1 Monday, 10 December 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning to everybody in the court this
8 Mr. Registrar, can you please call the case.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, and good morning, Your Honours. This
10 is case number IT-04-83-T, the Prosecutor versus Rasim Delic.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
12 Could we have the appearances, please, starting with the
14 MS. SARTORIO: Good morning, Your Honours, and everyone. Laurie
15 Sartorio and Kyle Wood for the Prosecution. We're assisted by our case
16 manager, Fraser McIlwraith.
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 OTP, to everyone in and around the
21 courtroom. I am Vasvija Vidovic, with Mr. Nicholas Robson, representing
22 Mr. Delic, with our legal assistant, Lana Deljkic.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Madam Vidovic.
24 May the witness please make the declaration.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
1 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Sir, you may now be seated
3 and make yourself comfortable.
4 WITNESS: MUHAMED OMERASEVIC
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: And good morning to you. Good morning.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
9 Madam Sartorio.
10 MS. SARTORIO: Yes, Your Honour. This witness's statement has
11 been admitted pursuant to Rule 92 bis, and therefore we'll just be
12 proceeding right into cross-examination.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
14 Madam Vidovic.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, sorry for the interruption. Just
16 for the record, the statement of the witness, which has been -- which was
17 admitted on the 5th of December, will be Exhibit number 970.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Exhibit number 970, witness statement. Thank you
19 very much, Mr. Registrar.
20 Yes, Mr. Robson.
21 MR. ROBSON: Thank you, Your Honours.
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Robson:
23 Q. Good morning, Mr. Omerasevic. My name is Nicholas Robson, and
24 I'll be asking you some questions today on behalf of General Rasim Delic.
25 Just to explain to you, you have prepared two statements to the
1 Office of the Prosecutor. The first was dated the 24th of October, 2006,
2 and the second was dated the 8th of May, 2007. Those two -- those two
3 statements have been admitted into evidence with the Trial Chamber, and
4 the Trial Chamber have read those statements. They will therefore be
5 aware of what you say in those statements.
6 The reason for you coming today is so that we today can clarify
7 some of the points that you mention in the statements. If at any time you
8 do not understand any of my questions, please let me know, and I'll try to
9 rephrase them. Is that clear?
10 A. Yes, it is.
11 Q. So, Mr. Omerasevic, in 1995 you were the deputy commander of the
12 5th Battalion of the 328th Brigade; is that right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. The commander of the 5th Battalion was Ahmet Sehic; is that so?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And am I right in saying that at the time of the combat operations
17 in September 1995, the headquarters of the 5th Battalion was in the
18 village of Marici?
19 A. Marici.
20 Q. So the headquarters was located in that village.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And is it also correct that your unit, the 5th Battalion, also had
23 a rear command post in the village of Borovnica?
24 A. It wasn't in the village of Borovnica. It was between the Sehici
25 and Borovnica villages.
1 Q. Thank you for that clarification.
2 I now want to turn to your first statement, given in October
3 2006. And in that statement, at paragraph 39, you mentioned the El
4 Mujahedin Detachment and you explain how, as far as you can remember, that
5 unit was involved in operations at Podsjelovo.
6 Now, would you agree with me that apart from the El Mujahedin
7 Detachment, there were other Mujahedin groups operating in Central Bosnia?
8 A. Officially I don't know about the El Mujahid Unit. I do mention
9 it in my statements sometimes as "El Mujahid." This is what the others
10 referred to it. I don't know if there was some other such group. There
11 were all sorts of stories, but officially I don't know. On the other
12 hand, I never managed to find out where the El Mujahid Unit was located,
13 at which level of command in the hierarchy of the Army of Bosnia and
14 Herzegovina they belonged, and the only thing I am sure of is that the
15 brigade command did not have any authority or jurisdiction over them.
16 Q. You say that -- during September 1995, is it right that you were
17 primarily located at the command post at Marici?
18 A. It was a provisional forward command post of a unit of the 5th
19 Battalion. In order to avoid confusion, it was a forward command post
20 that was set up before the preparations for the action itself. We
21 received an order that Ahmet Sehic conveyed to me orally to place it along
22 the line of defence, this forward command post, and to place two-thirds of
23 the soldiers. That was the first order.
