Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 11332

1 Friday, 17th April 1998

2 (10.00 a.m.)

3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Good morning, ladies

4 and gentlemen. May we have the appearances, please?

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 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Could we have

9 appearances for the Defence, please?

10 MS. RESIDOVIC: Good morning, your Honours.

11 My name is Edina Residovic, Defence counsel for

12 Mr. Zejnil Delalic, along with my colleague, Professor

13 Eugene O'Sullivan from Canada.

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

15 name is Zeljko Olujic, Defence counsel for Mr. Zdravko

16 Mucic, along with Mr. Michael Greaves.

17 Unfortunately, Mr. Mucic is not present in the

18 courtroom today and we do not have his agreement for

19 the continuation of the hearing in his absence. I also

20 ask the court's permission to visit my client in the

21 detention unit, whereas Michael Greaves will stay

22 behind during the hearing.

23 MR. KARABDIC: Good morning, your Honours.

24 I am Salih Karabdic appearing on behalf of Mr. Hazim

25 Delic, along with Mr. Thomas Moran, attorney from

Page 11333

1 Houston, Texas.

2 MS. McMURREY: Good morning, your Honours.

3 I am Cynthia McMurrey and, along with Ms. Nancy Boler,

4 we are here to represent Esad Landzo.

5 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I am surprised to hear

6 Mr. Olujic speaking in the way that he did after hearing

7 the views of the Trial Chamber yesterday. Either he

8 has misunderstood the position of the Trial Chamber, or

9 the position of a criminal trial, or he is particularly

10 ignorant about what the law says when a person is

11 compulsorily on trial. If he is, I suppose, he might

12 reconsider his position to know what to say in

13 circumstances of this nature.

14 The Trial Chamber observes a few things.

15 Apart from the fact that we heard nothing from

16 Mr. Olujic even before this incident occurred, when he

17 knew that this was a stratagem of his client -- he kept

18 quiet -- and merely told the Trial Chamber that things

19 had happened and that his client had not waived his

20 rights -- this is what he told us.

21 Yesterday, Mr. Greaves told us that the main

22 complaint of Mr. Mucic, who has for a long time behaved

23 in this Tribunal as a rascal -- that his main complaint

24 was that Mr. Mucic was not allowed access to his

25 investigator. That is the main complaint -- not the

Page 11334

1 question of his health.

2 After a lot of concentration, we got in touch

3 with the administration which sent someone to interview

4 Mr. Mucic at the detention centre. I will read out to

5 you what transpired:

6 "Yesterday evening (16 April 1998), about 9 p.m.

7 [the party] visited Mr. Mucic at detention unit. He was

8 recalled his right to be present in the courtroom

9 during the Trial, but he was told that the Chamber

10 considers that he waived this right since he had

11 decided unilaterally not to come to the courtroom. He

12 was told that the trial carries on without him.

13 After Mr. Mucic heard this, he said that he

14 does not want to talk without his Defence counsel. He

15 was told that he does not need to say anything.

16 However, he said that he is not in a physical and

17 psychological condition to attend the trial. He was

18 asked about the problems with the investigator and he

19 told that there is a problem concerning the contacts

20 with the investigators, but it is not a main reason for

21 his refusal to come to the courtroom. He repeated that

22 the main reason for his absence is his health and he

23 stressed that it is very painful for him to be in the

24 courtroom the whole day. He informed us that he has no

25 intention to come to the courtroom today.

Page 11335

1 At the end he said that he would consider

2 that this conversation did not take place because one

3 hour ago he took some tranquillisers, so he cannot

4 concentrate. He also repeated that he would wish that

5 this conversation occurred in the presence of his

6 Defence counsel."

7 You are all lawyers and I think you should

8 understand the implications of what has transpired --

9 it just shows clearly, by any unbiased analysis, a

10 complete absence of good faith in any of the reasons

11 given here.

12 He knows that, if his health was in some

13 disturbance, his counsel could have applied to the

14 Trial Chamber for the necessary assistance. If he had

15 other reasons other than the stratagem to disrupt the

16 proceedings, there would have been a way to discuss

17 with the Trial Chamber how to find a solution.

18 The Trial Chamber has considered it this

19 morning and we do not think it is in the interests of

20 justice to allow this type of situation to continue.

21 Mr. Mucic will have to be brought to this court before

22 11 a.m. today, by whichever method they can bring him. He

23 should come and tell the court his real problems. The

24 Trial Chamber will rise and we will reassemble at

25 11.15.

Page 11336

1 JUDGE JAN: Mr. Olujic, you can meet him here

2 in the premises.

3 MR. GREAVES: Can I ask that your Honours

4 obtain from the Registry the letter which I wrote to

5 them concerning his medical condition so that you are

6 fully informed of that matter as well, please?

7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I think we will discuss

8 that later -- not now.

9 (10.17 a.m.)

10 (A short adjournment)

11 (11.30 a.m.)

12 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Will Ms. Residovic call

13 her witness?

14 MS. RESIDOVIC: Can Enver Tahirovic please be

15 brought in?

16 (The witness entered court)

17 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Let him make his

18 declaration.

19 THE WITNESS: A little bit louder, please?

20 Now I can hear it well. I solemnly declare that I will

21 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the

22 truth.

23 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You may sit down.


25 Examined by MS. RESIDOVIC

Page 11337

1 Q. Good morning, Sir.

2 A. Good morning.

3 Q. Will you please introduce yourself by telling

4 the Trial Chamber your full name?

5 A. My name is Enver Tahirovic.

6 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, before I proceed with my

7 questioning, I need to advise you of one thing. My

8 questions and your answers are being entered into the

9 record of these proceedings and they need to be

10 interpreted by the interpreters, so that our

11 conversation may be followed by the Trial Chamber and

12 everyone else in the courtroom. I therefore request,

13 Mr. Tahirovic, that you listen to the interpretation

14 coming out of the headset on your desk and only when

15 you hear that interpretation, please answer my

16 question.

17 Also, if you do not understand any of my

18 questions, let me know so I can rephrase it. Is this

19 clear, Mr. Tahirovic?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Thank you. When and where were you born,

22 Mr. Tahirovic?

23 A. I was born 14 September 1956 in Jablanica.

24 Q. What is your national group and what is your

25 citizenship?

Page 11338

1 A. I am a Muslim Bosniak, and I am a citizen of

2 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

3 Q. Where do you live now, Mr. Tahirovic?

4 A. I live in Konjic.

5 Q. What are you by profession, Mr. Tahirovic?

6 A. By profession, I am a professor of the All

7 People's Defence.

8 Q. Can you tell us what is your education and

9 where did you receive it?

10 A. I graduated from the high school in Konjic

11 and the faculty of All People's Defence in Sarajevo.

12 Q. Did you serve in the former Yugoslav People's

13 Army?

14 A. Not strictly speaking, because I graduated

15 from this faculty, which has the rank of a military

16 academy, so I only had four and a half months of

17 practical training in order to receive my rank.

18 Q. What rank did you hold in the former JNA

19 before the war?

20 A. I was a reserve captain.

21 Q. Where were you in early April 1992?

22 A. I was working as a senior adviser for All

23 People's Defence in the health centre in Konjic.

24 Q. Have you, of late, been on duty in the

25 formation of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

Page 11339

1 A. I am one of the first members of the Army of

2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, who was assigned to the joint

3 command. This was still during the war. However,

4 after the end of the war, in May 1996, I left the army

5 and moved into the civilian sphere.

6 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, since we are talking about

7 similar names of different entities, can you tell me

8 what joint command did you become a member of and when?

9 A. This is the joint command of the army and the

10 HVO, which was established after the signing of the

11 Washington Agreement. I became its member in late 1994

12 -- some time, if I am not mistaken, on 24 December

13 1994.

14 Q. Thank you. Where do you work now?

15 A. Currently, I am now the director of the

16 public utility company in Konjic, since October of last

17 year. The name of the company is "Standard".

18 Q. Since you said that you were involved in

19 matters of People's Defence in the health centre,

20 I want to ask you whether the health centre in the

21 early April of 1992 was prepared for the wartime

22 activities?

23 A. You could not say that it was prepared for

24 the wartime conditions, because we did not have enough

25 supplies to meet the needs of the war. It was only on

Page 11340

1 paper -- there were certain plans in case of potential

2 aggression against the former Yugoslavia and then later

3 on against Bosnia-Herzegovina.

4 Q. Since at that time you were a citizen of

5 Konjic, and the Trial Chamber has already heard quite a

6 bit about the situation in Konjic, could you now just,

7 very briefly, tell us what was the military strategic

8 important, significance of Konjic and did the shelling

9 at some point start, or combat operations around

10 Konjic?

11 A. Due to my training, I had access to quite a

12 bit of organisational material -- plans -- in that

13 period. I know that in all military maps in the former

14 Yugoslavia, the town of Konjic was usually circled with

15 a thick marker, in red, as a very important strategic

16 place, significant for the defence of the former

17 Yugoslavia and the fact that Konjic is in the middle of

18 the canyon of the Neretva River and it linked the

19 Neretva River to the sea --

20 JUDGE JAN: We have heard from the two

21 generals about the importance of Konjic, you do not

22 have to touch it again.

23 MS. RESIDOVIC: Yes, this is why I wanted the

24 witness just to confirm that he knew of its strategic

25 importance and I think that I only wanted to elicit two

Page 11341

1 or three sentences about it. I think he already

2 covered that, so I think we need not go any further.

3 So, please, Sir, the Trial Chamber is well

4 acquainted with the strategic importance of Konjic, so

5 I would just like you to tell me if you can confirm

6 this importance and whether at some point the shelling

7 of Konjic started?

8 A. I believe all the things that were available

9 in Konjic, but I think you also asked me about the

10 weapons that were there. The Territorial Defence of

11 Konjic consisted of one Partisan Brigade -- that is how

12 it was classified in the former Yugoslavia, which was

13 the 14th Partisan Brigade, which was armed with small

14 arms, infantry-type weapons. It had mortars of 60 and

15 82 millimetres for immediate support. Then it had some

16 anti-armour equipment.

17 Q. Can you please tell me where this equipment

18 was?

19 A. It was in the Ljuta barracks.

20 Q. Do you know under whose control they were?

21 A. At first, until 1990, this equipment was

22 under the control of the Territorial Defence staff in

23 Konjic, and apart from this, there were also units of

24 Territorial Defence in different companies and weapons

25 of these units, that is, platoons and up to the

Page 11342

1 company, were stored in the various companies.

2 However, some time in the middle of 1990,

3 somewhere around there, an order came that the weapons

4 stored in all companies, as well as the weapons of the

5 Territorial Defence, be placed under the control of the

6 JNA.

7 Q. Thank you. As a citizen of Konjic -- and

8 again, please, just a very brief answer -- do you know

9 whether, in April and May, Konjic underwent a blockade

10 and please be very brief because the Trial Chamber has

11 heard this from various witnesses before?

