Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 1888

1 Wednesday, 29 August 2007

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.

6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning, everybody.

7 Mr. Registrar, will you please call the case.

8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you.

9 Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number IT-04-83-T, the

10 Prosecutor versus Rasim Delic.

11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.

12 Appearances for the Prosecution.

13 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.

14 Good morning, Your Honours, Counsel, and everyone in and around

15 the courtroom. For the Prosecution, Aditya Menon and Daryl Mundis,

16 accompanied by our case manager, Alma Imamovic.

17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.

18 And for the Defence.

19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good

20 morning to my learned friends from the Prosecution and everyone in the

21 courtroom.

22 I am Vasvija Vidovic with Mr. Nicholas Robson, representing

23 General Delic, with our legal assistant, Lana Deljkic.

24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.

25 I remind you once again, Madam Vidovic, that the Chamber has

Page 1889

1 granted you permission to speak seated, if you so wish. We don't want to

2 have an adjournment because your back can't take it any longer. Right.

3 Mr. Softic, may I also remind you that at the beginning of your

4 testimony, you made a declaration to tell the truth, the whole truth, and

5 nothing else but the truth, and that you are still bound by that

6 declaration. Thank you very much.

7 Mr. Menon.


9 [Witness answered through interpreter]

10 MR. MENON: Thank you, Your Honours.

11 I would ask that the witness be shown Exhibit 271

12 Re-examination by Mr. Menon: [Continued]

13 Q. Mr. Softic, do you see the document in front of you?

14 A. Yes, I do.

15 Q. Can you -- and I know you had you do this yesterday, but can you

16 again please read out the number next to the abbreviation for confidential

17 number?

18 A. 1/297-54.

19 Q. And can you read out the date of the document?

20 A. Sarajevo, 23rd of July, 1993.

21 MR. MENON: I would ask now that the witness be shown Exhibit 272.

22 Q. Mr. Softic, do you see the document in front of you?

23 A. I do, but it's not all that legible, it's not clear.

24 Q. Okay. I direct your attention to the text underneath the

25 addressee of the document, and the text begins: "Given the need to

Page 1890

1 organise ..." I was wondering if you could read that text out. Do you see

2 what I'm talking about?

3 A. Yes, I do.

4 Q. Can you read that text out?

5 A. "1. Organise all foreign volunteers in the Army of Bosnia and

6 Herzegovina" --

7 Q. Mr. Softic, it's the text above the word "Proposal." So you're

8 reading paragraph 1. I'm saying -- and it begins: "Given the need to

9 organise and ..."?

10 A. It's clear, it's clear.

11 Q. Can you read that text out?

12 A. Yes, I can:

13 "Given the need to organise and make use of foreign volunteers,

14 as well as their written request to the 3rd Corps Command, and on the

15 basis of your authorisation number 1/297-54 of the 23rd of July, 1993, we

16 are sending you the following proposal:"

17 Q. The text that you just read out, it refers to an authorisation

18 number and the date of that authorisation. Does this lead you to a

19 conclusion as to whether the 3rd Corps Command was informed of the

20 authorisation that was given to Mr. Mahmuljin and that we just looked at?

21 A. This number, 1/297-54, I think, was the number of the previous

22 document as well. I think it was 54, too.

23 Q. And what was the --

24 A. And I think that it was the same date. I don't know. Perhaps I

25 can look at the previous document just to make sure once more, just to see

Page 1891

1 the number and the date again, please.

2 MR. MENON: If we could show the witness Exhibit 271, which was

3 the previous document.

4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just before we do that, can we just see who sent

5 this document here on the screen?

6 MR. MENON: Yes.

7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.

8 MR. MENON: Now if we could -- I'm sorry, Your Honour. Are we

9 ready to --

10 JUDGE MOLOTO: We've seen it.

11 MR. MENON: If we could show the witness Exhibit 271.

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1/297-54 of the 23rd of July, 1993,

13 yes.

14 MR. MENON: And now if we could switch back to Exhibit 272, Your

15 Honour. I believe there might be a slight translation error in this

16 document, and I'd like to verify it through the witness. And if the

17 witness verifies that it is, in fact, a translation error, I would ask

18 that we be allowed to submit a revised translation of that particular

19 text.

20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Go ahead, Mr. Menon.

21 MR. MENON: Thank you, Your Honour.

22 Exhibit 272, please.

23 Q. Mr. Softic, may I direct you to the handwritten comment which you

24 identified as having been written by Mr. -- by General Delic. Do you know

25 what I'm talking about, on this document, the reference to the

Page 1892

1 Organisation and Mobilisation Administration? Can you read out that text?

2 A. Yes. This was sent to the Organisation and Mobilisation

3 Administration, and it says:

4 "I agree organise in a temporary formation. Think about how."