24 Q. So that is a place where you would spend some of your time in
25 September 1995.
1 A. I think 10, 12, 13 days I was there at that place.
2 Q. And is it right that you would also spend some of your time in
3 September 1995 in Borovnica?
4 A. I wasn't in Borovnica during those few days, since when I would be
5 leaving the forward command post, I would turn left towards my house
6 before that, because the next village to the left of Sehici is my village,
7 where I live, Lijevca. And I didn't really pass that way in the last
8 month or two.
9 Q. Was your village, Lijevca, close to Borovnica?
10 A. It's about 20 minutes, not taking the road that the cars go but if
11 you take a -- a path, pedestrian path.
12 Q. Were you aware -- were there -- to your knowledge, were there any
13 Mujahedin fighters based in Borovnica during September 1995?
14 A. Officially I don't know, and I didn't see any, but I did have one
15 piece of information. Since we from the Marici area waited for ten days,
16 we didn't know how the action was proceeding, Sehic and I decided by
17 ourselves, without the knowledge of the brigade command, to take the unit
18 that was at the line of defence when the order was issued for the other
19 soldiers to come to the line of defence, to send them home to change
20 clothes, bathe, take some more clothes, because it came on its shift.
21 So when that group of soldiers returned, they were saying that
22 there was a group of Arabs which, according to what they saw - because
23 they were only at home for a couple of hours, between 5.00 and 7.00,
24 that's how long it took them to get ready, because they walked on foot
25 over the hill - so the group they noticed was different from the groups
1 that they would see before then. More or less all of them were smoking,
2 and there was a small shop there, and they would come to that shop and ask
3 to -- to see if there was any beer to buy, which was a bit different from
4 all the Arabs that they had met to the -- to date.
5 And then in that story, before the beginning of the Vozuca action,
6 people were guessing that this was a group of Kurds. I don't know how
7 true this is. All I know is what I know based on the stories told by 10
8 or 15 soldiers.
9 Q. Okay. Now, you've mentioned the events in September 1995. In
10 your first statement, you explain how on the 10th or 11th of September,
11 around 4.00 or 5.00 in the morning, shooting started towards the area of
12 Paljenik. You explain at paragraph 66 how later that day you received
13 information about what was going on and you heard that the BiH army was
14 attacking at the area of Vozuca.
15 Do you remember saying that in your statement?
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. In your statement, then you continue to explain how at around
18 10.00 in the evening of that day you were ordered to take the forest
19 behind the village of Kesten, and you made a request to your commander,
20 Ahmet Sehic, and asked if you could take the forest in the morning. Is
21 that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You then explain how the next morning at 5.00 you went down
24 towards Kesten village together with a unit of the 5th Battalion, and that
25 unit was led by Ismet Sogolj [Realtime transcript read in error
1 "Sokolj"]. You then explain that you established a new front line -- you
2 established a new front line and then you and Ismet Sogolj decided to
3 return to the visit -- to the village of Kesten. Is that correct?
4 A. We didn't decide to return to the village of Kesten. It was a
5 couple of hundred metres away. But, however, Ismet, in agreement with me,
6 was going back to the village of Kesten, where he had a certain number of
7 company -- the company that had remained, and I was going back to Jasicka
8 Kosa, where my forward command post was at that time and where I had a
9 telephone connection, a field telephone connection.
10 Q. Am I right in saying that your forward command post at Jasicka
11 Kosa was located on top of a hill that overlooked Kesten village?
12 A. Well, you could see maybe a half or a little bit more than a half
13 of the village from there.
14 Q. So as I understand it, you went from Kesten village back to your
15 forward command post. And while you were at the post, you looked down and
16 you could see that there was a group coming from the forest towards Kesten
17 village. And at that point, on seeing the group, you decided to go down
18 to Kesten to see what was going on. Is that right?
19 A. First I heard shooting in the woods, and then after 10 or 15
20 minutes I could see people coming out of the woods going towards the
21 houses in the village along the macadam road. Since I didn't have any
22 communications with my soldiers or Ismet Sogolj, as the company commander,
23 I tried to use a field telephone, because the communications man was next
24 to me, to see if I could get in touch with Ahmet Sehic in Marici to see if
25 he knew what was going on, and he said that he didn't know. And then
1 after that, I had no other choice. I made the decision, left the
2 communications man in the trench, and then I went to the village of Kesten
3 myself to see what was going on.
