1 Thursday 23rd October, 1997
2 (10.00 am)
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Morning, ladies and gentlemen.
4 Mr. Niemann, how do we start? Do we start with your
5 motion or...
6 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour. Mr. Turone will argue the
7 motion on behalf of the Prosecution, your Honours.
8 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Can we have appearances, please?
9 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour pleases, my name is Niemann and
10 I appear with my colleagues Mr. Turone and Mr. Khan for
11 the Prosecution.
12 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: And the appearances for the Defence,
14 MS. RESIDOVIC: Good morning, your Honours. My name is
15 Edina Residovic and I appear on behalf of Mr. Zejnil
16 Delalic, together with my colleague Mr. Eugene
17 O'Sullivan, professor from Canada.
18 MR. OLUJIC: Good morning, your Honours. I am Zeljko Olujic,
19 attorney from Croatia. I appear on behalf of Mr. Zdravko
20 Mucic together with my colleague Michael Greaves,
21 attorney from Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
22 MR. KARABDIC: Good morning, I am Salih Karabdic appearing on
23 behalf of Mr. Hazim Delic, together with my colleague,
24 Tom Moran, attorney from Houston, Texas.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Good morning, your Honours. I am John
1 Ackerman, I appear here today on behalf of Esad Landzo,
2 together with my co-counsel Ms. Cynthia McMurrey.
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much.
4 Yes, Mr. Turone?
5 MR. TURONE: Thank you. Thank you, your Honour. Your
6 Honours, the motion filed on October 1st by the
7 Prosecution seeks leave to call as additional expert
8 witnesses Dr. James Gow and Professor Constantin
9 Economides, on the basis of paragraph 2, sub-paragraph 4
10 of your Honours' order issued on 25th January. We can
11 read in that subsection of the aforesaid order that for
12 good cause shown the Trial Chamber will allow testimony
13 of expert witnesses where notice of such expert
14 testimony is given after the required date.
15 So the original required date was in the early
16 months of this year; at that time the Prosecution
17 designated two expert witnesses, Dr. Calic and General de
18 Vogel. Then in March, the first one, Dr. Calic, was
19 examined and cross-examined in this courtroom. Then, on
20 July 4th, in a previous motion, the Prosecution informed
21 already the Trial Chamber and the team colleagues of the
22 Defence that it may call additional witnesses to prove
23 the international character of the armed conflict in
24 Bosnia Herzegovina and to prove that the victims in
25 this case were protected persons pursuant to Article 2
1 of the Statute, concerning the very narrow scope.
2 As a matter of fact, the judgement in the Tadic
3 case had been issued in the meantime, on 7th May,
4 establishing some legal parameters for proving such
5 circumstances. Now the new designation of expert
6 witnesses is filed by the Prosecution for the following
7 reasons, which in our submission constitute good cause
8 according to paragraph 2, sub-paragraph 4, of the 25th
9 January order.
10 First of all, as I was saying, the elements of
11 Article 2 offences were first established in the
12 aforementioned opinion and judgement in the Tadic case on
13 7th May, including the requirements for proving the
14 existence of an international armed conflict and the
15 quality of protected persons according to the Geneva
17 Although the Prosecutor has given notice of her
18 intention to appeal that decision in this respect,
19 however, the parameters established by the Tadic Trial
20 Chamber anyway suggest a different focusing on these
21 relevant issues. Moreover, subsequent to the testimony
22 of Dr. Calic new facts, new information on the
23 internationality of the armed conflict in the former
24 Yugoslavia and the protected status of the victims have
25 come to the knowledge of the Prosecution, again, on
1 these two very narrow subjects, and the Prosecution is
2 now seeking to present this new information through
3 Dr. Gow, a military expert to be called instead of
4 General de Vogel, and Dr. Calic, as we know, was not a
5 military expert, keeping in mind the parameters
6 established in the Tadic decision as for
7 internationality of conflict, an issue for which Dr. Gow
8 is deemed to be a suitable expert witness.
9 Finally, as far as the nationality issue is
10 concerned, on 13th June this year the Trial Chamber,
11 your Honours, have already granted leave to the Defence
12 counsel of Mr. Delic to designate an expert witness on
13 the law of citizenship of Bosnia. The Defence counsel
14 wrote in his motion he had no objection to the
15 designation of a similar expert witness by the
16 Prosecution, and this is what the Prosecution intends
17 now to do, through the designation of Professor
18 Economides, again keeping in mind the parameters stated
19 in the Tadic decision for protected persons status, with
20 particular reference to Article 4 of Geneva Convention
22 The designation and the CV of Dr. Gow and Professor
23 Economides were filed on October 1st, together with this
24 motion, and in the following days the Prosecution
25 provided all the esteemed colleagues of the Defence with
1 a statement of the areas of their testimonies. So this
2 is my legal argument on the motion. Your Honours, thank
4 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: May I have any reaction on the part of
5 the Defence?
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I will discuss the two witnesses
7 separately, and in both cases rather briefly.
8 With regard to Dr. Gow, the Prosecution has pointed
9 out in its motion to seek leave to call additional
10 expert witnesses, and Mr. Turone has pointed out this
11 morning that subsequent to the testimony of Dr. Calic
12 "new facts and information" -- and I am reading from
13 their motion:
14 "... new facts and information on the
15 internationality of the armed conflict in the former
16 Yugoslavia and the protected status of the victims have
17 come to the knowledge of the Prosecution. The
18 Prosecution seeks to present this new information to the
19 Trial Chamber".
20 It is not clear, from reading that paragraph, the
21 nature of that new information. If it is in the form of
22 documents, we have not been provided with those
23 documents and under prior orders of this court should
24 have been at least by this time, it seems to me. If it
25 is not in the nature of documents, it could be quite
1 helpful, in terms of the preparation of
2 cross-examination of this witness, to be informed by the
3 Office of the Prosecutor what that new information is.
4 Beyond that, with regard to Dr. Gow, I have no
5 further comment.
6 With regard to Professor Economides, the Trial
7 Chamber should know that basically what we have been
8 provided are two small paragraphs containing very sparse
9 information about who this man is and what the nature of
10 his expertise might be. We can only conclude from
11 looking at those, at that information, those two small
12 paragraphs -- I am holding it up so you can see, your
13 Honours, the extent of what has been provided to us.
14 You probably have a copy of it. It is about five and a
15 half lines of typewritten material.
16 It appears that Professor Economides is being
17 offered to this Trial Chamber as a legal expert, being
18 brought here to tell your Honours what the law is. In
19 most places that would be an improper use of expert
20 testimony, unless the legal expert was being called for
21 the purpose of establishing foreign law. That is not my
22 understanding of the purpose of Mr. Economides, but that
23 he is being asked by the Prosecution to come here to
24 tell your Honours what international law is. I believe
25 that is the exclusive province of the Trial Chamber, to
1 determine what the law is, based upon the advice and
2 arguments of counsel in the case, and is not a matter
3 that is subject to expert testimony. Based upon that
4 reasoning, I object to Mr. Economides being called.
5 There is precious little before this Trial Chamber
6 which would even permit you to conclude that he has any
7 expertise at all and that he properly falls within the
8 category of an expert witness. The Prosecution has
9 presented virtually nothing. There is virtually no
10 information about what it is that they expect his
11 testimony will be; but the best we can conclude is they
12 are offering him as an expert on international law,
13 which I think is not an appropriate use of expertise.
14 Thank you.
15 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much. Yes, Mr. Moran?
16 MR. MORAN: Yes, your Honour. Very quickly, first,
17 I mis-spoke something yesterday. I said Mr. Gow had
18 published 15 articles in Jaynes' publication; it turns
19 out to be nine. I apologise for the factual mistake, to
20 be right upfront.
21 Secondly, let me limit my remarks as to Professor
22 Economides. As the Prosecutors properly noted, we
23 offered an expert in Bosnian law, because courts need
24 expertise to know what the law of a foreign nation is.
25 There is no showing, anywhere that I know of, that
1 Professor Economides is licensed to practice law in
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that he has ever practised law in
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that he has the slightest idea what
4 the citizenship laws of Bosnia-Herzegovina are. Just,
5 for instance, he would be just -- have the same kind of
6 expertise speaking about British nationality law or
7 American nationality law, or a nationality law of the
8 People's Republic of China. Because he lacks this
9 expertise in the area where I believe that the Trial
10 Chamber probably needs some expert testimony, I do not
11 think he will be helpful to the Trial Chamber.
12 For that reason, until they get an expert in
13 Bosnian law, I do not think that there is any need for
14 an expert on this, and I would object to this particular
15 witness testifying.
16 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Your Honour, on behalf of Mr. Delalic we
17 would adopt the arguments put forward by our friends
18 Mr. Ackerman and Mr. Moran.
19 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Mr. Olujic, what is the situation for
20 Mr. Mucic?
21 MR. OLUJIC: Thank you, your Honours. First of all, to avoid
22 unnecessary repetition, I fully endorse the elaboration
23 of the reasons given by my learned friend Mr. Ackerman,
24 but I would like to add the following: it is quite true
25 what has been said regarding Professor Gow and his
1 literature, which is really minimal. But we also lack
2 something important, when this witness was proposed to
3 assist the Trial Chamber in dealing with all the
4 problems required to pass a fair judgement, and that is
5 that we do not know at all what the Doctor's
6 dissertation, of this gentlemen, was, nor do we know the
7 title of that dissertation.
8 I have not been able to establish that he is an
9 expert for the area of the former Yugoslavia, because
10 the question of Bosnia-Herzegovina is linked in
11 symbiotic connection with the former state, so anyone
12 who is not really knowledgeable about the legal and
13 constitutional affairs of the former Yugoslavia cannot
14 know what is important for the territory of the former
15 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina which was later
16 recognised as an independent state. Therefore, I too
17 would like to object, regarding the proposed expert
18 witness; and I believe that we should bring before the
19 Trial Chamber a person who would synthesise both the
20 positions of the Prosecution and the Defence, so that
21 there should be no doubts as to that person's expertise
22 and all other credibility of that individual.
23 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much. Let us hear you,
24 Mr. Turone.
25 MR. TURONE: Thank you, your Honour. About the information
1 which Dr. James Gow is supposed to give to this court,
2 I would like to emphasise that the answer to the
3 question raised by Mr. Ackerman is at least in part
4 answered in the statement of the areas of the testimony
5 of this expert witness, which we filed in due time. We
6 said that Mr. Gow will describe the armed conflict that
7 occurred on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
8 including the Konjic municipality, in 1992, between the
9 Yugoslav People's Army and the Bosnian armed Serb forces
10 on the one side and the BiH army on the other side, and
11 so on.
12 But more in General, we should say that the narrow
13 scope of the expert testimony of Mr. Gow is anyway
14 included in what was the area of testimony which was
15 supposed to cover and which was many months ago given to
16 the Defence lawyers, which was supposed to cover the
17 other military witnesses we had designated in advance,
18 which was General De Vogel. So in a way I would say
19 that the new designation of the military expert James
20 Gow is somehow a substitution of the previous military
21 expert we had designated then, and the different
22 focusing which is suggested by the new Tadic case law
23 intervened in the meantime suggested to us to narrow the
24 scope of the military testimony and file a new
25 designation in the person of Mr. Gow.
1 On the other hand, we have to underline that all
2 what Dr. Gow wrote on this issue can be easily found in
3 his bibliography, and I would suggest that between
4 October 1st and November 3rd, which is the date when
5 Dr. Gow would probably be called to testify, the esteemed
6 colleagues of the Defence have the time to read what
7 this expert witness wrote on the narrow scope of
8 internationality of the conflict and status of protected
9 persons in the former Yugoslavia.
10 About Professor Economides. I would say that in
11 the CV of Professor Economides the main feature
12 concerning this expert witness is the fact that he is a
13 member of the European Commission for Democracy and Law
14 of the European Union and in that capacity he was the
15 reporter of this Commission on the issue of state
16 succession, of state succession, which is the real issue
17 coming out in this trial. On the issue of state
18 succession and nationality. Whatever was prepared by
19 Mr. Economides in the framework of this European
20 Commission is easily to be found in Brussels in among
21 the material of the European Commission.
22 Furthermore, he is also a member of the United
23 Nations International Law Commission. I would also add
24 that in this case it is not really a matter of being
25 expert witness exclusively on the law of Bosnia on
1 citizenship. This is certainly also one of the aspects,
2 but the matter coming to our attention is the matter of
3 nationality issue under the Geneva Conventions, and
4 particularly with regard to the succession of states,
5 the states' succession. So this, I think, is my answer
6 to the objections of the Defence. Thank you, your
8 MR. MORAN: Your Honour, just a couple of quick things.
9 Firstly, the Tadic -- although the Tadic Trial Chamber
10 issued its decision on 7th May, applying the law to the
11 facts of that case, the law itself is nothing new. It
12 is based on both the Tadic appellant decision from,
13 I believe, October 1995, maybe November 1995, and the
14 ICJ's opinion in Nicaragua v US, which is 1987, 1988
15 case, things almost ten years old.
16 Secondly, as I pointed out to the Trial Chamber
17 yesterday, I have spent many hours trying to find things
18 out about Mr. Economides on the Internet, which is a very
19 good source of information, and this Commission that he
20 is a member of. As I pointed out to the Trial Chamber
21 yesterday, all I could find on Professor Economides was
22 one reference to being a member on a European Commission
23 Against Torture. I found absolutely no references to a
24 European Commission for Democracy and Law. Clearly, he
25 has written a substantial amount of information as a
1 Reporter of this Commission. I do not know that we can
2 get our hands on it and digest it over the weekend.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, the first thing I want to respond
4 to is the way in which Mr. Turone skilfully avoided
5 responding to the major point that I was trying to
6 make. That is the statement by the Office of the
7 Prosecutor that there are new facts and information on
8 the internationality of the armed conflict in the former
9 Yugoslavia and the protected status of the victims that
10 have come to the knowledge of the Prosecution.
11 I specifically requested in my initial remarks that in
12 order for this Trial Chamber to make a proper decision
13 regarding this matter it would seem to me that the Trial
14 Chamber would have to have some indication of what these
15 new facts and information consist of. If they consist
16 of documents they should have been turned over to us
17 quite a long time ago. Mr. Turone did not respond
18 directly to that whatsoever. I think that needs and
19 requires a response.
20 With regard to Professor Economides, the response
21 was very much what I had suspected, and that was that he
22 is going to be proffered to you as an expert on
23 international law, which I think is improper and will
24 not be of any help to such a learned Trial Chamber,
25 which probably, with the experience that the three of
1 you have together, would outweigh anything
2 Professor Economides could offer by several tongues,
3 I would think, based upon looking on his CV and that of
4 the Honourable Judges sitting on this Tribunal with
5 regard to international law issues.
6 I therefore suggest to the Tribunal that before
7 you can make a decision regarding either of these
8 matters, you need more information. Perhaps you have
9 sufficient information now from which you could decide
10 that you do not need to hear from Professor Economides.
11 With regard to Professor Gow, I think you do need
12 more information to make that decision which should be
13 provided to you by the Office of the Prosecutor. If
14 this Tribunal determines that they will permit
15 Professor Economides to be called then I would like
16 leave to make additional remarks to the Chamber. Thank
18 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: It is possible, Economides' both
19 publications are published, both sides will be satisfied
20 with his Commission. I do not know.
21 Do you have any contribution?
22 MR. GREAVES: Your Honour, one short contribution to make.
23 It concerns the position of Professor Economides, with
24 respect to your Honours' position. The reason why
25 evidence of what international law is not admissible in
1 this court might be taken from a useful publication
2 which states pithily what the position is. That is
3 Juberre's Law of South Africa, volume 9. This is the
4 law of South Africa, but it applies, in my submission,
5 equally here:
6 "It is not permissible to lead expert evidence on
7 a point law. The court notices it, not because it is a
8 matter of common knowledge, but because the court the
9 organ of state entrusted with the functions of declaring
10 and applying the law."
11 That short sentence identifies what your role is.
12 If Mr. Economides comes along and gives expert evidence
13 on what international law is, he is effectively becoming
14 a member of the Trial Chamber. That is not
15 permissible. Interestingly enough, in the law of South
16 Africa international customary law is considered to be
17 incorporated in that state's law. It should be
18 judicially noticed and expert evidence to prove it is in
19 fact inadmissible. It cites a number of authorities for
20 that proposition.