5 MR. MENON: Okay. Now, I would ask that --

6 A. But this is a document received from the Command of the 3rd Corps.

7 We're communicating here with the 3rd Corps Command. This is an official

8 document of the 3rd Corps Command, I think.

9 MR. MENON: Thank you, Mr. Softic.

10 Your Honour, I would note for the record that the translation

11 given by the witness differs from the translation that appears on the

12 English version of this document, and so I would ask, with the leave of

13 the Court, that we be allowed to submit a revised translation of this

14 particular text on the document that the witness just read out.

15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we verify also with the interpreters, but is

16 this -- what is the difference?

17 MR. MENON: I think, well, in addition to what Judge Harhoff just

18 said, there's it's also the ending. There is no -- in the English

19 translation, there's a reference to the word "esko," which if I recall the

20 witness didn't mention that word and then --

21 JUDGE MOLOTO: I was just going to ask him just about it.

22 MR. MENON: I'm sorry, Your Honour.

23 JUDGE MOLOTO: But I want to first find out what is the

24 substantive difference between these two translations. If I may just stop

25 this thing from moving. The witness says: "I agree organising a

Page 1893

1 temporary formation, there is organised a temporary establish," obviously

2 it cannot be a "temporary establish," it could be a "temporary

3 establishment." Okay?

4 MR. MENON: M'mm-hmm.

5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Think about how, consider it. Surely,

6 interpretation is not -- unless you really feel you have to revise it, if

7 you want to revise it, by all means, go ahead. I don't see a substantive

8 difference between the two.

9 MR. MENON: Your Honour, if the Court doesn't see a substantive

10 difference between the two versions, then certainly the Prosecution

11 wouldn't request that a revised translation be submitted. It's simply for

12 the benefit of the Court to have the most accurate translation that I

13 suggested that.

14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. We'll find out in a moment what the

15 interpreters say, but let me just find out from Mr. Softic.

16 Mr. Softic, there's a word in the handwritten B/C/S version which

17 is transcribed as is into the English. We want to know what it means, and

18 that word is "esko." What does it mean? You didn't translate that. Do

19 you see the word?

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Organise into a temporary

21 formation." I don't know, you could use the word "formation" in English.

22 I assume that that's how it is, "Think about how to do it."

23 JUDGE MOLOTO: But this "esko," is that part of thinking about how

24 to do it, because it is still there in the English?

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I'm not an expert to

Page 1894

1 be able to translate it from English into Bosnian, but --

2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Softic. Let's not bother.

3 THE WITNESS: "Think about it."

4 JUDGE MOLOTO: "Think about it," okay.

5 Okay, let's find out from the interpreters.

6 THE INTERPRETER: Your Honours, the word "esko" does not appear in

7 the original. It could just be a query for the word "kako" because it

8 could be because of the handwriting. Also, "temporary formation,"

9 "privremena formacija" is less formal. It's not according to

10 "establishment" which in B/C/S the word "formacija" could indicate, but

11 not in this case, we believe.

12 JUDGE MOLOTO: I don't understand when you say the word "esko"

13 does not appear in the original. I thought it is the last word in the

14 handwritten portion.

15 THE INTERPRETER: Your Honour, the last word in the handwritten

16 portion is "kako," not "esko."

17 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's a "K"?


19 JUDGE MOLOTO: I must go back to school.

20 Thank you so much. Maybe, then, we should have a revised

21 translation.

22 MR. MENON: Thank you, Your Honour. We will --

23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.

24 MR. MENON: We will provide for that.

25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.

Page 1895

1 You may proceed.

2 MR. MENON: I'm done with this document now.

3 Q. Mr. Softic, during the course of cross-examination yesterday, and

4 in relation to General Delic, you indicated the following -- and for the

5 reference of the Court - I'm not sure if this benefits the Court - but the

6 text I'm going to read out is from page 1877, lines 23 to 25, and page

7 1878, lines 1 to 3, and this is of the LiveNote transcript from yesterday.

8 And this is what you said in relation to General Delic,

9 Mr. Softic:

10 "I think he went to Kakanj from time to time. When he went to

11 Kakanj, he often stayed outside Kakanj in the field with the units in

12 corps. I just know one thing, that when I'd look for him to tell him

13 something, that I could find him in Kakanj very rarely. Usually, I would

14 leave messages in relation to some information that I would have to deal

15 with."

16 Do you remember stating that, Mr. Softic?

17 A. Yes, yes. I cannot repeat it word for word, what I said, but I

18 think that's -- that's it, yes.

19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Softic. Can you clarify, then, where you left

20 messages for General Delic when he was in the field?

21 A. I tried to leave messages in Kakanj, and if I knew that he was

22 going to a specific corps or that he was on the way to that corps, I would

23 try to call there, although it was difficult to reach them by the usual

24 means of communication. If I did manage to get in touch with them, I

25 would leave a message at the corps.