4 Q. And is it correct that as you walked down to Kesten, on your way
5 to Kesten village you met some of your soldiers who were -- who were
6 escorting some Serb women and you told those soldiers to take the women to
7 the 5th Battalion's forward command post at Marici?
8 A. It's true.
9 Q. In your statement, you go on to explain what you saw in Kesten
10 village. You say that you saw Ismet Sogolj arguing with Arabs outside a
11 hall. You also explain how you saw four or five Arabs in the room inside
12 the hall and maybe 40 to 50 Serb prisoners of war.
13 Now, the Trial Chamber have read your account of what you saw in
14 and around the hall, but what I would like to ask you specifically about
15 is the following: In both statements, you refer to the men who took the
16 Serb prisoners of war as "Arabs." Am I right in saying that those men
17 that you called Arabs, in terms of their appearance, they had no insignia
18 or markings that could identify them as belonging to a particular group?
19 A. You are correct, because they didn't have any insignia for me to
20 be able to know which unit they belonged to. I must be sincere, though.
21 The day before, there was a decision made about the insignia worn by the
22 soldiers of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but since we had already
23 started moving, I didn't know what the other units of the armija were
24 wearing, what their insignia was, other than the units of the 5th
25 Battalion. So sometime in the afternoon on that day, from a messenger
1 from the commander of the brigade, I received a new code word for the
2 328th Brigade, a new password.
3 Q. But just to be absolutely clear, in terms of the appearance of
4 these Arabs that you saw in and around the hall, there was nothing about
5 their clothing from which you could conclude that they were members of the
6 El Mujahedin Detachment.
7 A. No, they were not wearing all the same clothing. Some had
8 camouflage uniforms with darker colours. Some had such uniforms of
9 lighter colours. The clothes they were wearing were not uniform, and I
10 didn't see any unit insignia.
11 Q. Now, you describe how the Serb prisoners of war were led towards
12 Krcevine. Can you confirm the Krcevine village is along the road to the
13 north of Kesten?
14 A. Well, I'll try to orient myself. It is to the north of Kesten, I
15 think, and it's a good 2 kilometres through wooded terrain, and then you
16 get to a little hill where the village is. Maybe it's some 7 to 8 to 10
17 kilometres. That's where it is.
18 Q. In your statement, you explain that you travelled to the forward
19 command post at Marici, taking the two boys, or young men, with you. Did
20 you go there in a vehicle?
21 A. We took a -- a van, a TAM van, T-A-M van.
22 Q. You explain in your statement that as you passed Krcevine village,
23 you saw the prisoners of war there. Is it right to say that that was the
24 last time you saw those prisoners of war?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. How long did it take you to travel from Kesten village to Marici
3 A. Maybe 15 or 20 minutes. It's a bad macadam road, and it's not
4 more than 7 or 8 kilometres away.
5 Q. And by the time you arrived in Marici village, is it correct that
6 you found out that the Serb women had already been taken by what you
7 describe in your statement as "another group of Arabs"?
8 A. Yes, because I found one of the two soldiers there with whom the
9 women were sent to the forward command post of the company, and he told
10 me, when we came down from the forest road, to the road, there was 100
11 metres to the forward command post. Then a group of Arabs came along and
12 they took those women from them.
13 Q. In your statement, you used the word -- you use the
14 expression "another group." Is it your understanding that the Arabs that
15 took the three women were members of a different group from the Arabs that
16 took the Serb prisoners of war in Kesten village, or are you unable to
18 A. I couldn't say. It was a different group in relation to the group
19 that happened to be in Kesten at that point in time.
20 Q. Now, you said that the last time you saw the Serb prisoners of war
21 was in Krcevine village. It follows from that that after you arrived in
22 Marici, at no point did you see the captured Serbs traveling through
23 Marici village at any stage. Is that right?
24 A. No, I didn't, because it was already getting dark. If we're
25 talking about the time when I came from Sehici with those two young men
1 that we had brought out, when we arrived at Marici, I returned to Jasicka
2 Kosa again and I spent the night there. But in the morning, 4.00 or 5.00
3 in the morning, an order came that we would need to switch our unit to the
4 Cevaljusa region, a unit of the 5th Battalion, which is what we did. And
5 then between 9.00 and 10.00, we took the whole 5th Battalion unit in that
6 -- to that area.
7 Q. I'm moving to a slightly different issue. As I understand your
8 evidence, the Serb prisoners of war were taken by the Arabs on the second
9 day of the September operation. Is that right?
