1 Friday, 8 February 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning, everybody in the court. May the
7 registrar please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
9 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-83-T, the
10 Prosecutor versus Rasim Delic.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. May we have the appearances,
12 please, beginning with the Prosecution.
13 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
14 Honours, Counsel, and everyone in and around the courtroom. Daryl Mundis
15 and Aditya Menon for the Prosecution, assisted by our case manager Alma
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. And for the Defence.
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
19 morning to my learned friends from the Prosecution, to everyone in and
20 around the courtroom. I am Vasvija Vidovic representing General Rasim
21 Delic, with my case manager Lana Deljkic, legal assistant Sabina Dzubur,
22 and with the help of legal assistant from OKO, Nina Kisic.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Madam Vidovic.
24 Sir, before we start, may you sit for a while, please.
25 Just to -- to put on the record that this session of this trial
1 is sitting in Sarajevo pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules of Procedure and
2 Evidence of the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia,
3 and Mr. -- may we then ask the witness to please make the oath.
4 WITNESS: AJMAN AWAD
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
7 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mundis.
9 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Examination by Mr. Mundis:
11 Q. Good morning, Witness.
12 A. Good morning.
13 Q. For the record, can you please state your full name, spelling
14 both your first and last names, please.
15 A. First I would like to say my name is Ajman, A-j-m-a-n, and mine
16 last name is Awad, A-w-a-d. I would like to say that I was summoned here
17 to testify at the request of the Prosecution not versus or against Rasim
18 Delic but in the case of Rasim Delic, and it's not a fact that I
19 voluntarily came to testify but that I'm here to testify on the basis of
20 your summons and request. I would like this to be noted in the record.
21 They said that I was representative of the Ensario [phoen]
22 Association and to testify on their behalf. I'm not testifying on their
23 behalf. I would just like to say that I am here testifying at the
24 request of The Hague Prosecution or Prosecutor's office today.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mundis, bearing in mind what the witness has
1 just said, may I just remind the parties that should there be any private
2 sessions that the parties would like us to go into, can we please try to
3 do that either at the beginning or at the end of the testimony so that we
4 don't interrupt the public gallery, because we would have to clear the
5 public gallery when we go into private session.
6 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. I will keep that in mind.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. You may proceed.
8 MR. MUNDIS:
9 Q. Mr. Awad, can you please state your date and place of birth.
10 A. I was born on the 1st of April, 1964, in Syria.
11 Q. And, sir, can you tell the Trial Chamber of which country or
12 countries are you currently a citizen?
13 A. Currently I have the citizenship of the Arab Republic of Syria,
14 because my BH citizenship was revoked.
15 Q. Mr. Awad, can you please tell us when you first came to the
16 former Yugoslavia?
17 A. I came in 1982 to Belgrade. From Belgrade I went to Zagreb where
18 I stayed and enrolled in university. After Zagreb, I transferred to
19 another town, Rijeka, where I remind for seven years.
20 Q. And, sir, during the time period that you were in Croatia, what
21 subject or subjects did you study?
22 A. I studied medicine, and because of certain circumstances, because
23 of financial matters, I stopped studying there and went to study
24 physiotherapy, but I did not graduate. I only had four exams left, and I
25 stopped my studies there in 1994.
1 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber, sir, what language you studied
2 medicine and physiotherapy in?
3 A. Then it was called Croato-Serbian, Hrvatsko-Sprski language.
4 Q. And can you tell us, sir, how did you come to learn how to speak
5 that language?
6 A. When I came to Zagreb, I enrolled at the faculty of philosophy,
7 the department for language studies, and I went to a course for six
8 months and I received a diploma which I could then use to enroll at the
9 medical faculty because I knew Serbo-Croatian.
10 Q. Where were you, Mr. Awad, when the war began in Bosnia and
12 A. I was in Croatia, in Rijeka.
13 Q. And did there come a time, sir, when you left Rijeka and went to
14 Bosnia and Herzegovina in the early part of the war?
15 A. Not at the beginning of the war, but in late 1992 I came to
16 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
17 Q. Okay. Now, a few moments ago, sir, I believe, at least the
18 English translation you said you left Croatia in 1994. Is that correct?
19 A. I didn't say the number 4. I said I was born in 1964.
20 Q. Okay. Just to avoid any confusion, then, Mr. Awad, when did you
21 leave Croatia in order to go to Bosnia? What time period? What month
22 and year?
23 A. In December 1992, in late December 1992.
24 Q. Can you tell us, sir, a little bit about the circumstances under
25 which you went to Bosnia in December 1992?
1 A. Are you talking about my reasons for coming to Bosnia and
3 Q. Let's start with -- let's start with that question, sir. What
4 were the reasons why you came to Bosnia and Herzegovina in December 1992?
5 A. I came intending to fight in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the side
6 of Bosnian Muslims. After I worked for a brief period in Rijeka in
7 receiving refugees and helping refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina, when
8 I heard their stories and what suffering they went through and
9 humiliation, I decided that somebody else could do the work in the
10 humanitarian organisation and that I, as an able-bodied Muslim man could
11 contribute more by helping the people, these people.
12 Q. Mr. Awad, when you say the "humanitarian organisation," do you
13 remember the name of the humanitarian organisation that you were working
14 with in Rijeka in 1992?
15 A. There was several organisations. We were just coordinating the
16 humanitarian organisations. There was Igasa, Appeal International,
17 Islamic Relief, even Merhamet that was founded there, and we cooperated
18 with them and helped them in their work. In late 1992, I joined the
19 Mowafaq Foundation, humanitarian organisation, and that is the
20 organisation I was a member of when I entered Bosnia and Herzegovina.
21 Q. For the record, Mr. Awad, if you're able to do so, can you please
22 spell the name of the Mowafaq Foundation?
23 A. M-w -- actually, before that it's o-w-a-f-a-q.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we get that spelling again in English from the
1 THE INTERPRETER: M-o-w-a-f-a-q.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. And while we're on that
3 point, is there a way in which we can get the interpretation on the
4 screens or is there no way?
5 MR. MUNDIS: I don't believe that's possible, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Thank you very much. You may proceed, sir.
7 MR. MUNDIS:
8 Q. Mr. Awad, can you tell us how your trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina
9 in December 1992 was organised?
10 A. The director of the organisation asked those of us who wanted to
11 work in Bosnia and Herzegovina to go. He actually asked us, actually
12 myself and two of my colleagues, to enter Bosnia and Herzegovina to
13 gather information about what were the things that were essential, most
14 needed for assistance at that point. I went -- or, actually, we set out
15 from Zagreb. We went to Split, and then from Split we came by car from
16 somebody from Visoko, and that person took us to Zenica.
17 Q. What were your intentions upon arriving in Zenica? What exactly
18 was it, sir, that you expected to be doing after arriving in Zenica?
19 A. Since the director asked us to collect information about what was
20 most needed, the first thing was to visit the different authorities, the
21 different bodies who were responsible for this, to get direct information
22 from them.
23 And then I need to explain immediately this, why I came to the
24 Mowafaq Foundation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Before that I was in
25 contact with another organisation. It was Benevolence International,
1 which already had training places in Bosnia and Herzegovina for Bosnian
2 soldiers. I wanted to come to Bosnia to fight, and then I thought I
3 could use that opportunity and help with translation, because I knew I
4 spoke Bosnian or Croato-Serbian, which was spoken before. So to help
5 with translation, interpreting, and also help in fighting in Bosnia and
7 Q. Where did you go or where were you staying when you arrived in
8 Zenica in December 1992?
9 A. Late December, so then we now already moved into 1993. January
10 1993 I was in Zenica staying at the Metalurg Hotel, and then later I
11 asked for better accommodation so that you don't have to pay 10 marks
12 every day. Then they found an apartment where we could live for a whole
13 months for a hundred or a hundred and fifty marks, and that's where we
14 were staying in Zenica.
15 Q. And, Mr. Awad, when you say "we," can you tell us who you're
16 referring to?
17 A. I'm referring to the team that came with me, those two men, the
18 two colleagues to came with me from Zagreb.
19 Q. Do you recall their names?
20 A. One was Edib [phoen], and the other one was Basar [phoen].
21 Q. And do you recall, sir, where these two individuals, Edib and
22 Basar, were from?
23 A. Edib was a Palestinian who was living in Bosnia and Herzegovina
24 for a while, and Basar was a colleague of mine from Syria who studied
25 medicine with me in Rijeka.
1 Q. Mr. Awad, you told us that it was your intention to fight. That
2 was the reason you came to Bosnia. Sir, in fact did there come a time in
3 1993 when you joined a military unit or fighting force?
4 A. In 1993, in April, I joined a group of Arab Mujahedin who were
5 accommodated in Bilmiste. That's where the -- the 7th Muslim Brigade
6 barracks was.
7 Q. At that point in time, sir, April 1993, how big was in group of
8 foreign or Arab Mujahedin who were accommodated at Bilmiste barracks in
10 A. There were eight to ten people accommodated there. There weren't
11 more than that. Eight to ten people who were staying in two rooms. One
12 was on the ground floor, which was used as a kitchen for cooking, also
13 for the wounded and so on, and on the first floor there was a classroom
14 where the others slept. I think it was ten people. Not more than that.
15 Q. Do you recall where these ten people were from, what country or
17 A. Some were from Libya, Algiers -- Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan,
18 Lebanon. That's what I remember.
19 Q. Do you know, sir, if one person from amongst this group was in
20 charge of the group?
21 A. Each group usually has someone who's responsible for the group.
22 In this situation Abu Mali was in charge -- in charge of those people in
23 that room.
24 Q. And where was Abu Mali from?
25 A. Abu Mali was from Algeria.
1 Q. Do you recall, sir, the name or names of any of the other foreign
2 Mujahedin who were with you in Bilmiste barracks in April 1993?
3 A. Ajub [phoen] from Morocco was there, Abu Hamza from Jordan, Abu
4 Talib from Lebanon, Abu Mali. Before that I had met Dr. Abu Haris, but
5 he wasn't staying there at those premises.
6 Q. Who was Dr. Abu Haris, and where was he from?
7 A. Abu Haris was from Libya. For a certain period of time he was
8 the emir of the El Mujahedin Detachment -- or, rather, the commander of
9 the El Mujahedin Detachment or those Mujahedin.
10 Q. Sir, we'll talk about the El Mujahedin Detachment a little bit
11 later this morning. I'd like to focus your attention at this time on the
12 period April 1993.
13 This group of foreign Mujahedin who were accommodated at Bilmiste
14 barracks in Zenica, what were they doing?
15 A. They didn't have any activities. They were just staying there.
16 They didn't do anything.
17 Q. Okay. Based on -- well, let me ask you this, sir: How long
18 approximately did you remain at Bilmiste barracks? How long were you
19 accommodated there?
20 A. For two months almost.
21 Q. During this two-month period, Mr. Awad, or shortly less than
22 two-month period, did you have the opportunity to learn anything about
23 the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade?
24 A. I didn't inquire or speak to people, so not much of that really
25 interested me. I didn't ask about it except that they were just billeted
1 there as a force. I knew that the commander was Amir Kubura. Halil
2 Brzina was also there. I think he was in charge of logistics. Mahmut
3 Karalic was there as emir. They referred to him as emir. I think also
4 Ahmed Adilovic was there. He was in charge of morale. I think it was
5 morale. I'm not quite sure.
6 Q. Sir, us just told us that Halil Brzina, you thought, was in
7 charge of logistics. What gave you that impression, or why did you come
8 to understand or believe that Mr. Brzina was in charge of logistics for
9 the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade?
10 A. I received the first uniform that I wore in the army of Bosnia
11 and Herzegovina from him.
12 Q. Do you recall, Mr. Awad, approximately when Mr. Brzina provided
13 you with this army uniform?
