Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 6755

1 Wednesday, 6 April 2005.

2 [Open session]

3 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.

4 [The accused entered court]

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you call the case, please.

6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is the case

7 number IT-03-68-T, the Prosecutor versus Naser Oric.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.

9 Good morning to you, Mr. Oric. Good morning. Can you follow the

10 proceedings in a language that you can understand?

11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. I am

12 able to follow the proceedings in my own language.

13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, thank you. Please sit down.

14 Appearances for the Prosecution.

15 MS. SELLERS: Good morning Your Honours. I'm Patricia Sellers for

16 the Office of the Prosecution. Today, co-counsel, Mr. Gramsci Di Fazio,

17 Miss Joanne Richardson are with me with me, along with our case manager,

18 Miss Donnica Henry-Frijlink. Good morning to the Defence.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Good morning to you and your team.

20 Appearances for Naser Oric.

21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. I'm is

22 Vasvija Vidovic. Together with Mr. John Jones, I represent the Defence

23 team of Mr. Naser Oric. We've got our legal assistant, Mrs. Adisa Mehic,

24 and our case manager, Mr. Geoff Roberts. Good morning to the colleagues

25 from the Prosecutor as well.

Page 6756

1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you and good morning to you and all your team.

2 I just want a feedback and what I suggested as the last thing before we

3 rose yesterday, that I suggested that you meet, the two sides, to see how

4 you're going to split the time between you for the rest of this witness's

5 testimony. Is there any information that you would like to give.

6 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, I spoke to Madam Vidovic yesterday and I

7 proposed that I occupy the time until midway through tomorrow and that

8 Madam Vidovic then have the half of Thursday, all of Friday, and finish on

9 Monday.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Is that okay with you, Madam Vidovic?

11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I suppose that I will

12 need about two days. I will do my best within those two days to complete

13 everything I have to do. But I would like to ask the Prosecution to stick

14 to that agreement as well, because unless they're finished by the end of

15 the day on Thursday, I will find myself in a very difficult situation

16 indeed.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: Obviously. Obviously. That I will impose, if

18 necessary, as we go along. I will see how it works out today and then,

19 obviously, if necessary, we will intervene tomorrow.

20 So any preliminaries? I see none. Mr. Di Fazio?

21 MR. DI FAZIO: No, no Your Honours. No preliminaries.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Madam Vidovic? None?

23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: Usher, could you please escort the witness inside

25 the courtroom.

Page 6757

1 [The witness entered court]

2 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, Mr. Meholjic. Welcome back.

3 We are going to proceed with your testimony. You are testifying under

4 oath, as I explained to you yesterday on the basis of the solemn

5 declaration that you entered. You don't need to repeat it. It's still

6 valid today and will be valid until the very last second of your

7 testimony.

8 Please take a seat and, if at any time there are problems with

9 interpretation, do attract our attention straight away.

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Di Fazio you may proceed.


13 [Witness answered through interpreter]

14 Examined by Mr. Di Fazio: [Continued]

15 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you Your Honours. Good morning,

16 Mr. Meholjic. This Trial Chamber has limited time in which to deal with

17 your evidence, and both myself and Defence counsel need to finish you as

18 you know, and as you desire, by Monday. All the more need, therefore, to

19 get through the topics fast.

20 Q. Now, let me ask you to return to the topic that you were dealing

21 with yesterday, and that was the meeting that you attended where Mr. Oric

22 was present and where there was an explanation of the events at

23 Bajramovici and Mr. Oric's position as commander of the TO.

24 You told us, I think, that you returned and discussed the issue

25 with your men, but they decided and you decided that you would not hand

Page 6758

1 over your weapons. Is that correct?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Thank you. Was this event at Bajramovici ever commemorated in the

4 years following 1992, celebrated, as best as one could, in the

5 circumstances of Srebrenica?

6 A. Well, as to whether it was marked, well, I was present on such an

7 occasion in 1995.

8 Q. I'm asking about the years in between, 1992, 1993, 1994. Was

9 it -- was it -- was it -- was the occasion ever marked annually? That's

10 what I want to know.

11 A. Not in 1992. As to 1993, I don't think so. I think it was marked

12 in 1994 for the first time and I was there in 1995. Mr. Oric was not

13 there and I think it was organised differently.

14 Q. And what, on the occasion that you attended in 1995 -- just very

15 briefly, very briefly -- tell the Trial Chamber what occurred, and its

16 connection back to this meeting in 1992 at Bajramovici.

17 A. Well, the Presidency was there, and I was a member. There was the

18 command and we all said a few words, to the effect: Time has passed.

19 What are we supposed to, you know, what conclusions to draw from it.

20 Everybody gave their point of view. And then we had a meal. I think

21 Hamdija Fejzic was the organiser doing all the preparatory work because it

22 was in his village and he prepared a meal as well and we got there.

23 Q. Thank you. That's exactly what I wanted to know. And can you

24 remember the date of this event? What I want to know is: Was it a fixed

25 date each year, or did it vary?

Page 6759

1 A. On the 15th of May.

2 Q. Thank you. All right. Now, following the meeting that you've

3 just spoken about, did you -- did you see Mr. Tursonovic again in the

4 ensuing days?

5 A. After about two days, I think two days, Asim Tepic told me that I

6 had to meet with Zulfo at Domavija.

7 Q. Did you attend that meeting?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And what was the topic of conversation? What was the main topic?

10 A. The main topic was the fact that I should accept the decision made

11 at Bajramovici and that I should go with my men and hunt deer with his men

12 and join the battalion where we would be the commanders of the companies

13 and Atim Ustic [as interpreted] would be the battalion command.

14 Q. Thank you. You say "accept the decision at Bajramovici." Was the

15 position of Mr. Oric discussed during this encounter with Zulfo

16 Tursonovic?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Was his position as commander discussed?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Was your attitude towards him as commander discussed between you

21 and Zulfo Tursonovic?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And what exactly did Mr. Tursonovic or did Mr. Tursonovic try and

24 persuade you to adopt any particular view?

25 A. Well, he said that unless it went well, things could change and it

Page 6760

1 was not a matter of my being reluctant to accept Mr. Oric. It was a

2 matter of considering the overall situation. It was very difficult to do

3 anything properly, and nothing very well. Indeed, I thought that he was

4 not up to the task.

5 Q. Thank you. Did Mr. Tursonovic indicate any view to the effect

6 that he considered you should accept Mr. Oric as commander? Was that his

7 position basically?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Thank you. And how did that encounter end? Did you make your

10 position clear, or not?

11 A. I made my position clear and I accepted Naser as commander, and I

12 accepted that my men and myself should be under Akif's command.

13 Q. Was there any discussion as to how precisely that would work out

14 and whether Hamdija Fejzic had any -- played any part in this arrangement

15 that you've just spoken of?

