1 Wednesday, 15 December 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, can you please
6 call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Case
8 Number IT-01-47-T, The Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. May I have the
11 appearances for the Prosecution.
12 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
13 Honours, counsel, and everyone in and around the courtroom. For the
14 Prosecution, Tecla Henry-Benjamin and Daryl Mundis. We are assisted
15 today by our intern, Jaspreet Saini, and our case manager, Andres Vatter.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Appearances for the
17 Defence, please.
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. On
19 behalf of General Hadzihasanovic, Edina Residovic, counsel; and Muriel
20 Cauvin, legal assistant. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The other Defence team, please.
22 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. On
23 behalf of Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and Nermin
24 Mulalic, legal assistant.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber would like to greet
1 everybody in the courtroom, the Prosecution, the Defence, the accused,
2 and everybody else in the courtroom. We have to continue hearing the
3 witness. Before that, Mr. Mundis has to finish his cross-examination
4 this morning. So you should finish before 12.30, which is going to allow
5 the Defence to re-examine the witness in the afternoon. And if
6 everything goes well, the Judges will also have the time on Thursday
7 morning to ask their questions. And we will also have the afternoon for
8 the questions by both parties. That is the plan until Friday. This is
9 more or less how we are going to proceed.
10 We are going to have the witness escorted into the courtroom, and
11 we'll have the translation. Mr. Mundis, can you assure us that you will
12 finish this morning.
13 MR. MUNDIS: Absolutely, Mr. President. And I at this point
14 don't anticipate going as long as 12.30, although I'm partially beheld to
15 the witness in terms of the length of the answers to the questions that I
16 put to him. But I would not anticipate going until 12.30. I would
17 anticipate finishing slightly before that point in time.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, General. I hope
21 that you had a good rest because today's going to be a long day, as you
22 know. We have this hearing this morning, and then we continue after --
23 in the afternoon. We are going to have a lunch break between 12.30 and
24 2.00. This will allow everybody to have some rest, and then we will
25 resume in the afternoon.
1 I believe that we have received a translation. Does everybody
2 have the translation? I don't know whether the French translation comes
3 directly from B/C/S or whether it went via English. The document doesn't
4 show it. In any case, the English translation we have. I'm going to
5 give the floor to Mr. Mundis.
6 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 WITNESS: DZEMAL MERDAN [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Cross-examined by Mr. Mundis: [Continued]
10 Q. Good morning, General.
11 A. Good morning to everybody.
12 MR. MUNDIS: Perhaps if we could start by, again, providing the
13 witness with the bundle of documents that the Prosecution had prepared.
14 Q. General, if you could please return to the exhibit marked P429.
15 And again, sir, if you could look to the section that we were talking
16 about yesterday under the subheading "proposal." Have you found that
17 portion of the document, sir.
18 A. Yes, I have.
19 Q. Now, if you'd look at the third sentence under "proposal" where
20 it says "engagement of foreign nationals," can you please tell us, first
21 of all, what that phrase means to you or to the people who were
22 discussing this. What exactly were you talking about?
23 A. In this sentence, I can see and I interpret this as follows: The
24 question is raised as to whether they will continue being engaged, but
25 not whether we will engage them. They are engaged. Now, as to who
1 engages them, we don't know. That's why the question is put here whether
2 they will still be engaged, whether they will continue being engaged.
3 Q. Let me ask you this, sir: The document that we have in front of
4 us represents, in effect, the minutes of this meeting held on the 23rd of
5 June 1993. And I would like to focus your attention not on the minutes,
6 but on the actual discussions. Do you remember what was discussed at
7 that meeting concerning this issue of engagement? Can you add anything
8 that's not reflected in the minutes?
9 A. I haven't read the entire minutes, so I could not check what else
10 is there. You are -- you keep channeling my attention on this proposal,
11 especially on one part of those proposals. I can't answer your question
12 because I haven't read the minutes in -- thoroughly. It's very hard for
13 me to remember what was being said at that meeting. I would have to
14 think long and hard who said what at that meeting in order for me to be
15 able to remember those words after 11 and a half years. It's very
16 difficult for me, therefore, to answer your question and to say what was
17 being said at the meeting. If I were to read what it says in the
18 minutes, I would be able to tell you.
19 Q. Just so we're clear then, at this point you don't have any
20 recollection of what was said at the meeting concerning the issue of the
21 engagement of foreigners?
22 A. I can remember some things; however, I can't remember all the
23 details of that meeting. I remember that at the meeting, amongst other
24 things, the problem of foreigners was raised, and problems we had with
25 foreigners. The -- at that meeting, the corps commander informed us what
1 had already been done in order to deal with the problem of foreigners and
2 what would continue being done with that respect. I also remember the
3 way commander said that on the 23rd of June. I've already said something
4 about that. I have said that we sent a request to our superior command
5 and that on the 16th of June, we received a document from the supreme
6 command staff. By this document, it was said to us that we should
7 transfer those foreigners to Igman or possibly disarm them.
8 We had already discussed the topic of possible disarmament of
9 these foreigners, but nothing was said precisely. We carried out a lot
10 of assessment and evaluation of that in the 3rd Corps command, and we
11 concluded that it would be very difficult to carry through because we did
12 not have the accurate estimate of the number of these people, where they
13 had come from, who had sent them, what their intentions were, how well
14 trained they were. I told you what information we had. According to our
15 information, they distributed money among people. They married girls,
16 very young girls in our villages. We also had information that they
17 distributed food among people. I have already spoken at great length
18 about that, but I can go over that again if you want me to do so.
19 At this meeting, the commander informed us what was being done,
20 and we concluded that the problem of foreigners is rather big, that it
21 should be solved, that we should seek the assistance of the superior
22 command. The corps command was of the opinion that this problem could
23 not be resolved at the level of the corps, that the superior command
24 should be involved in order to deal with the presence of foreigners in
25 the area of responsibility of the 3rd Corps.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 Q. Let me ask you, sir, a couple of questions, because you have
2 mentioned these problems several times. And I want to ask you if your
3 concerns were that if you were to take any action against these
4 foreigners, the local population that was receiving food from them and/or
5 the local women who married them, would that have posed an additional
6 threat to the 3rd Corps?
7 A. Yes, we believed that it would pose a major threat to the
8 3rd Corps because we did not have enough means to draw forces from the
9 defence lines against the aggressors. Two-thirds of our troops were
10 engaged on the lines facing the aggressor, and we thought that it would
11 be very difficult to get involved in a showdown with these foreigners
12 because we did not have enough information available to us. And we were
13 of the opinion that we would eventually have to clash with our local
14 population that had blood ties with the foreigners. I've told you that
15 some of the local population depended on those foreigners for food
16 because the 3rd Corps could not have provided them with food. I've
17 already said that. And I can repeat it. This is the essence of what I
18 was saying.
19 Q. Sir, did you have any estimate as to how much dependence there
20 was by the local population on these foreigners or how many local women
21 had married foreigners?
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the witness has
23 already answered that on several occasions. The fact that my learned
24 friend keeps on insisting on that is against the Rules.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The objection is dismissed.
1 The Prosecution would like to know how come that the fact that these
2 foreigners provided food to the population and the fact that they married
3 local girls, why would that have an impact on the way the 3rd Corps
4 handled the issue of mujahedin? The witness has to answer this type of
5 question, especially when it comes to the military issues of that matter.
6 MR. MUNDIS:
7 Q. Sir, do you understand the question?
8 A. I understand your question. At that time, we did not have
9 reliable information as to how many foreigners were married to the local
10 girls. We did not have the exact number of these people.
11 Q. Did you have -- did you have any kind of estimate?
12 A. Yes, we did have some estimates. We believed that there was a
13 considerable number -- a significant number of girls that were married to
14 those foreigners.
15 Q. And sir, what do you mean by "considerable" or "significant"?
16 A. That means that we did not have the precise number, but it also
17 means that a lot of girls were married to those foreigners. This is what
18 I mean. Those were not just individual, few-and-far-between cases. The
19 number was significant. If we had had precise information, we could have
20 ended up with a more precise estimate. At that time, the 3rd Corps
21 became aware of that problem, the problem of the presence of foreigners
22 which might eventually jeopardise the ultimate mission of the 3rd Corps.
23 And that was to defend the area from the aggressor. That was the mission
24 of the 3rd Corps.
25 Q. And sir, I take it that because you've told us that you weren't
1 sure where these foreigners were within the 3rd Corps area, would that
2 also follow that you weren't aware of where within the 3rd Corps area
3 these foreigners were marrying local girls?
4 A. That is correct. We didn't know where these girls were and where
5 they came from, from which areas.
6 Q. Do you -- did you have any information as to local pockets where
7 these foreigners were marrying local women, or was it completely
8 throughout the area?
9 A. I did not have that information at that moment, at least I was
10 not aware of the precise locations, the areas they were from. We were
11 aware of the fact that these girls came from various areas of the zone of
12 responsibility of the corps. So it was not a localised area within the
13 area of responsibility of the 3rd Corps. I would like to point out again
14 that the time between these foreigners came and became of some interest
15 for the 3rd Corps was really very short. During that short period of
16 time, the services that were dealing with those matters did not have
17 enough time to come up with precise data, with precise locations where
18 this was happening, to come up with the precise number of girls that
19 married them, to come up with a precise number of local population that
20 were closely linked with the foreigners. I also told you that they were
21 very mobile and that it was very difficult to follow them.
22 Q. Now, you told us that the time between when these foreigners came
23 and the time when they became of interest for the 3rd Corps was very
24 short. Is that right?
25 A. No, you misunderstood me. They were still not important for the
1 3rd Corps in comparison with the main issue of the 3rd Corps. At that
2 time, the 3rd Corps had its mission which was more important than the
3 problem of foreigners at the time. This is what I said. I also said
4 that before this time, in the preceding period, we did not believe that
5 foreigners were a major issue. I told you when foreigners became a
6 prominent issue. This was when we had learned from the European monitors
7 that the Croatian officers had been kidnapped by foreigners, and then
8 there was this incident in Miletici. And we saw then that this group of
9 foreigners was rather militant. I have already spoken about that. And
10 we're talking about the end of April, whereas this meeting here took
11 place in the month of June. So this is the short period of time for the
12 3rd Corps to be aware of all the information and to come up with some
13 precise estimate. I told you that we didn't know how many foreigners
14 there were, how they were entering Bosnia and Herzegovina. We didn't
15 know what their goal was, what arms they had at their disposal. We also
16 didn't know how well they were educated and trained. I've already spoken
17 about that. It was very difficult for us in such a short period of time
18 when your main issue is to defend your country against aggression when,
19 in the month of June, we already had major problems with the Croatian
20 Defence Council. We already had two fronts. I've already spoken about
21 that in great detail. This is what I know. This is the information that
22 I had.
23 It was very difficult for us in such a short period of time to
24 come up with detailed and thorough estimate of the numbers of foreigners
25 that would enable us to carry out radical measures. We asked our
1 superior command to help us because we were not satisfied with the way
2 things developed. If we had been satisfied, we would have undertaken
3 more radical activities. However, at that moment, we could not do
4 anything else.
5 Q. Let me ask you, sir, you told us about the distribution of food
6 by these foreigners. And again, you'll agree with me that we're using
7 the term "foreigner" as meaning armed foreigners.
8 How much -- what percentage or what estimate of the population
9 was reliant upon these foreigners for food?
10 A. My answer would be similar to the answer provided to you about
11 the girls. At that time, we did not have information as to what
12 percentage of the population relied on foreigners for food. As for the
13 foreigners, they were armed, and they were militant. We did not have
14 precise information as to what percentage of population received food
15 from those foreigners.
16 Q. Well, again, sir, do you have any kind of estimate? Was it a
17 very small percentage or a medium-size or a large percentage?
18 A. As far as I can remember, we couldn't -- I can't give you such a
19 conclusion. I can't give you whether the percentage was small, medium,
20 or high. This is all relative. And we did not have any idea of the
21 areas where people relied more or less heavily on foreigners for food.
22 Can you please be precise in your questions. Then I can maybe provide
23 you with a more precise answer.
24 Q. Sir, were the -- was the distribution of food by foreigners done
25 in local pockets; or again, was it throughout the area of the 3rd Corps?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 A. We didn't know anything about the exact locations. All I can say
2 is that this occurred in several places, in several areas that the corps
3 was responsible for. People distributed this aid on the move, in fact.
4 I know that there were other humanitarian organisations involved in the
5 distribution of food to the population, and they had specific locations
6 where this food would be distributed. But in the case of these
7 foreigners, we couldn't locate a centre and focus our attention on that
8 centre. We couldn't say "that's where the location is, that's where
9 these armed foreigners are distributing food to the population." So we
10 weren't in a position to see how many people were living in such areas.
11 We didn't have the information we needed to make a real assessment.
12 That's the essence of the problem. One day they would distribute aid at
13 one location, and another day at another location. We were not in a
14 position to know who received food from them and who didn't receive food
15 from them. We really didn't have the means of determining such things.
16 Q. Sir, how did the foreigners distribute this food? Was it by
17 lorries or was it out of the back of Volkswagen Golfs? Did they have
18 camels? Were they carrying this on their back? How did they move this
19 food throughout the 3rd Corps area?
20 A. All I know is that they didn't use camels to distribute this food
21 because if they had done so, it would have been interesting for the
22 people in Bosnia. There were no camels in Bosnia. But I don't know
23 whether they used lorries or horses to distribute the food. I don't know
24 whether they carried the food themselves. I have no such information.
25 Q. Do you have any information as to how they got the food into
1 Central Bosnia?
2 A. That is something that we wondered about, too. We had no
3 information as to how they would receive food from abroad. We really
4 couldn't make any assessments.
5 Q. Sir, you've told us a lot about HVO checkpoints. Were there also
6 ABiH-3rd Corps checkpoints at certain locations or throughout the
7 3rd Corps area?
8 A. There were checkpoints, but we didn't control humanitarian
9 organisations at military checkpoints. We didn't control foreigners who
10 passed through. We controlled members of the ABiH at those checkpoints.
11 At the checkpoints of the ABiH, we controlled the passage of military
12 vehicles. We didn't check civilians or humanitarian organisations to
13 check to see what they were transporting. This was the duty of the
14 civilian police. This was not the military police's duty. It wasn't the
15 duty of the military police to do this at checkpoints under the control
16 of the ABiH. So at the checkpoints, we didn't know anything about those
17 who were bringing food and other things in. We didn't control the
18 humanitarian organisations. We didn't control the UNPROFOR. We didn't
19 control the European monitors. At the ABiH checkpoints, we only
20 controlled members of the ABiH and equipment that these members had.
21 Q. So if I understand what you've said, sir, if these foreigners,
22 these armed foreigners, approached an ABiH checkpoint, they would simply
23 be waved through?
24 A. As far as I know, armed foreigners didn't pass through the ABiH
1 Q. Well, sir, at line 9 on page 12, you said "we didn't control
2 foreigners who passed through," and for the past two or three days we
3 have been using the term "foreigners" to describe armed foreigners.
4 Did the ABiH allow armed foreigners free passage through ABiH-controlled
6 A. As I have said, various foreigners passed through ABiH
7 checkpoints. Other units passed through these checkpoints, too. The HVO
8 passed through these checkpoints. They would carry arms. We wouldn't
9 disarm the HVO. If they weren't part of the ABiH, we would not disarm
10 them, nor would we control them. That wasn't our duty. That wasn't our
11 mission. It wasn't our mission to control all those who were under arms.
12 There were people there who were also providing security for their
13 companies, and they had the right to carry arms. Then there was the
14 reserve police force that passed through. We quite simply did not
15 control all those who were carrying weapons. We controlled the members
16 of the ABiH. This is what I'm trying to tell you.
17 The 3rd Corps's duty, the 3rd Corps's task at the time was not to
18 control all those who were carrying weapons and who passed through those
19 ABiH checkpoints.
20 Q. Sir, what do you mean by "control" when we're talking about
21 checkpoints? Are you saying that the only people who were stopped at
22 ABiH checkpoints were members of the ABiH? And that everyone else, HVO,
23 UNPROFOR, armed foreigners, civilians, they could all pass through and it
24 was only the ABiH soldiers that were stopped at ABiH-controlled
1 A. This is a fairly complex issue and requires an elaborate answer.
2 If I'm to provide you with a specific answer to your question, it's very
3 difficult for me to answer a question in a way that would satisfy you in
4 a sufficiently precise way because I was never present at the checkpoints
5 to observe how the MPs worked there. They were under the command of the
6 3rd Corps security organ, and I think it would be best to put this
7 question to those who were involved in that field. All I have done here
8 is express my opinion.
9 I was never present at any of the checkpoints to observe how ABiH
10 members performed their duties there. I had other tasks that were
11 important and that I had to carry out. I focussed my attention on the
12 main tasks I had to carry out. If I had been assigned the task to check
13 how the MPs worked at the checkpoints, then I could answer your question
14 very precisely. All I'm doing is telling you my opinion now. I'm only
15 testifying about what I know here, and I can only tell you about my
17 Q. Sir, to your knowledge or recollection, did any members of
18 UNPROFOR or BritBat ever tell you that they had problems getting through
19 ABiH checkpoints? Or did they ever request from you a certificate or a
20 pass in order to get through an ABiH checkpoint?
21 A. I remember that there were a few such cases, but there were very
22 few such cases. A negligible number. When my attention was drawn to a
23 problem of that nature, I resolved the difficulty immediately. I
24 remember an event in Busovaca in January 1993 when ABiH members, given
25 the fight with the HVO -- well, the road in Busovaca had been completely
1 blocked, and the international community via an UNPROFOR representative
2 said there was a problem, that traffic couldn't pass through. They said
3 that UNPROFOR vehicles couldn't pass through, and I went to that
4 location. I saw the vehicle that had been positioned there by members of
5 the ABiH, and I intervened immediately, on the spot.
6 That checkpoint started functioning for the UNPROFOR and UNHCR
7 vehicles and for ambulances and Red Cross vehicles. We abided by our
8 duties in respect of international agreements and conventions. As soon
9 as I was informed of a problem, I would try to deal with it immediately.
10 I have said why we sometimes had serious problems or not-so-serious
11 problems. These people weren't sufficiently trained to perform their
12 duties. I have already mentioned the fact that we didn't have
13 sufficiently professional officers to carry out the duties. We didn't
14 have enough professional military policemen to carry out their duties
15 normally. We still had to spend a lot of time in training our men. And
16 I'm sure that well-trained men wouldn't have created any problems. They
17 wouldn't have prevented UNPROFOR from using certain routes, certain
19 Q. Sir, did you ever see any of these armed foreigners with young
20 women who may have been their wives at any point in time in the first six
21 months of 1993?
22 A. No, I personally never saw them.
23 Q. In the first six months of 1993, did you personally ever see any
24 of these armed foreigners distributing food to the local population?
25 A. No, I personally never observed any such cases.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 Q. Let me return now, sir, to the topic of the foreigners and the
2 problems that they caused for the 3rd Corps. You told us that following
3 mid-April, the events in mid-April and the end of April, the 3rd Corps
4 realised that the problem of the armed foreigners was a significant one.
5 Is that correct?
6 A. We realised that they represented a problem, but it wasn't such
7 that our attention would be detracted from our main mission. We had a
8 main mission, a main task to carry out, but we noticed that there was a
9 problem that concerned these foreigners and their activities in 1993.
10 Q. And by the end of April 1993, would it be fair to say that the
11 3rd Corps leadership had concerns about criminal activities committed by
12 these armed foreigners in the 3rd Corps area of responsibility?
13 A. The 3rd Corps command noticed that this problem was becoming
14 increasingly complex. That's correct. The corps command tried to obtain
15 help from the supreme command staff, help to solve the problem. I think
16 I have mentioned the measures taken by the 3rd Corps. The 3rd Corps
17 stepped up its activities. I've already said that the security service
18 became more active, but this takes time. You can't have all the facts at
19 your disposal in just one day. I don't know what sort of methods are
20 used by these services, these operational methods that they used. They
21 have methods that they don't speak about, they don't inform the public at
22 large about the methods they used. And they didn't inform me about the
23 methods they used. They performed this work as professional organs.
24 Q. I'm curious, sir, because it seems to me a bit odd that if these
25 people were causing problems and you had suspicions that they were
1 committing crimes, that the steps to be taken included forming them into
2 a specific unit rather than taking action to expel them or to take some
3 other kind of military action against them. And you've explained why you
4 didn't do that. But it just -- can you help us out in any way in terms
5 of explaining why the solution to this problem of these armed foreigners
6 who you were aware may have committed crimes was to put them into a unit
7 of the 3rd Corps?
8 A. I have told you about the person who suggested that they be
9 integrated into the 3rd Corps. Naturally, in June, they weren't
10 3rd Corps members. At the time, we couldn't have formed a special unit.
11 You can't use a special unit against an unknown enemy. You don't know
12 how many men you need in such a unit. If you believe they were the
13 enemies of the 3rd Corps, well, I said they were a problem that appeared
14 in the zone of responsibility of the 3rd Corps. And the 3rd Corps
15 collected information, gathered information about them. The 3rd Corps
16 wanted to solve the problem, but to form a special unit at the time or to
17 confront someone, well, this is something you could have done if you had
18 reliable information, if you could make accurate assessments, if you
19 could assess what the consequences of an armed conflict with such a
20 militant group would be.