Page 1896

1 Q. And why would you contact Kakanj in order to relay a message to

2 General Delic?

3 A. First, it was a command post. They were supposed to know where

4 the commander was.

5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Softic. Was there a structure in place at the

6 command post in Kakanj for reporting information to General Delic?

7 A. I don't know. Can you be more clear? How do you mean, reporting

8 information? There was a formation that did this work. The Operations

9 Centre in Kakanj was also subordinated to the Chief of Staff, if that's

10 what you are thinking, and the Chief of Staff communicated with the

11 Commander.

12 Q. Well, you've answered my question, but I'll restate it actually

13 just so you're clear on it. My question is simply whether there was a

14 system in place for information to be reported to General Delic through

15 the command post in Kakanj.

16 A. Yes, there was a system.

17 Q. Thank you. Now, in those instances when you relayed messages to

18 General Delic when he was away from Sarajevo, would you communicate that

19 information to General Siber, whom you indicated yesterday would stand in

20 for General Delic when he was away?

21 A. When I was not able to reach the Commander, when I really could

22 see that I couldn't get in touch with him and felt the information was

23 important, I would take the responsibility from me by passing this

24 information on to General Siber.

25 Q. But in those cases -- I'm speaking about situations where you, in

Page 1897

1 fact, were able to transmit information to General Delic. Would you relay

2 that same information to General Siber?

3 A. I don't know. I didn't see any need. If I conveyed it to Delic,

4 I didn't see any need for General Siber to know too. I would just convey

5 the information to General Delic. But if there was a need for Siber also

6 to know this information, then I would convey it to him as well, although

7 Siber himself wanted me to communicate as much as possible to the

8 Commander himself.

9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Softic. How was -- in relation to the trips that

10 General Delic took away from Sarajevo, out of Sarajevo, how was General

11 Delic able to travel out of Sarajevo?

12 A. It was very difficult. As far as I know, he had to pass the

13 airport landing strip, he had to pass along Mount Igman, which was exposed

14 to artillery fire and controlled, monitored.

15 Q. What form of transportation would General Delic use in making

16 these trips?

17 A. He would use an all-terrain vehicle which you could only use,

18 actually, during the night to go past Igman or over Igman.

19 MR. MENON: I will ask the witness be shown Exhibit 282.

20 Q. Do you see the document in front of you, Mr. Softic?

21 A. Yes, I do, but it's faint.

22 Q. This was a document that was shown to you during the course of

23 cross-examination, and it refers to an operation called "Trebevic" and

24 "Trebevic-2". Who was this operation directed against, to the best of

25 your recollection?

Page 1898

1 A. Against our specific units of ours in Sarajevo.

2 MR. MENON: Thank you, Mr. Softic.

3 If I could just have a minute to consult Mr. Mundis.

4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, you may.

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Against our units and all the

6 elements that were simply in the way of successful command and control,

7 because I see the MUP here was also included.


9 Q. Where were these -- in the answer you just gave, you referred to

10 "against our units and all the elements that were simply in the way of

11 successful command and control." Where were these units based?

12 A. First, let me say that I was not informed about the Trebevic

13 action in detail, so I cannot provide more detailed information about

14 that. I have superficial knowledge about the actions that were carried

15 out. But if you were asking me where the Trebevic actions were being

16 conducted, they were conducted in Sarajevo. But later they were also

17 conducted in other units of ours outside of Sarajevo, or actually it was

18 not in other units but in the areas of responsibility of other units or of

19 other corps.

20 JUDGE MOLOTO: If I might just get clarification, Mr. Softic, and

21 I understand that you are not informed in detail, but I'm under the

22 impression that Trebevic-2 or any Trebevic operation was an operation by

23 your units, by your army. Am I right?

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it was an operation of the

25 military and the police, and you can see that from this document, who took

Page 1899

1 part in the action.

2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Indeed. And that operation by the Army of Bosnia

3 and Herzegovina should have been against somebody else, some enemy, isn't

4 it?

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, what I don't understand is your answer, where

7 you say -- the question was:

8 "Who was this operation directed against, to the best of your

9 recollection?"

10 And you say:

11 "Against our specific units."

12 Now, our enemy can't be against ourselves, it must be against

13 somebody else.

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, it was against units that

15 were out of the control and command, that were outside of the control and

16 command structure.

17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. That makes it a little more

18 clearer. Thank you.


20 Q. And, Mr. Softic, can you be more specific as to the units that

21 you're referring to?

22 A. As far as I know, there were three brigades, the 9th and the 10th

23 Brigade in Sarajevo. This is what I know. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I

24 think it was the 9th and the 10th Brigade.