10 A. Well, all of that was happening on the second day.
11 Q. So if the operation started on the 10th of September, it would
12 follow from that that the Serb prisoners of war were taken on the 11th of
13 September. Would you agree with me?
14 A. Captured on the 11th of September, then, but then as for Krcevine,
15 I don't know whether they were taken away on that day or some other day.
16 I don't know. Anyway, the last time I saw them there was in the early
18 Q. Okay. I now want to ask you about some reports that were sent
19 around that period of time. It's correct, isn't it, that the superior
20 unit to the 5th Battalion was the 328th Brigade, which was commanded by
21 Fuad Zilkic?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And would you agree with me that Major Zilkic was obliged to send
24 regular daily combat reports about his subordinate units, which included
25 the 5th Battalion, to his superior unit?
1 A. Either I did not understand you properly or you misspoke.
2 Q. I will repeat myself. Would you agree with me that Major Zilkic
3 was obliged to send regular daily combat reports to his superior unit and
4 the subject matter of those reports were his subordinate units, which
5 included the 5th Battalion?
6 A. Now you expressed yourself in a better way.
7 Q. And the answer to my question? Would you agree with -- that what
8 I put to you is correct?
9 A. Well, on the next day -- I mean, if all of this started on the
10 10th, then on the morning of the 12th, around 4.00 in the morning, I got
11 this oral order. I would call it an "order," because it came from a
12 higher instance to a lower instance. So I was orally ordered by Sehic to
13 transfer the unit to the area of Cevaljici [as interpreted]. And on the
14 same evening --
15 Q. We may be at cross-purposes. I'll start again. I'm speaking in
16 general terms and I'm asking you this question in your capacity as a
17 deputy commander of the 5th Battalion. Would you agree with me that
18 commanders of units were obliged to send regular daily combat reports to
19 their superior units?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And would you agree with me that in general terms, Fuad Zilkic, as
22 the commander of the 328th Brigade, was obliged to send reports each day
23 about his subordinate units?
24 A. Well, I don't know what the agreement was, in terms of the chain
25 of command, the brigade, the division, the corps, but I know that Sehic
1 and I gave an order to our assistant commander for security and our
2 assistant commander for morale to make a report to the brigade with regard
3 to this matter, and I think that was done. Whether this was sent further
4 on, this report, I mean, that is something I don't know.
5 Q. Okay. At this stage, what I'd like to do is show you some
6 documents, if I may.
7 MR. ROBSON: And, Your Honours, if we could please bring document
8 D744 on the screens.
9 Q. Mr. Omerasevic, are you able to see that document clearly? It's
10 the document on the left-hand side of your screen that I'd like you to
11 look at. Are you able to read the writing?
12 A. Regular daily combat report. Sent. Situation and activities of
13 the enemy -- the enemy, UN forces, and MO.
14 Q. Would you -- could you confirm that what we see in front of us is
15 a regular daily combat report dated the 11th of September, 1995 and it's
16 going from the 328th Mountain Brigade. It has a confidential number,
17 02/2-1139/95, and it's going to the 35th Division.
18 A. Well, I -- what I see is that that is what the report says, but
19 this is the first time I see this.
20 Q. I appreciate that this is a -- a document that you have never seen
21 before, but if I could perhaps ask you to -- to take a look at some parts
22 of it.
23 Perhaps, first of all, if we could look at page 5 in the English
24 and page 3 in the B/C/S version. If we can look at the bottom of the page
25 in the B/C/S.
1 We can see there that the document bears the name of Fuad Zilkic,
2 who was the commander of the 328th Brigade; is that right?
3 A. Yes.
4 MR. ROBSON: And, Your Honours, if we could just look at the next
5 page in both document, please, just to ascertain one matter.
6 Q. And can you confirm, Mr. Omerasevic, that this page here, this
7 document certifies that the report that we just looked at is a true copy
8 of the original and was found in the archives of the ARBiH?
9 A. Well, as far as I can say. I mean, I can only make assumptions.
10 I can't confirm that I perhaps sometime did have this -- the original in
11 my hands.
12 Q. I appreciate that.
13 If we can return back to the first page of both documents,
14 please. If we can scroll down the English version, please. Down to the
15 bottom, please.
16 It's right, isn't it, that we can see there a heading which says,
17 number 2, "Situation and activities of brigade forces"? Do you see that
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And if we can go to the second page in the English version,
22 MR. ROBSON: And, Your Honours, what I'm interested in is -- is
23 about one-third the way down the English screen.