21 In my submission, if what Professor Economides is
22 going to come to do is give evidence about what the
23 international law of a succession of states is, as
24 opposed to expert evidence of the law on citizenship in
25 Bosnia, it is not admissible.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, the court reporters' system,
2 because of the way it is set up, seems to be
3 substituting my name for Mr. Economides on occasion, and
4 that could be confusing in the record as Mr. Greaves has
5 just disparaged my expertise.
6 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I think we will grant the application.
7 Let us hear Mr. Ackerman.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, with regard to
9 Professor Economides, he was the Reporter to this
10 Commission, the European Commission for Democracy and
11 Law. We have -- my colleague, Ms. McMurrey, this
12 morning has had a discussion with the Office of the
13 Prosecutor regarding that report. It was learned that
14 the Office of the Prosecutor in fact has a copy of that
15 report. When Ms. McMurrey asked Mr. Niemann to please
16 furnish us with a copy of it, he refused to have any
17 conversation with her about it, refused to respond to
18 her inquiry and basically ignored the request. I wish
19 these matters could be worked out without bringing this
20 to the Tribunal's attention, but if Mr. Niemann is going
21 to refuse to even discuss such issues with us then we
22 must bring it to your attention.
23 Due to the short time between now and when he is
24 likely to testify, rather than ask for an adjournment
25 once we find this, it seems to me that in the interest
1 of making things move along with this Tribunal that it
2 would be totally appropriate for the Tribunal to order
3 the Officer of the Prosecutor to give us a copy of that
4 report and any other writings they have of
5 Professor Economides, otherwise we will have no choice
6 but to seek an adjournment for the purpose of gathering
7 up these documents and being prepared to cross-examine
8 the Professor.
9 We have somewhat the same problem with regard to
10 Professor Gow; however, based upon your ruling this
11 morning, we will endeavour now to start marshalling the
12 documents necessary to prepare that cross-examination.
13 We will hope that we can do that without requesting any
14 kind of adjournment from the court.
15 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, may I respond to that?
16 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much.
17 MR. NIEMANN: This is yet another example of misconstruction
18 and accusing me of things which have not happened. When
19 I was asked about this I said I do not have it and I do
20 not know, but that I would make inquiries. At that
21 moment, I then instructed Mr. Khan to send an e-mail
22 message upstairs to see whether or not information could
23 be obtained, because I did not know of it in relation to
24 the report and I did not know the telephone number that
25 I was also requested of. This is just a lie. They were
1 here, she heard it, now it is being totally
2 misrepresented. This sort of behaviour is going on time
3 and time again in this Chamber. It is most regrettable
4 and most unethical. I will produce a copy of the
5 e-mail, your Honour, as soon as I can have it produced
6 by the printer.
7 MS. McMURREY: Your Honour, if I might respond, since
8 Mr. Niemann just called me a liar in court. What
9 happened was I did ask Mr. Niemann for the telephone
10 number and he did talk to Mr. Khan and said he would try
11 to arrange for us to get the telephone number of the
12 expert. When I asked for the report he did not respond
13 to me that he would provide me with the report. Thank
15 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: This type of thing should not be
16 continuing here. What has been told to the Trial
17 Chamber is that he has refused to react to your
18 request. That is what we have just been told. This is
19 what he is trying to reject. That is not completely the
20 position. Well, I think in the ordinary manner of
21 co-operation I am sure they will try to give you the
22 sources of the information; if you can get the reports
23 and if they can find it for you they will do so. I do
24 not think there is any difficulty in co-operating in
25 matters of this nature. I think this is the end of this
1 application. We grant the application. Thank you.
2 Next we go on with your witness.
3 General ARIF PASALIC (continued)
4 Examination-in-chief by MR. NIEMANN (continued)
5 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes. You may sit. Morning, General.
6 Remind him that he is still on his oath.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Sir, I remind you that you are still under
9 A. Yes.
10 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, Mr. Niemann, you may continue.
11 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you, your Honour.
12 General, yesterday we were speaking about Sefer
13 Halilovic and his position of Chief of Staff during the
14 period of 1992. In relation to his position, was he
15 ultimately responsible for prisoners of war detained by
16 members of the Bosnian Herzegovina army at that time?
17 A. Sefer Halilovic is Chief of Staff of the Supreme
18 Command, was my superior officer. All issues regarding
19 action and combat and prisoners of war were linked to
20 his orders.
21 Q. And that would include dealings with prisoners of war,
22 would it?
23 A. I was responsible to the Chief of Staff of the Supreme
24 Command in all regards, for all issues, including also
25 the matters of dealing with prisoners of war.
1 Q. And would this apply to other immediate subordinates of
2 Sefer Halilovic in the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, when
3 it came to dealing with prisoners of war?
4 A. I can tell my own opinion. I think they were all in the
5 same position towards the superior officer, who was the
6 Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command. They all had the
7 responsibilities and their duties.
8 Q. General, when it came to visitations at camps or
9 prisoner of war facilities by the International
10 Committee of the Red Cross who was it that was
11 authorised to permit inspections in the hierarchy of the
12 army of the Bosnia-Herzegovina?
13 A. In the period from April 1992 up until the establishing
14 of the Crop, I did not have prisoners of war that were
15 based in prisons or other premises. I did not have any
16 camps. I turned over my prisoners of war to the
17 headquarters of the Croatian Defence Council. But in
18 order for the ICRC or any other international
19 organisation to visit any of my institutions or
20 establishments I had to have the accord of my superior
21 officers; that was the staff of the Supreme Command. In
22 that case I would be allowed to allow the visitation of
23 any international organisation including, the
24 International Red Cross.
25 Q. Would that apply, so far as you know, to other
1 Commanders of such army groups as Tactical Groups?
2 A. I can say my own opinion about that. I think that would
3 go also for all the other subordinate groups and
5 Q. And in relation specifically to the Celebici complex,
6 when that was being utilised as a prison facility, did
7 that ever come under your responsibility, at any stage?
8 A. As for Celebici, which is a complex where those people
9 were isolated, I only learned about that towards the end
10 of November. That is when I established a committee
11 that would have to investigate the matter. I was never
12 at Celebici or had any responsibility over that complex.
13 Q. Why was it that you investigated it then, General?
14 I mean, I know you were not there, but why did you cause
15 the investigation into it, if it was not a matter under
16 your responsibility?
17 A. I started the investigation when I became the Commander
18 of the 4th Corps with an order issued on 17th November,
19 1992. As that case happened at Konjic somewhere from
20 the 20th November onwards, I established, as I have
21 already told you, a commission that had to investigate
22 and find out the facts of what happened in Konjic. That
23 commission informed me that at the warehouse of the
24 former JNA at Celebici there was a certain number of
25 people who were isolated there. By contacting those
1 people and by contacting the people who ensured the
2 security of the place that there were persons who died
3 for various reasons, people that were not alive.
4 I decided that it should be found out what was happening
5 and I was informed that investigations should be
6 started, linked to the missing of those people or to
7 their death. That is when I started proceedings against
8 those people as it is stated in that Act for the
9 starting of criminal proceedings.
10 Q. Yes. General, I think there may have been some
11 confusion in my question. What I was asking is: was
12 there any time when the Celebici camp came under your
13 responsibility? Specifically, did it come under your
14 responsibility after 17th November, when the 4th Corps
15 was established?
16 A. After the establishing of the 4th Corps, because the
17 facilities at Celebici were physically lying within the
18 area of my responsibility, I decided to have a look into
19 it and when I did so I wanted that the camp be disbanded
20 and that those people be sent in the prisons which had
21 such a purpose. I did not have time to look into the
22 camp, as you call it, that is of Celebici. These were
23 these isolated persons. I considered those people,
24 persons were not combatants so I only asked for those
25 people to be transferred to other centres, and for the
1 situation to be -- the matter to be investigated into.
2 Q. General, during the period of 1992, did you know or come
3 to know a person by the name of Esad Ramic?
4 A. Yes, I did. I met Esad Ramic in the same period when
5 I met Mr. Zejnil Delalic and the others. That is when
6 I arrived to Konjic. I think that at that time Esad
7 Ramic was in the staff of the Territorial Defence of the
8 municipality of Konjic. I do not know whether he was
9 just a legal officer, or the head of the staff. I do
10 not know that.
11 Q. And did he stay in Konjic for the whole period of 1992,
12 or did he subsequently leave Konjic, in terms of the
13 place where he was stationed in the army?
14 A. During 1992, I found him in Konjic in the staff of the
15 Territorial Defence and later on when the Corps was
16 established he became part of that Corps as one of the
17 operational officers of the command.
18 Q. Your Honours, those are all the questions I have.
19 I just wish to check with the Registrar, if I may,
20 whether Exhibit 141 was -- I tendered it, but was it
21 accepted into evidence for the truth of its contents?
22 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, it was admitted yesterday into
24 MR. NIEMANN: I have no further questions.
25 MR. MORAN: Your Honour, I believe that the Trial Chamber did
1 not accept 141 for the truth of the matters therein but
2 for the relationships. As I recall that distinction was
3 made by Judge Jan.
4 MR. NIEMANN: My friend is quite right, it was tendered for a
5 limited basis. I do apologise.
6 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you. That is all you have with
7 this witness?
8 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour.
9 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Any cross-examination?
10 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Yes, your Honours. We will proceed in this
11 way. First counsel for Mr. Delic, second counsel for
12 Mr. Mucic, third counsel for Mr. Delalic and fourth
13 counsel for Mr. Landzo.
14 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: If the Defence would not mind, because
15 my colleague would want to put some questions before
16 cross-examination starts.
17 JUDGE ODIO-BENITO: Thank you. I would like to ask, General
18 Pasalic, if it is possible to assist the Tribunal in the
19 following: General, when you talk about aggressors or
20 aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992, who are
21 you referring to?
22 A. In this case, I am primarily referring to aggression by
23 the former Yugoslav People's Army, as we call them, the
24 Serbian-Montenegrin aggressor. Later in 1992, in the
25 second half of the year, there was aggression also by
1 the Croatian Defence Council. But in this case I was
2 mostly referring to the aggression by the former JNA.
3 JUDGE ODIO-BENITO: And could you explain to me if some
4 paramilitary groups were also part of this aggression?
5 A. For me as a citizen of Bosnian Herzegovina and an
6 officer of the Territorial Defence, all those who were
7 outside the constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
8 outside the law and the armed forces were paramilitary
9 formations. The only legal military formations,
10 according to me, were the Territorial Defence and the
11 HVO. The remnants of the former JNA, the army of
12 Republika Srpska, which we did not recognise, were for
13 me paramilitary units.
14 JUDGE ODIO-BENITO: General, when you use the word
15 "Chetnik", who are you referring to?
16 A. Unfortunately I use the term Chetniks, members of the
17 former JNA and the army of the so-called Republika
18 Srpska, now an entity, have in certain designations the
19 Chetnik prefix. Historically this dates back to the
20 Chetnik movement in Serbia, Kosta Pecanac and onwards,
21 whose ideology was a greater Serbian nation and the
22 formation of a greater Serbia.
23 JUDGE ODIO-BENITO: That means according to your opinion
24 there were attacks coming from outside
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina and coming from inside
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina against the government in Sarajevo?
2 A. The attacks were carried out by formations of the former
3 Yugoslav People's Army and other paramilitary formations
4 established in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina
5 controlled by Serb nationalists. But there were units
6 coming to Bosnia-Herzegovina from the territory of
7 Serbia, such as the Uzice Corps, which was in the south
8 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and which was attacking Mostar
9 and other formations from the former Yugoslav, that is
10 from Serbia and Montenegro.
11 JUDGE ODIO-BENITO: Thank you very much. You have been very
13 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Mr. Moran, you can continue.
14 MR. MORAN: May it please the court.
15 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, you may proceed.
16 Cross-examination by MR. TOM MORAN
17 MR. MORAN: Thank you, your Honour.
18 Good morning, General.
19 A. Good morning.
20 MR. MORAN: Sir, my name is Thomas Moran and I -- your
21 Honour, I think I am on the wrong channel. Now I am
22 hearing English rather than French.
23 Let me introduce myself. I represent a man named
24 Hazim Delic, and I am going to ask you some questions
25 and they are going to be fairly general questions, and
1 maybe some of my colleagues will ask a little bit more
2 specific things about this. But I am going to ask you
3 questions about military organisation, command
4 structures, military justice, things like that.
5 As a little preface, just so you know where these
6 questions are going to be coming from, I spent 21 years
7 in the active duty in reserves in the United States army
8 and I have recently retired, so I think we may be
9 talking somewhat officer to officer.
10 The first thing I would like to ask you about is
11 the command relationship between the HVO and the TO in
12 the period from, say, April of 1992 through about
13 November of 1992, just in general terms. At any place
14 in the command structure, did the HVO share a common
15 commander with the TO or the army of BiH?
16 A. At the beginning of the organisation of the defence and
17 resistance against the aggressor, TO units were formed,
18 led by the republican staff of Territorial Defence of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Parallel with that and maybe a
20 little earlier, I do not recall the date, units of the
21 HVO were formed, learning a lesson from the war in
22 Croatia. Those units, that is HVO units, and TO units
23 at first acted in co-ordination against the aggressor,
24 that is the former JNA and Serbian-Montenegrin
1 However, the headquarters of the HVO was formed by
2 Janko Bobetko as commander of the southern theatre of
3 war in 1992. I think it was in March or April; and it
4 was an independent command in relation to the municipal
5 TO staff. The command of the TO was in Sarajevo and the
6 command of the HVO was in Posusje and in Siroki Breg.
7 The relations between these two commands, I am not
8 competent to say, and I am not familiar with the way it
9 functioned, but I know that in the field I was Battalion
10 Commander. We did co-ordinate with the HVO in the
11 territory of the Neretva River valley in Herzegovina,
12 based in Mostar. That co-ordination consisted of mutual
13 consultations, agreements, and conduct of combat
14 operations against the aggressor.
15 Q. So, General, when you were a Battalion Commander in
16 early 1992, and there was an HVO unit operating in your
17 area of operations, did you, for instance, have the
18 authority to call in that HVO commander and say: "you
19 work for me. Take that hill"?
20 A. Before engaging in operations, we would agree on who
21 would be the Commander of that particular operation. If
22 I was Commander of a Battalion I had my own area which
23 we had delineated between us and the HVO and if we were
24 fighting an aggressor and an HVO unit was attached to me
25 then it would come under my command. If I was
1 participating with a part of my unit in another area of
2 the battlefield and the HVO unit was in charge, then my
3 unit would be subordinated to the Commander of that HVO
4 unit. That was the practice.
5 Q. So the practice was that at some time before the battle
6 the HVO Commander and the TO Commander and possibly
7 their staffs, and possibly other people, would get
8 together and decide who will be in charge of this
9 operation, and another operation tomorrow it might be
10 that someone else was in charge. Is that a fair
11 assessment, General?
12 A. Yes. In the case of a particular combat operation or
13 task, but if talking about the territorial
14 responsibility, the area was also decided, in some areas
15 there were BiH army units or rather TO and in others
16 HVO. So that it did occur that one could not have
17 parallel Commanders, but certain areas of responsibility
18 were designated and each one was in command of his
19 subordinated units and received instructions from the
20 HVO command in one case and in the other from the TO
21 command. So it was a highly complicated system of
22 control and command.
23 Q. And I suspect that in your logistical operations,
24 supplies, weapons, ammunition, gasoline, vehicles, it
25 was the same kind of complicated relationship between
1 the TO and the HVO, is that a fair assessment, General?
2 A. The logistics for subordinated units and command was set
3 in very complicated conditions. There were no rules.
4 It was the conditions that dictated the rules. We in
5 the TO received supplies from our own logistics bases
6 and some we had to obtain ourselves. We were assisted
7 at first by the HVO, and this applied mostly to clothing
8 and food. In some cases, we did assist one another with
9 some equipment -- military equipment, but this was
10 limited in scale.
11 Q. Well, of course, at that time for both the HVO and the
12 TO there were, I suspect, some severe shortages of
13 everything, from weapons to combat boots. Is that a
14 fair assessment?
15 A. We were absolutely short of everything. We did not have
16 uniforms, boots, clothing. We did not have sufficient
17 weapons either. The HVO was quite well supplied, but
18 I am not familiar with their sources of supply.
19 Q. And I suspect that Commanders for both the HVO and the
20 TO and the supply of logistical officers for both the
21 HVO and the TO were rather jealous of what they had and
22 they wanted to keep what they had for their units, so
23 sharing things became a complicated system of
24 negotiations. Is that fair?