21 As for the crimes they committed, this is what we would observe
22 in Miletici. The population said that these crimes were committed by
23 foreigners whom they called the mujahedin. If they had said that they
24 were army members, we would have had more reliable information because we
25 knew who the members of the ABiH were. In such a case, we could have
1 formed some sort of a joint, special unit to confront such a criminal
2 group. I've also said that whenever we discovered that certain crimes
3 had been committed, we used all the means we had available to obtain
4 information about such events. As I have said, at the time foreigners
5 were not members of the 3rd Corps, members of the ABiH. They certainly
6 weren't members of the 3rd Corps.
7 Q. And that's my question, sir: Why at that point did you take
8 steps to put them into the 3rd Corps if they weren't?
9 A. Well, I don't know how to answer that question if you don't
10 understand my answer. It wasn't the 3rd Corps command's suggestion to
11 have them join the ABiH. The 3rd Corps suggested to the supreme command
12 staff that they should help to find a solution to the problem of
13 foreigners. That has been my testimony before this Court. Don't put
14 words into my mouth. I've already answered the question. I can repeat
15 my answer if you like. I don't know how to explain this. I'm saying
16 that the 3rd Corps didn't make this suggestion. The supreme command
17 staff suggested that the foreigners should become part of the 3rd Corps.
18 I don't know whether this solution was the best one that the supreme
19 command staff could find. You should ask the supreme command staff about
20 that, not me. I cannot say how the supreme command staff should have
21 acted. I can't say what they should have done. That's a question I
22 can't answer, not because I don't want to answer the question but because
23 I quite simply can't answer that question.
24 Q. Did you -- did you or, to your knowledge, did General
25 Hadzihasanovic ever ask the supreme command staff why this step should be
2 A. As far as I can remember, and I don't know what my commander
3 General Hadzihasanovic spoke about with the supreme command staff, it
4 wasn't for me to ask General Hadzihasanovic about his discussions with
5 the supreme command staff, and I don't know what General Hadzihasanovic
6 suggested to the supreme command staff. I don't know whether he
7 suggested that the foreigners should join the 3rd Corps, but I have
8 testified here that I had reliable information according to which General
9 Hadzihasanovic asked the superior command to assist in solving the
10 problem of foreigners. He said that the 3rd Corps was burdened by the
11 problem of foreigners and that this could be a serious problem for the
12 3rd Corps in the future. I know that the 3rd Corps commander informed
13 the supreme command staff of this matter.
14 Q. Sir, did you ever personally advise the corps commander, General
15 Hadzihasanovic, that it was a bad idea to try to bring these armed
16 foreigners into the 3rd Corps in a structured way?
17 A. I don't remember suggesting to my commander that they should
18 become part of the 3rd Corps. As far as I can remember, I never
19 suggested any such thing to the 3rd Corps commander.
20 Q. No, sir. My question is the exact opposite. Did you ever
21 suggest or advise General Hadzihasanovic that it was a bad idea to form a
22 unit composed of armed -- of these foreigners?
23 A. I can't remember having suggested any solutions. I can't
24 remember having suggested that some sort of a unit should be formed out
25 of those foreigners. I can't remember making such a suggestion to
1 Commander General Enver Hadzihasanovic.
2 Q. Okay, General, I'm going to turn now to a completely different
3 topic, that being the incidents that happened in Dusina in late January
4 1993. Did you ever have a discussion with Colonel Robert Stewart of
5 BritBat concerning what happened in Dusina?
6 A. I have already testified that I had frequent contact with Mr. Bob
7 Stewart. We would speak about various subjects when we met, and I can't
8 rule out the possibility of having spoken about such a subject with Mr.
9 Bob Stewart.
10 Q. Did you ever speak to Mr. Bob Stewart or Colonel Bob Stewart
11 about the possibility of disciplining soldiers of the 3rd Corps for
12 events that happened in Dusina or Lasva on the 25th or 26th of January
14 A. I can't rule out the possibility that we spoke about that
15 subject, but I'm sure that at the time I spoke to him about what I knew
16 with regard to the events in Dusina. I have already spoken at length
17 about the events in Dusina. Perhaps I should say a few things in more
18 precise terms. Perhaps I should clarify certain things. According to
19 information I had, according to information I obtained from reports on
20 the events in Dusina, no crimes were committed there. People were killed
21 in fighting. People on both sides were killed in the combat. There were
22 men from the ABiH and from the HVO who were killed in combat. So I
23 certainly spoke about this to Bob. I couldn't have told Bob about
24 something I knew nothing about.
25 I spoke to Colonel Bob Stewart quite openly. I was quite frank
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 with him. So if I spoke to him about that, then I told him about the
2 information that I had.
3 Q. Sir, if -- if the Croat persons who were killed in Dusina died as
4 a result of combat-related activity, would there have been a need to
5 discipline any soldiers or court-martial any soldiers of the ABiH for
6 those combat-related fatalities?
7 A. As far as I can remember, throughout my entire testimony I never
8 said that members of the HVO were murdered. I have a very well-defined
9 position as a soldier. I said that they were casualty in combat. My
10 question is whether measures are taken against the soldier who shoots
11 during combat, and this is the question that you put to me. If a soldier
12 fires during combat, that's -- that's okay. I never said that these
13 people were killed or murdered. They were casualty. And this is what I
14 read in the report that I had at the time at my disposal.
15 Later on, I received information that an investigation was
16 carried out because the HVO claimed that a crime had been committed
17 there, that members of the HVO were indeed killed there. And according
18 to the information that I later had, there was an expert analysis of the
19 fallen HVO soldiers from Dusina. I've already said that the military
20 police at the time still were not equipped. It had been barely been
21 established. They sought assistance from the civilian police, from their
22 experts who had been engaged in such cases for a number of years and who
23 had state-of-the-art equipment. The 3rd Corps did not have any equipment
24 to establish how wound was inflicted, to carry out any forensic
25 investigation. And this is what I have testified about.
1 Q. Let me take you, sir, to the 26th of January 1993 at the point in
2 time where you were at the commission meeting, and Colonel Blaskic
3 informed the parties that meeting about the events in Dusina. You told
4 us about that last week. Do you remember that meeting?
5 A. I remember this meeting in Kiseljak.
6 Q. Do you recall the words or the information that Colonel Blaskic
7 conveyed to you and the others who were present? What exactly did he say
8 had happened in Dusina that day?
9 A. As far as I can remember, and I cannot convey word for word what
10 Mr. Tihomir Blaskic said at the time; however, the essence of what he
11 said was that the Croats in Dusina had been killed, that the BiH army had
12 committed a crime there, that they had murdered Croats there in that
13 area. I believe this is what Mr. Tihomir Blaskic said, as far as I can
14 remember as I sit here today.
15 Q. And sir, do you recall approximately what time you left that
16 meeting on the 26th of January?
17 A. I can't remember the exact time. I can give you an approximate
18 time. It was sometime in the afternoon. I only remember one detail.
19 The UNPROFOR representatives wanted to go back while it was still
20 daylight, and they insisted on that because of the combat operations in
21 Busovaca. It was very risky to pass through that area during the night.
22 I remember that the meeting ended sometime in the afternoon. I don't
23 know when. I believe that it was around 1500 hours or maybe even 1600
24 hours; that is, 3.00 or 4.00 in the afternoon. However, I can't remember
25 exactly when the meeting ended.
1 Q. And you've told us, sir, that you returned or you were taken by
2 UNPROFOR to the 3rd Corps command in Zenica, and you passed this
3 information on to the commander, General Hadzihasanovic. Is that
5 A. Yes, that is correct. And this is what I've said.
6 Q. Do you recall any steps you took after you returned to the
7 3rd Corps headquarters to try to determine what had happened in Dusina on
8 that day? What did you do that late afternoon, early evening?
9 A. On that day, in the afternoon I couldn't do anything because I
10 was on my way back to Zenica. However, if you insist that I should tell
11 you what happened from the moment when I reported to General
12 Hadzihasanovic and when I briefed him of what I had heard and of the
13 conclusions of that meeting on the 26th in Kiseljak, I can tell you that
14 after that I took reports that had arrived by then at the command of the
15 3rd Corps. And from the reports, I learned that there had been combat
16 operations and that there were casualties on both sides. Those were the
17 initial reports that had arrived at the 3rd Corps command.
18 These reports described things differently to what Blaskic
19 claimed at the meeting on that day.
20 Q. Sir, I'd ask you to please take a look at the bundle in front of
21 you. And if you could look at the document numbered P251. Sir, would
22 this be one of the reports that had arrived late in the day on the 26th
23 of January 1993 and to which you just referred that you would have taken
24 a look at?
25 A. I can't remember having seen this report. I did not have an
1 opportunity to look at this report. This report is addressed to the
2 regional defence staff of Zenica. I didn't go to the regional staff of
3 Zenica. I went to the 3rd Corps command. The headquarters of the
4 regional staff was not the same place as the headquarters of the
5 3rd Corps. I only looked at the reports that had arrived at the command
6 of the 3rd Corps. I didn't go to any of the subordinate units to collect
7 reports that had reached them, and therefore I could not read those
9 Q. Okay. Let me then ask you this question: You told us that on
10 the morning of the 27th, you returned to Kiseljak for a meeting of the
11 Kiseljak joint commission. Is that correct?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. Sir, what time was that meeting, to the best of your
15 A. Are you referring to the meeting that took place on the 27th of
16 January 1993?
17 Q. Indeed.
18 A. This meeting was in the morning, or maybe sometime around noon.
19 In any case, it was not early in the morning. It was either in the late
20 morning hours or around noon. I can't tell you with morning hours or
21 around noon. I can't tell you with any precision whether it was at 10.00
22 or 11.00 or sometime between 10.00 and 11.00. In any case, it was closer
23 to noon than to the early hours of the morning.
24 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I note for the transcript that on
25 page 24, line 17, after the word "indeed," beginning with "this meeting
1 was in the morning," was actually the witness's answer and was not part
2 of the question I put to the witness.
3 Q. Now, sir, at this meeting on the 27th of January 1993, can you
4 tell us to the best of your recollection what you reported at that
5 meeting concerning the events in Dusina the preceding day?
6 A. As far as I can remember, I reported that there had been fighting
7 in Dusina between the HVO and the BiH Army. I also said that there had
8 been casualties on both sides, and that was the essence of my report at
9 that meeting on the 27th in Kiseljak.
10 Q. Sir, on the 26th of January 1993 or in the following few days,
11 did you become aware of the fact that five or six HVO soldiers had been
12 captured in Dusina on the 26th of January 1993?
13 A. No, I wasn't aware of that.
14 Q. Let me ask you this, sir: Were you aware that Serif Patkovic was
15 involved in the events in Dusina on January 26th 1993?
16 A. No, I was not aware of that. I didn't have that information.
17 Q. Sir, were you aware that members of the 2nd Battalion of the 7th
18 Muslim Mountain Brigade were present in Dusina on 26 January 1993?
19 A. According to my information, members of the 2nd Battalion of the
20 7th Muslim Brigade were in the area of Lasva.
21 Q. And sir, do you know in January 1993 who was the commander of the
22 2nd Battalion of the 7th Muslim Brigade?
23 A. If I can remember well, it was Mr. Serif Patkovic. He was the
24 commander of the 2nd Battalion of the 7th Muslim Brigade.
25 Q. Sir, did you ever discuss with Serif Patkovic or question him
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 about the events that occurred in Dusina on the 26th of January 1993?
2 A. As far as I can remember, I did not discuss Dusina with Mr.
3 Patkovic. I did not ask Serif Patkovic anything about that.
4 Q. Do you know, sir, if anyone from the 3rd Corps security services
5 or military police discussed the events in Dusina on the 26th of January
6 1993 with Mr. Patkovic?
7 A. I don't know.
8 Q. Sir, do you know that later, Mr. Patkovic was promoted and
9 received awards, including a Golden Lily?
10 A. I knew that Mr. Serif Patkovic received a Golden Lily.
11 Q. Sir, do you know an individual by the name of Vehid Subotic who
12 also went by the nickname "Geler"?
13 A. No. I don't know this person, and I've never had an opportunity
14 to see him.
15 Q. Do you know or did you ever read any documents indicating that
16 anyone from the 3rd Corps security service or military police spoke to
17 Mr. Subotic, also known as Geler? Do you ever see any reports or
18 documents that any one spoke with him about events in Dusina on the 26th
19 of January?
20 A. No. I've never read the security services report about Dusina.
21 And I never saw anybody named Subotic mentioned in any of these reports.
22 Q. Are you aware of the existence of any such security service
23 reports concerning the events of Dusina, 26 January 1993?
24 A. I am aware of the fact that the services of the 3rd Corps were
25 involved in the issue of Dusina because an investigation was being
1 carried out, together with the civilian police in order to establish what
2 had happened. I had that information. However, I never read the report
3 of the security services on that particular incident.
4 Q. Now, General, you told us earlier that Dusina was a significant
5 event because it was the first time the ABiH had been accused of
6 committing war crimes by the HVO. Isn't that right?
7 A. Yes. I know that this was the first time that the HVO accused
8 the BiH Army of having committed a crime.
9 Q. And yet, sir, you never read the report of the security service
10 on this incident to inform yourself so that if this topic came up at
11 following meetings you could explain to the HVO and the international
12 representatives what the conclusions of that report were?
13 A. I have testified before this Court that I read the reports that
14 had arrived in the 3rd Corps covering the events in Dusina and the
15 Dusina-related reports. After that, I never read the Dusina-related
16 reports because as far as I know, this was done together with the
17 municipal defence staff. As far as I know, a joint commission was
18 established there that took over the fallen soldiers of the HVO from the
19 hospital in Zenica. I had that information.
20 However, I never read the report drafted by the security service
21 or that commission that had handed over the fallen HVO soldiers from
22 Dusina. I did not have an occasion to read the hospital postmortem
23 report. I had information that this had been done officially. I don't
24 know what expert methods were used to do that. I only know that these
25 people had been murdered, killed -- actually that they fell in combat,
1 and that there was a report of the commission that worked in that area;
2 however, I never read that report.
3 Q. Let me ask you this, sir: You went to Dusina. You've told us
4 about going to Dusina with Mr. Nakic, and I believe you said Mr. Fleming.
5 And you told us that you spoke to a few people in Dusina and the
6 immediate vicinity of Dusina. Is that right?
7 A. Yes. We spoke to the local commander in Dusina. I can't
8 remember his name. I don't know what his name was. But I said that he
9 was the local commander. I remember that. That's what he said.
10 Q. Sir, if I told you his name was Hazim Barucija, would that ring a
12 A. I really can't remember the name. It was a long time ago. I
13 can't even ever asking his name. I don't know this man's name.
14 Q. General, can you tell us to the best of your recollection what
15 questions you asked this local commander and what information he conveyed
16 to you about the events that occurred in Dusina on 26 January 1993. And
17 I would ask you, if it's possible, to be as specific as you can about
18 what was discussed.
19 A. As far as I can remember, Mr. Franjo Nakic was present during
20 that exchange. When I asked him what had happened in Dusina, he replied
21 that there had been fighting in Dusina, that there had been combat
22 operations and that there were casualties on both sides. This is -- as
23 far as I can remember this is what this local commander told us when we
24 met with him there.
25 Q. Sir, do you remember asking this local commander or whether he
1 volunteered information that there was a small number of HVO soldiers who
2 had been captured that day? Did you ask him about any prisoners that may
3 have been taken?
4 A. I don't remember whether I asked this local commander if there
5 were any HVO prisoners. I also don't remember him volunteering that
6 information. I can't remember that. I've told you what I can remember.
7 I've told you what I remember. I remember that this commander answered
8 my question, and my question was what happened in Dusina.
9 Q. General, let me turn very quickly and ask you one or two
10 questions about Maline prior to the break.
11 Did you receive any information concerning the events that took
12 place in Maline on the 8th of June 1993 that in any way suggested to you
13 that the armed foreigners were involved in criminal activity on that day
14 in Maline Bikosi?
1 Q. But prior to that point --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, can you issue an
4 MR. MUNDIS:
5 Q. Prior to that point, you had no information about the involvement
6 of armed foreigners in Bikosi on the 8th of June 1993, just so that we're
7 absolutely clear on that. Would that be the case.
8 A. I've said that the first time I learned the correct information,
9 I had information that there was a suspicion about civilians having been
10 killed, and I've told you that I received that information from the
11 European monitors and that at the beginning of August 1993, we went to
12 the site. The European monitors headed by Mr. Remy and Father Radic was
13 also a member of that delegation. And I also told you that we were taken
14 to the location by a soldier who showed us the place where two graves
15 were, where the bodies of all those who fell in combat in that area had
16 been buried. I also testified about a report that I sent to the supreme
17 command staff describing the events that had happened in the village of
18 Miletici. This was at the request of international institutions.
19 I remember also that I've testified about sending this request to the
20 subordinate command and that we received a report, and based on this
21 report, I drafted my report for the supreme command describing what had
22 happened in Maline. This is what I have already testified about.
23 However, the first time I learned about the crime having been committed
24 by foreigners was during the Kordic case while I testified in that case.
25 This is what I knew about the event, and this is how I have testified so
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13 French transcripts correspond
2 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I note the time. You should inform
3 the Chamber that during this last session, I was informed via email from
4 the Registrar who apparently conferred with the Chamber's legal officer,
5 and in fact my time has now expired. I note that at one point, my
6 learned colleague for General Hadzihasanovic asked for additional time
7 and was denied that. And so as a matter of fairness and principle, we
8 will finish our cross-examination at this point in time, having taken the
9 same amount of time as the Defence for Mr. Hadzihasanovic. And just as
10 it was the situation with my learned colleague, we would have had
11 additional questions, but we're well aware of time constraints, and I
12 certainly don't want to be in a position of taking significantly longer
13 than the Defence did on their direct examination. Thank you. That
14 concludes the cross-examination.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. It's 25 to 11.00.
16 We'll have our break now and resume at 11.00.
17 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will now resume, and I will
20 give the floor to Defence counsel for re-examination.
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Re-examined by Ms. Residovic:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, General Merdan.
24 A. Good day.
25 Q. General, I'll now put some questions that were put to you or that
1 have to do with questions put my learned colleague in the course of their
2 cross-examination. My first question has to do with the question that
3 was put to you yesterday, a question that had to do with your testimony
4 in the Kordic case with regard to the identity of the first commander of
5 the 7th Muslim Brigade. Do you remember that question, and do you
6 remember the answers you provided?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. General, at the time, you said that there had been a significant
9 error, and you said that that was possible since you were being asked to
10 remind -- remember something, so was this your answer with regard to the
11 testimony in the Kordic case?
12 A. Yes, I do remember that.
13 Q. Yesterday, in the course of your testimony before this Trial
14 Chamber, you said -- or you testified up until quarter to 2.00. And when
15 answering these questions, you said that you were feeling tired. At the
16 time yesterday, did you feel tired given the length that the examination
17 had taken?
18 A. Yes. Yesterday, I was feeling very tired. In the afternoon, I
19 asked for medical assistance.
20 Q. General, if I said that yesterday -- according to the transcript,
21 your testimony came to an end at page 70, and the questions in the Kordic
22 case referred to by the Prosecution yesterday were referred to or were
23 noted on page 12.909 and 12.910, and this was on page 92 of the
24 transcript. As a result, this means that you were answering these
25 questions after having been examined for about five or six hours. Can
1 you remember when in the course of your examination you were asked about
2 the 7th Muslim Brigade? Was it at the beginning of your testimony or at
3 the end of your testimony on that day?
4 A. Yes. I remember the testimony in the Kordic case. The testimony
5 was very difficult, which is the case here, too. I remember that that
6 was on the second day of my testimony, and it was towards the end of my
7 testimony at which point I was really very tired.
8 Q. With the help of the usher, I would like to show the witness the
9 part of the transcript my learned colleague referred to when talking
10 about the witness's testimony. We have a sufficient number of copies for
11 the Chamber and my learned colleagues. And I just have one other
12 question to put to the witness -- a few more questions to put to the
13 witness in relation to this subject.
14 The testimony that was given in the Kordic case on the 25th of
15 January -- well, I have taken just the first page from that testimony --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
17 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, thank you, Mr. President. I'm
18 wondering if perhaps my learned colleague can explain to us how it might
19 be helpful showing the witness these pages in light of his previous
20 testimony that he doesn't understand English. And I would also ask that
21 she not be permitted to lead the witness during her re-examination.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. As far as the document in
23 English is concerned, the witness said that he didn't understand English.
24 What would the purpose be of showing the witness a document that is
25 English? The answers and questions are in English? What would you say?
1 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would just like
2 everyone in the courtroom to be aware of the fact that I will be showing
3 the witness the part of this transcript in the same way that my colleague
4 proceeded when he asked the witness questions. Because the witness
5 mentioned the fact that he was tired, and he mentioned the possibility of
6 an error when answering the questions put to him by the Prosecution. So
7 this is why I would like to read part of this transcript, and this will
8 be interpreted to the witness in his own language. I will then ask the
9 witness a question that relates to the transcript.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And what would you
11 say about the objection to asking the witness leading questions?
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'll do my best,
13 and I know that I shouldn't ask the witness leading questions. If I do
14 ask a leading question and my colleague objects to it, I'll try to
15 rephrase the question. When I put questions to witnesses in my own
16 language, I try to avoid putting leading questions. That's my duty, and
17 I will bear that in mind.
18 Q. General, on page 12.909 in this transcript, in line 9, the
19 following was stated: "Well, that was precisely my question. Would you
20 agree with me that the 7th Muslim Brigade was under the command of the
21 3rd Corps of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and that we should add a
22 dash, as you say."
23 Your answer: "Not really any -- what I'm saying is that the 7th
24 Muslim Brigade was under the command of the 3rd Corps's command."
25 Question: "Right. So if we are talking about the chain of
1 command and who makes part of the 3rd Corps, you will agree with me that
2 the special unit, El Mujahed, was also under the 3rd Corps's command, and
3 it numbered about a thousand men?"
