Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 9941

1 Thursday, 1 July 2004

2 [Open session]

3 --- Upon commencing at 11.00 a.m.

4 [The accused entered court]

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, would you call

6 the case, please.

7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Mr. President, case number

8 IT-01-47-T, the Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar. Can

10 we have the appearances for the Prosecution, please.

11 MR. MUNDIS: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours, counsel,

12 and everyone in and around the courtroom. For the Prosecution, Ms. Tecla

13 Henry-Benjamin, Daryl Mundis, and the case manager Andres Vatter.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now for the Defence, please, who

15 are complete today.

16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President; good

17 morning, Your Honours. On behalf of General Enver Hadzihasanovic, Edina

18 Residovic; Stephane Bourgon, co-counsel; and Mirna Milanovic, legal

19 assistant.

20 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. On

21 behalf of Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Mr. Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and

22 Mr. Nermin Mulalic, legal assistant.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber bids good morning to

24 all those present: To the representatives of the Prosecution, assisted by

25 their legal assistant; the Defence attorneys, as I have just said, are all

Page 9942

1 present today; the accused; and all the personnel of this courtroom,

2 especially the registrar, the legal officer, Madam Usher, Madam Court

3 Reporter, as well as the security services. I will not omit to mention

4 the interpreters in their booths.

5 I would like to ask the registrar that we first go into private

6 session.

7 [Private session]

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Page 9943

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8 (Redacted)

9 [Open session]

10 THE REGISTRAR: Mr. President, we are in open session.

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

12 Mr. Mundis, is your witness available to the Chamber?

13 MR. MUNDIS: He is indeed, Mr. President.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I should like to ask

15 Madam Usher to go and fetch the witness.

16 [The witness entered court]

17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, sir. Let me check

18 that you are hearing my words in your own language. If so, tell me,

19 please, that you can hear and understand what I'm saying.

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning. I can hear and

21 understand.

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have been called by

23 representatives of the Prosecution to testify on certain matters linked to

24 documents. Before I ask you to read the solemn declaration, I need to

25 know your identity. Give me your first and last name, place and date of

Page 9944

1 birth.

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am Mekic Muradif, born on the 13th

3 of March, 1944, in Mrdjenovici, Foca municipality.

4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your current occupation?

5 Are you working or are you retired? What are you doing now?

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am retired.

7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And you retired as what, from

8 what position?

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was a professional officer in the

10 Yugoslav People's Army, a lieutenant colonel by rank in 1992.

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And when did you retire, which

12 year?

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1997.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And since 1997 you haven't been

15 working. You are just a pensioner; is that right?

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In 1993, what was the position

18 that you held in the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina? What was your

19 position and rank?

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1993, I still didn't have any

21 rank. Only the corps commanders were granted ranks, and senior officers.

22 In those days, until mid-1993, I acted as chief of staff of the 3rd Corps

23 of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina headquartered in Zenica.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the chief of staff of the

25 3rd Corps had no military rank?

Page 9945

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He did not.

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But was he considered to be an

3 officer or a civilian?

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was considered to be an officer,

5 a member of the Supreme Command, with a certain insignia.

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have you ever testified before

7 an international or national court about the events that took place in

8 Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1993 or is this the first time for you?

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is for the first time that I am

10 appearing as a witness ever.

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Will you please read the text of

12 the solemn declaration now, please.

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

14 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.


16 [Witness answered through interpreter]

17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You may be seated.

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we begin with your

20 testimony - I can call you Colonel because you are a retired colonel - I

21 shall provide you with some information regarding these proceedings. You

22 will have to answer questions that are going to be put to you by the

23 representatives of the Prosecution, who are seated on your right. I

24 understand that you have already met representatives of the Prosecution on

25 several occasions and most recently this morning in the presence of the

Page 9946

1 Defence attorneys.

2 After the Prosecution's questions, the Defence attorneys, who are

3 seated on your left and whom you have already met, will also have

4 questions to you within the framework of their cross-examination.

5 The Chamber understands that the Defence had intended to call you

6 later as a witness for the Defence, but due to certain problems linked to

7 documents, the Prosecution has called you to come and testify about some

8 documents and the question of the chain of custody of documents within the

9 3rd Corps and questions linked to communications.

10 Once the Defence attorneys have completed their questioning about

11 the points I have just listed, the Prosecution may again have some

12 additional questions for you. When this is over, the three Judges who are

13 seated in front of you may also ask you questions. In view of the

14 technical nature of your testimony, it is almost certain that the Judges

15 will have questions for you.

16 The questions put to you will be worded in a clear and

17 understandable fashion as far as possible, and please try and answer them

18 also clearly so as to inform the Judges fully of what you are saying. If

19 you don't understand the meaning of a question, please ask the person

20 putting it to you to rephrase it so that you are fully aware and

21 understand the question which will allow you to give a precise answer.

22 However, I have to remind you - and this is something that I do

23 for all witnesses, not just for you but all those coming to testify - I

24 need to remind witnesses that as they have taken the solemn declaration to

25 tell the whole truth, all false testimony is excluded. I always tell

Page 9947

1 witnesses that should there be any false testimony, a witness may be

2 sanctioned by a fine or a prison term which can go up to seven years.

3 That is the first point.

4 The second point I need to make is that when a witness has to

5 answer a question which he considers that might one day be used against

6 him because his answer may incriminate him, in that case the witness may

7 refuse to answer. This is a possibility that exists in a number of

8 countries. The witness is not forced to answer, but should that occur,

9 the Chamber may compel the witness to answer, but in doing so, the Chamber

10 guarantees immunity from prosecution to the witness for what the witness

11 may say.

12 Those would be, in general terms, how these proceedings will

13 evolve. Should you have any difficulty, please tell us so and we will

14 deal with them.

15 I now turn to the Prosecution and give them the floor.

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

17 Examined by Mr. Mundis:

18 Q. Good morning for the second time today, Mr. Mekic. As we

19 explained --

20 A. Good morning.

21 Q. As we explained to you both in Sarajevo and earlier this morning,

22 my questions, as you're aware, will be limited to technical issues

23 concerning orders, and I will also show you a few documents, as we've

24 previously done.

25 Let me start by asking you, sir, you've informed the Trial Chamber

Page 9948

1 that in 1992 you were a member of the Yugoslav People's Army, the JNA.

2 Can you tell us, please, when you first joined the JNA.

3 A. I joined the JNA as an active-duty officer on the 27th of July,

4 1963.

5 Q. I take it, then, that you remained with the JNA until 1992.

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. What was your military specialisation, if any, during your nearly

8 30-year career in the JNA?

9 A. My speciality was nuclear, chemical and biological defence.

10 Q. Can you tell us a little bit about the circumstances by which you

11 left the JNA in 1992.

12 A. If I may provide an explanation before I answer that question,

13 please. The Yugoslav People's Army consisted of three components; the

14 Yugoslav People's Army itself, the Territorial Defence, and the police in

15 wartime. So only in wartime does the police become a third component.

16 I think it was on the 13th of February, 1991, at my personal

17 request I was transferred to serve in the Territorial Defence as a

18 component of the armed forces of the former Yugoslavia, and I held the

19 position of assistant commander for logistics of the District TO staff for

20 Sarajevo. You are probably aware of the fact that the commander was

21 General Jovan Divjak. I held that post until the 4th of April, 1992, when

22 we were called on either to move to where the occupier, as we thought them

23 to be, should go or to leave. Those of us who were professional officers

24 decided not to join the armed forces that had been formed by the JNA - I

25 don't know how to put it - the forces whose task it was to ensure the --

Page 9949

1 to ensure that Bosnia-Herzegovina remain in Rump Yugoslavia.

2 As far as the Bosnian and Croatian patriots in the Territorial

3 Defence were concerned, we remained there, but not under the command of

4 the Main Staff over which the JNA had command. This lasted only four

5 days.

6 On the 8th of April, 1992, an order was issued by the then

7 Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina that the patriotic forces should

8 unite to form the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and those patriotic

9 forces were the Patriotic League and the Territorial Defence. So that

10 from the Territorial Defence, for four days I was nowhere, so to speak,

11 and then, together with the others, I joined the army of Bosnia and

12 Herzegovina on the 8th of April, 1992.

13 Q. At that point, 8 April 1992, what were you assigned to do and

14 where were you?

15 A. I was in Sarajevo, in the district of Ciglane, where the District

16 TO headquarters was based, and we stayed there. I was a member of the

17 staff without any concrete duty.