12 A. Yes, Konjic was surrounded by almost all

13 sides. From the south-west, it was not a direct

14 barricade, but Serbs from Donje Selo could easily cut

15 off the highway leading to the coast, and I can tell

16 you -- and maybe no witness has told you this -- but in

17 May 1992 no ambulance, regardless of the kind of a

18 patient, could pass through Bradina to take these

19 patients to Sarajevo for treatment, so that we had to

20 take these patients across mountains -- across

21 Mount Risovica -- we had to take them across very

22 bad roads to Split.

23 Q. Indeed, we have not heard this fact before,

24 but you must be familiar with it because you worked at

25 the health centre. Mr. Tahirovic, since in early April

Page 11343

1 1992, you were in Konjic, can you tell me who were the

2 leaders with the most authority in Konjic at the

3 beginning of the war?

4 A. Everybody had as much authority as they

5 received votes in the elections of 1991. There was a

6 small concession that was made to the Serbs as far as

7 I know, because they had about 16 per cent share of the

8 population -- of the total population in Konjic, so,

9 even though they were not entitled to it, they were

10 offered the position of the vice-president of the

11 municipal assembly, and Duro Kuljanin, who was the

12 President of the SDS for Konjic, assumed this post .

13 The President of the Konjic municipality was Dr. Rusmir

14 Hadzihuseinovic. The President of the executive board

15 was a Croat -- I cannot recall now, and Bruno Jurisic

16 was the secretary of the office for the defence.

17 Q. Do you know who the commander of the TO staff

18 was?

19 A. The commander of the TO staff was Mr. Smajo

20 Prevljak.

21 Q. Sir, did you at some time in May of 1992 come

22 into a situation to join the TO staff and, if you do,

23 can you please explain this to the Trial Chamber?

24 A. After Mr. Esad Ramic left the JNA and came to

25 Konjic, I met him through some mutual friends. In May

Page 11344

1 he, together with Mr. Dinko Zebic, offered me on several

2 occasions to take over the position of the commander of

3 the Celebici barracks.

4 Q. Did you accept this post and, if not, can you

5 state the reasons for that?

6 A. I more or less accepted to become the

7 commander of the barracks. However, when I learned

8 that some prisoners, some Serbs, were already being

9 held there, and the citizens of Konjic were talking

10 that these were Serbs from Idbar and Celebici from whom

11 weapons were seized, I refused that post and I stayed

12 in the health centre.

13 Q. Did you, nevertheless, in May 1992, become a

14 member of the staff, or some other defence body in

15 Konjic? If you did, can you please explain on whose

16 invitation and what position did you hold?

17 A. Due to the problems that the commander at the

18 time, Esad Ramic, had -- he had a heart condition -- he

19 was brought to the health centre, and we placed him in

20 the room which was the room that I used, because it was

21 one of the quietest rooms around and he needed quiet.

22 In the conversation with him at the time, I had

23 accepted -- I had agreed to accept to become a member

24 of the TO staff and, upon invitation of the new

25 commander, Mr. Boric, on 18 May 1992, I joined the TO

Page 11345

1 staff. At that time, it was already a joint staff of

2 TO and the HVO.

3 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, on this 18 May when you were

4 invited by Mr. Boric, did you attend a meeting where

5 defence issues were discussed?

6 A. Yes, it was a joint meeting of the military

7 structures and the civilian authorities, that is, the

8 war presidency, which took place in the brewery in

9 Konjic.

10 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, were certain conclusions

11 adopted following this meeting?

12 A. In this meeting, problems of civilian

13 authorities, military issues, and the problems of

14 cooperation between the civilian authorities and

15 military authorities were all discussed. After this

16 meeting certain conclusions were adopted regarding all

17 these issues that I just mentioned.

18 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, who was tasked with

19 implementing these conclusions?

20 A. I just wanted to explain to you that part of

21 these conclusions related strictly to the civilian

22 affairs, problems with procurement of equipment, and

23 food, and another part of the conclusions related to

24 military matters of the establishment of the then joint

25 command of the TO and the HVO and everybody implemented

Page 11346

1 the aspects of these conclusions that he was charged

2 with.

3 MS. RESIDOVIC: Let me now show you documents

4 which were admitted from the second volume of the

5 expert opinions. It is V-A/7 and may the witness be

6 given these documents so that he can try to identify

7 it. There are enough copies for the Trial Chamber and

8 for my colleagues and the Prosecution. (Handed).

9 I believe it is 244/1; is that correct?

10 THE REGISTRAR: That is correct.

11 MS. RESIDOVIC: Mr. Tahirovic, would you

12 please look through these conclusions? Excuse me, it

13 is a misinterpretation. I see on the transcript it is

14 marked as 244 but it should be 144/1.

15 Mr. Tahirovic, have you looked at the

16 document?

17 A. I have.

18 Q. Are those the conclusions of the meeting that

19 you personally attended?

20 A. Yes. You can see from this document what

21 I just said. First, there are matters relating to the

22 civilian authorities, and then I see here -- I forgot

23 to mention this -- this is a very important part with

24 respect to refugees and when somebody got killed, who

25 would bury him and who would be in charge of the

Page 11347

1 burial. It was the Civil Defence that was tasked to

2 take care of this. Then the second part, are

3 conclusions relating to military matters. If

4 necessary, I can comment on each of these conclusions

5 and why they appear here.

6 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you, that will be

7 sufficient for now.

8 As the witness has confirmed the truth of the

9 contents of this document and he personally was present

10 at the meeting that these conclusions were made, and as

11 they are relevant from the standpoint of the Defence,

12 I am tendering them into evidence.

13 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, you may. They are

14 admissible.

15 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you, so Exhibit 144/1.

16 Mr. Tahirovic, will you please tell me, in

17 view of the fact that you have just told us that this

18 was a meeting of the war presidency and the joint

19 command, will you tell me, first, whether you know when

20 the joint command was formed of the HVO and the TO in

21 Konjic?

22 A. A kind of joint command existed from the very

23 beginning, though, in legal terms, at the very

24 beginning of the war, the HVO was not legalised as an

25 official component of the armed forces of

Page 11348

1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, but, due to its desire to defend

2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, it had legitimacy and we treated it

3 as such, that is, we, the citizens of Konjic and

4 probably the citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina as well.

5 Some members of the joint command were

6 already working in the pre-war staff of the Territorial

7 Defence, such as, for instance, Dinko Zebic.

8 Q. Do you know whether, in the course of May, a

9 formal decision was taken to form the joint command?

10 A. As far as I can remember, that could have

11 been I think the 12th of May, if my memory does not

12 fail me.

13 Q. Very well, thank you. At the meeting whose

14 conclusions you have recognised, was Zejnil Delalic

15 present -- do you remember that? If you do, please

16 tell us. If not, tell us again?

17 A. I remember a detail that occurred after that

18 meeting, because my colleague Dzevad Pasic and I had

19 just arrived at the staff headquarters and we were not

20 dressed in uniforms. The commander at the time, Omer

21 Boric, asked Dinko Zebic, his deputy, to dress us

22 appropriately because the HVO already had its uniforms

23 and warehouses and he told him that he would return the

24 uniforms, because Zejnil Delalic was about to bring a

25 convoy in a day or two from Croatia, which would

Page 11349

1 include convoys -- a convoy which would include

2 uniforms so he would be able to make up for those

3 uniforms for him. We went to a village called Vrbice

4 outside Konjic where the HVO had a warehouse and we

5 were issued these uniforms. I do not know whether they

6 were returned to the HVO later.

7 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, you have answered my question

8 indirectly, telling us that you learnt that Mr. Delalic

9 was due to come in a day or two from Zagreb, but could

10 you tell the court, with greater precision now, whether

11 Zejnil Delalic was present at that meeting of the 18th?

12 A. No. May I clarify?

13 Q. No, no, there is no need. We heard your

14 explanation, but not the exact answer to my question

15 and now we have that.

16 Mr. Tahirovic, did you, as of that day, become

17 a member of the TO staff, or, rather, of the joint

18 command?

19 A. I did.

20 Q. Tell me, do you know whether Zejnil Delalic

21 was a member of the staff then, or a member of the

22 joint command?

23 A. No, he was not.

24 Q. Was Zejnil Delalic commander of the TO staff

25 of Konjic municipality?

Page 11350

1 A. No, Omer Boric was the commander.

2 Q. For how long were you a member of the staff

3 in Konjic in 1992?

4 A. By chance and probably because of my

5 familiarity with these issues, I was perhaps the person

6 who spent most time there, with brief breaks when

7 I toured the front-lines.

8 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, are you telling us that, in

9 1992, you were, throughout that period, a member of the

10 staff, or is that not correct?

11 A. Yes, that is correct, I was a member of the

12 staff, only I held different positions within the

13 staff.

14 Q. In view of this fact, Mr. Tahirovic, could you

15 tell us who were the commanders of the TO staff from

16 the beginning until the end of 1992?

17 A. I jokingly would always say that I was the

18 7th commander of the municipal staff of Konjic, and

19 I can list the names and you will see what I am saying

20 is true. At the very beginning of the war -- not the

21 war in Konjic but the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina -- the

22 commander of the TO staff was Smajo Prevljak, then

23 Enver Redzepovic took over from him. After that Esad

24 Ramic held that post. After him, came Omer Boric, and

25 then, after him, Esad Ramic came again, and, in October

Page 11351

1 1992, Mirsad Catic took over the command of the

2 municipal staff and, on 15 January 1993, I became

3 commander.

4 Q. Thank you. From this answer, one could infer

5 the answer to my next question, but let me put it to

6 you all the same. Was Zejnil Delalic at any point in

7 time in 1992 the commander or member of the municipal

8 staff of TO or of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

9 A. He was never even a member and still less a

10 commander.

11 MS. RESIDOVIC: I would now like the witness

12 to be shown D144/1. This is in the second volume of

13 the expert witness, V-A/27. I have a sufficient number

14 of copies for the Prosecution and the court.

15 (Handed).

16 While this document is being distributed,

17 Mr. Tahirovic, will you please read through the text.

18 Mr. Tahirovic, I will not ask you who issued

19 this document, nor am I asking you to confirm its

20 authenticity, but if you have read the contents, in

21 view of your personal knowledge regarding the position

22 of Mr. Delalic in 1992, can you tell me whether the

23 contents of this certificate are truthful?

24 A. Yes.

25 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, since the

Page 11352

1 witness is familiar with the truth linked to the

2 position referred to here and, as this is a document

3 that is of relevance for the Defence case, I should

4 like to tender it into evidence.

5 JUDGE JAN: He has already verified it on

6 oath in court.