4 Answer: "Yes, that is true. But will you give me the time frame
5 because we may be referring to different period of time. I say it was
6 under the 3rd Corps's command, but again, it depends on the period of
8 Question: "I'm referring to the time when Asim Koricic commanded
9 the 7th Muslim Brigade, so that would be the brigade was founded on the
10 1st of December 1992. So that would be that period until sometime in the
11 summer 1993."
12 Answer: "I believe you made a mistake because Asim Koricic was
13 never a commander of the 7th Muslim Brigade. And the El Mujahed was
14 founded as far as I know in late 1993 or perhaps early 1994. And when it
15 was established it was placed under the command of the 3rd Corps's
17 General, are these the answers that you provided in the Kordic
18 case at the time?
19 A. Yes, I remember providing these answers.
20 Q. As we can see there are two units referred to in the questions.
21 Which units are they?
22 A. There's the 7th Muslim Brigade and the El mujahedin detachment
23 that were referred to.
24 Q. Given what you have confirmed both yesterday and today, given the
25 fact that you confirmed that after having been examined for a certain
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 period of time you become tired, would you say that the error that you
2 noticed yesterday might have anything to do with --
3 MR. MUNDIS: Objection. Leading. Leading question.
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Could you provide me with an additional explanation of the reason
6 for the error you made at the time.
7 A. Yesterday, before this Trial Chamber, I tried to explain the
8 reason for which I made such an error. That was quite obviously a slip
9 that I made. I would never have made such a noticeable error. I said
10 that I was very tired and that it's quite possible that when questions
11 are put to me, the time period must be very specific. There were many
12 things that happened in the 3rd Corps in a very short period of time.
13 And this requires a lot of concentration on my part during the entire
14 period of my testimony. It's possible that I made a mistake. I've
15 already made a few mistakes. I made a few mistakes when testifying
16 before this Chamber last week. But when I notice an error, I would like
17 to ask the Chamber to understand the error. I apologise for such errors.
18 When I notice an error, I try to explain the reasons for which I made an
19 error. I never intentionally committed an error.
20 Q. General, was Asim Koricic ever the El mujahedin commander?
21 A. As far as I know, Mr. Asim Koricic was never the commander of the
22 El mujahedin detachment.
23 Q. At any point in 1993 or in the year 2000 or in the course of your
24 testimony, this testimony, at any point in time did you have any reason
25 not to say who the commander of a certain brigade was, for example, of
1 the 7th Muslim Brigade?
2 A. There's no reason for me not to say everything that I am aware
3 of, and I will inform the Chamber of everything I know. This is my duty.
4 And I'm attempting to inform the Chamber of everything I know and of
5 everything that I can remember.
6 Q. General, thank you.
7 At the beginning of the cross-examination, my learned colleague
8 put a number of questions to you that relate to this map. I would like
9 to ask you to approach the map again so that I can ask you some questions
10 that relate to that part of the cross-examination.
11 You said that at the bottom of the map, it says "Commander Enver
12 Hadzihasanovic," but that there was no signature. That's what you said in
13 response to questions put to you by my learned colleague.
14 Can you hear me now?
15 A. I can't hear you.
16 Q. Can you hear me now?
17 A. No, I can't hear you now either.
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] The witness could use this device
20 Q. Can you hear me now?
21 A. Yes, I can.
22 Q. When you were shown this map, you told us that this is the
23 commander's working map, and you saw that it was not signed. Do you
24 remember that?
25 A. Yes, this is what I said.
1 Q. When does a working map become the commander's real working map?
2 Does it have anything to do with the fact that you noticed that the map
3 isn't signed?
4 A. As a soldier, I believe, and I know, that every document becomes
5 valid once it is signed. The commander's working map can be used only by
6 the commander or by a person designated by him to enter things on to the
7 map. Once the map is signed, it becomes the ownership of the person who
8 signed it.
9 Q. General, in the 3rd Corps, was there only one map, or were there
10 several maps in the 3rd Corps?
11 A. In the 3rd Corps, and I know that in other similar armies in the
12 world, there are several maps at the level of corps commands. The same
13 case was in the 3rd Corps. There were several maps of this sort.
14 Q. Which of these maps is the most detailed one? Which one is the
15 one where most details are entered depicting the situation in the corps
17 A. As far as I know as a military professional, most of the details
18 are entered into the map of the operations centre of the 3rd Corps. The
19 operations centre of the 3rd Corps is part of the 3rd Corps staff.
20 Q. If the commander needs certain tactical details on everyday
21 events, who would it be to provide those details to the commander?
22 A. These details would be provided by the operations centre because
23 all the information on the events taking place in the area of
24 responsibility of the 3rd Corps is collected by the operations centre.
25 And then this information is forwarded to the corps commander.
1 Q. General, in response to my learned friend's question, you've told
2 us that this map provides main information about the enemy forces and the
3 commands of operations groups and brigades. In addition to the
4 difference in terms of the number of details, are there any other
5 differences between the operations centre map and the map which is in the
6 commander's office and serves as his working map?
7 A. Yes. There are major differences between these two maps. The
8 operations centre map contains all the information on everything that is
9 happening in the area of responsibility of the 3rd Corps, in all the
10 regions, in all the fields. The corps commander on the other hand enters
11 on his map only what he deems important for him. The corps commander has
12 to think operatively. He has to look at what might happen in the future,
13 what might occur during the exercise of his main mission. I've already
14 testified to great length about that. The main mission was the defence
15 of the territory from the aggressor.
16 Q. If you remember, and I will remind you, on page 7, lines 9 to 14,
17 the Prosecutor asked you whether these lines mean that there was combat
18 going on in that area. When you were looking at the area without dotted
19 lines, in the same answer you said that maybe there was combat there, but
20 at a lower level, at battalion and brigade levels, at a lower tactical
21 level. Do you remember talking about that?
22 A. Yes, I do remember talking about that and why there are no dotted
23 lines in this area here.
24 Q. Tell me, please, General, given your military experience and the
25 fact that you were deputy commander of the 3rd Corps, and when you're
1 looking at this from the military aspect, why would the commander be
2 interested in following combat at a lower tactical lower, for example,
3 combat where a company would be engaged? Would that be his main task?
4 If not, would he still sometimes wish to be involved and follow such
6 A. My military experience, and especially my work with the
7 commander, Mr. -- General Enver Hadzihasanovic tells me that the
8 commander of the 3rd Corps took more interest in operative matters.
9 However, every combat may be of significance for a corps commander. You
10 may not exclude the importance of any one combat operation. It may
11 happen that a combat operation of a lower tactical level does merit
12 interest of the commander of the corps. For example, if such a combat
13 may have operational consequences, even if it is at a lower level, if
14 such a combat at a lower level might have operational consequences, then
15 at any given moment, the commander may pay some attention to such combat.
16 However, in principle, the corps commander will pay more attention to the
17 combat of operational and strategic interest. That is the main task of
18 the corps commander.
19 Q. You've already explained which units took part in the combat in
20 Dusina. Given the lower level of units which were involved in combat
21 there, did the corps commander show any interest -- should he have shown
22 any interest in that combat given its tactical importance?
23 A. Based on my experience and my knowledge, my war experience and
24 knowing my commander, and I believe that I knew my commander rather well,
25 I can say that the combat operation in Dusina was of tactical
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 significance. However, one has to bear in mind that there is a very
2 important facility in the vicinity of Dusina. This is the Lasva
3 junction. The Lasva junction was always of major significance for the
4 corps commander. It had operational significance, and if there's any
5 combat taking place in the vicinity of such a facility which has
6 operational significance, every commander should pay a lot of attention
7 to the combat of tactical significance in that area.
8 Q. Thank you, General. My learned friend asked you about the
9 strength of the 3rd Corps, and you said that the corps had between
10 twenty-five and thirty thousand troops. Do you remember having said
12 A. Yes, I remember that I answered that question. I could not
13 provide precise information because it was a long time ago. And also,
14 the strength of the corps changed rather quickly. We had a lot of
15 casualties. We replenished the units of the 3rd Corps on a day-to-day
16 basis. At any given time, I had between 25.000 and 30.000 troops, and
17 that includes both officers and foot soldiers. Yes, I did mention the
18 figure of twenty-five to thirty thousand troops.
19 Q. General, in order to assess the strength of a military unit, is
20 it only the number of troops that would be relevant, or are there any
21 other factors that have to be taken into account when answering that
23 A. The strength of any unit including the 3rd Corps is determined
24 based on a number of factors. I've already mentioned one factor. That
25 is the number of troops. This factor is important. I cannot say it is
1 the most important factor, but it is very important. The next factor
2 which is very important is the armament of that unit. Here I'm referring
3 to the number of weapons and the type of weapons that that unit or the
4 3rd Corps has. The next factor is the communication and the roads in the
5 area of responsibility. The next one would be the logistical support,
6 the strength of the enemy also has an impact on the strength of a unit
7 which includes the 3rd Corps as well. In other words, there are a number
8 of different factors which may impact the strength of a unit. I could
9 talk for a long time about that.
10 Q. And in addition to the number of troops, in the course of your
11 testimony so far, you have mentioned the level of equipment and the lack
12 of arms. So I won't go into that again. You have now mentioned the
13 strength of the enemy. Can you show us on this map where the Serbian
14 forces were and where were the forces of the 3rd Corps facing the Serbian
15 aggressor? Can you tell us how many defence lines facing the
16 Serbian enemy you had and how long was the defence line during the year
18 A. In order to deploy one's own forces facing the enemy, and you are
19 asking me only about the aggressor forces, one has to have intelligence.
20 According to our intelligence, there were three aggressor corps attacking
21 the area of responsibility of the 3rd Corps. The most important area was
22 the area to the west of the area of responsibility of the 3rd Corps where
23 we had the 1st Krajina Corps. I've already testified before this Court
24 that the Serbian aggressor towards the end of 1992 had a lot of success
25 in the area from Jajce towards Travnik. There were major operations
1 being carried out there.
2 The 2nd Corps of the aggressor was deployed in the area of
3 Maglaj, around Zavidovici. Some of our troops were engaged in the -- in
4 lifting the blockade of Sarajevo. This is where the 3rd Krajina Corps
5 was involved. So we had three aggressor corps which were attacking the
6 area of responsibility of the 3rd Corps. And when you look at the line
7 that the 3rd Corps was defending, I'll try to draw a line. Here was a
8 small area where we had contact with the HVO and where the HVO was in
9 contact with the aggressor. The rest of the area of responsibility of
10 the 3rd Corps was huge. Some of our troops were engaged in lifting the
11 blockade of Sarajevo. So the line here was very long if you look at it
12 as a single line, and this is where all of our defence troops were
14 Q. General, you have not answered my question. How long was that
15 line approximately? If I put it to you that in the Blaskic case, the
16 Prosecution mentioned the figure of 500 kilometres, would that correspond
17 to the length of line that you have in mind facing the Serbian enemy?
18 A. If you look at the transcript of my testimony last week and the
19 beginning of this week, I said at one point that the line facing the
20 aggressor was approximately 500 kilometres, which confirms the figure
21 that you put to me. I can't give you the precise measurements. If you
22 were to measure the line precisely, it would be about 500 kilometres.
23 Q. Out of the total number of troops and out of your total
24 equipment, how much did you have to engage on a daily basis in order to
25 defend the territory from further advance of the Serbian aggressor?
1 A. We engaged most of our strength, the strength of the 3rd Corps,
2 in order to defend such a long line. According to my estimate, our daily
3 engagement was at least two-thirds of the available troops of the
4 3rd Corps. About 80 per cent of our troops were engaged on the defence
5 lines facing the aggressor against the Republic of Bosnia and
7 Q. When you giving us the main factors that determine the strength
8 of a unit, including the 3rd Corps, you also mentioned the mobility of
9 troops. I believe that this was what you said a little while ago, if I
10 am correct. Tell me, what was the mobility in the area of the 3rd Corps
11 of the BiH Army units? And what was the mobility of the enemy units at
12 the time in 1993?
13 A. I can say that there was a huge difference there. I've already
14 said that one of the elements that determined the strength of a unit is
15 its mobility, the mobility of that unit. If you look at the entire
16 territory of the 3rd Corps, you can see immediately, and I knew it in
17 practice, and I witnessed all of these events, you can see immediately
18 that the mobility of the 3rd Corps units was very low, that the roads
19 were not passable. Very often, we had to drive our logistical support to
20 the defence lines, to our troops on the defence lines. Unlike the
21 Serbian aggressor who had a huge manoeuvre area, they had roads, they had
22 communications, they enjoyed support from Yugoslavia, from the Socialist
23 Republic of Yugoslavia at the time.
24 Likewise, I can say that the units of the HVO also had good
25 roads, especially the roads towards the Republic of Croatia. The roads
1 there were very good. If you look at the area where the troops of the
2 HVO were engaged in Central Bosnia, you will see that there are -- there
3 were no BiH units there that would prevent them from moving around. So
4 the HVO could deploy their troops very quickly. They had very good
5 transportation means that helped them with that. We couldn't do that,
6 and it was a major problem for the 3rd Corps.
7 Q. General, if I have understood you correctly, the Republika Srpska
8 forces, just like the HVO, in addition to having such mobility, could
9 also rely for logistics on Yugoslavia, and the other forces could rely on
10 Croatia. Tell me, in 1993, could the army be provided with the weapons
11 and the equipment that they needed to mount a defence on either side?
12 A. It's a well-known fact that there was an embargo on the delivery
13 of weapons to Bosnia and Herzegovina. And when you examine the situation
14 in the zone of responsibility of the 3rd Corps, the 3rd Corps was
15 practically completely encircled, either by the Serbian aggressor or by
16 the HVO. And as I said, they had logistics support from the Federal
17 Republic of Yugoslavia. And the HVO had a lot of logistics and a lot of
18 support from the Republic of Croatia. And the 3rd Corps didn't have such
19 a possibility.
20 The main source of weapons for the 3rd Corps was capturing
21 equipment from the aggressor in combat. That was the main way in which
22 units of the 3rd Corps obtained weapons.
23 Q. With regard to these questions about the map shown to you by the
24 Prosecution, I'd just like to ask you to tell me your opinion, General,
25 in the light of the factors you have just mentioned. Was the ABiH
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 superior in terms of strength in the area of Central Bosnia in comparison
2 to its enemy?
3 A. No. The 3rd Corps wasn't superior in strength. It had more men,
4 that is true. But in terms of the equipment that it had, in terms of its
5 military equipment, it was in an inferior position. I've already
6 mentioned the case of a brigade that should have had at least a hundred
7 tanks, but it only had three to four tanks, whereas the aggressor had all
8 the necessary weapons. I've already testified that weapons of the JNA
9 were brought in from Slovenia and Croatia, these weapons were brought
10 into the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. This was all under the control
11 of the JNA, and the JNA certainly provided this equipment to the
12 Republika Srpska Army. There were a lot of weapons. And I said before
13 the war broke out the JNA was listed as the fourth most powerful force in
14 Europe. The HVO was also very well equipped, very well armed. It was a
15 modern force. They were supported by the Republic of Croatia.
16 So when you take all these factors into consideration, then you
17 see that the aggressor was more powerful. You should assess the strength
18 of the force as a whole, not just in terms of its segments. If you try
19 to assess the situation in the zone of responsibility of the 3rd Corps,
20 one can draw that the conclusion that the 3rd Corps was in an inferior
21 position in comparison to the aggressor and the HVO.
22 Q. Thank you, General. You may now return to your seat. I have no
23 further questions to ask you about the map.
24 In response to a question from my learned colleague, page 12,
25 lines 5 to 13 -- let me just check the date. It's the 13th of December.
1 That's the date. You said that the 3rd Corps commander took numerous
2 measures to train the units to ensure that they didn't violate
3 international humanitarian law. You said that the men hadn't been
4 militarily trained, and that the corps command took numerous measures if
5 they established that a soldier was guilty. They took measures to punish
6 such soldiers in an appropriate way. Do you remember testifying about
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. General, tell me, when it is more difficult to form army units,
10 during war or in peacetime?
11 A. Well, in peacetime for sure. In wartime, it's extremely
12 difficult to form units.
13 Q. I apologise. The second part of the sentence seems to contradict
14 the first part. I wanted to know when it was more difficult to form
15 units. And you, as far as I can see, answered in a slightly
16 contradictory manner. Could you please clarify what you said. If you
17 didn't understand my question correctly, my question was when it is more
18 difficult to form a military unit. Is it more difficult to do so in
19 wartime or in peacetime?
20 A. I said that it is more difficult to form a unit in wartime. This
21 is quite normal. That is what I was saying. Perhaps you didn't
22 understand my answer. In peacetime, it is easier to form a unit, whereas
23 in wartime it is more difficult. This is the case in all armies, and
24 this was the case in the 3rd Corps. That's why I said that that was
25 quite normal. It's quite normal that it's more difficult to form units
1 in wartime.
2 Q. In response to a question put to you by the Prosecution, you said
3 that the men had no experience. Did this fact also have an influence on
4 the difficulties that you encountered when forming units in wartime?
5 A. Well, naturally. This is a very significant factor when it comes
6 to forming units. If you have men who have been trained, who are able to
7 carry out tasks, then it's easier. But if you have men who haven't been
8 to military schools, who have no military experience, then it is far more
9 difficult to form such units.
10 Q. In addition to those difficulties that you had when it came to
11 forming units because there was a war raging and the men hadn't been
12 trained, tell me, the 3rd Corps commander and its organs, what did they
13 do? What steps did they take if the men failed to obey orders or did not
14 abide by the law?
15 A. I can claim with full responsibility that the corps command and
16 the 3rd Corps bodies took a number of measures when it was detected that
17 some men had perpetrated crimes, or they took disciplinary measures in
18 certain cases. These measures were taken at the level of control and
19 command. I wouldn't rule out the possibility that some perpetrators were
20 not discovered. But I can claim with full responsibility that when we
21 discovered that someone had committed a crime, we really took measures to
22 punish the perpetrator of the crime.
23 Q. General, can you tell me whether this was the policy followed by
24 the supreme command staff, or was this just something accidental, or
25 rather, do you know what the policy of the supreme command staff was with
1 regard to men who had committed crimes or misdemeanors?
2 A. Well, I know that the supreme command staff requested that all
3 those who had committed crimes without exception be held to account. All
4 those who had committed crimes were punished. And those were the
5 policies followed within the 3rd Corps, too. There were no exceptions.
6 Q. Given those policies followed in the 3rd Corps, do you know
7 whether your commanders of subordinate units took such measures and
8 obeyed your orders?
9 A. Well, I have already said that 3rd Corps policy also applied to
10 subordinate units and brigade commanders, for example. We issued a
11 number of orders in this respect, and according to the reports that we
12 received from subordinate units, subordinate -- commanders of subordinate
13 units followed the same policy that had been adopted by the 3rd Corps
14 command. So they, too, suggested that all those who had committed errors
15 be prosecuted. All those who had committed crimes or misdemeanors should
16 be prosecuted.
17 Q. General, in the course of the cross-examination, my learned
18 colleague said that failure to punish might have an effect on morale and
19 the combat readiness of units. As a professional member of military,
20 what would you say with regard to this suggestion made by the
21 Prosecution? Would punishing men, in fact, have an effect on the morale
22 and combat readiness of the units?
23 A. Well, this is how I understood the question. This is just one
24 factor that would have affected morale. To punish someone for a crime,
25 that was the policy followed, and we punished all those who committed
1 crimes. So this does affect morale, and this was one of the ways in
2 which we attempted to improve morale within 3rd Corps units. But this
3 wasn't done just for the sake of morale. This was done because we wanted
4 to punish those who had perpetrated crime.
5 Q. My colleague also suggested the following, page 13, line 1 to 5.
6 I will now paraphrase it. I'm mentioning this because the 3rd Corps
7 leadership, including yourself and Commander Hadzihasanovic, took that
8 duty very seriously. And this means that each report or any information
9 on the perpetration of a crime was taken very seriously. My question is,
10 as you were close to General Hadzihasanovic in 1993, could you say what
11 attitude General Hadzihasanovic had towards the discipline of soldiers in
12 general and towards prosecuting all those who had committed crimes or
14 A. I know that my commander, General Hadzihasanovic, was very
15 rigorous. He was a principled and consistent man. No exceptions were
16 made when it came to men who had committed crimes or misdemeanors. He
17 was very principled. And the fact that we knew each other had nothing to
18 do with it. He followed principles. All I said was that I knew General
19 Hadzihasanovic quite well. But I believe that he was very strict and
21 Q. My colleague also mentioned the events in Dusina today and
22 earlier on. I have a few questions about that, but I would now like to
23 tell you that General Reinhardt, a Prosecution witness, after having been
24 informed of measures that were taken in Dusina said that he thought that
25 General Hadzihasanovic had taken all the necessary measures with regard
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 to the events in Dusina. General, would you agree with what General
2 Reinhardt stated before this Chamber?
3 A. I wasn't aware of the fact that General Reinhardt made such an
4 assessment, but I have already stated on the basis of my information that
5 General Hadzihasanovic did everything that he could with regard to
6 Dusina. Everything that was within his remit, and I agree with the
7 assessment made by General Reinhardt.
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] With regard to the measures
9 taken, could the witness be shown DH155/3. Since we have enough time,
10 could we have three documents, DH155/3, DH155/2, and DH119.
