Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 10698

1 Monday, 6th April 1998

2 [Open Session] --- Upon commencing at 10 a.m.

3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Good morning, ladies

4 and gentlemen. May we have the appearances.

5 MR. NIEMANN: Good morning, your Honours. My

6 name is Niemann and I appear with my colleagues,

7 Ms. McHenry, Mr. Turone and Ms. Udo for the Prosecution.

8 MS. RESIDOVIC: Good morning, your Honours.

9 My name is Edina Residovic, Defence counsel for

10 Mr. Zejnil Delalic, along with my colleague, Eugene

11 O'Sullivan, professor from Canada.

12 MR. OLUJIC: Good morning, your Honours. My

13 name is Zeljko Olujic, representing the Defence for

14 Mr. Zdravko Mucic, along with my colleague, Mr. Michael

15 Greaves.

16 MR. KARABDIC: Good morning, your Honours.

17 I am Salih Karabdic, attorney from Sarajevo, Defence

18 counsel for Mr. Hazim Delic, along with Mr. Thomas Moran,

19 attorney from Houston, Texas.

20 MS. McMURREY: Good morning, your Honours.

21 I am Cynthia McMurrey and, along with my esteemed

22 colleague, Ms. Nancy Boler, we represent Esad Landzo.

23 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: May we have the

24 witness?

25 [The witness entered court]

Page 10699

1 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Kindly remind the

2 witness he is still under oath.

3 THE REGISTRAR: I remind you, Sir, that you

4 are still under oath?

5 A. Yes, thank you.

6 SENAD BEGTASOVIC (continued)

7 Examined by MS. RESIDOVIC (continued)

8 Q. Thank you, your Honours. Let me solve a

9 small technical problem here. Thank you, everything is

10 fine now.

11 Good morning, Mr. Begtasovic.

12 A. Good morning.

13 Q. Did you manage to rest a little bit over the

14 weekend?

15 A. Yes, thank you.

16 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, I would like to continue where

17 we left off on Friday. You will recall that, before

18 this Trial Chamber, on Friday you identified a number

19 of statements which you took from individuals who were

20 in Celebici and who were later transferred to Musala;

21 do you recall this?

22 A. I do.

23 Q. You also stated before the Trial Chamber that

24 you reviewed files of other individuals who had been

25 detained in Celebici and relating to this issue,

Page 10700

1 Mr. Begtasovic, could you tell the Trial Chamber what

2 was in the files which you reviewed?

3 A. First of all, I would like to say that I did

4 not review these files very carefully. That is the

5 files that I had access to. I recall that these were

6 statements for the most part of the same suspects whom

7 I had interviewed and this was part of a proceeding

8 that was -- which took place prior to the proceedings

9 in which I was involved, and as I recall, these persons

10 had been interviewed in Celebici.

11 Q. Beside the statements which you glanced at,

12 if not thoroughly reviewed, were there any other

13 documents there that you remember?

14 A. Yes. I recall that there were decisions on

15 release from detention of some of these individuals,

16 that is, the measures of detentions were abolished.

17 Q. Could you recall from what period such

18 decisions were dated, given that you interviewed the

19 suspects in January 1993, so from which period were the

20 decisions that you reviewed -- what period of time?

21 A. I can only recall that they were from the

22 summer of 1992. I could not give you a more precise

23 time frame.

24 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, can you tell us whether, by

25 reviewing these documents, you were able to determine

Page 10701

1 how many individuals were released, taking into account

2 that you pointed out that you did not review them very

3 carefully or very thoroughly, but can you tell us was

4 it a small number, was it a larger number of

5 individuals who were released at that time?

6 A. At any rate, it was a larger number of people

7 and, when I say a larger number, then as a parameter

8 I can take a number of persons whom I subsequently

9 interviewed, so that means that there would be several

10 dozen individuals. How many exactly, I could not tell.

11 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, can you remember individuals

12 who signed these documents on release?

13 A. I believe that I mentioned that before, that

14 is, last time I testified. As I recall, those

15 decisions were signed by Mr. Lokas, Mr. Zovko, and

16 I cannot recall who else.

17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Begtasovic. As a member of the

18 commission, you interviewed these individuals and you

19 gave us a fairly accurate number of 105. Can you

20 please tell this Trial Chamber whether, in questioning

21 these individuals, you were able to determine whether

22 these persons possessed arms or not?

23 A. Almost all interviewed persons did have

24 weapons -- at least, that is what they stated to me.

25 It is possible that, out of 105 individuals who were

Page 10702

1 questioned -- and this is the number that I recall --

2 there were maybe two or three individuals who did not

3 possess weapons -- at least that is what they stated to

4 me.

5 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. Can I please ask

6 the usher's assistance to show the witness the document

7 on the appointment of the commission -- it is D7/1 and

8 I again apologise to the court for not having had

9 enough copies on Friday for their Honours and for the

10 witness, so now we have a sufficient number of copies,

11 so can the copies please be handed out to everyone.

12 (Handed)

13 Mr. Begtasovic, have you reviewed this order?

14 A. Yes, I have.

15 Q. Is this the order whereby your commission was

16 established?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And (1) are all the members named, including

19 yourself?

20 A. That is correct.

21 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, since the

22 witness recognises the document order by which he was

23 appointed a member of the commission, I move to admit

24 it into evidence, please.

25 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Any objection? I am

Page 10703

1 not sure that this has not been tendered before.

2 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, this document

3 was marked for identification through one of the

4 Prosecution witnesses, but I was informed by the

5 Registry that it had not been admitted into evidence,

6 so now I would like to move to tender it.

7 MR. TURONE: No objection, your Honour.

8 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: It is admitted.

9 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you.

10 Mr. Begtasovic, given the fact that, as a

11 member of the commission, you questioned the mentioned

12 individuals, as a judge were you able to determine at

13 that time, and taking into account all the facts that

14 they conveyed to you, did you come to a determination

15 whether criminal proceedings should be instigated

16 against these individuals?

17 A. Yes, that is correct.

18 Q. What criminal charges would be appropriate

19 based on the facts that you determined by questioning

20 these individuals?

21 A. The basic criminal act which was -- for which

22 there was suspicion based on the facts

23 that I determined was armed rebellion.

24 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, as a very experienced criminal

25 judge, can you tell this Trial Chamber what punishment

Page 10704

1 was foreseen for crime of this kind during the wartime?

2 A. For such a crime which was committed either

3 in wartime or in a situation of the threat of armed

4 conflict, the punishment was the most severe

5 punishment, which was set out by the SFRY law, which

6 had been adopted by the Bosnian authorities for these

7 crimes which was the death penalty.

8 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, for crimes for which the death

9 penalty is the highest available sentence, is detention

10 an obligatory measure for persons who were charged with

11 such a crime?

12 A. Pursuant to the law, detention is obligatory

13 -- it is mandatory. There is no possibility of not

14 having a detention in such cases.

15 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, can you tell us how long may a

16 suspect be detained legally during the investigation

17 process before the indictment is issued?

18 A. The investigating judge can order a 30-day

19 detention and, from there on, until the investigation

20 is completed, the trial chamber can order detention for

21 up to six months.

22 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, what happens after the

23 indictment has been issued?

24 A. The trial chamber, that is not the pre-trial

25 judge, can determine to order to continue with the

Page 10705

1 detention and it reviews it every two months. After

2 the trial, after the sentencing, if the sentence is

3 more than five years, then the case can be reviewed

4 again and then we start from zero.

5 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, given your investigation, in

6 your opinion, as a person who is both an experienced

7 criminal judge and a person who was investigating these

8 persons, was detention of persons who were charged with

9 crimes which you just mentioned justified?

10 A. Given the fact that these individuals

11 possessed weapons illegally, that they engaged in acts

12 which were directed against the system, given the fact

13 that there was enough grounds, that there was suspicion

14 that they engaged in these acts, that all means that

15 there were grounds for their detention.

16 Q. Even though you mentioned this on Friday, let

17 me ask you again, Mr. Begtasovic: do you know how the

18 proceedings against these individuals whom you

19 questioned were completed?

20 A. I know that certain persons were later

21 prosecuted and I also do not know how many such

22 proceedings took place, but I know that all proceedings

23 were later abolished through a decision adopted by the

24 court based on the law of amnesty.

25 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, by dropping charges pursuant

Page 10706

1 to the law of amnesty, does this mean that these people

2 were pardoned or does this mean something else?

3 A. No, the court does not take a decision on

4 whether these individuals did commit such acts or not.

5 The court only acknowledges that they have fulfilled

6 conditions that meet the law of amnesty. It would be

7 the same as when an application is made for a pardon --

8 it is an act of mercy on the part of the authorities to

9 pardon a convicted person, or a person who is being

10 prosecuted regardless of the fact whether this person

11 actually did commit such a crime or not.

12 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, on Friday you said that the

13 court which was able to prosecute for a more serious

14 crime, that it was established only during 1993. Can

15 you tell me whether, at that time, criminal charges

16 were filed against some other individuals who may have

17 committed some other different crimes?

18 A. Yes. A large number of indictments were

19 issued against a variety of individuals in the military

20 court in Mostar.

21 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, do you know whether, at that

22 time, indictments were issued against individuals who

23 committed crimes, the victims of whom were also certain

24 persons of Serbian ethnic origin?

25 A. Yes, there was a number of such criminal

Page 10707

1 cases that were processed at that time.

2 Q. Thank you. Mr. Begtasovic, when you

3 questioned these individuals, can you tell us where did

4 these people reside before the war, that is, before the

5 hostilities?

6 A. The majority lived in the territory of the

7 Konjic municipality.

8 Q. During your questioning of these individuals,

9 Mr. Begtasovic, were you able to determine what

10 citizenship these individuals held?

11 A. They were all citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

12 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, how do you legally determine

13 the citizenship of an individual in Bosnia-Herzegovina;

14 in other words, what was the underlying legal act for

15 determining citizenship of anyone in

16 Bosnia-Herzegovina?

17 A. That would be by birth certificate and there

18 was an office in the municipality in Konjic which had a

19 register of citizens and I believe that this was so

20 since 1979. Before that, the procedure was a bit

21 different, so there was no separate list of citizens

22 until then and then, after that, it was part of the

23 Registry of births and deaths.

24 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, did the legal system in

25 Bosnia-Herzegovina provide for the citizenship of

Page 10708

1 Bosnia-Herzegovina?

2 A. Yes, it was set out in the law.

3 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, who can be issued with a birth

4 certificate, that is a citizenship certificate which,

5 as you said, are all being registered in the place of

6 residence of individuals?

7 A. Whoever has a legal interest to be issued

8 such a document and who can provide the authorities

9 with good reason for that.

10 MS. RESIDOVIC: May I have the usher's

11 assistance to help me show the witness a document which

12 was produced by Professor Hadzibegovic, and I am not

13 asking for this witness to confirm the truthfulness of

14 this document, but, rather, just to be able to answer

15 several questions that I have to pose. I have a copy

16 -- an original for Mr. Begtasovic, if you would please

17 hand it to him. (Handed)

18 THE REGISTRAR: Defence document D160/1.

19 MS. RESIDOVIC: Mr. Begtasovic, did you look

20 at the document?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber what this

23 document represents?

24 A. This is a certificate of citizenship issued

25 by the registry in Konjic -- the municipal registry.

Page 10709

1 Today, this is not a valid certificate, because there

2 is an old coat of arms with lilies, which is no longer

3 in use. Also, the name of the State is Republic of

4 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Today, it is only

5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, so with the exception of these two

6 details, everything else is the same today.

7 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, can you tell me whether such

8 certificates were being issued up until the end of last

9 year, that is, with that name and that coat of arms?

10 A. Yes, such certificates were being issued

11 until the end of last year and they were valid for

12 legal purposes.

13 Q. Can you tell me whether an attorney for a

14 certain person who has an interest in such matters

15 needs to ask proper authorities for issuance of such a

16 document?

17 A. Yes, an attorney who has the right legal

18 interest can be issued such a document.

19 MS. RESIDOVIC: Yes. Your Honours, I move to

20 admit this into evidence -- not on whether this is

21 Milan Kuljanin's citizenship certificate, but in terms

22 of the truthfulness of what the judge has just said.

23 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I do not think you can

24 do that.

25 MS. RESIDOVIC: Very well, in that case this

Page 10710

1 exhibit has been admitted and we will try to determine

2 its truthfulness through other witnesses.

3 Mr. Begtasovic, on Friday you told us about

4 your court, which did not function throughout the whole

5 of 1992, and the reasons for this. Tell us, please,

6 apart from the courts like your own and the higher

7 court, are there any other administrative courts in the

8 municipality, or in the municipalities in keeping with

9 our regulations -- do any other courts exist?

10 A. Yes. You have municipal courts for

11 misdemeanours, for smaller crimes.

12 Q. What is the difference between that type of

13 court and the courts in the jurisdiction system of the

14 republic?

15 A. Well, first of all, the difference is in

16 their competencies and authorities. This type of court

17 deals with decision-making on smaller crimes if a

18 misdemeanour has been committed and punishments and

19 penalties for those types of crime. The difference is

20 also in the selection of the judges. The judges of the

21 municipal courts are elected by the municipal

22 assemblies -- at least what were the municipal

23 assemblies in the former system of the time -- and

24 those are administrative courts, so to speak, which are

25 linked up with the municipal organs of management, or

Page 10711

1 with the municipal powers that be.

2 As opposed to this type of court, we have the

3 basic courts in the municipalities, which are

4 hierarchically linked to the higher court and the

5 supreme court of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The competency

6 and authority over the regularity of these regular

7 courts is done by the Ministry of Justice and

8 jurisprudence and authority over the municipal courts

9 for the misdemeanours and petty crimes is done by the

10 municipal assembly.

11 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, before the war, tell me,

12 please, which were the organs of the municipal assembly

13 over which it had superiority -- superior authority?

14 A. First of all, the executive board, as the

15 executive organ of power and authority of the municipal

16 assembly, and the organs of management. There were a

17 certain number of secretariats -- I forget their exact

18 number, four or five I believe -- and the municipal

19 court for misdemeanours.

20 Q. Can you tell me to whom the Serb station of

21 public security was subordinate before the war and

22 during the war as well?

23 A. Both before the war and in the course of the

24 war, it was subject to the Ministry of Internal

25 Affairs, the republican Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Page 10712

1 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, do you have personal knowledge

2 from your practice to whom were subordinated the

3 departments for national defence which were formerly

4 known as the secretariats for national Defence, who

5 were they subordinated to?

6 A. To the republican Ministry of Defence.

7 MS. RESIDOVIC: In view of the fact that

8 Dr. Iljas Hadzibegovic made up a chart of pre-war

9 organisation of power and authority in the

10 municipality, which is to be found in our dossiers on

11 page 290 and 291 -- that is, the Bosnian text and

12 translation -- I would like to show the witness this

13 chart, this diagram. (Handed) Without looking this

14 document up in our volume, in our big volume, I have a

15 copy for the court.

16 THE REGISTRAR: It is D161/1, Defence

17 exhibit.

18 MS. RESIDOVIC: Mr. Begtasovic, on the basis

19 of your personal knowledge and experience, can you tell

20 us whether this diagram represents the organisation of

21 the organs and their subordinate organs within the

22 municipality of Konjic before the beginning of the war?

23 A. Well, this diagram is, for the most part,

24 correct, I would say. I should just like to mention

25 that, as far as the communication between the basic

Page 10713

1 courts is concerned -- and I said that a moment ago --

2 with the higher courts and the supreme court, there is

3 another parallel link between the basic court and the

4 ministry of jurisprudence, of justice, of

5 Bosnia-Herzegovina in the organisational sense, but

6 this is the pre-war organisation in the municipality as

7 it stood and it is a correct diagram.

8 MS. RESIDOVIC: In view of the fact that,

9 based on his personal experience, the witness is well

10 acquainted with the makeup of the organisation of power

11 and authority in the municipality, I move that this

12 diagram be accepted.

13 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Why? He did not

14 produce this. It is not his own efforts, and he is

15 making only a claim that he knows that such a thing

16 exists. It is not him who produced it.