18 Q. How long did you remain in the district of Ciglane in Sarajevo?

19 A. I was there until the Marsal Tito barracks was liberated, if

20 you're aware of that event. You probably are. When the barracks was

21 liberated, I was appointed the first commander of that barracks, the

22 assignment being to prepare the area to accommodate the growing units of

23 the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

24 Q. How long -- how long, sir, did you remain in Sarajevo in 1992 --

25 or, better, when did you leave Sarajevo in 1992?

Page 9950












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Page 9951

1 A. I left Sarajevo -- actually, I wasn't alone. Four of us left

2 Sarajevo in the night between the 1st and 2nd of November, 1992, escorted

3 by the French colonel who escorted us via the airport, and then we

4 continued on our way to Zenica.

5 Q. Can you tell us who was with you on this trip to Zenica and what

6 the purpose of going to Zenica was on the 1st and 2nd of November, 1992.

7 A. In the group with me was Mr. Enver Hadzihasanovic, Velaga Karajko,

8 and Mikic Senad. The purpose of our leaving Sarajevo and going to Central

9 Bosnia, or more specifically to Zenica, was to implement the plan Koverat,

10 or envelope as it was code named, and the name of that plan was to lift

11 the blockade of the city of Sarajevo. The four of us were assigned to go

12 to Central Bosnia to organise units there, and with those units to start

13 the operation of deblocking Sarajevo from the outside.

14 Q. As part of this tasking to organise these units, did that include

15 the establishment of a corps?

16 A. No.

17 Q. Did there come a time when that assignment, in effect, turned into

18 the establishment of a corps?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber approximately when that occurred.

21 A. As I have already said, on the 2nd of November, in the evening, we

22 arrived in Zenica. After life in surrounded Sarajevo and living under

23 unbearable conditions -- I find it hard even to look back at that period,

24 because I remember some horrific events. We felt as if we had reached

25 another planet. The war could not be felt to such an extent in Zenica.

Page 9952

1 There was lighting, which is something we were impressed by. Even traffic

2 lights were working.

3 Unfortunately, that same evening we were unpleasantly surprised,

4 and only then did we realise the kind of media blockade we were under and

5 general blockade, a lack of information and lack of knowledge about

6 events. We had expected, according to certain information that we had

7 received, that in Central Bosnia that units had already been organised

8 which simply now had to be prepared for the execution of the assigned

9 task. Unfortunately, none of that existed. All that existed was the 1st

10 Zenica Brigade which existed on paper only. There was just one battalion

11 that could actually be put to use consisting of the workers from the

12 steelworks.

13 Several days later, when we had an overview of the situation and

14 when we saw that we could not carry out the task for which we had left

15 Sarajevo, we addressed our superior command and informed them about the

16 situation there such as it was. We gave up the plan called Koverat for

17 Central Bosnia, and we were tasked to consolidate the units and to

18 organise them and to undertake the establishment of the 3rd of -- 3rd

19 Banja Luka or Krajina Corps based in Zenica. That is how it was known at

20 first as the Krajina was occupied. But the first option was that it

21 should be called the Banja Luka Corps. However, as that did not

22 materialise, it remained to be called the 3rd Corps without any indication

23 of place; that is, Banja Luka was left out.

24 Q. Sir -- sir, I appreciate that you have a great deal of knowledge

25 on these matters, but again, due to the limited nature of the questions

Page 9953

1 that I'll put to you, if you could try to keep the answers as brief as

2 possible, that would be appreciated.

3 Do you recall the approximate time that the 3rd Corps or the 3rd

4 Banja Luka Corps or the Banja Luka Corps was established, the rough time

5 period?

6 A. It's difficult to say. As a professional soldier, I know that

7 even in peacetime, under normal conditions, to form a corps requires a

8 number of years. This is something you can check with military experts.

9 But in wartime, well, we managed to do something. We gathered some units,

10 but technically speaking, as far as the formation of a corps is concerned,

11 that was out of the question.

12 Q. Again, sir, the question was the approximate time period when the

13 3rd Corps came into being.

14 A. Well, on paper it came into being perhaps in the first half of

15 January 1992. I apologise: In 1993.

16 Q. And what was your position at the time the corps came into being?

17 A. I was a member of the staff of the Supreme Command, and I went to

18 Central Bosnia in order to deal with these affairs. I was a member of the

19 staff of the Supreme Command at the time.

20 Q. Sir, in response to a question from the Presiding Judge, you told

21 us that you were the chief of staff of the 3rd Corps until approximately

22 mid-1993; is that correct?

23 A. That's correct.

24 Q. Can you please tell us very briefly what your responsibilities as

25 chief of staff included.

Page 9954

1 A. Well, I know you asked me that question a minute ago, because the

2 corps commander and the chief of staff of the corps couldn't appoint

3 themselves to those positions. That's why I said I was a member of the

4 staff of the Supreme Command and that I wasn't the chief of staff until I

5 received the order appointing me to that position. All this functioned on

6 the basis of temporary orders. These appointments were temporary. They

7 weren't real appointments.

8 I'm not sure. I can't remember the date when the then Presidency

9 issued the decrees and when I became the chief. I'm not sure of the day.

10 Q. Let me ask you again, sir: What, briefly, were your duties and

11 responsibilities as the chief of staff?

12 A. You want brief answers, but it's not possible to answer that

13 question by providing you with a brief answer. The staff was supposed to

14 deal with the operational functions of the corps command, and that's why

15 you have the chiefs of the services, and that the suggestion -- rather,

16 the decision of the commander, combat operations would be prepared. Not

17 just combat operations but life -- the life and work of the corps would

18 also be organised on that basis.

19 So I had a group of people with whom I was to implement the orders

20 issued by the commander.

21 Q. Can you tell us a little bit about how orders issued by the

22 commander were created, the written orders. How was that process done?

23 A. Well, there are two possibilities. Work was carried out on the

24 basis of two written instructions, textbooks, so to speak. One of these

25 textbooks, or some of these instructions had to do with office work and

Page 9955

1 drafting official documents, and the other instructions had to do with the

2 work of the staff.

3 The working methods involved a lengthy procedure and a more rapid

4 procedure. This depended on the situation and the time we had at our

5 disposal. For a document or an order from a commander, let's say to

6 attack or to defend, to go on a march, to rest, et cetera, for such an

7 order to be implemented, all his associates would sit down together and

8 discuss a number of issues, and the main issues that were discussed on the

9 basis of which a document was drafted, this concerned the situation in the

10 field, the combat situation, the time at our disposal, the weather, an

11 assessment of the enemy. And once all that had been done, these

12 evaluations were forwarded to the commander and the commander would then

13 take a decision, and on the basis of his decision, a document would then

14 be prepared.

15 As I have already said, the combat order was the main document,

16 the combat order for any kind of combat operation. It was on the basis of

17 that order that other subsidiary documents were drafted. So for each

18 combat operation drafted by a corps, a plan would be made which was fairly

19 lengthy. Naturally within that framework everyone had his own duties.

20 The logistics officer had to suggest the best kind of logistical support.

21 The operations officers were those who suggested how the unit should be

22 used in the field. The communications officer was, let's say the person

23 who was the chief of the communications, his duty was to establish a

24 communications system. And that's how this was done. Transport officers

25 had to deal with transport, et cetera. And once they had made all these

Page 9956

1 suggestions, then the order would be drafted, and one single plan would be

2 made concerning the action that had to be taken.

3 Q. Was there a specific person or persons within the 3rd Corps who

4 were responsible for actually writing the orders?

5 A. Yes, naturally.

6 Q. Who was that person or persons?

7 A. These were officers involved in operations, and at the beginning

8 we had one computer. Only one computer was used initially, and this

9 person who was typing out the handwritten text of operations officer -- or

10 operations officers who drafted the documents would type out the document

11 on this computer.

12 Q. Once the document was typed out, I assumed it -- I assume it would

13 then be printed out.

14 A. Yes, from the computer.

15 Q. What would be done with the document once it was printed from the

16 computer?

17 A. The document would then be registered -- or, rather, first the

18 relevant organ would sign it and then it was registered. It would be

19 given a number, it would be stamped, and it was then taken to the

20 communications centre. And it was supposed to be sent from the

21 communications centre to the person to whom the document was addressed.

22 Q. Sir, you told us that first the relevant organ would sign it. Who

23 -- what do you mean by the "relevant organ" in terms of signing orders?