16 A. Well, I didn't know. I did not talk to Hamdija at that time, I

17 didn't know whether he was going to take part. But I thought that those

18 were talks that those people were having. At that meeting with Zulfo, I

19 was told that Hamdija was a member of that staff.

20 Q. Which staff in particular are you talking about?

21 A. The command of the Territorial Defence.

22 Q. Thank you. Now, you mentioned being under Akif Ustic's command.

23 What sort of command was envisaged for Mr. Akif Ustic; in other words what

24 was he going to command? A regiment? A company? Battalion? An army?

25 What precisely?

Page 6761

1 A. The battalion. Yes, the battalion.

2 Q. Okay. And how did you and Hamdija Fejzic, how were you supposed

3 to fit in, into this battalion? What part would you play in this

4 battalion?

5 A. We were like a part of this company. Everybody had their company

6 and within that structure that was the way things were. I did not get any

7 new men. I had my men and Hamdija had his men, and Akif had his men.

8 Plus, some kind of command above our level.

9 Q. Thank you. You've told us that you agreed that you accepted Naser

10 as commander, at this point of time anyway. I want to understand your

11 evidence correctly.

12 You would place yourself and your men under Mr. Akif Ustic as a

13 constituent part of his envisaged or existing battalion, and he, in turn,

14 was answerable to the Srebrenica TO. Was that your understanding?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. About how long did this arrangement last?

17 A. Very briefly. Until Akif was wounded for the first time.

18 Q. Did you decide to remove yourself from this arrangement and no

19 longer accept it?

20 A. Well, Akif was wounded and he invited us, Hamdija and myself, to

21 go and see him. He was lying in bed, in a private house, which was in the

22 old town, and it had been turned into a hospital.

23 Q. Okay. The arrangement lasted until he was wounded. Did you have

24 any -- how was his being wounded related to the termination of the

25 arrangement?

Page 6762

1 A. We went to see him and as soon as we got there some body guards

2 asked us to relinquish our weapons, as if we were -- well we were a bit

3 insulted and we were not in a good mood when we came to the meeting and we

4 asked them how it was possible for a commander of a battalion -- I mean we

5 didn't know. I was not in a position to know and I think Naser did not

6 know - that's just my opinion - didn't know about some military activity

7 that he started on his own initiative. And we were members of his own

8 battalion. We didn't know about him being in action, being involved in

9 some war activity. We thought it was unbelievable and we both reached the

10 conclusion that it was more or less a situation in which anyone could do

11 what they liked.

12 And so we left in a huff, and from that point onwards, we had

13 nothing to do with Akif.

14 Q. Thanks. Let me just quickly take you through that again.

15 Mr. Ustic had been wounded in an action, a military operation; is that

16 correct? He wasn't wounded falling down the stairs or something? He --

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Okay. You went to see him and ascertained that he had been

19 wounded in this military action.

20 A. That too. But we had been invited to the meeting. He invited us

21 to the meeting.

22 Q. So, okay.

23 A. As our superior he was in a position to do that.

24 Q. Of course. Of course. I understand that. Now you get there and

25 you find out the man has been wounded and he's been involved in a military

Page 6763

1 action. Was it the fact that you had not been informed of that

2 action that displeased you, that caused the rift?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Thank you. Can the witness be shown Exhibit P73. It's available

5 in Sanction, if Your Honours please.

6 A. I can't see anything on my screen.

7 Q. That's okay. You've got the document --

8 A. I see nothing at all on the screen.

9 Q. Don't worry. We've got the English version on our screens and

10 you've got the B/C/S version in front of you.

11 Now, my first question is: Prior to coming here to The Hague to

12 testify, had you ever seen this document before? Have a look at it.

13 A. No.

14 Q. It's dated the 20th of May, 1992. Headed by the Srebrenica TO

15 Staff. And claims to be a decision of the -- well, claims to be a

16 decision. What I'm interested in are the names in -- from 1 to 7. Mr.

17 Oric we know about, so I won't ask you about him. Start with number 2.

18 It says -- can you just read out the first name. It says -- I think this

19 is a mistake in our English. In fact, if you look at number 2 it should

20 be Akif, with a "K", correct?

21 A. Akif, yes.

22 Q. And it describes him as deputy commander of the Srebrenica TO.

23 Was that your understanding, of his position?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Number 3, Zulfo Tursonovic, from Suceska. This document claims

Page 6764

1 that he was a member of the Srebrenica TO Staff and that he, in turn,

2 organised resistance in the air yeah of Suceska. Are those facts correct,

3 or not?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Number 4, Hamdija Fejzic. It says that he's from Bajramovici. Is

6 that correct?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And was he responsible for organising some resistance in the area

9 of Bajramovici?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Number five, Sevket Djozic from Bojna. Do you know him?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And was he indeed from Bojna, and did he indeed marshal resistance

14 in Bojna?

15 A. He was from Bojna, that's correct. But Bojna never offered any

16 resistance and I had never heard of anything like that.

17 Q. Okay, thanks for that. Number 6 Becir Bogilovic. I think you

18 know who he is. Was he from Srebrenica and a member of the TO staff?

19 A. He is from Srebrenica. But I don't remember anyone telling me

20 that he was a member of the staff.

21 Q. Okay.

22 A. I only know that he was the chief of that station, but I don't

23 know anything else.

24 Q. All right. Thanks very much. What about Ahmo Tihic, do you know

25 him and was he from Liesce [phoen], as it claims in this document?

Page 6765

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And, again, was he from Skelani?

3 A. Yes, he was.

4 MR. DI FAZIO: Good. Thank you. I've finished with that

5 document. Can the witness be shown P75. I think this is on Sanction.

6 Q. Just cast your eye over that particular document. I think we have

7 some new names there. Prior to coming to The Hague had you ever seen this

8 document before?

9 A. No.

10 Q. Okay. And I needn't trouble you with the details. You can see it

11 is dated the 26th of May. Apparently a document of the Srebrenica TO.

12 And obviously it is dealing with an expansion of membership. It's the

13 names that I want you to comment on. Atif Krdzic was he from Srebrenica

14 and did he marshal resistance in the area of Osmace?

15 A. Atif Krdzic was a policeman like myself and Mr. Oric. He was an

16 active policeman. He is from Osmace. He was one of the organizers of

17 that resistance. I don't know whether he was the leader, but he was among

18 the organizers there.

19 Q. Okay. And as for the other fact alleged or suggested in that,

20 under number 1, membership of the Srebrenica TO, do you know if he was a

21 member of the Srebrenica TO? If you don't know, if you're not sure, say

22 so. But if you do know, tell us.

23 A. I didn't know it at the moment when this was happening. I heard

24 it later on, but I cannot confirm this, because nobody was duty bound to

25 inform me about these documents.