17 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, listening to

18 Professor Hadzibegovic, who made up this diagram and

19 identified it, we have just the verisimilitude of the

20 diagram. The witness has identified

21 Professor Hadzibegovic -- he did not have any personal

22 knowledge of the functions of this kind of work in

23 Konjic, but, as we now have the fact that somebody has

24 identified the diagram and has somebody else who is

25 well acquainted with the organisation of power and

Page 10714

1 authority, in view of the relevance of this document,

2 I submit that it be admitted into evidence.

3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Do you not think you

4 are misunderstanding the situation? If you are

5 introducing a matter as an exhibit produced by you,

6 obviously there would be no problem tendering it as

7 produced by you. If he is giving evidence because he

8 knows about the system in which he works, go ahead and

9 ask him whatever questions you want -- I do not think

10 anybody bothers about that. If he said things which

11 shows he knows about the system, it is sufficient, not

12 because he is now adopting this diagram as his own --

13 this is what tendering it will mean.

14 JUDGE JAN: He is merely verifying its

15 correctness -- nothing more than that. The document

16 will have to be exhibited from Dr Iljas Hadzibegovic.

17 He is merely confirming that it is a true

18 representation -- that is all.

19 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You seem to

20 misunderstand how it works. All we are saying here is

21 that the professor has tendered it as a document

22 produced by him. Your witness is now saying this

23 document represents accurately what he knows this

24 system to be. This is all he can do, and no more than

25 that.

Page 10715

1 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you, very much. I have

2 understood your Honours' warning. The witness has

3 testified to its correctness -- verified its

4 correctness and that it is a true representation and

5 that is contained in the transcript of this court.

6 Mr. Begtasovic, I should now like to ask you

7 to tell me what happens with the municipal assembly as

8 an organ of power and authority in a situation of war

9 and the direct threat and danger of war? Does this

10 organ experience any changes and who performs the

11 function of the municipal assembly?

12 A. Because of an objective impossibility of

13 convening an assembly at this particular time, and due

14 to the war circumstances prevailing, the function of

15 the municipal assembly was taken over, as far as

16 I recall, in April 1992 by the war presidency of the

17 municipality of Konjic. Everything that the municipal

18 assembly dealt with, all the matters that it dealt with

19 before the war, were now dealt with by the war-time

20 presidency of the municipality of Konjic.

21 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, tell us, please, whether,

22 after the proclamation of the immediate dangers of war,

23 during the war in Konjic, whether there was a

24 Territorial Defence headquarters, which later became

25 the headquarters of the armed forces and the Army of

Page 10716

1 Bosnia-Herzegovina?

2 A. Yes, you are right, it did.

3 Q. Do you know, from your personal experience as

4 somebody who lived and worked in Konjic in 1992, to

5 whom the headquarters of Territorial Defence of Konjic

6 was subordinate -- who was the superior authority to

7 the headquarters of Konjic's Territorial Defence?

8 A. The republican headquarters of Territorial

9 Defence were the superior authority.

10 JUDGE JAN: We already had that from a

11 number of witnesses, including Dr Hadzibegovic, who is

12 a military expert. He is not a military expert -- he

13 is the chief justice of his municipality. This is a

14 military matter.

15 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, the witness, as

16 a judge who lived in the place in 1992, can verify the

17 correctness of the situation. He is just speaking as a

18 witness and I just want to show him the military

19 diagram of Konjic for the same reason that I showed him

20 the previous diagram. It was drawn up by Professor

21 Hadzibegovic and it was tendered into evidence as such,

22 but I would just like this witness, who has personal

23 experience of the situation, to verify its correctness.

24 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: What pertinence would

25 it have to the military situation? Do you mean that he

Page 10717

1 was part of the system -- military structure, for him

2 to be able to identify this and give evidence about it,

3 when the experts themselves have said things about it.

4 You have had two experts who have made statements about

5 these things. Why do you need a non-expert to come and

6 say anything about it again?

7 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, I am not asking

8 him about the war-time situation, just the diagram of

9 the organisation of power and authority in the

10 municipality and he was part of that power and

11 authority. He had a function to perform within that

12 system. This diagram was drawn up by an expert witness

13 who was an historian. Could he just take a look at the

14 diagram, study it and say whether it is a true

15 representation and that is how it will go down in the

16 transcript. If he cannot give his opinions, if the

17 witness cannot give his opinion, then he will not, so

18 none of these questions refer to military

19 organisation. I merely want to discuss the

20 organisation of power and authority and this document,

21 in Dr Hadzibegovic's dossier, is on pages 312 and 313.

22 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, you may well get

23 the witness to say what he thinks he knows.

24 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you.

25 I would now like to ask that these diagrams

Page 10718

1 be presented to the witness -- I have a copy for the

2 court, but, as I say, they have already been admitted

3 as diagrams made up by Professor Hadzibegovic.

4 (Handed)

5 Mr. Begtasovic, as a citizen of Konjic and as

6 a man who performed certain duties, do you have

7 personal knowledge as to the organisation of power and

8 authority in Konjic in 1992 -- was it as represented in

9 the diagram?

10 A. Yes. In my answers to the previous questions

11 I gave an affirmative answer to your question and

12 I repeat this affirmative answer. I have in front of

13 me a diagram of the organisation of power and authority

14 in Konjic in the municipality during the war and before

15 the war, when there was the danger of war.

16 Q. Could you tell me, Mr. Begtasovic, whether the

17 wartime presidency is a civilian or a military organ?

18 A. It is the highest civilian organ in the

19 municipality.

20 Q. Thank you. I should now like to ask you,

21 Mr. Begtasovic, do you personally know Mr. Zejnil

22 Delalic?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. In performing your duties in Konjic in 1992,

25 did you at any time receive orders from Zejnil Delalic?

Page 10719

1 A. No, I did not.

2 Q. Did you, and were you somebody who was

3 subordinate to Zejnil Delalic?

4 A. No.

5 Q. Do you know, Mr. Begtasovic, who were the

6 commanders of the headquarters of Territorial Defence

7 of Konjic in 1992?

8 A. If I recall correctly, they were Mr. Ramic,

9 Mr. Boric, and Mr. Catic.

10 Q. On the basis of your personal knowledge, was

11 Mr. Zejnil Delalic ever commander of the municipal

12 headquarters in 1992?

13 A. No, he was not -- he was never commander of

14 the municipal headquarters.

15 Q. Do you know whether Zejnil Delalic at one

16 time held any military functions?

17 A. Yes, I remember that he was commander of a

18 military group. I am not quite sure -- I am not very

19 high up on the structure of military authority, but

20 I seem to recall that he was the commander of a

21 Tactical Group. I am not quite sure of the exact term

22 given to the group.

23 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, I am now going to ask you

24 several other questions related to your own personal

25 and professional knowledge. Tell me, please,

Page 10720

1 Mr. Begtasovic, whether members of the Ministry of

2 Internal Affairs can take statements from citizens?

3 A. Yes, they can take statements. This is

4 colloquially referred to as an "informative dialogue".

5 Q. Can these statements at any time form the

6 basis for a decision for prosecution -- can they lead

7 to prosecution?

8 A. These statements can never be a basis for a

9 decision to bring in a case against these individuals.

10 Q. What happens to them after they come to

11 court, these documents?

12 A. Then the judge -- investigating judge --

13 must, according to the rules, separate these statements

14 and records of the statements in a separate file and

15 they are separately kept as separate files, so that the

16 counsel deliberating and investigating the case does

17 not have these files -- the trial chamber's.

18 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, if the prosecutor ceases to

19 prosecute, what happens to the criminal case?

20 A. The court in that case severs the criminal

21 proceedings -- puts a stop to the criminal proceedings.

22 Q. Against the same individual, for perpetuating

23 the same crime, can the case be brought up once again?

24 A. No, and in this case we are speaking about

25 res judicata. The exception is in the case of a

Page 10721

1 repetition of the criminal proceedings which the court

2 can allow with the adoption of new facts -- if new

3 facts are brought to light -- new evidence.

4 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, which organs issue facts as to

5 whether, before a court, a criminal proceeding is under

6 way or not?

7 A. The courts provide this information.

8 Q. According to our regulations, do organs exist

9 which have records on the punishment of individuals?

10 A. They are the organs of internal affairs --

11 the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the municipalities.

12 Q. Does that ministry, at the request of

13 individuals having a legal interest in doing so -- can

14 they issue a confirmation whether an individual has

15 been punished or not?

16 A. Yes, but the individual must be able to

17 verify that he has a legal interest in doing this.

18 Q. Tell me, Mr. Begtasovic, according to our

19 criminal law, are there crimes for which a Defence

20 counsel is required from the first stages?

21 A. Yes. If there is reasonable doubt that a

22 crime has been committed for which the punishment can

23 be the death penalty, the death sentence.

24 Q. Can the suspect be withheld this right to a

25 Defence attorney?

Page 10722

1 A. No -- to waive this right.

2 Q. Does the violation of this right lead to

3 legal repercussions in the proceedings?

4 A. This is a vital violation of the proceedings

5 and, if it is committed, it will lead to the sentence

6 being revoked.

7 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, although you have already said

8 this earlier on, but as I am drawing to the end of my

9 questioning, we have called you here to testify to

10 facts which are directly linked to this case, would you

11 tell us, please, once again whether investigating --

12 interviewing 105 individuals -- did you question them

13 according to the prevailing rules and regulations and

14 in a legal and lawful manner?

15 A. The interviews with the 105 individuals,

16 which I for the most part did, this questioning was

17 done legally, according to all the prevailing rules and

18 regulations.

19 Q. For reasonable doubt on the basis of the

20 statements of these individuals, were these acts

21 criminal acts according to the laws of the Socialist

22 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?

23 A. Yes, you are right.

24 Q. And my last question, although you have

25 partially answered it already, in view of the fact of

Page 10723

1 what you learnt questioning those individuals, was

2 their detention lawful and justified?

3 A. Yes.

4 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you, Mr. Begtasovic.

5 I have no further questions, your Honours.

6 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much.

7 Any cross-examination by the Defence?

8 MR. OLUJIC: Yes, your Honour, may it please

9 the court.

10 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, you may proceed

11 Cross-examined by MR. OLUJIC

12 Q. Thank you. Good morning, Mr. Begtasovic.

13 A. Good morning.

14 Q. I represent the Defence of Mr. Zdravko Mucic.

15 I do not have many questions for you. However, as a

16 highly qualified witness, as a colleague of ours, as a

17 man of law, I think that you will be able to help us

18 clarify certain facts, which are both relevant and

19 important for determining the truth in these

20 proceedings.

21 I would like to draw your attention, and I am

22 also reminding myself, to the fact that during our

23 exchanges, since we speak the language in which we

24 understand one another, we try to wait until the end of

25 the interpretation of a question into one of the

Page 10724

1 official languages. You wait and then give your

2 answer.

3 Mr. Begtasovic, according to the laws and the

4 rules regulating prisons in the Socialist Federal

5 Republic of Yugoslavia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina, can

6 we say that, regardless of the fact whether someone had

7 been sentenced by the military or a civilian court,

8 that the sentence was always served in a civilian

9 prison, that is, in a correctional facility which was

10 under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice,

11 which was originally called the Secretariat of Justice?

12 A. Yes, you are correct.

13 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, could we further say that by

14 the fall of SFRY the legislation gradually changed and

15 a new one was adopted and that these laws and

16 regulations were not changing rapidly, but, rather,

17 quite gradually?

18 A. That is correct. In the legislation of

19 Bosnia-Herzegovina, after the proclamation of

20 Bosnia-Herzegovina as an independent State, first a

21 large number of laws and legal provisions were adopted

22 from the former SFRY and they were adopted as laws and

23 legal provisions of Bosnia-Herzegovina. This was in

24 the initial period.

25 Q. Can we say that the adoption of these laws

Page 10725

1 and regulations proceeded in such a way that they were

2 purged of Communism of self-management and everything

3 else that dominated the previous system, and this was

4 then adjusted to the circumstances within the republic,

5 that is, the State of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

6 A. Yes, you are absolutely correct.

7 Q. Thank you. Mr. Begtasovic, during your

8 examination-in-chief, you limited yourself not to

9 tempore criminis suspecti, but until January 1993 when

10 you were involved in the questioning of certain

11 suspects and you said that you did not have knowledge

12 of what went on in 1992, that is, the period between

13 May and November 1992; is that correct?

14 A. Yes, that is correct.

15 Q. Please tell me, when you conducted

16 questioning, what authorities did you have at that

17 time? Did you have any military rank, a police rank,

18 or was this -- or was it the case that only your

19 expertise was used -- the expertise of somebody who had

20 a long record of experience in criminal affairs?

21 A. The latter part of your question is correct

22 -- in fact, I was never in the military, I never

23 served in the military, I never had any rank, so I was

24 simply involved in it as a person who is qualified to

25 question individuals who were suspected of carrying

Page 10726

1 arms and involved in illegal matters and, in that

2 capacity, I was appointed as a member of the Military

3 Investigating Commission.

4 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, if that is so, could you

5 please tell me, when you conducted these interviews,

6 could you, for instance, order the guards who were

7 bringing you these individuals whom you were to

8 question, whether to do certain things or not to do

9 certain things, because I assume these were military

10 personnel?

11 A. As a rule, I could not do this. Obviously,

12 I could request these guards who were guarding these

13 individuals to bring over a person that I was to

14 question, and I could do it and the lady who was the

15 president of the commission could also do it and, in

16 that sense, I had the authority which you just

17 mentioned.

18 Q. But you could not order these gentlemen to do

19 anything?

20 A. (Witness nods head)

21 Q. Could you please state in words?

22 A. That is correct, I could not do anything.

23 Q. Could you, for instance, order them to tie

24 somebody up?

25 A. No.

Page 10727

1 Q. Thank you. Can we say, Mr. Begtasovic, that

2 in the Konjic area, and now I am talking about a

3 tempore criminis suspecti, that is, I am talking about

4 this time frame and you were a resident of Konjic, so

5 can we say that in 1992, as the old system broke down,

6 a certain amount of anarchy reigned?

7 A. In a certain sense, yes, and I say this

8 taking into account the fact that the court where

9 I worked had no conditions, objectively speaking, to

10 properly work during 1992.

11 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, the suspects whom you

12 questioned later on, that is, in January 1993, were

13 these, for the most part, persons who had been captured

14 during fighting?

15 A. Yes. Perhaps all of them.

16 Q. Did you allow for the possibility that some

17 of them may have been captured later, after the

18 fighting stopped, in forests and carrying arms?

19 A. Yes, there were such cases.

20 Q. Please tell me, during your first encounter

21 with these individuals, did you notice that some of

22 them had visible signs or traces of injuries, which

23 they may have sustained either during fighting or

24 during their capture?

25 A. I do not recall seeing such a person, or such

Page 10728

1 persons.

2 Q. Did individuals whom you questioned complain

3 to you of any such acts against them?

4 A. What acts?

5 Q. Acts during their arrest or capture?

6 A. No, I had no such knowledge.

7 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, let me ask you something else

8 now. Do you know Mr. Zdravko Mucic?

9 A. Just superficially -- I know him by sight, as

10 we say.

11 Q. Have you ever seen any documents to the

12 effect that Mr. Mucic would have any authority in the

13 camp?

14 A. I do not recall.

15 Q. Could we say that, during the popular

16 insurrection and crimes committed against the Muslims

17 and roaming of certain groups in the area, people who

18 were in the camp were safer there than being free

19 outside?

20 A. If you take as a parameter the number of

21 shells -- it was a higher risk to live in downtown

22 Konjic during the war than in Celebici.

23 MR. OLUJIC: Thank you, Mr. Begtasovic and,

24 your Honours, thank you, I have no further questions.

25 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much.

Page 10729

1 Any further cross-examination?

2 MR. MORAN: I have a few questions, your

3 Honour. May it please the court.

4 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, you may proceed.

5 Cross-examined by MR. MORAN

6 Q. Thank you, your Honour.

7 Good morning, judge.

8 A. Good morning.

9 Q. Back in my country, if you have been a judge

10 for one day, we call you a judge for the rest of your

11 life so I hope you do not mind if I do call you judge,

12 Sir?

13 A. Well, thank you.

14 Q. Judge, I am going to ask you some questions

15 in about four areas. I do not think it will take long,

16 but I will just go over those areas with you right now

17 so you know what we are going to be talking about.