24 A. That's specified on the basis of the hierarchy. This was

25 something that had been established in the chain of command. Everything

Page 9957

1 that was done was done on the basis of a commander's orders. As I said,

2 the idea was that there should be a single command, and the commander was

3 the person who would issue orders for everything. If the document was of

4 a logistical kind, if it had to do with supporting provisions, food, et

5 cetera, then naturally the assistant commander for logistics would sign

6 such a document. If the document had to do with security or morale, then

7 another person would sign it, the person who had to deal with this.

8 This took place within the corps command. If it was an operations

9 document, a report, a report that had been received, et cetera, then it

10 would either be signed by the commander or I would sign it if the

11 commander wasn't there. I would sign it as the chief of staff. And the

12 document would then be sent -- or, rather, first it would be registered

13 and then it would be sent.

14 Q. Now, sir, you've told us about a number of assistant chiefs of

15 staff for these various departments who would sign documents. Would they

16 be signing on behalf of the commander?

17 A. In the system of control and command that we had adopted -- as I

18 said, we didn't invent anything, we adopted the system from the JNA, from

19 the former JNA. According to those instructions, the commander would sign

20 -- or, rather, one would sign with the authorisation of the commander.

21 For example, the person who was the assistant commander for staff, let's

22 take that as an example, he would sign documents with the authorisation of

23 the commander. So, for example, when it's -- when you have the

24 commander's name, it would say "authorised by the commander," and his

25 assistant for those affairs would sign at that place.

Page 9958

1 Q. Whose name would be typewritten or computer written on the

2 document when these other individuals would sign?

3 A. If it had to do with a given department, then you'd have to have

4 the name of the chief of that department. For example, it would be the

5 assistant commander for logistics or the assistant commander for the

6 operations and staff affairs or the assistant commander for security or

7 the assistant commander for morale, the assistant commander for security,

8 for intelligence, et cetera. So these were assistant commanders, the

9 chiefs of the sections who were involved in these affairs.

10 Q. Let me ask you a slightly different but related question.

11 Documents bearing the signature block, if you will, the typewritten

12 signature block of the commander of the corps, who was authorised to sign

13 documents that included the commander's name, typewritten name, on the

14 document?

15 A. Again I'll go back to what I was saying. According to the rules

16 of control and command that had been adopted, there was the deputy

17 commander who didn't require any particular kind of authorisation in order

18 to sign on behalf of the commander if the commander was absent. And the

19 others, if this was -- if this was something that took place outside of

20 their departments, others required authorisation from the commander to

21 sign such documents.

22 Q. And, sir, what about the chief of staff, the position that you

23 yourself held for a number of months? Could you sign on behalf of the

24 commander in his absence?

25 A. And also if the deputy commander was absent, then I was in a

Page 9959

1 position to sign.

2 Q. So in effect, as chief of staff at that time in the 3rd Corps, you

3 were the number three in the chain of command within the corps?

4 A. That's right.

5 Q. What would -- who would sign the documents if the commander, the

6 deputy commander, and the chief of staff were all absent? Did anyone have

7 authority in that circumstance to sign documents on behalf of the

8 commander?

9 A. According to the rules of control and command, he didn't have

10 authorisation to do that if he hadn't received written authorisation from

11 the commander. But I'm not sure, I do think such things happened.

12 Q. So in effect, the commander could always authorise senior officers

13 within the staff of the corps to sign on his behalf in his absence and in

14 the absence of the deputy commander and chief of staff?

15 A. He could do that.

16 Q. Let me turn now, sir, to the issue of, in effect, certification or

17 verification of orders prior to the orders going to the communications

18 centre for transmittal to subordinate units. Are you familiar with that

19 process?

20 A. Yes, I'm familiar with it.

21 Q. So let's start with the moment the commander or an authorised

22 person on behalf of the commander signs a written order. That document is

23 then taken where?

24 A. That document would be taken to the so-called office -- the

25 general services office. That's where we had a protocol, or, rather, a

Page 9960












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Page 9961

1 register, and the document would be registered there under a certain

2 number. I don't want to repeat what I've already said. Various numbers,

3 the main numbers were allocated, and once the document had been stamped

4 and numbered, it would then be sent to the communications centre where

5 they had a logbook there, a transmission logbook. That's what it was

6 called. And they would make a note that the document had been received to

7 be sent. They would write down the time it had been received, and they

8 would write down the time it had been sent. They also would write down

9 whether it had been sent, because quite frequently it was not possible to

10 send a document; the document would be returned to the general services

11 office.

12 Q. Sir, I'd like to focus your attention on that actual process of

13 stamping the document. Can you tell us a little bit more about how that

14 was done and the steps taken within the general services office to do

15 that.

16 A. Well, listen, I can't tell you exactly what procedure was

17 followed, but I can tell you the procedure that should have been followed.

18 Q. I would like you to tell me what should have been followed and

19 then maybe we'll ask you about why that procedure wasn't always followed.

20 A. The person who typed the document out, who processed the document

21 on a computer, having completed that work, and later on we received a

22 computer, this was recorded on a floppy disk. Before we received

23 computers, these documents were on paper. This would then be handed over

24 to someone in the 3rd Corps. While I was there, there were two persons

25 who would take turns. There were two women who were authorised. I won't

Page 9962

1 say that they had taken an oath, but they had an obligation which was the

2 case for all other members of the armed forces. They had the solemn

3 obligation to perform those duties correctly and to take security

4 measures, et cetera.

5 The room itself was a large room, and by those persons who were

6 involved in this, there was a partition. No one could gain access to

7 where the documents and stamps were kept, et cetera. They couldn't

8 approach them behind their backs. That's how things should have been.

9 But as to whether someone ever did pass by them, I cannot say.

10 They had three stamps on paper, and by those stamps you had the

11 signatures of people who had the right to use stamps. So only documents

12 with their signatures could be stamped. And if -- with regard to other

13 people, if they had no authorisation for stamps to accompany their

14 signatures, then this couldn't be done.

15 And I don't know whether you asked me about something else.

16 Q. Well, let me just ask you a few follow-on questions from what

17 you've told us. The document would arrive in the general services office

18 and someone there would verify the signature against a known signature of

19 the person who had signed the document; is that right?

20 A. Well, yes. Perhaps at the beginning until they got used to the

21 signatures. Later on they knew exactly who had signed the document, so it

22 wasn't necessary to always compare the signature.

23 Q. And, sir, you've told us that there were three stamps. Can you

24 tell us a little bit more about these three different stamps.

25 A. There were three stamps, and it said the "3rd Corps Command" on

Page 9963

1 the stamps. Stamp number one should be used next to the commander's

2 signature since he was the first in command. Number two had to do with

3 the deputy commander. Number three should have been for the chief of

4 staff.

5 I think the small numbers on the stamps can be seen. I think

6 they're visible. You can see number 1, number 2, and number 3 when a

7 document is stamped.

8 Q. You've also told us -- let me retract that. What colour was the

9 ink that was used to stamp the documents?

10 A. It was the colour we managed to get hold of. Ink -- I don't know

11 what they call it.

12 Q. Do you remember what colour or colours were used by the 3rd Corps

13 general services office during the time you were there?

14 A. Well, I'm not really sure. I think that, as I said, we used what

15 we had.

16 Q. Let me ask: You earlier alluded to a difference between how the

17 procedure was supposed to work and how it may not have always worked that

18 way. Can you tell us a little bit more about why the system, the

19 regulations, weren't always followed?

20 A. Again, I would have to provide you with a -- a lengthy answer, and

21 time is limited. This was, above all, the result of the fact that there

22 were very few of us who were professionals. We were totally handicapped

23 as far as the staff in the corps was concerned, as far as professional and

24 educated people were concerned. Given the circumstances, we used the

25 people we thought were the most capable. We had taxi drivers who had only

Page 9964

1 finished primary school who would be a brigade commander. This should be

2 understood. That is one of the reasons. People hadn't been educated or

3 trained for those duties, and as a result there were certain errors,

4 certain omissions; and secondly, the conditions under which we had to work

5 were extremely difficult. The communications means were not adequate,

6 almost non-existent. And later on when we obtained certain equipment, I

7 think that 75 to 80 per cent of the time we remained without electricity.

8 So we would obtain generators to solve the problem. And once we had

9 obtained these generators, we would wait for UNPROFOR to supply us with

10 fuel. So we didn't have fuel either.

11 I could go on about this. It would take me a lot of time to

12 explain the situation to you. It was an impossible situation to be in.