24 Q. Can you see there a subheading, Mr. Omerasevic, which
25 says "Activities of the units"? It's about three-quarters of the way down
1 the screen.
2 A. "Activities of the units"? Yes. Yes, I see it.
3 Q. And what we can see in here is Major Zilkic is given -- giving
4 information about the battalions of the 328th Brigade, and he says here
5 that "The 5th Battalion has designated forces of the strength of 1
6 mountain company for active b/d."
7 Do you see that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And does "b/d" mean combat operations?
10 A. Well, I assume that that's it.
11 Q. And it also goes on to say that the "Battalions are carrying out
12 their regular tasks." Is that so?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. So you'd agree with me that in this report, Major Zilkic is
15 describing the situation relating to the battalions on the 11th of
16 September and he's also included information about the 5th Battalion.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. If I can carry on in the document. If we can turn to page 3 in
19 the English and page 2 in the B/C/S version. And if we can scroll down
20 the page in the English, please.
21 Do you see there within section number 4, which is headed "Losses
22 in personnel," there is some information about members of the ARBiH that
23 have been slightly wounded?
24 A. I see that.
25 Q. And within the part that deals with people that have been slightly
1 wounded, we can see that there is information that relates to two members
2 of the 5th Battalion of the 328th Brigade, Rasim Sogolj and Mihret
3 Sogolj. Is that so?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did you know these two people by any chance?
6 A. I know Sogolj Mihret, but Rasim, not directly.
7 Q. And as far as you were aware, is it right that Mihret Sogolj
8 was -- was injured during the September operations?
9 A. Yes, by a shell.
10 MR. ROBSON: And, Your Honours, the last thing on the document.
11 If we could look at page 4, please.
12 Your Honours, I -- I'd ask that this document be admitted into
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is the document is admitted into
15 evidence. May it please be given an exhibit number.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number 971.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
18 MR. ROBSON: Your Honours, if we could please look at document
20 Q. Mr. Omerasevic, this is a one-page report. I appreciate that
21 you've probably never seen this document before, but could you confirm for
22 us that what we see on the screen in front of us is an interim operations
23 report dated the 11th of September, 1995 from the 328th Mountain Brigade
24 to the 35th Division.
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter could not hear the witness.
1 MR. ROBSON:
2 Q. Could you just repeat that answer again, please. The interpreter
3 didn't hear your answer.
4 A. I do see the report. That's what I said. I see it.
5 Q. Thank you. And, again, can you confirm that this report bears the
6 name of Fuad Zilkic at the -- at the bottom of it.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And can you confirm that in looking at the report, what we can see
9 is that Major Zilkic has given information to the 35th Division about one
10 of the -- one of his subordinate units, the 2nd Battalion?
11 A. I see.
12 Q. And we can see that the information that Major Zilkic is
13 describing concerns events that took place about 1800 hours on the evening
14 of the 11th of September. Is that so?
15 A. Well, according to this, yes. However, this report which is on
16 this page was far away from me at that point in time. It was on a
17 completely different side, if I can put it that way. Say, 20 kilometres,
18 as the crow flies.
19 [Defence counsel confer]
20 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honour --
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Sartorio.
22 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honour, I'm going to -- I've let it go on a
23 bit, but I'm going to object to any further questions of this witness with
24 regard to this document. It has nothing to do with anything the witness
25 was -- it has nothing to do with the 5th Battalion. He's already said
1 this was far away from him. And I think any further questions about this
2 document is just going to be him reading the document and speculating.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Robson.
4 MR. ROBSON: Your Honour, I would ask that I be given the chance,
5 the opportunity to continue putting one or two foundational questions to
6 the witness.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: There is an objection, sir. Deal with the
9 MR. ROBSON: Well, Your Honour, I'm still asking foundational
10 questions to this witness. It's my submission that the objection is --
11 it's too early, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm afraid, Mr. Robson, if you are not going to
13 deal with the objection, then I'm going to rule you out of order in any
14 further questions. Your colleague is saying no further questions because
15 of what the witness told you. Now, you've got to deal with that;
16 otherwise, I --
17 MR. ROBSON: Your Honour.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: -- I must support her objection.
19 MR. ROBSON: I have asked one or two questions of this witness. I
20 still have further questions to -- to put to this witness to ascertain
21 what knowledge he -- he may have as to the content of this document, and I
22 would ask for leave to continue to do so.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Leave --
24 MR. ROBSON: If you --
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Leave is denied. The objection is upheld.