14 A. This was in April 1993. Before that I dropped by there as a
15 humanitarian person, a person who came with a humanitarian organisation,
16 and we met some people there and so on. An incident happened. There was
17 an event in Zenica, and people -- joint patrols of the HVO and the army
18 of Bosnia and Herzegovina military police, joint patrols came out into
19 the streets, and one night I could not get to the apartment where I was
20 staying. The reason for that was the blockades. And I think there was a
21 kidnapping that happened in Zenica then.
22 Since I couldn't get to my apartment, and I was quite insulted by
23 members of the HVO, and the Bosnian military police couldn't defend me
24 from them, I threatened that I would press charges against them since I
25 was a member of a humanitarian organisation and they couldn't treat me
1 like that, but they wouldn't let me go to my apartment. And from that
2 time, I came back, and then I joined that group of Arabs, because the
3 next day -- or in two days the conflict broke out in Zenica. At the time
4 it was a conflict between the Bosnia and Herzegovina army and the HVO,
5 and the fighting was being waged in the area of Podbrezje.
6 Q. We'll -- we'll turn to some of this fighting between the army and
7 the HVO in just a moment, but I'd like to return to this uniform that you
8 were provided with. Do you recall -- can you describe what this uniform
9 looked like?
10 A. An ordinary uniform. The top part, somebody calls it a blouse,
11 somebody a jacket, and trousers. That was what I was given. Since I was
12 in civilian clothes, I asked to have something of military dress so that
13 I would look like a military man.
14 Q. What about --
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: The witness may have mentioned this earlier when
16 he referred to the uniform. I just wanted to make sure that it's there
17 on the record. Of which army was this uniform?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whether they had
19 special uniforms, the uniforms worn by the people in the army of Bosnia
20 and Herzegovina. All the soldiers wore uniforms. Whether it was the HVO
21 or the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, they all wore similar uniforms.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Here you say whether it was the HVO or the army of
23 the -- of Bosnia and Herzegovina, they wore similar uniforms?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do I understand you by that to be saying that the
1 uniform of the HVO and the uniform of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina
2 was exactly the same?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For me it was the same. I didn't
4 make any distinction. When I saw those men at the HVO check-point, I saw
5 that they were wearing a similar uniform.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: And when they were in combat, how did they
7 distinguish each other? Surely if two armies that are at war with each
8 other are wearing exactly the same type of uniform, they may -- you may
9 find that there's a lot of friendly fire.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It could have happened, but what I
11 saw, what I noticed at first glance when I came there, I saw that the
12 uniforms were similar.
13 Now, if we're talking about the next stage of the fighting,
14 certain insignia were worn. There may be a ribbon on the left or right
15 shoulder. The warring parties were not attacking from the same
16 positions. For example, if Vitez is attacked where HVO was stationed,
17 then they wouldn't be attacked from the side where the HVO but, rather,
18 where the lines of the BH army was.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: And did you have any ribbons or insignia on your
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Which uniform? The first one, you
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: The very first one. We are at the first uniform,
24 the very first that you were given by the emir of the 7th Mountain --
25 Muslim Mountain Brigade.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nothing. There were no insignia on
2 that uniform. It was clean. It was just a soldier's uniform.
3 Camouflage uniform. There were no insignia on it.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Camouflage uniform made of what colours?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Green, some brown, olive green.
6 That is the kind of uniform it was.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Were you given any boots?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I wasn't.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed.
10 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Q. Mr. Awad, of this group of approximately ten foreign Mujahedin
12 that were accommodated at Bilmiste barracks in April 1993, were you the
13 only foreign Mujahedin who was provided with a military uniform?
14 A. I don't know whether others received one. I know I did. I don't
15 know about the others.
16 Q. What type of clothing were the others wearing during the period
17 they were accommodated with you at Bilmiste barracks in Zenica?
18 A. They were wearing uniforms. Someone main not be wearing the
19 standard uniform or a costume like the Arab costume, but it was in
20 camouflage material.
21 Q. You've told us about the two rooms that the foreign Mujahedin
22 used in this building at Bilmiste barracks. Can you tell us, sir, about
23 the other rooms in that building, who, if anyone, was accommodated there
24 and what, if anything, was located in the other rooms of that building
25 other than the two that you and the foreign Mujahedin were occupying?
1 A. The barracks was actually the school building. I think the
2 secondary school. And the rooms were similar because they were
3 classrooms. There was the command and the commander and all the others,
4 the officers. They were all put up there. Then there was the
5 communications centre, the canteen. Everything any unit has was
6 accommodated in this school.
7 Q. Mr. Awad, based upon your time there, can you tell us a little
8 bit about the relationship between these eight to ten foreign Mujahedin
9 and the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade?
10 A. It was nothing in particular. We would meet. They were at -- in
11 the same building. Then we would meet in the canteen. Sometimes we
12 would talk, but nothing special really, nothing in particular.
13 Q. Other than the group of eight to ten Arab Mujahedin that you were
14 a member of and the soldiers of the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade, were
15 there any other persons or groups billeted at Bilmiste barracks during
16 the spring of 1993?
17 A. What do you mean, Bosniaks or foreigners? What groups are you
18 referring to?
19 Q. Any group, sir. You've told us about -- you've told us that at
20 Bilmiste barracks there were soldiers of the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade,
21 and there was a group of eight to ten Arab Mujahedin in the building, and
22 my question was were there any other people or groups in that barracks
23 building in the time period of spring 1993?
24 A. There was a group of Turks who were put up in the gym, in the
25 sports hall.
1 Q. Can you tell us, Mr. Awad, anything about this group of Turks?
2 How many? Who was in charge of them? What they were doing? Do you know
3 any of these things about this group of Turks that were in the gym?
4 A. I know -- don't know. I just know that they were there. There
5 was seven or eight of them. I didn't really go to look to see how many.
6 There was a Kemal and a Jusuf as far as I was able to notice. I didn't
7 have any real contact with them so that I don't have any more information
8 about them.
9 MR. MUNDIS: I would ask that the witness now be shown the
10 document marked P01037. P01037.
11 Q. Have you had a chance to look at this document, Mr. Awad? Can
12 you tell us anything about what's described in the first two paragraphs
13 of this document?
14 A. As far as I understand, they are addressing the command of the
15 3rd Corps, telling them that they have problems because foreign citizens
16 have been detained by HVO people at check-points, and they're asking that
17 such incidents should not be repeated in the future, and three names are
18 mentioned here.
19 Q. Do you know any of the three persons listed on this document?
20 A. I know that when people were released, when there was an exchange
21 with the HVO, there was an Abu Kadir from Algeria, a Hadza Mohadji
22 [phoen]. I don't really know his name. And someone from Tunisia. There
23 was some from Kuwait and I think from Qatar, from the Emirates. There
24 was even a Turk and a Pakistani in this exchange. So these are similar
25 names to those.
1 Q. Do you recall, sir, approximately when this exchange that you've
2 just mentioned took place and where?
3 A. In 1993, in the summer. I don't know exactly which month,
4 whether it was May or June. I can't remember the date. I don't know.
5 But I know that it was in that period of time that there was an exchange.
6 Q. And where did this exchange take place?
7 A. In Zenica, in front of the hotel. I think it was called
8 Internacional. Near the stadium in Zenica to be more precise.
9 Q. And who was exchanged at this encounter?
10 A. There was an exchange. There was the commander of an HVO
11 brigade, Zivko Totic, two other men, and they were exchanged for about 15
12 or 16 -- or between 13 and 15 men who were released on that occasion.
13 Q. And who were these 13 to 15 men that were exchanged for
14 Mr. Totic?
15 A. One was a Bosnian. He was a driver. And the others were foreign
16 volunteers who were arrested and detained at HVO check-points.
17 Q. Sir, did you personally have any involvement in organising or
18 arranging this exchange?
19 A. Not a great deal. I was present when the exchange took place. I
20 may have given some data when I was asked to do so, and I translated. I
21 assisted in that sense.
22 Q. And who was responsible for organising or arranging this
24 A. As far as I can remember, Dr. Abu Haris coordinated with Mahmut
25 Karalic the exchange, and he would talk to him in Arabic without any
1 intermediary, that is without translators.
2 Q. And at -- at this point in time, sir, summer of 1993, what
3 position did Mr. Karalic hold?
4 A. As far as I know, he was known as emir. So he was an emir. What
5 they meant by that I don't know, but that is how they called him.
6 Q. And -- and when you say he was the emir or an emir, of what unit?
7 What unit was he the emir of in the summer of 1993?
8 A. Of the 7th Muslim Brigade.
9 Q. Returning, sir, to this --
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if my learned friend
12 could give a time frame for his question. The witness was answering
13 questions about the exchange for Zivko Totic. I think this was in April
14 1993, and now the Prosecutor is continuing with questions when Mahmut
15 Karalic was an emir. Could the Prosecutor please specify whether he is
16 talking about the position of Efendija Karalic in April, or are we
17 talking now about July 1993, to make things quite clear.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: If I understood the witness well, Madam Vidovic, I
19 think he said it was around June when the exchange took place, and -- and
20 that's the time frame that I understand Mr. Mundis to be talking about,
21 the time in June and not April.
22 MR. MUNDIS: Perhaps I can -- I can just clarify this with the
23 witness briefly.
24 Q. Sir, to the best of your recollection, when was this exchange
25 that you've told us about that took place in Zenica where Colonel Totic
1 was exchanged for 13 to 15 other persons?
2 A. I said a moment ago it may have been May or June. I wasn't sure.
3 I didn't say June. I said maybe. Most probably it was in May, end of
4 May. It could be. I can't remember exactly when this happened.
5 Q. And you told us a moment ago that Abu Haris and Mr. Karalic were
6 involved in organising or arranging this exchange; is that correct?
7 A. Abu Haris asked Mahmut Karalic that this exchange took place,
8 that he should get in contact with the people for this exchange to take
9 place. However, the exchange did not take place through Mahmut Karalic
10 in the end.
11 Q. And -- and my question, sir, was the position that Mahmut Karalic
12 held at the time Abu Haris was discussing this exchange with Mr. Karalic.
13 A. I'm repeating. I do not have a lot of information as to what was
14 actually happening. I know that Amir Kubura was the commander, that
15 Mahmut Karalic was called the emir. I've told you what I know. He was
16 called an emir. Maybe he was still an emir. I know he was an emir at
17 that time. Whether they changed it, I don't know.
18 Q. And again, sir, for the purposes of clarification, when you say
19 Amir Kubura was the commander and Mr. Karalic was the emir, what unit are
20 you referring to?
21 A. I am referring to the 7th Muslim Brigade. I said that is how
22 they called him. Now, why they called him that I don't know.
23 Q. Let's return, sir, briefly to the document that's in front of
24 you. I'd like to draw your attention to the phrase in the first
25 paragraph that says: "Arabs detained at Busovaca." Do you see that,
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Can you tell us, Mr. Awad, anything about this reference to
4 Busovaca and particularly in the spring of 1993? What was in Busovaca?
5 Who was in Busovaca?
6 A. I don't know. I don't have a lot of information. I didn't stay
7 there. I don't really know much about what was happening in that period
8 of time.
9 Q. Did you ever discuss the detention of these Arabs with any of the
10 people who had been detained after their release?
11 A. I took the men to the hospital for them to be examined, to have a
12 medical check-up. That is the men that were released on the occasion of
13 the exchange.
14 Q. Who -- who had been holding them, and where were they being held?
15 A. The HVO captured them, and I think they were held at Kaonik,
16 because representatives of UNPROFOR were at Kaonik. The detained don't
17 know the names of those places, nor did I have contact with them to know
18 exactly, but I heard the word "Kaonik." So maybe that was where they
19 were held, but I don't know exactly.
20 Q. And for purposes of clarity, sir, can you tell us what is Kaonik?
21 A. It's the name of a locality.
22 Q. Can you -- can you -- can you be a little more precise? Where
23 precisely is Kaonik?
24 A. On the road from Zenica towards Travnik, before one reaches
25 Vitez. I think that is where it is. Maybe where the turning is for
1 Busovaca and Kiseljak, and that place is called Kaonik.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Awad?
3 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution would ask that this document be
4 admitted into evidence.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
6 please be given an exhibit number.