Page 6766












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

13 English transcripts.













Page 6767

1 Q. Sure. Okay. And the last name there Senahid Tabakovic. Was he

2 indeed from Bratunac and did he, indeed, organise resistance in the area

3 of Skenderovici?

4 A. Senahid Tabakovic was born in Skenderovici, but he worked in

5 Bratunac, I believe, but I can't be sure of that. I believe that he may

6 have had an apartment there. But he is a native of Skenderovici, that's

7 true. I don't know that he was the organizer of resistance.

8 Q. Okay, thank you. I've finished with that document. In the

9 middle of 1992, around May, possibly the end of May, possibly early June,

10 around that period of time, did you attend any meetings where your

11 position was discussed, your role within the enclave and also where

12 another topic was discussed, namely the establishment of civilian

13 authority?

14 A. Yes. We did have a meeting, in Domavija. I believe that Naser

15 Oric was there as well as Akif Ustic.

16 Q. Okay.

17 A. Also Zulfo. There was myself and there were some others whose

18 names I can't remember at the moment. I asked for the civilian

19 authorities to be set up, as things could no longer proceed in the way

20 they were. I clashed with Akif, who was against that. I left that

21 meeting. Zulfo was not very pleased with the fact that I had left.

22 Q. Okay. Can I just get a few more details. First of all, timing.

23 I asked you if you went in May, possibly end of May, early June. At the

24 meeting that you've just spoken about, is it your position that that

25 occurred sometime, in that period that I mentioned to you?

Page 6768

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Was it at the hotel Domavija and were you invited to attend? Did

3 someone come and get you?

4 A. Yes. The meeting was called. I came. The others came. There

5 was nothing special to it.

6 Q. All right. Fine. I just want to get a few more details so the

7 Trial Chamber can get a picture of the meeting. About how many men were

8 there? Was it a large meeting or was it a small group of men?

9 A. There were some ten, or 12 of us there.

10 Q. And were they mainly policemen? Mainly military? Business

11 leaders? Who were they, apart from the names you've already mentioned?

12 A. People from the staff. There was Hamdija Fejzic. I just remember

13 that he also clashed with Akif.

14 Q. Okay.

15 A. Those were people who meant something. What we meant, I don't

16 know. It remains to be discussed.

17 Q. All right. Do you know a gentleman named Hajrudin Avdic?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Do you think -- was he there, or not?

20 A. I think so, but I'm not sure.

21 Q. Now, let's deal with topics one at a time. First of all, your

22 position, what you were doing, you and your men. Was that a topic of

23 conversation? Just tell me "yes" or "no".

24 A. I don't know. I'm actually not clear about your question.

25 Q. Was the issue of your role within the Srebrenica enclave, your

Page 6769

1 activities, discussed?

2 A. At the meeting?

3 Q. Yes, at this meeting.

4 A. No. Not at that particular meeting. There was another meeting

5 where that was discussed.

6 Q. Okay. So the main topic -- do I understand you correctly, the

7 main topic that you, was -- of the discussion, was the question of

8 civilian authority?

9 A. Yes. And also Akif's position within our battalion and his

10 attitude.

11 Q. All right.

12 A. A few harsh words were exchanged between Akif and Hamdija and also

13 between myself and Akif. And those words were exchanged on the topic of

14 civilian authority.

15 Q. All right. Can you tell the Trial Chamber what your position was

16 on the issue of civilian authority, what views you expressed. And

17 summarise them for the Trial Chamber so they get a clear, instant picture.

18 A. It was the TO staff that had to deal with everything in town. For

19 example, the cleanliness of the town, the civilian protection. I thought

20 that these should be separate things. I thought, since there were members

21 of the town Assembly who hadn't fled, I suggested that they should be

22 invited to set up civilian authority in the town.

23 Q. How were your views met when you expressed them?

24 A. Nobody but Akif reacted, and he was against my views. I left the

25 meeting because I could no longer listen to his stories. I left the

Page 6770

1 meeting before it was wrapped up so I don't know what happened next and

2 nobody ever even informed me about the outcome of the meeting.

3 Q. Was there anyone there who was not in the Srebrenica TO?

4 A. Maybe. If there was anybody, and I believe somebody was there, I

5 believe it was Avdic, but at the time he was in Zulfo's staff in Suceska.

6 Q. Can you tell us if, at this discussion regarding the establishment

7 of civilian authorities, the majority of men were soldiers, army, in the

8 Srebrenica TO?

9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Vidovic.

10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is a leading

11 question.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: No, it's not a leading question at all. Please

13 proceed.


15 Q. The question is: At the meeting, you mentioned Avdic. But can

16 you tell us if the majority of the men were soldiers in the Srebrenica TO?

17 A. Yes. There was nobody else. There were no civilians left.

18 Q. All right. Thank you. I would like you now to turn to --

19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone please.

20 MR. DI FAZIO: Sorry, my apologies.

21 Q. I would like you to just turn to another brief, very brief

22 separate issue, and that's the issue of Mr. Bogilovic.

23 You've told us you know Becir Bogilovic. Was he appointed to a

24 police role in 1992.

25 A. I know him and he was appointed for the chief of police, the

Page 6771

1 civilian police, and later on he was also the chief of the military

2 police.

3 Q. Do you know when that was that he became chief of military police?

4 A. I don't know when the military police was established, but I

5 believe that it was at the beginning of July, 1992.

6 Q. All right. Do you know a gentleman named Mirzet Halilovic?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Did he ever have any part in the military police? A position in

9 the military police?

10 A. He was the commander of the military police.

11 Q. At the same time that Mr. Bogilovic was in charge of the military

12 police?

13 A. Yes.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: So I suppose he better explain how it worked out, as

15 far as hierarchy was concerned.

16 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, yes.

17 Q. Who was in charge of who? Who was higher in the hierarchy? Was

18 it Mirzet Halilovic or Besir Bogilovic?

19 A. Besir Bogilovic.

20 Q. Okay. I might come back to Mr. Halilovic later, but let's

21 concentrate on Mr. Bogilovic. You told us that he was appointed chief of

22 police. Do you know who appointed him?

23 A. I don't know. Nobody ever told me that. However, according to

24 what I heard, he was appointed by the Presidency, the War Presidency of

25 the municipality of Srebrenica.

Page 6772

1 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me. Okay, thank

2 you for that.

3 Q. Now, I want to take you to another event at the Domavija hotel.

4 First of all, can you just give a general description of what the place

5 looked like, to Their Honors, in 1992, and what it had been. I assume it

6 was a hotel. Was it the town's main hotel? Or a small hotel? Or a big

7 hotel?

8 A. It was the only hotel in town. This is where I and my people were

9 billeted.