18 The first thing I am going to talk to you

19 about is the actual method of questioning these people

20 you questioned as a member of the commission. The

21 second thing I want to talk to you about is the

22 authority in the former Yugoslavia and, also, in the

23 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina for gaolers to take

24 people into custody, and then I want to talk to you

25 about the citizenship laws and nationality laws of the

Page 10730

1 republic, and finally I will ask you about some kinds

2 of records and whether or not you know whether they

3 exist.

4 Sometimes my questions are probably not

5 nearly as artful as yours are. So, if I ask a question

6 you do not understand it, will you stop me and I will

7 repeat it, rephrase it, whatever it takes.

8 The first subject I want to talk to you

9 about, like I said, was the manner in which these

10 statements were taken from those, what, 105,

11 approximately, accused. When you were questioning

12 them, did you see them -- were they tied or shackled or

13 restrained in any way?

14 A. The questioning was conducted in the building

15 of the station for public security in Konjic. This is

16 an elevation in town which is called Musala. These

17 individuals were kept in the sports hall which bore the

18 same name, which is Musala. The sports hall -- the

19 distance between the sports hall and the building where

20 the questioning took place was about 100 metres.

21 I recall that, on one occasion, while these individuals

22 were transported from the sports hall to the public

23 security station, these persons were cuffed. As they

24 entered the office where the commission was conducting

25 this questioning, that is, where all the members and

Page 10731

1 the note taker were, these people would be uncuffed for

2 the duration of the questioning.

3 If these personnel who had brought them

4 there, or the personnel of the public security station

5 had not done it previously, they certainly did it once

6 they got there and when I asked them to uncuff them.

7 Q. Judge, let me follow that up just a bit. You

8 have been back in the back here in the Defence room

9 for, what, since I guess last week, and you have seen

10 these four accused being moved by the security guards

11 here, and, when they move them from one place to

12 another outside the courtroom, they are shackled -- you

13 have seen that, have you not?

14 A. Yes, it was an identical procedure.

15 Q. When they were brought into the courtroom,

16 they were unshackled?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. You did not see any guards or anyone beat

19 people to get statements out of them, did you?

20 A. No, I did not see that.

21 Q. And you did not see any big bulky guards

22 standing behind these people, coercing them into giving

23 statements, did you?

24 A. At that time, there were no such big bulky

25 persons in Konjic.

Page 10732

1 Q. None of these people who were brought to you

2 looked like they had been beaten up or coerced in any

3 way when they got there, did they?

4 A. You are right.

5 Q. And did you on any occasion interrogate any

6 of these suspects on more than one day, so maybe you

7 talked to them today, send them back to the sports hall

8 and bring them back the next day or a couple of days

9 later?

10 A. No, during a single day, a number of suspects

11 were questioned.

12 Q. Did any of these suspects that you recall

13 complain to you that they had been beaten or threatened

14 to give statements, or that they had been told what to

15 tell you, or anything like that?

16 A. No.

17 MR. MORAN: Would this be a convenient time

18 to take the morning break?

19 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: The Trial Chamber will

20 now rise and reassemble at noon.

21 --- Recess taken at 11.30 a.m.

22 --- On resuming at 12.03 p.m.

23 [Open Session]

24 [The witness entered court]

25 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Mr. Moran, you may

Page 10733

1 proceed.

2 MR. MORAN: Thank you, your Honour.

3 Good morning again, judge.

4 A. Good afternoon.

5 Q. You are correct, I am sorry, it is

6 afternoon. Judge, one last question about the suspects

7 you questioned, and then we will move on to something

8 else. Did any of those people complain to you that

9 they had been somehow mistreated while they were being

10 detained in the Celebici camp?

11 A. No.

12 Q. Thank you very much, judge. Let us go on to

13 another subject. I want to talk to you a little bit

14 about people who run gaols or prisons. Under the law

15 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and also under the law of the

16 former Yugoslavia, if a person who was under arrest was

17 delivered to a gaol or a prison -- some kind of

18 confinement facility -- did the head of that gaol or

19 the guards in that gaol, or the deputy head of that

20 gaol have any legal obligation to determine whether or

21 not the person was being legally confined, or could

22 they just simply rely on the fact that the prisoner was

23 brought to them by someone of the appropriate State

24 authority?

25 A. Well, to determine this fact is under the

Page 10734

1 competencies of the courts. Therefore, the officials

2 of the prison and, even the commander, has no right

3 according to the law to determine whether these

4 individuals, these suspects, have been detained for

5 committing a criminal act or not, whether they have

6 been justly detained or not.

7 MR. MORAN: Thank you a lot, judge.

8 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Was that your

9 question?

10 MR. MORAN: Yes.

11 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Was that the answer --

12 MR. MORAN: That is exactly the answer

13 I wanted, that gaolers have no legal authority to

14 enquire into the legality of detention.

15 The next thing I want to talk to you about,

16 judge, is the laws of Bosnia-Herzegovina as they

17 related to citizenship and nationality -- when I

18 say "nationality", I do not mean ethnic origin. What

19 I mean is the connection between a person and the

20 State, similar to citizenship. Are you familiar with

21 the laws of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina as it

22 relates to citizenship and nationality?

23 A. Yes, for the most part I am.

24 Q. If I go outside of your expertise, let me

25 know and we will stop. Back in April 1992, when Bosnia

Page 10735

1 became an independent nation, recognised by the

2 European Community, member of the United Nations, did

3 the republic confer both its citizenship and its

4 nationality on all habitual residents of the republic?

5 A. All the individuals who resided within

6 Bosnia-Herzegovina, along with conditions previously

7 determined by law, were citizens of the State of

8 Bosnia-Herzegovina up until 1992 -- to be more exact,

9 up to mid April 1992. The question of citizenship was

10 regulated by the law on citizenship for

11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the law on citizenship of the

12 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. This latter

13 law was later on taken over by the legal organs of

14 power and authority in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and, at the

15 same time, these two laws, as far as I recall, were in

16 force up until the fall of 1992, when a new law was

17 adopted relating to citizenship for

18 Bosnia-Herzegovina. This law, along with very slight

19 changes, amendments, which came in 1996, as far as

20 I recall, is in force today.

21 Q. If I were a citizen of the Socialist Federal

22 Republic of Yugoslavia on 5 April 1992, the day Bosnia

23 became independent, and I lived in Bosnia-Herzegovina,

24 and I was a habitual resident of Bosnia-Herzegovina,

25 did I become a citizen of BH?

Page 10736

1 A. This is an explicit provision of the law on

2 citizenship of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Therefore, had you,

3 on 6 April 1992, been a citizen of the SFRJ and if you

4 resided on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, you

5 were a citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

6 Q. And also a national of Bosnia-Herzegovina; is

7 that correct?

8 A. Yes, that is correct.

9 Q. Now, judge, are there provisions in Bosnian

10 law to give up or renounce your Bosnian citizenship?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And could you tell the Trial Chamber what

13 those provisions were in the period from May through

14 December 1992, if you know?

15 A. The law provides for several forms -- several

16 procedures for renouncing citizenship, or for it to

17 cease to exist. One is release from citizenship, one

18 is renouncing your -- the second is renouncing your

19 citizenship, and another form is according to an

20 international contract, whereby this can be done. The

21 most complicated form of ceasing to be a citizen is

22 contained in the provision which I mentioned and which

23 refers to renouncement. If necessary, I shall go into

24 an explanation of this.

25 Q. Unless the Trial Chamber thinks it is

Page 10737

1 necessary, I do not think that is necessary. But the

2 question I do have to follow up is: if a citizen of

3 Bosnia-Herzegovina wished to give up his citizenship,

4 for whatever reason, and how ever -- in any of the

5 three ways he wanted to do it, would there be some

6 documents on file with the Republic of

7 Bosnia-Herzegovina showing that he had given up his

8 citizenship?

9 A. At all events, yes, there would. For

10 somebody to give up his citizenship of any of the three

11 counts, the individual requesting that his citizenship

12 cease in the BH republic must, to the organs of

13 authority, submit a request. The competent authorities

14 will then deliberate on that request and they will

15 either adopt it, or refute it. Therefore, tabling such

16 a request to be released from citizenship does not

17 automatically mean ipso jure, for a given time, that

18 that request is met.

19 Q. If there were these requests made and there

20 were these documents within the republic somewhere,

21 would they be available to, say, the Office of the

22 Prosecutor?

23 A. They could be, because the Prosecutor has the

24 legal interest in obtaining those documents, and the

25 organ in question, by law, is duty bound to give the

Page 10738

1 prosecuting office these documents for insight.

2 MR. MORAN: Judge, one last area, and then

3 I think we are done --

4 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Before he goes on, let

5 me ask a question. Are you suggesting that a person

6 who applies to renounce citizenship can be refused? An

7 application for citizenship -- for renouncing

8 citizenship can be refused by the authorities -- is

9 that what you are suggesting.

10 THE WITNESS: You are absolutely right, your

11 Honour. That is a way in which we can avoid a

12 situation by which apartheid status can be gained --

13 the intention of all the international conventions is

14 to reduce the number of Stateless persons.

15 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You can carry on, now.

16 MR. MORAN: By the way, judge, Mr. Greaves

17 pointed out one of the last questions I asked may not

18 have been as clear as it could have been. When I asked

19 if the Office of the Prosecutor could obtain copies of

20 these documents renouncing citizenship, by "Office of

21 the Prosecutor" I mean the Office of the Prosecutor for

22 the Tribunal -- those three people sitting over there

23 and their investigators, could they obtain copies of

24 those?

25 A. I had in mind those particular prosecutors,

Page 10739

1 yes.

2 MR. MORAN: Somebody suggested to me I might

3 have meant the prosecutor in Bosnia-Herzegovina, so

4 I just wanted to clear that up.

5 Judge, what kind of records are maintained by

6 the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and when I

7 say "the government", I mean in the larger sense, not

8 just the central Government in Sarajevo, but also the

9 municipality, or the districts, to show that someone is

10 a citizen of BH? For instance, you were shown a

11 document a little while ago -- I believe it was Exhibit

12 D160/1, which was a certificate of citizenship. Would

13 there be other documents such as birth certificates

14 showing that someone was born in Bosnia-Herzegovina

15 and, therefore, was a citizen?

16 JUDGE JAN: It is a somewhat vague

17 question. You are asking him whether there are records

18 or not and he answered it according to the best of his

19 ability.

20 MR. MORAN: I will move on to another area,

21 your Honour.

22 Judge, in April 1992, when citizenship in the

23 newly independent Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina was

24 conferred on the habitual residents, was it conferred

25 without regard to the person's ethnic background or

Page 10740

1 their religion?

2 A. Yes, it had nothing to do with national or

3 religious affiliation.

4 Q. Judge, when you say "national" there, you

5 mean ethnic affiliation?

6 A. Yes, you are right -- ethnic.

7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Do you include aliens

8 in this, too, who are habitually living in

9 Bosnia-Herzegovina -- were they also entitled to their

10 citizenship?

11 THE WITNESS: What "aliens" do you have in

12 mind, your Honour?

13 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Persons who do not come

14 within any of the boundaries -- they are neither

15 Bosniaks or Serbs, but were merely living there, and

16 not also citizens of SFRY -- anybody else who was

17 habitually living in Bosnia-Herzegovina at the date

18 that the law came into force.

19 THE WITNESS: Regardless of ethnic

20 affiliation, only citizens of the former Socialist

21 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia residing in

22 Bosnia-Herzegovina had the right to citizenship in the

23 new State.

24 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much.

25 This is what I wanted to establish.

Page 10741

1 MR. MORAN: Thank you very much, your

2 Honour. I pass the witness.

3 MS. McMURREY: May it please the court.

4 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, Ms. McMurrey, you

5 can proceed.

6 Cross-examined by MS. McMURREY

7 Q. Good morning. I have only a few questions

8 this morning, but on a more promising note, and

9 recognising that today, 6 April, marks the six-year

10 anniversary of the outbreak of the Bosnian war, Konjic

11 municipality is one of the first open cities in

12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, welcoming back Serb families; is

13 that true?

14 A. Yes, it is.

15 Q. And, also, going back to 1992, when the war

16 first broke out in April and May, there was an influx

17 of some 20,000 to 30,000 refugees from eastern Bosnia

18 flowing through Konjic at that time; is that true?

19 A. Yes, it is true, and I am a witness of it

20 happening.

21 JUDGE JAN: I just want to find out -- but

22 you told us Konjic was blocked from all sides, how

23 could the refugees come in.

24 THE WITNESS: Through the forests, across the

25 mountains.

Page 10742

1 MS. McMURREY: May I proceed, your Honour.

2 Did that answer your question?


4 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, you may.

5 MS. McMURREY: With that influx of refugees

6 at that time, these people came to the city of Konjic

7 telling their stories of murder, rape and destruction

8 of their hometowns, did they not?

9 A. Yes, that is correct.

10 Q. And so, in April and May and June of 1992,

11 that brought about a sense of panic and fear in the

12 people of Konjic, that this was maybe about to happen

13 to them; is that true?

14 A. Yes, you are right there again.

15 Q. I am going to go on to another topic right

16 now. I want to talk about your capacity as an

17 investigating judge in the municipality of Konjic.

18 When you are an investigating judge, this is in the

19 civil law system, not a common law system like we are

20 accustomed to; is that right?

21 A. The system of criminal continental law.

22 Q. Okay, that is another name for it, yes,

23 continental law, in which an investigative judge

24 collects information and, under the laws of Bosnia and

25 Herzegovina, under your ethical code of conduct for

Page 10743

1 either a lawyer or a judge, it is your duty not to

2 disclose that information collected in your capacity as

3 an investigating judge; is that true?

4 A. Yes, you are right, but may I add something?

5 The law on criminal proceedings, there is a regulation

6 of the law, which expressly forbids any statements to

7 be made as to information received at this particular

8 stage of the investigating process.

9 Q. Thank you. I wanted to differentiate between

10 your capacity as an investigative judge, where you have

11 a duty not to disclose statements, and your duties

12 under an assignment of a commission, such as the

13 statements that were introduced by Madam Residovic in

14 the Delalic Defence on Friday, which was D149 through

15 to 159, I think -- those were statements taken in your

16 capacity as a member of a commission appointed by a

17 military branch; is that true?

18 A. Yes, that is true.

19 Q. As opposed to statements taken in your

20 capacity as an investigating judge, which are totally

21 not subject to disclosure?

22 A. You are right.

23 MS. McMURREY: Thank you very much. I have no

24 further questions. Thank you, your Honour.

25 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much.

Page 10744

1 Any cross-examination by the Prosecution?

2 MR. TURONE: Yes, your Honour, thank you very

3 much.

4 MR. TURONE: May I proceed?


6 Cross-examined by MR. TURONE

7 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Begtasovic. My name is

8 Giuliano Turone and I am a trial attorney for the

9 Prosecution for this trial. Let me ask you also some

10 questions related to your testimony in chief. You told

11 us that you have been working as a judge in Konjic from

12 1976 until 1995; is that true?

13 A. Yes, that is correct.

14 Q. In that period of time, did you also work as

15 an investigating judge for criminal proceedings --

16 I mean, some time during those years?

17 A. Yes, I did also work as an investigating

18 judge.

19 Q. I am sorry, I did not get the translation --

20 could you repeat the answer?

21 A. Yes, I also worked as an investigating judge.

22 Q. Thank you very much. And when did that

23 happen -- in which years?

24 A. My basic area is the criminal law, and the

25 procedure that would follow the investigating period.

Page 10745

1 However, I also, during my time as a judge, worked as

2 an investigating judge and I cannot tell you exactly

3 the number of cases that I worked on as an

4 investigating judge and I was involved in that

5 throughout the period that I was a judge in Konjic,

6 that is, 1976 until I stopped being a judge there.

7 Q. I see. So there was not a specific period in

8 which you dealt with the work of an investigating judge

9 only?