7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: And this was in reply

8 to your own question, which is quite a different thing

9 from what he said. He has spoken from his own

10 knowledge --

11 MS. RESIDOVIC: Yes, your Honours. I accept

12 your clarification, but, as the question of the

13 truthfulness of contents was raised during the

14 testimony of the expert witness, that is the reason

15 that prompted me to show the document to the witness

16 and we now have confirmation of the truth of the

17 contents from this witness. So, thank you for your

18 suggestions, your Honours.

19 In view of the position that you held in

20 Konjic, could you please tell me, was Mr. Zejnil Delalic

21 President of the war presidency at any period of time?

22 A. No, he was never -- I can assert that with

23 certainty.

24 Q. Do you know whether he was ever elected to

25 the war presidency of Konjic municipality?

Page 11353

1 A. No, never.

2 Q. Do you know whether he ever performed any

3 other duty within the administration of Konjic

4 municipality?

5 A. In the government of Konjic, no.

6 Q. Do you know whether he held any political

7 post?

8 A. As far as I know, he lived outside Konjic, so

9 he certainly could not have performed any political

10 function.

11 MS. RESIDOVIC: As before, without wishing to

12 tender this into evidence, I would like the witness to

13 be shown document D145/1. It is in the third volume,

14 9th section/1. I have enough copies for the

15 Prosecution and their Honours. (Handed). .

16 Have you read it?

17 A. I have.

18 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, I am again not asking you to

19 authenticate this document; I am just asking you

20 whether the facts indicated in this document, according

21 to your personal knowledge, are correct or not?

22 A. They are correct.

23 Q. Thank you.

24 A. This man who signed it -- it is probably his

25 signature and he still holds this position in the

Page 11354

1 municipal assembly, so it can be verified through him.

2 Q. Thank you. We are interested, Mr. Tahirovic,

3 in your personal knowledge regarding 1992 and you have

4 already answered my question, so thank you, the

5 document can be returned to the files.

6 Mr. Tahirovic, do you know what the defence

7 forces of Konjic municipality consisted of?

8 A. A moment ago, when I spoke about the HVO,

9 I said that the defence forces consisted of the HVO,

10 the Territorial Defence, and the MUP of Konjic.

11 Q. At the time when we had these defence forces,

12 were there any other formations in Konjic like the

13 Green Berets, the Patriotic League or anything like

14 that?

15 A. Not in Konjic.

16 Q. Were there any independent armed groups or

17 Party armies in Konjic?

18 A. Are you asking about the city of Konjic or

19 the municipality of Konjic?

20 Q. Well, you tell me?

21 A. In the town of Konjic, no; but within the

22 territory of Konjic municipality, there were forces of

23 the SDS -- the armed Serbs.

24 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, tell me, please, what

25 activities you personally engaged in in the joint

Page 11355

1 command?

2 A. I was an officer -- I was an operations man

3 for the educational and training department.

4 Q. What were your responsibilities in that

5 department?

6 A. Partly staff activities, the drafting and

7 preparation of orders for the commander, visiting

8 defence lines, assisting the commanders in positioning

9 defence lines, and preparing documentation for combat

10 operations prepared for the chief of staff and then the

11 chief of staff submits them to the commander.

12 Q. Thank you. In view of these duties that you

13 performed, are you familiar with the way in which

14 combat orders were issued and who signed the same?

15 A. Yes. When these combat orders are prepared,

16 for them to be valid for all units, they had to be

17 signed by the commander of the TO staff, that is, the

18 commander of the joint staff, and his deputy, that is,

19 the commander of the HVO headquarters in the joint

20 command -- his deputy in the joint command.

21 MS. RESIDOVIC: As we have already admitted

22 into evidence a chart -- an organisational chart of the

23 joint command, I should like to show you -- this is

24 exhibit number 145/1 from volume V-D/10. Could you

25 tell us what is the position that you held on this

Page 11356

1 chart? I have a sufficient number of copies, but

2 I think we already remember the chart from yesterday.

3 JUDGE JAN: He is one of the aides to the

4 chief of staff.

5 THE WITNESS: Yes, one of the aides to the

6 chief of staff. You have the chief of staff, and then

7 below him are the heads of these operations departments

8 and I was one of the officers in the operations

9 department, so we were directly linked to the chief of

10 staff.

11 MS. RESIDOVIC: Could you please place it on

12 the ELMO and show us the position you held, as

13 indicated on the chart?

14 JUDGE JAN: He has explained it.

15 MS. RESIDOVIC: Very well, thank you. You

16 have looked at this chart. Is it truthful regarding

17 the period May/June 1992?

18 A. Can I have a little more time, please? Yes,

19 with some minor corrections. For instance, here it

20 says commander of the joint command Ramic and Boric --

21 in the period when Omer Boric was commander, Esad Ramic

22 was assistant chief of staff for operative and

23 training, so he was my direct superior for a time, and

24 there are some other corrections, but more or less

25 these are the people, but they would change from time

Page 11357

1 to time. Some people were coming and going, but more

2 or less they are those people.

3 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, could you please tell us which

4 was the superior command to the municipal staff of the

5 Territorial Defence of Konjic?

6 A. Within the structure of the Territorial

7 Defence, the municipal staffs, as a rule, were

8 subordinated to district staffs. However, because of

9 the situation in Mostar, that is, the HVO would not

10 allow the district staff in Mostar to become

11 operational, we were directly subordinated to the main

12 staff in Sarajevo -- the supreme command.

13 Q. And to whom was the HVO Konjic subordinated?

14 A. The HVO Konjic was all the time directly

15 subordinated to the headquarters in Grude.

16 Q. What about the third defence element?

17 A. The MUP also had its chain of command, but it

18 would only occasionally join in the defence forces on

19 the basis of a special request, but it was directly

20 linked to the MUP of the republic.

21 MS. RESIDOVIC: Could the witness now be shown

22 a chart that has not been shown so far. It is a chart

23 contained in D145/1. It is V-D2. I have a sufficient

24 number of copies here. We have it in Bosnian and in

25 English, so please distribute both. (Handed).

Page 11358

1 Have you looked at the chart?

2 A. I have.

3 MS. RESIDOVIC: Could you please place the

4 English version on the ELMO? I apologise.

5 You have already answered a part of the

6 questions that I have for you, so I will just

7 continue. In view of the chart which indicates certain

8 combat units, will you tell us, please, to whom these

9 combat units of Territorial Defence were subordinated?

10 A. Is this the period when there was a joint

11 command?

12 Q. Well, you can see from the heading -- I am

13 interested in the period April/October, who was in

14 command of the combat units in Konjic?

15 A. During the time that we had a joint command,

16 the TO units were under the direct command of the

17 commander, and the HVO units were under the direct

18 control of their commander. The police units were

19 under the direct command of the MUP chief in Konjic.

20 Q. Thank you. In view of your personal

21 knowledge as a member of the command of the TO staff,

22 will you tell me, please, whether this chart is a

23 truthful one -- does it truthfully reflect the chain of

24 command that was in effect for the period April/October

25 1992?

Page 11359

1 A. Yes, it fully corresponds to the situation in

2 Konjic in that period.

3 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. In view of the

4 fact that the witness was a member of the staff and is

5 familiar with this structure and has confirmed the

6 truth of the contents of this chart, I tender it into

7 evidence.

8 MR. NIEMANN: I object, your Honour.

9 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: It will be admitted.

10 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you.

11 Mr. Tahirovic, while you were commander -- no,

12 I apologise -- when you became a member of the joint

13 command -- I am sorry, I am not hearing the

14 interpretation into Bosnian -- while you were a member

15 of the joint command, were any combat operations

16 conducted within the territory of Konjic municipality?

17 A. When I joined the joint command, preparations

18 were already under way for combat operations in Donje

19 Selo and, later, in Bradina.

20 Q. Tell me, please, are you aware whether,

21 before that, there were any negotiations with the armed

22 population on the surrender of weapons and the lifting

23 of the blockade on the roads?

24 A. Yes, both in the case of Donje Selo and

25 Bradina, for several days attempts were made to

Page 11360

1 persuade those people to surrender their weapons, so

2 that combat could be avoided, and I am particularly

3 familiar with that situation with respect to Bradina,

4 because the negotiations were conducted in a village

5 above Konjic called Podorasac, and I also know the

6 people on the Serb side who participated in the

7 negotiations at the time. (redacted)

8 (redacted) Another one was my son's teacher in

9 elementary school, Jovo Kuljanin.

10 Q. Thank you. Will you please tell me who

11 signed the order for the combat operation in Donje Selo

12 to lift the blockade on that part of the municipality?

13 A. Yes, I do know -- the order for Donje Selo

14 was signed by the commander of the joint staff, his

15 deputy, and the chief of police in Konjic, because MUP

16 units participated in lifting the blockade of Donje

17 Selo.

18 Q. Do you know whether the staff of the joint

19 command and MUP took certain steps after this to

20 protect the population in this area?

21 A. Not only then, but at any time we paid

22 attention to the protection of the population in the

23 areas where combat operations were conducted and here

24 I am referring to the population of the opposing side.

25 MS. RESIDOVIC: Very well. Would you please

Page 11361

1 look at the order, which is contained in document

2 144/1? It is V-D/1.

3 Can this please be distributed around?

4 I have a question to put to you in that

5 regard. (Handed). My first question to you,

6 Mr. Tahirovic, is: do you know whether any weapons were

7 found amongst this population after the fighting, that

8 is, military weapons?

9 A. Yes, a part of hunting weapons and quite a

10 number of military arms, that is, automatic weapons.

11 Q. Do you know whether somebody took these

12 weapons to the staff of the joint command?

13 A. During the combat operation itself,

14 commanders of the subordinate units were reporting to

15 us, and they submitted the numbers on the kinds and

16 quantities of weapons that were seized at the time and,

17 later on, by combing the terrain -- this was the task

18 of the military police of the HVO and the MUP, because

19 at that time the TO did not have an organised military

20 police force.

21 Q. Having reviewed this document, do you

22 remember it from those days?

23 A. Yes. As I said in the beginning, a large

24 number -- not all, but a large number of documents

25 I myself drafted, so I am the author of many of these.

Page 11362

1 Q. As you just stated, this is one of the

2 documents where you pointed out a need to protect the

3 local population of Bradina?

4 A. Yes, that is correct, of Donje Selo.

5 MS. RESIDOVIC: Since this is a document that

6 the witness has identified that he drafted it and that

7 it was used by his commanders, I ask that it be

8 admitted into evidence.

9 MR. NIEMANN: We do not have any objection,

10 but the document is incomplete.

11 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: It does not bear the

12 name of the person to whom the appointment is made. In

13 fact it appears as if one person is making the

14 appointment but signed by two. I do not know how you

15 can explain that.