10 Q. And you and about how many men?

11 A. It changed. Our men did not have to be anywhere if they didn't

12 want to be there. They could go. If somebody ran away, they would, for

13 example, go to Tuzla, or change units. Their numbers ranged from 60 to

14 100 men at times. Later on the number decreased.

15 Q. Did you sleep there and did you make that your residence, in

16 effect?

17 A. We lived like in barracks and we knew exactly what we were

18 supposed to do there.

19 Q. Thank you. Do you know a gentleman named Dr. Nadret Mujkanovic?

20 A. I know Dr. Nadret Mujkanovic.

21 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... the man I meant. I

22 apologise, I've got the surname wrong. Did he ever come and stay at the

23 hotel?

24 A. When he arrived from Tuzla, he slept at the hospital for a while

25 and later on he asked me to stay in Domavija. I accepted him but I asked

Page 6773

1 him that although he was a doctor, he shouldn't ask for any privileges.

2 That he should eat what we were eating and the like. And he accepted that

3 and stayed at the hotel.

4 Q. Fine. About how long did he stay there?

5 A. First of all, I don't know when he came. It was at the beginning

6 of summer. I really don't know when exactly. And he stayed until the

7 moment he left Srebrenica when Srebrenica was demilitarised, when the

8 wounded were transported by helicopters, when Serbian doctors came to exam

9 the wounded, it is then when he left. He was there from 1992. I believe

10 that it was from August until April, I believe. April 1993.

11 Q. Thank you. All right. Another name I want to ask you is this

12 name, do you know a gentleman named Ziga Kamenica?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. What -- who was he?

15 A. He was one of my soldiers.

16 MR. DI FAZIO: Fine. Now, in -- sorry would Your Honours just

17 bear with me. I will start -- approach this differently.

18 Q. Did you have a means of gathering information about what was going

19 on in the enclave, people who would inform you of events, sources of

20 information?

21 A. I tried to gather that information.

22 Q. In either May or June of 1992, did you receive any information

23 regarding an attack on your hotel?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. What was the information that you received?

Page 6774

1 A. I heard that Mr. Oric was going to attack me that evening, that he

2 was going to ask me to surrender. And I didn't know why.

3 Q. Did you make any plans to prepare for that?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. What plans did you make?

6 A. I held a meeting with my men. I briefed them. I told them about

7 the situation. Two of my men said that they didn't want to participate.

8 I told them to go, and I told them also that if we survived that they

9 could join us again on the following day. Then I made a plan to take some

10 of our men who were at home -- to send them home, actually, and the rest

11 of us stayed at the hotel.

12 Q. Did you position men in a certain way around the hotel to prepare

13 for this -- whatever it was that was going to happen?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Did Mr. Oric, indeed, turn up?

16 A. Sometime early in the evening and the situation was really

17 difficult. Mr. Oric appeared and he was issuing orders to his men. He

18 was deploying his men around the hotel in shooting positions, and he

19 invited me to surrender and he also asked my men not to attack his men.

20 Q. But how were you -- did you speak to him? Or not?

21 A. No. Ziga liked Naser very much, but he also liked me. And he

22 found the situation very difficult. He wanted to go and talk to Naser

23 himself. He -- and then I told him: You could get killed. He

24 said: Well, if that is meant to be, fine. He left his arms and he left.

25 He went to talk to Naser and luckily enough nothing happened and an

Page 6775

1 agreement was reached for me and Naser to meet on the following day, and

2 to clear the matter. Because it was really not clear why all of this was

3 going on.

4 Q. Well, --

5 A. And Naser accepted that.

6 Q. Yes.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Could the witness tell us exactly the

8 names, the name of Ziga I know he may have said it already before, but ...

9 MR. DI FAZIO: Kamenica.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Kamenica? Not Ziga?

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Kamenica. But his nickname is Ziga,

12 Z-i-g-a.

13 JUDGE AGIUS: I just wanted that to be made clear. Thank you.


15 Q. You touched upon an issue that I want to get whatever information

16 I can, and that's this. You said "it was not really clear why all of this

17 was going on." During the stand off or encounter, whatever you want to

18 describe it as, did Mr. Oric ever say anything that indicated to you what

19 he wanted, or was any message gotten to you to give you some clue, some

20 insight into what he wanted, what he was after?

21 A. I don't understand your question.

22 Q. He came to the hotel. You prepared for it. It's obviously a

23 tense situation. There are armed men and Mr. Oric has surrounded your

24 hotel. You've prepared for it, and Ziga Kamenica is acting as a go

25 between. In the midst of this did you ever ascertain any reason why

Page 6776

1 Mr. Oric was doing this, what he wanted from you?

2 A. No. Not that evening. We did it on the following day. Ziga

3 asked him to come to Domavija on the following day, and he indeed did turn

4 up in the morning and that is when we clarified the matters.

5 Q. All right. Did -- I won't go into that. Let's move on to the

6 second day when Mr. Oric turns up. I think you said he turned up alone.

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And did you and he talk?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. I suppose the topic of conversation or one of them might have been

11 the events of the previous evening?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Did Mr. Oric explain to you what it was that had caused the

14 encounter?

15 A. He explained. He said that he was misinformed, that he had some

16 men who provided him with false information. We cleared the matter. The

17 situation was not tense. The conversation was relaxed. And we dealt with

18 the matter.

19 Q. Well, can you tell the Trial Chamber what the false information

20 was that had precipitated this encounter? What he thought the ...

21 A. I don't know. Something to the effect of me being, so to speak,

22 engaged in some activities, for example the reconnaissance of Zalazje

23 made people go there, because they thought I was going to attack them.

24 That was the misinformation. People went there. Some men were killed. I

25 didn't have a clue about that. We clarified that. And after that we

Page 6777

1 didn't have any problems.

2 Q. Did just -- can you clarify something for us, please. What

3 precisely was he saying had been the matter that had concerned him to the

4 point where he gathers men with guns and comes and surrounds you at the

5 hotel? It must have -- of course, it must have been a burning issue for

6 both of you to resolve and you must have been very keen to know exactly

7 what it was that caused this problem. So can you -- can you just give us

8 a little more precision about that.

9 A. He received information that I wanted to attack Zalazje, that I

10 was on my way there without informing him. Some Muslims got killed there,

11 and that is why he came. But I did not have anything to do with that. I

12 didn't go there. I was not interested in doing that. We had a good and

13 long discussion about that. And when he left me, he was convinced that I

14 had not had anything whatsoever to do with that and I, on my part, was

15 convinced that he was surrounded with men who misinformed him.

16 He invited me to his house, to a meeting that was going to take

17 place in his house later that afternoon, to confirm to me the good spirit

18 of that meeting that we had.

19 Q. Thank you.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: I see in the transcript, on line 20, that I was

21 convinced that he was surrounded with men who misinformed him. But when I

22 was listening to the interpretation, what I heard was "surrounded with a

23 man." I want to know whether he mentioned "men" in the plural or just one

24 man who was misinforming Mr. Oric. More one person was misinforming Mr.