11 Q. General, please have a look at DH155, document 3. It's from the
12 ABiH, 3rd Corps, the military police battalion. And it's a document from
13 1993. Do you have that document.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Under item 1, or rather, first of all, the subject of this
16 document is a report from the military police battalion for the month of
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment. We'll first
19 have a look at the document since we don't have it. Could you please
20 show us the document. We'll need the English version.
21 Please go ahead.
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. General, I'm referring to DH155/3. It's a report for August
24 1993. It's from the military police battalion dated the 3rd of September
25 1993. Do you have that document?
1 A. Yes. And I have seen what you have just read out.
2 Q. The first title is to do with the focus of engagement for the
3 military police battalion. Please have a look at paragraph 1 and tell me
4 whether as deputy commander of the 3rd Corps, you were aware of the fact
5 that what is mentioned under item 1 were, in fact, the duties carried out
6 by the military police battalion at the time of this report.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. General, tell me, do you know whether battalion members were
9 engaged in combat when necessary?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. If you have a look at item 2, participation in combat, tell me
12 whether this indicates that military policemen were engaged in August in
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Please pay attention to item 3 now. And could you please read
16 out what it says under (A).
17 A. 3(A) states the following: 22.700 members of the ABiH and
18 civilians were identified or registered when controlling motor vehicles
19 and when checking individuals on patrols and at checkpoints.
20 Q. General, can you tell me whether checking the papers of
21 individuals was a regular task that the military police had, and was this
22 one of the ways in which they attempted to prevent crimes from being
23 perpetrated, especially as far as stealing vehicles and property is
25 A. Yes, this was one of the measures.
1 Q. Under (B), could you read out what it says under (B).
2 A. "In the premises of the military police battalion, 256
3 individuals have been detained up until 10.00. And after 10.00, 25
4 individuals were detained since it was permissible to do so for a 24-hour
5 period of time."
6 Q. With regard to ABiH members, how many ABiH members were brought
7 in in that month?
8 A. Here it says 268 ABiH members.
9 Q. Under (D), can you tell me how many members of the military were
10 detained in that month alone?
11 A. I can see that it says 50 individuals.
12 Q. General, have a look at item 4, criminal reports and reports on
13 misdemeanors. Could you just read out item (A), the first two lines in
14 item (A).
15 A. (A), to the military prosecutors court, 24 criminal reports were
16 filed against 32 individuals.
17 Q. General, given your testimony, does this report from the military
18 police battalion show the numerous measures that were taken against ABiH
20 A. Yes. This confirms my testimony to date.
21 Q. Please have a look at Document DH155/2 now. This is also a
22 document from the military police dated the 20th of March 1993. It's a
23 report on the criminal reports filed. Can you tell me which period this
24 report refers to. Under (A), does it mention the period concerned by the
25 military police report?
1 A. Yes. The period concerned is the end of 1992, and 1993, and the
2 first two months of 1994.
3 Q. The document also refers to the number of criminal reports filed
4 during that period.
5 A. Yes. It says that "total of 377 criminal reports were filed."
6 Q. Under (B), it also says -- it also mentions the number of
7 individuals against whom criminal reports were filed.
8 A. Yes. Here it says that reports were filed for 804 identified and
9 20 unidentified perpetrators.
10 Q. General, does this document which refers to the work of the
11 military police battalion, does this document conform to the policies
12 followed by the 3rd Corps with regard to prosecuting perpetrators for
14 A. Yes. This confirms what I have testified about, and this is what
15 it states.
16 Q. In line 20, page 53, it says 20 March 1993. It may have been my
17 slip of the tongue. The date, however, is 20 March 1994.
18 Can you please look Document DH119. This is a document from the
19 district military prosecutor in Travnik. Again, the year is 1994.
20 A. Yes, I can see it. I have the document in front of me.
21 Q. As you can see in this document, this is the report on the work
22 of the military prosecutor's office in Travnik for the year 1993. Is
23 that the document?
24 A. Yes, this is the document that I have in front of me.
25 Q. I'll kindly ask you to look at page 2 of this document under II,
1 item 2, this is "received criminal reports." Can you see how many
2 reports were filed in 1993 and against how many perpetrators all
4 A. It says here "the prosecutor's office in the reporting period
5 received a total of 823 criminal reports against 1.044 persons."
6 Q. General, this information in the report, is this a result of the
7 policies that were established by the 3rd Corps and refer to all the
8 perpetrators of crimes and misdemeanors?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. On line -- on page 15, lines 3 to 8 on the 13th of this month, in
11 response to the Prosecutor's question, you were talking about your
12 relationship with the international organisations. Do you remember that?
13 A. Yes, I do. I was talking about my relationship with the
14 international organisations.
15 Q. General, did you ever refuse to meet with a representative of the
16 international organisations and talk to them?
17 A. Before this Court, I have testified that I never turned down
18 cooperation with any of the international organisations.
19 Q. Although one part of your duties as deputy commander was liaison
20 with the international organisations, especially within the scope of the
21 Musalac commission and later on the commission in Vitez and in Travnik,
22 my next question is as follows: What was the relationship and attitude
23 of Commander Hadzihasanovic towards international organisations? Was he
24 also willing to meet with them whenever possible to talk to them on any
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 A. I was very often, together with my commander, General
2 Hadzihasanovic, in a position to talk to international organisations. As
3 far as I know, General Hadzihasanovic never refused cooperation with
4 international organisations. To the contrary, I believe that his
5 cooperation was really good. My commander was always willing to provide
6 information requested by the international community, although sometimes
7 there were problems involved in that because some members of
8 international organisations could not always appreciate the role and the
9 position of the 3rd Corps commander with regard to his obligations and
10 commitments. Sometimes these people from international organisations
11 were not happy with the answers provided to them by General
13 I, however, know that General Hadzihasanovic received all the
14 international organisations and provided all of them with all the
15 information requested from him.
16 Q. General, you've also testified that you would most often use the
17 services of the international community, that is, the BritBat, when you
18 travelled around the area. What were the reasons that compelled you to
19 travel around the area, and how did you travel?
20 A. I've already testified about that before this Court. I said that
21 I moved through the area of combat operations, and the only way one could
22 move through those areas was in BritBat vehicles. Why is that? Those
23 were armoured vehicles which were safe, and these are the vehicles that
24 are used to travel to the meetings of the joint commission, of the joint
25 command, to the meetings organised by the international community in any
1 of the locations.
2 I also had the vehicle of the 3rd Corps at my disposal, and I
3 used it whenever I could. Whenever a road was made passable, I would use
4 that vehicle to inspect my units. At the request of the joint
5 commission, I visited the places which were suggested as being
6 problematic by the HVO or the international community. And this I did in
7 the BritBat vehicles. I used my own vehicle to inspect my units in order
8 to see how orders were carried out in those units and to receive reports
9 from those units, or to check the reports from those units that had
10 arrived at the command of the 3rd Corps.
11 Q. General, when you travelled the area with the help of the
12 international community or within the scope of your duties, how did you
13 go? Were you armed? Did you have any communication means?
14 A. I never carried arms to those meetings and to those inspections.
15 I never had a radio set on me which would allow me to maintain constant
16 communication with the superior command. Not because I didn't want to
17 carry one, but we did not have enough of them. I thought it was more
18 important for fighters on the front line to have arms than for me, deputy
20 Q. Earlier today, the Prosecutor asked you whether UNPROFOR or the
21 international community were prevented from passing through certain
22 checkpoints manned by the BiH Army. Tell me, what was the principal
23 policy of the 3rd Corps with regard to the international community and
24 allowing them passage through the area of the 3rd Corps?
25 A. In the 3rd Corps, we issued orders to allow for an unobstructed
1 passage to the international organisations. Whenever we received
2 information that there might be problems, we would deal with those
3 problems immediately. Either somebody from the corps command went to
4 that place to see what the problem was all about. I mentioned a case
5 which I remember very well when I had to intervene in Karcuni in Busovaca
6 Municipality. This was in January 1993. I've described that incident
7 before this Court.
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can the general now be provided
9 with P13 [as interpreted] and P644. This will allow me to put some
10 additional questions to the general.
11 On line 1, it says P13, and it should be P133.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, can we have
13 P644, please.
14 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. General, can you look at both of these documents and read them.
16 They're not long, and they both bear the same date, 26 January 1993.
17 A. I have P644. I don't know what the other document is.
18 Q. It is P133.
19 A. Yes, I have the two documents before me.
20 Q. Do you have P133 as well?
21 A. Yes, I have P133.
22 Q. Very well then.
23 Can you please read them.
24 A. P644 --
25 Q. No, no, no. Don't read out loud. Read them to yourself, and
1 I'll ask you questions. One is from the HVO and one is from the
2 3rd Corps command.
3 A. That's correct. I'll read them.
4 Q. Let me draw your attention to the second paragraph of the
5 3rd Corps document and the first paragraph of the HVO document.
6 A. Yes, I've read both.
7 Q. General, can you see that in both documents, a reference is made
8 to the fact that Colonel Blaskic at the meeting said that there had been
9 some killings during the negotiations about the prisoners from Lasva.
10 This is the army document.
11 The HV document says that Zvonko Rajic and three soldiers went to
12 Lasva, and they were killed during the negotiations, which shows the
13 character of the aggressor.
14 My question, General, is as follows: At the moment when Colonel
15 Blaskic was leaving the meeting, did he tell you that this is exactly
16 what had happened, that some negotiators were killed? Can you remember
18 A. I can't remember that he said that. I don't think that he said
19 that negotiators had been killed. He did not make a reference to any
21 Q. If you reported to the corps commander what happened during the
22 meeting, how come that this is contained in the commander's report since
23 you were the one who reported to him on the meeting?
24 A. Yes, I can see that the press service of the Croatian Defence
25 Council published something that was not said at the meeting in Kiseljak.
1 Q. General, did you have any information about that incident, any
2 combat report, any subsequent information that spoke about any
3 negotiations and about these negotiators having been killed? Did anybody
4 confirm that while you were reviewing the situation?
5 A. No, nobody ever said that to me. I never, ever read anything
6 like that.
7 Q. So if it had been said by the -- by Colonel Blaskic or if this is
8 contained in any of the HVO documents, there was no way for you to verify
9 this information?
10 A. There was no way for me to do that.
11 Q. During the cross-examination, my learned friend asked you whether
12 you knew Serif Patkovic and whether you spoke to him about the events in
13 Dusina. You have answered that question. And my question is as follows:
14 The company of the 7th Muslim Brigade which was in the area of Dusina at
15 the moment, was it on the strength of the 2nd Battalion or was it at that
16 moment resubordinated to somebody else?
17 A. I read that order, and I remember that the 2nd Company of the 2nd
18 Battalion of the 7th Muslim Brigade was resubordinated to the municipal
19 staff of the Territorial Defence of Zenica Municipality for this
20 particular task.
21 Q. You have also told us that the municipal staff was involved in
22 the investigation. Is it normal in military sense that a unit to which a
23 unit used in combat is resubordinated is involved in the investigation of
24 the things that happened during combat?
25 A. Yes, it is normal.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 Q. You were also asked whether you read any subsequent reports that
2 would possibly mention Serif Patkovic. With regard to your testimony
3 before the cantonal court in Zenica, are you aware of the fact that the
4 late Rajic's wife was heard before that court?
5 A. No, I'm not aware of that. I testified about the events in
6 Dusina, which involved a person called Edin Hakanovic. No reference was
7 made to any person called Milica at the time.
8 Q. I don't know what the lady's name is, whether it is Milica or
9 something else, but since you are not familiar with that, I will not
10 insist on that.
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, maybe this would
12 be a good time for the break.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How much more do you need for
14 the re-examination?
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Not more than half an hour, Mr.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. We will
18 adjourn, and we will resume at 2.00.
19 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.28 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 2.00 p.m.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The hearing is
22 resumed -- well, will resume as soon as the accused are here.
23 [The accused entered court]
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have the floor.
25 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr.
2 Q. General, I will first ask you this: As you have answered to one
3 of my questions that you needed medical assistance yesterday, are you
4 feeling all right now? May I continue with questions?
5 A. Yes, you may continue with questions.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, if you don't feel
7 well, just tell us. If you feel ill, don't feel well at all, we'll just
8 stop the hearing, because I can see you don't look that well. You're all
9 pale. Are you okay?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm feeling all right. Of course
11 I'm not quite myself, as I'm testifying here before this Honourable
12 Chamber. I'm trying to be as precise and accurate as possible, but don't
13 worry; I've been through worse situations in my life. And should I feel
14 that I cannot continue, I will inform you. Thank you for the concern you
15 have shown.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll keep an eye
17 on it and we'll see whether it is necessary to stop the hearing.
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 Q. General, when asked by my learned friend, the Prosecutor, on page
20 21, line 1 through 17, you spoke about the Patriotic League and your
21 membership in the Patriotic League. Do you remember that?
22 A. Yes, I do remember that.
23 Q. Please tell us, General, in addition to the Patriotic League,
24 were there any other patriotic groups being established during the war in
25 Central Bosnia and in the wider area? Do you know anything about that?
1 A. I have already partially answered this question. You can check
2 my previous answers. I said that in the beginning of the war there were
3 some people with patriotic orientation who got organised in order to
4 defend Bosnia and Herzegovina. And there were various groups that
5 existed under various names and that had this orientation. There was the
6 Patriotic League, then there was a group called the Green Berets. Then
7 there were groups called Bridge and Green Legion. There were a number of
8 other groups with various names. I cannot recall all of them.
9 I already stated that I myself was a member of the Patriotic
10 League and that I could give you more information about the Patriotic
11 League if you're interested. And the Prosecutor asked me a number of
12 questions about the Patriotic League and I answered to the best of my
14 Q. General, please tell us based on the information you had at the
15 time, what was the main objective, the main goal, of these patriotic
16 forces, patriotic organisations that existed under various names as you
17 have stated?
18 A. I want to be as precise as possible before this Honourable
19 Chamber, therefore I will tell you these are groups of people with
20 patriotic orientation. This does not involve a large group of people, at
21 least as far as I know. The goal of the Patriotic League was to prepare
22 the patriots in order to respond to the aggression in Bosnia and
23 Herzegovina. We received through the media information about how
24 difficult the situation was, what difficulties Bosnia was facing, and so
1 Q. General, when answering the questions of my learned friend and
2 also now when answering my questions, you have always provided us with
3 the information that you have about the Patriotic League. Is it because
4 you yourself were a member of this patriotic group?
5 A. Yes, that's right. I was a member of this patriotic group; I'm
6 not denying that. And that was before the war broke out.
7 Q. General, as you have stated several times -- and it is your task
8 as witness here to tell us what you know, to provide all the information
9 you have about this structure of these patriotic groups -- can you give
10 us information only about the Patriotic League, whose member you were, or
11 can you tell us something about the organisation and structure of these
12 other groups of whose existence you knew?
13 A. I spoke before this Honourable Chamber only about the Patriotic
14 League. I can provide information only about that organisation, not
15 about other organised groups with patriotic orientation. I know there
16 was also an organisation called HOS, H-O-S, which was also a group of
17 patriots. But I cannot speak about other organisations. I can only tell
18 you what I know about the Patriotic League.
19 Q. General, you also told us when the decision was made to put the
20 patriotic groups under the command of the Territorial Defence you
21 personally and other members of the Patriotic League, joined the
22 Territorial Defence. My question is: When you joined the Territorial
23 Defence and later on the units of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was
24 that something that happened at one point in time only, or was this a
25 process? Or rather, did all the people join the Territorial Defence or
1 there were some individuals or groups that continued existing outside of
2 the Territorial Defence after this period?
3 A. As I've told you, I can only testify about the Patriotic League,
4 not about other groups. After the decision of the presidency of the
5 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina to pace all patriotically oriented
6 forces under the newly established Territorial Defence of Bosnia and
7 Herzegovina, I know that this issue was resolved within the Patriotic
8 League itself. Immediately after that we went to the Territorial Defence
9 and placed ourselves under the command of the Territorial Defence of
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina. But naturally, this was a process that took some
11 time. This is not something that happened in one or two days. I know
12 that there were some individuals from the Patriotic League who believed
13 that it was not yet time to join the Territorial Defence, that the time
14 was not ripe yet. They thought that this was the Territorial Defence of
15 the former Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, whether still
16 existed some influence of the former Yugoslav People's Army [as
18 I cannot tell you what the situation is regarding other
19 organisations, when they joined the Territorial Defence and so on. I can
20 only testify about the Patriotic League.
21 Q. Thank you very much, General.
22 My learned friend asked several questions of you concerning
23 mujahedin and how you dealt with these armed foreigners who found
24 themselves in the territory of the 3rd Corps. When answering the
25 Prosecutor's questions, you basically testified about what you knew about
1 the foreigners depending on the period in question. So please tell us
2 now, what information do you have about the stay of those foreigners in
3 the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina before the kidnapping of Zivko
4 Totic and with respect to the 3rd Corps as a military force whose mission
5 was to defend the territory, did they foreigners represent a problem for
6 the 3rd Corps and did you pay any special attention to them?
7 A. I gave many answers to the Prosecutor on that question. They put
8 a lot of questions to me regarding that. All I can tell you is that
9 before the kidnapping of the Major of the HVO, who as we later found out
10 was kidnapped by those foreigners, until he was kidnapped I personally
11 and also the commanding staff did not see this as a big problem until
12 this man was kidnapped, because these foreigners were not members of the
13 3rd Corps. They were foreigners, and we didn't know how they arrived in
14 that territory.
15 Q. General, when asked by my learned friend you provided exactly
16 that answer, namely that it was foreigners who were involved in the
17 kidnapping of Zivko Totic and that when that happened you realised that
18 that was a problem. Please tell us this: As commander of the 3rd Corps,
19 do you know whether immediately upon learning of this problem was your
20 superior command informed about it?
21 A. As far as I remember, on the day of the kidnapping of the officer
22 of the HVO, we did not have information about the culprits. I know
23 civilian police were involved in it and they were assisted by the
24 military police. Basically everybody was involved in dealing with this.
25 This was quite a peculiar event. That was the first time that the
1 officers of the HVO were kidnapped. Naturally that represented a problem
2 for us. As far as I remember, the first information to the effect that
3 it had been done by the foreigners came from the European monitors,
4 therefore from an international organisation. And I've testify about
5 that already here.
6 Q. My question, General, was this: When you received that
7 information from the international community several days following the
8 kidnapping of Zivko Totic, did you immediately thereafter inform your
9 superior command about that problem?
10 A. At the time, I had a different task. Within the command of the
11 3rd Corps, there was information that there had been a kidnapping;
12 however, the 3rd Corps didn't know who was responsible for the
14 Q. General, the Prosecutor showed you minutes from a meeting. You
15 spoke about that meeting in examination-in-chief. That was the meeting
16 held on the 23rd of April in late evening hours. Please tell us: Was
17 that the first time that you mentioned to your commander, as far as you
18 know, the problem involving the foreigners?
19 A. If I'm not mistaken, on the 21st or 22nd of April a meeting was
20 held at the command headquarters when we -- when they discussed for the
21 first time the problem involving foreigners, definitely after the
22 kidnapping of Zivko Totic. However, already at that time we at the
23 3rd Corps had the information available to us. I'm not sure on what day
24 exactly we received information from the European Monitoring Mission
25 about the fact that the kidnapping had been carried out by the foreigners
1 and that they had some contact with the foreigners. I think that this
2 information arrived before this meeting held on the 21st April of 1993 or
4 Q. You also said that the presence of these armed foreigners
5 represented a serious problem and that you became aware of that after the
6 murder that they had committed in Miletici. In view of this testimony of
7 yours please tell us: Do you know whether at the time within the BH army
8 any steps were being taken in order to respond to a number of questions
9 relating to the foreigners? And you gave evidence about this this
11 A. The corps did take steps and measures. I spoke about these
12 measures here. After the events in Miletici, we realised that the
13 problem was growing, becoming more significant, also based on the
14 statements of the residents of Miletici who claimed that the crimes and
15 murders had been committed by the so-called mujahedin, as they called
16 them at the time, the foreigners. Therefore, it was entirely clear to us
17 that there were no members of the BH army present there and that we
18 didn't have to investigate anything in particular at the time.
19 Therefore, our activities, the activities of the 3rd Corps, did not
20 change in any respect; however, I spoke a lot about this when asked by
21 the Prosecution.
22 [Defence counsel confer]
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] My colleague has just drawn my
24 attention that in the English translation in 9:13 it says "our
25 activities," whereas the French interpretation was faithful to what the
1 witness said, and the witness said "our principal mission," and I would
2 like this to be recorded in the English text as well.
3 Q. You said, General, that it was clear that those were not members
4 of the BH army involved. If I can paraphrase something that you said
5 several times, you had responsibilities and competency for investigating
6 only members of the army. Let me ask you: Did you have a legal
7 responsibility as an army, as the corps, to investigate the case of these
8 mujahedin or did you take the measures that you mentioned just because
9 you perceived a problem that was harming the reputation of the army
10 despite the fact that it did not originate from the army?
11 A. I already said yesterday that we as the corps did not have the
12 legal obligation to take any legal action against that group, but we did
13 believe that that group was damaging the reputation of the 3rd Corps.
14 And although we did not have the legal obligation to investigate cases
15 not involving members of the BH army, and let me clarify this, we only
16 had the legal obligation to investigate in cases involving BH army
18 Q. In response to a Prosecutor's question you said that some
19 services took some operative measures. Tell me, as a member of the
20 profession, is it normal that before gaining an image about the problem
21 in its entirety you first tried to gather all the underlying information?