16 JUDGE JAN: It is also unnecessary -- he has

17 said Donje Selo -- there was a military operation and

18 the area was taken over and a large number of weapons

19 were recovered. He said that -- why have this

20 document? Being in the office of the chief of staff,

21 he should know that an operation took place in Donje

22 Selo.

23 MS. RESIDOVIC: Sorry, I am not getting the

24 interpretation.

25 JUDGE JAN: He was a member of the chief of

Page 11363

1 staff team. He should know a military operation took

2 place in Donje Selo. It was taken over and a large

3 number of weapons were recovered -- hunting rifles and

4 military weapons. Why have this document? He said

5 that. It is something within his personal knowledge,

6 so why bother about the document?

7 MS. RESIDOVIC: There is no problem here,

8 your Honour. I agree with you -- this is an order of

9 the joint command of the HVO and the MUP, and the

10 provision about protection of civilians is also

11 included here, and through this document I just wanted

12 to point out this fact. Now, whether it is relevant

13 with respect to the superior authority and command,

14 I do not know about that, but the witness did confirm

15 what I have asked.

16 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Why are you putting it

17 forward? It is unnecessary for this purpose. It does

18 not answer any of the questions.

19 MS. RESIDOVIC: Very well, thank you. The

20 witness did answer my questions.

21 Mr. Tahirovic, can you tell me whether you

22 know who were deputies of the TO commander, that is,

23 who was the deputy of the HVO commander?

24 A. Do you mean in the period of the joint

25 command, or regardless of that?

Page 11364

1 MS. RESIDOVIC: Please, answer the best you

2 know -- I am more interested in who was the chief of

3 staff of the municipal staff and who was the deputy

4 commander of the HVO.


6 any relevance to the position of your client in the

7 structure?

8 MS. RESIDOVIC: I believe that, from the

9 point of view of my client, any elucidation of the

10 structures that were there is of assistance to him. It

11 is something that may be of assistance to you as well.

12 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: There is considerable

13 and consistent emphasis he has no business in the TO,

14 the HVO or any of those organisations -- he was never a

15 member. Everyone you have called have denied it. I do

16 not see how you want to relate him to any of these

17 institutions. I think it is your case -- it is your

18 client. You are entitled to present it the way you

19 like.

20 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you.

21 Could you please answer my question: who was

22 the TO chief of staff, that is, deputy commander?

23 A. At the time when Omer Boric became commander,

24 his deputy was Esad Ramic, and, when Esad Ramic became

25 commander, his deputy or chief of staff was Midhat

Page 11365

1 Cerovac, because while Omer Boric --

2 Q. Very well, Sir, you answered my question.

3 Can you tell me whether the deputy commanders at some

4 period were able to sign certain documents if requested

5 by the commander?

6 A. Yes, but if specially authorised by the

7 commander, and for the most part that was in cases when

8 the commander was unable to do so, or if there were not

9 very significant documents in order not to overburden

10 the commander, but for the most part, if the commander

11 was absent, the deputy commander could have signed a

12 document on his behalf.

13 Q. I asked you a question which you did not

14 answer initially, but now it is I think a bit more

15 significant. You were talking about the combat

16 operations, about the lifting of the blockade of Donje

17 Selo, that is, Bradina. During that period, was the

18 town of Konjic subjected to shelling, or were there

19 periods in 1992 when the town was not attacked?

20 A. There were very few days, especially in 1992,

21 when the town of Konjic was not shelled, or when its

22 lines of defence were not attacked and especially

23 during the combat operations this shelling was

24 particularly intense. Sometimes, 200 to 800

25 projectiles would be lobbed into the town, as far as we

Page 11366

1 were able to count them at some stages.

2 Q. You said that you remembered who signed the

3 order for Donje Selo. As a member of the joint

4 command, do you know who signed the order to lift the

5 blockade of Konjic in the direction of Bradina?

6 A. The same persons signed both orders.

7 Q. Do you know that after the liberation of

8 Bradina military weapons were found with the

9 population, which had rebelled?

10 A. Yes, even later, maybe up to one month later,

11 we were finding additional weapons in this area -- our

12 units did -- and they ranged from hunting weapons to

13 automatic rifles to mortars, 82 millimetre calibre.

14 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, do you know who was the

15 commander responsible for the combat operations in the

16 area during the Bradina operation?

17 A. Yes, it was Zvonko, Zovko and his command post

18 was -- I do not know if it is really a mountain, but it

19 is a hill over -- above Bradina. It was called

20 Prezlica, which had a very good view of Bradina, and,

21 as far as I know, our mortars were positioned there.

22 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, do you know whether Mr. Zejnil

23 Delalic had any kind of command duty in the operation

24 at Donje Selo or at Bradina?

25 A. I am not even sure whether he was in Konjic

Page 11367

1 during the operation at Donje Selo, and I know

2 positively that he was not there at the operation of

3 Bradina. I maybe saw him once in town during that

4 period, but I am not even sure of that.

5 Q. During these combat operations, were there

6 any casualties on the part of the defence forces of

7 Konjic?

8 A. Both at Donje Selo and at Bradina, we had two

9 men killed at each of these operations. In Bradina, it

10 was one member of the HVO and one of the TO and at

11 Donje Selo they were both members of the special unit

12 of the MUP.

13 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, do you know, after these combat

14 operations, whether the persons who took part in these

15 combats and who were found with weapons were detained?

16 A. This was not part of my job, but I know that

17 certain persons were detained after and during the

18 operations.

19 Q. Do you know where these people were detained?

20 A. Yes, because of the limitations of space,

21 some were kept in the Musala sports hall and some in

22 the Celebici barracks.

23 Q. Do you know which bodies were authorised for

24 detaining these persons and who did the actual

25 arresting and detention of these persons? Also, please

Page 11368

1 tell me whose duty it was -- what body had the duty to

2 detain and arrest these persons?

3 A. The bodies that would be typically charged

4 with such matters would be the MUP and the military

5 police, and in the case of Donje Selo it was the MUP

6 and the HVO, because the Territorial Defence at that

7 time did not have its own military police force.

8 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, did you have any knowledge

9 about the fact that some of these individuals were

10 trying to escape to the territory controlled by the

11 Serb forces and whether, even after the operation,

12 there were detentions and arrests of such persons?

13 A. Yes. As late as 10, 15, or even more days,

14 there were some arrests, and, frankly speaking, I

15 learned some of these things later from people who were

16 released later. For instance, Dobroslav Djordjic, who

17 had worked with me until the beginning of the war at

18 the health centre, he was captured on Mount Igman.

19 Q. Very well, thank you.

20 A. Together with Dr. Petko Grubac, because he is

21 a brother-in-law of this man.

22 Q. Very well. Mr. Tahirovic, I would like you

23 just to limit yourself to your personal experience --

24 this would be of best assistance to the Trial Chamber.

25 Let me ask you this: did you know Mr. Zejnil Delalic

Page 11369

1 before the outbreak of war?

2 A. I do not know how, but Zejnil Delalic was

3 somehow on very friendly terms with most of the

4 physicians on the staff in the health centre in Konjic,

5 and I think I met him about five or six years before

6 the outbreak of war through a mutual friend. Dr. Sejo

7 Hajduk -- and I saw him quite often at the health

8 centre in Konjic, and shortly before the war he even

9 brought the dialysis equipment for the Konjic hospital,

10 because it was quite a bit of a health condition in

11 Konjic, I guess, because of the kind of water we had

12 there.

13 Q. Was Zejnil Delalic in Konjic at the outbreak

14 of war?

15 A. I had heard at the health centre where

16 I worked that his brother died just before the outbreak

17 of war and that he came to Konjic for the burial of his

18 brother.

19 Q. Did you know, in April, what Mr. Delalic was

20 involved in?

21 A. No, not at all.

22 Q. When did you first find out what Mr. Delalic

23 was engaged in?

24 A. Some time in May, I heard that he was in

25 Zagreb where he had gone to procure some equipment and

Page 11370

1 food, because of the contacts that he had in the

2 Republic of Croatia and in the west. We also knew that

3 his brother was a manager of some kind in Zagreb and

4 that he had a lot of business contacts abroad and that

5 he had gone there to bring some stuff back to Konjic,

6 including uniforms, as I said previously.

7 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, did you find out at some point

8 that Mr. Delalic was appointed to the position of

9 coordinator and, if you do, do you know who appointed

10 him and what it entailed?

11 A. Perhaps a day or two after that joint meeting

12 of the war presidency and the joint command, I learned

13 that Zejnil Delalic was appointed coordinator to work

14 as a go-between between the war presidency and the TO

15 staff.

16 Q. Do you know who appointed him?

17 A. The war presidency did.

18 Q. At that time, was the war presidency superior

19 to the TO staff, or the joint command?

20 A. At no point throughout the war was the war

21 presidency superior to the TO headquarters, or the

22 joint command.

23 Q. Was Zejnil Delalic at any time, as

24 coordinator, superior to you or to your staff?

25 A. Based on the laws -- the military regulations

Page 11371

1 that were in force at that time in the area, no

2 civilian could ever be superior to a military person.

3 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, did you, in June, take part in

4 preparations for some combat operations?

5 A. Yes, some time in early June, I went to visit

6 my family in Korcula and, when I came, Esad Ramic was

7 commander again, and I heard that preparations were

8 underway for lifting the blockade of Borci and, as an

9 operations officer, I got involved in that.

10 Q. Did the members of the HVO also take part in

11 these preparations, especially Dinko Zebic?

12 A. Yes, very much so -- practically up until the

13 last day. May I sort of expound -- not much -- I just

14 want to take you back a bit. The HVO held a very short

15 line of defence around the town of Konjic. It was in

16 the direction of the village of Bijela -- it was kind

17 of a Tactical Group, so they were given this area --

18 they were supposed to prepare it and, through their

19 connections in Croatia, they were supposed to provide a

20 certain amount of artillery pieces and ammunition and

21 all this was unfolding well up until one or two days --

22 I think it was one day before the operation at Borci

23 was to commence, because they did not get agreement

24 from their headquarters in Grude.

25 Q. Do you know who issued the command for the

Page 11372

1 operation at Borci -- did it have any codename, by the

2 way?

3 A. The Borci operation was codenamed Operation

4 Oganj. It was usual that all the operations would be

5 codenamed -- that was the practice throughout the war.

6 Q. Given the situation with the HVO, can you

7 tell me who was the commander of this operation, who

8 issued the order for the Oganj Operation?

9 A. It was the supreme command which issued this

10 order for the lifting of the blockade, and the

11 commander of the TO staff was Mr. Esad Ramic.

12 Q. How long did this operation last?

13 A. From 22 June until early August -- maybe a

14 few days into August. That was the time when there was

15 serious fighting, but we left part of our forces

16 throughout August, which engaged in combat operations

17 with the Serb forces. We left some sabotage units

18 there in order to prevent a counterattack from the

19 Serb forces from that area.

20 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, what was your duty personally

21 during this combat operation?