13 We did all we could to resolve the problems we faced. And security was at

14 a very low level.

15 Q. Sir, let me ask you just a couple of final questions and then I'm

16 going to show you some documents. Once the written order went through

17 this entire process of being certified and stamped, you told us it was

18 taken to the communications centre where it would be transmitted and

19 certain stamps would be placed on it indicating the means by which it was

20 transmitted. What would happen with the original order after that? What

21 would -- where would it go from the com centre?

22 A. The original order, according to the regulations in force, should

23 be returned to the general services department, where it would be stamped

24 again in the top corner, indicating that it should be preserved until

25 so-and-so. A combat document would have to be preserved for one, two,

Page 9965

1 three, or five years, or permanently, because the archives were also in

2 the general services department. So the document, after being sent, would

3 be returned there for safekeeping.

4 Q. Sir, let me ask you a little bit about the format or template, if

5 you will, that was used for creating written orders. I'd like to focus

6 your attention on the information at the upper left portion of a written

7 order. Do you remember what information would be contained in the upper

8 left part of an order?

9 A. I'll do my best. What should be stated on top would be "3rd Corps

10 Command" -- or, rather, before that it should the Army of Republic of

11 Bosnia and Herzegovina, then the 3rd Corps, then a number, the

12 registration number, then the date when the document was drafted, and

13 then, below that, a brief indication of what the document is. Is it an

14 order? Is it a report or something like that? That should be stated

15 there. Then in the same line, to the right, the addressees, and again the

16 content. And in the top right-hand corner, military secret, confidential,

17 strictly confidential, or whatever.

18 Q. Sir, I'm now going to show you a number of documents with the

19 assistance of the usher.

20 MR. MUNDIS: Again, Mr. President, these are from among the

21 original documents which I signed out from the legal officer.

22 If the witness could please be shown contested document 329, and I

23 would ask that that document please be placed on the ELMO. If the ELMO

24 could be perhaps zoomed out slightly.

25 Q. Sir, do you recognise on this document -- sir, do you recognise

Page 9966

1 the signature on this document?

2 A. Yes, I do. This is my signature.

3 Q. Can you please take a look at the stamp to the left of your

4 signature. And again, sir, if need be if you could actually turn and look

5 at the actual document, that might be a little bit easier than staring at

6 the screen. And perhaps if you could be given something to point with.

7 You told us earlier, sir, that there were three stamps that were

8 used within the corps. Do you see any particular features of this stamp

9 that you've told us about previously?

10 A. This is one of the three stamps that was used.

11 Q. You told us -- you told us, sir, that there were different stamps

12 for the commander, deputy commander, and chief of staff. Do you remember

13 telling us that?

14 A. Yes, I did say that that is how it should have been. But whether

15 that was observed or not, I can't say. I don't know. So that was up to

16 the person who was actually doing the stamping.

17 Q. I understand that, sir. And perhaps if you could now look at the

18 screen where we've zoomed in on the stamp. Do you see which stamp is

19 actually on this document?

20 A. Yes. Number 3.

21 Q. Okay. On the stamp there are two number 3s. Can you please, on

22 the original to your left, point to the number 3.

23 A. [Indicates]

24 Q. What does that 3 indicate?

25 A. The 3rd Corps.

Page 9967

1 Q. What does the small number 3 immediately above the letter R in

2 Korpus indicate?

3 A. That would be the number 3 type of stamp. Because there's my

4 signature, so then my stamp should have been used as well. I only say

5 mine conditionally, but it was used for operative affairs in the

6 operations department. So that stamp, that particular stamp.

7 Q. So the stamp with the number 3 would be used for documents that

8 you signed, or for documents from the operations staff, or both?

9 A. Both.

10 Q. Now, if you could, sir - and I will only do this on this one

11 document - if you could -- or if the ELMO could be zoomed out and perhaps

12 zoomed in onto the text at the upper left. If it could be moved down,

13 please, the document. Okay. If we could now zoom in on the text at the

14 middle on the left-hand side. And the document could be moved in a little

15 bit more. That's fine.

16 Sir, do you see on the left-hand side the typewritten script with

17 -- immediately below "Command of the 3rd Corps"? Where there's an

18 abbreviation STR. Do you see that line?

19 A. Yes. That means strictly confidential. I do see it.

20 Q. Following that, sir, are a number -- or is a number. Do you see

21 the number?

22 A. I do.

23 Q. Can you tell us what -- well, first of all, that identifying

24 number has really three components. Would you agree with that?

25 A. Yes.

Page 9968

1 Q. There's the number before the slash, the number after the slash,

2 and the number after the dash. Would you agree with that?

3 A. I would.

4 Q. Do you recall, sir, what those three numbers refer to or what

5 their purpose is? Let's start with the first one, if you remember. 02,

6 what does that mean?

7 A. 02 means that the document was prepared by the deputy commander.

8 So it's not quite clear to me, but probably he was absent and that is why

9 I signed it.

10 Q. Sir, are you sure that the 02 does not indicate that the staff

11 prepared the document, someone within the staff?

12 A. The operations department is part of the staff, so I'm not at all

13 sure whether they may have prepared this document, but it must be on the

14 orders of the deputy commander who gave them the information on the basis

15 of which they drew up the document.

16 Q. Very well. Let's turn to the second component, that is the number

17 after the slash, and in this instance that's number 33. Do you see the

18 number 33?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Do you know what the purpose of that second number is?

21 A. 33 should be an identification number that it was given in the

22 register.

23 Q. Would it be correct, sir, to say that that second number, in this

24 case number 33, sets forth the function of the document in question?

25 A. No.

Page 9969

1 Q. Okay. Let's go back, then. You've told us that it has to do with

2 a log. Is that what you said, that the second number deals with a log?

3 A. Yes. Yes.

4 Q. How many different types of logs were employed within the 3rd

5 Corps? How many types of logs did they have?

6 A. I'm not quite sure how many there were, but I know that everybody

7 in the corps when it was formed, when the administration was set up, would

8 be given a list with their own identification number. So all documents

9 should have used that identification number. And the number of the

10 document itself is the last number here.

11 Q. Okay. So the -- and this document, the number 1341, would simply

12 be a serial, a sequential number that would be assigned to all the

13 documents --

14 A. Yes, an ordinal number, yes.

15 Q. It's an ordinal number to all the documents falling within the

16 category of 33?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And I take it from what you told us that each department had its

19 own number. Is that what the second number would refer to?

20 A. Yes, yes. That is what it means. The logistics had their

21 numbers, security and protection had their number, intelligence had their

22 number. So these were branches and services. The chief of

23 communications, artillery, infantry, each had their own number.

24 Q. Thank you.

25 MR. MUNDIS: I would ask now that that document --

Page 9970












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 9971

1 Q. Before I do that, sir, could you tell me in general what type of

2 document this is.

3 A. The document would belong to the group of documents for control

4 and command, because in this document, as far as I can see from the

5 heading as I can't see the rest of the text, comments on a report

6 received.

7 Q. Thank you.

8 MR. MUNDIS: With the assistance of the usher, I'd ask that that

9 document be returned and that contested document 573 be shown to the

10 witness.

11 Q. Sir, I'd ask that you -- with respect to the next few documents,

12 I'm going to be asking if you recognise the signature, so perhaps on this

13 document if you could -- if it could be turned over.

14 A. I do. This is also my signature.

15 Q. And again, this is a situation where you've signed on behalf of

16 the commander?

17 A. Yes. Probably he was absent. And I saw the first page, and the

18 content of the document is quite beyond my area of activity. It's a

19 political document, if I can call it that. It isn't an operational

20 document. But as the commander wasn't there, I probably signed on his

21 behalf.

22 Q. Thank you, sir.

23 MR. MUNDIS: I'd ask now that that document be returned and that

24 the witness be shown contested document 546.

25 Q. Again, sir, I'd focus your attention on the signature. Do you

Page 9972

1 recognise that signature?

2 A. Yes, I do. It's my signature.

3 Q. Sir, this stamp next to your signature appears to be different

4 from some of the other stamps we've seen. Do you happen to have any

5 information or knowledge about this stamp?

6 A. I couldn't say unless perhaps I could see the date of this

7 document, because we changed the stamps in the corps.

8 Q. Absolutely, sir. The original is on the machine immediately to

9 your left. If perhaps the usher could turn it over so that we could see

10 the date, or you could actually look at the date on the document.

11 A. I see. So I was right. This is -- this was the first version of

12 the stamp.