25 A. As Commanders of the TO and the HVO we did not have many
1 disputes amongst ourselves over that. We had logistics
2 problems because we were short of things, and there was
3 the question of supplies, was further complicated by the
4 blockade. But naturally, each side kept what they had
5 for themselves, and what they needed in the event of
6 fresh operations against the aggressor and they took
7 great care of that.
8 Q. And between the headquarters of the HVO on one side and
9 the TO on the other, would it be common for you, for
10 instance, to have a liaison officer in the HVO
11 headquarters to co-ordinate your activities, your
12 logistical problems with the activities, operations and
13 logistical problems of the HVO?
14 A. In Mostar as Battalion and Brigade Commander I did have
15 a liaison officer in the HVO command in Mostar. That
16 officer co-ordinated in a sense our common interests.
17 Also in the area of logistics, but in other areas as
18 well, between these two components, that is TO units and
19 HVO units, I do not know how the Republican staff and
20 the main headquarters of the HVO co-ordinated.
21 My task, assigned to me in September 1992, was
22 with Jasmin Jaganjac and Anto Prkacin, as HOS Commander,
23 to go to central Bosnia to prepare the ground for the
24 establishment of a joint command. We were in the
25 territory of the Travnik, Vitez, Busovaca and Zenica,
1 but unfortunately we did not ever establish that joint
3 Q. I know you are not familiar with the operations and the
4 co-ordination between the two in the Konjic area because
5 you were -- in the spring and summer of 1992 -- because
6 that was outside of your area of responsibility. But
7 would it be unreasonable for the civilian authorities in
8 the municipality to appoint someone of some stature in
9 the community to act as a mediator between the TO and
10 the HVO, so that they could work out their differences
11 and work together in a smoother way?
12 A. As regards the Konjic municipality, visiting Mr. Zejnil
13 Delalic once on the front, I dropped by with Jasmin
14 Jaganjac to the headquarters of the HVO of the Konjic
15 municipality. We then discussed our mutual
16 relationships and our co-operation. I saw we were
17 co-operating. There were cases that the President of the
18 municipality would appoint somebody to co-ordinate with
19 the HVO and the HVO would also send people to co-ordinate
20 with us, to have negotiations and discussions with us.
21 Q. And just because that person who acts as a mediator or
22 liaison between the HVO and the TO that does not
23 necessarily give him any command responsibility in and
24 of itself does it, General?
25 A. I do not know what kind of responsibility he would
1 have. It depended on what the responsibility was
2 assigned to him by the person who appointed him. I had
3 my own representative in the headquarters of the HVO,
4 Adem Zulovic. I was the one who gave him assignments as
5 to what he should do in the HVO command, and which are
6 the areas in which we can co-ordinate with the HVO. This
7 co-ordinator of mine was responsible for military
8 matters. We were a military organisation, as was the
9 HVO command.
10 Q. And your representative in the HVO command, your liaison
11 officer, was not a commander, was he? He was a liaison
12 officer to, a staff officer to help you co-ordinate your
13 activities with an adjacent unit?
14 A. Yes. He had no authority to command. He had the
15 authority to represent us, the TO, in the HVO command,
16 and to work on the co-ordination. He did not have any
17 executive command functions.
18 Q. General, since you have mentioned executive command
19 functions, I would like to talk about that and the
20 theory of command if we could, just in general terms; as
21 a Commander and a former Commander I am sure that you
22 are familiar with it; but is it not true that in any
23 army in the world, any military organisation in the
24 world, a Commander, simply because he is a Commander,
25 has special responsibilities and special authorities
1 that some other person even of equal rank who was not a
2 Commander would not have, would lack? That was a poorly
3 framed question, General; if you do not understand it,
4 I will be happy to break it up.
5 A. Both in the former JNA and the TO and in the army of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina the Commander is the most responsible
7 individual for the overall situation in the subordinate
8 units, and not only for the situation, but also the
9 consequences and the directions of future activities.
10 But the term of "executive command" applies to officers
11 who directly issue orders to perform specific tasks.
12 Q. Okay. For instance, in armies that I am familiar with a
13 Commander is responsible for everything his unit does or
14 fails to do. He is responsible for making sure that his
15 men are fed, that they are equipped, that they get their
16 mail, that -- he is responsible for promotions,
17 demotions. That would be the same in the former JNA and
18 the TO, and the current army of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
19 would it not, General?
20 A. Yes. When you are talking about a Commander, he has the
21 right to command. The other persons in his command have
22 specific responsibilities, assistants, officers, et
23 cetera. But they have no right to issue orders. Every
24 order has to be verified by the Commander. There is the
25 right to execute a task, that is one right, and the
1 right to issue orders is another right.
2 Q. And sometimes, General -- and this is going to tie in,
3 I think, to the concept of a Tactical Group. Now, a
4 Tactical Group is something that I have very little
5 familiarity with. But let me -- I would like to discuss
6 it a little bit, and as a preface I may draw some
7 parallels to the organisations that would be used in a
8 NATO army. As part of your training as an officer, did
9 you become familiar with the organisations of NATO
11 A. Yes, we did study the NATO alliance.
12 Q. Good, because I now think we can talk on the same sheet
13 of music, General. As I understand what a Tactical
14 Group is, it is a unit that is formed either based on an
15 existing unit, or units are added to it, or just out of
16 the whole to perform a specific task, is that correct?
17 A. In general terms, Tactical Groups are temporary military
18 formations, formed to carry out specific tasks.
19 Q. So, for instance, in the military that I would be
20 familiar with, we might form a task force, where there
21 might be an armoured Battalion that would need an
22 infantry company to perform a mission, so that infantry
23 company would be sent to the armoured battalion for this
24 one mission. Is that generally what we are talking
1 A. If talking in general terms about Tactical Groups, they
2 may be of mixed composition, various units, of various
3 sizes and various purposes. In NATO, one of the largest
4 groups that was ever formed was in the Middle East in
5 Kuwait. You had armed forces from all NATO members, an
6 enormous Tactical Group that was assigned the task of
7 Kuwait. It was enormous -- you did not call it a
8 Tactical Group, it was an Operative Strategic Group.
9 But "Tactical Group" is at the left of tactics where you
10 have companies, platoons, detachments which are grouped
11 under a single command to carry out a specific task; in
12 this case, the defence of the municipality of Konjic,
13 Jablanica, Prozor, Vakuf from the aggression of the
14 remnants of the former JNA and the Serbian and
15 Montenegrin aggressors.
16 Q. One of the things I am familiar with, and I would like
17 to know if both the current BiH army, the TO and the
18 former JNA would operate this way, if I were to send an
19 unit to another -- to aid another unit, to set up a task
20 force or Tactical Group, just because that unit is
21 assigned to a Tactical Group, does not mean -- in and of
22 itself does not tell you the authority of the Tactical
23 Group Commander over that individual unit, would it?
24 Let me give you an example. I will tell you what
25 I am looking for, General. It might be possible, for
1 instance, to just give a Commander operational control
2 of another unit, so that he could say "take that hill"
3 or "hold that road junction". But that Commander may
4 not have any other responsibility for that unit. That
5 Commander who has operational control may not be
6 responsible for feeding the troops, or for their --
7 making sure they got their pay. Would that kind of
8 thing be possible under a Tactical Group?
9 A. You are using other terms now. You are talking about
10 subordination and attachment. It all depends on how it
11 was regulated by the person giving the orders. If he
12 has given you a unit to watch over a particular facility
13 then he will tell you what your responsibilities and
14 competencies are in relation to that group. Do you have
15 to feed them and supply them, or will somebody else feed
16 and supply them. We are talking now very generally. If
17 we are talking about Tactical Group 1 the Commander of
18 the Tactical Group 1 and whoever appointed him must know
19 the competencies and the responsibilities he assigned to
20 the Commander of the Tactical Group.
21 MR. MORAN: Your Honour, it is 11.30 and I have quite a bit
22 more to do. This is our traditional time to take a
23 break. Would it be appropriate to do it now, your
25 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, I think we will break for 30
2 MR. MORAN: Thank you, General, see you in a few minutes.
3 (11.30 am)
4 (Short break)
5 (12.00 pm)
6 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, just before the witness is
7 brought in, there are a couple of matters I wish to
8 raise, if I may. Your Honours, an order was issued by
9 subpoena for General Ramic to attend. He has arrived
10 and been here since Tuesday night -- Monday night,
11 I should say. We do not expect that we will be in a
12 position to call him today, which would mean either he
13 has to go back -- and if he stayed I think he would
14 probably be here for a very long time. So our position
15 on it now is that we have decided that, with your
16 Honour's leave, if your Honours are disposed to release
17 him from the subpoena, we would envisage that he goes
18 back, and I do not think it will be necessary for us to
19 call him.
20 I should say, however, that he has agreed to speak
21 to the Defence on the same conditions that General
22 Pasalic agreed to speak to the Defence, namely as long
23 as a representative of the Office of the Prosecutor was
24 present. If he goes back and if your Honours are
25 disposed to release him, the Victims and Witnesses Unit
1 would like to organise travelling for tomorrow morning.
2 I raise it at this stage, if the Defence are anxious to
3 speak to him, then could it possibly be organised for
4 this afternoon, after court, and he can be made
5 available then with a representative of the Office of
6 the Prosecutor. I raise that for the information of
8 That being so, and if your Honours were disposed
9 to release him from the subpoena, we -- General Divjak
10 -- we understand that it is not going to create a
11 difficulty for him to stay over, and there is the
12 custodian of records. If there is time this afternoon,
13 we would like to call the custodian of records, because
14 from the point of view of the evidence-in-chief it is
15 not anticipated he will be a long witness. He may -- it
16 may be that he goes over to the next stage, to next
17 week, but if that is so, I do not think the compass of
18 his evidence is that broad.
19 So if I just may mention those matters, your
21 MR. MORAN: Your Honour, I have been informed, I do not know
22 how good the information is, that we were to meet with
23 the General today at the lunch break. Is that correct?
24 That is General Divjak, I am sorry. I was misinformed,
25 misunderstood what was being said. I am sure we can
1 arrange to meet General Ramic after court tonight.
2 MR. NIEMANN: Finally, your Honours, I did undertake to
3 obtain copies of the e-mail that was sent this morning.
4 I hand up those three copies.
5 Finally, your Honours, I have to say that the
6 information that sought by the Defence by Mr. Ackerman in
7 relation to Professor Economides is still being sought
8 and as soon as we obtain it we will make it available.
9 I hand those to your Honours.
10 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: If I understand you correctly, you
11 intend to apply to withdraw the subpoena against General
13 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, yes, on the basis I think the
14 evidence we have taken so far is sufficiently broad
15 enough. It does not look as though we can get to him
16 towards, at the earliest, the end of next week, and
17 possibly the week after. It is so long down the track
18 we do not think it is fair to hold him over here for
19 that period of time. We believe we can proceed without
20 his evidence, your Honours.
21 JUDGE JAN: Do we have to call him to say we are withdrawing
22 the subpoena?
23 MR. NIEMANN: I can undertake to convey that, or, if you
24 want, I can call him. It is a matter for your Honours
25 how you wish me to deal with it. I thought it was
1 inappropriate for me --
2 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: If you think it is sufficient, although
3 I would have thought the proper thing would have been a
4 proper motion. I think it is sufficient for an oral
6 MR. NIEMANN: If your Honours would prefer a motion to be
7 filed, I can undertake to form one.
8 JUDGE JAN: You can inform him that if you decide to call
9 him he should be available on those dates.
10 MR. NIEMANN: If your Honours please.
11 JUDGE JAN: Issued at the subpoena. Now you are supporting
12 his request that the subpoena be withdrawn, so ...
13 MR. NIEMANN: If your Honours please. That is the
15 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You are indicating that we withdraw the
16 subpoena against him -- has been withdrawn formally.
17 MR. NIEMANN: We will provide a draft of that, your Honours.
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, if I may, I would like to
19 ask, first of all, if my learned friend Mr. Niemann could
20 give us the precise order of the persons that will be
21 heard as witnesses next week so that we could prepare
22 ourselves for it.
23 The second point is that I know that I am not
24 authorised to discuss the subpoena, whether it should be
25 annulled or not, but since these past days I am not only
1 in the media, which my colleague has commented upon, but
2 also in front of this Trial Chamber we have heard lots
3 of things related to the subpoena, so if you will allow
4 me, if I can, as an attorney from Sarajevo, and these
5 people come from Sarajevo, may I ask you to annul the
6 subpoena towards those persons regardless of the fact
7 that some of them have already testified, and the others
8 will testify. I think that this would be a correct and
9 very honourable decision of this court.
10 JUDGE JAN: I am not sure after they have appeared and given
11 the evidence there is any point in withdrawing the
12 subpoena. You already asked them and they have said
13 they were prepared to come voluntarily. So I --
14 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: For those who have given evidence their
15 subpoena is spent. There is no need for it. Actually
16 I do not know how to decide the argument about which of
17 them is telling the truth; at the time we order the
18 subpoena we had certain facts which we relied upon;
19 contrary facts have appeared. So be it. The subpoena
20 is spent, they have given the evidence. We do not have
21 to bother about that. It is not any offence against
22 them that they answered the subpoena. We have not gone
23 into the issues to know the type of information which
24 the Prosecution had before these subpoenas were issued,
25 and I do not think we need bother about that at this
1 stage. But for those who normally would now give
2 evidence, if there is sufficient evidence, as Mr. Niemann
3 has withdrawn this, I suppose he would withdraw the
4 subpoena with respect to anyone who he believes does not
5 really require a subpoena to be here. So, I do not see
6 why you should bother so much about it.
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, I would only like to say a
8 few words. We have discussed many times about the legal
9 knowledge, the legal culture, in our areas, and also in
10 the countries where you have been judges for many years,
11 and subpoena is considered, is perceived to be some kind
12 of a punishment towards those people. Maybe some kind
13 of a statement made by the Trial Chamber, something like
14 you have just said, maybe or would have the effect of
15 clearing those people, because they have got some kind
16 of, like a negative effect, the subpoena that remains on
17 them. Because all those people consider it will be an
18 honour to come and testify in front of this Tribunal,
19 and not how it is perceived now, as some kind of a stain
20 in the reputation that it is perceived in
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina now.
22 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much. I think we will
23 discuss with the Prosecutor and see how it could
24 ameliorate whatever effect it might have had on those on
25 who subpoenas are still outstanding.
1 Yes, Mr. Ackerman?
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honours, Mr. Niemann has presented a
3 memorandum or an e-mail, or something, to the court just
4 now. I cannot imagine why. It seems to reopen a matter
5 that I thought that this court had put to rest, and
6 I think it is inappropriate for him to have done so; but
7 in as much as he has done so, I now feel a need to point
8 out to the court that the e-mail request for six copies
9 of the requested document was only transmitted
10 apparently from this courtroom after the issue had been
11 raised with the Tribunal.
12 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Mr. Niemann, have you any response to
14 MR. NIEMANN: I presented it because I said to your Honours
15 I would. The relevant time is not the one where the six
16 copies are asked to be brought into court it is the one
17 beneath it, which shows the time 10.13.
18 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, I see that.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: The 10.13 time is absolutely consistent with
20 what Ms. McMurrey informed me, that he said he would
21 try to provide the telephone number. The 10.54 time
22 when the copies are requested is consistent with that
23 not having been done until it was brought to your
24 attention that he had refused to discuss that matter
25 with us.
1 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: It is all right. I think we hear. Let
2 us lay it to rest at that point.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: It was my belief it had been laid to rest
4 earlier. I did not want to raise it at this issue;
5 Mr. Niemann raised it again, so I felt I had a need to
7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you. Can we get the witness in?
8 (Witness enters court)
9 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Kindly inform the witness that he is
10 still on his oath.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Sir, I remind you that you are still under
13 MR. MORAN: May it please the court.
14 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, you may proceed.
15 MR. MORAN: Thank you very much, your Honour.
16 General, something I forgot to mention when
17 I first started asking you questions, I will just do it
18 now on behalf of myself and the rest of the Defence
19 lawyers, we would like to express our condolences for
20 the death of your brother.