22 A. As I already stated, for the most part I was

23 a staff officer, and Commander Ramic, due to

24 significant problems with the HVO in Konjic at the

25 time, he had left me as an officer on duty in the

Page 11373

1 headquarters in Konjic and I was given a unit at my

2 disposal, which was accommodated in the motel in Konjic

3 and led by Mr. Seid Padalovic, who had been slightly

4 wounded in the leg during a previous attempt to lift

5 the siege of Sarajevo and could not join us for the

6 Oganj Operation, so he was left behind to assist me

7 should there be any misunderstanding with the HVO,

8 because at that time they already were attempting --

9 that is, the MUP was trying to have the MUP

10 subordinated to the Mostar MUP and they were part of

11 the Croatian Community of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

12 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you very much.

13 Mr. Tahirovic, this is enough. I am about to move to

14 another area, but this may be a good time for the lunch

15 recess?

16 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much.

17 The Trial Chamber will now rise. We will reassemble at

18 2.30.

19 (1.00 p.m.)

20 (Luncheon adjournment)






Page 11374

1 (2.32 p.m.)

2 MR. GREAVES: Before the witness is brought

3 in, I would like to address you, please, if I may.

4 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, let us hear you.

5 MR. GREAVES: I have had an opportunity to

6 speak to my client over the luncheon adjournment and

7 I am instructed to address your Honours concerning what

8 has happened today. The defendant asserts that he is

9 unwell, that during the course of today he has

10 requested on four separate occasions medical treatment,

11 but that that has been denied to him. He asserts that

12 he has been brought here under protest and that he does

13 not wish to be here. He asserts that, during the

14 course of today, he has sought but been refused contact

15 with his legal advisers and, as a result of that, is

16 going to resort to other measures, which I suspect will

17 involve him refusing to take food and so on.

18 Your Honour will know, because I have asked

19 for the relevant documentation to be placed before you,

20 that a doctor has seen him and has diagnosed that he

21 has a medical condition of some severity, so plainly

22 there is a medical problem that he has.

23 He sought medical treatment and, if there is

24 any question over whether or not he is physically fit

25 to attend, that is a matter which ought to be dealt

Page 11375

1 with before these proceedings continue further. If --

2 and I say this with utmost of respect -- if your

3 Honours decide to continue before that position had

4 been established and it was later discovered that he is

5 in fact suffering from a medical condition today, a

6 grave injustice might be caused by continuing the

7 proceedings in his presence in his present condition.

8 As regards last night's visit to the

9 Tribunal, he complains -- sorry, by the Registry, he

10 complains of two matters. Firstly, that when he was

11 visited, he asked immediately to be spoken to in the

12 presence of his lawyers. The meeting continued

13 thereafter, and, on the face of it, he having requested

14 the presence of his lawyers, the meeting should not

15 have continued.

16 He further protests that he was at the time

17 -- had had some medication and was not in a fit state

18 to be interviewed by anybody. He pointed this out and

19 again asked for his lawyers and that was not done.

20 I am very concerned that this is a matter that should

21 not get out of hand in any way. I am very anxious that

22 the greatest of care be taken before any further step

23 to cajole him or coerce him in any way is taken,

24 because that may prove to be counterproductive. I said

25 yesterday and I repeat again today, that it is

Page 11376

1 desirable that this problem can be resolved in other

2 ways, if at all possible, but I anticipate that there

3 may come a time, possibly during today, when I am

4 instructed and my learned friend is instructed to seek

5 redress either from your Honours or from the President

6 of the Tribunal.

7 I do not want that to sound like a threat to

8 your Honours -- it is not intended to be. I am simply

9 telling your Honours what the position may be during

10 the course of today. I hope that this matter does not

11 get further out of hand. That is my earnest desire,

12 but of course I must abide by the instructions which

13 I am given by my client and put those forward to your

14 Honours as fearlessly as I may and I shall do that,

15 with due courtesy to your Honours. Is there anything

16 upon which I can assist you?

17 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: No, if you have

18 finished, you can take your seat. I am surprised that

19 you could even get up to say these things for so many

20 reasons. I assumed, as counsel, your client was acting

21 under your advice. When you advise your client to stay

22 out of the proceedings and still to reserve his right

23 to be present and not to waive that right, you give no

24 choice to the Trial Chamber other than --

25 MR. GREAVES: Your Honour --

Page 11377

1 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Please! I am speaking

2 -- I did not disturb you. When you have given him

3 that advice and you come to the Trial Chamber to tell

4 the Trial Chamber that anybody is coercing him and

5 there are some other ways of dealing with that type of

6 advice by counsel, you may take your objections to

7 wherever you like. The Trial Chamber has both a moral

8 and legal obligation to your client, to the country,

9 and to the universe at large and to all involving the

10 administration of justice. We do not expect a bigoted

11 attitude would compel us to be unfair to the other

12 accused persons.

13 I have read the medical report. If there is

14 any need to make the accused stay away, the doctor

15 would have said it. I think you have a copy -- the

16 doctor prescribed treatment -- pain killers and a

17 corset for the lumbar region and that sort of thing.

18 If these are the remedies and he has taken them,

19 I suppose that should be sufficient for the purposes,

20 but, in any event, that is not the issue.

21 No application was made to this Trial Chamber

22 on medical grounds that the accused was staying away.

23 As far as the Trial Chamber is concerned, he has to be

24 here. If he does not want to be here, he can nominate

25 his counsel to stay on his behalf, and listen to the

Page 11378

1 evidence. But, when there is satisfactory medical

2 evidence enabling him to stay away, we will respect it,

3 but not for the time being.

4 Forget your threats -- they mean nothing as

5 far as the law is concerned. We are obeying the law

6 which we know and we will obey it to its letter.

7 I think that is all the Trial Chamber wants to say

8 about this matter. I do not want to --

9 MR. GREAVES: I really must correct one thing

10 that your Honour has said. Nothing that I have said

11 this afternoon should be construed as suggesting that

12 I have advised my client to stay out of court. That is

13 simply not true and if your Honour thinks that, then

14 I would very, very much like your Honour to withdraw

15 the suggestion. I have not done that; I would not do

16 so, and your Honour is incorrect about that.

17 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: As I said, as a judge

18 sitting here, I do not go into argument with counsel --

19 normally, I do not.

20 MR. GREAVES: I just want to correct your

21 Honour's impression.

22 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: As I have told you,

23 every reasonable inference suggests that that is what

24 has happened. In any event, I said I do not argue with

25 counsel.

Page 11379

1 MR. GREAVES: I really do not want to argue

2 about it. I just want to correct the impression that

3 your Honour may have derived --

4 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I have had enough of

5 it. Ms. Residovic, will you call your witness?

6 (The witness entered court)

7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You may proceed.

8 Kindly inform him he is still on his oath.

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

10 are still under oath.

11 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you, your Honours.

12 Mr. Tahirovic, have you had a short rest?

13 A. Yes, thank you.

14 Q. Before the break, if you remember, we started

15 talking about Operation Oganj and you testified before

16 their Honours that the commander of that operation was

17 Esad Ramic and that you stayed behind as the officer on

18 duty in the municipal staff in the town of Konjic.

19 Will you please tell me whether, in the course of that

20 operation, was any change made regarding the commander

21 of the operation?

22 A. Some time in July, the second half of July,

23 the commander Esad Ramic had a slight injury and he

24 went to Split for treatment and he was replaced by the

25 chief of staff, Midhat Cerovac.

Page 11380

1 Q. In that period of more than a month that the

2 operation took, as you testified before court, did you

3 personally go to the area of combat operations?

4 A. After two of our offensives in the area of

5 Prenj Mountain failed, Commander Ramic, some time in

6 the first half of July -- I do not know exactly,

7 somewhere around 10 July, I received orders to go with

8 the unit, a company of about 90 men, to go to the area

9 of Mount Prenj -- to be more precise, a position called

10 Tisovica, and because there was a danger of a

11 breakthrough by Serb forces from that side, and the

12 possibility that they could cut communications between

13 the village of Idbar and the village of Celebici,

14 defence lines had to be positioned between Zelena Kapa

15 and Zelena Glava.

16 Q. Those details were probably very important

17 for the defence of Konjic, but in view of this case and

18 this Trial Chamber, I would like to ask you,

19 Mr. Tahirovic, since you were the officer on duty in

20 Konjic and for a time you also went to the area of

21 combat operations, could you tell us whether Mr. Zejnil

22 Delalic participated in the Operation Oganj?

23 A. I know that Zejnil Delalic, in the Operation

24 Oganj, held the position of a logistics man at the

25 position Oganj 1.

Page 11381

1 Q. And where was this position?

2 A. At Vranjske Stijene, and I had contact with

3 him several times by radio link, when he asked me, in

4 connection with uniforms that had arrived a day or two

5 before, to distribute those uniforms, as Major Kevric

6 was not around, that I should distribute those uniforms

7 to members of the anti-aircraft defence, who were

8 supposed to reach Vranjske Stijene, to protect that

9 position and other areas against the possibility of

10 Serb air attacks.

11 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, do you know whether Mr. Zejnil

12 Delalic, at any point in time from 27 June when this

13 operation started until its completion, as you said at

14 the beginning of August, was a commander of that

15 operation, or did he take over a command function in

16 the course of those combat activities?

17 A. As far as I know, he did not on any occasion.

18 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, let me be even more precise.

19 In view of the functions that you had, would it be

20 possible for you not to be aware of that fact?

21 A. I think that should not have been possible.

22 Q. Thank you. You were very precise when you

23 told us the dates of this Operation Oganj, but let me

24 go back a little to previous questions, because I did

25 not hear the dates of the Operation Donje Selo and the

Page 11382

1 other operation for the liberation of Bradina?

2 A. The Donje Selo operation took place on 20 May

3 and the Bradina operation immediately after this one,

4 that is, on 25 May.

5 Q. Before the break, you also said that you know

6 that Mr. Zejnil Delalic was appointed the coordinator

7 between the war presidency and the defence forces. As

8 a member of the staff, can you tell us whether, in that

9 capacity, Zejnil Delalic was authorised to issue orders

10 to the army and to make appointments of military or

11 other persons?

12 A. No.

13 Q. Could you also tell us whether you know if,

14 or, rather, what was the role of the war presidency in

15 the initial period with respect to the choice of a

16 commander of the Territorial Defence?

17 A. According to the law, or, rather, before the

18 war, the presidency of the municipality would propose

19 the commander and his appointment would be made by the

20 republic staff of the TO, later in the main staff of

21 the Territorial Defence, that is, our supreme command.

22 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, do you know whether, in any

23 period of time during 1992, the war presidency had the

24 competence and actually carried out the appointment of

25 commanders of the Territorial Defence of

Page 11383

1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, later the army?