13 Could you turn it back again so I could see the stamp.

14 Probably at first we thought that this would be sufficient, just

15 the indication "3rd Corps." However, later on, the people from the

16 general services, probably on orders from the commander, changed it. So

17 we made it more up-to-date and more meaningful.

18 Q. Thank you, sir.

19 MR. MUNDIS: I would again ask that that document be returned and

20 that the witness be shown contested document 433.

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It can barely be seen on the screen,

22 but I signed this document.


24 Q. Again, sir, if you could actually physically perhaps take the

25 original.

Page 9973

1 Again, sir, do you recognise that signature?

2 A. Yes. It's mine.

3 Q. Thank you.

4 MR. MUNDIS: Again with the assistance of the usher, I'd ask that

5 that document be returned and that contested --

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But -- I do apologise. Once again

7 there is an indication 02. So it means that I signed on behalf of the

8 person who was supposed to sign.

9 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you. I'd ask that the witness now be shown

10 contested document 649.

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I remember the document. My bodies

12 drafted it and I'd signed it.

13 Q. Thank you.

14 MR. MUNDIS: We'd now ask that the witness be shown contested

15 document 162.

16 Q. Sir, do you recognise this document or the signature on this

17 document?

18 A. I recognise the signature, but I can't say I can be sure about the

19 document, it was so long ago, but again there is 02 on it, which means

20 that the person was absent.

21 MR. MUNDIS: May that document be returned. I have one final

22 document to show the witness. This is contested document 41.

23 Q. Sir, do you recognise the signature on this document or the

24 markings, the handwritten markings?

25 A. Yes.

Page 9974

1 Q. Please tell us what it is.

2 A. These are initials. The deputy commander, Dzemal Merdan.

3 MR. MUNDIS: I'd ask that that document be returned, please.

4 Q. Mr. Mekic, the Prosecution appreciates you answering our questions

5 both in Sarajevo and today.

6 MR. MUNDIS: We have no further questions for the witness at this

7 time, Mr. President.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, it's almost time for the

9 technical break, so it's better that we have the break now, and then I'll

10 give the floor to the Defence. It is almost twenty-five past twelve, so

11 we'll resume at five to one.

12 --- Recess taken at 12.23 p.m.

13 --- On resuming at 12.56 p.m.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Without wasting any time, I'll

15 give the floor to the Defence for their cross-examination.

16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We do

17 have some questions for this witness.

18 Cross-examined by Ms. Residovic:

19 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Mekic. We have already met, but

20 for the sake of the transcript I will introduce myself. My name is Edina

21 Residovic and I represent General Enver Hadzihasanovic. I would be

22 grateful if you would answer a number of questions that have to do with

23 the questions put to you by my learned colleague from the Prosecution.

24 You gave lengthy answers to my learned colleague and said that the

25 conditions -- the working conditions when creating the 3rd Corps were very

Page 9975

1 difficult, and you also stated that you didn't have adequate

2 communications equipment and that you had problems as far as electricity

3 was concerned, the use of equipment was concerned; is that correct?

4 A. That is.

5 Q. In addition, would it be correct to say, Mr. Mekic, that even the

6 communications equipment that you were able to obtain was difficult to use

7 because the radio and other devices were under an embargo, just like

8 weapons; is that correct?

9 A. Yes, that's correct.

10 Q. In addition, you said that you did your best to organise a system

11 for transmitting your orders and other documents or, rather, for the

12 reception of those documents and within the staff of which you were the

13 chief, and you had an assistant for communications; is that correct?

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. This communications assistant was involved in planning and

16 organising the communications system within the 3rd Corps in those

17 difficult conditions, and within the staff there was also a communications

18 company which in fact was involved in receiving and sending documents from

19 the 3rd Corps; is that correct?

20 A. Yes, that's correct.

21 Q. That communications centre, as well as the operations centre, were

22 organised in such a manner that they worked on a 24-hour basis and links

23 with subordinate units were provided to the best of your ability, although

24 at times this was almost impossible; is that correct?

25 A. Yes, that's correct.

Page 9976

1 Q. The first slightly more stable and secure communications system,

2 the so-called Paket communications, was established when you received a

3 modem which you connected to a computer and a radio, and sometime in March

4 1993, you established a regular link with the Supreme Command Staff; is

5 that correct?

6 A. Yes. And on the other side they had something, because on both

7 sides you need the same equipment to have such a link. And I think we

8 received a computer, which gave us much joy. And towards the end of March

9 I think we established a link, a communications link, to the Supreme

10 Command.

11 Q. You have just answered my next question. The process of

12 establishing -- there was a process for establishing a link with

13 subordinate units, because first you had to find the equipment, the

14 radios, the modems, and computers in brigades, and it was then necessary

15 to train staff to operate these devices; is that correct?

16 A. Yes, that's correct. In that communications company, the chief of

17 communications organised training sessions and trained men, trained the

18 personnel to do that work.

19 Q. You briefly spoke about various difficulties that you faced, but

20 as this is not the subject of this discussion, I'll just ask you whether

21 it would be correct to say that as the chief of the 3rd Corps staff you

22 spent a significant part of time on training the staff, administrative

23 staff and communications staff, because as you said, your staff resources

24 were very meager when you started the beginning of 1993.

25 A. Yes, that's correct. And as you are well aware in the 3rd Corps

Page 9977

1 Command - or perhaps you're not aware of this - we established a military

2 officers school so we would train our own personnel because we really

3 didn't have the necessary personnel.

4 Q. Thank you. In addition to those problems that you have mentioned,

5 and you have just confirmed that those problems existed in answer to my

6 questions, when communicating with subordinate units, you had significant

7 problems because messages were jammed since the HVO had taken over a very

8 powerful device from the JNA which they used to very efficiently jam

9 messages transmitted from the 3rd Corps to subordinate units and from

10 subordinate units to the 3rd Corps; is that correct?

11 A. Yes. That was one of the major tasks one has in wartime. Jamming

12 is one of the major tasks. And this is what they did on all frequencies

13 more or less. We weren't able to get through.

14 Q. I think it's quite clear to the Trial Chamber that you had

15 problems in the 3rd corps as far as transmitting and receiving orders are

16 concerned, but Mr. Mekic, would it be correct to say that the problems

17 increased the lower the level of the unit concerned? So brigades and

18 battalions and others more or less had to depend on traditional career

19 lines, if that's how we could put it.

20 A. If we had one computer in the corps, well, you can imagine what

21 the situation was in a brigade or a company or a battalion.

22 Q. Thank you. You spoke in detail about how the 3rd Corps, or,

23 rather, in the staff drafts -- orders were drafted, and I think that you

24 also mentioned that there was a -- a long and a short procedure for

25 preparing orders. If I followed you correctly in response to a question

Page 9978

1 from my colleague, you explained how the most complicated orders were

2 drafted. Naturally such orders are combat orders or orders to defend or

3 attack. And if I have understood this correctly, all the elements within

4 the staff were included in analysing and preparing a suggestion for the

5 commander's order; is that correct?

6 A. That's correct.

7 Q. These orders were very lengthy, and they contained all the

8 essential elements; an assessment of the enemy forces, of your own forces,

9 an assessment of the tasks for your own units. They addressed the

10 necessity of respecting the Geneva Conventions. They addressed the issue

11 of prisoners of war, et cetera, et cetera. So these were very complete

12 orders that were prepared in your staff, isn't that the case?

13 A. Yes. The full method was always followed when drafting combat

14 documents and orders. This was always done when we had enough time. The

15 short procedure was followed when we didn't have enough time.

16 Q. When discussing these various difficulties, you would agree that

17 in 1993 -- 1993 was the most difficult year in that war, and tell me, at

18 that time, did you in the corps often have to violate the instructions

19 that you have already mentioned, not respect those instructions?

20 A. Yes. In 1993, the situation was the most difficult situation.

21 What do you do when you receive a report that from the direction of Zepce

22 and Sahere [phoen] towards Zenica there are 25.000 refugees, women,

23 children, the elderly, et cetera, et cetera? In such a situation, it is

24 necessary to react very rapidly and see how to deal with the situation to

25 avoid any further complications, because naturally the other side knew

Page 9979

1 what they were doing, and these people were fleeing because of them. So

2 we would have to deal with them, and they take advantage of the situation

3 to create a tragedy at the front line.

4 Q. Very well. We won't go into details, but you provide an example

5 of the situation you were in, and you told us why you would sometimes work

6 and follow a shorter procedure. Thank you for that answer.