7 THE REGISTRAR: That is Exhibit 1126, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. 1126, thank you.
9 Yes, Mr. Mundis.
10 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Q. Mr. Awad, I'd now like to turn your attention to the summer of
12 1993, the time period June and July 1993.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: If -- if you are going to go to the next period,
14 can I just ask one little clarification?
15 Sir, so far you have told us that there were about eight to ten
16 Arab Mujahedin in the same building as the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade,
17 and then after you've told us -- you told us that you were doing nothing
18 there. Then suddenly there is an exchange of people who have been
20 Can we assume from that that before this exchange there had been
21 any fighting, or was there no fighting?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From the moment I got there these
23 men did not take part in any fighting in that period of time.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: And the Arab people who were exchanged,
25 particularly the three that are mentioned on Exhibit 1126, were they or
1 were they not part of the eight to ten Mujahedin that were with you?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They couldn't be when they were
3 detained. They were captured.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: I understand, sir. All I'm asking you is the
5 detained people were not people who were detained from your group, or did
6 they come from another group?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This group that I found there,
8 eight to ten men who were put up at Bilmiste, I found them there roughly
9 when this kidnapping took place. Now, whether these men belonged to this
10 group or not I wasn't sure. I don't know, because I hadn't seen them
11 before. So I can't say that they did or did not belong to this group. I
12 just know that an exchange did take place, and there were many persons
13 from different countries in that group.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: But what they were released, you took them to
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. I took them to hospital.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: When they were discharged from hospital, did they
18 come to your group or did they take their own route?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Bosnian went his way, the Turk
20 went his way. Some of these men came. I think they went to Mehurici.
21 Some left Bosnia-Herzegovina, so they weren't anywhere.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Did any of those that were discharged from
23 hospital come to your group?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Four or five. Four or five,
25 I think, who -- whom I saw that they had stayed on.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: And then your group increased from 8 to 10 to 18
2 to 15? Is that it? After these four or five came in.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They stayed there briefly, and then
4 they went on to Mehurici, because there wasn't sufficient accommodation
5 for a large number of people, but only for people who needed to go to
6 hospital or to do something, to talk to their families, to make phone
7 calls or to buy some necessities. So this wasn't real accommodation for
8 those Mujahedin, so that they had to go on. After they had finished the
9 examinations, they left.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
11 MR. MUNDIS:
12 Q. Now, Mr. Awad, I'd like to turn to your attention to the summer
13 of 1993, the period June, July 1993. Where were -- where were you and
14 your -- the group that you were in accommodated at that point in time?
15 A. We were still in that building at Bilmiste. That's where we
16 stayed for a while. After that, these people, or a number of these
17 people, left the building, the barracks, and they were no longer there in
18 that will building, in those barracks in Bilmiste.
19 Q. The people, foreign Mujahedin who left Bilmiste, where did they
21 A. We went to Mehurici.
22 Q. And approximately when and what time period did this group go,
23 relocate from Bilmiste to Mehurici?
24 A. I cannot be certain, but after these events, the exchange and
25 after what happened, maybe 10 or 15 days later these people left and went
1 to Mehurici.
2 Q. And when this group of people went to Mehurici, did you go with
3 them, or did you stay at Bilmiste, or did you go somewhere else?
4 A. No, no. I stayed at Bilmiste for a while. I was still there at
5 Bilmiste still in that period.
6 Q. Did anyone else from the group of foreign Mujahedin that had been
7 there with you in April remain in Bilmiste in June, July 1993?
8 A. There was just Abu Mali, myself. I think Ejub and another person
9 who were preparing food for the wounded and that they were taking to the
10 hospital. I don't think that there was anyone else. I think there was
11 one person from Egypt, Abu Bula, something like that. He was there as
12 well, I think, but the rest had left.
13 Q. And what role or function was Abu Mali holding or occupying?
14 What position did he have in June, July 1993?
15 A. He was in charge of the people who were billeted at the school.
16 Q. What language or languages did Abu Mali speak at that time?
17 A. He spoke Arabic and also he had learned or picked up some
19 Q. Now, Mr. Awad, did there come a time when you were no longer
20 accommodated at Bilmiste barracks?
21 A. Could you please be more specific so that I know how to answer?
22 Q. You told us, sir, in April of 1993 that you were accommodated in
23 Bilmiste barracks. For how long did you remain primarily accommodated at
24 Bilmiste barracks?
25 A. About two months or three months. I said that. It was a short
1 period. It didn't last that long, for months or years. It was just a
2 brief period.
3 Q. Right. And my question, sir, is after this brief two- to
4 three-month period, where were you staying or where were you
6 A. After that we moved to the Podbrezje area, the building that we
7 were given as our command and for our accommodation, because the unit
8 will be founded later, because the unit was established in August and
9 then we moved to that building, and we didn't have any other
10 accommodation in place. We were only in that building.
11 Q. Okay. And do you recall, sir, the name of this building in
12 Podbrezje that you've just been talking about?
13 A. It belonged to the Vatrostalna company. So the build being
14 itself was also called Vatrostalna.
15 Q. Now, Mr. Awad, I'd like to turn your attention to the summer of
16 1993, the period specifically June and July 1993. Were you aware of any
17 combat operations or military operations in that time period in the area
18 where you were located?
19 A. Except for what happened in Zenica, there were no activities in
20 the Zenica area where I was accommodated. When the conflict broke out
21 between the Bosnia and Herzegovina army and the HVO, then the Vatrostalna
22 building belonged earlier to the HVO Brigade command. I don't know which
23 brigade. And it was liberated then. They left that building. After
24 that I didn't hear that there was any fighting or battles in that area.
25 Q. Okay. Let me go to the slightly wider geographic area. Do you
1 know, sir, or were you involved in any military operations or combat
2 operations in the Bila valley in June, July 1993?
3 A. On one occasion Wahiuddeen visited Zenica. He was the Mujahedin
4 emir. He came from Mehurici to visit Zenica, and on the way back to
5 Mehurici I expressed a wish to go and see where the people were
6 accommodated, to see where the Mujahedin lived, and I went with him over
7 the hill via Sarici, the village of Sarici, and then we went to some
8 hill, and then you reach the Jezerci and then you go down to Mehurici.
9 On that occasion -- that was actually the first time that I came
10 to that area, and I was in the camp there. We stayed there for a short
11 time, and then he left for Guca Gora. And I went with him, and I think
12 that Abu Mali was with us as well.
13 We got to Guca Gora. We reached a monastery, and that's where we
14 found some local commander. I don't know. And there were two other
15 people with him. And Wahiuddeen knew them from before, and he spoke with
16 them, and what I understood was that that was when Guca Gora was
17 liberated. And then after that -- or actually the next day, the
18 Mujahedin were supposed to attack an area across from Guca Gora. I think
19 it was called Radojcici or something. Please don't hold me to the exact
20 word. And since I was new and didn't have any military experience, that
21 morning I was there -- or Abu Haris actually charged me with dealing with
22 the wounded, and that was near the Guca Gora cemetery. That's the only
23 time that I took part in those operations.
24 Q. Let me go back and ask you some follow-on questions from that
25 answer that you've just given us. On this occasion when you went with
1 Wahiuddeen by way of Sarici to Mehurici, was that the first time you'd
2 been in Mehurici?
3 A. I said that it was the first time that I was in that area.
4 Q. Can you tell us a little bit about what you saw in Mehurici, this
5 location that you went to with Wahiuddeen?
6 A. We came to the camp, as they called it, and there were two houses
7 there, one opposite from the other, and there was a sort of clearing,
8 clear area, in the middle. There was one path through a small wood, and
9 there was another house there. So that was more or less the camp.
10 I saw two or three people there at that time who happened to be
11 there, visible. I saw two or three people.
12 Q. Who was in charge of this camp at that time when you were there
13 in June or July 1993?
14 A. I don't know. I was there for the first time. I didn't know the
15 people. It was the first time for me. I don't know.
16 Q. Do you know or were you told approximately how many people, how
17 many Mujahedin, foreign Mujahedin, were accommodated at that camp in the
18 summer of 1993?
19 A. I really don't know. I didn't really think about it.
20 Q. Okay. Let me ask you this: You also told us a few moments ago
21 that the foreign Mujahedin were supposed to be involved in combat in the
22 area of Radojcici.
23 A. [In English] Yes.
24 Q. Do you remember anything about what they were supposed to do or
25 how many foreign fighters were supposed to be involved in that operation
1 concerning Radojcici?
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour. At no
4 point did the witness mention any assignment or task.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mundis.
6 MR. MUNDIS: I'll certainly seek to clarify that, but my
7 recollection is that he did say that they were supposed to be involved in
8 an operation in Radojcici, but I'll reformulate the question.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can you please do, Mr. Mundis.
10 MR. MUNDIS:
11 Q. Mr. Awad --
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry. Madam Vidovic.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it is correct what
14 the Prosecutor said, to take part in an operation or an action, but to
15 have an assignment or a task is something different.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: There you go, Mr. Mundis. There's the distinction
17 between what you are asserting and what the Defence counsel's objecting
19 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Q. Let me -- let me ask you this, Mr. Awad: Do you recall what you
21 were told about Radojcici on this occasion when you were there with
23 A. I know that the HVO forces were there on some hill up there, and
24 the Mujahedin were supposed to attack that area. They set off to attack
25 that area. I heard also that some other people were supposed to go with
1 them, but, however, that morning only those Mujahedin were attacking.
2 Q. Can you tell us or do you know, sir, approximately how many
3 Mujahedin were involved in this attack on Radojcici against the HVO
5 A. I think that there were perhaps 60 people, maybe a bit more. I
6 didn't really pay attention because I wasn't there during the
7 preparation, so I don't know the exact number. I think that there were
8 two groups, so it could have been 40 to 60 people. It's possible. I
9 mean, that's how it usually was.
10 Q. And do you know where these groups had come from or where they
11 had been accommodated?
12 A. I would like to just note this: When I gave my statement, I was
13 speculating, guessing. So I cannot really be more specific when I don't
14 know, and I don't know the terrain. I don't know exactly where they had
15 come from. I know that the assembly point was at the monastery in Guca
16 Gora and that they were supposed to go off and attack from there.
17 Q. How -- how do you know, sir, that they were supposed to go and
18 attack Radojcici from this assembly point at Guca Gora?
19 A. I had heard that the assembly point was at Guca Gora, and that
20 morning I was present there, but I wasn't present when they set off for
21 the battle because I was there where the wounded were, but I understood
22 that this was the assembly point and that they would leave for the field
23 from there.
24 Q. Do you know, Mr. Awad, who was in charge of this attack and
25 Radojcici which these two groups of Mujahedin?
1 A. The attack was executed with -- in two groups in two axes. One
2 group was led by Mutas [phoen], the late Ahmed Ali, and the other group
3 was led by Hasan.
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the last name.
5 MR. MUNDIS:
6 Q. Can you please repeat, sir, the last name of this person Hasan?
7 A. Not Hasan but Husa Mudin [phoen].
8 Q. Okay. And did you actually see either of these groups assembly
9 at Guca Gora on that day?
10 A. I saw them in Guca Gora. I saw them in Guca Gora.
11 Q. And can you tell us, sir, if you know, about the composition of
12 these groups in terms of the fighters that you saw? Where were they
14 A. Foreigners, and there were also a few Bosnians there, yes. It
15 was mixed. Both Bosnians and Arabs were there.
16 Q. How do you know that there were also Bosnians there?
17 A. They're Bosnians. I saw people who were Arabs and people who
18 were Bosnians. I know that they were Bosnians.
19 Q. How do you know that, Mr. Awad?
20 A. Well, they speak the Bosnian language. So when they communicate
21 amongst themselves, they speak Bosnian. They could have been Siptars
22 also who had learned to speak Bosnian. I don't know.
23 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I note the time. I'm -- I'm about to
24 turn to a completely new subject, and this might be --
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, let's just find out.