25 Oric according to you? Or just one person?

Page 6778












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Page 6779

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you will allow me, I will answer.

2 I can see that you're taking things out of the context here and you can

3 take my words in any way you want. I didn't want this war. I did not

4 need any territories. I wanted to --

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop, stop, stop.

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please, just a

7 moment, please.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop, stop, stop. We are the judges here. Not you,

9 here. Just answer my question. When you were answering the previous

10 question that was put to you by Mr. Di Fazio, did you say men in the

11 plural or man in the singular? As being persons who were misinforming

12 Mr. Oric?

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is why I wanted to explain.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: Just answer the question in the plural or singular

15 that's all I want to hear from you.

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] More than one man. Men.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: That's it. Next question, Mr. Di Fazio, please.

18 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.

19 Q. You explained to us the reasons that Mr. -- the concerns that

20 Mr. Oric had or touched upon that topic. Is this a fair summary of what

21 you understood, having spoken to Mr. Oric? He was concerned about you

22 embarking on your own military enterprises and, in particular, others?

23 A. I think so.

24 Q. Okay, thank you. Now, you also mentioned a visit to

25 Mr. Tursonovic's -- I think you mentioned that there was a meeting later

Page 6780

1 that day, that he invited you to a meeting later that day. Is that

2 correct?

3 A. Yes. At that meeting that we had, Naser and I, Naser said that I

4 should come and see him at Potocari, where his house was. And that there

5 would be a meeting that day in connection with the attack at -- on

6 Zalazje.

7 Q. And did you go to that meeting?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And did you get to the house of Mr. Oric, and there did you see

10 Mr. Tursonovic?

11 A. No. I came to the house, in front of the house, basically, and

12 Mr. Oric came out. And he said: How are you? How is it going? And

13 then, behind him, out of Naser's house Zulfo Tursonovic came and he

14 said: If what Hakija Meholjic is going to be present at this meeting, I

15 won't. And may I continue?

16 Q. Yes.

17 A. Well, Naser found it difficult. He was uncomfortable and he

18 didn't know what to do and then I said, Naser, if that's a problem, I will

19 go and let him stay. And then I left.

20 Q. And what was your understanding of the main purpose of your

21 attending at Mr. Oric's house that afternoon? If Mr. Tursonovic had not

22 been there and this little episode had not occurred, what did you

23 understand you were going there to do?

24 A. I've told you, when Mr. Oric invited me to come to his house, he

25 said there would be a meeting in connection with the attack on Zalazje.

Page 6781

1 Q. Thank you. I will return to this issue in Zalazje later in

2 another context. In 1992, did you ever have cause to describe you and

3 your men as being part of HVO forces? Did you ever have reason to do that

4 for some period of time?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Thank you.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Just for clarification. Could the witness

8 explain what the acronym HVO stood for, please.

9 MR. DI FAZIO: Certainly. You heard His Honour's question. What

10 does it stand for?

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Croat Defence Council.


13 Q. Now, I want you to provide a short summary of how it came -- came

14 about that you decided to adopt this strategy.

15 A. On a number of occasions, I tried to act in line with everybody

16 else and to fit in, but we kept running into difficulties. And we had a

17 meeting at the town hall and there was a discussion about my situation,

18 the newly created situation with regard to everything, and Hamdija Fejzic

19 was the main speaker. And he said that when I was there everybody kept

20 silent and when I wasn't there, people used to talk a lot.

21 Then I offered them the army, but I told them to leave me alone.

22 And then they said, "Well, your men won't come without you." I said, "You

23 want my head? I won't give it to you."

24 And then it was not going well and, therefore, I decided -- and

25 let me point out that at that time, in 1992, the HVO together with the

Page 6782

1 armed forces of the BiH were fighting Chetnik forces. So I said, "Okay,

2 I'm not an enemy. I'm there as well. And we can perhaps discuss things

3 on an equal footing. This is a war. A war is not a game, and you stand

4 to lose your life." And I did not want to risk my life and I had to

5 defend myself.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Di Fazio, I think it is the case of having the

7 witness specify exactly which period in time in 1992 this was.

8 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm going to get to the details of the meeting.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: Because 1992 is a whole year.

10 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, okay.

11 Q. First of all, try and put a time, a date if you can, if not a

12 month, or at least a period of time in 1992. Tell us where the meeting

13 was, where it was actually held and, finally, tell us if Mr. Oric was

14 there, Mr. Tursonovic and any other members of the Srebrenica TO were

15 there. So, time, location, people present. Let's hear about that.

16 A. The time was at some point in the first half of July, at the town

17 hall. Quite a few people were there: Akif, Zulfo, perhaps Naser.

18 Perhaps one of them left for a few minutes. I can't remember. But at any

19 rate, there was a meeting and there were about 20 of us there. And then

20 there was this discussion. And to no avail.

21 I offered my men, just so they could leave me alone and they

22 didn't want to. And then I said, "Well you want my life, and that's what

23 I can't accept."

24 Q. And did declaring yourself HVO actually manifest itself in any

25 way? Did you put on HVO uniforms? Or do anything like that?

Page 6783

1 A. We did not have any uniforms. We had -- we didn't even have a

2 civilian clothes let alone HVO uniforms. I did not actually get in touch

3 with them, but I was just trying to save my life. We did not have a

4 direct contact with HVO. We didn't have a radio link or anything. That

5 was a decision that I made in a given situation because there was nothing

6 else.

7 Q. Did anyone at this meeting that you've described directly ask you

8 to become subordinated to their command?

9 A. At that period they kept asking me whether I would accept

10 subordination or not and I said, yes, and then Naser invited me to come

11 and see him and Zulfo wouldn't have it. So whatever I tried was to no

12 avail, and once I've exhausted all of those possibilities I've tried

13 everything and -- well, if you're interested, I even gave away food for

14 the hospital, as I had been ordered and they still said I wasn't good

15 enough. So I thought, what else do you want.

16 Q. All right. My question is actually this: At the actual meeting

17 itself, the meeting that you have been describing, did any individual tell

18 you or invite you or order you, try and convince you that you should

19 become subordinated to their command, at the actual meeting? This is

20 when --

21 A. No.

22 Q. You just mentioned providing food at the hospital. Who told you

23 to do that?

24 A. Well, Naser. We had agreed that I would give some food for the

25 hospital, the civilian police, and the civil defence as well, because

Page 6784

1 people had been exposed to shelling and then I kept providing food until

2 the point in time when we had no more food left and then of course I

3 stopped as well.

4 Q. And can you tell the Trial Chamber when you received -- sorry,

5 when you did this, when you supplied food for these civilian police,

6 civilian defence, hospital, these civilian organisations and bodies, when

7 did you do that, approximately?