1 MR. ROBSON: Your Honour, I'll put this document away. If it
2 could be marked, please, for identification before I do so.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the document please be marked for
4 identification and be given an exhibit number.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, that will be MFI 972.
6 MR. ROBSON: And if we could please bring up document D746 on the
7 screens, please.
8 Q. Mr. Omerasevic, this is similar to the first document that I
9 showed you. Could you please confirm that what we can see in front of us
10 is a regular daily combat report dated the 12th of September, 1995 from
11 the 328th Mountain Brigade to the 35th Division.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And, Your Honours, if we can turn to page 5 in the English and
14 page 3 in the B/C/S version. If we could look at the bottom of the page
15 in the B/C/S.
16 Could you confirm that this document has come from Major Fuad
18 A. His name is signed there.
19 MR. ROBSON: If we could please return back to the first page in
20 both documents. If we can scroll down in -- in the English version,
21 please. And also in the B/C/S.
22 Q. Like last time, can you see there a section which is headed,
23 number 2, "Situation and activities of brigade forces"?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And would you agree with me that, again, this section contains
1 information about your unit, the 5th Battalion, and specifically it
2 states: "526 fighters are manning the l/o in the z/o of the 4th, 5th, and
3 the 1st Battalions"? Do you -- do you see that, Mr. Omerasevic? It is --
4 A. Yes. Yes.
5 Q. And staying with this section, if we can just turn over on to the
6 English version, please.
7 Before I do so, can you just confirm: What does "L/0" mean? Is
8 it line of defence?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And z/o, does that mean zone of responsibility?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And is it right that in this section, there is further information
13 which says "The focus of activities is on conducting decisive defence in
14 the l/o of the z/o of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions and taking control of the
15 newly reached l/o with forces of the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 1st Battalion of
16 the 328th Brigade." That's in -- it's in the bottom third of the screen
17 in the B/C/S version.
18 A. Yes, I see that. Yes.
19 Q. And beneath that, we can see it states -- it gives information
20 about specific combat activities, and we can see here that place names are
21 mentioned. We can see that -- that Cevaljusa is one of the names
22 mentioned. And it also goes on to say that specific combat activities
23 include: "Taking control of the aforementioned l/o, line of defence, has
24 started at 0700 hours this morning with forces of the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and
25 1st Battalion."
1 Does -- does this information that we see here correspond with
2 what you were telling us earlier about what your units did on the 11th and
3 12th of September?
4 A. I think that this does correspond, but I don't know if I
5 registered the dates of the statements properly.
6 MR. ROBSON: Your Honours, I'd ask that this document be admitted
7 into evidence.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
9 please be given an exhibit number.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number 973.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
12 MR. ROBSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Omerasevic. I have no
13 further questions for you.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
15 Madam Sartorio.
16 MS. SARTORIO: I have no questions, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Madam Sartorio.
19 Questioned by the Court:
20 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Yes, I have a question. Witness,
21 in the reports that you saw on the basis of these documents that were
22 shown to you by the Defence, in addition to combat activities, was there
23 supposed to be a reference to the capturing of prisoners of war too?
24 A. I think there should have been, if people knew about them, that
1 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] So why was that not done, in your
3 A. Well, whether the brigade commander knew about these prisoners or
4 not is something I don't know. If he did know about this, it certainly
5 should have been contained in the report, yes.
6 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] However, the subordinate units,
7 were they duty-bound to report to the commander about that?
8 A. They were duty-bound to do that, and I certainly said at the
9 beginning that as far as I'm concerned and the battalion commander, the
10 two assistant commanders for morale and security were instructed to inform
11 the brigade command, and that was done. At that time, on the premises, I
12 ordered the company commander to make a list of documents -- or rather, of
13 the persons who were taken prisoner. But then this group of Arabs barged
14 in and they prevented that, so I don't know whether at that moment Sogolj
15 [Realtime transcript read in error "Sokolj"] managed to write down the
16 names of all the persons. I don't know how many names he registered. And
17 then he was supposed to make a report in terms of the hierarchy in the
18 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
19 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] So you know nothing in relation
20 to this report. You just know that there was an order that was issued by
21 yourself and your superior officer.