1 Mr. Awad, now that you're speaking Bosnian to us today, can we
2 assume that you are Bosnian? I'm just trying to say to you, Mr. Awad, do
3 you conclude the nationality of people simply from the language they
4 speak? And if that is so, can I then say you are Bosnian?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, maybe -- up until maybe six
6 months ago you could have said that I was a Bosnian. I'm no longer a
7 Bosnian because my citizenship has been revoked. But they looked
8 different. Their features were different. They're not the same people.
9 Arabs have a known physiology. Well, maybe my -- my skin tone is a
10 little different, but you can tell that I'm an Arab.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Right. That's why Mr. Prosecutor is asking you
12 these questions as to how did you tell, because he assumes that you did
13 not look at their citizenship cards.
14 Now, we know that you may not be a Bosnian because your
15 citizenship has been taken away. But you didn't see the ID documents of
16 these people. When you see people standing in a group there, how did you
17 determine that these were Bosnians, those were Croats, and -- if there is
18 anything over and above the language that you did observe? If there is
19 nothing, "Mr. Prosecutor, that's all I observed," that's fine.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I noticed -- I didn't ask
21 anyone for their identification or ask them to introduce themselves and
22 say who their father was, where they were born. I didn't take their
23 particulars, but you could conclude, and it's my assumption, that they
24 were Bosnians on the basis of the fact that they were speaking
25 Bosnians -- Bosnian. I understand their language. Foreigners can never
1 speak Bosnian so fluently no matter how well they learn it. You could
2 always hear a difference in speech, in the manner of expression, and so
3 on. So on the basis of that I was able to conclude that they were
4 Bosnians. I didn't have any other arguments or details, and I didn't ask
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
7 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, this might be an appropriate time
8 for -- for the first break.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: There's a question before we take a break.
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you. Since we have just a couple of
11 minutes before we can take the break, I would like to take this
12 opportunity to then raise a small issue that I felt could be taken up
13 during the Prosecutor's examination-in-chief, and the issue I am thinking
14 about is the reasons why you came to Bosnia in the first place. I wonder
15 if you could explain to us why you took off from Syria, I suppose,
16 Bosnia, and if you could tell us who organised the trip and if any
17 motivation was given to you by the people who assisted you to go to
19 I think you told us you came to Belgrade and then you went off to
20 Zagreb and only then did you come to Bosnia, but why did you take off
21 from the Middle East to -- to the former Yugoslavia?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I left Syria with the intention of
23 studying medicine in the former Yugoslavia, and this is why I came to the
24 former Yugoslavia. Since the main airport was in Belgrade, we first
25 landed in Belgrade. Then we took the train from Belgrade to Zagreb where
1 I spent three years. And first I learned the language, Croato-Serbian.
2 Then I enrolled at the medical faculty where I spent two years studying,
3 and then I transferred to another town, to Rijeka - this is another town
4 in Croatia - to continue my studies, Rijeka. And then I was seven years
5 in Rijeka. In 1992, when the aggression on Bosnia and Herzegovina
6 occurred and when Bosnians -- Bosniaks were expelled and waves of
7 refugees arrived in Croatia, some of them also came to Rijeka where I was
8 living and staying, and together with the Islamic community and Merhamet
9 and other organisations I started to work with them in order to help
10 those people.
11 When I saw and heard from them what had happened to them, what
12 horrors and massacres they went through, I decided as a Muslim, as a
13 young man -- I had a feeling that it was my duty as a Muslim by faith to
14 help these Muslims, and this is why I came to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
15 Nobody organised me. Nobody paid for my trip. Yes, I used a
16 humanitarian organisation through which I came to Bosnia and Herzegovina,
17 so I can say that I came at their expense, but they didn't pay me for it.
18 But my pure intention as a man of faith, as a Muslim, was to help the
19 Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina. That's why I came.
20 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you. Were you involved in the organisation
21 of more people from the Middle East to come to the former Yugoslavia to
22 assist in the humanitarian tasks in Bosnia when the war had started? Do
23 you understand my question?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand. I didn't have
25 any contacts, but when the aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina
1 started, different Islamic humanitarian organisations arrived, and they
2 were mostly located in Zagreb, and they asked students -- they were
3 looking for students who could work with them, who understood the
4 language of the region, who could help them and make their work easier,
5 so I offered to volunteer. I offered to help these people, and I
6 voluntarily went to help these people. I volunteered with these
7 humanitarian organisations. Otherwise, I would not have had any contact
8 with them.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Awad.
11 We will take a short break and come back at 11.00. We will carry
12 on at 11.00, Mr. Awad.
13 Court adjourned.
14 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Mundis.
17 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Mr. Awad, earlier this morning you mentioned the formation of the
19 El Mujahedin Detachment, and I'd knew like to ask you some -- some more
20 detailed questions about that.
21 Do you know, sir, or can you tell us anything about how the
22 decision was made to form the El Mujahedin Detachment?
23 A. [No interpretation].
24 Q. Sorry. Sorry, if you could just pause. I don't seem to be
25 getting --
1 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry. The microphone was not switched on.
2 Could the witness repeat, please.
3 MR. MUNDIS:
4 Q. Could you, please, Mr. Awad, again repeat your answer so that
5 those of us who don't speak Bosnian can understand what you're saying,
7 A. We made a request that a unit be formed that would be called the
8 literal translation from the Arabic, and I will tell you, it is called
9 Kasib su El Mujahedin [phoen], which means the El Mujahedin Unit in
11 How this decision was made to form this unit I don't know because
12 I wasn't in the General Staff, but I know that on the basis of that
13 request that such a unit was formed. Now, how it was given this name, I
14 don't know. Our request was that this unit be called the El Mujahedin
16 Q. Let me ask you some follow-up questions, sir. When you say "we
17 made the request," who are you referring to?
18 A. I am referring to a group of men whose emir was Dr. Abu Haris.
19 That is this group which decided to form the unit, the El Mujahedin Unit.
20 Q. Can you tell us a little bit more about this request? What form
21 did it take? What language was it in, et cetera?
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: And to whom was it addressed?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The request was written in Arabic.
24 I personally translated it into Bosnian, and I personally took it to the
25 command of the 3rd Corps and handed it in to the protocol section.
1 MR. MUNDIS:
2 Q. Who wrote the request in Arabic, if you know?
3 A. I'm not quite sure was it Wahuiddeen or Molda [phoen]. I got the
4 text in Arabic, and I translated it into Bosnian.
5 Q. Unfortunately, I don't believe, sir, the interpreter heard you
6 with respect to the second name. Do you recall the name or names of the
7 people that you think drafted the document in Arabic?
8 A. The document was written, I think, Wahiuddeen or Muadep [phoen],
9 one of the two. I'm not quite sure. I received it in Arabic and
10 translated it into Bosnian.
11 Q. Again, sir, I believe the interpreter may have had a hard time.
12 Did you say Muazed [phoen]?
13 A. No. Muatez.
14 Q. Just to be clear, you think the Arabic was drafted by either
15 Wahuiddeen or Muatez?
16 A. Either Wahuiddeen or Muatez.
17 Q. Do you recall, sir, the approximate time period or date that you
18 delivered this Bosnian language version of the request to the 3rd Corps?
19 A. It could have been the end of June or the month of July. In any
20 event, I remember after I returned from the area of Guca Gora that this
21 happened, but I can't be quite sure when this was. I didn't pay
22 attention to dates, months, and so on, but it was when I came back from
23 Guca Gora.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just for the record, 3rd Corps of what army?
25 MR. MUNDIS: Yeah.
1 Q. Which army?
2 A. The 3rd Corps of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
3 Q. Mr. Awad, you told us you took it to the protocol department or
4 office. Where was that located?
5 A. In the building of the command of the 3rd Corps. On the ground
6 floor. When you walk in, to the left. This is where there was a room
7 for the protocol, and that is where you would hand in requests or letters
8 or anything.
9 Q. And can you -- can you tell us where this building was physically
11 A. In Zenica. Across the road from the ironworks headquarters, near
12 the gate, I think. Today this building is used for the customs
13 administration office in Zenica.
14 Q. On the day, Mr. Awad, that you took this request to the protocol
15 office, had you ever been in that building before or was that the first
16 time you ever went there?
17 A. No. That was the first time.
18 Q. And perhaps we'll get to this a little bit later in your
19 testimony, but at this point I would just ask you, sir, if that was the
20 first and only time you were ever in that building or if you ever went
21 into that brigade on subsequent occasions.
22 A. When that request was handed in was the only time I went there.
23 After the El Mujahedin Detachment was formed, I went to that building on
24 a number of occasions.
25 Q. And on the day --
1 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Prosecutor, I am still seeking to understand
2 why was the request made in the first place to the 3rd Corps.
3 MR. MUNDIS: I'll get to that, Your Honour, but if I can just --
4 one or two more questions on this line and we'll get to that point.
5 Q. Mr. Awad, on the day that you went there, did you -- to take this
6 request, did you go by yourself or were you accompanied by anyone?
7 A. I was alone.
8 Q. Now, let's turn to that issue. Why -- if you know, why did the
9 leadership of the Arab Mujahedin want this detachment to be created?
10 A. In my view there are two main reasons. With the Arab Mujahedin
11 there was a group of Bosniaks who had left their units around joined the
12 Arabs, and they fought with them. They were fighters, combatants. But
13 their units considered them to be deserters. They sent the military
14 police to arrest them and so on. And their families couldn't realise
15 their rights in terms of medical care and such similar things, so they
16 had to have some kind of regular status. They didn't wish to go back to
17 their original units. They wanted to stay with the Arabs, with the
19 And the second reason was that the battles that were ongoing and
20 whatever the Mujahedin were doing should be legal, because there were
21 various stories. Various things were happening. So we wanted this group
22 of people to be distinguished from the free-fighters, so to speak, and
24 So those are the two main reasons. First, to protect the
25 Bosniaks so that they should no longer be treated as deserters. They
1 were army members, but their units considered them to be deserters. And
2 the second reason was for this group of people who would fight together
3 with these Bosniaks to be considered legal fighters of the army of Bosnia
4 and Herzegovina.
5 Q. Let me turn to the subject of the request, that is the form of
6 the request. Do you remember -- do you recall what the request actually
8 A. I can't remember verbatim, but it was roughly of the following
9 content: "We are addressing you," that is the command of the 3rd Corps,
10 "to approve the formation of the unit El Mujahedin," and then a
11 description was given of the -- of how this unit would be organised, who
12 the commander would be. It was stated that the commander of the unit is
13 Dr. Abu Haris, who would be accommodated at Mehurici, and their
14 representative in Zenica would be Abu Mali. Then also the military
15 commander of that unit would be -- or, rather, the person responsible for
16 military matters would be Wahiuddeen, and his representative in Zenica
17 would be Muatez. His real name is El Muatez Elbul [phoen]. So don't --
18 so as not to confuse you, we call him just Muatez for short.
19 This request also stated that the unit would have its emblem,
20 which would appear as follows: Two rifles in this form, in the middle an
21 open book, and above and below in Arabic and in Bosnian on top -- it
22 doesn't matter where -- which would be -- "Sidiem el El Jihad" [phoen] in
23 Arabic, and in Bosnian "Our road is jihad."
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let the record show that when the witness said,
25 "two against in this form," he crossed his fingers in an X form.
1 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's not a cross. It's like a
3 cross, but it's not a cross.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: I said you crossed your fingers in the form of an
6 THE WITNESS: X.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's right. Not -- not in the form of a
8 Christian cross. And I'm aware of that, Mr. Awad. I will never say that
9 to you. Okay.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I heard in translation the
11 word "cross," and that is why I reacted.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: And just crossed in the form of an X. X, the
14 THE WITNESS: Okay.
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Prosecutor, do we have a copy of the request?
16 MR. MUNDIS: We do not, Your Honour.
17 Q. Mr. Awad, let me -- let me ask you, do you recall whether in
18 addition to the request that -- the parts that you told us, was any other
19 information provided?