21 Sir, that having been said, let me go back to
22 where I think we were at the time of the break. I would
23 like to chat with you a little bit, because frankly, the
24 situation, the military situation that you were involved
25 in, is something that happens very, very rarely in
1 history, which is where a country has to try to form a
2 country and an army and a military and a defence
3 structure, while, at the same time, it is conducting
4 military operations, actual operations. I suspect that
5 in the period from, say, April 1992, through probably
6 November, when you formed the Corps, that the military
7 situation was a very confusing situation; that lines of
8 command and control were unclear, missions were unclear,
9 it was -- who was in charge of what was unclear, that it
10 was probably a pretty confusing situation militarily.
11 Is that a fair assessment, General?
12 A. I agree with you.
13 Q. And, in fact, based on the military situation, you had
14 to probably put people in positions of authority and
15 responsibility who lacked experience and training to
16 normally be in those positions. Would that be a fair
18 A. Yes, it would.
19 Q. And that the relationship between the civilian
20 authorities and the municipalities and the military
21 authorities in the same area would probably also have
22 been quite confused during that period of time, would it
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. So, basically, what you were doing was trying to form a
1 defence structure while you were actually defending your
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Let me jump back, for just a second, sir, to the
5 Tactical Groups. I was thinking about it over the break
6 and there were a couple of things I was a little
7 confused about; if I am confused, I suspect I am not the
8 only person in the courtroom that is. Again, as
9 I understand a Tactical Group, it is a temporary
10 headquarters that is set up to carry out a particular
11 mission. It is to do one thing?
12 A. I have said that the general term "Tactical Group", we
13 understand to be a temporary formation of certain units
14 at the left of tactical units which are platoons,
15 companies and battalions, in order for them to perform
16 specific tasks.
17 Q. When you say "task", I am saying "mission". I think we
18 are saying the same thing, are we not, to do one thing?
19 General, if you would look, there is a lady in
20 front of you; that is a court reporter, and there is
21 another lady over there; that is a court reporter. She
22 has to write down everything we say. She cannot write
23 down a nod, so I am afraid, sir, you have to say "yes"
24 or "no"?
25 A. Yes, I understand that.
1 Q. So the record is clear, the answer to the last question
2 -- you nodded in the affirmative, a yes, is that
3 correct, General?
4 A. Yes, it is.
5 Q. Thank you very much.
6 So, for instance, if a Tactical Group had the
7 mission of breaking the siege of Sarajevo, that would be
8 all that that Commander would be worried about. He
9 would not be worried about, you know, commanding
10 logistical units in Mostar, is that fair?
11 A. Not necessarily. It depends in what sense he was
12 appointed Commander. If the commander of a Tactical
13 Group was appointed to break the siege of Sarajevo, then
14 one should state clearly who is to supply him, who has
15 to co-ordinate, who acts in operations with him, and so
16 on. That means that the duties of the Commander of the
17 Tactical Group have to be spelled out. The term
18 "breaking the siege", is a sentence that in fact
19 encompasses a series of actions, and procedures. Is the
20 breaking of the siege going to last one day, 10 days, 20
21 days? So time has to be spelled out. How long the
22 mission will last, in what way they are going to perform
23 that mission, and what are they going to do after the
24 mission has been completed.
25 Q. So without looking at the order, and without knowing
1 exactly what the mission and the parameters of that
2 Tactical Group were, you, as a general officer, would
3 not have, would not have the knowledge to say who was in
4 charge of supplying these troops or who was in charge of
5 making sure they got paid, or got their mail, or
6 whatever. Is that correct?
7 A. Could you please repeat that question?
8 Q. Sure I can. I would be happy to. As an outsider,
9 someone who is not directly involved with either the
10 Tactical Group or the higher headquarters which created
11 the Tactical Group, even as an experienced general
12 officer, without knowing the exact orders that were
13 given, creating the Tactical Group, setting up its
14 mission, defining which units are in it, defining which
15 tasks every one has. You, as an experienced officer,
16 would not know what that Commander's responsibilities
17 were, would you?
18 A. If I issue the orders, I would have to know that; and if
19 somebody else was issuing these orders to him, in that
20 case, I do not necessarily need to know that. So the
21 one who establishes the Tactical Group knows which
22 orders and tasks were issued to the Commander of the
23 Tactical Group and to the whole Tactical Group. I do
24 not know whether you are satisfied with my answer.
25 Q. Basically I am saying that someone that is not the
1 Commander establishing the Tactical Group or the
2 Commander of the Tactical Group itself, someone who is
3 outside of that chain of command, would not necessarily
4 know the parameters of the authority given to the
5 Tactical Group Commander, would he? Because they can be
6 different for each Tactical Group?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. General, I am going to, with your permission, slip to
9 another subject. I am going to refer to it, as I am
10 frankly trained to refer to it, as military justice.
11 When I refer to military justice, I am referring to the
12 ways that the military imposes punishment on people for
13 various crimes, associated with or committed while in
14 the military. Anything from desertion and absence
15 without leave to murder.
16 Okay. General --
17 A. I understand.
18 Q. In the military that I am familiar with, and frankly
19 they are the western militaries, there are some wide
20 differences in how different armies handle military
21 justice. For instance, the German army has a very
22 narrow scope of its military justice, while the American
23 army has a very broad scope. One thing that is
24 generally consistent that I have seen is that military
25 justice and the authority to do those kinds of things
1 rests with Commanders and no one else. Is that the same
2 way in the Bosnian army and the former JNA?
3 A. Yes, it is.
4 Q. And one other thing that is very common in the western
5 armies, and I am curious whether it was that way in the
6 former JNA and the TO and the current army of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that different levels of Commander
8 would have different responsibilities and different
9 amounts of authority to discipline troops. That would
10 be the same; for instance, a Company Commander would not
11 have the same authority to discipline the troops and
12 apply military justice as, say, a Division Commander.
13 Is that fair?
14 A. Yes, I agree.
15 Q. And another thing that is very, very common, specially
16 in the American army, and I guess I can do it best by
17 example, I think all armies have a thing that they would
18 call "Company punishment", where some minor infraction
19 of the rules -- a Company Commander would deal with a
20 minor punishment. In the British army I believe they
21 call it "Company punishment". In the American navy it
22 is called "Captain's mast"; in the American army it we
23 call it Article 15, because it is from Article 15 of our
24 Uniform Code of Military Practice.
25 For example, a military Commander under the law
1 has the authority to take away half a month's pay for
2 two months from a person. He can fine that, he can give
3 him so much extra duty. I am sure that kind of thing
4 exists in the Yugoslav army and the former JNA army and
5 the Bosnian army as it is set up today?
6 A. In the former JNA, there was the competence, the
7 authority one had in issuing a military justice. The
8 Commander of a platoon would undertake disciplinary
9 measures for the breaches of discipline of his
10 soldiers. The same was true for the Commander of a
11 Company or a Battalion or of a Regiment. But if a
12 soldier makes a criminal offence, something that needs
13 criminal proceedings, then lower ranking officers cannot
14 deal with it. In that case, the courts have to deal
15 with it, of higher instance. I agree that all the
16 officers, the Commanders and the leaders had specified
17 duties which they had to do or measures they had to
18 undertake in case of breaches of discipline.
19 Q. One of the things that I have seen, again, and mainly in
20 western militaries, I want to know if you have this in
21 either the BiH or the TO or in the former JNA, is that
22 in some cases a higher Commander has the -- in fact, in
23 all cases, a higher Commander has the right to hold to
24 himself authority that would normally be given to a
25 lower ranking officer.
1 Again, let me give you an example. We were
2 talking about Article 15s, Company punishment.
3 Uniformly in my army, the post Commander, who was
4 probably -- who was a general officer in almost all
5 cases, withholds from his subordinates the right to give
6 Company punishment to commissioned officers, Lieutenants
7 and Captains and higher ranking officers.
8 We are not going into specifics; did that kind of
9 thing occur in the former JNA also, and the TO and the
10 BiH army? Again, for instance, you as a Brigade
11 Commander could say, "I will be the only person who is
12 authorised to punish people, no one else can"?
13 A. If that was prescribed in your duties, then you have
14 that right. But if it is not prescribed in that way,
15 you will be usurping those rights. For each level of
16 Commander, it is clearly defined what their competencies
17 are, so you cannot assume any responsibilities which are
18 not prescribed. I am saying this based on the
19 experience of the former army. In the TO, these
20 regulations were not fully established, and I could not
21 punish my subordinates unless I had the authority to do
23 MR. MORAN: So again this --
24 JUDGE JAN: Mr. Moran, you are talking about these
25 punishments in peacetime. I think the level of
1 punishment changes when the army is engaged in defending
2 or -- during hostilities.
3 MR. MORAN: I can tell you how both would work. The two I am
4 familiar with is the Bundeswehr, the German army, and my
5 army. In the Bundeswehr there are a lot of changes when
6 hostilities break out; in the American army there are
7 very few changes. It remains pretty much the same.
8 I think the one difference is, off the top of my head --
9 some of the maximum punishments go up. Espionage in
10 time of war is different from spying during peacetime.
11 But for the power of the Commander, as I recall the only
12 additional power that an American Commander would have
13 in wartime is that he can put a soldier in irons and
14 feed him bread and water for seven days. Does that
15 answer your question, your Honour?
16 JUDGE JAN: That does.
17 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I am not sure that the witness quite
18 grasped your question. If I understand you, are you
19 suggesting that a higher Commander can stop other
20 officers under him exercising their powers of
22 MR. MORAN: That is -- your Honours, I was trained to say
23 exactly the thing you are in a different way.
24 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: That is what perhaps you wanted.
25 Whether that practice exists in his own army, is that
1 not what I ...
2 MR. MORAN: I think that is absolutely correct, your Honour.
3 I think Judge Karibi-Whyte probably phrased the
4 question a bit better than I did; as a higher Commander,
5 can you tell your Company Commanders, "I am going to
6 punish people; if you want someone punished, I have to
7 do it"?
8 A. I could do that, but I would have to tell my subordinate
9 officer that, that I would be the one to punish and that
10 that is within my terms of reference and I would have to
11 report my superior that it was I who had punished the
13 Q. And had the authority to do it. The big thing I was
14 getting at --
15 A. If that authority is prescribed. If my superior gave me
16 permission to do that.
17 Q. That is fine. So your superior, as a Brigade Commander,
18 was a Corps Commander. Your superior was the general
19 staff in Sarajevo, the Supreme Headquarters?
20 A. Yes. Yes.
21 Q. And the Supreme Headquarters in Sarajevo could give to
22 you the power -- they could -- all the power you had,
23 all the authority you had, in all forms of command, from
24 manoeuvre to training your troops, to military justice,
25 came from the Supreme Headquarters in Sarajevo?
1 A. It was the staff of the army, or the Supreme Command, as
2 it was later called, headed by the Chief of Staff. They
3 would, by written and oral orders, regulate my
4 competencies. If I wanted to take any disciplinary
5 measures, or institute criminal proceedings, then
6 I would have to inform those responsible of the same, or
7 ask for permission. I did not have to ask permission
8 for a minor infraction, but if it was a major offence
9 I would have to ask for an explanation from my superior
10 as to what I should do and what the procedure should be
11 that I should follow.
12 Q. So in all areas of command, you were regulated -- you
13 had no more authority than what the Supreme Command gave
15 A. I have to repeat that the rules of conduct were not
16 regulated and published before 1993 for the armed forces
17 of Bosnia-Herzegovina; and these prescribed the general
18 principles and rules of conduct. In those rules, issued
19 in 1993, the general responsibilities of Commanders,
20 leaders and officers were specified. Until then, we did
21 not have such a document, but the Supreme Command would
22 occasionally, through written orders and oral
23 instructions, indicate how we should behave in certain
24 situations, just as they gave us assignments. So they
25 instructed us how to treat military equipment, captured
1 equipment, how to treat captured persons, deserters, how
2 to behave in various conditions that we found ourselves
3 in, in that period.
4 Q. And so, without knowing, either from you directly or
5 from your Commander, what orders were given to you,
6 I would not know what authority you had as a Brigade
7 Commander. Is that fair? Again, this is in the period
8 of confusion in 1992, that time.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. General, one last area, if the usher could be good
11 enough to show the General Prosecution Exhibit 137.
12 I believe that is an order detaining certain
13 individuals. General, I do not want to talk about this
14 in detail, I am just using this as an example, okay.
15 I will be right upfront with you why it is that I am
16 asking. My client and three of the other -- three of
17 the four defendants are charged with illegally detaining
18 people. I want to ask you a series of fairly short,
19 fairly specific questions about the authority of people
20 in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992, and some of it is going
21 to have to do with the law. I know you are not a
22 lawyer, but -- if you do not feel competent to answer,
23 that is fine.
24 In Prosecution Exhibit 137, you signed an order
25 detaining 13 people for 30 days, so that an
1 investigation could be carried out. Was that a legal
2 order under the law in effect in Bosnia-Herzegovina
3 from, say, April 1992 through the time you issued this
5 A. This document is the report that I sent to the Supreme
6 Command of the army of the Republic of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is not an order. In this
8 report, I inform my superior that I have decided to
9 detain a certain number of people for up to 30 days.
10 Those were my legal powers at that time, as a Corps
12 Q. So, General, it was within the authority of the -- I was
13 about to say in the authority of the authorities; that
14 is a horrible sentence. But it was within the power of
15 people in authority to detain persons suspected of
16 crimes while the crime was being investigated?
17 A. As the Commander of a Corps, I was entitled to detain,
18 from one to 30 days, persons, in order to investigate
19 matters, because those people could have abandoned the
20 territory, they could have deserted, something could
21 have happened to them and the like. I was within my
22 rights as Corps Commander.
23 Q. Sure. I agree that I think in almost every legal system
24 in the world where there is evidence to believe that a
25 person has committed a crime, the competent authority
1 can order them detained for some period while it is
2 investigated. And when these people, these 13 people,
3 were arrested, they were delivered to a confinement
4 facility of some kind. I will give you an example; my
5 client was actually imprisoned in the Celebici camp,
6 pursuant to your order. You would expect the people
7 that were running the confinement facility to hold those
8 people in custody until such time as you ordered them
9 released, would you not?
10 A. It says here "up to 30 days". The commission conducting
11 the investigation could have released any one of these
12 persons when they assessed that the investigating
13 procedure has been completed. All of them were not
14 detained for 30 days; some three, five, 15, I cannot say
16 Q. What I am getting at is the commission that was set up
17 to investigate had the authority to order these people
18 released, but you would expect the people in charge of
19 the jail, prison, whatever other confinement facility,
20 to hold them in custody either until the end of the 30
21 days or until the commission ordered them released,
22 would you not?
23 A. The commission proposed for how long people would be
24 held in custody, and as these were professionals,
25 lawyers, in the commission. They would propose to me
1 whether the proceedings would be started against
2 somebody and when, continued legal proceedings.
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Mr. Moran, I am not sure whether
4 I understand what you are putting. I remember you
5 started with questioning whether he had the powers to do
6 what he did; is that what you are still putting?
7 MR. MORAN: Yes, your Honour. Now where I am going is
8 whether the people who were actually confining these
9 people had the duty to do that or whether or not they
10 had some responsibility to go behind his order and to
11 determine whether or not the General's order was a legal
12 order, a wise order, or whether they are just to follow
13 the orders of the General and the commission.
14 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Why not put that straight to him?
15 MR. MORAN: General, do you understand what I was asking?
16 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: That is whether the persons who were
17 complying with his orders can use their discretion to
18 disobey. That is what you are saying?
19 MR. MORAN: Yes. Would you expect them, presuming it was a
20 lawful order, as you say it was, would the people
21 actually confining these prisoners have the discretion
22 to disobey your orders?
23 A. I am afraid I have not fully understood. He cannot have
24 the discretion not to obey orders. I was the one who
25 formed the commission and who assigned its tasks, so
1 I am also the one who controls the commission. If they
2 do not follow my orders I will find a substitute, I will
3 have somebody dismissed from the commission. And
4 I determined this detention on the basis of the decision
5 of the Supreme Command. This is a report. I reported
6 to the Supreme Command. The Supreme Command confirmed
8 Q. I agree with you that that is the way it should work.
9 One last question, I think, and then I am done. The
10 commission that you set up, you said was run by
11 professionals who knew what they were doing and were
12 investigating -- had a pretty broad scope of
13 investigation, did they not? Their competence, the
14 mission that you gave your commission, was to
15 investigate everything that happened in the Celebici
16 camp, right?