7 As far as what happened to the orders is concerned, the orders

8 that you provided to subordinate units, operation groups or brigades to

9 which the order was addressed, you in the 3rd Corps did not have the

10 possibility of monitoring how the brigade itself would forward this order

11 to the troops via battalions, et cetera. Isn't that correct? You didn't

12 have a system that could monitor that apart from the fact that you would

13 later have reports from those brigades about how the order was

14 implemented?

15 A. Until we received a report we couldn't even be sure that the unit

16 in question received the order.

17 Q. Would it also be correct to say, Mr. Mekic, that the 3rd Corps

18 Command didn't have, according to the regulations or in reality, any

19 insight into orders, documents, or reports that circulated in lower

20 subordinate units? In fact, if a platoon sent something to a company or

21 to -- or if a battalion was informing its platoon about something, the 3rd

22 Corps never received such documents; is that correct?

23 A. Yes. And this isn't supposed to happen, according to the system

24 of control or command.

25 Q. Thank you. As far as the technique itself is concerned, you said

Page 9980












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 9981

1 that when a commander signs a document he goes to the general services

2 office or to the protocol office. The document is then registered there,

3 it is stamped or, rather, one of the stamps is used to stamp that

4 document; is that correct?

5 A. Yes, it is.

6 Q. Would you agree with me, have I understand you correctly, that the

7 person who signs the document doesn't have a stamp with him? The stamp's

8 in a room in the protocol office, and the people who work in the protocol

9 office are those who have certified the document; is that correct?

10 A. Yes, that's correct. You have understood me correctly.

11 Q. The document is then sent from that service to the communications

12 centre, and would it be correct to say that communications personnel would

13 only check to see whether the document has a stamp and a signature, and

14 they don't have the authority to check to see whether this is actually the

15 person who signed the document and whether the person in the protocol

16 office was authorised to stamp the document or not; is that correct?

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. I had one other question for you. Yes. You mentioned the rules

19 that should be followed, and also you said that, in reality, the rules

20 were often not followed because personnel wasn't sufficiently trained,

21 they weren't sufficiently professional, et cetera, et cetera. However,

22 would it be correct that neither you nor the commander, given the

23 situation you were in in 1993, were able to pay a lot of attention to

24 those issues at the time? You couldn't check to see whether a document

25 had been correctly signed or whether it had correctly stamped, because

Page 9982

1 life was such that you were not in a position to carry out such checks; is

2 that correct?

3 A. Yes, that's correct.

4 Q. And my very last question: You would agree with me that the

5 position of the corps commander in all armies, including our own, is a

6 very high-ranking position, and the commanders are involved in strategy

7 and planning and organisation at that level, and they are not very

8 involved in specific -- in the specific duties of the staff officer, et

9 cetera. So his main duty is to see the overall picture, and it was your

10 task to analyse it and make suggestions to the commander as to how certain

11 problems should be resolved.

12 A. The commander -- well, depending on the number of brigades he had,

13 that's the number of subordinate officers he had. So it's the brigade

14 commander who is the first person who is held accountable by that

15 commander.

16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Mekic, for having answered my questions.

17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I have

18 no further questions.

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Does the other Defence team have

20 any questions for this witness?

21 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We

22 don't have any questions for this witness.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Does the Prosecution have any

24 additional questions?

25 MR. MUNDIS: No thank you, Mr. President.

Page 9983

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a few questions, but

2 first of all I would like to point out to the Defence that on page 34,

3 line 13, you said it is clear to the Trial Chamber that you had a problem

4 as far as the transmission and reception of orders is concerned. This is

5 a claim made by the Defence, but the Trial Chamber doesn't share this

6 opinion, because at this point in time we don't have any convictions as

7 far as the stated proposition is concerned, but you claimed that the Trial

8 Chamber was persuaded that there was a problem. Perhaps it's a

9 translation problem, a problem when translating from B/C/S into English,

10 but that's what is stated in line 13 on page 34.

11 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, that was obviously

12 my mistake. It wasn't a translation mistake. I wanted to say that it was

13 clear that when answering questions put to him by my colleagues, the

14 witness provided enough information about problems for the Trial Chamber.

15 I apologise if I gave the impression that the Trial Chamber had drawn any

16 conclusions because that is not my position and that's not something that

17 I would do. Thank you.

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. As you can see, the

19 Trial Chamber is paying a lot of attention to the transcript.

20 Questioned by the Court:

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, just a minor question.

22 You've almost answered all the questions of a technical nature that have

23 been put to you and we would like to thank you for having clarified

24 certain issues. If you don't mind, I'm going to ask document 41 to be

25 shown to you again. We can put it on the ELMO.

Page 9984

1 As far as the stamp is concerned, the stamp at the bottom of the

2 document, you said that there were three types of stamps. We saw one a

3 minute ago. This stamp seems to come from the beginning of 1993. This

4 stamp here is of a different kind. I would like you to clear a slight --

5 clear up a slight matter, because I see the number 3 above the word

6 "corps" in the stamp. This number 3, does it indicate the person who is

7 third in command in hierarchy? Does it mean that there is a stamp number

8 1 for the 3rd Corps commander; a stamp number 2 for the deputy, that is to

9 say for Mr. Merdan; and a stamp number 3 for you, the chief of staff; or

10 does number 3 also mean or indicate the 3rd Corps? Could you clarify this

11 for us.

12 A. Yes, that's how it should be. However, three stamps were in

13 existence. For the sake of security, they were kept in a metal cupboard,

14 and there is only one example of each. There weren't three types of

15 stamps, or perhaps I haven't understood you correctly. There was one type

16 of stamp but with numbers 1, 2, and 3. And each stamp means the same

17 thing and it was impossible to control everything.

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll be more precise. For

19 example, if the 3rd Corps commander drafts a document himself, he signs it

20 himself, the stamp used on the document, would it be the same stamp that

21 we have here but instead of number 3 would it be necessary for this stamp

22 to have number 1 on it?

23 A. Well, in my opinion that's how it should be, but I'm not sure that

24 that is how it was.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I will show you a

Page 9985

1 document now, a document that I was able to examine during the break, in

2 order to enable you to illustrate this issue, but I have to find it first.

3 As you have the document before you, when it says 02 in the

4 left-hand corner, does this mean that the person who drafted the document

5 is number 2 in that hierarchy, in the chain of command? In this case it

6 would be Mr. Merdan. If you yourself have drafted a document, the number

7 wouldn't be 02, the number would be 03; is that correct?

8 A. Yes, that's correct.

9 Q. So when 02 drafts a document, for example, Mr. Merdan would be the

10 person who drafts the document, would he first of all discuss this with

11 number 1, that is to say the 3rd Corps commander, in order to find out

12 whether he agreed with the contents of the document?

13 A. As a rule, yes, if the commander was present in the corps command

14 at the time. Perhaps he was in the field.

15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. As a rule, he

16 discusses it. If number 2 isn't there at the time, is he going to ask

17 number 3 to sign on his behalf? Because the document that you have before

18 you, which was signed not by yourself but by Mr. Merdan, since you have

19 recognised the signature, in such a case is the person who is above, does

20 he ask the person below him to sign on his behalf?

21 A. Yes. As a rule if the situation makes this possible, yes. But

22 perhaps the commander was in the field at the time so he wasn't even aware

23 of this, and the situation was such that it was urgent to do this. In

24 such a case, he couldn't ask him to sign on his behalf.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you signed for the 3rd

Page 9986

1 Corps commander, because we know that you did sign on behalf of the 3rd

2 Corps commander, when you signed document number 2, Mr. Merdan was

3 certainly not there, otherwise he would have signed the document. Number

4 1 was perhaps not there either, which means that the most high-ranking

5 officer in the 3rd Corps was you yourself. The most high-ranking officer

6 present in the 3rd Corps was you.

7 A. Yes, that's correct.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You do agree that if you sign a

9 document, that means that the others aren't present, because if they are

10 present, they should sign the documents. Is this how the issue of signing

11 documents was regulated?

12 A. Yes. You could say that those are the sort of unwritten rules.

13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But the person who signed the

14 document must first check that the person who should sign isn't present,

15 because you know that when one signs a document, one is assuming a certain

16 responsibility. To sign a document is not a neutral act. It has certain

17 consequences. So when you sign a document, you are aware of the fact that

18 the person who should usually sign the document isn't present there. Or

19 were there cases in which you were -- in which the person who drafted the

20 order was present but asked you to sign on his behalf?