20 A. I think that this request contained only these information that I
21 mentioned, as far as I can recollect. Maybe there were some other
22 points, but these were the main points contained in the request.
23 Q. Were any other documents forwarded to the 3rd Corps along with
24 this request?
25 A. I can't be specific. There may have been a list of names. I
1 can't remember, but I know that the request was submitted, but for other
2 documents I can't say for sure. I don't remember for sure.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are you able to estimate or give a specific number
4 of this group that decided that they must forward this request?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The group consisted of between 60
6 and 70 men, and the first list that was filed had a number of a hundred
7 or maybe a hundred and one names, something like that.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: So there was a list that was submitted.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Maybe not at the same time when the
10 gentleman was asking me about the time of the request, but subsequently
11 other documents were submitted. But as far as I can remember, this first
12 list contained a hundred or a hundred and one names. And this document
13 is in the possession of the court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I saw this
14 document when I testified in another case.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Awad. That's very
17 Yes, Mr. Mundis, you may proceed.
18 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. This list that you've mentioned with a hundred or a hundred and
20 one names on it, do you know, sir, if all of those names were names of
21 foreigners or was it a mixture of Bosnian names and foreign names?
22 A. As far as I can recollect, I think they were foreign names. As
23 far as I can remember. I can't be quite certain. There may have been a
24 couple of Bosnian names, but the majority were certainly foreign.
25 Q. Can you tell us, Mr. Awad, what happened with respect to the
1 formation of the detachment after this written request was delivered by
2 you to the headquarters of the 3rd Corps in Zenica?
3 A. On the 13th of August, 1993, an order was issued to form a
4 military unit, that is the El Mujahedin Detachment, and that is when it
5 was formed. Officially there was a kind of celebration of the foundation
6 of that unit. On the 13th of August, 1993, the order arrived that the
7 El Mujahedin Detachment be formed.
8 Q. And, Mr. Awad, when you say the order arrived, can you tell us
9 from where it arrived?
10 A. I think it came through the 3rd Corps. Now, whether it was
11 through the 3rd Corps or the Operative Group Bosanska Krajina -- I'm not
12 quite sure who gave us this document, but in any event, it came from the
13 General Staff of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: And, Mr. Mundis, I know we've just come back from
15 a break, but today we are supposed to break a little early to accommodate
16 the witness. How much longer are you going to be? We have gone past the
18 MR. MUNDIS: Yeah. I think this would actually -- this was about
19 where I was planning on stopping. This would be a convenient place to
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good. Thank you very much, Mr. Mundis. If that
22 is a time, we will then take a break and come back at half past 1.00. We
23 will come back at half past 1.00, so will give you time. Thank you very
25 Court adjourned.
1 --- Recess taken at 11.23 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 1.33 p.m.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mundis.
4 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Q. Mr. Awad, right before the lunch break we were talking about the
6 formation of the El Mujahedin Detachment, and you mentioned a gathering
7 that occurred. Can you tell us, sir, if you recall approximately when
8 that was?
9 A. What gathering?
10 Q. The gathering when the El Mujahedin Detachment was formally
11 formed. The formation ceremony.
12 A. After we received the order on the formation of the El Mujahedin
13 Detachment, in the Mehurici camp a formal sort of ceremony was organised
14 to mark the proclamation, and present there were people from the command
15 of the BH army, that is, of the command of the 3rd Corps, the command of
16 the Operative Group Bosanska Krajina, and some other people, public
17 figures from civilian life in the region.
18 Q. Let me ask you, sir, if you recall approximately the date of this
19 ceremony in Mehurici.
20 A. I don't remember exactly. It was in August, but what day I don't
22 Q. In which -- which year?
23 A. August 1993.
24 Q. Can you -- can you perhaps narrow it down in terms of reference
25 to the order that you mentioned officially forming the detachment?
1 A. No, I can't remember. I know that it took place in August, but I
2 don't know exactly on what day.
3 Q. Okay. Now, you just mentioned the positions of a number of
4 people who attended. Can you fill in or provide us with the names of
5 some of these more prominent individuals who attended this formation
6 ceremony in Mehurici in August 1993?
7 A. Present at the ceremony were the late General Mehmed Alagic,
8 General Sakib Mahmuljin, the head of Travnik municipality. I think his
9 name was Muhamed Dzuric. Also the Muftija of Travnik, Nusret
10 Abdibegovic. Also present were other figures, other persons. Mahmudin
11 [phoen], Dr. Abu Haris, and others.
12 Q. Were you present?
13 A. I was.
14 Q. Can you tell us, sir -- you've again mentioned some names. Can
15 you tell us, if you -- if you know or if you remember, what position did
16 the late General Alagic hold in August 1993 when he attended this
17 formation ceremony?
18 A. I think he was still commander of the Operative Group. I think
19 he was commander of the Bosanska Krajina Operative Group. I think he was
20 still commander at that time.
21 Q. At that time, August 1993, do you know what position Sakib
22 Mahmuljin held?
23 A. I don't know. He was not chief of staff or corps commander at
24 the time.
25 Q. And when you say he was not chief of staff or corps commander,
1 which corps and army are you referring to?
2 A. I'm referring to the 3rd Corps, because later he became chief of
3 staff when the corps commander was the late Mehmed Alagic. He was corps
4 commander. And Sakib Mahmuljin became chief of staff of that corps.
5 Later the 7th Corps was formed, and there was a separation between these
6 two corps, the 3rd and the 7th. Mehmed Alagic became commander of the
7 7th Corps, and Sakib Mahmuljin commander of the 3rd. That is why I said
8 that he wasn't chief of staff or corps commander at the time.
9 Q. Do you know, sir, approximately when this -- the 7th Corps was
10 formed and Sakib Mahmuljin became 3rd Corps commander?
11 A. Maybe at the end of 1993 or the beginning of 1994, but certainly
12 not in August. After that date.
13 Q. You have mentioned a few of the members of the detachment who
14 were present. I believe you said Dr. Haris. Do you recall how many
15 members of the detachment attended this ceremony in Mehurici in August
17 A. Not more than 60 men.
18 Q. On this occasion, sir, were you serving or working as
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Was anyone else interpreting at this formation ceremony or were
22 you the only interpreter present on that day?
23 A. When Dr. Abu Haris addressed those present, Abdul Melik
24 interpreted for Dr. Abu Haris. I was sitting on a bench between
25 General Mehmed Alagic and General Sakib Mahmuljin, who is now a general.
1 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, at this time we would like to show the
2 witness a videotape which has been marked P06146, P06146, and I would ask
3 the assistance of the audiovisual booth in showing that or assisting us
4 in showing that video. This -- this video runs approximately two minutes
5 and ten seconds.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. May the audiovisual booth
7 please help us.
8 [Videotape played]
9 MR. MUNDIS: Perhaps if we could play that again. We do have a
10 version that has a synchronised transcript associated with it, so if we
11 can perhaps start the video again.
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. President, is the witness the person who is
13 standing next to the speaker?
14 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honour, what I was intending on doing is
15 playing the full clip, and then we'll go back and stop and have the
16 witness identify certain individuals that he might be in a position to
17 identify, but I would prefer to show him the entire thing and then we'll
18 go back and play it and stop and pause and have him identify people.
19 [Videotape played]
20 MR. MUNDIS: If I can just perhaps explain. My understanding
21 from my case manager is that if we show it full screen we lose the
22 transcript, so what we'll now do is I will propose playing the video in
23 the full screen mode without the audio and ask the witness if he can
24 identify any of the persons depicted, if that's an acceptable way to
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can you -- Madam Vidovic.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I was asking,
3 actually, if the Prosecutor has a section on this footage of the speech
4 of the Arabs. Obviously you can see a person with a beard in the
5 footage, and from what the witness said before, Abdul Melik was
6 translating. The witness speaks Arabic, and it would be very useful if
7 in this part of the footage that the Prosecutor showed we could listen to
8 the original Arabic that the witness could then confirm.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you understand what Madam Vidovic is asking of
10 you, sir?
11 MR. MUNDIS: I do indeed, and I'm not sure if we have the full
12 clip with us here on the laptop. I -- I would propose that perhaps the
13 first thing we do is have the witness identify people for the benefit of
14 the record. We'll then see if we have the clip that actually contains or
15 that -- that the Arabic portion is audible, and then perhaps we can
16 proceed as Mrs. Vidovic indicates. I would be happy to do that, assuming
17 that we have the proper clip that has the Arabic language being audible
18 for long enough to actually make any sense out of what's -- what's
19 contained and the tape.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: And, Madam Vidovic, do you look forward to the
21 witness interpreting from the Arabic for us, or how do you propose that
22 we understand the Arabic?
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I thought that the
24 witness could in any case listen to the version in Arabic and then we
25 would also all listen to this part that the Prosecutor chose, and then
1 the witness who speaks both languages would be in the position to see if
2 the interpretation actually corresponds to what the man is saying.
3 Otherwise, all we're hearing is the interpretation of the Bosnian person
4 without hearing the original.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Mundis.
6 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. And perhaps if we can't
7 get this sorted at this moment, maybe we can return to that tomorrow
8 morning having had the chance to fully review the tapes. I'm not sure
9 Ms. Imamovic will be able to hear anything without -- without
10 broadcasting it to all of us. So let me -- let me start by saying this:
11 Q. Sir, did you -- I know the image was very small on the computer.
12 Did you recognise what was shown in that videotape?
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mundis, isn't it better to play the video now
14 without a transcript so that he can begin to see, and he can tell us this
15 is so-and-so, that is so-and-so? We can also see the person.
16 MR. MUNDIS: Absolutely.
17 Q. We're going to play the tape again, Mr. Awad, in the full-screen
18 mode without the sound, and I would ask you if you recognise anyone on
19 the tape to simply say, "Stop," as soon as you see a person or persons
20 that you recognise, and we will pause the tape, and I will then ask you
21 to identify the person or persons that you see on the tape. That clear?
23 [Videotape played]
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stop. We have Midhat Puric here.
25 MR. MUNDIS:
1 Q. Which person is Mr. Puric? Can you describe perhaps what he
2 looks like and what he's wearing?
3 A. The footage is not all that clear. You cannot really see it
4 distinctly that Hadzija was a member of the army. He was not part of the
5 El Mujahedin Unit. He's wearing a uniform. I don't see the colour of
6 his beret. I don't see if it's blue or black because the footage is
8 Q. Okay. Can you tell us approximately where on the screen you see
9 Mr. Puric?
10 A. Directly -- it's the first person we can see. If we look from
11 the left side, you can see that it's the first person whose face you see.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: That the person with something like spectacles or
13 dark glasses?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, no, no, no. The person
15 with the dark glasses I cannot see. I don't see anything all the way to
16 the left, but this first person at that we see.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mundis, are we not able to write on the
18 screens like we do back home?
19 MR. MUNDIS: Unfortunately, we're not able to do that. I will
20 indicate for the record that this is at 10 seconds on this clip as
21 indicated at the bottom of the screen.
22 Q. Can you tell us -- can you tell us, Mr. Awad, Mr. Puric, where
23 are his hands in this picture?
24 A. Like this in front of him.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let the record show that the witness demonstrates
1 with his hands that the person he's referring to is the person whose
2 fingers are spread out with the outside of the hand showing on the table.
3 He has described this person as wearing a beret. He can't say the
4 beret's blue or black. And the person is wearing a uniform, an army
5 uniform. That seems to be the only visible person dressed like that.
6 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. Sir, when you say Mr. Puric was in the army, do you know what
8 army he was in and perhaps what unit of that army he was?
9 A. He's a member of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I think
10 that he was in some brigade, maybe the 314th or -- I don't know exactly
11 which one, but he's a member of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
12 Q. Okay. We'll continue now, sir, with the videotape and, again,
13 simply say, "Stop," as soon as you see any person or persons that you
15 [Videotaped played]
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stop.