17 A. My commission consisted of my assistant for legal
18 affairs, and the other assistants who were professional
19 to a degree, and, taking into account what you also
20 said, they were not always absolutely qualified, but we
21 had what we had. Because I confirmed that point that
22 you made before. The task of this commission was not to
23 fully investigate everything that had happened in
24 Celebici. Its task was to elucidate what Celebici was,
25 and then it is the next stage of the criminal
1 proceedings, which is up to the judiciary to carry it
3 Q. And your commission, while it was investigating what
4 Celebici was and the disappearance of some people, did a
5 good job, did they not?
6 A. It did the job it did. If it was not a good job, one
7 might talk about it. But I think that it accomplished
8 its task to the extent to which they could in view of
9 the conditions under which they were operating.
10 MR. MORAN: General, I thank you very much and I hope you
11 have a good trip back to Sarajevo.
12 Your Honour, I pass the witness.
13 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much. Any other
15 Cross-examination by MR. OLUJIC
16 MR. OLUJIC: Yes, your Honours, may it please the court. May
17 I proceed?
18 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, you may.
19 MR. OLUJIC: Thank you. Good afternoon, General.
20 A. Good afternoon.
21 Q. My name is Zeljko Olujic. I am Defence counsel for
22 Mr. Zdravko Mucic. Before I put a number of questions to
23 you which are important for the Defence of my client, as
24 opposed to my previous learned friends, Mr. Moran,
25 I would like to ask you to answer my questions a little
1 more slowly, or rather to wait for my question to be
2 interpreted into one of the official languages of this
3 court, and those are English and French, and to only
4 then proceed to answer my question, so that all the
5 parties in the proceedings and also for the benefit of
6 the record, we are able to follow the questions and
7 answers properly. Have you understood me?
8 A. I have.
9 Q. Thank you. General, allow me to put a number of
10 questions which you will find easy to answer, but which
11 certainly need to be put in order to elucidate certain
12 points. In the course of the examination-in-chief, by
13 my learned friend Mr. Niemann, you said that you were a
14 career officer, as the saying goes. In other words, you
15 went through all the different levels of training in the
16 former JNA in order to, in a more mature period of your
17 life, to enrol at the military academy, which you
18 graduated from successfully, and began to serve. Is
19 that correct?
20 A. I do not remember describing myself as a "career
21 officer". I called myself a professional officer.
22 I think that was the term I used, that my profession was
23 an officer.
24 Q. I am satisfied with your answer, yes, a professional
1 Will you please tell me whether you are familiar
2 with the situation in Konjic in the spring of 1992?
3 A. I know that it was difficult and complicated, rather
4 like it was in Mostar.
5 Q. Tell me, General, according to the constitution of the
6 former state, the SFRY, did anyone have the right to
7 sign capitulation?
8 A. No.
9 Q. As a professional officer, do you know that the death
10 penalty threatened anyone who might dare to do that?
11 A. You mean according to the constitution?
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. In the teaching of political education, were troops
15 taught that no one may sign the capitulation in the JNA,
16 and other things like that?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. General, was this studied at the military academy as
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Were there also interpretations given at the military
22 academy between the Yugoslav laws and the international
23 conventions signed by Yugoslavia, or rather did you
24 study the fact that Yugoslav laws have greater
25 importance than the international conventions to which
1 Yugoslav was a signatory? In other words, that the
2 Yugoslav laws were applicable to every one in
4 A. In military institutions, both in the secondary school
5 and in the military academy and other military schools
6 of the former JNA, we studied the constitution and the
7 laws that were in effect in Yugoslavia at the time. We
8 studied those laws, and approached them as positive
9 laws. Those were laws of our country, at that time. We
10 also studied the provisions and charters and conventions
11 applicable to international law in wartime and the
12 like. I did not make any conclusions which would mean
13 that the Yugoslav laws at the time were in conflict with
14 international laws. If I did identify any
15 contradictions, I was not in a position to be able to
16 correct them.
17 Q. Of course. But would you allow for the possibility that
18 that may have existed, that you could have identified
19 such cases?
20 A. To the extent that any other officer or citizen may have
21 been able to do that.
22 Q. Thank you. Tell me, General, you spent many years in
23 the JNA. As a Muslim, did you frequently feel that you
24 were in an unequal position in the JNA as a Muslim, and
25 did you have occasion to hear terrible things about
1 Muslims, jokes at their expense, and things like that?
2 A. When I joined the Yugoslav People's Army, I noticed that
3 we were not treated on an equal footing. At first,
4 I reviewed my own opinions and positions. I tried to
5 understand what the differences were and why they
6 existed. True, there were differences. I personally
7 attributed them to personal qualities of individuals,
8 and not to policies or the system, at least at the
9 time. I did not feel I was in any kind of threat as a
10 Muslim, up to somewhere around 1970. From 1968/70
11 onwards, those relationships were crystallised in the
12 sense of increasingly pronounced contradictions, based
13 on ethnic origin.
14 This was particularly pronounced after the
15 adoption of the constitution in Bosnia-Herzegovina in
16 1974. It is true that at the time the command pyramid
17 began to be ethnically cleansed, unfortunately to the
18 benefit of people of Serbian ethnicity. I had all the
19 qualities to become Commander of the airport and the
20 airforce base. I had the highest marks in the previous
21 five periods of assessment, that is a period of 20
22 years, but I was told that they were not counting on me
23 in the command structure, because I was a
24 fundamentalist, because I expressed my congratulations
25 to my mother on the occasion of Bajram; unfortunately,
1 that is the truth.
2 MR. OLUJIC: Thank you, General.
3 Your Honours, in view of the fact that it is 1
4 o'clock, would this be a convenient time to break and
5 resume after the break?
6 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much. I think we will
7 do that. We will break and reassemble at 2.30.
8 (1.00 pm)
9 (Luncheon adjournment)
1 (2.30 pm)
2 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You may remind the witness that he is
3 still on oath.
4 THE REGISTRAR: I remind you, sir, that you are still under
6 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, you may proceed, Mr. Olujic.
7 MR. OLUJIC: If your Honour pleases.
8 General, before the break we started, I have
9 started with a series of questions and you have said and
10 described, on your own example, how you were unequal in
11 the JNA, and also that being a Muslim you were very
12 often in a position to hear all the worst about
13 Muslims. On the contrary, again in the period after
14 1970 were there, on the other side, so to speak, amongst
15 Serb officers, boasting with Serb courage and military
17 A. In the context with the officers I worked with, those
18 were the officers from various ethnic groups. Among
19 them were quite a few, maybe the majority of them were
20 Serbs. It is true those officers always had a certain
21 amount of boasting, starting from Kosovo and onwards,
22 throughout the history, about the military tradition,
23 about the Serb ethnicity and saying how good soldiers
24 they were, how they were one of the major actors in the
25 fighting against fascism. But I did not consider that
1 to be such a direct attack towards the others, although
2 it was evidence, and it is true that they have made such
4 Q. When one is in the army there is also some kinds of
5 socialising. I would like to ask you whether there were
6 unpleasant, humiliating jokes about Muslims, whereas
7 jokes about Serbs were not allowed to be told; that is,
8 when those jokes were told one could be even prosecuted
9 and disciplined, because that is -- is my allegation
11 A. I could not give you a typical example of anybody being
12 punished because of a joke based on ethnicity, but we
13 were very cautious in telling any political jokes. It
14 is true that there were very well known jokes about
15 Muslims, two Muslims, Mujo and Suljo. I myself laughed
16 about the jokes about my own people, but, however, it is
17 true that there were mostly jokes about, more about
18 other ethnic groups than about the Serbs.
19 Q. Tell me, General, who were the officials in Konjic
20 before the war? Do you know who was the President of
21 the municipality?
22 A. I do not know who was the mayor of Konjic before the
23 war. I do not know his name.
24 Q. Were you aware of the situation in Konjic and the
25 structure of power, who took part in the power in
1 Konjic, before the fall of communism?
2 A. I was not aware of that structure in Konjic. I was
3 aware of that structure in Mostar where I live and
5 Q. What was the situation there? Who was the President of
6 the municipality?
7 A. While I was in Mostar the President of the
8 municipalities were Serbs, there were Muslims, there
9 were also Croats. These were all positions where people
10 would change. Somebody was the President of one body
11 and then of the other and so on.
12 Q. Were the Serbs predominant by number?
13 A. I could not tell you exactly. I cannot give you the
14 figures, but people always used to say that the Serbs
15 had more power because they were also more numerous.
16 Q. Tell me, General, how about the companies? Were they
17 also subject of the All People's Defence and Social
19 A. According to the constitution of the former Socialist
20 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, by the constitution of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina and also the law in People's Defence,
22 there were companies that were declared to be of utmost
23 importance for the People's Defence, so that some
24 companies also in Herzegovina, in the Neretva River
25 valley were of utmost importance for People's Defence.
1 Q. So they were also by that fact the subjects of this All
2 People's Defence and Social Protection, as it was
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did these companies also buy arms and organise exercises
6 just as it was done by some political structures? Here
7 I mean the companies of the very -- of utmost importance
8 from that point of view that were in the Neretva River
10 A. Those companies that were of utmost or special
11 importance for the All People's Defence had to be able
12 to organise the defence of their own facilities,
13 according to the law on All People's Defence. For
14 example, the aluminium factory in Mostar, which was very
15 important, had its own unit both for the defence of the
16 facilities -- that means the defending of the territory
17 -- and they also had a unit for anti-aircraft unit.
18 Other companies in the Neretva River valleys had also
19 the same type of organisation.
20 One of them was very important, the factory Igman,
21 which manufactured ammunition. It also needed its own
22 units for defence in case of aggression.
23 Q. In the former state which had been called the Socialist
24 Republic of Yugoslavia did there exist a cult of
1 A. I do not know what you mean by the "cult of partisans".
2 Q. What I mean is whatever the word partisan would mean;
3 very shrewd, very quick in fighting, in the partisan
4 type of fighting, and specially linked to the Second
5 World War and the organisation led by the Communist
6 Party that existed between 1941 and 1945. Did that cult
7 exist in the Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia and also
8 in the JNA, being its army?
9 A. In the former JNA we studied the experiences from the
10 Second World War, that is the period from 1941 to 1945.
11 While we studied it, we studied in our textbooks what a
12 special way of fighting and carrying out war operations,
13 which was the partisan way of fighting. It is true that
14 way of conducting military operations could be found in
15 other types of literature in the former Yugoslavia; and
16 that partisan type of warfare was our primary type of
17 warfare and maybe through that the partisan warfare did
18 have a certain cult.
19 Q. Was determination to liquidate and to exterminate the
20 enemy something that was praised, because that is one of
21 the characteristics of the partisan type of warfare?
22 A. The then concept of the All People's Defence as a party
23 of the former Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia was
24 adopted because it was considered that such a way of
25 defending the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
1 would be efficient against any type of aggressor.
2 Q. Was the influence or the impact of intelligence very
3 important in the former SFRY?
4 A. I could not speak about intelligence services and their
5 impact on the SFRY as a state, but I know that within
6 the military our intelligence and our security services
7 had very prominent place. That was in the former JNA.
8 Q. Was the system of monitoring and alerting very
10 A. I do not think whether you think -- what you think here
12 Q. Reconnaissance, or specially air reconnaissance, both on
13 land and sea and in the air?
14 A. Yes, that was something that had prominent place and it
15 was developed in the army and through the All People's
17 Q. Tell me, in the SFRY and in the JNA, was the Communist
18 Party the dominant force?
19 A. When I was in the JNA there was the League of
20 Communists. The League of Communists as a political
21 party in power was in -- was the only party that led all
22 the activities, personnel, selection and all other
23 activities in the JNA; specially in the most recent
24 period, it was specially important for the warfare and
25 the command system.
1 Q. Tell me whether, according to the number of its members,
2 were there mostly Serbs and Montenegrins?
3 A. You mean the command structure? The officer at the top
4 of the hierarchy, and also in the units where I worked,
5 Serbs were the officers that were there in highest
7 Q. Was this majority of Serbs in Konjic in the -- power
8 structure in Konjic only relative or absolute?
9 A. I said that I do not know anything about the structure
10 of authority in Konjic before the war, so I cannot
11 answer this question.
12 Q. General, can we agree that the conflict between the
13 Croats and Muslims took place after the period we speak
14 about here at this trial?
15 A. I do not agree with the term "the conflict between the
16 Muslims and the Croats". And I am a man who can state
17 that the extremist section of the HVO performed an
18 aggression against the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
19 Unfortunately this transformed itself into conflict
20 between two nations. I have warned against this between
21 the 18th and 20th July when I was with Imre Agotic, who
22 is today a General of the Croatian army and who I knew
23 very well from the former JNA.
24 My duty is to tell you, if you will allow me, your
25 Honours, that at that time I had said that on the
1 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, "the very existence of
2 the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina is being denied"; that
3 the Muslim -- the existence of Muslims as people is
4 denied, and that one is stating that these are Croats of
5 Muslim religion. Also the existence of the Territorial
6 Defence is denied, stating that it is associated with
7 the communist system of All People's Defence. What
8 I said at that time is unless something is done
9 conflicts will appear between the individuals from the
10 HVO and the Territorial Defence, that is the army, and
11 that from a conflict between individuals we will have
12 afterwards a conflict between two nations, nationalities
13 and that is unfortunately what happened.
14 On 18th July, I signed the record, the minutes of
15 what I said, and after my discussion, and I left it with
16 General Agotic and General Tusk, who was also the head
17 of staff in Croatia, and President Izetbegovic was
18 informed about that, but unfortunately nothing was done
19 about it.
20 Q. Let us go back to the situation. Could one say,
21 General, that after all these events that the Serbs have
22 restructured themselves and united in the Serb
23 Democratic Party which was operational at that time both
24 in the area of Konjic, although you cannot directly
25 answer to my question, but can that be said for those
1 areas you were familiar with, so that they restructured
2 and then linked up with the SDS?
3 A. Before the start of the immediate aggression I was in
4 Sarajevo. My family lived in Mostar, my wife and my
5 daughter, and my son was a student in Sarajevo. So
6 I know both the situation in Sarajevo and in Mostar.
7 The truth is that in these political differences that
8 appeared that various people started to structure into
9 their own ethnic political parties, specially the Serbs,
10 which joined the Serb Democratic Party.
11 Q. Can one say that they were angry because they lost power
12 and that the -- that is how this homogeneous situation
13 you are talking of was brought about?
14 A. In the conflict, in the discussions which I had with my
15 colleagues in the JNA at that time and when I said to my
16 colleagues and mates in the army that I could not stay
17 in that army any more and I was going to leave it, they
18 told me that we will be the culprits in case Yugoslavia
19 would fall apart. They were obviously angry because
20 higher ranking officials of other nationalities were
21 leaving the army, because at that time that army had
22 lost the features I liked and I believed in, in a
23 certain way.
24 Q. General, you are a professional officer, as you say, and
25 you were able to observe, and can one say, that on the
1 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina where Serbs, Croats and
2 Muslims lived, that the Serbs were those who were armed
3 in the moment of aggression. Can you agree with that
5 A. Yes, I can agree with it in a certain way.
6 Q. Has the JNA distributed the weapons to them?
7 A. Yes, it had. I even know officers who were distributing
8 weapons in Sarajevo to Serbs, in Rajlovac and other
10 Q. Has JNA distributed to Muslims and Croats as well?
11 A. I was not aware of such cases.
12 Q. Do you agree with the statement that already in the
13 spring of 1992 that reserves from Serbia arrived to
15 A. I do know, because I came across the reservists in
16 Mostar over the weekend when I was going home for
17 weekends. There were reservists from Serbia and
18 Montenegro and the last time when I arrived to Mostar in
19 a helicopter I saw people with a -- the cockade, with
20 long hair, with fur hats and these cockades which
21 simply, to me, was saying that these were formations
22 that had great Serb aspirations.
23 Q. So apart from the reservists from Serbia that you could
24 see in the spring of 1992, you also saw some Chetniks,
25 if I understood you well?
1 A. Yes, there were special formations within the
3 Q. And how about the White Eagles, have you seen them, or
4 heard of them being there?