22 A. And all the rest of the time I was out in the field, and I see
23 that this report of the brigade corresponds to that, my movement from one
24 area to another.
25 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Judge Harhoff?
2 Madam Sartorio, any questions arising from the Judge's questions?
3 MS. SARTORIO: I think there needs to be a correction on the
4 record, Your Honour, in terms of the person that he -- I think it's
5 misspelled. And so we could ask the witness for the name of that person
6 again, because it's been several pages and lines so far.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Which?
8 MS. SARTORIO: The name at line 22 -- page 22.20. It says
9 S-o-k-o-l-j. And I'm not -- it's not consistent with what is in the
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Witness, can you tell us -- if you can look at the
12 screen at page 22, line 20, sir. There's a name there called Sokolj.
13 It's spelled S-o-k-o-l-j. Is that the correct spelling? First of all, is
14 that what you said?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it depends on the context.
16 This very word, "Sokolj," in our language it doesn't really mean much. It
17 can be "Sogolj," though.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's Note: S-o-g-o-l-j.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: In -- in your statement, sir, how did you write
20 this word?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't see the context in Bosnian.
22 I don't know. It may be Sogolj.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Sartorio, I think you'll have to either
24 re-examine this witness and correct that. If you have got problems, I'm
25 not able to help you, because I don't know the context. What do you plan
1 to do, ma'am?
2 MS. SARTORIO: I'll let it go, Your Honour. I have no questions.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
4 Any questions from the Defence?
5 MR. ROBSON: Yes, Your Honour.
6 Further cross-examination by Mr. Robson:
7 Q. Mr. Omerasevic, you said that Sogolj managed to write down the
8 names of the prisoners of war. Could you tell me, who was it, if anyone,
9 who prepared a list that day?
10 A. I said that I told the company commander, Sogolj, at that point to
11 make this list. I issued that task to him. But quickly another group of
12 Arabs appeared, and that prevented him from doing it. So I don't know if
13 he managed to start anything or to write down any names. I think this is
14 what I said in my statement.
15 Q. And do you know, was Mr. Karahasanovic there at all?
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Does that arise from the Judge's questions?
17 MR. ROBSON: Well, Your Honour, we've heard significant evidence
18 in this case that a list was prepared by somebody on that day, and I'm
19 just trying to clarify who the author of the list was.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: But that doesn't arise from the Judge's questions,
21 does it?
22 MR. ROBSON: Your Honour, it's --
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: You're leading new evidence now. The Prosecution
24 is going to want to -- to re-examine on that.
25 MR. ROBSON: Your Honour, in this case, we've had -- the Trial
1 Chamber has received evidence of a list.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Indeed. And -- yes.
3 MR. ROBSON: And we've heard evidence today that suggests that
4 that list may have been prepared by a man called Sogolj.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sure.
6 MR. ROBSON: What I'm trying to ascertain is whether it's the same
7 list or a different --
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: No.
9 MR. ROBSON: -- list or something else.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: But shouldn't you have asked about this other
11 person -- what's his name again -- before -- this Karahasanovic, shouldn't
12 you have asked about him in your cross-examination, sir?
13 MR. ROBSON: Your Honour, this is something which has just arisen
14 from Judge Lattanzi's question, this answer --
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: But that's --
16 MR. ROBSON: -- answer suggesting that Sogolj --
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: That was precisely my question to you, does this
18 arise out of -- and you just wouldn't answer me. You've just told me
19 that you've got evidence that this came from somebody else.
20 MR. ROBSON: It arises out of Judge Lattanzi's question, Your
22 MS. SARTORIO: No. I object, Your Honour. I don't -- I think if
23 we go back to Judge Lattanzi's question, it has nothing to do with the
24 list or Karahasanovic or anything of that sort.
25 MR. ROBSON: I withdraw the question.
1 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I would like to clarify
2 something. Witness in responding to my question clearly said - and I
3 refer to page where this is stated - that he does not know whether the
4 list -- I would like to find the page in order to be able to quote exactly
5 what the witness said. He said that he did not know whether the list was
6 drafted because this action was interrupted. And Mr. Robson perhaps
7 didn't precisely follow, and I think perhaps -- or I hope that this is
8 what the matter is.