17 MR. MUNDIS:
18 Q. We'll go back to the ten second part of the tape.
19 A. This is that same person. It's the same person that was sitting
20 like this. It's the same person.
21 Q. Sir, for the record, his name?
22 A. He is Hadzija Midhat Puric.
23 Q. And for the record, we're now at 18 seconds on this video clip.
24 Continue, please.
25 [Videotape played]
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stop. On my right side -- or on
2 the right-hand side we see the late General Mehmed Alagic. Next to him
3 is Sakib Mahmuljin, sitting next to him.
4 MR. MUNDIS: And for the benefit of the record, we're at 23
5 seconds on the videotape.
6 Q. Sir, can you perhaps give further identification in terms of the
7 colour of these two individuals' hair? Which is which?
8 A. The one on the right is something that is black and white. It's
9 black and white. And the other person is pure black. So the late Alagic
10 has some black in his hair, and General Mahmuljin has all black hair.
11 MR. MUNDIS: Okay. If we could continue, please, with the tape.
12 [Videotape played]
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stop. In this frame the very first
14 person on the screen is Dr. Abu Haris, and behind him is the interpreter
16 THE INTERPRETER: And the interpreter did not hear the other
18 MR. MUNDIS:
19 Q. Can you -- could you please repeat the name of the interpreter
20 for the transcript.
21 A. Abdul Melik.
22 MR. MUNDIS: And again for the record, we're at 28 seconds on
23 this tape.
24 Q. Let me ask you a clarification question, Mr. Awad. When you say
25 the first person, are you referring to someone who's holding an automatic
1 weapon, or are you referring to someone else?
2 A. No, no. The first in relation to me. The first one on the
3 screen is Abu Haris, and then from my point of view is then Abdul Melik
4 standing next to him.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Awad, do you mean that the nearest person to
6 the viewer of the picture as we look at the picture, that person who is
7 closest to the camera. Okay.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, yes.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: This would be the bearded person who doesn't have
10 any headgear?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: I hope I have not done anything wrong,
13 Madam Vidovic.
14 MR. MUNDIS: In we could please --
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
16 MR. MUNDIS: If we could please continue with the videotape then.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
18 [Videotape played]
19 MR. MUNDIS:
20 Q. Now, Mr. Awad, did you --
21 A. The -- the images are not sharp enough. I cannot recognise
23 Q. Okay. Let me ask you this, though, sir, before we -- we leave
24 this tape: Did you see yourself anywhere depicted on the videotape? Did
25 you recognise yourself anywhere on the tape?
1 A. I did, but by the time I said stop it had already passed.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we go back there?
3 MR. MUNDIS: Let's go back to -- it's [overlapping speakers].
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Indiscernible]
5 MR. MUNDIS: Let's go back to the beginning of the tape.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have time and you have time.
7 [Videotape played]
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Please stop there. Are you able to read what's
9 written there, Mr. Awad?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The image is not sharp. It's not
11 in focus. Maybe in a different place I could see it better, I could read
12 it. I mean, I know what it says, but I want to read it.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Yeah, we would like you to
14 read it for us. We'll wait and see if it ever comes in a clearer form
15 than that. I don't remember seeing it any clearer, but we may carry on
16 with -- with the tape.
17 [Videotape played]
18 THE WITNESS: Stop. [Interpretation] This is me on the left-hand
20 MR. MUNDIS: And we're -- for the benefit of the record, we're at
21 21 seconds.
22 Q. Now, Mr. Awad, when you say, "This is me on the left-hand side,"
23 can you describe --
24 A. There's something else. Wahiuddeen Ali is on the extreme right
25 of this frame. On my left side the person with the paper, that's me.
1 And then on the extreme left side is the -- is Wahid Mehmed Sumali
3 Q. Let's -- let's -- let's take them one at a time, Mr. Awad. The
4 person you've identified as yourself you said has some papers in his
5 hand. Is that person sitting or standing?
6 A. Sitting. Sitting. Just like I'm sitting.
7 Q. And can you tell us, sir, the person you've described as
8 Wahiuddeen, where is he on this image?
9 A. All the way to the right. On the screen it's right at the end on
10 the right-hand side, and he's holding his hands like this.
11 MR. MUNDIS: And I'd like the record to reflect that when the
12 witness said "like this," he again held his hands together, clasped his
13 fingers together. And again we're at 21 seconds on the videotape.
14 Q. Mr. Awad, can you tell us what, if anything, Mr. Wahiuddeen has
15 on his head?
16 A. He's wearing a cap, a cap.
17 Q. Thank you very much.
18 MR. MUNDIS: Perhaps if we can then play the tape to see if the
19 witness is able to read what's contained on the banner.
20 A. Slowly, please. Okay, stop. Stop. What is says is: "La elaha,
21 elaha [phoen]." "There is no other God than Allah and no other emissary
22 than Mohamed." So Mohamed is the messenger of Allah. And then in
23 Bosnian underneath that it says "Brig," and you don't see the whole word.
24 And then the other word is "Jihad." So it should "Brigada Jihad,"
25 "Brigade Jihad."
1 MR. MUNDIS: And again for the record, this is at 24 seconds on
2 this videotape.
3 Q. Can you --
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: Excuse me, Mr. President. While we're at this
5 piece here, is the Jihad Brigade synonymous with --
6 MR. MUNDIS: That's the precise -- precisely where I'm going,
7 Your Honour.
8 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
9 MR. MUNDIS:
10 Q. Mr. Awad, can you explain to us, if you know, why this banner
11 says in Bosnian "Brigada Jihad"?
12 A. From what I understood, these people, Bosniaks who are bearing
13 this banner, they were hoping that the military units that would be
14 formed would be called Brigada Jihad. I concluded that on the basis of
15 the speech by the interpreter earlier, because he finally says -- he says
16 that finally Al Jihad or Jihad Unit has been formed. So that is probably
17 what they were thinking, that that would be what the unit would be
19 Q. In fact, sir, what was the name of the unit that was formed?
20 A. The unit that was formed then was given the name the El Mujahedin
21 Detachment. I explained before the break that when the request was
22 submitted, I wrote that the El Mujahedin Unit should be formed. I didn't
23 pick the name. Somebody thought it would be a battalion or a brigade.
24 As far as I was concerned, it would be a unit.
25 Now, why was it decided to have the El Mujahedin Detachment as
1 the name and not a brigade or jihad is something that I actually don't
3 Q. Do you know, sir, of any unit -- are you familiar with any unit
4 that had the official name Brigada Jihad?
5 A. I didn't hear of anything like that, no.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Awad.
7 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I have a question. Witness,
8 during the ceremony there was no mention that such a different name would
9 be given to the unit, that is the El Mujahedin Unit, rather than Brigada
10 Jihad? Was that mentioned at all at the ceremony?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you please repeat the
12 question? I didn't quite hear you.
13 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] During the ceremony, was any
14 reference made to the fact that this unit would not be called Brigada
15 Jihad but that it would be called the El Mujahedin Unit?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember exactly how the
17 speech went, how this was expressed. If it was in Arabic, then he
18 probably said what I said earlier. The witness speaks Arabic. And this
19 can have many meanings. Katiba [phoen] can mean battalion, can be a
20 bigger or a larger unit. It can even be a brigade. Katiba. So it's a
21 gathering, a group, a larger number of people who are fighting for
22 something. They can be named Katiba. So if in Arabic this was used,
23 Katiba El Mujahedin, the official name in Bosnia would be Odred
24 El Mujahedin, El Mujahedin Detachment.
25 These Bosniaks and even a lot of other people called this unit El
1 Jihad until the end of the war. They were mixing it up. People didn't
2 know the correct term.
3 We can even request farther. Journalists and plenty of people to
4 this day refer to the El Mujahid Detachment, but that was not the name of
5 the unit. The name of the unit was El Mujahedin Detachment. Sometimes
6 they would say member of the El Mujahid Detachment. So even if it was
7 mentioned, it was not so -- it was not possible to explain it so well in
8 the ceremony, and you could interpret the words of the speaker in
9 different ways.
10 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness.
11 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, the Prosecution would tender P06146
12 into evidence.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: P06146 is admitted into evidence. May it please
14 be given an exhibit number.
15 THE REGISTRAR: That is Exhibit 1127, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
17 Mr. Mundis.
18 MR. MUNDIS:
19 Q. Your Honours, in order to save time, I would suggest perhaps that
20 immediately upon the completion of today's session that the Defence meet
21 with us and we'll try to identify a portion of this tape that might have
22 some Arabic audio bits audible to proceed along the lines as Mrs. Vidovic
23 has suggested. I'm afraid it might eat up valuable court time for us to
24 try to do that now, but we can certainly revisit the issue in the morning
25 with the witness and perhaps after we've all had a chance to try to find
1 a proper clip.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: That -- is that okay with you, Madam Vidovic?
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: The parties may do that. Thank you very much.
5 MR. MUNDIS:
6 Q. Now, Mr. Awad, let me ask you, sir, upon the formation of the
7 El Mujahedin Detachment, were you a member of that unit?
8 A. I was.
9 Q. For how long did you remain a member of the El Mujahedin
10 Detachment following the formation of that unit?
11 A. From the time the decision was made to form the unit, when it was
12 officially formed, until the moment when the unit was disbanded.
13 Q. And when, to the best of your recollection, was the unit
15 A. In December 1995, after the signing of the Dayton agreement.
16 Q. We'll certainly return to that topic of the disbandment of the
17 unit later, but my question now, sir, is what was your role or what was
18 your capacity, what -- in what way did you function as a member of the
19 El Mujahedin Detachment from August 1993 through December 1995?
20 A. I worked as an interpreter. In the beginning until the end I was
21 the translator or interpreter in that unit. On paper, formally, it says
22 that I was the deputy -- assistant commander for security, assistant
23 commander for security. But never actually carried out those duties, nor
24 do I know how to carry them out. So that's why I say that from the
25 beginning until the end I was the interpreter or translator.
1 Q. And, sir, for whom did you interpret or translate?
2 A. Mostly for the commander of the El Mujahedin Detachment.
3 Sometimes also for Mutaza [phoen], this is, for the military commander,
4 El Mutaza.
5 Q. And when you say, Mr. Awad, that you interpreted for the
6 commander, what person are you referring to?
7 A. I have in mind the commander of the detachment. First it was
8 Dr. Abu Haris, then Abu Mali. The -- but he is still alive. Dr. Abu
9 Haris, and Abu Melik [as interpreted] as the commanders. For a while for
10 Wahiuddeen before he was killed, but he was not the commander. He was
11 just responsible for military matters, and I attended a meeting with him
12 when I interpreted for him.
13 Q. Perhaps there was a bit of confusion, at least in the English it
14 sounded as though you said the commander of the unit was Abu Melik.
15 A. Abu El Mahali.
16 Q. Now, can you tell us, sir, in what type of setting your services
17 as an interpreter or translator would be required?
18 A. I said that people didn't know the Bosnian language, so they
19 needed somebody to interpret, to explain when something was being said,
20 whether it was a meeting with someone or one of the soldiers. Members of
21 the detachment wanted to address the commander. Somebody needed to
22 explain to the commander what it was. So it was my duty to interpret, to
23 pass on, to convey whatever was being said during those contacts or
25 Q. Can you just -- we'll go into this in much greater detail in a
1 few moments, but can you just tell us what these meetings were that
2 you've referred to, what types of meetings?
3 A. There were different types of meetings. When the commander of
4 the unit needed something or when he wanted to talk to the corps
5 commander or to the commander of the Operative Group, then I would
6 interpret. And this is a kind of meeting. I even interpreted at
7 meetings when, for instance, we went to the factory Novi Travnik to
8 purchase weapons. Again I was there as an interpreter. These are the
9 meetings I'm talking about.
10 Q. And, sir, when you make reference to meetings with the corps
11 commander, what corps are you referring to?
12 A. When I talk about the corps, I am referring to the 3rd Corps.
13 When I say "the army," I mean the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We
14 were not in the HVO or any other body -- any other army, I'm sorry.