10 A. (Witness nods head) That is correct.

11 Q. Okay. Mr. Begtasovic, you mentioned that

12 starting in April or May 1992, Konjic was surrounded

13 and then shelled almost daily. Can you say

14 approximately how long did the shelling last in your

15 town?

16 A. Are you talking about the daily shellings?

17 MR. TURONE: Yes, for how long did these daily

18 shellings go on?

19 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: For each day, or

20 continuously for how many days?

21 MR. TURONE: Let us say for how long a time

22 did continuous relevant shelling daily or almost daily,

23 did that go on?

24 A. I do not recall a single day in 1992,

25 starting in early May, when there was no shelling.

Page 10746

1 Q. You mean until the end of the year?

2 A. From this distance in time, it seems to me

3 that it went on until the end of the year.

4 Q. Thank you. You also stated in your

5 examination-in-chief that general mobilisation was

6 proclaimed in Konjic around 20 April 1992, you said,

7 I think. Can you tell us who proclaimed general

8 mobilisation?

9 A. The war presidency of the Konjic

10 municipality.

11 Q. Was the war presidency then the competent

12 authority for that?

13 A. Yes, because it took over the authority, that

14 is, the competencies of the municipal assembly.

15 Q. And to which extent and in which terms did

16 the mobilisation concern you personally -- I mean, what

17 did you do during 1992 after mobilisation?

18 A. I had work duty, and it involved the duties

19 which related to my position as the chief judge in

20 Konjic court.

21 Q. You also stated that, because of the

22 shelling, persons could not go to work, and the courts

23 could not function from April 1992 and during the

24 entire year 1992; is that correct?

25 A. That is correct.

Page 10747

1 Q. But, in any case, would you agree with me

2 that persons did move around Konjic anyway in 1992 and

3 persons did on a more or less regular basis report to

4 duties, including their assignments from the TO and war

5 presidency; is that true?

6 A. That is absolutely true. However, there was

7 one risk involved -- you could have lost your life.

8 Q. I see what you mean, but in any case, even

9 prisoners, would you agree with me, that they were in

10 fact moved to other areas, at least for the purposes of

11 exchange; is that true, in 1992?

12 A. That is possible.

13 Q. In any case, could you tell us, when did the

14 basic court in Konjic start functioning again and, in

15 particular, when did criminal proceedings start taking

16 place again in the basic court of Konjic?

17 A. As far as I recall, that was at around the

18 same time when the department of the military court

19 started working. Before this took place, the court

20 building was repaired and I would like to point out

21 that they shared the same building, that is, the basic

22 court and the department of the military court of

23 Mostar. During 1992 and in 1993, it was shelled

24 several times, and, as far as I recall, some time in

25 the summer of 1993, this court building was repaired.

Page 10748

1 It was shelled later, too, but at least it was brought

2 to the level when it functioned, so that, in late 1993,

3 we had proceedings going on in the court building, but

4 this is all as far as I recall.

5 Q. You mean criminal proceedings in the basic

6 court of Konjic started taking place again after summer

7 of 1993 -- not at the beginning of 1993?

8 A. I think that is correct, and I think it is an

9 insignificant number of cases. I think it was not a

10 very sizeable case load.

11 Q. Thank you. As soon as the basic court

12 started functioning again, what kind of work did you do

13 exactly as far as criminal proceedings were concerned?

14 Did that change something in your personal position in

15 court?

16 A. No. I should only point out that there were

17 very few new case files which we received; in other

18 words, there were very few lawsuits filed, very few

19 indictments which were referred to the basic court in

20 Konjic. For the most part, these were files that had

21 already been initiated before the war and the bulk of

22 the cases was really relating to the military court.

23 Q. So, in any case, you mean that your functions

24 were the same after the court functioned again during

25 the entire period of 1992, without any changes in your

Page 10749

1 personal professional position; is that correct?

2 A. Yes, that is correct.

3 Q. As soon as the basic court in Konjic started

4 functioning again, how many judges dealt with criminal

5 proceedings?

6 A. As far as I can recall, I was the only one.

7 I mentioned earlier in my testimony that, before the

8 war, in addition to me, there was Judge Silic and Judge

9 Smrkic who also dealt with criminal matters but they

10 both left Konjic.

11 Q. What happened after the summer of 1993 when

12 criminal proceedings started taking place again, could

13 you deal with the criminal matters by yourself, when

14 were there proceedings that had to be dealt with by a

15 panel of judges?

16 A. For those criminal proceedings for which a

17 single judge was appointed, I was dealing with those.

18 However, where there was a Chamber of three -- a panel

19 of three judges involved, then I would have the judges'

20 jury members with me.

21 Q. You mean lay jurors -- not professional

22 judges?

23 A. Yes, lay jurors. The basic courts were

24 established in such a way that a single judge can

25 preside over a proceeding, or a panel of three judges.

Page 10750

1 If there is a panel of three judges, it is always one

2 professional judge and two lay jurors.

3 Q. I see. You also stated that a department or

4 the military court was created in Konjic -- you said

5 around autumn 1993?

6 A. (Witness nods head)

7 Q. As a judge of the basic court, did you have

8 to perform any duties also within the Konjic department

9 of the military court?

10 A. No.

11 Q. And who were the judges dealing with that in

12 Konjic -- can you say the names?

13 A. You mean the judges of the military court?

14 Q. Yes, the Konjic department of the military

15 court?

16 A. Yes, I can recall them. I recall a judge

17 whose name was Selejman Bajric. I also remember a

18 judge whose name was Rasim Trnka -- Rasim with an "M"

19 -- R-A-S-I-M -- with an M -- as in "Mostar". Also, a

20 lady judge whose name was Sena Uzunovic and a judge

21 Meho Musinovic, and a judge Reuf Zaimovic. And I

22 remember a judge Jasmin Sose. Those are the judges

23 whose names I recall.

24 MR. TURONE: Thank you very much.

25 Mr. Begtasovic, you stated that, after the combats of

Page 10751

1 May 1992, many persons were arrested for participating

2 in an armed rebellion. Do you know if these persons or

3 any of them would have been entitled to prisoner of war

4 status.

5 MR. MORAN: I am going to object. That is

6 outside his area of expertise, unless it is shown he

7 has expertise in this area.

8 MR. TURONE: I would say that a criminal

9 judge has the knowledge to answer this question,

10 especially a judge who had something to do with these

11 prisoners in the commission of the fourth court. May

12 I invite the witness to answer this question?

13 JUDGE JAN: The judge may not be well versed

14 with international law. When you talk about prisoners

15 of war you are talking in terms of Geneva Conventions?

16 MR. TURONE: Yes.

17 JUDGE JAN: How would he know that? What

18 would his expertise be?

19 MR. TURONE: I would say the commission of

20 the 4th Corps, who had to investigate the prisoners as

21 we heard in the testimony in chief, implied work which

22 had something to do with the Geneva Conventions.

23 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Ask him perhaps whether

24 he knows the circumstances in which they were brought

25 to them.

Page 10752

1 MR. TURONE: Do you know the circumstances in

2 which these persons were brought to proceedings? If

3 you do not know about the applicability of the

4 prisoners of war status, you can say that, anyway?

5 A. With the court's permission, I would prefer

6 not to offer my opinion on that question, precisely for

7 reasons which you mentioned.

8 MR. TURONE: all right. May I ask that Defence

9 Exhibit D7/1 be shown again to the witness, please?

10 (Handed)

11 You stated that this document, which is dated

12 5 January 1993, is the order by which you were

13 appointed as a member of the 4th Corps Commission; is

14 that correct?

15 A. That is correct.

16 Q. Who signed this order, please?

17 A. I do not know who signed it. Here it states

18 that the person who issued the order is a Major Mirsad

19 Catic. However, before his name, there is a

20 preposition "for", which means that someone else signed

21 this document -- not he himself and I do not know who

22 did it.

23 Q. Anyway, in which capacity did Mr. Catic or

24 somebody else for him sign that order?

25 A. In any event, in the capacity of the

Page 10753

1 commander of the municipal staff of Konjic.

2 Q. Okay. So, according to point 4 of this

3 order, Mr. Begtasovic, you had to give a report after

4 completing your work. Did you see point 4? My

5 question is: did you give such a final report?

6 A. Yes, I see point 4 and I do understand what

7 your question is. Concerning the work duties contained

8 in point 4, to be honest with you, I do not recall my

9 own participation in compiling the report that is

10 mentioned here. Usually, the report is drafted by one

11 person. I assume that Ms. Jasminka Dzumhur, the

12 president of the commission, did that. I assume the

13 report was drafted and that the other members of the

14 commission signed it. However, at this point, I do not

15 recall the contents of this report.

16 Q. Do you mean that this report was given and

17 that you did not sign it, or this report was given and

18 you signed it as well and do not remember -- could you

19 please clarify that a little?

20 A. It would have been normal for me to have

21 signed it as well as all the other members of the

22 commission and I believe that that is what actually

23 happened. I doubt that the report was signed only by

24 the president of the commission.

25 Q. Do you agree with me that you are saying that

Page 10754

1 the report was given -- you signed it, and you do not

2 remember the contents of it?

3 A. I could not tell you with absolute certainty

4 even whether I had signed it. I assumed that this was

5 done and I do not remember the contents of this report

6 at this time. If you showed me this report with my

7 signature on it, I probably would recognise it.

8 Q. The problem is that we did not see any report

9 like that, neither coming from the Defence or her

10 Defence military witness. This is why I wanted to ask

11 you something about this report nobody is talking

12 about.

13 In any case, let us clarify something. The

14 report was given, and, even if you do not remember

15 whether you signed it or not, and even if you do not

16 remember the contents of it, could you say

17 approximately when was it given?

18 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Did he say the report

19 was given?

20 JUDGE JAN: He does not even remember.

21 MR. TURONE: He said the report was given.

22 JUDGE JAN: "Must have been given", he says

23 -- "it must have been given", and he thinks he must

24 have signed it also, but he does not remember now.

25 That is his answer.

Page 10755

1 MR. TURONE: Let me say then, you have no

2 possibility to say anything else but that -- that you

3 do not remember whether there was a report, whether you

4 signed it, and, if there was a report, you do not

5 remember the contents -- is that a fair statement?

6 A. Yes, that is a fair statement.

7 Q. In any case, Mr. Begtasovic, in consideration

8 of point 4 of this appointment order, you members of

9 the commission were supposed to find out how many

10 prisoners were subject to court proceedings and if you

11 read again point 4, how many proceedings were subject

12 to court proceedings, how many were not subject to

13 court proceedings, how many were wounded and sick, and

14 how many had incurable wounds and diseases; is that

15 correct? Do you read this in point 4 of the order?

16 A. Excuse me, but that is not correct.

17 Q. Please read yourself then -- I might have

18 some erroneous translation. Read point 4 of the order?

19 A. It is not in the past tense, but in the

20 future tense. That is the only error in your

21 interpretation or translation. Upon the completion of

22 its task, the commission "shall" compile a report in

23 which it will show the following. The persons to be

24 criminally prosecuted -- that means in the future,

25 including all the evidence. Further on, "Individuals

Page 10756

1 who are not to be criminally prosecuted" -- that also

2 means in the future. "The wounded and sick persons" --

3 I guess that means among the questioned persons -- "and

4 prisoners with incurable wounds or diseases." I have

5 to say here that the commission was charged with

6 something that, according to the law, it could not have

7 been charged with. This commission could not decide on

8 who of the questioned persons would be criminally

9 prosecuted in the future, because it was up to the

10 prosecutor's office, and that is a military court's

11 prosecutor's office to make such a determination.

12 MR. TURONE: All right, but do you agree with me

13 that the Serbo-Croatian sentence means that the order

14 asks the commission to find out which prisoners were

15 suitable for proceedings; is that correct.

16 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I think what counsel is

17 suggesting --

18 THE WITNESS: Yes, that is correct.

19 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: -- is paragraph 4 is

20 what the commission is directed to report on. This is

21 what counsel is suggesting. You are expected to report

22 on all these things indicated in paragraph 4. Is he

23 correct to assume that that is what your report should

24 contain.

25 THE WITNESS: That is correct, your Honour.

Page 10757

1 MR. TURONE: If this was stated in the order

2 in point 4, that means that you were expected to seek

3 information in order to answer to these questions; is

4 that not correct -- at least, that was the intention of

5 the person who wrote the order of appointment; is that

6 correct?

7 A. That is correct.

8 Q. My question is: no matter whether the report

9 was given or not, do you remember having reached some

10 information like that suitable to answer these four

11 questions? I mean, not only as far as the suitability

12 for proceedings is concerned but, also, to the other

13 points -- did you reach some information?

14 A. Yes, you are correct, we did reach such

15 information. We were able to answer all four questions

16 contained in paragraph 4, based on the statements taken

17 from these individuals, and on this basis we could

18 suggest which person would be suitable, as you put it,

19 for criminal prosecution.

20 For instance, persons who were in possession

21 of weapons; also, persons who were not liable that way,

22 and were also able to determine about those who were

23 wounded and sick and who had incurable diseases and

24 injuries because we had Dr Nadra Buturovic who was a

25 member of the staff of the war hospital in Konjic and

Page 10758

1 whose job within this commission was precisely to

2 answer questions relating to these last two items in

3 paragraph 4.

4 Q. So, when you say "we could suggest which

5 persons", et cetera, et cetera, with which document did

6 you suggest that? Do you recall something more about

7 the possibility of having given a report, or otherwise

8 in which document or with which act did you give this

9 answer about these points?

10 A. You mean the evidence?

11 Q. No, I mean you said that you reached the

12 answer on these questions and you reported -- you

13 suggested -- you answered? When you say

14 you "answered", to whom did you say you answered?

15 A. I am sorry, I said that we were in a position

16 to answer these questions. It is possible that our

17 answers were contained in this report.

18 MR. TURONE: All right.

19 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Actually he does not

20 really now remember. We might adjourn at this point

21 until 2.30.

22 --- Whereupon luncheon adjournment taken at 1 p.m


24 --- On resuming at 2.30 p.m.


Page 10759

1 [Open Session]

2 [The witness entered court]

3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Kindly remind the

4 witness that he is still on his oath.

5 THE REGISTRAR: I remind you, Sir, that you

6 are still under oath.

7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You may proceed.

8 MR. TURONE: Thank you.

9 Good afternoon, Mr. Begtasovic. I think you

10 still have in front of you Defence Exhibit D7/1, do

11 you, otherwise I would request -- yes, the appointment

12 order of 5 January 1993. So, in point 1 of this order,

13 one can see that Jasminka Dzumhur was appointed

14 president of the Commission. Did you know already

15 Jasminka Dzumhur already when you were appointed as a

16 member of the 4th Corps Commission -- did you know her

17 already?

18 A. Yes, I did.

19 Q. What did she do before working with you in

20 this 4th Corps Commission?

21 A. I do not know.

22 Q. You do not know. Before starting the work of

23 your Commission, did all members have a meeting among

24 you before starting -- did you discuss before starting

25 the way you should proceed? How did you decide to

Page 10760

1 proceed -- can you describe in some detail the method

2 and procedure which you decided to apply before

3 starting? Did you reach an agreement about the way of

4 proceeding?

5 A. With this time distance, I do not quite

6 recall the time directly prior to the beginning of the

7 work of the Commission, but, at any event, I think that

8 a meeting of the kind you have described was held,

9 because we had to reach an agreement on the method and

10 way in which the order would be executed. At the

11 meeting I probably took it upon myself to question the

12 individuals and Dr Nadira Buturovic probably took it

13 upon herself to examine the suspects from the medical

14 standpoint. I think that Ms. Jasminka Dzumhur, as

15 president of the Commission, coordinated our work and

16 that Mr. Habdulah and Mr. Begic took part in the work of

17 the Commission.

18 Q. Does that mean, coming back to point 4 of the

19 appointment order, that you decided also a method --

20 which method to follow in order to seek information

21 about the wounded and sick among the prisoners you had

22 to deal with; is that correct? You said about this

23 lady, the doctor?

24 A. Yes, the affirmative answer to your question

25 can be given. But let me say once again that I do not

Page 10761

1 remember exactly what happened.