2 A. Appointments -- no.

3 Q. Thank you. Mr. Tahirovic, will you please

4 tell me do you know whether, at some time in 1992,

5 Mr. Zejnil Delalic was appointed to a command military

6 position?

7 A. In 1992?

8 Q. Yes, in 1992.

9 A. Yes, at the end of July he was appointed

10 commander of TG1.

11 Q. Do you know who was the previous commander

12 and where that Tactical Group was based?

13 A. Yes, I did know that. It was Mustafa Polutak

14 and the Tactical Group was based in the area of

15 Pazarici, the municipality of Hadzici, actually in

16 Pazarici.

17 Q. Before the break, referring to your position

18 in the TO Konjic staff in July, you said that the late

19 Seid Padalovic was with you and who participated with

20 you in the battles at Tinovo Brdo. I am asking you in

21 that connection whether you knew any units from Konjic,

22 while the commander of Tactical Group 1 was Mustafa

23 Polutak, were engaged or subordinated to the Tactical

24 Group and its commander?

25 A. Yes, around the middle of June under the

Page 11384

1 command of the late Seid Padalovic, a unit of about 200

2 men was subordinated to the command of TG1, and it was

3 used in the direction of Pazaric, Tinovo Brdo, Hadzici,

4 when we lost several fighters and, as I said myself,

5 Seid Padalovic himself suffered a slight wound in that

6 operation.

7 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, can you tell us, during that

8 operation, when the late Padalovic was subordinated to

9 the command of TG1 Mustafa Polutak, to whom were the

10 remaining units that remained in Konjic subordinated?

11 A. The TO units to the municipal staff of the

12 TO, HVO units to the HVO staff and the MUP units to the

13 police station of Konjic -- to the MUP station.

14 Q. You said you know personally that Mr. Zejnil

15 Delalic became commander of Tactical Group 1 at the end

16 of July. Tell me, please, after that appointment, did

17 Mr. Zejnil Delalic become superior to the municipal

18 staff of Konjic?

19 A. No. Due to the request that one of the

20 artillery pieces be moved to the area of the Tactical

21 Group, a disagreement arose, so that relations between

22 Tactical Group 1 and the municipal staff of Territorial

23 Defence in Konjic were, throughout Mr. Zejnil Delalic's

24 presence, rather strained.

25 Q. Can you tell us which artillery piece is

Page 11385

1 involved?

2 A. It is a --

3 Q. It is?

4 A. It is a 130-millimetre calibre gun, because

5 we believed that this would detract from the defence of

6 Konjic if this gun were to be transferred to the area

7 of Sarajevo.

8 Q. Who, in the end, gave you the orders in the

9 municipal staff? The orders for the gun to be moved to

10 Igman and to be placed at the disposal of Tactical

11 Group 1?

12 A. We received the order from the general staff.

13 Q. Do you know whether some units, or parts of

14 units, after the appointment of Mr. Delalic as commander

15 of Tactical Group 1, were subordinated to Mr. Delalic,

16 or some other commanders in the areas of the fighting

17 for lifting the siege of Sarajevo?

18 A. Not to Tactical Group 1, but in the Operation

19 Jug, they were subordinated to Tactical Group 2, which

20 was attacking from Mount Igman in the direction of

21 Trnovo. Our units participated in that operation, the

22 operation of the liberation of Trnovo, under the

23 command of Captain Zlatan Redzic.

24 Q. How is it you know this?

25 A. I personally worked on the preparation of

Page 11386

1 those units and their despatch to combat assignments.

2 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, in this period of time, after

3 Zejnil Delalic's appointment as commander of Tactical

4 Group 1, tell me, the units that were not subordinated

5 to him or to the commander of Tactical Group 2 and

6 remained in Konjic, who were they subordinated to?

7 A. You mean under whose command they were?

8 Q. Yes.

9 A. Well, let me see -- the defence lines for the

10 town of Konjic, throughout the war, were never less

11 than 100 kilometres, so that we had constant combat

12 operations and all those units were under the command

13 of the municipal staff of the Territorial Defence of

14 Konjic, which later become the army, as of August.

15 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, if you remember, before the

16 break you spoke about the fact that, in that period,

17 the municipal staff sought to warn or brief troops

18 regarding the need to respect civilians and other

19 inhabitants and to brief them regarding the rules of

20 warfare. Let me ask you first whether, between the

21 period of mobilisation in April and the beginning of

22 combat, did the municipal staff have time to send

23 troops for special training?

24 A. Throughout the duration of the war, and

25 particularly in that period, we made a point of having

Page 11387

1 a mobile unit, which would also undergo training and

2 which could, at any point in time, assist our units in

3 any particular part of the front. Later on, when we

4 were able to form sabotage and reconnaissance units --

5 we formed two of them, A0004 and Sejdo's Tigers -- and

6 those units, together with other units, were always

7 trained and prepared for combat.

8 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. Mr. Tahirovic, in

9 connection with what you have said, would you look at

10 these two documents, since you said yourself that you

11 worked on the drafting of these documents, so could you

12 tell us something about them?

13 These have already been admitted into

14 evidence -- D145/1, third volume, V-D/18 and V-D/20.

15 I have a sufficient number of copies for the Trial

16 Chamber and the Prosecution. (Handed).

17 A. These do not seem to me documents linked to

18 this question.

19 Q. Yes, let me ask you a question.

20 A. This is an order on interrogation and a

21 checkpoint. Maybe there is an error, or maybe I did

22 not understand your question.

23 MS. RESIDOVIC: Perhaps my question is not

24 clear enough.

25 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Are you still pursuing

Page 11388

1 this -- if you find it has no relevance to the question

2 you asked him...

3 MS. RESIDOVIC: I will rephrase my question,

4 perhaps I did not put it properly, so the witness did

5 not understand me.

6 I wanted to ask you, Mr. Tahirovic, whether,

7 through your orders, regardless of what they referred

8 to, did you repeatedly draw attention to the need for

9 respect of the law and a humane treatment of all

10 persons -- that you gave me more detailed answers

11 regarding combat units but I am asking you whether you

12 are familiar with these two documents?

13 A. Yes, only I did not understand the question

14 at first. If your question is whether, throughout the

15 war we even wrote leaflets and gave every fighter when

16 going into combat instructions so that no undesirable

17 consequences should occur, such as looting or

18 mistreatment of civilians, we always sought to respect

19 the provisions of the Geneva Conventions, which I, as

20 somebody working in the health sector, are quite

21 familiar with.

22 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, I have given you only two

23 documents that have been annexed to the expert report

24 and my question is whether you recognise these

25 documents as documents issued by the joint command of

Page 11389

1 the TO and the HVO?

2 A. I do.

3 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. Since the

4 documents have been recognised by the witness, who has

5 confirmed the truthfulness of the contents, I will not

6 tender them into evidence at this stage, but I think

7 that, in a certain way, they corroborate the views of

8 the expert witness, so I just wanted the Trial Chamber

9 to know that this witness is personally familiar with

10 these documents.

11 MR. NIEMANN: We are at a bit of a

12 disadvantage. There was discussion of two documents --

13 we have been given only one, 15 June 1992.

14 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I do not think counsel

15 is proceeding with it.

16 MR. NIEMANN: I just did not know what it

17 was.

18 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I do not see its

19 relevance of what was said. Merely because he drafted

20 a document means you have to tender it?

21 JUDGE JAN: He might have drafted it.


23 MR. NIEMANN: I was not questioning that.

24 I did not have the other copy. I asked counsel could

25 I please have it because I could not follow what was

Page 11390

1 going on. I think Madam Residovic may have the other

2 copy.

3 MS. RESIDOVIC: Yes, I do have another copy

4 and I said it was D145/1, and I think that both were

5 shown to the witness, and he has already commented on

6 both documents, which was quite sufficient for the

7 Defence at this stage. I apologise if the usher did

8 not give everyone the other document as well.

9 THE REGISTRAR: We did not receive copies

10 of the other document.

11 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You may proceed. At

12 least you have nothing to connect this one -- if you

13 have the second document, let us have it.

14 MS. RESIDOVIC: I gave the second document

15 just now. I apologise for not having given it to your

16 Honours. I have already mentioned its number. My

17 question to the witness was linked to orders given by

18 the staff regarding strict respect of legality. He has

19 recognised the documents and given his answers, because

20 I would like you to see the documents, because his

21 answers applied to both documents which were in the

22 hands of the witness.

23 At the same time, I must apologise to the

24 Trial Chamber, because I am trying to focus my

25 questions as much as possible, for delaying a little

Page 11391

1 bit, because I am trying to group the questions so as

2 to avoid any unnecessary repetition.

3 Mr. Tahirovic, could you please answer a few

4 questions having to do with the development of the

5 army, or, rather, the Territorial Defence and the army

6 in Konjic itself.

7 JUDGE JAN: Do you not think we have enough

8 material about that already on the record -- the

9 development of the army in Konjic? We are more

10 concerned with the role played by Zejnil Delalic in the

11 area -- nothing more than that. Why burden the record

12 unnecessarily with details which are of no use to us in

13 determining the question of guilt or innocence of your

14 client?

15 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honour --

16 JUDGE JAN: You can ask him about his role

17 as a tactical commander, what connection he had with

18 the TO, you can ask him when orders issued placing all

19 formations under the control of Zejnil Delalic, what

20 that really meant? That is what we are concerned about

21 -- we are not concerned with the formation of the

22 Bosnian army or the army in Konjic.

23 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, if I understood

24 you well, I am doing my best to present facts to the

25 Trial Chamber, through witnesses who were direct

Page 11392

1 participants, about all the things that may be of

2 assistance when making a decision. You have a certain

3 number of facts before you regarding the position of

4 the coordinator, the development of the army and so on

5 that we have heard.

6 JUDGE JAN: That, we have got, and we have

7 also got from him that Zejnil Delalic had nothing to do

8 with the TO, except as a coordinator with the war

9 presidency, or with the MUP. This witness has said

10 that. Unless as a tactical commander he had any role

11 to play in the Celebici camp -- if you can succeed in

12 that, that is your case.

13 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You should know the

14 scope of the indictment and how it concerns your

15 client.

16 MS. RESIDOVIC: That is precisely, your

17 Honours, what I have in mind and many of the documents

18 tendered by the Prosecutor, which you consider to be

19 relevant -- in order for you to be able to know whether

20 they are relevant or not, an eye-witness of these

21 events must tell you what he knows about these things.

22 If you know how the various companies were formed,

23 perhaps you will be able to decide. I cannot testify

24 on behalf of the witness, as you know very well.

25 Perhaps this witness knows how the organisation in

Page 11393

1 Konjic was formed and this may give you a better

2 insight to be able to decide whether any stage existed

3 or not at all that you have heard about.

4 We want you to know the facts, but of course

5 it is up to you to judge those facts. That is my

6 approach to the presentation of my case.