22 A. Yes, that's very important. We had to gather, if not all
23 information then at least as much as possible. An important decision
24 cannot be made without a great deal of information. In that job, like in
25 any job, it is important to have a great deal of information in order to
1 make such a decision. An uninformed decision could be catastrophic.
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] On page 69, line 12, my colleague
3 again warns me that "operative measures" as it reads in the English text
4 does not make much sense.
5 Q. I would therefore like to ask you to clarify. What does
6 "operative measures" actually mean in terms of security?
7 A. I mean surveillance imposed on certain people; attempts to
8 infiltrate the group of that people by a member of the security organ;
9 cooperation with civilian police; cooperation with the local population
10 with the aim of detecting, exposing, those people; all efforts to gather
11 as much information as possible. As a person who does not strictly
12 belong to that profession, that's all I can tell you. Maybe that also
13 involves wiretapping and some other measures, but that's the most precise
14 answer I can give you.
15 Q. You were also asked on page 11 of the transcript from the 14th
16 December relating to your visit to Guca Gora together with ECMM monitors
17 and Fra Stipan Radic. Let me ask you: Was this monastery standing
18 intact, more or less, when you visited it or was it destroyed or damaged
19 in some other way?
20 A. It was not destroyed by any means. I said that the foreigners
21 attempted to destroy it, but they didn't. It bore signs only of minor
22 damage. I don't know what Mr. Fra Stipan Radic said, whether he was
23 happy with the situation that he saw, but I didn't see any major visible
24 damage. I only mentioned the damage that I could notice. The monastery
25 was not destroyed. It wasn't burnt, the walls were intact, not even
1 windows or doors were broken. And I could only mention the little bit of
2 damage that I could see in the room I went in.
3 Q. General, you live in Bosnia, and as all of us at some point you
4 entered various temples, Catholic, Orthodox, or Muslim. When you entered
5 this monastery, was it in such a state that a religious service could
6 immediately take place in it? Otherwise, that it could immediately serve
7 its purpose as a building with the help of the competent priests?
8 A. I'm not particularly competent to speak on the subject,
9 especially with regard to Catholic places of worship, but I believed then
10 and I believe now that it was possible to hold a prayer at that time,
11 that Catholic believers were able to use it.
12 Q. You just mentioned, General, a piece of evidence you gave before,
13 namely that the foreigners had told you that they wanted to destroy the
14 building. On the 3rd of August when you found yourself before that
15 building that was intact and was fit to serve its purpose, were you
16 satisfied with the fact that your efforts helped preserve that building
17 for your Catholic fellow citizens and all the other citizens? Were you
18 personally satisfied that you had taken all those measures that you have
19 already testified about?
20 A. I already gave evidence that I have always tried and even drawn
21 up documents at the time when General Hadzihasanovic was absent to the
22 effect that special attention should be given to the preservation of the
23 places of worship. I know from the history of the Bosnian people,
24 including Bosnian Catholics, that this monastery was very important and I
25 was therefore very happy to make my own contribution to preserve this
1 monastery. And I am very happy that it is still standing there. That
2 monastery is part of the culture of Bosnia and Herzegovina, not only
3 Catholics but the entire Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I'm proud of it.
4 Q. Thank you. General, can you remember whether Fra Stipan Radic,
5 Father Stipan Radic, expressed his view on the fact that the army was
6 helping preserve the monastery?
7 A. I had a good and close relationship with Father Stipan Radic and
8 I always accepted his suggestions and was ready to help in similar
9 situations. I don't know what he said in my absence or what he may have
10 said, but in my presence he said that he was very happy that the
11 monastery was saved from destruction, that it was intact, and maybe as a
12 person who is of Catholic faith and a Catholic priest he was in a
13 position to notice damage, if any, better than I was. And if he was
14 happy, then I was happy.
15 Q. General, my learned friend asked you a question about the
16 establishment of the El Mujahed unit, but I would like to ask you this:
17 After the establishment of the El Mujahed unit was the problem of the
18 foreigners resolved? In 1993 did they place themselves under the control
19 and the command of the 3rd Corps?
20 A. I have already spoken about this at length and I will only remind
21 you once again that with the writing of that order placing them under the
22 control and command of the corps, the problem itself was not revolved. I
23 mentioned that several orders were written, that in particular situations
24 they should be resubordinated or committed in a particular action. Our
25 experience with them was not always good. I remember that we had a very
1 negative experience when they refused. And our commander commented that
2 they were not fit for fighting, that they were responsible for a great
3 number of casualties in that particular operation. And as I already
4 said, the problem of the El Mujahed unit, the problem of the foreigners,
5 was not resolved by the establishment of that unit. Many other attempts
6 were made and many other problems were encountered later.
7 Q. Since you continued in the course of 1993 to perceive problems,
8 tell me, General, did you warn about that your superior command and did
9 those problems require the direct involvement of the superior commander?
10 A. Yes, of course. I remember the problem remained even in 1994. I
11 remember even the chief of staff of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
12 Rasim Delic, came to a meeting to discuss it. Activities were undertaken
13 to place those foreigners under control, at least within the system of
14 regulations of the BH army. And if they don't want to comply -- those
15 who don't want to comply, they should turn in their passports and IDs.
16 Some of them refused. I already testified about this. Maybe twenty of
17 them refused and they were expelled eventually from the Republic of
18 Bosnia and Herzegovina. As far as I know it was the civilian police, or
19 rather the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina that expelled them.
21 Q. General, on page 56 of the transcript of the 14th of December,
22 the Prosecutor asked you why you failed to suggest a cease-fire to the
23 HVO in order to resolve the problem with the mujahedin. Tell me, as a
24 career officer, would it have been normal for you to suggest a cease-fire
25 to the enemy in order to resolve the problem, even if it were mutual, and
1 then to resume hostilities? Is that something commonly done in relations
2 between two hostile armies?
3 A. I don't think so.
4 Q. In response to numerous questions of my learned friend yesterday
5 and today, you answered why exactly you were unable to take military
6 action against the mujahedin. I don't want you to repeat what you said
7 before, that you didn't know their number, their objectives, you didn't
8 know how they had come, what weaponry they had at their disposal.
9 My question would rather be: Regardless of how that problem
10 continued to aggravate, were you able to continue performing your basic
11 mission -- would you have been able to perform your basic mission if you
12 had to be side-tracked and concentrate on resolving the problem of the
14 A. I already said, we could not afford to allocate the necessary
15 resources because that would have impoverished our defence lines and it
16 would have undermined the basic mission of the 3rd Corps. I think still
17 that it was more important to defend the territory from the aggressor,
18 which was hovering over us like a predator. We simply couldn't afford to
19 open up a third front line. We didn't have enough personnel or materiel.
20 I already mentioned that we had fighting men with 10 to 15 rounds per
21 barrel and an expert would understand that this is nothing if you have to
22 face an enemy in combat. Any soldiers who knows the first thing about
23 the army would understand that it would have been catastrophic at that
25 Q. This morning in response to the Prosecutor's question you said,
1 General, that precisely because you were unable to assess the problem
2 properly, you sought assistance from the superior command. Is it normal
3 for a soldier to seek assistance from a superior command; in other words,
4 is it normal, regular, to seek the definition of a clear assignment after
5 gaining a picture of all the elements that form this assignment?
6 A. Yes, I believe that is perfectly normal and logical.
7 Q. Regardless of various and varying numbers of foreigners in that
8 area and their link with the local population, tell me, is it in dispute
9 that any military action would have also caused casualties, both on the
10 side of the BH army and on the side of the local population?
11 A. It is certain that there would be great losses incurred both to
12 the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and to the citizenry of Bosnia and
14 Q. As commander of the 3rd Corps could General Hadzihasanovic have
15 undertaken such a military operation without previously having obtained
16 the agreement from the supreme command staff who would have been aware of
17 the consequences of such measures?
18 A. That's quite normal in the system of command and control of all
19 armies, and that's the case for the ABiH as well. If the subordinate
20 command can't resolve the difficulty, then they ask for assistance from
21 the supreme command, the superior command. And then it's the duty of the
22 superior command to help, to take measures to assist its subordinate
23 unit; that is the superior command's duty.
24 Q. And to be a little more precise, General, could Commander
25 Hadzihasanovic engaged in a military operation that would have entailed a
1 significant number of military and civilian casualties without
2 authorisation from his superior command to engage in such an action?
3 A. General Hadzihasanovic couldn't have undertaken any such action
4 at the time without having obtained the authority of his superior
6 Q. General, tell me now, in the light of your military experience
7 and the fact that you have experience of war as well, which is probably
8 not the case for many generals, tell me whether a military commander,
9 when confronted with a given problem -- well, first of all, tell me what
10 is the attitude of a military commander? Does such a commander try to
11 resolve the problem by using force? Does he accept the fact that there
12 will be casualties? Or does such a commander try to resolve the
13 difficulty without having recourse to force -- without risking the lives
14 of men?
15 A. Well, I believe that all commanders should try to resolve
16 problems without placing the life of anyone at risk. I think that each
17 commander considers the lives of his soldiers to be valuable as well as
18 the lives of civilians. So any commander or corps commander, too,
19 doesn't want to sustain casualties for no reason. That is why such a
20 commander believes the life of all soldiers and all citizens are valuable
21 and that it is his duty to defend them.
22 Q. This general attitude that military commanders have, was this
23 also the attitude of the 3rd Corps command and was it your personal
25 A. That is my personal attitude. And as far as I know, that was the
1 attitude of my commander, too. That was the attitude of Mr. Enver
2 Hadzihasanovic, I believe that was his position.
3 Q. General, you have been asked additional questions that relate to
4 the kidnapping of the HVO officer -- of HVO officers and to the
5 kidnapping of Zivko Totic. Answering my questions and the Prosecution's
6 questions you said that the 3rd Corps commander, whenever he found out or
7 suspected that his men had committed certain acts, he would take certain
8 measures, he would take the appropriate measures.
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher show the witness
10 P899, P857, and P194. In order to save time we have copies of these
11 documents which we will submit to the Trial Chamber and to my learned
13 We've prepared copies of these exhibits, so perhaps it's not
14 necessary to look for the documents for the Chamber and for my
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I assume that the documents you
17 are showing to the witness relate directly to the Totic affair.
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, to the kidnapping of four
19 HVO officers who were later exchanged.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you remind us of the date
21 when the four HVO officers were kidnapped.
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] It was the 13th of April, 1993.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And how is a document dated the
24 26th of June, 1993, related to the Totic affair?
25 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I don't know why you have been
1 provided with that document, Mr. President. I was referring to document
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for the Presiding Judge.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you mentioned document 194,
5 and that also concerns P899, which is dated the 25th of January. The
6 kidnapping took place on another date.
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps I made a mistake. I
8 mentioned documents P857, P899, and P194. We have made a sufficient
9 amount of copies for the Chamber, for the witness, and for my colleagues.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Mundis.
11 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, the Prosecution objects to this as
12 not arising out of cross-examination. The witness was asked questions
13 about these affairs during direct examination. And although I did ask
14 him some questions about it during the cross-examination, it is certainly
15 not something that arose for the first time during the cross-examination.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, my learned
17 colleague put a number of questions about going to Ravno Rostovo. That
18 is the only place where these four captured HVO officers were sought for,
19 so I don't know how it's not related. It's related to when the
20 Prosecution asked the witness about it and it's related to the witness's
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Which document is
23 concerned then? Which document relates to the event?
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would first like
25 to refer to the 3rd Corps command document dated the 13th of April, 1993.
1 This order was forwarded to the Zapad Operations Group and it says that
2 in the course of the 3th of April, 1993, HVO members were kidnapped and
3 then an order was issued and it was said that it was suspected that they
4 had gone in the direction of Ravno Rostovo and they said together with an
5 HVO a patrol should be formed in the Ravno Rostovo area and the facts
6 should be established. The following document is dated the 14th of
7 April, and the command of the Zapad OG orders his subordinate units in
8 this document to carry out this order of the 3rd Corps commander. And in
9 document P899 dated the 15th of April, 1993, refers to the report from
10 subordinate commands of the 3rd Corps.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Go ahead then.
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. General, have you had a look at these two documents?
14 A. I have found these documents. I found the document from the
15 3rd Corps command dated the 30th of April. Yes [as interpreted].
16 Q. Have you got the document dated the 14th of April, P857?
17 A. P857, yes, I have that document, too.
18 Q. This is a document sent by Selmo Cikotic. It's a 3rd Corps
19 document. Do you have a report P899, which is a report dated the 15th of
20 April, 1993?
21 A. I have those three documents in front of me.
22 Q. In response to a question from the Prosecution you said that you
23 went to Ravno Rostovo as part of the mixed commission and together with
24 European monitors. The documents that I have just mentioned and that I
25 have provided you with, do these documents also refer to the measures
1 that the 3rd Corps command immediately took to show that they wanted to
2 investigate the suspicion that the HVO had that the ABiH had committed
3 the act?
4 A. Yes, that's what is shown in the documents.
5 Q. General, you said whenever the 3rd Corps believed that its
6 members had committed certain acts they would go together with the HVO to
7 the relevant location to investigate everything that had to do with the
8 case. Do you remember testifying about that?
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. What the 3rd Corps command did with regard to the allegation that
11 ABiH members had kidnapped these men shows that the 3rd Corps command
12 took such matters very seriously. Whenever they were informed of such
13 events, whenever they were informed that such ABiH members may have
14 committed certain acts they took this seriously and tried to shed light
15 on this act. Is that correct?
16 A. Yes, that's correct.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In order to save time, General,
19 it would be best for me to put the question to you now. In fact we have
20 three documents that concern the kidnapping of the four officers, and
21 their names are provided, obviously. There was an immediate reaction to
22 this kidnapping. As far as you can remember, do you remember similar
23 documents when Totic was kidnapped? Did you see documents of this kind
24 that referred to Mr. Totic?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have already spoken
1 about the fact that my main task involved performing duties that I have
2 in the joint commission, and I have -- I have no information about all
3 the documents sent by the 3rd Corps command. I don't know whether they
4 sent such documents, but I know that whenever the corps command had
5 information according to which ABiH members were suspected of having
6 committed a crime, I know that in such cases the 3rd Corps command would
7 immediately take measures, and this included orders issued to subordinate
8 units to investigate the matter. If the event took place in the unit's
9 zone of responsibility. I also said that --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We have all
11 understood that well, but my question was very specific. We have three
12 documents here that relate to four HVO officers, at the time, in April.
13 Were you familiar with these documents that related to these four
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I found out about that at a meeting
16 of the joint commission when the subject was discussed by Franjo Nakic,
17 who was a member of the joint commission.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And with regard to
19 Totic, did the 3rd Corps issue orders requesting that the units take the
20 same steps referred to in these three documents? I'm referring to the
21 Totic case now.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as far as I know, no
23 one ever said that they suspected that 3rd Corps members had been
24 involved in the act. In the case of the kidnapping of these officers of
25 the HVO, it was said that they suspected that ABiH members were involved
1 in this kidnapping. I don't know whether the 3rd Corps command
2 immediately drafted orders, but at the time I know that no one suspected
3 that members of the 3rd Corps had kidnapped Totic. No one expressed such
4 an idea, as far as I know.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, without suspecting anyone
6 there might have been an order stating that an HVO officer had been
7 kidnapped by unknown men and all the units, including the military
8 police, were requested to mobilise in order to try and find the person or
9 those who had kidnapped a high-ranking officer. As far as you know that
10 was done or wasn't done? Because if there were such documents one would
11 see them.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I must provide you
13 with a more lengthy explanation. I said on returning from Vitez I went
14 to the Hotel Internacional, where I found out that Zivko Totic had been
15 kidnapped. At that meeting it was said that the civilian police should
16 be responsible for the affair and I set off on another mission. On a
17 number of occasions I have testified here that the civilian and military
18 police cooperated. And as a result I did not notice that the corps
19 command had drafted such documents. I didn't notice they drafted the
20 kind of documents they had drafted in the case of the kidnapping of these
21 three, or rather, four kidnappings in Travnik.
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. General, you told us you were on your way to Zenica when you
24 found out about the meeting in the Internacional Hotel. Can you remember
25 now who attended the meeting, representatives of which organs, and what
1 was discussed at the meeting?
2 A. I did not attend the meeting from the very beginning. I don't
3 know at which stage of the meeting I entered the room where it was held.
4 However, representatives of civilian organs of authority were present
5 there. I know that there was a representative of civilian police
6 attending the meeting as well. I realised that the main discussion was
7 in progress or nearing its conclusion when I entered the discussion
8 concerning the kidnapping regarding Zivko Totic.
9 Q. Thank you. You mentioned that civilian police was in charge of
10 the main task. Can you tell us whether the military police, or rather
11 the corps also took upon itself certain responsibilities? And also do
12 you know whether they carried out these responsibilities?
13 A. As I've told you, the military and civilian police cooperated in
14 all cases. I don't have any reliable information. I cannot corroborate
15 this with documents, however it is a fact that they cooperated and I
16 believe they cooperated on this case as well.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I will ask that the witness be
18 shown Exhibit P411. P411.
19 Q. General, I will ask you to read out paragraph 3. Please put it
20 on the ELMO and then you can read it out and the interpreters will
21 interpret that. The bit that begins at "around 9.00."
22 A. Shall I just read out this paragraph beginning with "at around
24 Q. You see the ERN number ending in 43 in the top right corner?
25 A. Yes, I see that.
1 Q. So you have that document?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Would you please read out paragraph 3. Please read it out loud
4 so the interpreters can interpret it. Please go ahead.
5 A. "At around 0900 hours from our military police, we received a
6 report that there had been an attack on probably the commander of the HVO
7 Zenica in Pobrezje (Trokuce), at which time four people were killed
8 (three members of the HVO and one civilian). A commander of the Zenica
9 HVO was kidnapped and most likely wounded in the act. Authorities were
10 given to the military police of the 3rd Corps to - together with the
11 military police of HVO Zenica - resolve the case urgently. Official
12 statements were issued for the public."
13 Q. General, this is an excerpt from a diary, and do you read it or
14 do you interpret it to mean that action was carried out immediately upon
15 learning of the kidnapping and that together with the members of the HVO
16 the 3rd Corps took action in order to shed light on the kidnapping of
17 Zivko Totic?
18 A. Yes. Based on what I've read, I concluded that, yes.
19 Q. General, I have just one more topic that I would like to discuss
20 with you.
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like us to
22 turn -- to go into private session.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, let's go into private
25 [Private session]
11 Page 13554 redacted. Private session.
11 Page 13555 redacted. Private session.
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session.
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. General, in view of what you have testified about so far, were
10 you informed enough of the situation within the 3rd Corps and did you do
11 your best to get -- to learn everything that was to be learned about the
12 orders and what was going on in the area of responsibility of the
13 3rd Corps?
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. General, did you see those documents back in 1993?
24 A. In 1993, I did not see those documents.
25 Q. General, you gave evidence saying that you were able to
1 experience yourself what the practice was of the HVO in Bosnia. Is that
2 what you stated before the Chamber?
3 A. Yes, that's right.
4 Q. In the Kordic case you gave several statements about how the
5 policy was presented by Kordic and how he expressed the goals of the HVO
6 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Did you testify about that in the Kordic
8 A. Yes, and especially regarding Central Bosnia.
9 Q. You also mentioned a specific case in which this was clearly
10 shown, this opinion and these goals. When asked by Prosecutor Nice, you
11 mentioned the speech you heard in early 1992. Can you tell us more about
13 A. Yes, I said that. That was a videotape and I saw it. The
14 videotape had footage of Dario Kordic's speech. I wasn't present at the
15 time. That was in early 1992, but I did see the footage of his speech on
16 that videotape.
17 Q. As far as you can remember, were the goals of Croatian Community
18 of Herceg-Bosna expressed during that speech and were those the goals
19 that you experienced yourself, as you have stated, when the documents
20 were shown to you?
21 MR. MUNDIS: Objection --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, the Prosecutor rose but
23 I'm going to interrupt him. I see no link whatsoever between your
24 question and the facts you're putting to us. You probably and certainly
25 have a goal, but tell us about it because you've been going on about it
1 for ten minutes, and personally I can't -- I fail to see the use is of it
3 The Prosecution.
4 MR. MUNDIS: Our objection, Mr. President, would actually go to
5 the relevance, but also more importantly from our point of view, this
6 does not arise in any shape or form from the cross-examination of this
7 witness. We've gone way outside the scope of the indictment in this
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
10 Well, I anticipated on what Mr. Mundis was going to say, but you
11 must have a good reason. If so, tell it to us because we can't follow
12 you. If you keep putting questions that are absolutely of no use, it is
13 a waste of time for everybody involved. Please explain the purpose of
14 your question.
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, could we go into
16 closed session please then?
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's go into closed session.
18 [Private session]
11 Page 13559 redacted. Private session.
11 Page 13560 redacted. Private session.
11 Page 13561 redacted. Private session.
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are now in open session again.
3 Thank you.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have the floor.
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. General is it your personal experience from 1992 and 1993 that
7 the HVO introduced parallel organs of authority in that area?
8 A. Yes, I learned about that personally and as I stated I could
9 personally feel the effects of that, I could feel it on my own skin, so
10 to speak.
11 Q. Did the HVO cause conflicts and block the BH army at the time?
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. Through those activities, were you able to see for yourself that
14 the goals, as stated by Kordic and as mentioned by you in the Kordic
15 case, were being implemented?
16 A. Yes, that's correct. In both other case -- in both cases I
17 testified about that.
18 Q. General, regardless of what you testified about in which case,
19 please tell us, when all of the documents you saw during this case were
20 shown to you, can you tell us what were the main causes of the conflict
21 with HVO in Central Bosnia? Did the BH army contribute to the eruption
22 of that conflict in any way?