2 Q. Do you not remember whether this lady --

3 I beg your pardon -- could you repeat the name of this

4 lady doctor to me?

5 A. Dr Nadira Buturovic.

6 Q. Dr Nadira Buturovic, do you remember whether

7 she did perform medical examinations on the prisoners

8 you had to deal with?

9 A. Yes, she did.

10 Q. Did you always, concerning this point 4 about

11 wounded and sick -- did you decide also to ask the

12 prisoners questions about possible wounds and health

13 problems they might have to complain about?

14 A. I do not remember asking questions of this

15 kind, but at all events, questions of this kind I would

16 have asked had I noticed, in the course of my talks, my

17 questioning with these individuals, that they had been

18 wounded or that they were ill. But I do not remember

19 that I questioned anybody who was wounded or sick at

20 the time.

21 MR. TURONE: At this time, Exhibit D7/1 can be

22 given back to the Registrar.

23 In your examination-in-chief, you said

24 something about another similar investigating

25 commission, which had to deal with prisoners a number

Page 10762

1 of months before your Commission. Are you aware that

2 this other commission was appointed around the second

3 half of May -- it was active in Celebici mostly during

4 the month of June 1992?

5 A. I cannot say exactly whether it was the

6 second half of May, but I do know that it was in one of

7 the summer months.

8 Q. Thank you. You also mentioned some of its

9 members -- you mentioned Goran Lokas, Miroslav Stenek

10 and Mladen Zovko. Did you know them personally?

11 A. I remember that detail precisely because

12 I did know these individuals personally.

13 Q. So, can you tell us which position did they

14 have in Konjic -- these three persons?

15 A. Yes, Mr. Lokas, I cooperated with him for

16 several years -- he was for several years at the head

17 of the Konjic police. Mr. Stenek was a criminal

18 inspector working for the Konjic police and Mr. Zovko,

19 immediately before the war I seem to recall he worked

20 in the police as well but at the centre for the

21 security for Mostar.

22 Q. Do you know that Goran Lokas had to withdraw

23 immediately from the Commission because of a car

24 accident he suffered at the end of May and that he did

25 not return to the Commission any more?

Page 10763

1 A. Yes, I do know that he had a car accident.

2 He broke an arm and he did not return to the Commission

3 after that.

4 Q. Being a judge in Konjic and since you said

5 that you spent your entire life in Konjic, we can

6 expect that you know at least by name many persons who

7 had some public responsibility in the municipality, so

8 I am going to mention to you some other names, and

9 I would like you to tell me if any of these people were

10 also a member of the summer 1992 commission, as far as

11 you know. So, Mirsad Subasic?

12 A. I think he was there, yes.

13 Q. Munib Halilovic?

14 A. Yes, he was there, too.

15 (redacted)

16 A. I think he was there as well.

17 Q. Sacir Pajic?

18 A. I do not remember that name.

19 Q. Nusret Secibovic?

20 A. Yes, I think he was there.

21 Q. Mehmedalija Rizvic?

22 A. I do not remember that name and surname.

23 Q. So, I take it that you do not know personally

24 Sacir Pajic and Mehmedalija Rizvic, do you know them

25 personally?

Page 10764

1 A. No, I do not.

2 MR. MORAN: Excuse me, your Honour. There is

3 a person in the public gallery who earlier was a

4 witness for the Prosecutor. If she is not going to be

5 a witness again, I do not care if she stays, but it is

6 Sabina Manke, one of the investigators. If she is

7 going to be a witness in the future, I would ask she

8 leaves the public gallery.

9 MR. TURONE: The Prosecution case is closed.

10 We have no plans to call her.

11 MR. MORAN: That is fine. They have

12 rebuttal. I did not want to be bringing this up at

13 some later date.

14 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You have the answer and

15 they are not likely to call such a witness again.

16 MR. MORAN: That is correct. In that case,

17 I have no objection to her staying. She is more than

18 welcome.

19 JUDGE JAN: You do not intend to call her as

20 your witness?

21 MR. MORAN: No, there is one investigator for

22 the OTP I may call, but she is not that person.

23 MR. TURONE: So, you remember four names

24 among the ones I told you, and was any of them a

25 colleague of you, a judge as you, either in Konjic or

Page 10765

1 in any other court. I repeat the names, Mirsad

2 Subasic?

3 A. No.

4 Q. Munib Halilovic?

5 A. He was the deputy public prosecutor in

6 Konjic, but he did not work in the court.

7 MR. TURONE: So, he was a kind of a -- in

8 Yugoslavia judges and prosecutors consider themselves

9 as colleagues.

10 JUDGE JAN: You mean their appointments are

11 interchangeable?

12 MR. TURONE: They might shift one position

13 from the another.

14 JUDGE JAN: In some countries the positions

15 are interchangeable.

16 MR. TURONE: Is that correct, that in the

17 former Yugoslavia, you could move from the position of

18 judge to the one of prosecutor and vice versa?

19 A. Yes. Yes, you are right. The same

20 conditions are necessary for appointment of judges and

21 prosecutors.

22 Q. That is correct, thank you. So, let us say

23 that Munib Halilovic somehow was a colleague of yours.

24 (redacted)

25 A. I do not know him, and he is not -- did not

Page 10766

1 work in the justice organs of Konjic, definitely not.

2 Q. You do not know what was his position -- his

3 official position, wherever he was?

4 A. I do not know.

5 Q. And Nasret Secibovic?

6 A. As far as I remember, he worked in the public

7 security station of Konjic.

8 Q. I forgot to say whether you know which was

9 the position of Mirsad Subasic -- do you know him

10 personally?

11 A. I know from hearing that he worked in the

12 security station of Konjic. Perhaps I contacted with

13 him at some point, but I cannot recall his face -- I do

14 not know what he looks like. I cannot recall that now.

15 Q. So, among these names I mentioned to you, who

16 was the most familiar to you, or who were the most

17 familiar to you -- maybe Munib Halilovic?

18 A. No. The most familiar were Goran Lokas,

19 Miroslav Stenek, and Zovko Mladen.

20 MR. TURONE: So, Mr. Begtasovic, did your

21 Commission keep in consideration the investigations

22 already done by the previous commission, and, if so, in

23 this way, did you have their file? I think you said

24 you had something.

25 JUDGE JAN: Yes, he said that.

Page 10767

1 MR. TURONE: The file of the previous

2 commission.

3 MS. RESIDOVIC: The witness did say precisely

4 that he had a dossier, a file, with some statements and

5 some files on their release.

6 MR. TURONE: All right, it was my fault. I did

7 not remember quite precisely.

8 Who gave this file to you, Mr. Begtasovic, do

9 you remember who gave this file to the 4th Corps

10 Commission?

11 A. I do not remember -- after six years,

12 I really cannot remember.

13 MR. TURONE: That is a fair statement,

14 anyway. I would now like to show you two documents,

15 which have to do with the previous commission and which

16 are attached -- were attached by the Defence military

17 expert witness, Brigadier Vejzagic, to his expert

18 report. First, may I ask that the witness be provided

19 with annex V-D/19 of Defence Exhibit D145/1, which is

20 the third Vejzagic binder, please -- annex V-D/19.

21 If you see this document, you see it is a

22 document dated 18 June 1992; is that correct?

23 A. Yes, it is.

24 Q. And it is entitled, "Summary of the Findings

25 Regarding the Way of Arming the Serb Population"; is

Page 10768

1 that correct?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Did you remember having seen and taking into

4 consideration this document during the work of your

5 Commission?

6 A. I do not remember that I have ever seen this

7 document before.

8 MR. TURONE: All right. So, this document might

9 be given back to the Registry. Now may I ask that the

10 witness be provided with annex IV/9 of Defence Exhibit

11 D144/1, which is the second Vejzagic binder, please.

12 (Handed)

13 As you see, it is a document dated

14 15 December 1992; is that correct?

15 A. Yes, it is.

16 Q. And it is entitled, "Excerpts from

17 Statements"; is that correct?

18 A. Yes, it is.

19 Q. Can you please read out the stamp -- the

20 heading, which appears right on top of the first page?

21 A. "The Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in situ

22 for Investigating Crimes against Humanity and

23 International Law at Sarajevo".

24 Q. If you want to give a quick glance at the

25 document to see how it appears to you, as I told you

Page 10769

1 this is one of the documents which the military expert

2 witness of the Defence relied upon for his expert

3 report. Did you remember having seen and taken into

4 consideration this document -- excerpts from statements

5 -- in your work at the 4th Corps Commission?

6 A. I do not remember ever having seen this

7 document.

8 MR. TURONE: Do you agree that this document

9 appears to contain 136 excerpts from statements taken

10 before December 1992.

11 JUDGE JAN: Really I do not understand the

12 question. It contains excerpts -- why do you

13 say "agree"?

14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, your

15 Honour.

16 MR. TURONE: Is that correct, that this

17 document appears to contain 136 --

18 JUDGE JAN: He has never seen this document

19 before, according to him. He does not remember seeing

20 it before.

21 MR. TURONE: He can look at it now. He is

22 examining it and we are just describing it.

23 Does that contain 136 paragraphs?

24 A. Let me have a look first.

25 Q. Yes, sure -- take your time?

Page 10770

1 A. I notice that these are excerpts of

2 statements of 136 individuals. The last number that

3 I have come across seems to be 136.

4 Q. That is right. Would you please go to the

5 excerpt number 122 in this document, please?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. It contains a very short summary -- alleged

8 -- of the information given by Veseljko Dzordzic , is

9 that not correct?

10 A. Dzordzic Veseljko, yes.

11 MR. TURONE: Would you please read it out --

12 there are four lines -- could you plead read it out?

13 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, the witness did

14 not see this document before. Why should he read its

15 contents out?

16 MR. TURONE: Because I have a question for

17 him in my cross-examination, which requires him to read

18 before these few lines.

19 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: How he is associated

20 with this document itself? Is he in any way connected

21 with it?

22 MR. TURONE: He said he did not see this

23 document, but I think the Prosecution can show this

24 document to him and organise a specific question after

25 that he had read a specific part of it.

Page 10771

1 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: No, except you are

2 trying to show that he has anything to do with it, or

3 that he is concerned with it at all. He has no

4 business with it. He has even told you he has never

5 seen it before, he is seeing it for the first time and

6 you now proceed to tell him to read out things, which

7 somebody else might have made.

8 MR. TURONE: Your Honour, it does concern

9 some work he was doing in any case -- this is why --

10 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: These particular

11 excerpts were part of the work he was doing?

12 MR. TURONE: Yes, because they are excerpts

13 of statements --

14 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Let us have the

15 background to that, how he was in any way concerned

16 with any preliminary work leading to this document.

17 MR. TURONE: Do you see the 13 statements

18 which were tendered on Friday by Ms. Residovic belonging

19 to 13 persons who are included in this document, are

20 they not? You can see, for instance, Kuljanin Radovan,

21 Kuljanin Bosko, Dusko Bendzo, Mrsic Radovan, Kuljanin

22 Marko -- all these prisoners who were interrogated by

23 you and who are concerned by the 13 statements tendered

24 Friday by Ms. Residovic, are all included in this

25 document.

Page 10772

1 JUDGE JAN: According to him, he merely

2 recorded the statements of those persons. Even if

3 those statements are in conflict with this small

4 version, how can he explain that? That is for them to

5 explain. He says he merely recorded their statements.

6 Even if there is conflict, how would you impeach in

7 reference to those statements?

8 MR. TURONE: I will move on to another issue.

9 Did you consider any possible finding of the

10 summer of 1992 commission about prisoners complaining

11 of wounds and mistreatment, if you found any, in order

12 to seek information about the wounded and sick

13 according to point 4 of the order which appointed your

14 Commission?

15 A. We did not take into consideration these

16 records of statements which we found in the files at

17 all. I did say that I saw the statements of these

18 individuals before our Commission was established, but

19 we did not take them into account.

20 Q. So you did not take into account the

21 statements given by the same prisoners to the previous

22 commission; is that what you say?

23 A. Yes, that is correct.

24 Q. But did you happen to comment in your work in

25 the 4th Corps Commission with any of the other members

Page 10773

1 of the previous commission, Mladen Zovko, and Stenek,

2 the ones you knew better?

3 A. No.

4 Q. I read in the report of Defence military

5 expert Vejzagic on page 48 that your Commission's work

6 turned out to be very short, because the legally

7 determined judicial organs resumed their competencies.

8 Is that a fair statement -- do you agree with this

9 statement?

10 A. I think that I could not link this to the

11 resumption of work of the legally appointed

12 authorities, as you put it, and I know that the

13 district military court started work in the fall and

14 I am not sure when the district military prosecutor's

15 office began its work, and it would have been up to

16 them initiate any criminal investigation and

17 proceedings in this respect.

18 MR. TURONE: So you mean that this statement

19 is not correct, as far as the reason for which your

20 Commission work turned out to be very short, or do you

21 mean that it is not correct because your Commission's

22 work did not turn out to be very short.

23 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Actually, that is an

24 opinion of assessing the work --

25 MR. TURONE: I would like him to elaborate on

Page 10774

1 this basis and just tell us how long did the Commission

2 actually work -- how long did the 4th Corps

3 Commission --

4 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: That is a fairer

5 question than an opinion which someone else had of

6 their work.

7 MR. TURONE: Yes, thank you, your Honour.

8 So, how long did the commission actually

9 work?

10 A. I think that they did not work more than one

11 month.

12 Q. So, your appointment being dated 5 January,

13 can you say, when did you start interviewing the

14 prisoners? Let me give you some assistance in order to

15 put you in a condition to better remember. Looking at

16 the 13 statements shown to you last Friday by

17 Ms. Residovic, we can see that the earliest date is 9

18 January, which is in Exhibit 147/1. So, since you were

19 appointed on 5 January, could 9 January be the first

20 day when you started interviewing prisoners?

21 A. With your assistance, I think I can confirm

22 that.

23 Q. And, again, among those 13 statements, the

24 latest date appearing on them is 18 January (Exhibits

25 153 and 154). Does that help you in recalling what

Page 10775

1 might have been approximately the day when you

2 completed the interviews?

3 A. Believe me, I do not remember, but I know

4 that it did not last longer than one month. It could

5 have lasted 15 days, and taking into account that we

6 had 105 individuals, and that it would not have been

7 possible to interrogate more than, say, 15

8 witnesses --

9 Q. Per day, you mean?

10 A. Yes, per day. In cases where we had rather

11 short questioning, there would be up to 15 persons, let

12 us say, if we took a 10-hour working day --

13 Q. I beg your pardon?

14 A. If we took a 10-hour working day.

15 Q. I see. In that period of time, when you

16 worked, how many working days did you actually employ

17 in all, approximately?

18 A. Whatever I tell you now would be inaccurate.

19 I can just guess or surmise. I could not really give

20 you an exact number.

21 Q. So, in any case, you said you had to

22 interview 105 prisoners; is that correct?

23 A. I believe that was the number, yes.

24 Q. Do you have a list of these prisoners?

25 A. Excuse me, I did not understand the question.

Page 10776

1 Q. I wonder if you have a list of these

2 witnesses with you?

3 A. No, I do not.

4 Q. And they were all detained at Musala at that

5 time; is that correct?

6 A. Yes.

7 MR. TURONE: May I ask again that the witness

8 be provided with annex VII/4 of the third binder of

9 expert witness Vejzagic. (Handed)

10 You see this is a list of amnesties

11 concerning 97 people. Do these 97 prisoners -- are

12 these 97 persons part of the 105 prisoners you

13 interviewed?

14 A. The names of the persons whom I questioned,

15 I cannot recall.

16 Q. I see. But, in any case, you have been

17 talking about the amnesty -- can you say, when was this

18 amnesty granted?

19 A. The law on amnesty was adopted, as far as

20 I can recall, in 1996.

21 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, you stated that your

22 Investigating Commission, in January 1993, conducted

23 the proceedings, including the questioning of the

24 prisoners according to the letter of the law, namely,

25 according to the code of criminal procedure of

Page 10777

1 Yugoslavia; is that correct?

2 A. That is correct. According to the laws of

3 Yugoslavia, which was later adopted as the law in

4 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

5 Q. Prior to the war, the law provided that

6 persons could only be detained for three days without

7 being brought to court, to a judge, or having formal

8 proceedings initiated; is that correct?