8 A. It was from -- when the War Presidency had been set up, and they

9 organised all those services. And then there was an agreement, according

10 to which I would provide food, but everybody else would be bringing food

11 along as well. So nothing actually happened along those lines. I

12 provided food for as long as I could and it went on for two or three

13 weeks, perhaps slightly longer for the hospital. But I stopped providing

14 food to the police force earlier because I wasn't getting food from

15 anyone. So how was I supposed to provide food to somebody else since he

16 wasn't getting anything.

17 Q. Yes.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones.

19 MR. JONES: Sorry to interrupt, Your Honour. It's a matter of the

20 transcript and a question of interpretation. It may be a small point but

21 we were just conferring about it. It's at page 27, line 15.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Yes.

23 MR. JONES: It says "and then Naser invited me to come and see

24 him, and Zulfo wouldn't have it." Now obviously I think for native

25 English speakers that colloquialism is reasonably clear, but I think the

Page 6785

1 Bosnian was most effective, wouldn't permit it or would not allow it and

2 it is a matter which, I think, does need clarification because "wouldn't

3 have it" may be a bit ambiguous. So our understanding is that it means

4 "would not permit it," "would not allow it." That's just for the record,

5 and perhaps it can be clarified at some later stage; but it seemed

6 appropriate to raise it now.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I thank you for raising the matter. Perhaps

8 the witness who must in the meantime have received interpretation of this

9 exchange would volunteer to clarify himself. If you could kindly, because

10 this is a question of whether the English translation and the Bosnian

11 expression are in agreement, or not.

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps not quite, but I can perhaps

13 state it once again. I was invited by Naser. I got there. And Zulfo

14 opposed it on the spot. I was present and he was opposed to my being

15 there. Have I made myself clear now?

16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Yes, certainly. Thank you Mr. Meholjic. Are

17 you satisfied.

18 MR. JONES: Thank you.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jones, thank you. Yes you may proceed. Thank

20 you.

21 MR. DI FAZIO: Thanks, Your Honour.

22 Q. Further -- just back -- return to food at the -- providing food

23 for the civilians, entities, the hospital, the police, and so on.

24 Earlier in your statement, in your testimony just a few questions

25 ago, you said you even tried to -- you're talking about how you were

Page 6786

1 trying to please "them." And you said that you even provided food at the

2 hospital, as you had been ordered.

3 Who ordered you to do this?

4 A. Look, in our jargon, let's say, we have an expression for the

5 order. An order is in writing, or else somebody tells you to do something.

6 I did not get an order in writing, but I was told to provide food for the

7 police force, the tribunal, the hospital, and the civil defence.

8 Q. That's okay. I understand that. But who actually told you to do

9 that? Who was it?

10 A. Naser told me. He said, "That's what you're going to do."

11 Q. And you did so?

12 A. May I just complement this. I don't know if it is of essential

13 importance, but with the proviso that Zulfo and Naser and all the local

14 commanders would also accept the idea that they would be bringing food

15 along. So as to have a centre where all this food could be prepared. We

16 had a kitchen and so we could organise it that way. But afterwards,

17 nobody else brought any food and basically I myself didn't have anything

18 to eat.

19 Q. Just one more question about the encounter with Mr. Oric at his

20 home in Potocari, when Zulfo Tursonovic was there and when the -- when you

21 left, because of Mr. Tursonovic's attitude.

22 On that occasion, were you ordered to leave by anyone? Or did you

23 leave voluntarily?

24 A. Voluntarily.

25 Q. Thank you. I'll move to another topic. You've, earlier in your

Page 6787

1 evidence this morning, you touched upon the issue of the institution of

2 civil authorities and you've told us about what you proposed at that

3 meeting; that was discussed.

4 Can you tell us if, in 1992, you became aware of a War Presidency

5 having been formed?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Can you remember about when you became aware it had been formed?

8 A. Perhaps on the same day and perhaps a couple of days later, but

9 mostly it was known at Srebrenica what was going on. It was no secret.

10 Srebrenica is a small town. And the peoples' mentalities, a little bit

11 like they want to know everything.

12 Q. Sure. Let's just be clear. You say "perhaps the same day or

13 perhaps a couple of days later." Are you talking about the same day as

14 the meeting where you expressed your views about civilian authorities? Is

15 that the day that you're talking about? You have to answer "yes" so it

16 gets recorded into the transcript or -- sorry you have to answer "yes" or

17 "no." You have to answer so it gets recorded.

18 A. On the same day when the meeting was held and the meeting was held

19 at a later stage. Not on that day. Perhaps mid July or later that the

20 meeting was held, where the War Presidency was elected.

21 Q. I'm a little bit confused so let's be real clear about this.

22 There was a meeting that you've already told us about that you attended

23 where you discussed the -- your -- you aired your views about the

24 establishment, the need to establish civilian authorities. Correct?

25 A. Yes.

Page 6788

1 Q. Subsequently, after that meeting, did you become aware that a War

2 Presidency had been formed? Am I correct or not?

3 A. Yes. But not at that meeting --

4 Q. No.

5 A. -- where I was. A couple of days later the elections took place.

6 I don't know if you understand what I'm saying. Not on the same day when

7 I attended the meeting at Domavija, but -- and then I left. It was not

8 elected on that day, but a couple of days later.

9 Q. All right. Thank you. And you just mentioned elections. Did you

10 actually mean elections in the sense of people going along a ballot box

11 and put -- put -- putting their votes in?

12 A. There were no elections as such. It would have been impossible to

13 organise the elections. People from the staff sat down together. They

14 invited some citizens, some honorable citizens or some members of the

15 armed forces and they decided to agree and set up a War Presidency because

16 presumably they had grasped the fact that they had to set up something

17 like that. This is just an assumption.

18 Q. Okay, thank you.

19 A. I can confirm that no elections actually took place.

20 Q. Yes. Okay. Now, do I understand correctly that you played no

21 part in the creation of or the appointment of the War Presidency?

22 A. No. I attended or participated in no meeting.

23 Q. I'm going to go on to a document now that will probably occupy me

24 probably occupy me for two or three minutes. Can we break now and deal

25 with it discretely?

Page 6789

1 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly, Mr. Di Fazio. We will have a 25-minute

2 break starting from now. Thank you.

3 --- Recess taken at 10.27 a.m.

4 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's continue, Mr. Di Fazio, please.

6 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honours.

7 Q. We were talking about the War Presidency, starting to talk about

8 the War Presidency, just before the break. I asked you about elections

9 and you answered that there were no elections. It would have been

10 impossible to organise the elections. And then you said: "People from

11 the staff sat down together. They invited some citizens, some honourable

12 citizens or some members of the armed forces and they decided to agree and

13 set up a War Presidency."