21 A. Well, naturally, I or perhaps the second person in command

22 couldn't take any decisions if agreement had not been reached. If the

23 commander ordered something should be done, if he was in the field but he

24 had said that certain measures should be taken and if he had said how

25 units should be informed, in such cases his order would be followed. But

Page 9987

1 we always knew -- if I was in the field, he knew where I was and vice

2 versa. Mr. -- that was also the case for Mr. Merdan. If Mr. Merdan was

3 visiting units, if the three of us were in the field, we made sure that

4 there was someone present, and that's why on occasion there are also

5 signatures that are not the signatures of the three of us.

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Does the registrar have document

7 442 that is contested? Very well. We will show this document. Could you

8 place it on the ELMO, please, so that everyone can see it.

9 Please just have a look at the stamp. Have a look at the stamp.

10 Can you see that there is the number 3 on this stamp, and you can see the

11 signature. Do you recognise the signature?

12 A. Yes. This is Mr. Hadzihasanovic's signature, the commander's

13 signature.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So how is it that we

15 don't have number 1 on the stamp?

16 A. Again, as I said, this was up to the secretary who worked in the

17 general services office. It was up to that person to use a stamp. I

18 can't tell you exactly why number 1 isn't on the stamp.

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This order, of which we have an

20 original, when it is signed by the 3rd Corps commander in person, as far

21 as I understand, he doesn't stamp the document. Can you confirm that it

22 isn't the person who signs the document who stamps the document.

23 A. That's correct.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the order is taken to the

25 communications company since the communications company will forward the

Page 9988

1 order, and it is there in the protocol office that an officer or soldier

2 stamps the order; is that correct?

3 A. Yes.

4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In theory, the soldier who

5 stamps the document must have the three stamps; stamp number 1, stamp

6 number 2, and stamp number 3. If it's his superior commander who is

7 signing, he should use the stamp number 1. He shouldn't make any

8 mistakes.

9 A. Yes, that's what should be done.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you can't explain

11 the fact that stamp number 3 was used in this case?

12 A. I can't explain that.

13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I will take the

14 document back.

15 Very well. I have no further questions. Any other questions for

16 Defence counsel?

17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I only have one question. Could

18 the witness be shown DH109. DH109 ID.

19 Further cross-examination by Ms. Residovic:

20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] This could be placed on the ELMO.

21 I will give the witness my copy.

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. We'll place it on the

23 ELMO. Everyone can see it now.

24 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. Mr. Mekic, could you please have a look at this document. As you

Page 9989

1 said a minute ago, you think that these are the initials of General

2 Merdan, the deputy commander, and this is his signature?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. You also said that he was the person who used stamp number 2.

5 Could you have a look at this document and say whether this is the correct

6 procedure that the administration office should follow when using a stamp?

7 You can have a look at the document itself.

8 A. Is this number 2? I can't see very well.

9 Q. On the stamp there is a number 2, as far as I can see. But you

10 have a look.

11 A. Could you zoom in a bit, please? Yes, it is number 2.

12 Q. And --

13 A. This would be the correct procedure to be followed when processing

14 combat documents, so to speak.

15 Q. Thank you.

16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] You can return the document to me.

17 And there is one other document I would like to show the witness;

18 DH110. I would like the witness to comment on a number. You can return

19 that document to me, and there is another document. Could you please show

20 it to the witness first.

21 Q. Please just have a look at the number, 03/100, and could you

22 please explain the number for us. And once you have had a look at the

23 document, could you place it on the ELMO.

24 Would you please put the document on the ELMO, please. Will you

25 look at the number on top. It says 03, though it is the security sector.

Page 9990












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 9991

1 So my question is, for the sake of clarity, when you spoke a moment ago

2 about 03, you didn't have in mind you personally but the staff. So this

3 number 03 before the dash -- the slash, is the body as a whole and not an

4 individual officer who signs the document.

5 A. This number doesn't relate to an individual but to a body.

6 Q. Thank you very much. And finally, in view of all those problems,

7 you were aware that some confusion may have occurred in the use of the

8 stamps and deviation from the rules regarding office work when documents

9 were registered?

10 A. I think that is something I have already said. You're quite

11 right.

12 Q. This document is signed. It is a specialist document. It is

13 signed by the head of the security sector, and it is his duty to put down

14 his name and to sign it because it has to do with security.

15 A. Yes.

16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The other Defence counsel?

18 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we have no

19 questions. Thank you.

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis.

21 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution has no further questions of this

22 witness.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, we have just noted that

24 the parties and the Judges have finished with their questions. We thank

25 you for coming to The Hague to testify about certain technical aspects

Page 9992

1 relating to stamps and documents. We thank you again for coming to

2 testify. We wish you a safe journey home and best wishes for your

3 retirement.

4 I would like to ask Madam Usher to be kind enough to escort you

5 out of the courtroom.

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

7 [The witness withdrew]

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I shall now turn to Mr. Mundis

9 to hear from him about the schedule for the days to come. According to

10 the understanding of the Chamber, we have two witnesses on standby. One,

11 as I have said, could appear on the 12th and the 13th of July. For the

12 other one, I don't know. So could you give us some additional

13 information, please.

14 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. The last contact that we

15 had with the other witness was Friday of last week, at which point the

16 witness informed us that he would be unable to travel for approximately 15

17 days. In light of what the Trial Chamber has informed us earlier today

18 about the availability of a witness for the 12th and 13th, it seems to us

19 that the 13th and/or 14th would be the best appropriate time to bring the

20 remaining witness, assuming that he is in fact able to travel by then.

21 That would be outside the 15-day window. We will endeavour this afternoon

22 to contact that witness, and if he is available in that time period, we

23 will ensure that VWS brings that witness in for that time period. If

24 that's successful, we would then be in a position to have completed the

25 hearings with respect to the witnesses by the 14th of July, and of course,

Page 9993

1 as we've said before, hopefully by then we can have the documents resolved

2 and we would then be in a position to close our case.

3 As I said, we will endeavour to bring the second witness here so

4 that he is able to testify perhaps on the 13th if the first witness is

5 done, or on the 14th. I anticipate the second witness will be very, very

6 brief in light of the fact that he's a crime-base witness and his

7 testimony shouldn't take more than, in total, a couple of hours.

8 If that's acceptable, we'll certainly endeavour to do that.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. The Chamber

10 will by that date certainly render its written decision regarding

11 documents, and then either the 14th or the 15th of July you could then

12 close your case, and then we will enter the stage which is 98 bis, as we

13 mentioned yesterday. We will discuss amongst ourselves again whether the

14 three weeks are fully justified, and then again the Prosecution would have

15 three weeks to respond, so this will bring us to the beginning of

16 September. So everything depends on these two witnesses, that is, when

17 exactly they will come.

18 Has the Defence any observations to make at this stage?

19 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you Mr. President. Your

20 Honours, I would simply like to return to the question of documents that

21 were used by the Chamber when asking questions of witnesses on Monday.

22 They are contested documents 585 and 586. These are documents which

23 possibly come from the court of Zenica and the court of Travnik. These

24 are documents which the Defence jointly objected to regarding the

25 admissibility of documents because we don't know exactly how and where the

Page 9994

1 Prosecution obtained these documents nor what exactly those documents

2 represent, how they were used and by whom, and our main objection is that

3 we need a witness to add to the reliability of these documents so that

4 they may be of use to the Chamber.

5 A witness was identified who should come before the Chamber to do

6 this, that is, for these particular documents. And we had a witness quite

7 recently, a judge from the Zenica court, who could have easily been able

8 to confirm or reject the purpose of these documents. However, the

9 Prosecution did not use him for that purpose. We also wish to say that we

10 still haven't received a translation in one of the official languages of

11 the Tribunal of these documents.

12 Finally, the Defence wishes to say that the Defence maintains its

13 objection to documents 585, 586, which we received on the 23rd of June

14 when we received four CDs, and we signed the receipt on the 23rd of June,

15 and we still don't have an English version nor do we have a witness who

16 could add to the reliability of these documents. That is why we feel that

17 this CD should not be admitted into evidence.

18 Thank you.

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dixon.

20 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honours. We have no additional

21 comments to make about the schedule that has been outlined. We do wish to

22 make one additional point, though, in connection with the admissibility of

23 the contested documents in general as it appears we're now at the end of

24 the evidence being presented in relation to the admissibility of

25 documents. The final two witnesses don't appear to be witnesses who have

Page 9995

1 been called in relation to the documents.