9 A. That is correct.

10 Q. And, before the war, if a person was kept for

11 more than three days without having formal proceedings

12 brought, without seeing a judge, that would be illegal;

13 is that correct?

14 A. Before the war, yes.

15 Q. But, would you agree that this continued to

16 be the law, even after the war started?

17 A. That is correct.

18 Q. So, would you agree that the fact that these

19 persons were detained for a long time without having

20 proceedings and seeing a judge was not according to the

21 code of criminal procedure of Yugoslavia, was it?

22 A. I would disagree with you.

23 Q. Can you elaborate and tell me why?

24 A. I will try. At that time, the basic court in

25 Konjic did not work and neither did the higher court in

Page 10778

1 Mostar, nor did the district military court, nor the

2 competent prosecutor's offices and all these bodies

3 that were involved in bringing charges and conducting

4 criminal proceedings basically did not exist. Konjic

5 was simply surrounded. There were no communications

6 with the district court in Mostar, with the high court

7 in Sarajevo, nor was there any communication with the

8 district Prosecutor's Offices in Mostar or Sarajevo.

9 This is why I say that the situation was different

10 before the war from the one at the beginning of the

11 war.

12 Q. Was there any law that said that persons

13 could be detained indefinitely in prison where persons

14 could not be brought to court and, if so, what is that

15 law?

16 A. Such a law does not exist.

17 Q. So, do you agree with me that, even if the

18 situation might have been an emergency situation,

19 because of that situation the code of criminal

20 procedure of Yugoslavia was anyway violated; is that

21 correct?

22 A. In my view, it would have been illegal to

23 release persons who are suspected of having committed

24 criminal acts, such acts for which the death penalty

25 could be imposed, should they have been found guilty.

Page 10779

1 Q. I see your point, but, in any case, even if

2 this reasoning is acceptable, that means that, for

3 emergency reasons, you were compelled to violate the

4 code of criminal procedure of Yugoslavia, were you not?

5 A. I think that observing the principle of

6 legality -- that is, the obligation of all State

7 authorities to do everything within their power to

8 prosecute persons suspected of such high crimes, that

9 takes precedence over the rights to which you are

10 alluding.

11 Q. I can see even this point. By the way, is

12 not Yugoslavia and the former Yugoslavia -- did the

13 principle of compulsory penal action apply in the

14 former Yugoslavia, or did the principle of

15 discretionary penal action apply there?

16 A. I am afraid I do not understand this

17 question. I do not know what you are implying by

18 "discretionary" and "obligatory".

19 JUDGE JAN: It is a question of great

20 importance. Maybe he can refer to the law of necessity

21 where necessity creates its own law. I am not going

22 into that -- it is a possible question on

23 constitutional law.

24 MR. TURONE: I am getting to that.

25 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: If his explanation is

Page 10780

1 acceptable, would you not prefer turning to another

2 question? He has given an explanation of why it was

3 not possible to release those incarcerated at that

4 time. I do not see what else he should say.

5 MR. TURONE: All right. In any case, you did,

6 in examination-in-chief, mention the code of criminal

7 procedure of Yugoslavia as the laws which should rule

8 these proceedings, did you not?

9 A. (Witness nods head) Yes.

10 Q. Again, coming back to the 13 copies of

11 records of statements of prisoners shown to you last

12 Friday and where you recognised your signature, would

13 you agree that these persons, prior to being questioned

14 by your committee or your Commission, were not informed

15 of any rights, were they?

16 A. What rights do you have in mind?

17 Q. The rights concerning the accused according

18 to the Yugoslavian code of criminal procedure, the

19 accused's rights to be warned about his rights -- is

20 that not right -- did you advise these prisoners,

21 before questioning them of any rights they might have

22 according to regulations?

23 A. All these individuals were invited to state

24 the circumstances relating to the suspicion of their

25 participation in armed rebellion, so they were advised

Page 10781

1 before the questioning that there was reasonable

2 grounds for suspicion that they committed such acts.

3 Then, they were invited to state what they knew about

4 it, that is, whether they had taken part in armed

5 rebellion, and to state that freely before the

6 Commission.

7 MR. TURONE: Yes, but this is not exactly what

8 I wanted to say. What are the rights of the

9 accused --

10 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: What counsel is saying,

11 before you questioned those accused persons or

12 witnesses, whatever, did you read to them their

13 entitlements as persons being questioned, as to what

14 rights they had, whether they do not have to say

15 anything, whether they have the right to counsel --

16 what did you spell out to them as to what rights they

17 had before your Commission, or did they have no rights

18 before your Commission?

19 A. No, in any event, these persons were told

20 that they could remain silent, that they could state

21 what they had in their Defence, and, as far as the duty

22 of the questioner is concerned, according to the law --

23 as far as the Defence counsel is concerned, for

24 instance, the regulations governing the code of

25 procedure was violated in that respect. However, since

Page 10782

1 this was not an investigative procedure, this was a

2 procedure based on an earlier charge -- in that

3 respect, these persons could have been interrogated

4 without the presence of their counsel and I said

5 previously that the statements which were taken

6 previously from these persons could not have been used

7 in the court proceedings subsequently -- only the

8 investigating judge could have advised the suspects

9 that they had the rights to Defence counsel.

10 However, since this is a pre-trial

11 proceeding, this is an information interview, which

12 could be a basis for, let us say, initiating some

13 criminal proceedings, but, again, I repeat that it may

14 not be used as a basis for reaching a final decision on

15 that.

16 So, again, I repeat: this statement had to

17 be sealed in a separate envelope and kept separately.

18 I believe that I was clear enough on that point.

19 MR. TURONE: According to the court of

20 criminal procedure in any case, this kind of

21 interrogation was also dealt with with the same rights

22 as the interrogation of an investigating judge; was

23 that not true.

24 MR. OLUJIC: Objection, your Honours. The

25 witness clarified that -- in this specific case, he

Page 10783

1 mentioned that this is not the same procedure; this is

2 the procedure which is not a court procedure. He said

3 that this was an information interview and that

4 sufficiently explains why the witnesses were not

5 properly advised of the rights according to them,

6 according to the procedure -- to the proper code of

7 criminal procedure.

8 MR. TURONE: Your Honour, since the witness,

9 in examination-in-chief, mentioned precisely the code

10 of criminal procedure in the former Yugoslavia, I think

11 I am entitled to cross-examine him through this line of

12 questioning.

13 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You are -- actually,

14 you are following it. I think what should be your next

15 question --

16 MR. TURONE: My next question is, since he

17 said that the prisoners were warned about their right

18 to keep silent, why did you not give an account of this

19 in the record, as it is provided by the code of

20 criminal procedure.

21 JUDGE JAN: He has answered that question.

22 He said it was not an investigation under the criminal

23 procedure court. He was not acting as an investigating

24 judge -- he was not even acting as a police officer.

25 This is proceedings of a commission -- this is what he

Page 10784

1 said.

2 MR. TURONE: But, your Honour, he said that

3 he warned the prisoners of this --

4 JUDGE JAN: That is fair enough but that

5 does not mean the proceedings were under the code of

6 criminal procedure.

7 MR. TURONE: I asked why did he not give an

8 account of that in the record about this warning.

9 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: And why was it no spelt

10 out that the warnings had been given, or that no

11 warning was necessary, or the type of warning they gave

12 -- is that your question?

13 MR. TURONE: Yes, that is my question.

14 Why was that not made clear in the record,

15 that you actually did advise the prisoners of their

16 right of keeping silent?

17 A. I do not remember whether this was introduced

18 into the records or not.

19 Q. Since all this is not according to the code

20 of criminal procedure and when you stated Friday that

21 these persons were questioned according to the letter

22 of the law, then please tell us exactly what law or

23 regulations you were talking about in your

24 examination-in-chief?

25 A. I spoke on the law of criminal procedure for

Page 10785

1 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

2 Q. All right, let us move on.

3 Is it your testimony, Mr. Begtasovic, that

4 proceedings were warranted against every single person

5 interrogated by your Commission?

6 A. I said that, in my opinion, against most of

7 these individuals, there were grounds for procedures of

8 this kind.

9 Q. And when did that happen; when were

10 proceedings brought against the single persons

11 interrogated by your Commission -- when the indictments

12 took place, in how many cases?

13 A. I do not know.

14 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, let us go back for a moment to

15 the 13 statements taken by your Commission where you

16 recognised your signature last Friday. Were these the

17 only copies you have had occasion to see again in the

18 last two years?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And, by the way, I do not know whether you

21 are in a position to answer this question, but do you

22 know why only 13 of the over 100 interrogations that

23 you conducted were brought here; do you have any idea

24 -- are the other ones missing? Did you understand my

25 question?

Page 10786

1 A. Yes, I have understood the question, but I do

2 not know why we only have 13 brought to the Tribunal,

3 as you yourself have just said.

4 Q. All right. You said in examination-in-chief,

5 or in some cross-examination of co-defendants that you

6 interviewed the prisoners in the SUP headquarters in

7 Konjic; am I correct?

8 A. Yes, "SUP" is short for Secretariat of

9 Internal Affairs. It is an organ of the police -- the

10 executive organ -- and for some usual colloquial

11 reasons we refer to it as the SUP building, but it is

12 the building of the public security office in Konjic,

13 in actual fact, so we are dealing with the same thing,

14 SUP, MUP public security station, they are one and the

15 same, dating back to Communistic terms -- SUP, that is.

16 Q. Did those interviews always take place in the

17 same room inside this building?

18 A. I am not sure, but I think it was all done in

19 the same room, and this was conditioned by the

20 shelling, so that, as far as I am able to recall, the

21 questioning took place on the first floor, because that

22 was the safest place to have them.

23 Q. Did you meet every single prisoner only once,

24 or more than once?

25 A. I think I met them only once.

Page 10787

1 Q. Did the prisoners -- were they brought to SUP

2 from Musala in groups?

3 A. Probably two or three prisoners at a time --

4 two or three detainees at a time, so that two or three

5 would wait in an antechamber, in a room in front of the

6 room where the questioning took place, and then they

7 would come in one by one and sit before the Commission.

8 Q. I see. Were guards present in the room when

9 the interrogations took place?

10 A. I think that the guards were not present in

11 the room where the actual Commission was doing the

12 questioning. They would wait in front of the door

13 outside.

14 Q. You said that all five members of the

15 Commission were present during the interview; is that

16 correct?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. How long did the single interviews take,

19 approximately, more or less?

20 A. I cannot tell you exactly, but I would

21 suppose that we would hear daily seven or eight of

22 these detainees.

23 Q. Was there a typist present during the

24 interview?

25 A. Yes.

Page 10788

1 Q. Do you know the name of the typist?

2 A. I remember the face -- if you were to give me

3 a name, I could say whether that was the name or not.

4 Q. Was that Ismeta Pozder?

5 A. Yes, I know her.

6 MR. TURONE: Were the five members, the typist

7 and the detainee present or together the entire time.

8 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Also the recorder.

9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.


11 MR. TURONE: Were there the five members, the

12 typist (the recorder) and the detainee all present the

13 entire time?

14 A. Yes, they were present all the time.

15 MS. RESIDOVIC: This question has been

16 answered on several occasions, your Honours.

17 MR. TURONE: You said that the record was

18 typed during the interview itself as long as the

19 prisoner gave his statement, did you not?

20 A. Not at the same time -- after the

21 questioning. The questioned individual would sign the

22 record and then members of the Commission and the

23 recorder would do the same.

24 Q. All right. So you said that the previous

25 statements of the previous commission were not used by

Page 10789

1 you; is that correct?

2 A. Yes, it is.

3 Q. Why did you not find it proper to give the

4 prisoner the possibility to review his previous

5 statement?

6 A. I did not find any justified reasons for

7 this, or logical reasons, either.

8 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, did you personally know any of

9 the prisoners you happened to interview?

10 A. I did not know them personally, no. Perhaps

11 I had seen some of the people around in Konjic, because

12 Konjic is a small town -- I might have known them by

13 sight, but I could not say exactly that I talked to

14 them or was in any direct contact with any of them.

15 Q. Let me mention a name to you. Does the name

16 of Milenko Kuljanin say anything to you?

17 A. No, it does not. "Kuljanin" is a fairly

18 common surname. It is from the Bradina area.

19 Q. I mention Milenko Kuljanin, because he

20 testified in this court that he was not really

21 interviewed by your Commission but was simply requested

22 to sign a record of statement, which had already been

23 prepared -- is that possible?

24 A. That is absolutely not possible.

25 Q. You would agree, Mr. Begtasovic, that, in

Page 10790

1 interviewing persons, when the interviews are -- when

2 two different interviews are separated by months --

3 I mean, two different interviews of the same person --

4 when the interviews are separated by months, do you

5 agree that the interviewed person does not give the

6 identical statement using identical language; in other

7 words, even if the sense is the same, the exact same

8 words will not be used -- is that not true? Was

9 I clear in my question?

10 A. Yes, that was clear. I do not think the

11 statement would be identical -- each on two occasions

12 in the space of two days, let alone after several

13 months have expired.

14 MR. TURONE: So, may I ask that the witness be

15 shown Exhibits D16/4 and D15/4, which are two different

16 statements of Milenko Kuljanin -- the one dated 8 June

17 1992 and the second one dated 11 January 1993. Would

18 you please provide the witness with both statements --

19 D16/4 and D15/4. (Handed)

20 Would you please, Mr. Begtasovic, compare

21 these two statements and just take your time, of

22 course, to compare them and just, for instance, could

23 you please, just for an example, read out from the

24 first statement -- I mean, first of all, I withdraw it.

25 First of all, look at the statement of 11

Page 10791

1 January and tell me do you recognise your signature on

2 it?

3 A. Yes, I do recognise my signature.

4 Q. So, let us start from this record of

5 statement -- the one dated 11 January 1993. Would you

6 please read out the 10 lines from the third paragraph

7 -- the one which starts with the words "I was at home

8 when the attack on Bradina started" -- do you see this

9 on 11 January 1993 statement. Could you please read it

10 out, just 10 lines of this statement -- read it out

11 aloud, please?

12 A. "I was at home when the attack on Bradina

13 started. I took my rifle and with my unit -- "

14 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, start again and very slowly,

15 please, would you read it very slowly?

16 A. Yes:

17 "I was at home when the attack on Bradina

18 started. I took my rifle and went to the positions, to

19 Bratisava with my unit. I spent about 24 hours at the

20 position, then retreated towards Jasika. The following

21 men from Brdani remained at Bratisava: Draganic Marko,

22 Draganic Jovo, Draganic Milan, Sinikovic Velo,

23 Sinikovic Goran, Sinikovic Slobodan, Sinikovic Gojko,

24 Sinikovic Vojo, and Sinikovic Branko who intended to

25 break through to the village of Brdani. I met Mrkajic

Page 10792

1 Momir, Gligorevic Brano and Gligorevic Milovan in

2 Jasika and we decided to try and make it to Hadzici

3 across Mount Bjelasnica."

4 Q. That is okay. Could you take the other

5 statement, the one dated 8 June 1992, and go to the

6 third paragraph starting with the same words, "I was at

7 home when the attack on Bradina started" -- would you

8 please read these 10 lines, also?

9 A. Yes:

10 "I was at home at the time of the attack on

11 Bradina. Then I took my rifle and proceeded to the

12 positions at Bratisava with my unit. I spent about 24

13 hours at the position, then retreated towards Jasika.

14 The following men from Brdani remained at Bratisava:

15 Draganic Marko, Draganic Jovo, Draganic

16 Milan, Sinikovic Velo, Sinikovic Goran, Sinikovic

17 Slobodan, Sinikovic Gojko, Sinikovic Vojo and Sinikovic

18 Branko who intended to break through to the village of

19 Brdani. I met Momir Mrkajic, Brano Gligorevic and

20 Milovan Gligorevic in Jasika and we decided to try and

21 make it to Hadzici across Mount Bjelasnica."

22 Q. Do you agree with me that these two passages

23 you read out are absolutely identical, word by word, in

24 the two documents?