23 A. My information dating from 1992 and 1993, my personal experience
24 and what happened to me personally in the field at the time, everything
25 that I learned about it at the time I stated back then and I can confirm
1 that now, especially having seen the HVO documents here during this
2 trial, it is my firm belief that the cause of the conflict in Central
3 Bosnia can be found in the policies of the HDZ implemented in the Central
4 Bosnia territory. I already spoke about that during my testimony and I
5 can give you more information about specific individual cases. I believe
6 I've already testified quite in detail about this, but if the Chamber
7 needs any more information, I'm prepared to provide it.
8 Q. Thank you, General.
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions, Mr.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. It's now
12 half past 3.00. We're going to have a break. Thereafter, if the other
13 counsel want to take the floor, they can have the floor, then the Judges
14 will put their questions.
15 You're going to have half an hour to have a rest. Is that
16 enough, or do you need some more time, General?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I feel fine, and half an hour
18 should be enough for me.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
20 The hearing will resume at 4.00.
21 --- Recess taken at 3.29 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 4.00 p.m.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm now turning to the other
24 counsel. Do you have additional questions?
25 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We
1 have just a few very specific questions for this witness.
2 Further cross-examination by Mr. Ibrisimovic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] General, to the question from my learned friend
4 from the Prosecution -- to a question -- can you hear me now? Can you
5 hear me, General?
6 To a question put by my learned friend the Prosecution, you gave
7 evidence that on the 14th of April you visited Ravno Rostovo.
8 A. Yes, that's correct.
9 Q. Ravno Rostovo, as far as I understood you, is a location that
10 holds only one motel. Is that correct?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. You made that tour together with Mr. Nakic and representatives of
13 the international community. Is that so?
14 A. That is correct, too.
15 Q. General, were you given the possibility to tour the entire motel
16 including all the premises in Ravno Rostovo?
17 A. We were enabled to inspect all the premises in Ravno Rostovo.
18 Q. The officer you met there unquestioningly enabled you to do so.
19 Is that correct?
20 A. Yes, it is.
21 Q. If I understood well your testimony, you came to Rostovo
22 unannounced. There was no prior announcement that you would be coming.
23 Is that correct?
24 A. Yes. We came unannounced. That's correct.
25 Q. In response to another question by the Prosecutor, you said you
1 met an officer from the 7th Muslim Brigade and you talked to him.
2 A. He said indeed he was the highest-ranking officer there and that
3 he was a member of the 7th Muslim Brigade.
4 Q. My learned friend suggested to you that you met in fact the
5 commander of the 1st Company of the 1st Battalion of the 7th Brigade
6 named Ramo Durmis.
7 A. The Prosecutor indeed asked me that and I answered by saying that
8 the officer who introduced himself to me as a member of the 7th Muslim
9 Brigade told me he was commander of the 1st Company, 1st Battalion,
10 without mentioning his name [as interpreted]. And even if he mentioned
11 it, he certainly didn't say Ramo Durmis, and that's what I said to the
13 Q. Are you aware, General, that in Aril 1993 Ramo Durmis was not a
14 member of the Muslim Brigade at all?
15 A. I don't know Mr. Ramo Durmis, and that's what I said to the
16 Prosecution. I don't know all the members of a brigade, and it's not my
17 mission to know them. That applies to the 7th Muslim Brigade as well. I
18 know the commander; in some instances I know even battalion commanders,
19 but I can't know all the soldiers of the 3rd Corps, and that's what I
20 said to the Prosecutor.
21 Q. There is one error in the transcript page 95, line 14 it says
22 Ramo Durmis wasn't a member of the 7th Muslim Brigade in April 1993.
23 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, if you would
24 allow me, I would like to ask one more question about Ramo Durmis,
25 although the witness said he didn't know him. But since the Prosecution
1 opened this door I would like to ask for your permission to put the
2 question anyway.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, go ahead.
4 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation].
5 Q. General, if I tell you that the Defence of Mr. Kubura on the 15th
6 of November, 2004, received from the Prosecution according to Rule 68 the
7 witness statement of Ramo Durmis given before the higher court in Zenica
8 given on the 26th of October, 1993; that he signed to the effect that
9 after the end of March or beginning of April he was a member of the 7th
10 Brigade. It transpires that you were not able to meet him on the 14th of
11 April, 1993.
12 A. Your Honours, this is the first time I'm hearing such precise
13 information. I was not aware of it before. I only claimed that I did
14 not know the man, Ramo Durmis. And I claimed I did not know personally
15 soldiers within a brigade. I don't know what Ramo Durmis stated and what
16 he signed. I don't know anything about it.
17 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Just one correction to the
18 transcript. When I was putting this question, speaking about this
19 statement, he said that he was not a member of the 7th Brigade. And it
20 is recorded to the contrary.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you be more specific for
22 the Defence. Was he or was he not? It's not very clear, you see. What
23 does the Defence say, that he was no longer a member or that he was a
25 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. The
1 argument of the Defence, according to the statement given by Ramo Durmis
2 himself, a signed statement, he was not a member of the 7th Brigade in
3 April 1993.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Therefore, General, the person
5 you saw at the motel, did you know his name or not because mention is
6 made of Ramo Durmis, the officer who introduced himself to you who was
7 the highest-ranking officer. Did he say, My name is Ramo Durmis, or
8 didn't he state his name?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have already stated
10 that there is a possibility that he mentioned his name, but I assert he
11 didn't say, My name is Ramo Durmis. Because when given a name, I would
12 remember it. Maybe it was another name. In any case, I didn't hear him
13 saying "Ramo Durmis."
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
15 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Thank you, General, for this clarification. I would like to move
17 now to another topic that you have also been questioned about by the
18 Prosecution, that is the meeting in Biljesevo on the 23rd of June, 1993.
19 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] And I would like the witness to
20 be shown P429 again, with your leave, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is the famous document we
22 saw yesterday, the one that gave rise to translation problems.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you please repeat --
24 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. 429.
1 A. I didn't understand.
2 Q. Document P429.
3 A. Yes, I have found it.
4 Q. I have to ask you before that. Now this document has been shown
5 to you. It's DH165. I don't have to show it to you again because you
6 commented upon it. It's a report from the commander of the 3rd Corps
7 submitted to the superior command raising the issue of the presence of
8 foreigners in the area of responsibility of the 3rd Corps dated 13th
9 June, 1993. And that's a problem raised by Enver Hadzihasanovic. Do you
10 remember that?
11 A. I remember the document; it was shown to me in this courtroom.
12 Q. After that the headquarters of the supreme command on the 16th of
13 June, 1993, reacting to this report from the commander of the 3rd Corps
14 issued an order, document DH162, item 2, regarding these foreigners, that
15 this unit should be sent to Igman and resubordinated to a unit in Cukle.
16 Do you remember that document?
17 A. Yes, it was shown to me also in this courtroom.
18 Q. I would now like you to look again at something Mr. Kubura said
19 at the meeting of the 23rd of June, 1993.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, the document was
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I found it in the document.
23 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. When you see this order from the superior command headquarters
25 regarding these groups and the problem earlier pointed out by General
1 Hadzihasanovic as well as what Mr. Kubura said at the meeting, can we
2 conclude that what was said at the meeting is exactly the same as what
3 Rasim Delic, headquarters commander, ordered regarding this issue set in
4 a general context?
5 A. Yes. If you talk about Mount Igman, yes.
6 Q. Yesterday you said that when you wrote -- when you read what
7 Kubura said at this meeting, he didn't speak of the problem as a problem
8 of the 7th Muslim Brigade and the presence of foreigners; he spoke about
9 it as a problem that had been pointed out earlier, as existing in the
10 area of responsibility of the 3rd Corps.
11 A. Yes. From what we can read here, Mr. Amir Kubura is not saying
12 they are engaged in his unit.
13 Q. Just one more question on this subject. Did officers and
14 commanders attending this meeting know about the order from the
15 headquarters of the superior command from Rasim Delic on how to deal with
16 the problem of the foreigners?
17 A. As far as I can remember, the commander of the 3rd Corps in item
18 1 of the agenda said -- stated what was being done to deal with the
19 problem of the foreigners present in the area of responsibility of the
20 3rd Corps.
21 Q. Thank you, General. Just one more question. It was put to you
22 by my colleague from the Prosecution and it had to do with Mr. Kubura.
23 Do you know that when Mr. Kubura returned to Bosnia and Herzegovina he
24 was a member of the Territorial Defence of --
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear the Territorial
1 Defence of what.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not have this information but
3 I later learned that he joined indeed the Territorial Defence of the Army
4 of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
5 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Do you know that in the autumn of 1993 [as interpreted] he was
7 commander of the 333rd Battalion in the 3rd Corps?
8 A. I cannot remember that detail now.
9 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] We have, Mr. President, two new
10 documents relating to the position of Mr. Kubura that he held in this
11 period in 1992/1993 --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, but it might be
13 necessary for the witness to add something to line 3 of page 100. When
14 Mr. Kubura returned to Bosnia, he became a member of the Territorial
15 Defence of -- and then we have something that was not put into the
17 Is there a place, a particular place?
18 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] The Territorial Defence of
19 Kakanj municipality.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Kakanj, I see. Fine. Yes, do
21 introduce the two documents.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: For "the autumn of
23 1993" in line 10, page 100, it should be autumn of 1992.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] These are new documents, right?
25 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] These are new documents, Mr.
1 President. One document was received by the Defence when searching the
2 archives of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the other document
3 dated 6th August is one originating from the Sarajevo collection.
4 Just one correction before that in the transcript. When I was
5 asking my question that he was a member of the 333rd Brigade, it was in
6 the late autumn of 1992, not 1993.
7 Q. Did you see this document, General?
8 A. Yes, I saw this one document. It's from the republic
9 headquarters of supreme command of the 6th of August. Is that the one
10 you mean?
11 Q. Please look first at the first document of the 11th of December,
13 A. Yes, I found it.
14 Q. We see from this document that Mr. Kubura in -- was first placed
15 in the position of assistant chief of staff for operations and training
16 in the 7th Brigade according to establishment.
17 A. That is correct.
18 Q. This is an order of the 3rd Corps from the commander of the
19 3rd Corps, Enver Hadzihasanovic.
20 A. Yes, that is correct.
21 Q. Do you know that Mr. Kubura by virtue of an order of 1993 became
22 the chief of staff of the 7th Muslim Brigade?
23 A. I cannot remember the date when Mr. Amir Kubura was appointed
24 chief of staff of the 3th Muslim Brigade. I cannot remember that date.
25 Q. Do you know that he was acting commander as of the 1st of April
1 until 8th of August, 1993, in the 7th Muslim Brigade?
2 A. Yes, I know that he was acting commander.
3 Q. Please now look at the second document dated 8th of August, 1993.
4 A. Yes, I have seen the document. You mean the 6th of August?
5 Q. My mistake, 6th of August.
6 A. Yes. I would say -- it says on my paper 06/08/93. Is that the
7 one you mean?
8 Q. It was signed by the chief of staff of the supreme commander
9 Rasim Delic?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You know that Mr. Kubura was commander of the 7th Brigade from
12 the 6th of August 1993 until March of 1994, that is less than 8 months?
13 A. I can't remember the date when he ceased to be commander of the
14 7th Muslim Brigade, but I know that he didn't spend long in that
15 position. That much I know.
16 Q. You worked with him during the war, with Mr. Kubura?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. How would you characterise your cooperation?
19 A. As second highest-ranking in the corps, I can say that we had a
20 very successful cooperation. Mr. Kubura was very cooperative as a
21 superior commander and he always complied with the orders of the superior
23 Q. Having seen these documents, it was shown to you that he was
24 first in the Territorial Defence and then in the 333rd Brigade. I can
25 tell you that Mr. Kubura was never a member of the Muslim forces that
1 were mentioned over these past few days.
2 A. I'm not saying that he was. I had no knowledge of who was and
3 who wasn't a member of Muslim forces. I believe that Amir Kubura has
4 never been outside the system of control and command. If he was a member
5 of the TO, then he couldn't have been a member of the Muslim forces
6 because Muslim forces were never within the composition of the
7 Territorial Defence. I can state that with full responsibility before
8 this Court.
9 Q. Thank you, General.
10 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] We have no further questions,
11 Mr. President.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 The time has come for the three Judges who are in charge of you
14 to put questions. I shall be the first one to put questions to you.
15 Questioned by the Court:
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the first place at the very
17 beginning of your testimony you had stated that you had testified before
18 a domestic court. Could you tell me when you did so and where.
19 A. I testified in November 1994 before the district court -- sorry,
20 cantonal court of the joint Doboj canton in Zenica.
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President. Either the
22 witness made a slip of the tongue or it's a transcript error. Can he
23 repeat when he testified. It says "1994" here.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Was it 1994 or 2004?
25 A. It was my slip of the tongue, Your Honours. It was in 2004.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So 2004, this is very recent.
2 It goes back to only a few weeks.
3 You testified before one Judge or several Judges? Who did you
4 testify before?
5 A. I had before me several people sitting next to the judge who was
6 questioning me. I couldn't tell you whether it was a panel of judges or
7 a jury, but they told me that it was part of the cantonal judiciary.
8 That's what they told me. I didn't ask about any details. I saw before
9 me a number of people. On one side sat the defence, on the other side
10 sat the prosecution. And before me there were judges. I don't know if
11 all of them were judges or some of them were jurymen.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Was there one accused or was
13 there no accused when you testified?
14 A. The accused was there, Edin Hakanovic. He was sitting in the
15 same room.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And what were the questions
17 about? Were the questions put to you the same as those put here? Or
18 they were more focused on a specific item, topic?
19 A. The questions concerned my level of knowledge about the event in
20 Dusina, but they were much shorter than the questions asked here. And as
21 I understood, they sought much less detail than is sought here in this
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So as far as you know, this
24 Edin Hakanovic, what is his connection with the event in Dusina?
25 A. The Court asked me if I knew Mr. Edin Hakanovic. I answered I
1 had never seen him before, that I was seeing him for the first time. But
2 I also told the Court what I knew about the events in Dusina village of
3 the 26th of January, 1993.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as you know, what is he
5 charged with, this Mr. Edin Hakanovic?
6 A. As far as I was told, he was charged with the murder of soldiers
7 of the Croatian Defence Council in Dusina.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're going to move to private
10 [Private session]
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are now in open session.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, at the very beginning
3 -- yes, yes, Mrs. Residovic.
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we go back to private
5 session, Mr. President?
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, let us. Just wait a
8 [Private session]
11 Page 13578 redacted. Private session.
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are now in open session again.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, I want to know
13 something. You explained to us that you first were in charge of the
14 Defence of the territory in Zenica and then you were appointed assistant
15 to the commander of the 3rd Corps. I'd like to know this: Until when
16 were you the assistant to the commander? Because we know that General
17 Hadzihasanovic ceased to be the commander on the 1st of November. So who
18 was he replaced by in the 3rd Corps? And then you remember, number two,
19 until when [as interpreted]?
20 A. Your Honour, I will answer your first question. After the
21 departure of General Enver Hadzihasanovic and his moving to a higher post
22 in the Main Staff of the BH army, the commander of the 3rd Corps became
23 the late general Mehmed Alagic; that was your first question. Your
24 second question had to do how long did I stay on the post of the deputy
25 commander of the 3rd Corps. I can tell you that I remained in that post
1 until February of 1995.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So after February 1995, what
3 did you do? Because this question was never asked, and I would like to
4 know what you did after February 1995.
5 A. After leaving my post of deputy commander of the 3rd Corps, I
6 became chief of the administration for military education within the Main
7 Staff of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Where was this? Until when?
9 And in -- with which rank?
10 A. The seat of that administration was in Sarajevo, and some offices
11 were in Zenica, fewer offices. The main bulk of offices was in Sarajevo.
12 At the time, I had the rank of the brigadier of the BH army.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And you were in this position
14 until which year?
15 A. I cannot remember the date or the year. All I can say right now
16 is that I left that post and moved to the Ministry of Defence when I
17 became deputy assistant to the minister in charge of inspections. I
18 cannot recall what year that was, but that was the post that I was
19 transferred to after being chief of military education.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you were the deputy to the
21 general in charge of inspections. Was this your last post before you
23 A. Not quite, Your Honour. I can tell you this very accurately
24 because in my notes I have the dates of my various posts. I hope you
25 will understand should I make an error in giving you all these dates. In
1 our next break I can check my notes and then I will be sure to give you
2 precise dates.
3 Now to answer your question. After that position as deputy
4 assistant to the minister for inspections within the Ministry of Defence
5 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, I moved to the position of the deputy minister
6 in charge of personnel appointments, and that was my last military post.
7 And in year 2000, I retired.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So if I understand you
9 correctly, you now receive a pension and you have been receiving a
10 pension for four years; you have no other activity, no other work?
11 A. That's correct, Your Honour. I've been retired for four years
12 now, and I'm not involved in any activities right now. I believe now I
13 need to rest because I've been through a lot during wartime.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for your explanation.
15 Yesterday the Prosecution presented to you a notepad, green-coloured
16 notepad, which was the log, the operational log, and you said you never
17 seen the documents. I want to know one thing: When you were the deputy
18 commander of the 3rd Corps in Zenica, did you have an office; and if so,
19 where was the office?
20 A. The command of the 3rd Corps was housed in a building. I had my
21 office right next to the office of the corps commander; that was a small
22 room which had just a desk. And this is where I spent my time when
23 discharging my duties within the corps command.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did you have a secretary, a
25 soldier who was acting as secretary? Did you have some sort of
1 secretarial staff? Because you were the deputy commander of corps of
2 30.000 men. Did you have a secretary?
3 A. In the 3rd Corps we had no secretaries. We had no secretariat.
4 We had female or male persons who did the telephone duty and made
5 connection through the switchboard, telephone switchboard. These people
6 normally sat in front of the office where I was and where was the command
7 of the 3rd Corps. That was not the secretary in a typical sense, as one
8 might perceive the role of a secretary. I've already been asked this in
9 relation to Mr. Mamhi [phoen] Sakib and at that time I replied that there
10 were no secretaries in the 3rd Corps, at least not in the traditional
11 sense of that word.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In your office did you have a
13 telephone? Did you have a personal telephone number? Indeed, we have a
14 document with the telephone numbers. Did you have a telephone set?
15 Could you be reached on a personal line, direct line?
16 A. I cannot remember right now whether I had a direct line or not,
17 but at any rate the calls were made through the switchboard. And there
18 was a person who operated the switchboard sitting in front of the office.
19 Anybody who wanted to enter my office had to announce themselves to the
20 person sitting in front of my office.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Since you were the deputy
22 commander, did you have a fax machine?
23 A. No. In my office we did not have a fax. The fax machine was in
24 the operations centre. So if I needed to use the fax, then it had to go
25 through the operations centre.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We saw that you signed
2 documents from the municipal defence, from the TO district. The TO
3 district and the premises were where in Zenica? Were they somewhere else
4 than the premises of the 3rd Corps? I mean in physical terms.
5 A. Your Honours, I cannot recall ever signing a document of the
6 municipal TO staff. I was never commander of the municipal TO staff,
7 Your Honour, but I was a commander of the district staff; and that's
8 quite a different matter within the command and control system. Perhaps
9 this is some error, but I never, ever signed a document of the municipal
10 TO staff in any municipality.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you were the commander --
12 the district commander for the municipal TO. And this district of the
13 municipal TO staff, did it have premises?
14 A. Yes, Your Honour. I was a commander of the district TO staff
15 before I became deputy commander of the 3rd Corps. The premises of the
16 district TO staff for the Zenica region or district were housed in an
17 entirely different building; they were not even close, although both were
18 located in the city of Zenica but quite at a distance from each other.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So in that building, in those
20 premises, did you have an office, a telephone, a secretary?
21 A. As commander of the district TO staff, while I held that position
22 I worked in the building where the command of the district TO staff in
23 Zenica was housed. And when I became deputy commander of the 3rd Corps,
24 then I moved to the building where the 3rd Corps headquarters was
25 located. And I didn't go anymore to the building where the district TO
1 staff was located. Now that you're asking me about my office at the
2 time, when I was commander of the district TO staff for Zenica, I can
3 tell you that, yes, I did have an office. And in front of that office,
4 once again, there was a person who we called secretary, but not in the
5 tradition sense of the word. Because in the district TO staff we did not
6 have any secretarial positions.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You see, what I wanted to know
8 is this: In January 1993, didn't you have two offices, one office in the
9 3rd Corps, the other being in the district TO staff? And to be more
10 precise, on the 26th of January, 1993, did you not have two offices? I'm
11 very specific there, as you can see.
12 A. No, Your Honours. In January of 1993 I did not have two offices.
13 Your Honours, I wish to reiterate --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
15 Mr. Registrar, can I have Exhibit P200. Can I see the text in
17 Mr. Usher, please put the document on the ELMO.
18 You can see this document from the district Defence staff on the
19 26th of January. It is sent to the duty operations officer in the
20 3rd Corps. The title is in English: "Regular report as of 1800 hours."
21 If you turn over to the next page, you see your name with a signature.
22 Were you the one who signed? And if you weren't, who signed it? And why
23 do we find your name on this document?
24 A. Your Honours, this document shown by you is something that I have
25 right in front of me now. I've already explained this situation here
1 before the Trial Chamber. This was at the time when we had a transition
2 and when the 3rd Corps was just being established.