2 In our view, it is important that two gaps are identified for Your

3 Honours to take into consideration when you render your decision in

4 respect of documents. The first is, Your Honours, in our submission there

5 are still a number of documents which have not been identified by any

6 witnesses. The witnesses that have been called recently did identify some

7 documents. For example, the witness today was able to identify seven

8 documents, but there are many which the Prosecution has listed as

9 documents where a witness could be called where that witness has not as

10 yet been called.

11 Now, we just wish to note that the list that was provided to Your

12 Honours, as Your Honours ordered, of which witnesses could authenticate

13 which documents, in that list there are a number of witnesses who -- who

14 were not called. Of course we appreciate that not every single witness

15 can be called, but we do note that not even a selection was made in order

16 to seek to have witnesses to identify a number of the other documents that

17 have not as yet been identified.

18 Secondly, Your Honours, another gap which we wish to identify is

19 that the evidence that the witnesses have given recently about the system

20 that was in place for the preparation and issuing of orders applies from

21 our assessment only at the level of the corps, the 3rd Corps and its

22 command, and not at the brigade level or lower down, and certainly not

23 between brigades either. In our submission, there's very little evidence

24 in respect of the way in which orders were prepared and distributed at

25 that level, and that's certainly a matter that applies specifically to our

Page 9996

1 client, Mr. Kubura.

2 The evidence that has been presented about the system that was in

3 place, in our submission, may, of course, provide Your Honours with some

4 assistance in determining the reliability of documents that have not been

5 identified at either the 3rd Corps level or the brigade level, but in our

6 submission, that does not change our fundamental point all along that it

7 is necessary for a witness to identify a document and that it's not, in

8 our view, the proper course to admit documents en bloc on the basis that a

9 general system has been explained, but rather, it's necessary to look at

10 each document one document by document and decide on the basis of the

11 evidence that has been presented whether it does have sufficient indicia

12 of reliability, the most important, in our view, being a witness who is

13 able to identify that document.

14 Those are our submissions which we would request Your Honours take

15 into account in rendering your decision over the next week. Thank you,

16 Your Honours.

17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Dixon. We -- you

18 have reminded us a number of times of what you have said, and rest assured

19 that we understand fully your point.

20 Perhaps Mr. Mundis has already replied to these points, but

21 regarding more specifically to documents 585 and 586, the Defence tells us

22 that they received four CDs on the 24th of June and that to this day they

23 still haven't received translations of those documents. So clearly that

24 when one closes one's case, there mustn't be any leftovers regarding lack

25 of translations of certain documents.

Page 9997

1 So, Mr. Mundis, what can you tell us, as it seems to me that it is

2 quite certain that from now until ten -- ten or 15 days from now you will

3 not be able to translate four CDs.

4 MR. MUNDIS: That's exactly right, Mr. President, and for that

5 reason alone but perhaps other reasons as well, the Prosecution will

6 withdraw Exhibits 585 and 586. We will not be seeking to rely on those

7 registers.

8 With respect to any of the other issues as raised by the Defence,

9 again in the event the Chamber wishes to hear from any other witnesses, we

10 will certainly assist in identifying and/or making any additional

11 witnesses available to the Trial Chamber. The Prosecution submits that

12 the witnesses and steps that we have taken pursuant to the Trial Chamber's

13 oral order of 17 May, we have met those requests.

14 I will inform the Chamber and the Defence as well that we believe

15 there was one additional component beyond the documents which we're still

16 receiving from the Translation Unit, and I can address that in a moment,

17 but we will be filing later this afternoon a further spreadsheet

18 indicating linkages or sequencing of documents, which was one of the

19 specific tasks that we had been asked to do. So we have prepared -- again

20 it will look like the other spreadsheets. There will be a column

21 indicating how the documents, or some of the documents relate to each

22 other in order -- in other words, an order to a unit and a response back

23 from the unit, again demonstrating that documents were actually sent and

24 received. And this was an exercise that was undertaken simply by looking

25 at the documents themselves. We will be filing that later today.

Page 9998

1 We will also be filing, either today or tomorrow, written

2 submissions on the law and the armed conflict as the Chamber had inquired

3 about last week, and I believe, Mr. President, other than the

4 translations, we will be providing to the Chamber, again either later this

5 afternoon or tomorrow, a spreadsheet indicating or a chart indicating

6 which specific items on the legal officer's memo have been completed or

7 when we expect to be able to complete that.

8 With respect to the translations of the war logs, war diaries, we

9 expect to have that back to us by close of business tomorrow in order to

10 photocopy and collate that material and distribute it. We anticipate that

11 that will be available to the Trial Chamber and the Defence sometime on

12 Monday barring any unforeseen circumstances. And at that point,

13 Mr. President, of course if there are any additional items that are

14 missing, we will endeavour to provide those. As I indicated the week

15 before last, due to the large volume and large number of documents it's

16 certainly within the realm of possibility that individual sets would be

17 missing a document here or there. If Your Honours or the Defence are

18 missing particular documents, we're happy to make additional copies and

19 make those available.

20 And before we -- before we rise, Mr. President, I did have one

21 final remaining issue to alert the Chamber about. Due to the fact that we

22 had anticipated closing our case on the 1st of June and in light of the

23 fact that it doesn't appear we will be sitting until the 12th of July, I

24 would simply like to inform the Chamber that as of the end of next week, I

25 will be away from the Tribunal and Ms. Benjamin will be here during the

Page 9999

1 week of the 12th and onwards. I will, of course, be returning after the

2 August recess, but I will not be here after the end of next week.

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you won't be here

4 at the end of next week, and we won't see you again until September; is

5 that right? Or will you come at the end of July?

6 MR. MUNDIS: With any luck, Mr. President, a week from now I'll be

7 on an aeroplane and I will return to The Hague on the 12th of August.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That, therefore, means that you

9 will not be closing the Prosecution case but Madam Benjamin. Is my

10 understanding correct?

11 MR. MUNDIS: That is in fact correct, Mr. President.

12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Mundis, for

13 telling us that.

14 As you have said and I have already observed, we won't have

15 hearings again until the 12th of July, the 12th of July. Should there be

16 any problem regarding the 12th of July because of the availability or

17 unavailability of the witness, you will let us know and tell us the exact

18 date.

19 As I have already said, the last date cannot be beyond the 23rd of

20 July, because after that there's no further possibilities. And should

21 there be any problems with the two witnesses, then the witnesses will have

22 to be delayed until the beginning of September. There's no other way of

23 dealing with it.

24 Regarding this possibility of the witnesses not being available,

25 has the Defence anything to tell us, but very briefly, please?

Page 10000

1 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we have no

2 additional observations to make. We understand that in the week of the

3 12th the witnesses will be called, if possible, and the Defence will be

4 ready to cross-examine those witnesses.

5 Mr. President, the Defence would like to address a request to you,

6 but if possible, we would like to do that in the absence of the accused in

7 the courtroom, because it has to do with certain questions relating to the

8 Defence and not to the rights of the accused.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dixon, Mr. Ibrisimovic,

10 regarding the schedule, do you have any observations to make or not

11 regarding the schedule?

12 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we have no

13 observations.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In that case, I would like to

15 ask the security officers to be kind enough to accompany the accused out.

16 We bid them goodbye, and we'll see them again in July.

17 [The accused withdrew]

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I give you the floor, as you

19 have asked for it, Mr. Bourgon.

20 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I will be

21 very brief. First of all, I should like to confirm that I find myself in

22 a very delicate position in addressing the Chamber on such a matter

23 because it is a personal issue, because the Registrar has made certain

24 points and allegations that I provided incomplete information to the

25 Chamber, and my position is extremely delicate. I would have preferred my

Page 10001

1 colleague to have raised this, but to be very brief, according the

2 directives for the Defence counsel, it is the Chamber that determines the

3 duration of the case. In this case, the procedures took longer than

4 envisaged, and we would like the Chamber to take the necessary steps with

5 the Registry so that the necessary adjustments be made so that we are

6 remunerated according to the applicable norms for such cases.

7 Thank you, Mr. President.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So that is the point that you

9 wish to raise. Very well. We will see with the Registry how we can deal

10 with that matter. Thank you.

11 It is five to two. I apologise to the interpreters, and the

12 hearing is adjourned, and I invite those who will be present to come back

13 on Monday, the 12th of July, at 2.15.

14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.56 p.m.,

15 to be reconvened on Monday, the 12th day of July,

16 2004, at 2.15 p.m.