25 A. Yes, I do agree.

Page 10793

1 Q. Do you have any explanation for that?

2 A. I have no other explanation apart from saying

3 that, when I attended the questioning -- when

4 I questioned this individual, if it was myself who

5 questioned him, that I had in my hands this statement

6 of the previous commission, and that I used it in the

7 questioning.

8 Q. Do you agree that this is not what you said

9 so far about the procedure of questioning the

10 prisoners?

11 A. I said previously that I only took a brief

12 view of the statements that existed in the files.

13 I did not have this in mind, but now, when I come to

14 compare these two texts, the only explanation is the

15 one that I have just given you.

16 MR. TURONE: Your Honours, we have more

17 accurate translations now of these two statements such

18 as to show in both characters the parts which are

19 identical in the two statements. We have copies for

20 your Honours and for the Defence lawyers.

21 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I thought he explained

22 why it so happened -- why he had -- why now you can

23 compare?

24 (Handed)

25 MR. TURONE: Mr. Begtasovic, I would like you

Page 10794

1 to be provided with annex D45 from the Vejzagic second

2 binder.

3 JUDGE JAN: Is it true of all the Defence

4 statements produced the day before last -- they have

5 common passages to the statements which they made in

6 the Celebici camp?

7 MR. TURONE: The Defence statements produced

8 the day before -- do you mean last Friday?

9 JUDGE JAN: There common passages with the

10 statements made by these detainees in the Celebici

11 camp?

12 MR. TURONE: If you are talking about the 13

13 statements, we do not know, because we do not have the

14 statements of both commissions for every one of them.

15 JUDGE JAN: I see.

16 (Document handed)

17 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Do we still wait for

18 you?

19 MR. TURONE: Sorry, just to answer your

20 Honour's question, there are exhibits D42/1, and D43/1

21 concerning Novica Dzordzic, which are also identical

22 passages -- D42/1 and D43/1, Novica Dzordzic.

23 Do you recognise Dzumhur's signature on this

24 statement?

25 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Which document is the witness

Page 10795

1 being shown -- could you identify the document?

2 MR. TURONE: V-D45 from the second binder of

3 Mr. Vejzagic.

4 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: The Trial Chamber will

5 now rise. We will reassemble at 4.30 so you can

6 streamline your presentation.

7 (4.00pm)

8 (A short break)

9 (4.30pm)

10 (The witness entered court)

11 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Please remind the

12 witness he is still on his oath.

13 THE REGISTRAR: I remind you, Sir, that you

14 are still under oath.

15 THE WITNESS: Yes, thank you.

16 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You may proceed now.

17 MR. TURONE: I will withdraw my previous

18 question and I will go to another issue.

19 Mr. Begtasovic, are you aware that the

20 previous commission resigned before completing its work

21 because of the mistreatment of the prisoners?

22 A. I did not know that the previous commission

23 resigned at all.

24 MR. TURONE: May I ask that the witness be

25 provided with Prosecution Exhibit 162, please?

Page 10796

1 (Handed)

2 Did you ever see this document,

3 Mr. Begtasovic? Do you know it?

4 A. No, I have never seen this document before.

5 Q. You see that this document is addressed to

6 three authorities -- one of them being the

7 "coordinator" or "combat coordinator". Do you know

8 who the "coordinator" is?

9 A. No.

10 MS. RESIDOVIC: The witness answered, but

11 even before replying to this question, he had already

12 stated that he had never seen this document before.

13 MR. TURONE: Do you know who had control and

14 command over the prisons of Musala and Celebici during

15 1992?

16 A. I do not know that.

17 Q. By the way, in your position of a prominent

18 citizen and civil servant of Konjic, and during your

19 work in the Investigating Commission, did you get to

20 know anything about a man by the name "Belalic",

21 initial "B", "Bosnia", as responsible for detainees in

22 Konjic?

23 A. No, I have not heard that.

24 MR. TURONE: May I ask that the witness be

25 provided with Prosecution Exhibit 214, please? You see

Page 10797

1 this document is dated 22 December 1992? Do you agree

2 that it was 15 days before your appointment as a member

3 of the Commission?

4 A. According to the date indicated, that is how

5 it appears.

6 Q. Did you ever see this document?

7 A. No, I have never seen that.

8 Q. Would you agree -- that is a general question

9 -- do you agree that telexes, since they go through a

10 machine, do not have signatures and seals?

11 A. Would you please repeat the question? I did

12 not understand it.

13 Q. Would you agree that telexes, since they go

14 through a machine, do not have signatures or seals on

15 them -- would you agree on that?

16 A. Since I am completely ignorant in things

17 technical, including transmission of documents,

18 I really cannot answer you. I am not sure whether this

19 can be transmitted or not.

20 Q. Let me read out the five lines starting

21 with, "From the first days of the war" from this

22 document and ask you something:

23 "From the first days of the war -- "

24 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, objection --

25 the witness does not recognise this document, so I do

Page 10798

1 not understand what purpose his reading of it serves.

2 MR. TURONE: Just forget about the document,

3 Mr. Begtasovic. I want to ask you whether a given

4 statement I am going to tell you is true or not. So,

5 the statement is this one:

6 "From the first days of the war, in the area

7 of our municipality, 455 persons of the aggressor were

8 registered as captured. The same were placed in the

9 Celebici barracks and the sports hall in Konjic and, at

10 the same time, a Military Investigation Commission was

11 formed, composed of the representatives of the TO and

12 HVO from Konjic -- people with adequate knowledge to

13 conduct these affairs."

14 Is this a true statement, as far as --

15 JUDGE JAN: How can he give this opinion?

16 MR. TURONE: Does this statement -- is this

17 statement consistent with your personal knowledge of

18 what happened in the area in 1992?

19 JUDGE JAN: Personal knowledge derived from

20 what -- what source?

21 MR. TURONE: From his knowledge about what

22 happened in the area of Konjic in 1992.

23 JUDGE JAN: He was a judge. How would he

24 knows about these things -- if it is something that has

25 come to his knowledge as an officer --

Page 10799

1 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You might be able to

2 put questions to him about what happened about that

3 time, and if he knows it --

4 JUDGE JAN: Generally, yes, but how can you

5 ask him specific questions like this?

6 MR. TURONE: Mr. Begtasovic, is that true,

7 that after people were captured and placed in Celebici

8 barracks, and the sports hall in Konjic, at that time,

9 a Military Investigation Commission was formed composed

10 of the representatives of the TO and HVO from Konjic --

11 people with adequate knowledge to conduct these affairs

12 -- is that a fair statement?

13 MS. RESIDOVIC: The witness already answered

14 this question.

15 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: If he knows about it,

16 he should be able to answer. He was there, he was an

17 official, if these are things which he could know

18 about, he would be able to say.

19 MR. TURONE: Would you answer my question --

20 is that a true statement?

21 A. I heard your question and I will give you an

22 answer. During the work of the Commission of which

23 I was a member, I was aware of the fact that, before

24 the Commission of which I was a member, a different

25 commission had been formed, which interrogated people

Page 10800

1 who were detained at Celebici. As to the composition

2 of this commission, including representatives of the TO

3 and the HVO, that, I do not know -- I do not recall

4 that any more. I doubt whether I had such precise

5 information, even at that time.

6 Q. And is that a true statement, that:

7 "Towards the end of December 1992, in Konjic,

8 the investigation for the war prisoners had not been

9 completed and it was requested to the Ministry of

10 Defence to intervene urgently with the relevant State

11 institutions so that a decree with powers of law be

12 passed concerning abolition, that is amnesty of certain

13 categories of individuals, perpetrators of criminal

14 acts."

15 Was that true and was that the reason for

16 which your Commission was appointed?

17 A. I am not aware of this. I did not have that

18 knowledge then; I do not possess such knowledge now.

19 Q. I am coming to the end of my

20 cross-examination. You reported that none of the

21 persons you interrogated complained to you that they

22 had been mistreated while in Celebici; is that correct?

23 A. Correct.

24 Q. Did you ask any of the persons you

25 interrogated whether they had been mistreated while in

Page 10801

1 Celebici?

2 A. I am not sure of that. It is possible that

3 I did ask them, but I do not remember now.

4 Q. You discussed the Bosnian citizenship laws

5 and the fact that they changed at various times. Can

6 you tell us the difference between the law in April

7 1992, the law in the fall of 1992, and the law of 1996?

8 A. As far as the crucial differences are

9 concerned, there are no such differences in these two

10 laws. The provisions regarding application for

11 citizenship are identical -- as far as the basic

12 provisions for cessation of it are concerned are also

13 the same. However, maybe we should point out that

14 there is a provision in this current law pursuant to

15 which all citizens of the former SFRY, citizens who

16 lived in the territory of BH on 6 April 1992, still

17 have their citizenship.

18 Q. You say that there were not crucial

19 differences. What were then the non-crucial

20 differences?

21 A. It is this last provision that I mentioned in

22 this last answer to you and right now I cannot recall

23 any other.

24 Q. You discussed the procedure for renouncing

25 citizenship, but did I understand you correctly that

Page 10802

1 the relevant bodies, including the court, were not

2 functioning after April 1992?

3 A. I said that, after April 1992, the basic

4 court in Konjic was not functioning and there were no

5 other regular courts that were able to function or that

6 did function in the Konjic area and that includes both

7 the courts and the Prosecutor's Office.

8 MR. TURONE: Mr. Begtasovic, is that correct,

9 that you in 1993, you interviewed Mr. Delic and

10 Mr. Landzo and, further, that you have already --

11 MS. McMURREY: Objection.

12 MR. MORAN: Objection, your Honour.

13 MS. McMURREY: This is a matter that I sent a

14 letter to the Prosecution earlier about discussing. It

15 is a matter we object to relevance, it is a matter that

16 has been brought before this court before and it is a

17 matter that I believe this witness has a privilege to

18 invoke. I am going to let him speak on that.

19 Also, under Rule 89(D), it is a matter that

20 should be excluded from consideration by this court.

21 This court has ruled before that documents by the

22 Prosecution had been admitted for the limited purpose

23 of identity of names only, but this matter is totally

24 irrelevant to this proceeding before this court.

25 JUDGE JAN: We have not heard the question

Page 10803

1 yet. You anticipate --

2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.

3 MS. McMURREY: Yes, we anticipated it for

4 several days.

5 JUDGE JAN: We should know the question

6 before ruling on it.

7 MR. TURONE: May I finish my question. May

8 I also say that the reason for questioning that -- my

9 question is: is that correct, is it not, that you in

10 1993, interviewed Mr. Delic and Mr. Landzo and, further,

11 is that true that you have already given a witness

12 statement yourself concerning those interviews in front

13 of another judge of Konjic? I am asking this question,

14 because it is related to the position of Mr. Delalic in

15 Konjic at the time, and this is --

16 JUDGE JAN: Delic or Delalic?

17 MR. TURONE: Delalic.

18 JUDGE JAN: Delalic was not in Konjic

19 I thought in 1993.

20 MR. TURONE: This is a question, the reason

21 for which will become clear in the following part, if

22 I am allowed to ask it.

23 Was that true, Mr. Begtasovic, that you

24 interviewed Mr. Delic and Mr. Landzo in 1993, and that,

25 after that, you gave a witness statement yourself

Page 10804

1 concerning those interviews to Judge Sena Uzunovic in

2 1994.

3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the witness,

4 please?

5 A. As to the first part of your question, my

6 answer is yes, in the affirmative. I did question --

7 and I cannot claim whether this was in 1993 -- it is

8 possible, but I am not sure of the date -- I questioned

9 Mr. Landzo and Mr. Delic and, as far as the second part

10 of your question is concerned, I do not recall that

11 I was called up as a witness in a case and that I was

12 questioned as a witness, especially not before Judge

13 Senad Uzunovic, because there is no judge with such

14 first and last names.

15 Q. Sena Uzunovic?

16 A. Sena Uzunovic does exist, it is a female

17 judge.

18 Q. Is that the case, that on 6 April 1994, Judge

19 Sena Uzunovic took a witness statement from you about

20 your interviews of Mr. Landzo and Mr. Delic?

21 A. If you were to show me a record of it,

22 I could answer you in the affirmative or the negative,

23 but I do not remember it.

24 MR. TURONE: May I ask the usher to show to

25 the witness this document, which is already in the

Page 10805

1 possession of the Prosecution -- I ask it be marked for

2 identification. These are copies --

3 JUDGE JAN: What is the statement about?

4 MR. TURONE: This is a draft of the statement

5 he was telling me that, if he sees it, he --

6 JUDGE JAN: Yes, but what is the statement

7 about? There will be a question of whether or not the

8 statement is relevant here.

9 MR. TURONE: It is a witness statement given

10 by Mr. Begtasovic to investigating Judge Sena Uzunovic

11 in Konjic about his interviews of Mr. Landzo and

12 Mr. Delic.

13 MR. MORAN: We object to the relevance --

14 MS. McMURREY: Your Honour, I do not have the

15 document that he is referring to, either. We do not

16 have that. We do not know what he is showing to the

17 witness at the moment and, if he wants to pursue this

18 line of questioning, I would ask the leave of the court

19 to take the witness on voir dire about this issue,

20 also.

21 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I do not see the

22 relevance of this at all.

23 MR. TURONE: In those statements in front of

24 Mr. Begtasovic, Mr. Landzo and Mr. Delic were asked to

25 make statements about the position in Celebici --

Page 10806

1 MS. McMURREY: I am going to object --

2 MR. TURONE: In 1992 and his superiors --

3 Landzo and Delic were asked statements about their

4 position in Celebici --

5 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours --

6 MR. TURONE: We have reason to believe that

7 this happened in their statement, about the positions

8 of themselves and their superiors. This is why we

9 believe that this is relevant. We are not interested

10 in bringing in this statement, this witness statement

11 of Mr. Begtasovic for any other reason -- not for any

12 other part of its contents.

13 THE INTERPRETER: Counsel's microphone.

14 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Whose statement are we

15 dealing with now?

16 MR. TURONE: The statement -- I hope your

17 Honours received copies of this statement of

18 Mr. Begtasovic.

19 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: It is his own

20 statement.

21 MR. TURONE: His own witness statement in

22 front of Judge Sena Uzunovic.

23 JUDGE JAN: A statement producing somebody

24 else's statement.

25 MR. TURONE: This is a witness statement --

Page 10807

1 JUDGE JAN: A statement of a co-accused --

2 MR. TURONE: Given by Mr. Begtasovic.

3 JUDGE JAN: He is repeating a statement of a

4 co-accused against another co-accused -- is that what

5 your position is?

6 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, we object,

7 because this is a statement against a co-accused and

8 I think this is against the Rules. This cannot be

9 admitted.

10 MS. McMURREY: I also believe that this is

11 privileged information according to the continental

12 form of law in Yugoslavia, that this is part of a

13 proceedings where an investigating judge is reporting

14 to another investigating judge, which is privileged

15 information and they have a duty not to disclose that.

16 MR. MORAN: Also, your Honour, I would

17 object, besides those grounds, under Rule 66(B).

18 MS. McMURREY: Also under Rule 89(D), your

19 Honour.

20 MR. TURONE: We have to emphasise that, with

21 respect to Rule 66, we made the entire file available

22 to the Defence lawyers many, many, many months ago.

23 I would like to state that I am not asking this

24 question for the specifics of the crime Mr. Begtasovic

25 was investigating at the time when he interviewed

Page 10808

1 Mr. Landzo and Mr. Delic.

2 JUDGE JAN: That is what I was asking -- a

3 statement -- he is presenting a statement of a

4 co-accused against another co-accused.

5 MR. TURONE: The same of the statements which

6 were admitted.

7 JUDGE JAN: What statement has been admitted

8 -- a statement of a co-accused against another

9 co-accused, how can it be used?