7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much.

8 You might help us better if you can tell us, when TG1

9 was formed, how he got his own men for the TG1, and how

10 they were deployed, and how they affected the Celebici

11 prison and areas in which he was charged to be

12 responsible. These are the things that are of concern

13 -- whether there were people who remained in the

14 territory has nothing to do with it. The composition

15 of the membership of TG1 and their deployment is what

16 concerns us.

17 JUDGE JAN: (INAUDIBLE) of the Celebici camp

18 came under the TG1.

19 MS. RESIDOVIC: I have not heard any evidence

20 to that effect. That is why I am asking these

21 witnesses about what they know. Your Honours, the

22 indictment does not charge my client as the commander

23 of Tactical Group 1, but, rather, that from the end of

24 May he coordinated the forces of the Bosnian Croats and

25 Bosnian Muslims and that, as a coordinator and later as

Page 11394

1 commander of Tactical Group 1, was a person of superior

2 authority. Therefore, the scope of the indictment is

3 so broad that the Defence cannot narrow down the

4 presentation of facts for you to be able to rule

5 whether that is so or not.

6 That is all I am trying to say. The

7 indictment has not -- does not allow me to be more

8 concise. The indictment is broad and that is why

9 I have to present my case in such a way, too, that you

10 are able to make your judgement. It is much simpler for

11 me to ask the witness whether he entered hangar 6 or

12 did not. The indictment is very broad in scope

13 regarding my client. I had more than 100 questions --

14 I have already skipped over 40 so as not to confuse

15 you, but there are some essential things that I think I

16 have to ask this witness. Thank you.

17 I also have a responsibility towards the

18 witness and particularly towards the Trial Chamber, so,

19 please, be very brief and tell the Trial Chamber very

20 briefly, from the moment of mobilisation, how the

21 forces of Territorial Defence in Konjic were organised,

22 so please be concise and clear for the benefit of all

23 of us, as we are not all military men here.

24 A. First of all, we started from detachments on

25 the left- and right-hand of Neretva. This developed

Page 11395

1 into Konjic 1 and Konjic 2, then battalions started to

2 be formed and, in August, there was an attempt to form

3 a brigade, the 111th Brigade of Konjic. However, that

4 attempt failed. It was successful, however, in

5 November, when we succeeded in forming brigades in the

6 territory around Konjic, and that was also the time

7 when the corps was established, and thereby the process

8 of formation of the army in the area of Herzegovina was

9 completed.

10 But the municipal staff remained in effect

11 until 8 January 1994 -- it remained operational.

12 Q. I think you have indeed been concise and

13 clear at least as far as I am concerned, but, in the

14 process of development from detachments through

15 battalions to brigades, was there a stage of

16 development of the Territorial Defence or the army that

17 could have been called a "coordinator" stage?

18 A. A coordinator stage in the development of the

19 army means nothing. As such, it did not exist.

20 A coordinator is something done by the civilian

21 authority to facilitate contact with us, because we did

22 not have the necessary resources. We did not have our

23 own warehouses, we needed a coordinator to assist us

24 with supplies and logistics -- because we did not have

25 money, either, so gradually this developed and in the

Page 11396

1 second half of the war we reached a stage when we were

2 able to have our own warehouses and when a unit would

3 be issued equipment upon its own request.

4 Q. I asked you earlier on, and now I understand,

5 that a coordinator is no "stage", but, as Mr. Delalic

6 was appointed by the war presidency a coordinator, did

7 he have the authority to issue orders to the army, or

8 to appoint other persons?

9 A. I do not know how the word "coordinator" is

10 understood here, but, for us, it was easy to

11 understand. It is a person who coordinates, who

12 assists, who bridges between two points, linking

13 certain structures, and all through the war we had some

14 kind of coordinators. If I may, for instance, in a

15 stage when I was a commander, because there was no

16 possibility of coordination, we agreed that, as we

17 already had two brigades and the staff, we, once a

18 week, had meetings at which we would review our

19 problems, distribute resources, so we either had to

20 meet, or somebody had to link these activities.

21 Because of the combat operations we needed to have

22 someone who would link all this together, and make it

23 possible for us to perform our basic duties and to

24 carry out our fundamental tasks and those were the

25 defence of Konjic.

Page 11397

1 Q. Just a moment, please. The municipality, did

2 it have obligations and responsibilities in the

3 preparation of combat operations, to assist you with

4 logistics and in other ways?

5 A. We had no other source. We did not have

6 depots. As you probably know, all our warehouses and

7 armament were destroyed and we did not have food

8 storage space, either.

9 Q. This is not the way that I should put this

10 question, but the coordinator did not have any right to

11 issue orders to military bodies; did I understand you

12 well?

13 A. Yes, you did understand me well -- he had no

14 right to issue orders.

15 Q. Before the break, when we discussed the

16 liberation of Bradina, you told us that you know, even

17 though that is not within your area of responsibility,

18 that some of the persons arrested were detained in

19 Musala and some in the Celebici barracks. Can you

20 please tell me whether you know who decided, and why,

21 to put these persons in that particular place?

22 A. I think, because it was their obligation to

23 detain, then it must have been their responsibility,

24 too, the HVO and the MUP. As I said, some of them were

25 already there. That is the reason why I did not agree

Page 11398

1 to be commander of the barracks, because in part of the

2 barracks, there was a prison.

3 Q. After these persons were detained, did you

4 know as a member of the TO staff that an investigating

5 commission had been established which was supposed to

6 investigate the treatment of these detainees?

7 A. Yes, I know that this commission had been

8 established.

9 Q. Who was its President?

10 A. It was Goran Lokas, who, at that time, was

11 the security officer in the joint command.

12 Q. Did you ever receive any report in the staff

13 from this commission about the treatment of the

14 interrogated persons?

15 A. As far as I know, we did not.

16 Q. Did you, at any time, see any report

17 regarding the problems which the investigating

18 commission encountered?

19 A. No.

20 Q. Did you find out, that is, did someone tell

21 you anything about some alleged mistreatment of the

22 prisoners at Celebici?

23 A. No, on the contrary, from what I know, many

24 citizens of Konjic complained that they were treated

25 almost better than they were -- they were eating the

Page 11399

1 same food, they were protected from shelling, they did

2 nothing, et cetera.

3 Q. Very well, you answered my question, you have

4 no knowledge of that, but, Mr. Tahirovic, regarding 18

5 May, that is the date when you started working in the

6 joint command, from that date on until November 1992,

7 did you have any personal communication or contact with

8 persons who either visited the prison or who may have

9 told you something about the prison? Let me be more

10 specific. Did you contact, in the month of June, or

11 did you learn in the month of June that some

12 journalists were expressing an interest to visit the

13 prison?

14 A. Yes, President Rusmir Hadzihuseinovic

15 informed me certain Arabic journalists expressed a wish

16 to visit the prison. I told him that there would be no

17 problem in doing that, but that I wanted to consult

18 with my commander, and, following consultation with my

19 commander, we determined that there were no problems

20 involved in that, and I really do not know whether

21 these journalists did pay a visit there.

22 Q. Can you tell me whether you ever heard of any

23 person, or did you ever know a person who was detained

24 at Celebici?

25 A. Yes, I knew several individuals, but

Page 11400

1 throughout that period of their detention, I intervened

2 on only one occasion -- intervened on behalf of one of

3 the persons, and I talked to Sadik Dzumhur, called

4 Diksa and he gave me some information that someone from

5 the family of the MUP members, who were killed, wanted

6 to do harm to Miro Golubovic and the sister of Miro

7 Golubovic worked with my wife and I knew them well, so

8 I got in touch with Cerovac, who at that time had taken

9 over the command from Mr. Ramic, and he told me that

10 there was no problem there, that I should only send him

11 certain forms to his command post, which I did, and

12 I know that Mr. Miro was released after that.

13 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, did you personally ever enter,

14 or did you come near the premises where the prisoners

15 were being kept?

16 A. I came to Celebici several times, but

17 I always went just over to these tunnels. I see that

18 there is a model of Celebici there.

19 Q. Could you please point to us where did you

20 go?

21 A. Here is the gate. I was going down this road

22 (witness indicates on the model with pointer) and

23 I went to these tunnels and there was an ammunition

24 warehouse there -- an ammunition depot. I am sorry,

25 I guess nobody can hear, so my apologies -- I forgot

Page 11401

1 about the microphone. I took this upper road and came

2 to these two tunnels. There was equipment being kept

3 there of the municipal headquarters -- supplies

4 equipment and ammunition and this is where we would

5 take our supplies and this is from where we would send

6 them to the lines of defence (witness indicates with

7 pointer on model) and it was only on one occasion --

8 I believe that this was an OSCE team, so it was only

9 then that I came to Celebici on orders of Commander

10 Ramic -- I believe this was in August.

11 I went both to Celebici and to Musala, and

12 Major Kevric also accompanied us also, on the orders of

13 Commander Ramic, and then we took this lower road

14 (witness indicates with pointer on model) and we went

15 to the structure, the hangar marked with the letter "E"

16 and that is where the prisoners were kept.

17 When we brought these gentlemen from the

18 OSCE, once we were there, they asked us to step outside

19 of the hangar so that they could talk to the prisoners

20 alone, which we did. Then the same procedure took

21 place at Musala, except that Major Kevric did not go

22 there with me; I went there alone with the group.

23 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, when you brought this

24 commission, you do not recall exactly whether this was

25 OSCE or whatever it was, but did you go into the

Page 11402

1 hangar 6 and did you see in what condition these

2 detained persons were?

3 A. Yes, as I told you, we came inside and the

4 prisoners were lined up. Behind them were blankets and

5 they stood in front of them -- lined up around the

6 walls of the hangar, we stayed there a very short time

7 and then we stepped out and, if I may add, the driver

8 who brought these gentlemen, he said, "Look at them,

9 the way they look, like actors. You should see how our

10 own look like."

11 Q. So who was this driver?

12 A. He I think was the driver of the HVO police

13 from Mostar, I believe -- not a driver; it was like an

14 escort. They had escorts.

15 Q. Did this commission ask you about the prison

16 authorities or the persons responsible for these

17 detainees?

18 A. As far as I know, there was a brief meeting

19 in our command headquarters, and I do not know, but

20 personally I was not asked this.

21 Q. When they finished the visit, did they tell

22 you what impressions they had, or did they tell you

23 anything or how did you understand whether this

24 delegation was satisfied or not -- but let me not ask

25 you too much; what did this delegation tell you?

Page 11403

1 A. They did not say anything, but, based on

2 their expressions on their faces, they seemed to be

3 very happy with what they found, both at Celebici and

4 at Musala.

5 Q. Since you entered the hangar at that time,

6 can you tell me, did the prisoners have blankets?