5 A. I heard about the White Eagles, but I never came across
7 Q. And Captain Dragan?
8 A. I heard of him, from the media.
9 Q. But he was passing through Bosnia, was he not?
10 A. Yes, a part of Bosnia, the western part of Bosnia, the
11 Krana region.
12 Q. General, the Serbian reservists that you saw in the
13 surroundings of Mostar in the spring of 1992, do you
14 know whether they had -- that they were implementing the
15 doctrine of All People's Defence and Social Self
16 Protection, a doctrine developed in the former state?
17 A. I am not aware what their doctrine was. I did not talk
18 to them. Their behaviour was under the guise of
19 territorial units, units intended to defend the people;
20 but in practice it turned out to be something quite
22 Q. Did you know that they too subscribed to the principle
23 that no one was allowed to sign capitulation?
24 A. I do not know; probably.
25 Q. Do you know, General, that the Serbs could be executed?
1 If they were to co-operate with the authorities in
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, they were threatened by the death
4 A. I am not aware of the type of punishment, but I know
5 that they were not allowed to co-operate.
6 Q. General, do you know that the Republika Srpska adopted
7 the laws of the SFRY in the area of defence?
8 A. I know that they accepted everything from the former
9 JNA, except the insignia, also the law on All People's
10 Defence, yes.
11 Q. Do you know that Republika Srpska claimed that the
12 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina was the aggressor against
13 Republika Srpska within the state?
14 A. I heard via the media that they were claiming that
15 Muslim units were attacking, but I think this was a pure
16 propaganda ploy.
17 Q. Tell me, General, in the spring of 1992, you described
18 the situation as it was in terms of armament and
19 equipment. Would it be fair to say that in the spring
20 of 1992 there was not really time to arm the armies,
21 because there were no weapons?
22 A. Yes, one could say that.
23 Q. In that period I am talking about, the first half of
24 1992, were unified uniforms prescribed for the troops?
25 The ranks did not come before the end of 1993 and the
1 beginning of 1994, as you have told us?
2 A. We did not have any prescribed uniforms. We wore what
3 we had. We did not have ranks either in 1992. It was
4 only at the end of 1992 and the beginning of 1993 that
5 we began to give ranks to officers and non-commissioned
7 Q. Can it be said, General, that it was the people who
8 carried most of the defence on their shoulders?
9 A. Yes, it could be said. They had no other force except
10 their own.
11 Q. Were there many spies?
12 A. Probably there were.
13 Q. General, when were the uniforms of the army of Bosnian
14 Herzegovina actually prescribed? Do you have a date, or
15 a period when this was determined?
16 A. When the rules of conduct were published we defined the
17 uniform as a camouflage uniform, but we only defined it
18 in legislative terms, but we did not have the resources
19 to supply all units with those uniforms until somewhere
20 around 1995.
21 MR. OLUJIC: General, in the course of your
22 examination-in-chief you described how you acquired
23 weapons, and that you found various ways and means to do
24 that. In 1992 when the aggression started, did the
25 international community assist you in arming you, or
1 were you left to your own resources?
2 A. You are all familiar with the position taken by the
3 international community, I think it is not up to me to
4 answer that. As the Commander of a Battalion, later a
5 Brigade and a Corps, I knew of the embargo and that the
6 state cannot procure weapons.
7 Q. As a high ranking officer, in 1992, with respect to
8 Celebici, would you say that Celebici was a prison, in
9 which case, they would come under the Ministry of
10 Justice, or were they a camp, in which case they would
11 come under the Ministry of Defence, or was it something
12 in between, something undefined, neither one nor the
13 other? I am talking of the period between May and
14 November 1992.
15 A. I cannot talk about this period from May to November
16 1992. I can only speak of the period as from the moment
17 I received a report that in Celebici, as a warehouse,
18 people were being held. I never called this a prison or
19 a camp. According to me, they were people who were
20 contained there and how they were treated there, I am
21 not personally aware of.
22 Q. At that time, were you authorised to command, to issue
23 commands to the civilian police?
24 A. In my area of responsibility as a Commander of a
25 Battalion Brigade and Corps I did not have any authority
1 to issue commands to units and forces of the security
2 centre, security services centre in Mostar. If any of
3 those forces were needed in combat, we would have to get
4 the appropriate permission from the Chief of Staff of
5 the Supreme Command and the Minister of the Interior.
6 Q. You said that in the course of 1992 you had no rules of
7 conduct in the BiH army, is that correct?
8 A. Yes, that is what I said. We did not have it in 1992
9 but at the beginning of 1993 it was published. I do not
10 exactly recall the date.
11 Q. Yes, that is what I was referring to, to 1992.
12 A. We did not have any rules of conduct.
13 Q. And in 1992 did you have any military inspection
14 service, or did that come with the rules; that is, the
15 beginning of 1993 onwards?
16 A. We did not have any kind of inspections or controls in
18 Q. Tell me, General, in defending oneself from a far
19 superior enemy, was there any chance or time to
20 establish any system of supervision over camps, if any
21 existed until November 1992?
22 A. Could you please repeat the question?
23 Q. Yes, of course. When the aggression against
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina occurred, because it was attacked by
25 a far superior enemy, and the people were those who
1 organised the defence, was there any chance or enough
2 time to create a system of supervision over camps, if
3 any such were formed, and I am referring to the period
4 until November 1992?
5 A. In the period of 1992, I had no camps or prisons in my
6 area of responsibility. I learned about those persons
7 in November, in Celebici. In view of the complexity of
8 the situation, in the Neretva River valley, which in my
9 opinion was the most singular in Bosnia-Herzegovina and
10 perhaps the most complicated, it was extremely difficult
11 to have full control over the situation, and I agree
12 with you that it was difficult.
13 Q. In that period, the period of establishment and
14 structuring of the army, could you, General, for
15 instance, give orders to a group of troops to follow
17 A. It all depended on the personal authority an individual
18 had. I had units under my command in that period who
19 did carry out my orders. True, there were individual
20 cases of orders not being carried out; but one could
21 encounter certain formations which refused to
22 subordinate themselves to a unity of command.
23 Q. But, General, we have already established as fact that
24 there were no ranks at the time. So when I am asking
25 you this question, what I am implying is that if there
1 were no ranks there must have been a problem when --
2 I was giving this example -- when, if you were to order
3 a group of soldiers to follow you or give them any other
4 orders, it must have been difficult. Was it
6 A. The system of control and command is complicated even in
7 peacetime, let alone in wartime. Ranks are only visual
8 signs of an officer, be he commissioned or
9 non-commissioned, and the problems in command were
10 extremely grave. We were creating an army under quite
11 unique conditions. In a sense, I agree that there were
12 difficulties in having troops carry out combat
14 Q. When you took over command of Celebici, to put it that
15 way, did you hear that there had been a conflict between
16 Jasmin Guska and Hadzihuseinovic; and if you are aware
17 of the conflict, was the problem in a conflict of
18 competencies between them?
19 A. I knew that they did not get on, but what the particular
20 -- what the specific reasons for that were, I did not
21 know. I had a very difficult situation in Mostar, as
22 they did in Konjic, and I had to find solutions to
23 establish relations between the civilian authorities,
24 the police and other structures. It is a fact that
25 I had heard of the existence of disagreement, and
1 difference of views between those people, the President
2 of the municipality, the chief of police.
3 Q. Did you investigate those differences? What was the
4 reason behind them, apart from this question of
6 A. That was not my responsibility. Those were civilian
7 bodies of authority, and the police. I was responsible
8 for the military aspect, for the units.
9 Q. Did you go to Celebici, to that warehouse?
10 A. I did afterwards when the people who were held there
11 were evacuated, but I was not there before that.
12 Q. Did anybody report to you there on the part of the
13 detainees or the guards or anyone else?
14 A. I told you, I did not visit while people were being
15 detained there. Later when we established the warehouse
16 as a logistics base, then I did go there.
17 Q. You said, General, that you took command of a Corps at
18 the end of 1992, is that correct?
19 A. I was given the order to form a Corps on 17th November,
20 1992, and the process of forming a Corps and a command
21 took some time, and it went on perhaps until somewhere
22 in mid-January 1993.
23 Q. And for how long did you hold that post?
24 A. Until November 1993.
25 Q. When you said that the rules of conduct were introduced
1 regarding responsibilities of various functions, was
2 disciplinary responsibility also regulated by those
4 A. The general principles of disciplinary responsibility
5 were regulated as far as the rules of conduct of the
6 armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina needed to go into
7 that area, but we had still not received any specific
8 rules regarding discipline and other mechanisms linked
9 to that yet.
10 Q. So that came later?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. When?
13 A. I think it was in 1994 that we started working on that.
14 Q. Can it be said, General, that in mid-1992 there were
15 very many paramilitary formations in the field?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Tell me, General, do you know when the aggression
18 against Slovenia was committed?
19 A. I cannot remember the exact date, but I am aware of when
20 the aggression took place.
21 Q. Will you tell me, General, when you deserted the JNA
23 A. I left it at the end of March 1992.
24 Q. Was that -- did you go to Mostar immediately after
25 abandoning the JNA?
1 A. Yes, I went to Mostar immediately.
2 Q. Tell me, General, what was the relationship in Mostar in
3 May 1992 between the Territorial Defence and the HVO?
4 A. The relationship as far as the units that the TO and the
5 HVO had at the time was still such that it was still
6 possible to wage a joint battle against the aggressor.
7 But it was burdened by elements of the situation that I
8 have already described.
9 Q. Did you know Tihomir Misic, one of the organisers and
10 instigators of the resistance against the aggressor?
11 A. I did know Tihomir Misic. He was killed. He was with
12 us when we were doing reconnaissance in Mostar, some
13 time in May, I cannot recall the date.
14 Q. Was anybody accused of his death?
15 A. Proceedings were instituted. I do not know what the
16 outcome was, because we made an error in the course of
17 our reconnaissance.
18 Q. But you do not know the outcome of the proceedings?
19 A. I do not.
20 Q. Your Honours, I have no further questions. Thank you.
21 Cross-examination by MS. RESIDOVIC
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, may it please the court.
23 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You may proceed.
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. Good afternoon, General.
25 A. Good afternoon.
1 Q. As you know, I am Edina Residovic, Defence counsel for
2 Mr. Zejnil Delalic. My colleague Mr. Olujic has already
3 drawn your attention to the fact that you should wait
4 for my question to be interpreted, and you can hear the
5 interpretation on the headphones on the table, so that
6 everyone in the courtroom, and their Honours in
7 particular, can follow our conversation; otherwise the
8 two of us could quickly conduct this interview. Have
9 you understood me?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Thank you, General. General, I should now like to ask
12 you something that may not be related to the rest of our
13 conversation. Would you tell us whether it is true that
14 somewhere in the summer of last year you told my
15 investigator Senka Nozica that you made a brief
16 statement for the defence of Zejnil Delalic in
17 connection with the publication of the ID card which you
18 spoke about in court, and after that, after I had used
19 that statement in court, and since that statement was
20 incorrectly interpreted in the mass media, you thought
21 that I had used that statement incorrectly and since
22 that date to the present you have had no contact with
23 me. Is that true, General?
24 A. It is true that I reacted, but you did not try to get in
25 touch with me either.
1 Q. Thank you. Regardless of that short misunderstanding
2 between us, I am confident, General, that you will
3 answer all my questions. Let me start by apologising
4 and saying that my military knowledge is not as good as
5 that of my learned colleague Mr. Moran, but having lived
6 under wartime conditions for four years and in view of
7 everything else we have experienced I have learned that
8 it is very important that we and the court have to know
9 many things that are very familiar to you as a
10 professional soldier. You will be ready to answer those
11 questions as well, General, will you not?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. General, since you are a General in the army of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina and many of my questions will be
15 linked to Bosnia-Herzegovina, I should first like to ask
16 the usher for his assistance for an exhibit to be
18 THE REGISTRAR: D74/1.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: General, do you know -- can you tell me
20 what this is? Do you recognise this? Please stand up,
21 if you want to. Please stand up, you can have a look at
22 it. Maybe I can help you and ask you: is that a map of
23 the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
24 A. Should be.
25 Q. Do you recognise that map?
1 A. I did not look at all the details, but all the borders
2 are rightly marked.
3 Q. But you think it is the map of Bosnia? Maybe you cannot
4 see every single line, but this is a map of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, is it not?
6 A. Yes.
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, as the witness has identified
8 this map, I tender it as a Defence exhibit and later on
9 we will come back to some explanations which the General
10 should give us. Is this map admitted as evidence as a
11 Defence exhibit?
12 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes. There is nothing to object about
14 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you very much. Please could I have
15 the number of the exhibit?
16 THE REGISTRAR: It is Defence Exhibit D74/1.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you.
18 General, I would like to go back to certain
19 questions you discussed yesterday during the
20 examination-in-chief, when you gave your answers, gave
21 your opinions and your knowledge as a person who
22 participated in those events, and also as a soldier who
23 has certain knowledge from his professional experience.
24 General, during your examination-in-chief, you indicated
25 what, according to you, means co-ordinator?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Could you confirm, General, that the term "co-ordinator"
3 and the term "commander" represent two different
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Is it true, General, that the term "co-ordinator" implies
7 a certain activity of mediation by a person between the
8 body that appointed him and a third party, is that true?
9 A. "Co-ordinator" can be what you have described; but a
10 co-ordinator can also co-ordinate between other bodies,
11 not necessarily only persons.
12 Q. Yes. There are various types of person, physical person
13 and moral person, maybe that is why my question was not
14 completely clear. So it is simply somebody who
15 co-ordinates between various persons?
16 A. Yes. It is somebody who co-ordinates and does activities
17 which are given to him in the form of a task.
18 Q. Is it true, General, that a person who a body had
19 appointed for such a mediating role has no function of
20 superiority to that body which had appointed him. Is
21 that true?
22 A. In a general sense, yes, but in a specific case I do not
24 Q. General, you have just said that you were yourself in a
25 position to appoint co-ordinators, for example, Mr. Adem
1 Zubovic. Did that gentlemen, after you had appointed
2 him, have some superiority, a superior function, to you,
3 over you?
4 A. Sorry, it is not Adem Zubovic but Adam Zulovic, with an
6 Q. So he could not have any superiority over you, is that
8 A. I appointed Adem Zulovic co-ordinator between the units
9 of the Territorial Defence in Mostar and the municipal
10 staff, municipal headquarters of TO in Mostar.
11 Q. So he was not your superior but you were his superior
12 body, is that true?
13 A. Yes, it is.
14 MS. RESIDOVIC: I would now like to ask that the General be
15 shown Prosecution exhibit identified, marked as 67. So
16 I would like the General to be shown the Prosecution
17 Exhibit 67. This is a special authorisation issued on
18 2nd May, 1992.
19 JUDGE JAN: Authorisation giving Delalic the authority to
20 enter into contracts, is that the document you are
21 referring to?
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: Yes, it is.
23 General, yesterday you looked at this
24 authorisation and upon a remark made by Judge Jan you
25 said that there was a date of the 2nd May on this
1 authorisation and after that you were shown the decision
2 of the War Presidency, dated 18th May, by which
3 Mr. Zejnil Delalic was appointed co-ordinator. General,
4 from that fact alone, that this document is done 16 days
5 earlier, could you confirm that this document has
6 nothing to do with the co-ordinator mentioned in the
7 decision dated 18th May?
8 A. I cannot answer this question. I can answer about this
10 Q. Can I ask you maybe in a different way? If you,
11 General, gave a particular duty to your soldier today,
12 for example, to be a messenger and he became something
13 else two weeks later, for example went into the
14 artillery, and if that letter appointment or
15 authorisation cannot be retroactive and cannot influence
16 something that was done before?
17 A. You are now putting me in a position where I have to
18 speak about documents I was not in charge of at the
19 moment those documents were issued.
20 Q. All right, General, I will not insist upon that. I will
21 only ask you whether it is true that on the document
22 that you were shown as a decision by the War Presidency
23 -- and I would like to ask you to have a look at it
24 again, not at this document but the next document which
25 I have here. It is a Prosecution exhibit, but I do not
1 know under what number it was marked.
2 Could you please show this document to the
4 THE REGISTRAR: This is Prosecution Exhibit 68.
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: General, once you will read this document,
6 will you be able to tell us on what date was this
7 decision made?
8 A. What is written here is the 18th May, 1992.
9 Q. Thank you. Could you please look at the previous
10 document, the document dated 2nd May? The heading of
11 this document, can you tell us whether in the heading
12 you -- it is stated that this decision is made according
13 to the decision made on 2nd May, and that is written in
14 the preamble?