9 And now he asked: You said that somebody drafted that list. But
10 that is not true. The witness did not say that. The witness clearly said
11 that he doesn't know anything about that. If you look at page 22, the
12 question put by Mr. Robson on page 24, the -- that place is where the
13 answer of the witness is recorded, and Mr. Robson cannot continue to put
14 questions to the witness on the assumption that the witness really knew
15 that the list was made.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Judge.
17 Anything further, Mr. Robson?
18 MR. ROBSON: I -- I take it, Your Honour, that -- that I'm not
19 permitted to pursue this area.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Indeed.
21 MR. ROBSON: Okay. No further questions, thank you.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
23 Sir, that brings us to the end of your testimony. Thank you very
24 much for coming to testify before the Trial Chamber. You are now
25 excused. You may stand down. And please travel well back home.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Sartorio.
4 MS. SARTORIO: We have no further witnesses for this morning, Your
5 Honour, as discussed on Friday, I believe, with Mr. Mundis.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
7 We'll take a break and come back at quarter to 11.00.
8 Court adjourned.
9 --- Recess taken at 10.08 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 10.46 a.m.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated] The Trial Chamber now is
12 going to give its ruling. I beg your pardon.
13 The Trial Chamber is now going to give its ruling on two oral
14 motions by the Prosecution that were made on Friday, the 7th of December,
16 In the first motion, the Prosecution requested that the Chamber
17 grant leave pursuant to Rule 50 of the Rules to withdraw count 3 of the
18 indictment, which is rape, and violation of the laws or customs of war.
19 The Defence agreed with the Prosecution's request.
20 The Trial Chamber has considered the oral submissions by the
21 parties and came to the conclusion that the withdrawal of a count after
22 the accused has entered a plea and on which the Prosecution has led
23 evidence would not be in the interests of justice because the accused
24 could be tried again on that count.
25 For these reasons, the motion is denied.
1 In the second motion, the Prosecution requested that the Chamber
2 reconsider its decision of the 5th December 2007 admitting into evidence
3 the written statement of Witness DRW-1, pursuant to Rule 92 bis, subject
4 to DRW-1 appearing for cross-examination.
5 As DRW-1 would under no circumstances be available for
6 cross-examination, the Prosecution asks that the evidence pertinent to
7 count 3 be redacted from the statement, under which condition the Defence
8 would renounce their -- the right to cross-examine her.
9 The Trial Chamber takes the view that pursuant to Rule 92 ter,
10 which is referred to by Rule 92 bis (C), the unavailability of DRW-1 for
11 cross-examination results in her statement not being in evidence. The
12 Chamber, however, decides to grant the second motion and allows the
13 paragraph concerning count 3 to be redacted and admits the statement of
14 DRW-1 in evidence pursuant to Rule 92 bis.
15 Fine. Thank you very much. Those are the two motions that were
17 The one last thing -- well, not the very last, but last but one,
18 maybe. We have the last motion by the Prosecution pursuant to Rule 92 bis
19 for next year's witnesses. Because there may not be sufficient time when
20 we come back to give a decision and to enable the Prosecution to schedule
21 their witnesses, where the Chamber felt it must just find out from the
22 Defence whether they has a position with respect to those motions.
23 MR. ROBSON: Your Honour, in respect of the sixth motion,
24 concerning two witnesses, Vukovic and Negovetic, the Defence's position is
25 this: In respect of Mr. Vukovic, we do not oppose his statement being
1 admitted into evidence without cross-examination. In respect of
2 Mr. Negovetic, we will be inviting the Trial Chamber to rule that he
3 should attend for cross-examination, and we will be filing our substantive
4 response this morning, any moment now.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Robson.
6 Just before I say the last thing, do the parties have anything to
7 raise, this being most probably the last day of the year that we are going
8 to be together?
9 Madam Sartorio.
10 MS. SARTORIO: The Prosecution has nothing, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Madam Sartorio.
12 Mr. Robson or Madam Vidovic?
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] The Defence has nothing, Your
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
16 In that event, then, as I've said, this is the last day of the
17 year before -- that we are together. The Trial Chamber would like to just
18 take this opportunity to wish everybody a pleasant restive season and
19 hopefully we can come back in the new year refreshed and ready to move on
20 with the job.
21 Please have a merry Christmas and a splendid new year.
22 Court adjourned to the 15th of January at 2.15 in courtroom II.
23 Court adjourned.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 10.52 a.m.,
25 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 15th day of
1 January, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.