10 MS. RESIDOVIC: These statements are not --

11 were not disclosed in the evidence which we received

12 and, also, it is a procedure that is privileged

13 information according to our legislation and I want to

14 advise the witness that he is in violation of our own

15 Rules of Procedure if he discloses such material.

16 MR. TURONE: Our position is that this is

17 admissible against Delic and Landzo and your Honours

18 can later consider whether to admit it with respect to

19 Mr. Delalic.

20 MR. MORAN: I am confused. I do not know how

21 this man's statement given to somebody else can be

22 admissible against my client. Unless he is talking

23 about the statements that were previously introduced by

24 the Prosecutor for the sole purpose of the names and

25 titles of people in there, and in that case, there is

Page 10809

1 no substantive facts that are introduced against my

2 client, and -- I am just befuddled.

3 MS. McMURREY: Your Honour, the further

4 objection under Rule 66 is I have never seen this

5 document before, as I am sure none of the other counsel

6 for defendants on this side have ever seen this

7 document before. At least before we go further with

8 this, we would like to have one moment to sit down and

9 at least ascertain what this is.

10 MR. TURONE: As far as the discovery issue is

11 concerned, all the Defence lawyers had an opportunity

12 to see all the Bubalo file -- I was not yet in the

13 trial team at that time. If your Honours wish,

14 Ms. McHenry can explain how that happened.

15 MR. MORAN: I am still at a loss how the

16 Bubalo matter is in any way relevant to any of the

17 accusations in the indictment in this case -- two

18 accused, or maybe all of the defendants, of just being

19 bad people in general, and they are not on trial for

20 being bad people in general -- they are on trial for

21 specific allegations.

22 MR. TURONE: Actually, we are not wishing to

23 introduce the Bubalo affair in this trial. This

24 question can deal with information about the position

25 of Mr. Delalic in Konjic and with respect to Celebici.

Page 10810

1 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I have read it myself

2 and I really do not see any connection between the

3 accused persons and the present trial we have here. If

4 anything might have happened in some other proceedings

5 elsewhere, I think that is a quite different position.

6 JUDGE JAN: Where does the statement show

7 that Delalic was the superior of Delic and Landzo in

8 respect of the Celebici camp? Where does it show that?

9 Read that portion.

10 MR. TURONE: There might be a possibility to

11 clarify that question --

12 JUDGE JAN: Why bring in unnecessary matters

13 that do not relate to our case? In any case a

14 statement of a co-accused against another

15 co-accused --

16 MR. TURONE: This document is only intended

17 to refresh his memory.

18 JUDGE JAN: About what?

19 MR. TURONE: He said, "I do not see the

20 record, I do not remember." This is why we wanted

21 to --

22 JUDGE JAN: To that extent, maybe you can

23 show it to him for that, but nothing more than that.

24 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Speaking for myself,

25 I do not think it is admissible for this purpose. If

Page 10811

1 there is another way of bringing it in, I do not know,

2 but definitely not through this witness.

3 JUDGE JAN: We have already seen some

4 documents which indicate that Delalic had probably

5 directed Delic to commit the murder of Bubalo. We do

6 not know whether Bubalo was a person detained in the

7 camp -- and that charge was later on dropped.

8 MR. TURONE: Could we ask the witness what

9 Mr. Delic and Mr. Landzo said about their own position in

10 Celebici --

11 MS. McMURREY: Your Honours!

12 MR. MORAN: Your Honours!

13 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours!

14 JUDGE JAN: Where is it in the statement you

15 are referring to?

16 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Some of this sounds

17 fairly strange. I think there are circumstances when

18 perhaps one could introduce a witness linking accused

19 persons, but not in these circumstances. I do not see

20 how you could. I seized the opportunity to read

21 through this statement and I am not satisfied that

22 there is a sufficient linkage.

23 MR. TURONE: All right, your Honour. So, my

24 cross-examination is finished.

25 Thank you, Mr. Begtasovic.

Page 10812

1 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Is there any

2 re-examination?

3 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, I would first

4 of all like to ask that this document, which has been

5 identified, be taken out of the evidence material, away

6 from the evidence material of this court.

7 I have just one question for the witness and

8 you thought that the document was irrelevant for the

9 witness as well.

10 Re-examined by MS. RESIDOVIC

11 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, in the course of your

12 examination and re-examination, you said that you

13 questioned most of the 105 individuals?

14 A. Yes, I questioned most of those 105

15 witnesses.

16 Q. Can you recall the exact names of the

17 individuals that you did not question yourself?

18 A. No, I cannot.

19 Q. The Prosecutor showed you a statement by

20 somebody named Milenko Kuljanin and you said you did

21 not know him. Do you recall if you personally

22 questioned that particular individual?

23 A. I do not recall whether I questioned him

24 personally. It is possible that I did, but there is

25 also the possibility that another member of the

Page 10813

1 Commission questioned him.

2 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. I have no further

3 questions.

4 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I think this is all we

5 have for this witness. Thank you very much for your

6 effort and for assisting the Trial Chamber. I think

7 you are discharged.

8 THE WITNESS: Thank you.

9 (The witness withdrew)

10 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Can we have your next

11 witness.

12 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, we should first

13 of all like to know whether we are going to continue

14 the cross-examination of the Brigadier?

15 JUDGE JAN: On Thursday.

16 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: The Prosecutor actually

17 made a special application for that and not only him --

18 all the other counsel requested for time within which

19 to conduct the cross-examination. I thought, because

20 of the amount of material you assembled, it might not

21 be unreasonable to allow cross-examination on Thursday,

22 leaving two clear days within which to work through

23 it. So I think we will still wait until Thursday to

24 determine the cross-examination -- it is possible a lot

25 of cross-examination may not materialise, depending on

Page 10814

1 what the Prosecutor discovers, but let him have ample

2 time to work through the amount of material you have

3 already presented.

4 MS. RESIDOVIC: I have heard your decision,

5 but I ask the question so that we should know, because

6 in the transcript it said that on Monday our colleagues

7 would continue the cross-examination -- the Brigadier

8 was present and I would just like to say that the

9 Brigadier has a visa lasting 50 days. The visa expires

10 on the 9th, so as he is the first witness here, the

11 prime witness, this makes a difficulty with his stay in

12 Holland. But we must respect the court's decision,

13 although it has been 11 days since the colleagues and

14 the Prosecutor has all the material at their disposal.

15 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: There are good reasons

16 why he should be in Holland and The Hague. I think the

17 visa will be accordingly extended to cover the period.

18 Let us have your next witness.

19 MS. RESIDOVIC: I would like the next witness

20 for the Defence to be called. He is Arif Sultanic.

21 Before the witness enters, could I just ask

22 you whether we are going to complete this witness and

23 then continue the Brigadier's cross-examination, so

24 I can tell the witness, or are we going to interrupt

25 the examination of this witness? I would like to have

Page 10815

1 the examination done as a whole, without any

2 interruption.

3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You could interrupt his

4 examination-in-chief to enable the cross-examine to be

5 completed. Did you understand me?

6 MS. RESIDOVIC: Yes, I do.

7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: We would continue - we

8 do not want to lost any time. Whatever time we have,

9 we will use it up and carry on. On Thursday, we will

10 start with the cross-examination. It is only the

11 Prosecutor and then the other Defence counsel who have

12 also reserved their cross-examination. It will not be

13 as tedious as you are expecting. With the thorough

14 study as I see the Prosecutor is doing, he might know

15 how to organise himself.

16 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you, now I am clear on

17 procedure, because I have an obligation towards my

18 witnesses to tell them the order in which they are

19 going to be examined and re-examined. May I call the

20 witness now?

21 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, kindly invite the

22 witness in.

23 [The witness entered the court]

24 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that

25 I will speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but

Page 10816

1 the truth.

2 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You can take your seat,

3 thank you very much.

4 Examined by MS. RESIDOVIC

5 Q. Good afternoon, Sir. Would you tell the

6 Chamber your name and surname?

7 A. My name is Arif Sultanic.

8 Q. Mr. Sultanic, before I start my questioning,

9 I should like to warn you of a technical aspect of this

10 hearing. You and I both speak the same language and we

11 could ask questions and give answers very quickly, but,

12 in the booths that you see up there, we have our

13 interpreters, who are doing a very difficult job, to

14 translate for the Chamber everything that we are

15 talking about here. That is why I should like to ask

16 you, Mr. Sultanic, to pay attention to the earphones you

17 have on the table beside you and, when I ask a

18 question, you are going to hear the translation of my

19 question. After you hear the interpreters have

20 finished, then you can take up my question and answer

21 it so that everybody in the Chamber will be able to

22 hear and understand us. Have I been clear enough,

23 Mr. Sultanic?

24 A. Yes, fully.

25 Q. Mr. Sultanic, tell me when you were born?

Page 10817

1 A. I was born on 25 February 1946.

2 Q. Can you tell the court where you were born?

3 A. I was born in a village near the town of

4 Konjic in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

5 Q. Where do you live, Mr. Sultanic?

6 A. I live in Konjic.

7 Q. What citizenship do you hold, Mr. Sultanic?

8 A. I have Bosnian and Herzegovinian citizenship.

9 Q. What is your profession?

10 A. I am, by profession, an electrical engineer.

11 Q. What education do you have?

12 A. I went to primary school in Konjic, secondary

13 school in Sarajevo, and I went to university in

14 Belgrade.

15 Q. Where did you work -- where did your work

16 take you, professionally?

17 A. For a time, I worked in Mostar, then I worked

18 in Sarajevo, and, until the conflicts broke out,

19 I worked in Konjic. My main office was in Mostar,

20 however.

21 Q. What work were you engaged in, Mr. Sultanic,

22 immediately before the war broke out in

23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is, immediately prior to 6

24 April 1992?

25 A. I worked as the head of the working unit and

Page 10818

1 the speciality was the maintenance of the signal and

2 security installations and tele command for

3 communications.

4 Q. Did you, at the same time, Mr. Sultanic, have

5 your own private business, to call it that?

6 A. Yes, prior to the conflict, I got the

7 material necessary and equipment I needed for household

8 appliance maintenance, that is to say, television sets,

9 video recorders, and other similar appliances.

10 Q. Where was your sojourn on 6 April 1992 --

11 where exactly were you residing?

12 A. Near the railway station; the street was

13 Proleterskih Brigada, number 8 -- Proletarian Brigade,

14 number 8.

15 Q. Mr. Sultanic, as a citizen of Konjic, can you

16 tell the court what ethnic groups did the population of

17 Konjic belong to?

18 A. The population of Konjic was composed of all

19 types of nations -- there were Serbs, Croats, Muslims,

20 Jews, and others.

21 JUDGE JAN: We have the exact figures before

22 us on the record about the population percentages.

23 MS. RESIDOVIC: Could you tell us, please,

24 Mr. Sultanic, in view of the fact that you worked for

25 the railways, did you at any time -- did, in April 1992

Page 10819

1 -- was road traffic interrupted in 1992?

2 A. Yes. Road traffic was interrupted towards

3 Sarajevo in the section between Ivan Planina and

4 Bradina and on the road towards Mostar at the end of

5 April it was severed at Aleksin Han -- it is a bridge

6 of the Grabavica Lake and lower down, some 20

7 kilometres away, the Bijela bridge, which bridges a bay

8 from the Lakovacko Lake.

9 Q. I apologise, Mr. Sultanic, I said as you

10 worked for the railways, because road traffic was

11 severed. Let me now ask you, as you did work for the

12 railways, where the -- was railway traffic interrupted?

13 A. Yes. On 27 April of that year, 1992, railway

14 lines towards Sarajevo from the direction of Konjic

15 were severed. Later on, at the beginning of May,

16 railway links were interrupted towards Mostar -- with

17 the destruction of the railway bridge at the outskirts

18 of Mostar. The bridge crossed the Neretva River.

19 Q. Thank you. Mr. Sultanic, as this is your

20 particular speciality, can you tell us what links the

21 town of Konjic had in the course of April with other

22 parts of the republic, and with the capital -- in

23 April, that is?

24 A. In April, the town had telephone

25 communications with Sarajevo -- the PTT links,

Page 10820

1 communications. Railway lines were severed when there

2 was no railway traffic. The railway system had its own

3 system of telephone communications parallel with the

4 system of the Post Telephone and Telegraph

5 communications.

6 Q. Can you tell us when the PTT communications

7 of the town of Konjic were severed with the capital,

8 when were the PTT communications between Sarajevo and

9 Konjic severed?

10 A. Yes, I can tell you that -- on 2 May 1992,

11 the day that the President of the republic was taken

12 prisoner, Mr. Alija Izetbegovic, and the main post

13 office in Sarajevo was set fire to, so that, with that

14 act, all links and communications between Sarajevo and

15 the world and, of course, between Sarajevo and other

16 towns in the republic, were severed.

17 Q. Mr. Sultanic, at one time in May 1992, was the

18 town of Konjic -- did the town of Konjic lose its post

19 and telecommunication links with other parts of the

20 republic and not only with the capital?

21 A. Yes, I said so a moment ago. I said that all

22 links towards Mostar were severed with the destruction

23 of the railway bridge.

24 Q. Why, for the interruption of

25 telecommunications, would the destruction of a railway

Page 10821

1 bridge near the town of Mostar be relevant?

2 A. Because the cables linking the PTT centres

3 went via the railway bridge, together with our railway

4 cables -- the same route was followed, because

5 otherwise, from Sarajevo to Mostar, the same channel

6 contained the PTT and the railway cables in order to

7 save on construction work -- this was one

8 communications line.

9 Q. Mr. Sultanic, at the beginning of 1992, in

10 addition to this blockade, the one you have just

11 explained to us, was your town shelled?

12 A. Yes, it was. Yes, there was shelling of

13 Konjic on 4 May of that year.

14 Q. How frequently and for what duration was

15 Konjic shelled?

16 A. Konjic was shelled from that day, every day,

17 at least twice a day and, very often, during the night

18 as well, so that I do not remember a single day when

19 the town was not shelled from the day you mentioned

20 until the agreement was signed -- until the Dayton

21 agreement was signed.

22 Q. Mr. Sultanic, tell us, please, whether, some

23 time during May and April 1992, the roads towards the

24 surrounding villages were blocked as well -- villages

25 around Konjic, in the surrounds of Konjic?

Page 10822

1 A. Yes, they were. In that month, roads were

2 blocked along Donje Selo, which links the

3 south-westerly villages with the town of Konjic. They

4 are Kralupi, Hasinovice, Balmis, Dabovice, Irici,

5 Tresnejavica, and towards the west Lisicici, and west

6 of Lisicici, Nevizdraci, Obre towards Butrovic Polje

7 and the River Neretva -- those are the villages --

8 towards Sarajevo the Bradina road was blocked, whereas

9 towards the southern portions of the Konjic

10 municipality, the road to Bijela, to Ravni Kuk was

11 blocked in the direction of Borci, on the one hand and,

12 on the other side of Borci, the road was blocked near

13 the village of Glavaticevo.

14 Q. Thank you. Tell me, please, whether at the

15 same time these blockades took place, if you know of

16 this, whether at the same time that these blockades

17 took place, that the population was expelled from the

18 surrounding villages -- if you know anything about

19 this, please tell us what the population was and who

20 did the expelling?

21 A. Yes, the population was expelled -- the

22 Bosnians were expelled from the village of Bijela --

23 that is one village and two other villages are Dzajici

24 and Gakici and upstream towards the river Neretva,

25 towards Borci.

Page 10823

1 Q. In May, and in the rest of 1992, what were

2 the supplies like for the town -- do you know what the

3 supply situation was like for the town and its

4 population?

5 A. Yes, I do, although this was not my -- within

6 my realm of activity, but I do know that the population

7 had to wait in long lines in front of the Caritas and

8 Red Cross organisation and the Merhamet and the food

9 that did manage to reach the town via Croatia and

10 Herzegovina to Konjic were distributed in front of the

11 Caritas, Merhamet and the Red Cross organisations and

12 part of the population had some stores at home. They

13 had stockpiled, so they were able to take in some of

14 the refugees.

15 MS. RESIDOVIC: I have completed my general

16 questions. I would now like to move to my other

17 questions. Perhaps it is time to complete the

18 examination for today.

19 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: We will adjourn until

20 the 9th, Thursday, possibly after the

21 cross-examination. So we will adjourn until 10am on

22 Thursday.

23 (At 5.30pm the hearing adjourned

24 until Thursday, 9 April 1997, at 10am)