15 A. This authorisation is the authorisation by the commander
16 of the -- by the staff commander of the municipality of
17 Konjic, dated 2nd May 1992. The staff commander, the
18 military staff, probably they -- what is meant here is
19 the commander of the municipal staff.
20 Q. And what else?
21 A. There is on the right-hand side a stamp here, and a
22 signature. On such a document the President of the War
23 Presidency is the one who affixes his signature. In the
24 heading of this document it says, "War Presidency of the
25 municipality of Konjic", and a number.
1 Q. Is this then a document of the War Presidency?
2 A. According to what is written here, it should be.
3 Q. General, please, in the preamble above the words
4 "special authorisation", does this document make
5 reference to the document from 18th May?
6 A. It refers to a decision by the War Presidency which is
7 not dated.
8 Q. Could you please read this heading and say whether it
9 says what it refers to?
10 A. What it says is:
11 "On the basis of the decision of the War
12 Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina on equipping
13 obtaining and distributing war equipment the War
14 Presidency of Konjic municipality issues the following."
15 Q. Thank you very much. So now you have read, and so I ask
16 you, is it true that in the heading of this
17 authorisation it is clearly stated, clearly states the
18 decision on the basis of which this authorisation was
20 A. Yes, this decision is mentioned.
21 Q. Thank you. Since this precisely mentioned authorisation
22 is the one about purchasing and acquiring war equipment,
23 are these duties that were given only the duties
24 previously established about the matters of logistics
25 that are the responsibility of the War Presidency?
1 A. The body that issued this authorisation refers to the
2 decision of the War Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
3 then gives its authorisation. The authorisations only
4 -- concern only the three points that are mentioned
5 here, and the decision of the War Presidency of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina is something of a much wider scope.
7 Q. So we can agree, General, that these three points that
8 are mentioned in this authorisation, that they result
9 from a much broader decision of the War Presidency,
10 regarding the same issues?
11 A. Yes, if that was done along those lines, that is how it
12 should have been.
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you very much. Now I know what you
14 meant by your clarification yesterday.
15 General, you said that according to the very
16 nature of appointment and its title, the co-ordinator has
17 no superiority but is subordinated to the body which had
18 appointed him, is that correct?
19 JUDGE JAN: This question has already been asked.
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: Yes, your Honour, I will continue now.
21 Maybe I have already asked this question without
22 noticing that. I could not hear.
23 JUDGE JAN: You can ask this question for him.
24 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: If it is necessary for your other
25 subsequent ones you can still ask it.
1 MS. RESIDOVIC: General, as the situation you spoke to us
2 was complex, is it true that the civilian structures of
3 authority also sometimes had the need for appointing
4 certain persons, co-ordinators, mediators in order for
5 certain issues to be more easily solved, in view of the
6 complex situation?
7 A. It is possible that they had such needs and that had
8 appointed co-ordinators but I am not aware of such
9 activities of co-ordinators.
10 Q. General, is it also true that when a civilian body
11 appointed somebody co-ordinator that co-ordinator could
12 not have higher functions or commanding instructions
13 over that body which had appointed him?
14 A. I know the military hierarchy and the military
15 structure. What was the civilian system, I do not know.
16 Q. But you can agree with me that in general terms a
17 co-ordinator both in civilian and military structures
18 should mean the same thing, a mediator?
19 A. Yes, in a general sense.
20 Q. Yesterday you spoke, General, about the difficulties in
21 overall supplying of our army after the aggression. Is
22 it true, General, that at that point whoever was ready
23 to acquire whatever was needed for the defence would
24 receive certain authority, authorisations in order to do
25 so and help defend the country. Is that correct?
1 A. It is.
2 Q. So you can agree that in 1992 many persons received
3 authorisations to -- for the acquiring or purchase of
4 certain goods for the civilians or for the army?
5 A. Yes, I also issued such authorisations.
6 Q. General, I would now like to show you a certificate
7 issued by the general staff of the army which in
8 disclosure I gave to the Prosecution last year. So
9 could you, please, look at it and after that I will ask
10 you certain questions. I have copies for the Chamber,
11 and before that I would like to ask that the original
12 copy is given by the Registry to the General. Could you
13 please mark this copy here (indicates), because this is
14 the original? There are also copies for the
16 THE REGISTRAR: Defence Exhibit D75/1.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: I would like to ask that as I see that
18 there is one copy -- that you have got -- a
19 supplementary copy in Bosnian, could you please give me
20 one back, because I have given away all the copies that
21 I had.
22 THE REGISTRAR: I only have three copies and I need them for
23 the judges.
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you.
25 General, did you have the chance to read it now?
1 A. Yes, I have read it now.
2 Q. Yes, that is what I meant, now.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Could you please tell me which body is mentioned in the
5 heading of the document?
6 A. The general staff of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
7 Q. At the bottom of the document, do you recognise the
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. What stamp is it?
11 A. Of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The general
12 staff of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sarajevo,
13 stamp number 3.
14 Q. Is there a signature affixed to this document?
15 A. Yes, there is.
16 Q. Do you recognise the signature, whose signature it is?
17 A. I do.
18 Q. Could you tell me who signed this document?
19 A. The Commander, army General Rasim Delic.
20 Q. Your Honours, as the witness has identified the document
21 as a document coming from the general staff of the army,
22 I would like to tender it as a Defence exhibit?
23 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I admit it.
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: General, in this certificate the role of
25 the co-ordinator is clarified. Do you agree with the
1 assessment that the role of the co-ordinator did not
2 interfere with the hierarchical subordination role of
3 any subject?
4 A. Your Honours, I would like to have a question that
5 I would like to ask before the Defence counsel has asked
6 it, because I did not identify the authenticity of this
7 document. I merely read what was written on this
8 document. I am not competent to determine whether the
9 signature and the stamps are authentic, neither the
10 number which the document has. I only read and
11 recognised the stamp and a signature.
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: General, do you see any indication on this
13 document that would say that this document is not an
14 authentic one?
15 A. I am an officer of the army of the Federation and I am
16 not competent to analyse the authenticity that my
17 Commander had signed. There is an institution, the
18 records, and a custodian of the records who needed to do
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you, General. I think that I can ask
21 the same question to the custodian of the records, but
22 I think the General has given enough elements about the
23 authenticity of this document.
24 Could I ask the question to this?
25 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: He was making a pertinent observation,
1 that it does not lie on him to authenticate this
2 document. This is what he is saying, not that he does
3 not know the author of the letter or the signature, but
4 it is not for him to authenticate it. There is no
5 objection to its admissibility. So it has been
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you, your Honours. You will
8 certainly be able to assess that and also we will have
9 the custodian of the records as a witness here who will
10 be able to recognise the document.
11 General, I would like to ask you now: is it
12 correct, do you agree with what is spelt out in this
13 statement; that is, that the role of the co-ordinator has
14 got no function of authority of issuing orders?
15 A. Could you please repeat your question?
16 Q. I will try to simplify this question. Do you agree,
17 General, with this way of explaining the role of
18 co-ordinator given by the army General Rasim Delic?
19 A. I have no right to agree with the statements made by the
20 commander. My right is either to execute his order or
21 to agree -- this is a text, I cannot say whether it is
22 authentic. This is a text coming from the general
23 staff. The number here on it is the Commander's number.
24 Q. I hope that we will not need to ask the Commander to
25 come, but as if you -- as you have answered, exactly, in
1 an identical way, what is a co-ordinator, identical to
2 what is said in this certificate I will not insist upon
4 Your Honours, as it is 4 o'clock now do you think
5 this would be an appropriate moment for our afternoon
6 break? Thank you.
7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: The Trial Chamber will rise for 30
9 (4.00 pm)
10 (Short break)
11 (4.30 pm)
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, may I proceed?
13 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes.
14 You may warn the witness that he is still on his
16 THE REGISTRAR: I remind you, sir, that you are still under
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: General, it is quite late in the afternoon
19 by now and you are probably tired, just as I am, so
20 I will try to ask very simple questions. It was
21 slightly tense before the break, but this has probably
22 disappeared now. I will try to proceed in the same way
23 as my colleague Mr. Niemann did. I will show you a
24 document and I do not ask you to authenticate a
25 particular document.
1 General, you have answered several questions asked
2 by the Prosecutor concerning the competencies of a
3 Tactical Group. If you allow me to say, all my
4 knowledge in that area is very modest but I would
5 nevertheless like to ask you several questions. In
6 answer to questions put by the Prosecutor and by my
7 colleagues you have confirmed that a Tactical Group is a
8 temporary military formation with a particular military
9 mission, is that correct?
10 A. Yes, it is.
11 Q. General, before the war you also taught at the military
12 academy, is that correct?
13 A. Yes, I did.
14 Q. So, General, you are certainly aware of the fact that in
15 the Yugoslav People's Army there were Brigades, the
16 rules of the Brigade and there was a definition of a
17 Tactical Group which is also to be found in the military
18 encyclopaedia of the former Yugoslavia, do you know of
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honours, would you allow Ms. McMurrey to
21 be excused from the courtroom for a few minutes? She
22 has an urgent matter to take care of outside.
23 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: She is excused.
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: I would now like to ask the usher to show
25 you, General, the excerpts from the rules of Brigades
1 from the military encyclopaedia so that you can look at
2 them and so that I could ask you certain questions about
3 the contents. You can identify that, but the for the
4 moment the Defence do not intend to tender it as
5 evidence, but within disclosure the Defence has given
6 these documents to the Prosecution.
7 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked D76/1.
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: There is probably also a French translation
9 here, but please look at just the paragraph on the top
10 of the page, page 606, where the heading is "Tactical
12 Did you have a chance to look at the top
14 A. Yes, I did, on page 606.
15 Q. Apart from what you had already confirmed when speaking
16 about a Tactical Group, I would like to ask you, is it
17 true that a Tactical Group, as it is written, here
18 operates along special tactical lines. Is that one of
19 the characteristics of a Tactical Group?
20 A. It is, in a general sense.
21 Q. Thank you. This general assertion -- you can, both as a
22 teacher and as a professional soldier, you can confirm
23 that this is a generally accepted notion in the armies
24 in Europe?
25 A. Yes, it is.
1 Q. You can also confirm, General, that these general rules
2 were also applied in our army, since its very beginning,
3 and together with a structure of the army it was also
4 accepted as -- they were also accepted as special
5 document of the army?
6 A. Could you please repeat your question?
7 Q. Are these general rules which were applied in the JNA,
8 were they also accepted as rules for behaviour of our
9 army, in making?
10 A. As we were all trained in the former JNA we used that
11 knowledge also in this war and applied these principles
12 regarding to procedures.
13 Q. General, as temporary and provisional formations for a
14 specified military mission, is it true that Tactical
15 Groups have precisely those competencies that are given
16 to them when they are established?
17 A. In the definition here and all the general definitions
18 of Tactical Groups, it is clearly stated when in general
19 a Tactical Group is formed, but the competencies and the
20 responsibilities of the Tactical Group are determined by
21 the one who establishes that Group.
22 Q. Thank you very much. This is a full answer. But before
23 going on about Tactical Groups, allow me to ask you a
24 different question. Territorial Defence was organised
25 before the war in companies, in municipalities, regions
1 and in republic, is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Regional headquarters were the bodies which were
4 superior to municipals, to municipal headquarters, is
5 that correct?
6 A. It is.
7 Q. Can you confirm, General, the Tactical Groups, according
8 to their basic purpose, their definition and the way of
9 performing their missions, have not the same duties as
10 the municipal headquarters, is that correct?
11 A. It is.
12 Q. Also Tactical Groups that act along certain lines have
13 not the same functions as a Corps does?
14 A. No, they have not.
15 Q. Do you know, General, that a Tactical Group 1 was formed
16 already in May 1992 with the mission of trying to lift
17 the siege of Sarajevo?
18 A. I knew that Tactical Group 1 was formed. I knew which
19 were the units and what areas that became part of
20 Tactical Group 1, but I am not aware of the duties and
21 mission that the Tactical Group 1 was given.
22 Q. Thank you. General, do you know that the first
23 Commander of the Tactical Group 1 was Mr. Mustafa
25 A. Yes, I know that.
1 Q. Do you know that Mr. Mustafa Polutak was replaced as
2 Commander of the Tactical Group by Mr. Zejnil Delalic?
3 A. Yes, I am aware of that.
4 Q. Are you aware of the fact that they were all appointed
5 according to an order of appointment by the armed
7 A. I think they were appointed by the staff of the Supreme
9 Q. General, do you know that the headquarters of the
10 Tactical Group 1 were at Pazaric?
11 A. Yes, at the beginning.
12 Q. Do you know that the lines of action of this Tactical
13 Group, this line, was Dreznica, Jablanica, Konjic,
14 Prozor, Hadzici, Igman?
15 A. I recall the order by which the Tactical Group was
16 established, its Commander was appointed and also the
17 units which were to become parts of the Tactical Group.
18 These were the units from Konjic, Jablanica, Prozor and
19 I also think the unit from Gornji Vakuf. As for the
20 missions and the lines of actions, I did not know of
21 those, about their specific missions and lines of
23 Q. Do you know, General, that the mission of this Tactical
24 Group and of other Tactical Groups that were formed in
25 the siege of Sarajevo, that their basic mission was to
1 plan and to carry out war operations for lifting the
2 siege of Sarajevo in breaching the blockade?
3 A. As a Commander of the 1st Mostar Brigade I also gave a
4 number of my troops for trying to break the blockade of
5 Sarajevo in 1992, probably a Tactical Group 1 also
6 probably had a role to play in breaking the -- blockade
7 around Sarajevo.
8 Q. Although you had very intense war action going on in
9 Sarajevo -- in Mostar at that time, could you confirm
10 that the first time it was tried to break the siege of
11 Sarajevo from Pazaric and Hadzici was carried out in
12 June 1992 when the Commander of the 1st Tactical Group
13 was Mr. Polutak?
14 A. I heard about it, but I do not know the details.
15 I think it was called JUD, but I never knew the details,
16 the line of action, the way they were conducting the
17 operation. I only know that Polutak was the head of the
19 Q. General, yesterday, as an answer to the question of my
20 learned colleague Mr. Niemann, you said that a part of
21 the unit from a certain line is included into a Tactical
23 A. Could you please repeat what I said?
24 Q. You have confirmed that into Tactical Groups parts of
25 units from a given line, that is from a given area,
1 becomes part of a Tactical Group, for example
2 detachments and so on?
3 A. Yes, if we establish a Tactical Group along certain
4 lines in a certain area then all the units that are on
5 those lines take part in it and maybe some other units
6 are there to it. It really depends on the forces we
7 need for it.
8 Q. Is it then true, General, that these -- the composition
9 of these units, be it Brigades or platoons or
10 detachments, which are added from municipal staffs to
11 municipal headquarters to a Tactical Group that they are
12 subordinate to the Commander of a Tactical Group for the
13 performing of a particular mission?
14 A. It should be so.
15 Q. Is it then true, General, that the Commander of a
16 Tactical Group has the responsibility towards these
17 units which are subordinate to him?
18 A. If certain units become part of a Tactical Group, those
19 units with their Commanders need to be subordinate to
20 the Tactical Group and the Commander of that Tactical
21 Group, otherwise he would not lead the Group. He could
22 not lead the Group.
23 Q. General, all the other units in that area that are not
24 subordinate to the Commander of the Tactical Group
25 remain normally under the command of the municipal
2 A. If they have not made, become part of a Tactical Group
3 then they are not part of a Tactical Group.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: Excuse me a moment, I do not know if it is
5 appropriate each time to point out these problems, maybe
6 somebody could advise me. It is line 8, page 114 it
7 says "sub board nature"; the actual word was
8 "subordinate". I do not know whether these get caught
9 later in the process, or whether it is necessary for us
10 to rise and point them out. But the word is
11 "subordinate". What was actually said was
13 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: That does not mean anything. I am sure
14 that anybody reading it will know. Perhaps by the time
15 we rise most of these things have been corrected.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Should we continue to point these out? Is
17 that important or appropriate? I am a bit uncertain
18 about whether I need to do that or not.
19 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I do not think it is -- most of yours
20 were good, but some of these irregularities are not as
21 damaging as one would say, because I think "sub board
22 nature" will mean nothing to anybody reading it. You
23 will know it is "subordinate".
24 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you.
25 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you.
1 General, you have said that somewhere in the
2 second half of the summer, together with General Agotic,
3 somewhere on the front-line, you met Mr. Zejnil Delalic.