14 Now, people from the staff, what staff are you talking about

15 there?


17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour. The witness

18 said that this was his assumption, that he wasn't there.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Vidovic is correct, because I do recall the

20 witness saying that he assumed -- he assumed this. But perhaps you can

21 re-draft your question and go back a little bit to the previous --

22 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: And see whether this was a reasoned assessment or

24 whether it was just --

25 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, yes, okay.

Page 6790












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Page 6791

1 JUDGE AGIUS: -- a fruit of just --


3 Q. In the course of your answer you definitely said that there was --

4 the staff invited people to form a War Presidency. First of all, is that

5 something you know? Or is that an assumption, something you're guessing

6 at?

7 A. There was nobody else there to invite people. Somebody had to do

8 it. It could not have been a group of citizens, random citizens.

9 Somebody had to organise all this. And I don't see anything in dispute

10 here. Since there was no civilian authority, somebody had to organise

11 this. It could not have just happened by chance and this is my

12 assumption. And for that reason, I cannot claim that this was happening

13 that way. I was not present there. I don't know how the elections went

14 and how they were governed. I don't know anything about that.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Now we know basically that this was a

16 reasoned assumption sort of, so you can regulate your next question

17 accordingly, please.

18 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.


21 Q. Okay, now, we have -- we now know the basis for your conclusions

22 and why you drew that. Now, apart from your reasoning that you just

23 explained to us now, did you ever hear or see anything, possibly even

24 subsequently, that confirmed your assumption that the War Presidency --

25 sorry, that the staff, the Srebrenica staff invited this people to this

Page 6792

1 meeting to set up a War Presidency? So did anyone ever say anything to

2 you that led you to the same conclusion?

3 A. Well, in conversation with Djemo Becirovic who became a member of

4 the War Presidency, I learned that they had been invited people who made

5 up the Territorial Defence staff were invited to meet and to set up a War

6 Presidency.

7 Q. Okay. And who was Djemo Becirovic?

8 A. Djemo Becirovic was the head of the sector for economy. That was

9 his position in the War Presidency.

10 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. Now can the witness be shown Exhibit

11 P42. Your Honours have it in the Sanction.

12 Q. Just have a look at that document. Cast your eye over it. And

13 then I will take you to various parts of it. Now my first question is,

14 prior to coming to The Hague, had you ever seen this document before?

15 A. No.

16 Q. Thank you. Read the first paragraph, the very first paragraph.

17 Now, you've just moments ago explained your assumption and what you heard

18 from Djemo Becirovic regarding the role of the Srebrenica TO and the

19 formation of the War Presidency.

20 The first paragraph says here that "pursuant to the decision of

21 the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, at the initiative of the armed

22 forces and citizens of the free territory of Srebrenica, the following was

23 adopted. Decision ..." And then it goes on to talk about the decision.

24 Do you see that?

25 A. Yes.

Page 6793

1 Q. Now you already mentioned to the Trial Chamber what you thought

2 about the role of the Srebrenica TO but what about the citizens of the

3 free territory of Srebrenica. Are you aware of the citizens of the free

4 territory of Srebrenica ever playing any role in the creation or the

5 decision to create the War Presidency?

6 A. No, I was not aware of that. I suppose that these people invited

7 some other people that they held in high esteem, because of what they had

8 done before, because of the reputation that they had.

9 Q. Okay.

10 A. It was impossible to organise that with any random citizens.

11 Q. Sure, okay. Thank you. Now, can I take you to article 4.

12 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me for one

13 moment. I might be able to shorten this.

14 Q. Just look at the numbers 1 down to 11, starting with Hajrudin

15 Avdic, Hamdija Fejzic and ending with Senahid Tabakovic. Do you see all

16 of those names there?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Number 9 I think reads "Sefik Mandzic", correct, with an "S"?

19 A. Sefik Mandzic.

20 Q. In the time that you were in Srebrenica in 1992 and in the years

21 thereafter -- let me with withdraw that and let me rephrase my question.

22 Are all of those people there, who are listed, numbers 1 through

23 to 11, were they members of the War Presidency as far as you were aware,

24 as far as you were aware?

25 A. Yes.

Page 6794

1 Q. Did you know them all personally?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Thank you. Go to -- I now want to take you through articles 5 to

4 11. Those names occur in that list that I've just taken you to. So go to

5 Article 5. You've already told us you know Hajrudin. As far as you were

6 aware, was he president of the War Presidency?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Resid Efendic. As far as you were aware, was he secretary of the

9 War Presidency?

10 A. Yes, for a brief period of time, after which he joined the police.

11 Q. Yes. Article 7 relates to Mr. Oric and it doesn't say that he's

12 in the War Presidency. It just says he's "hereby appointed commander of

13 the Armed Forces Staff." You've already testified about that. But, did

14 you understand him to be a member of the War Presidency?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Hamdija Fejzic. Was he, indeed, chairman of the executive

17 committee?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Djemo Becirevic was he secretary of the Secretariat for the

20 Economy and Social Services?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And you can quickly get through the next two, Becir Bogilovic and

23 Jusuf Halilovic, were they in fact Public Security Station and Civilian

24 Protection Staff respectively?

25 A. Yes.

Page 6795

1 Q. Now, can you tell the Trial Chamber the basis for your saying

2 that, for making -- for confirming what is written here on the documents?

3 In other words, how do you know, how do you know, what's your source of

4 information as to the positions these people occupied in the War

5 Presidency? Now I know Srebrenica was a small town. But just briefly

6 tell the Trial Chamber what sort of access to information that you had,

7 anyone that you might have spoken to, that allows you to say, well, yes,

8 for example Hajrudin Avdic was the president. What are your sources of

9 information?

10 A. Everybody in Srebrenica knew that. He came to work in the

11 municipality. He introduced himself as the president of the Presidency.

12 Everybody referred to him as that. Everybody in Srebrenica knew that

13 Hajrudin Avdic was the president of the Presidency. It was no secret.

14 Nothing was done behind the closed door. The municipality assumed its

15 functions and these people started working in the municipality.

16 Q. Sorry. Would Your Honours just bear with me for one moment. All

17 right. Thank you. Let's go back to Articles 5 through to 11. Can you

18 tell the Trial Chamber if Hajrudin Avdic was in the Srebrenica TO, or not?

19 A. No. He had to do something with the command in Zulfo's territory,

20 where Zulfo's army was. He occupied a position there. He had something

21 to do with the staff or something else. He was there.

22 Q. Okay. But your position is that he was not a member of the

23 Srebrenica TO? Do I understand you correctly?

24 A. I never heard of him being a member of the TO Staff.

25 Q. What about Resid Efendic mentioned in article 6, was he a member

Page 6796

1 of the Srebrenica TO?