3 Your Honours, this is not my signature here; this is a signature
4 of a person acting as commander of the district defence staff in Zenica
5 before it ceased to exist. I explained here quite in detail about this,
6 as there were a lot of questions put to me. And I explained that this
7 was a transitional period before the district TO staff for Zenica was
8 shut down. So this document was signed by a person who was acting as
9 commander. At the time, Your Honours, I did not have a dual role.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I agree. However, the
11 signatory signs on your behalf, doesn't he? And for the men signing, he
12 signs on your behalf for you because you are the commander of the
13 district defence staff on the 26th of January. Otherwise, if it wasn't
14 the case, he would have put his name. But we see your name. Therefore,
15 you are the one who is responsible, who is in charge. After all, the
16 army is not everything, it is specific in the army. The one signing
17 knows who he is signing for. Admittedly there was a transitional stage,
18 but on the 26th of January the district defence staff still existed,
19 didn't it? And you failed to understand why your name is used. Is that
20 what you are telling us? How do you account for this? We need to have a
21 consistent explanation.
22 A. Your Honours, I've tried to explain that earlier. At the time --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but you explained this.
24 However, I'm asking you a question, a very specific question as a judge.
25 How do you account for somebody who is in a chain of command should sign
1 a document on your behalf? Either it is a mistake by the one who signs,
2 that may be the case. Or -- how do you explain this?
3 A. Your Honours, if there was the acting commander here, then the
4 name of that person would have been here. However, this document is
5 signed by the commander. Therefore, Your Honours, I can assure you that
6 at the time I held only one office. I did not have simultaneously two
7 posts, both deputy commander of the 3rd Corps and commander of the
8 district Defence staff.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, I'm going thereby even
10 more specific in my next question. Are you the author of the document?
11 Do you regard yourself as the author of the document, I mean the contents
13 A. Your Honours, I'm not the author of this document. I also cannot
14 say that I stand by this document, because at the time the district TO
15 staff was properly functioning and there was person who acted as
16 commander. Perhaps the person who prepared the document wasn't quite
17 clear about these two different functions; that is a possibility. I do
18 allow that possibility. And as I've always claimed before this
19 Honourable Chamber, whenever I was 100 per cent sure --
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, we have a whole series
21 of documents which you signed on behalf of General Hadzihasanovic. We
22 have documents where your signature can be found on behalf of General
23 Hadzihasanovic. So somebody signing for a higher authority knows what
24 they're doing. So when you signed on behalf of General Hadzihasanovic we
25 can only but suppose that the one signing for you also knows that he's
2 A. Your Honours, I have to give a very detailed explanation here in
3 order to clarify this for Your Honours. When these high posts are
4 involved as well as the high posts I held within the 3rd Corps, the order
5 always had to be signed by the supreme command staff. And I've already
6 explained to you about the process. I explained that the links were not
7 the traditional links that exist in all other armies. We were in the
8 middle of the war. We were completely isolated. We were in Zenica. And
9 the communications were disrupted. So this process of sending orders
10 from the supreme staff -- from the supreme command to Zenica and then
11 back was quite a laborious one.
12 Your Honours, you have to analyse the situation as it was at the
13 time, at the time when these documents were produced. You should not
14 analyse the situation as it is now, when the Army of Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina is quite an orderly institution. At the time when I was
16 informed that I was to become deputy commander of the 3rd Corps --
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're going to stop there. I
18 mean, we're moving to something else, but I'll come back to this document
19 later on. I just want to move on to another topic.
20 You talked about arms. You said so, but you're not the only one
21 in saying so, you told us that the ABiH found itself in a very difficult
22 situation regarding weapons. Witnesses have come to tell us that the
23 Territorial Defence which under the old regime of the JNA received the
24 weapons from the JNA -- well, when the JNA withdrew, the TO took over the
25 weapons and we were even told that the Travnik barracks were bombed to
1 recover the weapons. So from what you told us but also what other
2 witnesses told us, you were underequipped in terms of weaponry. Can you
3 confirm this or is it not so? Or does this have to be seen in relative
5 A. Your Honour, I can confirm that we were very, very ill-equipped
6 in terms of weaponry and military equipment.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have not taken some documents
8 now, but I could have taken some documents showing unit by unit how each
9 unit was equipped. And even if you were underequipped, underarmed, you
10 had mortars, you had automatic rifles, machine-guns. You even had
11 helicopters. You had armoured materiel as well, armoured vehicles. So
12 where did all this materiel come from, as far as you know? Where did it
13 come from? How did it get to you? How did you manage little by little
14 to set up all this materiel? Because as you explained there were two
15 front lines; you had the Serbs and the HVO. So if you had front lines,
16 you had fighting. If there was fighting, you used weaponry. Where did
17 the weaponry come from? I'm saying "weaponry." It can be also
18 transmissions, communications materiel, it can be clothing, whatever. So
19 where did it all come from?
20 A. Your Honour, I can speak about this at length, but I will try as
21 briefly as possible to explain this to you so that you can understand the
22 situation as it developed. Speaking of weaponry and supplies I can tell
23 you that people used water-supply pipes to make rifles to shoot. I can
24 tell you that the brigade we set up was supposed to have 100 tanks; it
25 had three instead. And those three were of very old types that had been
1 left behind in the barracks as obsolete, useless. And people made them
2 usable again with the help of some companies. They didn't have good
3 aiming devices. All this equipment was left behind as obsolete.
4 Later on we when received some equipment [as interpreted], but in
5 the early stages, this is how we obtained weaponry. In addition to that,
6 there was the black market and people purchased weapons through very
7 channels. I have information, for instance, that some individuals bought
8 weapons from the HVO. You will certainly know, Your Honours, that in war
9 the black market thrives and a lot of dealings go on. Speaking of
10 communications, we did not have proper communications in the 3rd Corps.
11 If you speak about clothing, our troops did not have proper clothing. On
12 Mount Vlasic we had people wearing sneakers of temperatures of minus 20
13 degrees, but that only speaks about the courage of the people fighting
14 for the homeland.
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, on page 119, line
16 8, it says: "We later received some equipment."
17 The witness actually said "captured" and I would like this
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
20 Initially you are from the navy; that's where you were first.
21 And you later found yourself among the ground forces. Being trained as
22 an officer, did you learn of the existence of the JNA manual of the
23 ground forces, JNA ground forces? It was created in 1990. It was
24 supposed to be revised and published in 1992 but given -- because of the
25 events it didn't really come into being. Are you aware of the existence
1 of JNA ground forces manuals?
2 A. Your Honours, in the former JNA I had occasion to familiarise
3 myself with many rules of the former JNA on the use of units. I don't
4 know which particular unit you have in mind, but I have to tell you that
5 although a naval officer myself, in some tactical drills and even
6 operation drills, I participated as an officer of the ground forces.
7 Within our system of schooling, it was a principle we observed in the
8 JNA. So the rules of the ground forces were not foreign to me. But I
9 was not an expert in that area. However, when I finished the staff
10 officers' school --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to give you a
12 definition in paragraph 63 of the manual which was supposed to be the
13 book of authority in all the units of the former Yugoslav.
14 "Command and control of the armies is to be exerted through
15 planning, coordination, command and control, preparing and carrying out
16 the operations and actions in connection with fighting."
17 This is the definition I wanted to give you. Do you agree to
18 know what is command and control of the army, because I'm reading there
19 one of the provisions of this book which was the authoritative manual in
20 the former Yugoslavia. Do you agree with this definition?
21 A. Your Honours, I studied the rules that were in use before I left
22 the JNA, which was in 1991. And until 1991, I had occasion to read the
23 rules speaking to the system of command and control. I cannot remember
24 any longer those rules, but if you quoted from the proper paragraph of
25 that rule I have no reason to disbelieve that it is indeed the
1 paragraph --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I carry on. Regarding command
3 responsibility, the following is said in paragraph 65 of the said manual:
4 "The corps commander is responsible for carrying out the mission.
5 He makes decisions, gives orders to subordinates, organises cooperation
6 and coordination of actions and controls to make sure that decisions are
7 carried out."
8 Do you agree with this definition of what the role is of a corps
10 A. Your Honour, I really have to clarify this. I said I left the
11 former JNA in 1991. At that time within the organisation of the JNA we
12 had no such units, and I was never in the role of the corps commander in
13 the former JNA. That's one thing.
14 Another thing: Your Honours, the Territorial Defence of the
15 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina did not simply copy those rules and
16 adopt them as its own. So we cannot speak about the application of JNA
17 rules without any change --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. It is recorded.
19 Could you tell us, because after all you were the number two in the
20 3rd Corps and so you experienced action and as much as your office was
21 there and was not to be found in the premises of the municipal defence
22 staff, so basically you can break down military action in two periods,
23 offensive or defensive periods.
24 At the level of the 3rd Corps, when was an action a defensive one
25 or an offensive one? And depending on that, was there a preparatory
1 meeting where people convened to the meeting in writing and was the
2 invitation sent to subordinate levels by the top command? Was there a
3 meeting, either to prepare an action or to prepare a defensive action?
4 Was there a briefing? What can you tell us about it?
5 A. Your Honours, I shall say that this is a very broad question.
6 Speaking of combat operations, I completely agree with you: they can be
7 offensive or defensive. Within that global division, there are
8 subcategories of defensive and offensive operations depending on the
9 level in tactical, strategic and operative terms. We can have a lengthy
10 discussion of this. Certainly, at the command of the 3rd Corps at this
11 stage when it was being established was unable for a long time to
12 organise any offensive operation of any operative significance; we only
13 engaged in defensive actions at that stage of organisation of the
14 3rd Corps.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So at this stage, as you told
16 us - and you're still under oath, I'll remind you of that - as far as you
17 know there were never any offensive actions; you only experienced
18 defensive operations and actions. Is that what you're telling us? You
19 said you were going to say -- tell the truth and nothing but the truth,
20 and just a moment ago you told us that you only had defensive actions.
21 So I'm putting the question to you in order to avoid any
23 You were only aware of defensive actions?
24 A. Your Honour, I'm speaking about particular time period, namely
25 the time when the 3rd Corps was being established. At that time we were
1 not capable of mounting a traditional offensive operation. I can state
2 that with full responsibility. In later stages of the war, the corps did
3 mount offensive operations.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] From which month onwards? From
5 which year onwards did it mount such operations?
6 A. Your Honour, since you expect from me a very precise definition
7 of defensive versus offensive operation - and I really want you to follow
8 me precisely - for defensive or offensive operations, one needs to
9 collect adequate equipment, be it personnel, equipment, or logistics. We
10 are talking about vast resources. We can talk about lower-level,
11 tactical, or defensive actions. If I now defined operative versus
12 tactical combat operations, I can tell you that in 1993 the 3rd Corps did
13 not have enough resources or men to organise an offensive.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So in 1993 the 3rd Corps did
15 not mount any offensive operations, not a single one; is that right,
16 according to you?
17 A. Your Honour, I don't know how this is being interpreted to you in
18 English or in French. I can hear very well what I'm being told in B/C/S.
19 I'm speaking about operations led by the corps. And what I get back is
20 "actions." There is a huge difference between "action" and "operation,"
21 and I would like to avoid being seen as somebody who's not telling the
22 truth just because of wrong interpretation.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is like, you know, toying
24 with words. This is not the first time. We're talking about the
25 3rd Corps in which you were the number two man.
1 This 3rd Corps, did it in 1993 mount any offensive? Of course to
2 do so, as you said, you need logistics, you need the personnel, you've
3 got the assess the situation; I agree. But I'm putting this to you: You
4 were number two in the 3rd Corps. Did the 3rd Corps at any time in 1993
5 find itself in a situation where it could mount an offensive or did this
6 corps do nothing but defend itself in 1993 on the front line? Please be
7 -- don't play with words. I have a good reason for putting this question
8 to you.
9 I repeat it: In 1993 did the 3rd Corps at any point of 1993
10 envisage such an offensive action and did it have the means to do so at
11 that time?
12 A. Your Honour, I state with full responsibility that we have to be
13 very precise here in stating what we understand by operations. I don't
14 understand what you mean by "operations" or "actions." If you mean some
15 actions the 3rd Corps did mount offensive actions of some kind in 1993.
16 Those were actions of lesser importance, maybe tactical operative
17 importance, but certainly not operative importance. I want to be
18 precise. I don't know how this that I'm saying is being interpreted to
19 you; I don't know what type of interpretation you're getting. But I'm
20 saying there had been offensive actions in the area of responsibility of
21 the 3rd Corps at some point in 1993. Now we can go stage by stage,
22 period by period within that year and I can explain in even greater
23 detail. But I'm saying in 1993 there were offensive actions within the
24 area of responsibility of the 3rd Corps. Yes, I can say that.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. When there is an
1 offensive or defensive action, the command, be it the chief of staff, the
2 number one man or number two, do the chief officers get together to
3 discuss the matter to see how feasible it is in order to plan the day
4 when the attack is to be mounted? Does all this happen or is it just
5 merely empirical? You were in the field; what can you tell us as to the
6 way this type of operation was prepared.
7 A. Your Honour, I'm getting some misinterpretation again. I was
8 speaking about actions and the interpreter is talking back to me about
9 operations. I hope you can intervene. The interpreter is again
10 mentioning operations to me --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to make it clear to
12 you. There are quite a few of us here in this courtroom who were in the
13 army. In the army either you are on a line awaiting an attack or you
14 attack; one of the two things. Either you are on the defensive or you
15 are on the offensive. My question speaking of operations or action is:
16 Like, you move away from your line in order to gain ground from the
17 enemy. Do you understand this?
18 If, for instance, you have a coordinate 852 on a map and you want
19 to get hold of the position, is this a defensive or an offensive action?
20 A. Your Honour, you have just lent me great assistance in answering
21 your question because I see now that you are speaking about any kind of
22 action, combat action or operation. And I can answer your future
23 questions. Speaking of an offensive combat action, of course
24 preparations are necessary and they are indeed undertaken. In the event
25 of defensive combat actions or operations, preparations again are carried
1 out but to a lesser extent. Defensive operations require less time and
2 less resources than offensive operations, which require much greater
3 resources because the expenditures are much greater. You have to make
4 artillery preparations and other necessary preparations before the troops
5 actually go into operative action.
6 And I would appreciate it when the interpreter is interpreting
7 that they shouldn't say "operations," that they should say operative
8 actions; that's what I meant. And when you mentioned, for instance, a
9 trig point or an elevation, when you interpret this it can be an attack;
10 but it can also be -- sorry, it can also be an offensive defence.
11 If you have a line that you firmly hold and the enemy takes a
12 small elevation, a small feature, and you want to recapture it, to have
13 it under your control again, then that is called offensive defence. You
14 are actually improving your tactical position in defence. You are not
15 carrying out attack operations, offensive operations even though you did
16 recapture this elevation.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] By way of an example you stated
18 yourself when you were standing in front of the map you mentioned the
19 crossroads, the Lasva crossroads and you said it was a well-known
20 location as a strategic location. When the military are in Lasva, when
21 they make a move, they leave this famous crossroads in order to move to
22 trig point 852, which is above a given village. Now in your view, is
23 this an offensive action or is it a an offensive -- defensive one? I
24 mean, it's hard to follow you. So when there is a movement, when these
25 people left this famous crossroads in order to occupy trig point 852, how
1 do you qualify this action?
2 A. Your Honour, if at that trig point you are just speaking about
3 the enemy used to be, and if prior to that that trig point had never
4 before been under the control of, say, the Army of the Republic of Bosnia
5 and Herzegovina, then we can call it an offensive action. If, on the
6 contrary, that trig point was under the control of the Army of Bosnia and
7 Herzegovina first and then it had to be abandoned due to enemy action, in
8 that case recapturing of that trig point would qualify as offensive
9 defence because you are just recapturing your defence line that you used
10 to hold before the enemy took it away from you.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is a very exact answer.
12 Thank you.
13 In this type of a situation, so either you attack or you defend
14 because you want to recapture, at the level of the 3rd Corps, is there a
15 watch system being set up? The duty officer, does he have this type of
16 operations and where does he have to warn the 3rd Corps commander, the
17 chief, or yourself? How does it work in practice? I mean the connection
18 between the field and the command, of course. And the reason why I
19 mention the JNA manual, everything is set out, the information must go
20 back -- from the field to -- upwards. In your experience, did you have
21 -- was there such a communication path from the ground upwards?
22 A. Your Honour, I am getting wrong interpretation again. I hear the
23 word "operation" again. Please, Your Honour, I have already --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In an offensive action if the
25 3rd Corps mounts an attack, the people on the ground, do they have to
1 forward the information upwards to the level of the 3rd Corps of the
2 headquarters? Do they have some duty service there so that the action on
3 the ground can be monitored? Because in all military manuals it is
4 explained how it should work. So I want to know whether you did the
5 same, as in the books.
6 A. Your Honour, if we're talking about a tactical offensive combat
7 action, those are -- rather, offensive actions of lesser significance,
8 minor offensive actions. The commander of course is interested in every
9 action in his area of responsibility involving his personnel, but if
10 those offensive actions are carried out on the tactical level then the
11 operations duty officer, who was on duty 24 hours a day in the
12 headquarters, then he gets information that offensive tactical actions
13 are taking place at that trig point, but it [as interpreted] doesn't
14 necessarily have to alarm the commander who may be involved in a
15 different mission. If those offensive combat actions are on a larger
16 scale, the operations duty officer would again receive appropriate
17 information from the ground, both in theory and in practice.
18 But you have to bear in mind that in practice communications
19 often failed. We had very poor communications equipment, and I know of
20 situations, real situations that happened, Your Honours, when combat
21 actions of tactical significance were taking place, offensive combat
22 actions of tactical significance, we were sometimes not able to get that
23 information from the operations duty officer. Sometimes we got it with a
24 delay, and that was the situation on the ground.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you got the information
1 with a delay, did you do everything that needed to be done at the level
2 of the 3rd Corps in order to achieve the result, which is either to
3 assess the loss incurred or the enemy loss? Was it being done
4 systemically in the 3rd Corps? When soldiers were killed, for instance,
5 3rd Corps soldiers, did you see this feedback as fast as possible? As
6 far as you know, of course.
7 A. Regardless of when the information of the ground reaches the
8 corps command, whether it arrives there on time or with a delay, if a
9 large human loss is involved then alarm is raised within the corps.
10 Naturally the corps commander is informed in detail or will be informed
11 about that specific situation involving significant human loss. The
12 corps command will definitely react to such information once it receives
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as you know regarding a
15 loss of life, how or at what level does the corps -- 3rd Corps commander
16 react? When there is one person killed or ten or 100? When or how does
17 the 3rd Corps commander react? From your experience, of course.
18 A. Your Honours, I've already testified about that, saying that a
19 commander cannot remain indifferent when even one soldier is killed. The
20 question is: What can a commander do if one soldier is killed? If ten
21 soldiers are killed in a certain time interval or a short space of time,
22 then that is quite worrisome for the commander of the corps. If 100
23 soldiers are killed in a short space of time, then that is a catastrophe.
24 I don't know if I was clear enough giving these figures. I don't know if
25 that was enough.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, you were. As far as you
2 know, during 1993 how many soldiers were killed within the 3rd Corps
3 involving all units? We have documents, but I'm asking your assessment.
4 We have figures, but I want you to tell me so. On the basis of what you
5 know, you incurred how many losses?
6 A. Your Honours, it is very difficult for me to answer this
7 question. I don't know what losses were suffered in 1993 in the area of
8 responsibility of the 3rd Corps in all units. This is a very difficult
9 question for me.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You don't know? You can't even
11 give us a vague amount, an approximate number?
12 A. Despite all my best efforts to answer all of your questions, Your
13 Honours, it is very difficult to answer this particular question. It's
14 not that I'm avoiding answering this question, Your Honour, I simply
15 don't know.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
17 Now it's 5 past -- it's 25 to 6.00. We'll resume at 6.00.
18 --- Recess taken at 5.34 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 6.02 p.m.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.
21 General, before the break we were speaking about the number of
22 soldiers killed and you said you didn't have any figures. There is a
23 report from the 3rd Corps, but there is no point showing this report to
24 you otherwise we're going to waste more time. It's dated the 23rd of
25 August, 1993, and it records the number of soldiers wounded and injured
1 until the 31st of July, 1993. We have 1.570 killed and --
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't catch the number of
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The 7th Brigade has -- records
5 60 killed and 274 wounded, for your information. I'm asking your view on
6 this. The municipal defence staff of Zenica records 32 killed and 58
7 wounded. This is document P192.
8 Do these figures seem correct to you? What do you think.
9 A. Your Honours, I have checked my notes during the break and I can
10 give you the precise dates of my various posts that I spoke of earlier.
11 I have the exact dates with me now.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. We'll get back to that
13 later on.
14 Regarding the number of people killed, do the figures I just gave
15 you, do they seem in keeping with what you learned on the ground? By the
16 way, in the transcript it is on page 130, line 24. I'm giving you the
17 figure that was not recorded. 1570 killed, which is a major figure. You
18 were not aware of this?
19 Curiously enough, General, anything having to do closely with the
20 3rd Corps seems to be something you're never aware of. This famous
21 operations log, you don't know anything about it. And another important
22 figure is something that you don't know either. Could you explain this
23 to us. Why don't you know this?
24 A. Your Honours, I know -- I knew that we had significant losses,
25 and this is quite understandable. I simply said to you that I did not
1 know the figure. The losses were quite high, the losses of the 3rd Corps
2 because the 3rd Corps was poorly equipped. We did not have the
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to show you another
6 Mr. Registrar, can you please give us Exhibit 120 --
7 THE INTERPRETER: 720.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This document is -- concerns
9 somebody who died in Dusina on the 26th of January and several people who
10 were wounded on that same date in Dusina. This is P720.
