told you, in
19 my expert opinion, I had enough.
20 MR. WUBBEN: And he didn't ask for more.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: That's his problem, not -- or his decision, not
22 mine. But he's answered you. He's told you, "I didn't have the need or
23 didn't feel the need for more."
24 MR. WUBBEN:
25 Q. Professor Bilic, when you noticed --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Allow me about two, three minutes because I need to
2 communicate to both of you time limits that we are setting for responses
3 and so on and so forth. Three minutes before -- we'll be finishing in 15
4 minutes' time. Sorry, in ten minutes time.
5 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. Professor Bilic, when you noticed that Hamed Salihovic related N
7 documents, so-called non-contentious documents, refers to the years 1973,
8 1974, didn't you consider your examination rather limited, to compare
9 those documents from 20 years' difference in time?
10 A. Yes. As I explained, this is a long time period, but one forms
11 one's handwriting by the end of secondary school. Perhaps the first year
12 at university. After that it doesn't change much. I did say that this
13 was a limiting factor, and I did say I could only reach my conclusions at
14 the level of most probably, and I abide by that. I was unable to get any
15 more samples. It was not possible to get any more. But this was
16 sufficient for me to reach conclusions both as regards the handwriting and
17 as regards the signatures. I have shown this precisely in the maps I
18 provided. I had no doubts about this. As a rule, when the person is
19 deceased, and nothing else can be found but an expert opinion needs to be
20 given, this is not completely satisfactory, but I did mention this as a
21 limiting factor. I think this is quite clear. So there is no need to
22 discuss it any further, although I will, of course, if you want me to.
23 Q. Please, Professor Bilic, take a look at me. I have a question for
24 you. Did you ask for more -- did you ask for more samples from the
25 Defence related to Hamed Salihovic?
1 A. Yes, I did. But the Defence was unable to find any more. That's
2 why I had reservations about the sample. Anything else that could be
3 found was suspect because I was unable to check it or establish the origin
4 through the institutions that issued the documents. I based my expert
5 analysis on Hamed Salihovic's file which I had, and I leave the rest to
6 Their Honours to evaluate. I cannot look for something that isn't there.
7 Q. And the two other documents from 1991, Professor Bilic, weren't
8 you in addition limited in your examination upon noticing that a quantity
9 of two signatures closer to the time of the questioned documents was, and
10 I quote you, "barely satisfying"?
11 A. Mr. Wubben, I said that I did not investigate these documents. I
12 simply listed them because they were given to me by the Defence. But I
13 did not consider them to be relevant because I was unable to verify their
15 Q. And did you do an examination to compare those two documents with
16 the other N documents?
17 A. Yes. And I discovered an absolute difference. The difference was
18 truly astonishing.
19 Q. So these documents, these two documents, makes a difference in
20 your comparisons with the 20 years elder documents, isn't that true?
21 A. Most probably, yes.
22 Q. What does it tell you that about those two documents?
23 A. I didn't reach any conclusions about those documents. As I said,
24 I left them aside as suspect. That's why I could not use them in my
25 comparison. I explained this. I listed them because I received them from
1 the Defence but it was up to me to evaluate what was relevant and what I
2 could use as relevant to my investigation.
3 Q. And why -- what do you mean with the words, "barely satisfying"?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: After there question we need to stop, Mr. Wubben, so
5 that I communicate to you the other matters. And then we continue
7 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you.
8 Q. The question, Professor Bilic, is what do you mean with "barely
9 satisfying" in this context?
10 A. I wouldn't say I used the word "satisfying." What I said was that
11 I could not accept them as authentic.
12 Q. But you used that word, "satisfying," in your report, on page 20.
13 Fourth line.
14 A. I said quantitatively, although they are close to the time, in
15 quality they are only conditionally satisfying. I didn't say barely. I
16 said quantitatively there are only two of them, and they are only
17 conditionally satisfying. I think this is quite precise. I did not use
18 the word barely. I used the word conditionally. And then I went on to
19 explain. You have surely read what I went on to explain. If you go on to
20 look at the text, I underlined "conditionally" and then if you look at
21 what it says further on, you will understand what I really wanted to
22 present here to the Court.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Professor Bilic, we need to stop here for today. We
24 will continue tomorrow in the evening as well, in the afternoon.