25 MR. MENON: Thank you very much, Mr. Softic.

Page 1900

1 If the witness could now be shown Exhibit 239.

2 Q. Mr. Softic, do you see the document in front of you?

3 A. Yes, I do.

4 Q. Again, this was a document that was shown to you during

5 cross-examination yesterday, and if I'm not mistaken, you stated that you

6 drafted this document, and it refers to a plan of action under the code

7 name "Trebevic-3." Can you inform us who this action was directed

8 against?

9 A. Can you just please scroll down so that I can see if it's my

10 document? All right, thank you. I would need to read the document. I

11 really cannot remember just like this. I would need to read it first.

12 Q. Go ahead, Mr. Softic, go ahead and read the document.

13 A. In paragraph number 6, it says:

14 "In the area of responsibility of the corps, where the Trebevic-3

15 action is being carried out, set aside special facilities as collection

16 centres, carry out triage immediately and pre-investigative actions in

17 order to carry out disciplinary and criminal proceedings."

18 So the Trebevic-3 action was carried out in the areas of

19 responsibility of the corps.

20 MR. MENON: It's on the second page, Your Honour, of the English

21 text, and I believe it's paragraph 6 that the witness just read out.

22 Q. Mr. Softic, can you be a little more specific as to which units

23 this operation was directed against?

24 A. I really couldn't be more specific than what I have read. I

25 really couldn't go further than that, because it would all be speculation.

Page 1901

1 Trebevic-3 was carried out in the areas of responsibility of the corps,

2 like it states in the document.

3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Softic. Do you know which units Trebevic-3 was

4 specifically carried out against?

5 A. Well, I can only give you a response in the spirit of this

6 document. Against all those who were beyond or outside the system of

7 command and control. I can't tell you any more than that.

8 Q. Mr. Softic, I'm simply asking whether it's -- and if you don't

9 know, simply say, "I don't know," but whether you know whom this operation

10 was carried out specifically against, which units. If you don't know the

11 names of the units, then --

12 A. I don't know.

13 Q. Thank you, Your Honour -- or thank you, Mr. Softic.

14 A. I don't know.

15 MR. MENON: No further questions, Your Honour.

16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.

17 Judge.

18 Questioned by the Court:

19 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Softic, I have just one extra question

20 relating to the document we saw -- the first document we saw this morning.

21 And my question is do you recall the handwritten edition that

22 General Delic had put on top of the proposal from the 3rd Corps, in which

23 he says, "I agree, try to set up a temporary formation, consider how." Do

24 you remember that text that was handwritten by General Delic?

25 A. Yes, I do.

Page 1902

1 JUDGE HARHOFF: My question is: Who was that addressed to? Who

2 was that to consider? Was that you, a message to you, that you should try

3 and think about how this could be done, or was it something to remind

4 himself that he should remember to think about it, or was it something

5 that should be conveyed back to General Hadzihasanovic? Who was the

6 addressee of those remarks handwritten by General Delic?

7 A. At the top, the remark written by the Commander has the name of

8 the administration that he addressed this document to, and that was the

9 Organisation and Mobilisation Administration. This administration dealt

10 with issues relating to formation of armed forces of the Army of

11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, so this remark was passed on to the administration,

12 and it would be only normal to address this to the Mobilisation and

13 Organisation Administration who were in charge of these kinds of units,

14 and they were supposed to consider the mode and the method of solving this

15 problem.

16 JUDGE HARHOFF: The next question is, then: Do you know what the

17 Organisation Administration then did? What proposals did they come up

18 with?

19 A. As far as I can see from these documents that we have seen so far,

20 the Mobilisation and Organisation Administration responded by providing a

21 proposal on how to deal with this matter, and I believe that we went

22 through these documents yesterday.

23 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much.

24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Any questions arising from the questions by the

25 Bench, Mr. Menon? Mr. Menon, any questions arising from the questions by

Page 1903

1 the Bench?

2 MR. MENON: Nothing further, Your Honour, thank you.

3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic.

4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.

5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.

6 Mr. Softic, this brings us to the conclusion of your testimony.

7 Thank you very much for taking your time from your very busy schedule to

8 come and testify.

9 On behalf of the Trial Chamber, I just want to say thank you and

10 wish you a happy return and a safe return back home. You are now excused.

11 You may step down.

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

13 [The witness withdrew]

14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mundis.

15 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.

16 The next witness, General Alastair Duncan, will not be ready to

17 testify until tomorrow, as was previously scheduled. He has yet to be

18 proofed, so unfortunately we don't have another witness to fill the

19 remainder of today's time.

20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. I suppose there's nothing we can do about

21 that.

22 The case then will stand adjourned to tomorrow at quarter past

23 2.00 in the same Courtroom II.

24 Court adjourned.

25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 9.35 a.m.,

Page 1904

1 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 30th day of

2 August, 2007, at 2.15 p.m.