11 You're going to have a look at this, the document, in your own
12 language and I'm going to seek some comments from you. It can be put on
13 the ELMO so that everybody can have a look at it. You can see this
14 document now. Apparently it is sent by a social worker. I suppose that
15 is the 7th Brigade. Who was this sent to? Look in the bottom left
16 corner. What can you read in the bottom left corner? Who are the
17 addressees of this document?
18 A. Your Honours, I can see here that it says it was forwarded -- one
19 copy was forwarded to the municipal defence staff in Zenica; the second
20 copy was forwarded to the Islamic Centre in Zenica; and one copy was sent
21 to the archives.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can you confirm that this
23 document is of a military origin, since there is a stamp on the right?
24 A. Yes, Your Honours. It says here "military unit number" --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is the link between the
1 army and the Islamic centre? Why is a statement on the number of wounded
2 and killed is being sent to the Islamic Centre? I'd like to know that.
3 Can you give us an explanation, since this is something I can see here
4 right now.
5 A. Your Honours, I don't know why this document was sent to the
6 Islamic Centre in Zenica. I couldn't give you an answer to this.
7 Perhaps we should ask the person who signed this document. Now, again
8 you're going to say I know nothing but I have an explanation: I simply
9 don't know.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you have no explanation.
11 Let's move on to another topic.
12 Mr. Registrar, I'm going to need a few documents. We first need
13 Exhibit P431. Before giving this document, let us go into private
15 [Private session]
11 Page 13604 redacted. Private session.
11 Page 13605 redacted. Private session.
11 Page 13606 redacted. Private session.
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are now in open session.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Open session.
22 Witness, please look at P148. You're going to receive the B/C/S
23 version and I'll keep the English one. This document has been translated
24 into your language. It comes from the ECMM. It is a daily operational
25 report dated 25th of April, 1993. Point C is an account of what happened
1 in the village of Miletici. Please read it out.
2 "Mention is made by an eyewitness of the fact that 15 individuals
3 of Islamic type dressed in ordinary uniform surrounded the village at
4 1500 hours on the 24th. A leader was called Ramadan and a few of them
5 had police badges on their shoulders. They demanded the villagers to lay
6 down their arms, which was refused. Five villagers were caught, whilst
7 the other 36 escaped to a neighbouring village. The hands of the five
8 men who were caught were tied behind their backs and they seemed to have
9 been mistreated. One body was found in a house; the other four bodies
10 were found somewhere else in another," so says the text. "Confirmation
11 was done this afternoon by Mr. Eric Peterson [phoen] accompanied by Mr.
12 Merdan, Mr. Nakic and the Brit Bat security officer."
13 Can you tell us this: Connection is being made -- or the account
14 that is given here, does it tally with what you learned on the ground or
15 with the information you were given? Because you are mentioned by name.
16 A. Your Honours, I was in Miletici at this time as is stated here.
17 I was there together with the people mentioned in the text. I stated
18 what I had seen in the village of Miletici. I testified about that in
20 Let me repeat now: I heard from the villagers -- not only I, but
21 Mr. Nakic who was present -- we heard from the villagers that these
22 murders had been committed by the mujahedin, at least this is what the
23 villagers told us. I called them the villagers. I didn't know that they
24 were all mixed.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There is a confusion. You were
1 put questions by the two parties and you said that you had spoken about
2 it to General Hadzihasanovic. Can you confirm that after you went on the
3 spot you reported to the commander of the 3rd Corps? Did you tell the
4 3rd Corps commander that you'd been on the ground together with Mr.
5 Peterson, Mr. Nakic? Did you report to him regarding this event?
6 A. Your Honours, all I'm trying to say is that I did not hear any of
7 the villagers mention the name of Ramadan. Upon returning to the
8 3rd Corps command, I informed the commander of the 3rd Corps about what I
9 had seen on that day in the village of Miletici and about what I had
10 learned from the residents of that village. This is what I informed the
11 commander of the 3rd Corps about.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And you told General
13 Hadzihasanovic, This is what we are being told? Did you tell him so?
14 A. Your Honours, I informed General Hadzihasanovic precisely as I
15 was informed by the villagers. I did not have any other information at
16 the time.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You received the information.
18 What happened at the level of the 3rd Corps after that? You say, well,
19 so this is what apparently happened there. In concreto, what happened?
20 What was done? Was there an investigation? Were their villagers asked
21 to come and tell the story? What happened precisely? As far as you
22 know, of course.
23 A. Your Honours, there at the spot I told the villagers that they
24 could go back, that it was safe for them to be in the village.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No, no, no. After that. So
1 you reported to General Hadzihasanovic in Zenica, you reported to him,
2 because you were his deputy. So you told your superior that you went to
3 the village, that the international observers were there. You -- they
4 were bound to be interested. And also Mr. Nakic was present, so it was
5 likely for the whole thing to have some echo. What happened at the level
6 of the 3rd Corps? What was there going to happen?
7 A. Your Honours, I conveyed what I knew at the time, what I learned
8 of, the information I received from the field. I told them that this had
9 not been done by the members of the BH army but rather by the mujahedin,
10 as the villagers called them.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is what you say. Fine.
12 I'll stop there because we'll talk tomorrow about the mujahedin. We
13 don't need this document anymore. Let's move on to Dusina.
14 Mr. Registrar, can you please hand over to the witness Exhibit
15 P346. We'll need P312 and P 131, P314, as well, as well as P200. P346
16 as well.
17 Please have a look at this document. Who is the person supposed
18 to either have drafted or have endorsed the document? Which is the name
19 that you can see on the document?
20 A. Your Honours, as far as I can tell, this is signed by the same
21 person as one of the other documents you showed to me.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are therefore telling us
23 that this document is something you're not aware of. You never saw this
24 document. Let us admit that --
25 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. You've
1 just told the witness that he's never seen the document. That's never
2 what he said. Mr. President, we'd like the Trial Chamber to give enough
3 time --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please sit down, Mr. Bourgon.
5 The Defence is of the view that you have seen this document. They would
6 like you to have more time to answer my question. I will put the
7 question again to you. Have you seen this document before? Were you
8 aware -- was it presented to you? You said no for the first document, so
9 I thought it was the same for this one. But apparently the Defence is of
10 the view that you have seen this document. What can you say to this?
11 Were you appraised [as interpreted] of this document?
12 A. Your Honour, concerning the first document I only commented on
13 the signature and my own name on it. I did not comment upon the document
14 itself. Equally, I made the same comment on the mention of my name and
15 the signature in this one. I said to the Honourable Court that I was
16 aware of the reports that reached the command of the 3 Corps regarding
17 events in Dusina.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The document as such, the one
19 you can see, did you see at any point in time in January or following the
20 26th of January from Zenica, did you read it then or is this now the
21 first time you are reading this document? I don't know, you see.
22 A. Your Honour --
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. Since this is a
24 document that I had earlier shown the witness and the witness explained
25 it, he can explain again but I believe that all these documents are
1 documents that after the meeting the Kiseljak he reviewed in order to
2 make a report on the 27th of what their subordinated commands had done.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the Defence has just
4 suggested that you may have seen this document following the Kiseljak
5 meeting on the 27th of January. Do you share the Defence's view?
6 A. I do not agree, Your Honour, with your assumption. I was not
7 able to see this document on the 27th. I told you that on the 26th I
8 read a report, or rather reports that reached the command of the
9 3rd Corps, in order to prepare for the meeting that place the next day in
10 Kiseljak. That's what I testified here.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you say you read reports on
12 the 26th in order to prepare for a meeting on the 27th. As far as you
13 can remember, this document dated the 26th, could you have seen it?
14 Could it have reached you? You see the document is sent to the
15 3rd Corps; you see that on the top corner. So it must have reached the
16 highest level. You can't remember? It doesn't matter.
17 A. Your Honour --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Bourgon.
19 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. The
20 witness did not say that he didn't remember the document. He wasn't
21 given enough time to look at it at ease without being stressed and
22 without any hostility.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sit down. I do not allow you.
24 Your question is totally inappropriate, Mr. Bourgon. I put the question
25 to the witness asking him whether he received the document and he said he
1 didn't because he didn't sign it. The document mentions Zenica district
2 defence; he said it wasn't him because he wasn't there. I asked him
3 whether he was given the document on the 26th of January and he says he
4 didn't, unless you want to say yes now.
5 But my question is a simple one. Regarding the contents of this
6 document, it was not drafted in the 3rd Corps but in the district. Is
7 there any possibility for you to have read this document then? This is
8 the very purpose of my question. The Defence would like to give you more
9 time, for you to have more time. Take the time you need to answer. I'm
10 not talking about the content of the document; I'm talking about the
11 document itself. Can you have seen the document as such at any point in
12 time? So without getting all upset can you tell me whether you have seen
13 the document or not or you saw the document or not rather?
14 A. Your Honour, I am precisely trying to tell the truth all the
15 time. I'm under oath and I'm completely aware of that. You asked me
16 here about the signature and the title of the document. You did not
17 allow me to comment upon the document itself. I only briefly answered
18 your questions. If you allow me to read the contents of this document,
19 then I will be able to tell you whether I had occasion to --
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please, please. Look into the
22 A. Your Honour, I just read this report. I can recall and I state
23 with full responsibility that I read all of the reports that arrived at
24 the 3rd Corps regarding Dusina. And I assert that among the other
25 reports I read this one, too.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You see -- so now
2 you're stating that you read the report. Very good.
3 Now you are going to be given Exhibit P312. P312. I have the
4 English in front of me, and you have the other version. Please read the
5 document. It is a certificate.
6 A. I've read this document.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You will have
8 noticed that the name of the person who was killed features in the report
9 marked P346 of which you said that you'd read it. Here's my question:
10 Is it usual when somebody dies in action for a delegation from his unit
11 to be sent in order to announce the news of his death to the family? Is
12 that -- is this what has always been done or -- in this very instance is
13 sit something that is out of the ordinary? How did it happen when
14 somebody was killed in action? Who was going to tell the family about
15 the death of that person? Was it the military authority who would do
16 that or were there colleagues of the deceased person conveying the news?
17 Because here it is mentioned that five people were sent in order to
18 inform the family. What can you say regarding this document?
19 A. Your Honour, for all members of the Army of Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina who were killed, we established two, three, or more member
21 commissions to go to the family and tell them that their loved one had
22 lost his life in the ranks of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. That's
23 what we did.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let us see Exhibit
25 P200. P200. Let me see the B/C/S version. Yes, please have a look at
1 this. Look towards the end. The document is dated the 26th of January,
2 and apparently you didn't sign it. Is that right?
3 A. Yes, Your Honour. I didn't sign this document.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You didn't sign this document,
5 you say. Can you confirm that this document is sent to the duty officer,
6 the operations duty officer of the 3rd Corps on the 26th of January at
7 1800 hours?
8 A. Yes, I confirm, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. At the level of the
10 3rd Corps, were you made aware of this document?
11 A. Yes, Your Honour. I knew about this document because it was a
12 regular report.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good. Towards the end it says
14 "proposal for further engagement of our forces." And let me read the
15 last sentence of the proposal -- or can you read it in your own language.
16 A. "Proposal for further engagement of our forces. We propose that
17 the 1st Infantry Company from the ranks of the 333rd" --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Not that. Move on to the next
20 A. "The attached unit from the ranks of the 7th Muslim Brigade is
21 grouping its men in the sector of Lasva station in order to mount a final
22 attack against the HVO members who are concentrated in the Rajic house."
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So what can you say about this
24 sentence? What does it mean in military terms? It's now 6.00 on the
25 26th of January. It looks as though there are still HVO members in
1 Rajic's house and the proposal is to mount a final attack. In military
2 terms, how do you analyse the proposal?
3 A. The person who signed this document had this information coming
4 from the field and he is suggesting to the command of the 3rd Corps such
5 an engagement of the attached unit from the 7th Muslim Brigade to execute
6 a final attack against HVO members concentrated in the Rajic house.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What does this mean, that on
8 the 26th of January at 6.00 in the afternoon there was still HVO members
9 in the house belonging to Rajic? How do you analyse this?
10 A. According to this paper, the person who signed it has information
11 to the effect that there are still HVO members in the Rajic house.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You knowing the 3rd Corps, is
13 that the information you knew -- you had on -- at 6.00 on the 26th of
14 January? What was the information you had regarding this situation?
15 A. Your Honour, I said that I had read the reports that reached the
16 command of the 3rd Corps. I probably read this one, too, that arrived at
17 the command.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Only two more documents; it
19 will be quick. P314, please. Please let me see both versions. Thank
21 Can you please tell us who this document is from.
22 A. Your Honour, do you mean this document dated 28th January, 1993?
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 A. This document was issued by the district defence staff of Zenica.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please go to the last but one
2 THE INTERPRETER: Correction: Municipal defence staff.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And please read it out.
4 A. Your Honour, do you mean under number 3 or number 4?
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] At the very end of the
6 document. Just before the sentence about morale and the sentence that
7 says that they lost two soldiers. The paragraph just before that.
8 A. Yes, that is item 4.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Go ahead.
10 A. "Both sides suffered losses in manpower. According to
11 information gathered as of 28th January, 1993, HVO lost 13 soldiers and
12 had two wounded. A total of 31 HVO members were captured, including 25
13 taken over by the military police who were accommodated in the
14 penitentiary facility. And a certain number of soldiers have been taken
15 by the soldiers of MS. Some weapons and equipment have also been seized
16 and the largest part of them has been kept by the Muslim force members.
17 Our side suffered a loss of two soldiers and four wounded."
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This document was signed by Mr.
19 Jasmin Saric and it was sent -- it is a military secret, a classified
20 document. It comes from the Zenica municipal defence staff and it
21 mentions or it speaks about the Muslim forces.
22 You mentioned MS yourself. What are these Muslim forces? Why is
23 mention made of Muslim forces? Can you explain this? Why not say, for
24 instance, the ABiH units? Why is mention made here of Muslim forces?
25 A. Your Honours, first of all I have to note here that in the
1 signature you can see "for" the commander Jasmin Saric. I have to
2 conclude that it was not Jasmin Saric who signed, somebody signed for
3 him. Second, I can say that we had a problem with the level of training
4 and qualification. I have already spoken about this extensively and I
5 didn't want to repeat myself. Reports were written by people without
6 sufficient military training. Of course a professional soldier would not
7 have written a report like this, because it says here that the report is
8 written based on information gathered on the 28th of January.
9 Your Honours, if you allow me to finish my answer - and I would
10 appreciate it very much if you would hear me out until the end - Muslim
11 forces are indeed mentioned here. But I state with full responsibility
12 that within the composition of the 3rd Corps there were never any units
13 called Muslim forces. And I am surprised that such report would have
14 reached superior command. This did not reach the command of the
15 3rd Corps. It came to the district defence staff of Zenica. I can only
16 understand this as meaning the person who offered this report had not a
17 scratch of military training.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, there is a document along
19 the same lines, P530, 530, and you're going to tell us. There is another
20 document and we'll be done. You have the document in front of you.
21 Could you tell us when the document was drafted and who drafted it. And
22 did you know the name of the one who signed the document? Please go
24 A. Your Honour, this was issued by the 1st antisabotage detachment
25 of the municipal defence staff of Zenica, and this is a combat report
1 directed to the municipal defence staff of Zenica. It is signed by the
2 commander. The stamp is covering part of the name, but it says Zajko.
3 From the signature I see that it's Kozlic Z.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you know this man, Kozlic?
5 A. Your Honour, it is the commander of the 1st antisabotage
6 detachment of the municipal defence staff. I can't remember the man.
7 It's a rather low level relative to the command of the 3rd Corps.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please go to the
9 second paragraph, the very middle of it where the sentence starts in this
10 way: "The villagers were surrounded, or encircled," and please go on
12 A. Your Honour, I don't see the paragraph which begins with
13 "villagers were encircled." Maybe that's how a sentence begins. I
14 didn't read the whole --
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, it's the beginning. It
16 speaks about the village of Rajici and Donja Visnjica. And then it
17 continues. "The villages were" -- it must be on line 4 or 5 of your
18 text, in the second paragraph.
19 A. I can read here the beginning of this line. I don't see it very
20 well, but what I can read says: "The position is in the area of Lasva
21 village and we are keeping Rajici and Donja Visnjica encircled."
22 That's the end of that sentence. I read it as you asked me to
23 read it.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Then go on.
25 A. From the other sides the forces -- I can't read part of this. It
1 says: "Forces of MOS and other units. The commander of OS Patkovic
2 coordinated the whole operation."
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. How come that here
4 again mention is made of MOS, Muslim armed forces? How can you account
5 for this? And the one coordinating the whole thing is Mr. Patkovic.
6 What can you say by way of an explanation?
7 A. Your Honour, I must say that I see this document for the first
8 time. It did not reach the command of the 3rd Corps, and you now want me
9 to comment on this portion of the text. I claim again that the commander
10 of this 1st detachment of the municipal defence staff of Zenica is
11 claiming here that MOS forces were present and that the one coordinating
12 the thing was Patkovic, the one coordinating the whole action.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well -- so you have no
14 explanation for the fact that the author of this document would be using
15 terms such as "MOS"?
16 A. Your Honour, you are not allowing me to comment; you are just
17 asking me questions and I'm answering them very briefly and very
18 precisely because that's the kind of answer you want me to give. When
19 you want me to comment, I do; when you don't want me to comment, I can't.
20 And if you want a comment from me on the further portion of the text,
21 then please allow me to give it.
22 Your Honours, I've stated that this is the first time I saw this
23 document. I really don't know that the MOS forces were at the time in
24 the territory of Visnjica village. All I'm claiming is that MOS forces
25 were never within the composition of the 3rd Corps. If there indeed were
1 some forces called MOS forces in the territory where the commander was,
2 then the commander must know about that.
3 I can't know what happened on the ground, Your Honour. I am
4 simply commenting upon what you are allowed me to provide a comment to.
5 And this is my comment. Thank you for allowing me to comment.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
7 The last document P132 for the last few seconds of the hearing.
8 Here again I'm going to ask you to comment on it. It won't be long.
9 Here it is. Please have a look at it and I'll ask you to tell us whether
10 you are aware of it, whether it is familiar to you.
11 A. This document was issued by the press centre of the 3rd Corps. I
12 recognised this document as the document issued by the press centre of
13 the 3rd Corps.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And what is the date?
15 A. 26th of January, 1993, at 1545 hours.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is a document for the
17 media, since this is a press document. Does this document mention what
18 may have happened in Dusina? Please have a look at the third paragraph.
19 A. Do you mean this part here, "surrounded by the forces of the HVO.
20 There were the villagers of the villages of Dusina, Gornja Visnjica and
22 Is this the part of the text you're referring to?
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It is. Go to the last
24 paragraph. What is written there?
25 A. "The villagers were exposed to fierce attacks against them and
1 their property. Two innocent civilians were killed and four were wounded
2 in the process."
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good. On the 26th of January
4 at 1545 hours, the command mentions the death of two innocent civilians.
5 Who are these innocent civilians?
6 A. Your Honours, I don't know who these civilians were.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You don't know. You do know
8 that two soldiers were killed. Were these two soldiers not these two
9 civilians mentioned here? Is it possible that there may have been some
10 confusion or misinformation in the 3rd Corps?
11 A. Your Honours, I simply read what is written here. You did not
12 ask for my comments. What I did was simply read out and this is what you
13 asked me to do. You didn't ask me for a comment.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your comment? How do
15 you comment on this fact that here mention is made of the death of two
16 innocent civilians?
17 A. Your Honours, I don't know what the author of the document had
18 available in terms of information when he wrote this report. I don't
19 know whether this was based on the reports reaching the 3rd Corps command
20 or perhaps this information was collected by other means by people
21 working in the field. I don't know whether this information was conveyed
22 via telephone or by villagers or perhaps some of the journalists informed
23 the press centre of this. I don't know whether that journalist was even
24 a member of the press centre or a freelance journalist. I also don't
25 know what contacts there were between the press service and the
2 I see this report as meaning that the civilians were exposed by
3 two attacks, but they are not saying villagers of what villages were
4 exposed to attacks. All I can tell you that these villages had mixed
5 population. And to me this information indicates that the entire
6 population was attacked, but it is not indicated here who carried out the
7 attacks. So this information here does not mean much to me as a soldier.
8 This is not specific enough for me. Practically, this is something that
9 is being announced to the public, that is being released to the public.
10 This is not the information of the 3rd Corps. I mean, this was provided
11 by the press service of the 3rd Corps but not by the staff or by the
12 commander of the 3rd Corps.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you think that it doesn't
14 come -- this doesn't come from the 3rd Corps? I mean the contents of
15 this. It doesn't come from the 3rd Corps?
16 A. Your Honours, I didn't say that. I said what my thoughts were
17 about how this information had been gathered. I'm not saying that this
18 document does not originate from the 3rd Corps. All I said was that this
19 document originated from the press service or press centre of the
20 3rd Corps. And the press centre is an integral part of the 3rd Corps.
21 But had this been issued by an officer from the operations centre, this
22 information would have been different than the one presented by the press
23 centre of the corps. This is my point, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I'm now returning
25 the document to the registrar. It's already 10 past 7.00. Sorry for
1 extending the hearing. We will resume tomorrow at 9.00 and we will
2 continue with questions by the Judges normally. We should be finished
3 tomorrow morning, I mean the Judges. And the Defence and the Prosecution
4 will each have the entire afternoon in order to put questions following
5 the Judges' questions. Thank you.
6 The hearing will resume tomorrow, 9.00, in the morning.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.09 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 16th day of
9 December, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.