25 Yes, we need to give this document a number. This will become
1 P618, 618. The Hilton, Ordway Hilton extract will become 618. Madam
2 Usher, you can escort Professor Bilic.
3 Have a nice evening, Professor Bilic, and we'll see you tomorrow.
4 You still believe that you will be able to finish tomorrow, Mr. Wubben?
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 MR. WUBBEN: At the beginning of this session, I believed to be so
7 but not at the time, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
9 MR. WUBBEN: It depends on the length of the questions.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. So let's take these matters
11 up. There are two motions from the Defence, one motion to exclude the
12 alleged record of the Accused pursuant to Rule 89(D) and 95. That's the
13 alleged interview. And a motion for revised translation of Prosecution
14 exhibit P84. We have discussed amongst ourselves. We have decided to
15 give you up to Tuesday, the 31st of January to file your responses to
16 these two motions, Mr. Wubben.
17 We are also giving you, Madam Vidovic, up to Tuesday, the 31st of
18 January, time to file your response on the motion for rebuttal. Seven
19 days. We are reducing it to seven days.
20 You will then have two days from filing or from service of filing,
21 obviously, to respond to the response, if you feel the need to do so.
22 Then, within a very short period of time, one day, maximum, two
23 days, expect our decision on rebuttal.
24 Madam Vidovic, we would also require from you, if you intend to
25 file a motion for rejoinder, to file same by Monday, the 6th of February.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may address the
2 Bench with respect to the last deadline, for our rejoinder by Monday, the
3 6th of February. Your Honours, if the decision is unfavourable to us, we
4 will certainly ask for leave to appeal. So we ask that Your Honours bear
5 this in mind.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, obviously, this is all taken consideration of,
7 and also we might ultimately decide that there will not be rebuttal. So
8 if there is no rebuttal, obviously there is not going to be a rejoinder.
9 But let's take everything in its stride. If there is a motion for
10 rejoinder, that means we need to have it by the 6th of February. If it is
11 filed by the 6th of then, then you have two days, that's February the
12 2nd -- 8, February the 8th, to respond, Prosecution.
13 If there is an acceptance for rebuttal, no appeal, then we plan to
14 start the testimony of any rebuttal witnesses on February the 8th.
15 On February the 10th, if there is -- if it's the case, we will
16 decide on the rejoinder motion, and if that is the case, you are and will
17 be expected to start with the rejoinder witnesses on the 14th of February.
18 This is more or less what we have planned.
19 MR. JONES: May I just make one observation, Your Honour, which is
20 that as far as rebuttal is concerned, it's not simply a question of which
21 witnesses the Prosecution will be allowed to call in rejoinder.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: If at all, because obviously we haven't heard your
23 objections and we haven't even started thinking in our mind about the
24 individual ones.
25 MR. JONES: Yes, that's clear. It's simply to say this, that even
1 once you've rendered that decision, in fact it will also be a function of
2 what the witnesses say in the -- in evidence. So subject to the fact that
3 we might vary --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Please.
5 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Make sure that that is all what we intend to do.
7 When I say rejoinder by a certain date, obviously if the need for
8 rejoinder arises out of the --
9 MR. JONES: What's going on in evidence.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. So I don't need to given you any guarantees in
11 writing because you know that that is so and will be so.
12 MR. JONES: I'm obliged, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE AGIUS:
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Otherwise, that's is what we planned. You need to
15 understand that at this point in time we cannot allow everyone to have the
16 luxury of -- we ourselves cannot allow ourselves to have the luxury of as
17 much time as we would like. I mean, we would like to have more time but I
18 don't think we are in a position to allow that.
19 So I thank everyone for your cooperation. We will continue
20 tomorrow and make an effort to finish with this witness.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.22 p.m.,
22 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 26th day of
23 January, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.