15 Q. What about the operation group? You said also meetings with the
16 commander of the Operational Group. What Operational Group or groups
17 were you referring to?
18 A. I am referring to the Operational Group, for instance, that was
19 called the Bosanska Krajina. A meeting was held before Wahiuddeen was
20 killed in Dubac, and there was a meeting with unit commanders, the
21 commanders of the units who took part in the combat operations around
22 Vitez and this terrain. Wahiuddeen was called to the meeting, and I was
23 there with him, and I interpreted those talks that they had.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic.
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour, to my
1 learned friend and to you for interfering, but I think it is important to
2 set a time frame for the questions and answers of the witness as
3 precisely as possible.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mundis.
5 MR. MUNDIS: Yeah. That's precisely what I was about to do.
6 Q. Mr. Awad, this meeting that you've referred to concerning combat
7 in the area around Vitez, what time period are you referring to? When
8 was that?
9 A. End of August -- no, end September. In September 1993 to be
11 Q. And can you -- can you tell us, sir, where this meeting occurred?
12 A. I said -- the place is called Lupac. It's a locality close to
14 Q. What was at Lupac? Why did you go there to have this meeting?
15 A. I think that a forward command post was there of the Operational
16 Group, and that is where these meetings were held with the commander of
17 the Operational Group.
18 Q. And now, sir, you've made reference to meetings in the plural.
19 How many such meetings do you recall in September 1993 at this forward
20 command post in Lupac?
21 A. I said a moment ago I attended one meeting with Wahiuddeen at
22 that location. When I said meetings were being held, I meant that
23 meetings were held at the forward command post where it is normal for the
24 commander to hold meetings with his other commanders. I personally
25 attended only one such meeting.
1 Q. And can you recall, sir, who was present from the Bosanska
2 Krajina operation group?
3 A. The late General Mehmed Alagic.
4 Q. Do you recall, sir, the topic or topics of discussion at this
5 meeting in September 1993 in Lupac between Wahiuddeen and the late
6 General Alagic?
7 A. There wasn't a lot of talk. Wahiuddeen just presented the facts
8 that people were on the ground and that these combat operations needed to
9 be continued. As far as I understood, there had already been an attack
10 and that it should be continued. General Alagic, the late General,
11 ordered his commanders to continue the battles that they had to fight.
12 All of them as one were complaining, "We can't go on. We don't have
13 sufficient forces. We look ammunition," and so on. There were comments
14 of that kind.
15 Q. Do you recall, sir -- when you say he ordered his commanders, do
16 you recall what commanders were present at this meeting?
17 A. I think the commander of the 325th Brigade was present. I don't
18 know whether there was anyone from the 17th Krajina Brigade. I can't
19 remember exactly who was present. But anyway, the units that were taking
20 part in those operations. So their commanders or their representatives
21 were present at that meeting.
22 Q. Do you recall, sir, whether the late General Alagic gave any
23 specific taskings to Wahiuddeen and the El Mujahedin Detachment at this
25 A. No. There was nothing specific. It was just stated that the
1 operation should be continued, that the combat must be continued
3 Q. And, sir, following this meeting in Lupac in September 1993, did
4 in fact the combat continue in the Vitez area?
5 A. We returned, Wahiuddeen and myself, to Kruscica where the
6 El Mujahedin Unit was stationed, and then they tried to carry out an
7 attack against a position called Crveno Brdo, I think, but we had many
8 wounded, high losses, and we couldn't reach that spot where the men were
9 assigned to go, that is, to continue the operation.
10 Q. You mention -- you mention, Mr. Awad, operations in the area of
11 Kruscica. Do you know whose idea it was to undertake operations in
13 A. I don't know with certainty because this was the first time for
14 me to go out into the area, because I spent more of my time in the
15 barracks. So I was not aware of the plans or what had been agreed.
16 Q. Before turning, sir, to 1994, I'd like to ask you some more
17 general questions that are applicable throughout the entire period you
18 were with the detachment from August 1993 through December 1995. So I'm
19 talking about that whole period that you were in the detachment.
20 Can you tell us, Mr. Awad, who set the combat priorities for the
21 El Mujahedin Detachment in terms of where the unit was to go, what areas
22 were to be attacked, what areas were to be defended, et cetera?
23 A. It is logical that the priorities would be set by the commanders,
24 either of the corps or the operations group. That is the persons who had
25 several units under their command, because the El Mujahedin Detachment as
1 a small unit cannot determine where others would attack nor where they
2 themselves would attack. So it is only logical and normal for the people
3 who are in charge of several brigades or several units to plan and to
4 determine the priorities where defences should be reinforced, where an
5 attack should be launched, and so on.
6 Q. Mr. Awad, how were these priorities communicated to the
7 leadership of the El Mujahedin Detachment?
8 A. In the following way: When an operation had to be carried out or
9 an attack, we would be called in by the command of the operations group.
10 This was in 1993. Later on all these arrangements were made at the level
11 of the corps command. And occasionally at the level of the operations
12 group, but mostly at the level of the corps command. So we would be
13 called to go to the corps command for a talk, and then we would be
14 informed that the unit should prepare for a particular attack and that we
15 should take part together with those units. We would be attached to
16 another unit as we were small in number at first, at the beginning. So
17 we [as interpreted] would give us people who were aware of the terrain,
18 who would show us the terrain. Our people would do reconnaissance, and
19 after this reconnaissance the attack would be carried out along the axis
20 set by them.
21 Q. And again, sir, for clarifications purposes, when you say "along
22 the axis set by them," to whom are you referring when you say "them"?
23 A. I said a moment ago. Either the commander of the operations
24 group or the corps command who determine the priorities for the attack,
25 and we would be assigned a small portion of that area. Every unit would
1 be assigned a particular area where they were supposed to attack.
2 Q. Let's now break down the time periods a little bit if we can.
3 When you say "operation group," in 1993 what operation are you referring
5 A. In view of the fact that these operations were taking place in
6 the area of Vitez and Novi Travnik, Zabrdzje, this belonged to the
7 Bosanska Krajina Operations Group. So I was referring to them. When
8 we're talking about an operations group, then I mean this one, the Bosnia
9 Krajina Operations Group.
10 Q. Let's turn our attention, Mr. Awad, to the year 1994.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Prosecutor, before we do that, I'd like the
12 witness to explore a bit more the procedure that was followed when the El
13 Mujahid Detachment went into combat action.
14 I told us that you would be called to the 3rd command -- the
15 3rd Corps command and be assigned an area for combat and assigned a task
16 and a time and also be told which other units would take part in that
17 attack. Is that correctly understood?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: Tell me, what would happen next? Would you -- or
20 would the delegation from the El Mujahid Detachment then just return to
21 Mehurici and -- and start, implement those directives?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We would first reconnoiter the
23 terrain. Then -- the terrain where the attacks should be carried out.
24 Then we would coordinate with the unit holding the line there, and they
25 would show us terrain because, after all, we don't know the area. Then
1 we would do the reconnaissance, and then we would prepare for the attack.
2 Before the attack a meeting would be held regarding the readiness
3 of units for the attack, and the date would be set for the attack and the
4 method in which it would be carried out.
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: A meeting between who?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The units taking part and those who
7 determine the priorities, whether it was the corps command or the
8 operations group command.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: Would the El Mujahid Detachment have an
10 opportunity to decide independently of whether they would wish to join in
11 that action?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Mujahedin Detachment is always
13 ready for combat. That is why they had come, to fight. I can't walk
14 around Bosnia and say, "I'm going to attack here, and tomorrow somewhere
15 else." There has to be some sort of order, and one has to respect the
16 host. Before going to his terrain, I have to ask him. So there has to
17 be coordination when an attack is being carried out. So the detachment
18 usually wouldn't be alone. I can't just go and attack somewhere. This
19 was coordinated.
20 The detachment at first wasn't very strong. If we're talking
21 about a hundred men, that's an insignificant number. So it was essential
22 to coordinate with other units.
23 We'd have a small sector for attacking, but we cannot do it
24 alone. When a hundred men enters a forest, a wood, they can cover not
25 even 50 metres, not to mention a kilometre or more.
1 JUDGE HARHOFF: I understand. Were you aware of any instance
2 where the El Mujahid Detachment had to decline from taking part in a
3 combat action?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There wasn't refusal outright, but
5 usually if reconnaissance is carried out of the terrain and if the
6 military commander and the reconnaissance people see that we lack the
7 proper elements for an attack, for the attack to be successful -- because
8 an attack is not for the sake of an attack and for people to get killed,
9 but when one attacks, the aim is to succeed, to gain control of the
10 location we are attacking.
11 If you wish -- I think the Prosecutor will come to that later. I
12 think in 1994 -- I can tell you now or later on when the Prosecutor comes
13 to these questions, I will provide the answers. It's up to you.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: The reason I'm putting these questions, and we
15 may well get back to them if that is -- is the Prosecution's line,
16 because I do not wish to interfere with it, with the Prosecution, but I
17 need to have now or later an understanding of the way in which the El
18 Mujahid Detachment would -- would cooperate with the ABiH units, and what
19 I was particularly looking for was to know if -- if the El Mujahid
20 Detachment was given -- was given the flexibility of opting out
21 independently and by its own decision of combat actions that were
22 planned. But you can answer now, or you can wait until later. It's --
23 please answer now, yes.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as the El Mujahedin
25 Detachment is concerned, I must repeat once again. People who had come
1 from abroad, they came to assist, not to rest or to have a cup of coffee
2 and to tour the area. They came to fight. Whereas the Bosnians, the men
3 who joined the Arabs, the Mujahedin, they accepted them and wanted to
4 fight with them. And the whole detachment together, the aim of the whole
5 detachment was to assist as much as possible and to liberate as much
6 territory as possible.
7 As for actual opting out or refusal, there weren't cases when
8 anyone said, "I will not attack," but, rather, there would be talks,
9 discussions to explain the situation.
10 There was a case in 1994 when the command of the corps said that
11 the priority of the attack should be at the Vogosca theatre of war, and
12 the detachment, after two successful operations, was transferred to the
13 area of Zavidovici. The terrain was such that it was not possible to
14 attack. Autumn had started. The wood was -- one could see through it.
15 One -- there were no -- there was no foliage to hide behind, no rocks so
16 that could one could reach a trench and do reconnaissance. The
17 configuration of the land was such there were 726, 702, and 706 features,
18 and 726 and 702 and 706, they covered each other, and there was no
19 possibility of approaching them under protection. When there's foliage
20 it's give, never mind when there are no leaves.
21 So the military commander --
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: So, for instance, the combat operation was
23 postponed, I understand.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I haven't finished. If I may
25 finish first.
1 So in this case, when men did reconnaissance and said that it was
2 not possible to carry out the attack, they told the commander, but the
3 division commander and the corps commander, under pressure of other units
4 that were lying around and who were doing nothing, said, "But you have of
5 to attack." They were full of zeal. They wanted to attack. We said,
6 "That's not a problem for us, but -- we can attack, but we will not
7 succeed. We will just lose men, and we will not capture anything." But
8 the decision was that we had to do the attack for the benefit of the
9 other units. So as to avoid a conflict or a misunderstanding between the
10 El Mujahedin command and the corps and division command, the decision was
11 to carry out a fake attack.
12 Now, what did that mean? We would send -- send mean to reach the
13 line which existed. The 328th Brigade was holding the line and the
14 trenches, and all the commanders said, "We're ready for the attack in the
15 morning." We said, "Fine."
16 Our members were on the line, and they opened fire, but none of
17 the other fighters made any progress. They didn't move forward a single
18 metre. And then they attributed the failure to us. They said that it
19 was the fault of the El Mujahedin, but our command had said that it was
20 not a good occasion, a good opportunity for an attack.
21 Afterwards, about some six months later, the operation was
22 carried out and we alone, without anyone's assistance, except Allah, we
23 managed to take control of these features, though everyone thought that
24 we would need air force support to achieve it, but we achieved it
25 nevertheless, but later.