4 Could you please tell me whether it is true that
5 operational missions concerning lifting the siege of
6 Sarajevo were done in the areas of Igman, Pasarici and
7 other places which are surrounding Sarajevo and which
8 are at a considerable distance from Konjic?
9 A. With Mr. Imre Agotic, who was the Chief of Staff of the
10 HVO, we went to Konjic and we went to the front where
11 Mr. Delalic was and that was to the east of Konjic.
12 These were, I think, artillery positions. It is
13 possible that in breaking the blockade of Sarajevo
14 participate also units from a broader area, because they
15 can try to draw the enemy's attention away from the
16 town. So we met Zejnil Delalic and we discussed general
17 issues of defence needed in that period of time.
18 Q. Thank you very much. General, as we are not going to
19 look at the map now, could you nevertheless, as a
20 soldier who spent the whole war in the areas of most
21 intense fighting, could you say in front of this Trial
22 Chamber that the areas around Sarajevo from where it was
23 tried to break the blockade of Sarajevo, that means the
24 areas to the south like Igman and Pazaric that are more
25 than 60 kilometres away from the town of Konjic, is that
2 A. I do not know the exact distance, but they should be
3 somewhere at that distance, both Pasarici and Igman from
5 Q. Thank you. General, I would now like to ask you
6 something different. I am not aware whether I can ask
7 general military questions, but nevertheless I will try
8 to be as clear as possible.
9 Can you tell me, General, whether it is true that
10 every superior officer in the army who has very concrete
11 specified duties that are linked to his function, be
12 they as the function of the leader or the function of a
13 Commander, he can from his superior officer receive an
14 order to perform another military mission not directly
15 linked to his function?
16 A. Yes, such a duty can be ordered, but I do not know how
17 that person can carry that out.
18 Q. You know Mr. Asim Dzambasovic?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. I would like to give you one example. Mr. Asim
21 Dzambasovic had a very concrete duty and very concrete
22 task, but at a certain moment from his superior officer,
23 let us say the Chief of Staff, he received the order to
24 be the staff Commander. For example, if he was in
25 charge of the headquarters of the JNA, can he perform
1 such supplementary duty without being detrimental to his
2 basic duties?
3 A. As a Commander if I give an order to my subordinate I
4 have to think whether he would be able to carry out that
5 particular mission whilst carrying out his regular
6 duties. You always know which are the basic duties, and
7 you can give additional duties if those additional
8 duties are not detrimental to the performing of the
9 basic duties. In this concrete case, I could not assess
10 whether that was detrimental to Dzambasovic's basic
12 Q. You know well that I have brought up this example
13 because you are familiar with it and I know that it is
14 true, but I would not like to discuss here the duties of
15 Mr. Dzambasovic. I would like to ask you certain
16 questions concerning Mr. Zejnil Delalic. I would like to
17 ask you now to look at certain decisions and at certain
18 appointments. I do not expect from you to check the
19 contents of the documents, but I would like to ask you
20 later on about the contents of these documents. So
21 I would like to ask that these decisions be distributed
22 to the Trial Chamber and to the General. I have also
23 got the translations here. These are the documents that
24 we received as part of disclosure from the Prosecution
25 as documents of the government of Bosnia and
2 THE REGISTRAR: The decision is marked 76/1 and the second
3 one D78/1.
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: General, have you looked at these
5 documents? These are two documents. The first is a
6 decision and the other is an appointment.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Will you, please, look first at the decision? Do you
9 see that it is a decision issued by the Supreme Command
10 of the armed forces, Sarajevo?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. The indication is in the top left corner of this
13 decision. Do you recognise, General, the stamp on this
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Is it the stamp of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
17 the Defence Ministry of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Is this decision -- has this decision been signed by the
20 Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command, Sefer Halilovic,
21 and the President of the Presidency of the Republic of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mr. Alija Izetbegovic?
23 A. That is what it is stated here, that they signed it.
24 Q. General, does this decision refer to the temporary
25 organisation and formation of units of the army of
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Is it a decision on the formation of the temporary
4 command of JUD, "South", based in the broader area of
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Will you please now look at the second document,
8 General? The date of the second document is identical
9 to the date on the previous document, that is the 20th
10 August, 1992. Is that not so?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. The body issuing this appointment is the staff of the
13 Supreme Command of the armed forces Sarajevo?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. On this document too we see the stamp of the Republic of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, is
17 that not so?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. This document too has been signed by the Chief of Staff
20 of the Supreme Command of the armed forces of the
21 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and by the President of
22 the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Is it true, General, that this document appoints the
25 temporary command, consisting of 11 persons as indicated
1 in this document?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Is it true that under point 3 of this document it is
4 stated that Delalic Zejnil has been appointed "Assistant
5 Commander for Logistics"?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Could the General now be shown document 187 and 190 of
8 the Prosecution, which were shown to the General
10 General, have you had time to look at these
11 documents that you were shown yesterday when you were
12 asked questions by my learned colleague?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Let us first look at the document dated 28th August
15 1992. It is a request for saving meals for the needs of
16 the Igman units. This document was issued by the
17 Commander of the Tactical Group 1, Zejnil Delalic, is
18 that not so?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Is it true, General, that in view of the fact that on
21 August 20th, 1992, by special appointment, Mr. Zejnil
22 Delalic was appointed assistant commander for logistics,
23 that this authorisation for meals for the army in Group
24 JUD emanated from his responsibilities stemming from
25 this appointment?
1 A. That is what is stated in the heading of the request for
2 operation codename "South".
3 Q. So, General, if in answer to the question of my learned
4 colleague you said that this could be something that
5 conveys the contents of the duties of the Commander,
6 then that would not be quite precise, because at the
7 time you did not know that Mr. Delalic had been appointed
8 precisely as assistant for logistics for the operation
10 A. Yes, but maybe he had not been relieved of the duty of
11 command of the Tactical Group. He may have still been
12 Commander of the Tactical Group; and in that case he may
13 also act as a Commander, as well as a logistics
14 Commander in the group.
15 Q. Yes, that is precisely why I have put to you certain
16 questions. Therefore, continuing to perform the duties
17 of Commander of the Tactical Group, he was given
18 additional assignments on the basis of this appointment
19 to the temporary command of the Group "South"?
20 A. It emerges as such from the documents and Mr. Delalic
21 himself knows best.
22 Q. Thank you, General. Now look at the second document
23 that you reviewed yesterday too, and which is dated 13th
24 September, 1992. This document too was issued by
25 Mr. Zejnil Delalic, was it not?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. In view of the authorisations given to Mr. Delalic as
3 assistant commander for logistics of the temporary
4 command of the Group "South", is it normal for
5 Mr. Delalic to concern himself and to deal with problems
6 that arose in the logistics area in all areas, not just
7 meals, but also armaments, which this document refers to
8 when he addresses the municipal staff. Was that within
9 his responsibilities?
10 A. All I can say is what is stated in the documents. If
11 you want an expert opinion from me as a soldier, then
12 that is something else. In this case, we do not have a
13 document showing that Commander Delalic was relieved of
14 the duty of Commander of the Tactical Group; and he was
15 appointed to the Group JUD as assistant for logistics.
16 Therefore, his Tactical Group is -- has become part of
17 the Group JUD, at least a part of it, and within that
18 Group he is assistant for logistics. Therefore -- but
19 his command -- his role of Commander of Tactical Group,
20 he has to regulate other matters within his area of
21 responsibility, such as the question of the passage of
22 these resources and equipment.
23 Q. Thank you, General, that is precisely what I am trying
24 to say. Mr. Delalic is the Commander of the Tactical
25 Group at that time, but by this appointment he was given
1 additional assignments within the temporary command of
2 Group JUD?
3 A. Exactly so.
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. I should now like to propose,
5 your Honours, since the witness has interpreted the
6 contents of these documents and recognised them too,
7 identified them, I should like to tender these documents
8 as evidence for the Defence.
9 MR. NIEMANN: No objections, your Honour.
10 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: It is admitted.
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you.
12 Mr. Pasalic -- I apologise -- General, yesterday,
13 in the course of your examination-in-chief, we saw a
14 part of the interview that you granted in December 1992
15 to the local Jablanica TV station?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Also yesterday you identified the warrant for the arrest
18 of a certain number of persons with the possibility of
19 holding them in custody up to 30 days, and you also
20 identified the criminal charges against Zejnil Delalic
21 and Zdravko Mucic, did you not?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Also yesterday you testified in this courtroom that you
24 did so on the basis of the knowledge you had at the
25 time, and that you were not prejudging things, because,
1 if I may add to what you said, like any serious and
2 responsible person you felt that the truth should be
3 established by the court. Is that not so?
4 A. Yes, it is.
5 Q. You confirmed in this Trial Chamber that when you had
6 learned about certain problems in Konjic immediately
7 after being appointed Commander of the 4th Corps, you set
8 up a commission to investigate those rumours, is that
9 not so?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. To the best of your knowledge and ability you elected to
12 the commission people who had capabilities that
13 corresponded to the tasks assigned to them, did you not?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. All your knowledge about the findings of the commission
16 is based on the information given to you by that
17 commission, is that not so?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You personally did not conduct the investigations?
20 A. No, I did not. Personally, no, I did not.
21 Q. Everything that you investigated at the time, you
22 combined that all and compiled criminal charges and you
23 conveyed all that you knew to the public -- to the
24 military prosecutor in Mostar, did you not?
25 A. The whole case, the whole file was compiled, which was
1 quite a lengthy one, and from that file we concluded
2 that criminal charges should be brought and warrants
3 issued for the arrest of these people who had left the
4 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
5 Q. Therefore the competent bodies, and I assume that the
6 criminal charges were written also by persons from the
7 commission and not you personally, they did so on the
8 basis of all the findings of the commission that was
9 acting on your orders?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. As you told us yesterday, you signed those criminal
13 A. I did not say that I had signed them. It was signed by
14 my deputy in my absence, but my name is there.
15 Q. Attached to the criminal charges was evidence in support
16 of those criminal charges?
17 A. That was submitted to the district military prosecutor's
18 office in Mostar.
19 Q. General, you personally did not examine the documents
20 which the commission had insight into while performing
21 its task, did you?
22 A. I reviewed the entire file, together with the assistant
23 for legal affairs, who headed the commission in the
24 investigations. When I say that I reviewed it, it does
25 not mean that I studied it in detail, and upon his
1 proposal that criminal charges should be brought,
2 I approved those charges and addressed them to the
3 district military public prosecutor's office, with the
4 approval of the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 Could the General be shown, again, exhibit D137,
7 which was shown to this witness by the Prosecution
9 While waiting for the document, I know, General,
10 that this assignment too was carried out under very
11 difficult conditions of wartime and that you did
12 everything you could at the time to clear up things
13 there, and that in addition to the numerous other tasks
14 that you had as the Corps Commander you relied on what,
15 on the proposals made to you by the members of the
16 commission, is that not so?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Yesterday, in answer to a question by my learned
19 colleague Mr. Niemann, you said that for some persons you
20 had indicated their positions, for others you did not.
21 I should now like to ask you, in addition to this
22 document, to see another document which the Defence
23 received from the Prosecution, under the disclosure
24 procedure, and which, according to the allegations of
25 the Prosecutor, they obtained from the government of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I have a sufficient number of
2 copies, both for the court and for you. They have been
3 translated into English, so could they be, please, shown
4 to the General after being identified?
5 THE REGISTRAR: Defence document D81/1.
6 MS. RESIDOVIC: General, this document, which is a document
7 of the Supreme Command staff, do you recognise it by its
8 contents as appointments for persons to Tactical Group
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. This document is dated 14th August and does it say that
12 Edib Saric has been appointed to Tactical Group 2?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. When a moment ago we looked at the appointment for the
15 temporary command of Group JUD, "South", under point 4
16 it was stated that the temporary command of Group JUD
17 includes also Edib Saric for chief of security, did you
18 notice that?
19 A. Yes, I did.
20 Q. In December 1992, General, you probably did not have
21 occasion to see these documents?
22 A. I did not have occasion to see them.
23 Q. Therefore, you accepted the position of Edib Saric as
24 you were informed of it by the members of the
25 commission, is that not so?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you, General. Yesterday, General, you were shown
3 the criminal charges signed by your deputy on your
5 Could the General now be shown, once again, the
6 criminal charges brought against Zejnil Delalic and
7 Zdravko Mucic of 22nd December, 1992?
8 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 141.
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: Is that the criminal charges that you saw
10 yesterday, and that you identified yesterday?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Is it true, General, that these criminal charges were
13 submitted on 22nd December, 1992?
14 A. That is the date indicated.
15 Q. Is it true that these criminal charges were submitted
16 against Zejnil Delalic and Zdravko Mucic?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Is it true, General, that attached to these criminal
19 charges was supporting evidence indicated in the charges
20 and which the commission had at its disposal?
21 A. That was the task for the assistant for legal affairs
22 and I think he carried out that task.
23 Q. Will you please look at page 2 of these criminal
24 charges, where you will see proof in connection with the
25 killing of Esad Bubalo, and we have the statement of
1 Hazim Delic, deputy commander of the camp?
2 A. That is the description of the act.
3 Q. No, before that, below the description, it says "proof"?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And it says, "statement of Hazim Delic, deputy commander
6 of the Celebici prison"?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Is it true that there is absolutely no other proof
9 mentioned here, except that one?
10 A. There is no other here.
11 Q. Is it true also that on page 3 under the heading "proof"
12 and in relation to the offence by Zdravko Mucic we also
13 find, "statement by the deputy commander of the Celebici
14 prison, Hazim Delic"; is it correct that that is what it
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Is it true, General, that under the heading "proof"
18 there is no other proof listed?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Is it true, General, that on page 2, where it says
21 "description of the offence", there is a date that is
22 on 31st February, 1992, Zejnil Delalic issued by
23 telephone the order to liquidate this person?
24 A. It says here the date here is 31st May.
25 Q. Is it true that there is no position indicated for
1 Mr. Zejnil Delalic here?
2 A. Yes.
3 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, I do not believe this is really a
4 form of objection, it is just a matter I wish to raise.
5 That is that at all stages I have made it clear that the
6 issue of the charges and the criminal proceedings is not
7 a matter that the Prosecution had intended in any way to
8 go into, and we were merely seeking to tender the
9 evidence on the basis of the description of the titles
10 that were contained in it. I wish to raise the issue
11 that if counsel in cross-examination does, however, open
12 up this subject then the approach that we have taken on
13 this may well change, and I just wish to inform the
14 Chamber that the basis upon which we sought to tender
15 and the basis upon which we sought to proceed was
16 predicated on an assumption that the Defence would not
17 want to open up this issue for consideration by this
18 Trial Chamber.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, the basis on which I am
20 putting these questions in the cross-examination is
21 precisely the position that my learned colleague has
22 referred to. The General has just confirmed that in the
23 description of the offence of Mr. Zejnil Delalic on 31st
24 May, 1992, there is no indication of position.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Excuse me, your Honour, with regard to what
1 Mr. Niemann has just said I want to make it very clear
2 for the record that Mr. Esad Landzo objects to any
3 inquiry regarding this matter. We believe it is
4 irrelevant to this proceeding and we therefore object to
5 it. I also notice that it is 5.30.
6 MR. MORAN: Mr. Delic would also join that, would also say if
7 substantive evidence is brought in we will be asking for
8 a severance, a mid-trial severance.
9 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I suppose the Prosecution has made its
10 position very clear. It now depends on the Defence to
11 define its own position. Actually I did not think it
12 was necessary to cross-examine along those lines,
13 because it is completely irrelevant to what is being
14 done here.
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, the Prosecutor is charging my
16 client of being Commander of the Tactical Group from the
17 beginning of May, and he has indicated for what purpose
18 he has questioned the witness in connection with this
19 document. I just wanted to clarify, and the witness has
20 confirmed, that in this document the position of Zejnil
21 Delalic is not indicated. That is on the 31st May.
22 Second, and my last question in connection with
23 this document, is the position of Mr. Delalic was
24 indicated as of the date 24th November, when as
25 Commander of the Tactical Group he left Konjic, is that
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. I have no further questions in connection with this, and
4 in view of the time I would ask the court to instruct us
5 as to whether we can continue on Monday?
6 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, it is obvious as long as you are
7 still cross-examining you will continue on Monday when
8 we resume at 10 o'clock. The Trial Chamber will rise.
9 (5.35 pm)
10 (Adjourned until Monday 17th October 1997)