7 A. Yes, as I explained, the blankets were lined

8 up against the walls of the hangars and the prisoners

9 were standing in front of these blankets, also lined up

10 all along the walls and so the blankets were behind

11 them.

12 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, let me go back to some issues

13 that the Trial Chamber is paying particular attention

14 to. You mentioned that you intervened on behalf of

15 Miro Golubovic -- that was an unusual way, out of the

16 ordinary way of effecting release of certain prisoners;

17 is that right?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. During the period of time when Zejnil Delalic

20 was a coordinator, before he became a commander of the

21 TG, as a coordinator, do you know whether Zejnil

22 Delalic had any position of superiority regarding the

23 prison?

24 A. No, he could not have had one, as far as

25 I know, so, no.

Page 11404

1 Q. Can you please tell me, since the Trial

2 Chamber is directing us to clarify the issue of the

3 Tactical Group, how many soldiers from Konjic were

4 subordinated to these Tactical Groups 1 and 2, if you

5 know?

6 A. This was not the case throughout this time.

7 I think it was just, for instance, for the Operation

8 South -- Operation Jug -- I think there was one company

9 which was assigned to it and, from what I know, it was

10 the only time, and they were assigned to the Tactical

11 Group 2, which was engaged in an attempt to liberate

12 the town of Trnovo.

13 Q. Very well. You gave us a sufficient

14 explanation regarding the late Mr. Padalovic and I am

15 not going to go back to that, but let me ask you this,

16 Mr. Tahirovic: was any soldier belonging to Tactical

17 Group 1, whose commander was Mr. Zejnil Delalic -- were

18 any of these soldiers on the staff of the Celebici

19 prison?

20 A. As far as I know, no.

21 Q. Could it be that you may not know? Do you

22 know any person from the Celebici prison who was a

23 soldier of the Tactical Group 1?

24 A. I believe no soldiers were members of the

25 Tactical Group 1.

Page 11405

1 Q. Not even during the period when Mr. Polutak

2 was the commander?

3 A. No.

4 Q. Thank you. According to what you know, did

5 the Tactical Group 1 have any authority over the

6 prisons?

7 A. A Tactical Group is a provisional formation.

8 It is established only to carry out certain tasks.

9 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, do you know what the task of

10 the Tactical Group 1 was?

11 A. Yes, I do know. It was the lifting of the

12 siege of Sarajevo from the direction of Hadzici -- that

13 is what we called this direction.

14 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, were you ever a soldier of

15 Tactical Group 1?

16 A. No.

17 Q. Were you ever a member of the command of the

18 Tactical Group 1?

19 A. No.

20 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, do you know anything about the

21 activities of the court in Konjic; did the court in

22 Konjic work at that time?

23 A. No, it was not working. We kept insisting on

24 the court being made operational, but they were not in

25 a position to do that.

Page 11406

1 Q. Do you know that this was the reason why your

2 staff contacted the supreme command staff, in order to

3 move the prisoners to Zenica?

4 A. Yes, I do know that. We got in touch with

5 the staff of the supreme command. We asked that the

6 prisoners from Celebici be transferred, either to

7 Zenica or Mostar, and it was suggested to us that we

8 move them to Zenica. However, for objective reasons,

9 that is because of the HVO, we could not transfer them

10 either to Zenica or to Mostar.

11 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Ms. Residovic, let us

12 clarify this. How did the group, that is the

13 territorial army, how did you exercise control over the

14 prisons, that is, moving prisoners to somewhere else --

15 how did you get to do that.

16 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, we tried, through

17 the supreme command staff, to resolve the issue of the

18 Celebici prisoners -- to use either buses or trucks,

19 and then to transport them to Zenica, because Zenica

20 had a large district prison facility where these

21 persons could be housed, and where appropriate

22 investigation could be conducted, as well as

23 appropriate trials.

24 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: From whom did you take

25 over control -- who was organising or controlling the

Page 11407

1 prisons at the time that you took over this duty, to

2 transfer the prisoners to somewhere else?

3 THE WITNESS: We did not take over the duty

4 to transport the prisoners. These prisoners were a

5 ballast to us in Konjic, because we ourselves did not

6 have enough food at that time, and we could not provide

7 them with adequate accommodation or conditions of life

8 that we thought that they ought to have.

9 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Who was looking after

10 them at the time you stepped into it, to transfer them

11 to somewhere else? Were they just there alone,

12 abandoned and nobody was looking after them?

13 THE WITNESS: I do not know to what degree

14 you are understanding what I am saying. We did not go

15 there; we asked, in writing, of the command to have

16 them transferred. At that time, the security of the

17 Celebici prison was provided by the Territorial Defence

18 forces. They kept changing. For a while, it was the

19 HVO, for the while it was the MUP and then it was the

20 TO, so at that time we were the ones providing security

21 for the entire Celebici compound.

22 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: There was a time when

23 the Territorial Defence was controlling the Celebici

24 prison -- you were in control at some point.

25 THE WITNESS: We received an order from the

Page 11408

1 supreme command staff to speed up the process of the

2 interrogation of these people. We said that we were

3 not able to do that, and instead we asked that they be

4 transferred and that then this be done either in Zenica

5 or in Mostar.

6 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, let me help

7 you.

8 Do you remember what period of time this was,

9 the relevant period that the judges are asking about?

10 A. I believe this would be in September 1992 --

11 either August or September of 1992.

12 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: That is alright.

13 I will leave the rest for cross-examination. They will

14 be able to find these things out, perhaps.

15 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, I have actually

16 concluded my examination of this witness, and I tried

17 to follow your suggestion and directions of yesterday,

18 so that we could at least complete this portion of this

19 witness's testimony before 4 o'clock this afternoon.

20 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much.

21 Is there any cross-examination of this witness?

22 MR. OLUJIC: Yes, your Honour. May it please

23 the court.

24 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You may proceed.

25 Cross-examined by MR. OLUJIC

Page 11409

1 Q. Thank you.

2 Good afternoon, Mr. Tahirovic. I am the

3 Defence counsel for Mr. Zdravko Mucic. I will have a

4 few questions for you, because I can tell that you are

5 very familiar with the situation in Konjic around

6 Konjic and as regards the camp, that is, the prison.

7 Professor, you are professor of All People's

8 Defence and you showed, during your examination, that

9 you are very well versed in military matters; is that

10 true?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Can you tell me, did Bosnia-Herzegovina have

13 enough time to prepare for its defence in early 1992,

14 given the fact that it did not want the war?

15 A. It was very difficult and it went with a lot

16 of effort and I believe that we nevertheless were able

17 to prepare, but rather due to the hearts and courage of

18 people rather than materiel and equipment that we had

19 at the time.

20 Q. How were you able to do so without being

21 attacked by the JNA?

22 A. I am sorry, I did not understand you well.

23 Q. Professor, let me put it this way: was the

24 JNA the body that actually was arming the Serbs in

25 order to carry out its attack on Bosnia-Herzegovina?

Page 11410

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. How many soldiers, including the reservists

3 from Serbia and Montenegro did come to

4 Bosnia-Herzegovina after the defeats in Slovenia and

5 Croatia?

6 A. At least two corps arrived -- I believe it

7 was one from Slovenia -- it was the so-called 5th or

8 7th Army District. I think the 5th was in Zagreb, so

9 the entire corps came from Croatia, so, according to

10 the number of personnel that a corps should have, there

11 should have been somewhere between 30,000 and 50,000

12 people, so one corps is about 17,000 to 20,000 strong

13 and, if you add the reservists from Montenegro who, so

14 to speak, had flooded the whole area at the time, you

15 could probably come up with a figure of 50,000.

16 MR. OLUJIC: Could you also say that the JNA

17 did take away weapons from the Territorial Defence,

18 wherever it managed to do so?

19 JUDGE JAN: We already have enough evidence

20 on that. Witnesses have said from both sides the JNA

21 was arming the local Serbs, the JNA was initially

22 involved in all these -- in the conflict. We already

23 have enough evidence of that. In fact, the experts

24 told us 80,000 troops of the JNA were there until

25 Serbia and Montenegro declared to withdraw from Bosnia,

Page 11411

1 but they left their soldiers of Bosnian extraction

2 there with all the equipment. We already have enough

3 evidence of that.

4 MR. OLUJIC: Yes, your Honour. However, this

5 witness is an expert witness, so to speak, because he

6 is a professor of All People's Defence, so is somebody

7 who received his education in the former State, with a

8 very high degree of military expertise, and since part

9 of the indictment concerns the violation of Conventions

10 and the treatment of the prisoners and their status in

11 the prison, I thought that it may be necessary for me

12 to clarify. I am not suggesting that we are hearing

13 this for the first time, but I am trying to elucidate

14 this. Anyway, I am grateful to you for your

15 intervention and I am going to move on to another area.

16 Professor, could we say that the villagers of

17 Bradina and Donje Selo were very well armed, with good

18 quality weapons?

19 JUDGE JAN: And also very strategic points.

20 We have heard evidence.

21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

22 JUDGE JAN: (INAUDIBLE) to Sarajevo, Donje

23 Selo and Bradina. Bradina was right there -- I think

24 Mount Igman -- it was a passage. In fact, one of the

25 generals told us that, if you avoid this Igman pass,

Page 11412

1 you have to cross 12 different passes. I think General

2 Divjak told us that. This Donje Selo was controlling

3 the road to Mostar and then probably further on to the

4 sea. We have been educated enough on this matter.

5 Please go ahead.

6 MR. OLUJIC: Go ahead, professor?

7 A. I do not know if you will believe me, but I

8 forgot the question.

9 Q. The question was, were Donje Selo and Bradina

10 very well armed?

11 A. Yes, they were very well armed. This morning

12 I said they had mortars, 82-millimetre calibre, which

13 means that they had a complete set of infantry-type

14 weapons.

15 MR. OLUJIC: Very well. Your Honours, since

16 it is 4 o'clock, this might be a time for a break.

17 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: We said yesterday that

18 we will break at 4 o'clock and that we will do that

19 right now. We will reassemble at 4.30 for our status

20 conference.

21 (4 p.m.)

22 (Short adjournment) .

23 (4.40 p.m.)

24 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I think we will first

25 adjourn the proceedings to 18 May before we start our

Page 11413

1 status conference. It is better that I do that,

2 because I did not indicate the case stands adjourned,

3 so cross-examination will continue on 18 May, for those

4 who have not exercised their right of

5 cross-examination.

6 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honour, may I be allowed

7 to tell the witness that he is now free and that he may

8 leave the building of the Tribunal, because he waited

9 your decision about that.

10 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: That is correct --

11 I think this is what we will proceed to do.

12 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you -- I will thank

13 him.

14 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I think the usher will

15 definitely go to him and tell him the matter has been

16 adjourned until 18 May. Now we are in closed session

17 for the status conference.

18 (The hearing adjourned until Monday, 18th May, 1998)