1 MR. MUNDIS:
2 Q. Now, Mr. Awad, let's continue talking about -- let's continue
3 talking about this operation that you've just described and then we'll
4 maybe rewind the time clock a little bit, but I do have some follow-up
5 questions based on what you've just told us.
6 The first one, you indicated that this was 1994. Can you be more
7 specific, sir, in terms of what time period in 1994, what month in 1994?
8 A. End of October or early November, but it was autumn in any case.
9 Q. Okay.
10 A. It could be late October or early November. Sometime around
12 Q. All right. You've also told us, sir, about some reconnaissance
13 that was done before that operation. Do you recall approximately when
14 that reconnaissance was undertaken?
15 A. When the decision was made to transfer the detachment from the
16 Sarici-Teslici front to the Zavidovici front a group was assigned of
17 scouts who were going to reconnoiter the terrain, and on the first day
18 there was -- the team that carried out the reconnaissance, they tried to
19 carry out reconnaissance in five or six days. We had a 15-day deadline.
20 But in that deadline of 15 days, it was really not possible to approach
21 the enemy positions in order to reconnoiter and to find out more.
22 I think it was in October, in the month of October, when this
23 reconnaissance in that area was conducted.
24 Q. And this was October 1994?
25 A. 1994, yes.
1 Q. Now, Mr. Awad, you told us that this reconnaissance was
2 undertaken shortly after the detachment moved from the Sarici-Teslic area
3 to Zavidovici area. Who made that decision, sir, to relocate the unit?
4 A. The corps commander, like I said.
5 Q. Okay. And can you tell us a little bit more about the
6 discussions or meetings that related to this operation in the autumn of
8 A. The detachment command was summoned by the corps command or the
9 corps commander, and they were told that the priority was to attack in
10 the Zavidovici front and to transfer the unit there and to carry out an
11 attack there. A team was established that led us. I was part of that
12 team. It included commander Abu Mali.
13 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear the is second name.
14 Probably Muatez.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And then we came to the team that
16 was in Zavidovici. The commander Hasan greeted us there, and they said
17 that they were eager to receive this unit that had two successes in a row
18 in the Saric-Teslici area. Then there was a team that -- there that was
19 going to guide us, to show us the terrain, and people were assigned to
20 follow our scouts, to show them the terrain. So the division commander
21 gave some men to us to show us around. After we spoke, we went out into
22 the field, and we carried out reconnaissance there.
23 MR. MUNDIS:
24 Q. But let me just interrupt you there for one moment. When you say
25 the division commander, can you tell us please what division and the name
1 of the division commander?
2 A. Fadil Hasanagic. I said the name. And it was the 35th Division.
3 Q. And can you tell us, sir, approximately when this meeting that
4 you've been telling us took place in Zavidovici, when Commander Hasanagic
5 basically facilitated this reconnaissance?
6 A. I don't know the exact -- the exact date in October 1994. After
7 receiving notification that the detachment had to transfer to the
8 Zavidovici area and when we got to the division, immediately a team was
9 assigned to follow us or escort us. There were people there who were
10 entrusted with coordination. They took us to the field, and then other
11 scouts were assigned to be with our scouts to show them the terrain.
12 The next day -- I can't remember the exact date, but this was as
13 soon as we transferred to Zavidovici. We immediately embarked on this
15 Q. Okay. And approximately how long did that reconnaissance take?
16 A. We were given 15 days for the preparations, but I could say that
17 we spent about seven days in reconnaissance, walking around. People were
18 trying to find away of getting closer, but there was no possibility for
19 that, and I think even before that time expired we reported back that the
20 attack could not be carried out.
21 Q. Okay. I'd like to ask you about that particular aspect. When
22 you say "we reported back," to whom did you report that the operation
23 would not be successful?
24 A. The corps commander and the division commander were at the
25 meeting, and it was said -- we informed the corps commander that the
1 attack could not be carried out. However, they insisted. He insisted
2 that the attack must be carried out because of the other units and so on
3 and so forth.
4 Q. Again, Mr. Awad, I need as much precision as possible. So when
5 you say "the corps commander," who are you referring to?
6 A. The corps commander at the time was General Sakib Mahmuljin.
7 Q. And again, at this point in time, October 1994, who was the
8 division commander that you referred to?
9 A. Which division?
10 Q. I believe you said earlier you reported to back to the 3rd Corps
11 commander and the 35th Division commander. You've just told us at that
12 time General Mahmuljin was the commander of the 3rd Corps. At that point
13 in time, October 1994, who was the 35th Division commander?
14 A. Fadil Hasanagic.
15 Q. After this meeting where you reported that this task was not
16 possible due to the time of year and the topography, how much time
17 elapsed before that attack was carried out, this false attack as you put
18 it earlier?
19 A. It wasn't that much time. If we know that the last operation in
20 the Teslic front was carried out in October, early October, then we can
21 say that -- I said the end of October. Fifteen days from the time we
22 were received by Hasanagic.
23 Q. And in that intervening short period of time, were there any
24 other meetings between the commander of the El Mujahedin Detachment and
25 the 35th Division and/or the 3rd Corps?
1 A. There were no more meetings. The first meeting was a separate
2 meeting at the corps command when we were told that the detachment had to
3 transfer. There was an encounter at the division command, at Fadil
4 Hasanagic's. After that, there was one when we informed them. However,
5 there were two meetings more. The last meeting was when all the
6 commanders of other units were summoned who insisted on their readiness
7 to execute the attack, and at that time it was decided that the attack
8 must be carried out.
9 And then in the evening or on the following day -- or I think it
10 was the same evening, a meeting was held - I think it was at the panorama
11 in Zavidovici - where all laid the blame on the El Mujahedin for failure,
12 but they did not themselves fire a single bullet. And then Fadil
13 Hasanagic angrily at that point thought that we were pretending, that we
14 did not wish to carry out the attack even though we explained. He
15 responded angrily, "You will stay with me still." I mean, it's not a
17 Q. Okay. Now, Mr. Awad, I want to return to the topic of Sarici and
18 Teslic, which you've mentioned several times. Can you tell us a little
19 bit about the time period in which those operations occurred?
20 A. I think that the first operation, the attack on Pisana Jelika and
21 Visoko Glava was carried out in late August or early September. The
22 second attack at the Brdo facility was carried out in October, I think.
23 Q. In which year, sir?
24 A. 1994.
25 Q. And just so we're clear, these two operations in this area of
1 Sarici and Teslic were prior to the unit moving to Zavidovici; is that
2 correct? Okay.
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. Let's just return to that time period, though, because we -- we
5 kind of skipped ahead to talk about the autumn 1994 operation that you've
6 been talking about. So I want to go -- focus your attention now back to
7 these earlier operations in the Sarici-Teslic area.
8 Can you tell us, Mr. Awad, how it came to be that the detachment
9 was operating in that area, Sarici, Teslic, in late summer, early autumn
11 A. The detachment was billeted in that area. They were holding the
12 line towards a place that was called.
13 Karanovac. We received notification that it would be good to
14 reconnoiter the terrain and clear that facility that was called Pisana
15 Jelika and Visoko Glava. I think that some other units were supposed to
16 participate in that with us, but Muatez and the others, the other experts
17 in the detachment, decided that we would attack alone, without anyone's
18 assistance, because we were afraid that somebody would not come through
19 on the left or the right flank and then we would be left, because the
20 terrain was such that you really couldn't do it one by one, because both
21 facilities, Pisana Jelika and Visoko Glava, had to be attacked
22 simultaneously. So that's how we got the recommendation to attack both
24 We were summoned to a conversation when we were told that it
25 would be a good thing to do an action on those two places, and then after
1 the meeting it was decided that it would be carried out.
2 Q. Okay. I would like to try to finish this topic before we break
3 for the day, so if you could just bear with me a couple more questions,
4 Mr. Awad.
5 This -- this meeting -- this meeting that you've told us about,
6 when and where did this meeting take place, and who attended the meeting?
7 A. I don't remember exactly when this was held at the corps command
8 and how this whole task happened. I wasn't there when the assignment or
9 task was given. Later, I think a meeting was held in the 3 North
10 Operations Group where the actions were coordinated.
11 I don't recall that there was a meeting at the corps command
12 where this was discussed. Perhaps it was, but I wasn't present.
13 Q. Can you tell us, sir, at this time period, late summer, early
14 autumn 1994, what the relationship was between the El Mujahedin
15 Detachment and Operation Group 3 North?
16 A. The relations were good. We were formally resubordinated to the
17 3 North Operations Group, and we cooperated with the commander. I think
18 his name was Musim [phoen] Begovic.
19 And we need to state this right at the beginning that we or the
20 detachment command didn't trust all the commanders. We mostly -- the
21 commander that we trusted the most was the commander of the 3rd Corps,
22 Sakib Mahmuljin.
23 Q. Let me just ask you this question, sir: When you say you were
24 formally resubordinated to OG 3 North, I would like to ask or would like
25 you to tell us, if you can, who made that decision. Who resubordinated
1 Odred El Mujahedin to OG 3 North?
2 A. The corps commander, because the El Mujahedin Detachment is an
3 independent unit that was directly under the command of the 3rd Corps.
4 That's how it was for that unit. So the corps commander made the
5 decision for the unit to be resubordinated to the OG 3 North group.
6 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I am aware of the time. I had one
7 exhibit I'd like to show the witness concerning events in 1994 that
8 relate to this and then that will be the end of 1994, and then we could
9 just start tomorrow with 1995. If I could beg the Court and the
10 interpreters' indulgence.
11 I would ask now that the witness be shown the document P01810,
13 Q. Mr. Awad, do you have the document in front of you?
14 THE INTERPRETER: We didn't hear the witness.
15 MR. MUNDIS:
16 Q. The interpreters didn't hear you, sir. Do you have the document
17 in front of you?
18 A. I have several documents, but, yes, I have the document.
19 Q. Okay. I'd like to draw your attention, sir, to the numbered
20 paragraph 1 under the word "Order."
21 A. Very well.
22 Q. Can you tell us, sir, what this is all about, this reference to
23 Pioneer Squads or Pioneer Squad?
24 A. These are the de-miners which belong to the winter unit that
25 belongs to the 3rd Corps. They helped us. These people would usually be
1 attached to us to remove mines before the attack. Before any attack they
2 would dismantle the mines that they had laid down before, or the unit
3 that would be holding that territory had laid down before.
4 Q. And can you now look, sir, at the numbered paragraph 3, and can
5 you perhaps comment upon this part of the order that requires the
6 detachment to provide accommodation and food to the Pioneer Squad and to
7 arm them with automatic weapons?
8 A. The Pioneers were staying in the area where the detachment was
9 billeted at Karanovac, in the Karanovci area, and they had been given a
10 tent where they slept at Karanovac where they were billeted.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Awad.
12 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution would ask that this document P01810
13 be admitted into evidence, please.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
15 please be given an exhibit number.
16 THE REGISTRAR: That is Exhibit 1128, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
18 MR. MUNDIS: I am grateful for the extra time. This would be a
19 perfect spot for us to adjourn for the day, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Before we do that and
21 because I may forget, can I ask you just one little point of explanation,
22 sir. You mentioned when you were planning -- when you talked about an
23 attack that you were planning to do alone as the El Mujahedin because you
24 were not sure whether the others would come along, did that attack take
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: And it was undertaken by the El Mujahedin alone.
3 What was the strength of the El Mujahedin during that attack?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Maybe 2 to 300 men, not more.
5 We're talking about 1994. That was the time that the unit was larger.
6 It was no longer made up of a hundred men but included Bosniaks who had
7 joined the El Mujahedin Detachment. So the unit was larger. The two
8 facilities were attacked in 17 minutes, something that the two brigades
9 couldn't capture. That's what was done.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. We'll take an adjournment,
11 and we'll reconvene tomorrow morning at 9.00. Thank you very much.
12 Court adjourned.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.10 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Saturday, the 9th day
15 of February, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.