2 MR. JONES: Sorry it's just as to the date of this document.

3 It's unclear what dates we're referring to.

4 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, I will --

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I think that's a very fair comment. I don't

6 take it as an objection, I take it as a contribution, actually. Thank

7 you, Mr. Jones.

8 MR. DI FAZIO: Good point.

9 Q. That's good. Can you put a date on it, on Mr. Resid Efendic. Was

10 he a member of the Srebrenica TO?

11 JUDGE AGIUS: And if so, when.

12 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, and if so, when. Prior to July 1992.

13 A. I don't know. I'm confused. I don't know that Resid was a member

14 of any military formations or that he was a member of any staffs. We're

15 talking about the Presidency here, aren't we?


17 Q. Yes, we are. But I'm asking you this: Do you know if Resid

18 Efendic was a member of the Srebrenica TO prior to or up to July of 1992?

19 A. He wasn't.

20 Q. Naser Oric we know about. What about Hamdija Fejzic?

21 A. He was a member of the TO staff.

22 Q. Right. What about Djemo Rudin -- Becirovic?

23 A. He wasn't a member. He was a commander in his village that

24 belonged to Zulfo's territory. The name of that village is Slatina.

25 Q. What was he a commander of?

Page 6797

1 A. Of a group of people. Either it was a platoon or some other sort

2 of formation. I don't know what they called it at the time, because there

3 was no organisation as such in place.

4 Q. So he was a commander of a group of fighting men, is that correct,

5 or not?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. That group of fighting men was under command of Zulfo Tursunovic,

8 Tursunovic; correct or not?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. He was the commander of that group of fighting men and under the

11 command of Zulfo Tursunovic prior to July of 1992, correct or not?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Thank you.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Vidovic.

15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the objection -- the

16 witness said that he doesn't know what was going on in that area and the

17 Prosecution is asking leading questions, leading the witness to say that

18 there was a relationship of subordination to this man, Zulfo Tursunovic.

19 Whereas the witness never said that.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. But if you look at page 40, line 5, regarding

21 this Becirevic, the witness says he wasn't a member, I assume of the

22 staff, Srebrenica Staff. He was a commander in his village that belonged

23 to Zulfo's territory. The name of that village is Slatina and what was he

24 a commander of. Then he says "of a group of people. Either it was a

25 platoon or some other sort of formation. I don't know what they called it

Page 6798

1 at the time because there was no organisation as such in place."

2 Where Mr. Di Fazio then oversteps his -- he suddenly characterises

3 this group as being a group of fighting men, which is something the

4 witness never said.

5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: But of course I let him say it because you did not

7 object at the time, so ...

8 But in reality you are right only there. As far as the other

9 contention, I don't think you are right.

10 MR. DI FAZIO: I perhaps should have rephrased my -- should have

11 phrased my question: Was he the commander of a group of fighting men.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: You are free to ask the witness. He is your witness

13 not mine. We interfere only when it's necessary. And over here it is

14 even less tight than it is in our domestic jurisdictions. So, go ahead.

15 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.

16 Q. Jusuf Halilovic, was he a member of the Srebrenica TO prior to

17 July of -- and up to July of 1992?

18 A. No.

19 Q. Go back to article 4. Was Mirsa Dudic a member of the Srebrenica

20 TO prior to July of 1992?

21 A. I don't know. If the list that you gave me is valid, then you

22 will find his name on that list. At that moment I did not know all these

23 men. This was all happening rather quickly. In any case, he was a

24 commander up there in Osmace village. I don't know what his position and

25 duties were. In any case, he was a member of the army and he was a member

Page 6799

1 of the BiH army, such as it was at the time.

2 Q. Okay. Prior to July of 1992 or in the period of time leading up

3 to July of 1992?

4 A. He was there even later. He was in the army throughout all this

5 time.

6 Q. Thank you. Aziz Nekic, was he a member of the Srebrenica TO in

7 the period of time prior to July of 1992?

8 A. No.

9 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. I've finished with P42. Actually, I'm

10 sorry. I do apologise. I wonder if P42 could be left with the witness

11 and we could also produce P270.

12 Q. Now, prior to coming to The Hague, had you seen Exhibit P270, the

13 document that's just been placed in front of you?

14 A. No.

15 Q. Just have a look at the document. You've already mentioned most

16 of the names and the positions that these -- that we can see on P270. One

17 that I don't think you've mentioned is Sefik Mandzic. Do you see that in

18 the second paragraph of Exhibit P270, towards the end of that paragraph,

19 talking about members of the War Presidency? You see Mirsad Dudic,

20 Senahid Tabakovic and Sefik Mandzic?

21 A. I can see that.

22 Q. Who was Sefik Mandzic?

23 A. Sefik Mandzic was a commander up there. Of the part called

24 Kraglijivoda, or Osak Kraglijivoda. In any case, that is the area. I

25 don't know how it is referred to in documents.

Page 6800

1 Q. And can you tell the Trial Chamber if prior to July of 1992 he was

2 a member of the Srebrenica TO forces?

3 A. Yes. Until the day when he was killed.

4 Q. And when was he killed?

5 A. He was killed in the autumn of 1992, in Fakovici during the

6 fighting there.

7 Q. Thank you. The next paragraph you've -- there's a name you

8 already mentioned, Mirzet Halilovic. You see, the document claims that a

9 decision has been made to form wartime military police and Mirzet

10 Halilovic is appointed commander. That's what the document says.

11 Now thinking back, using your own memory of those events, and

12 bearing in mind you've testified that Mirzet Halilovic was a commander of

13 the military police, can you tell us if he was in charge of the military

14 police around July of 1992, or early July of 1992, as this document

15 apparently asserts?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Thank you. I've finished with those documents.

18 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just give me a moment to confer

19 with my colleagues, please.

20 [Prosecution counsel confers]

21 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you for that.

22 Q. All right. Now, I want to ask you some -- for some general

23 comments about meetings that you may have or may not have attended in

24 1992. Firstly, you've already mentioned in your evidence a number of

25 encounters at meetings that you had with Mr. -- where Mr. Tursonovic and

Page 6801

1 Mr. Oric were present.

2 In addition to all of the meetings that you've mentioned so far,

3 at the Domavija hotel, encounters at his house, did you from time to time

4 attend other meetings or other assemblies of men, large or small, where

5 both Mr. Oric and Mr. Tursonovic were present? I'm talking about 1992 and

6 going into early 1993, up until March of 1993.

7 A. As regards the War Presidency, I was never invited or participated

8 in their meetings. I did, however, participate in the meetings that were

9 organised by the TO Staff, on several occasions.

10 Q. And during those occasions, were there times when you were present

11 with men such as Akif Ustic, Zulfo Tursonovic, Naser Oric all being

12 together in the same room, along with other men, from time to time, 1992

13 up to March 1993?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. During those meetings where all of these men are gathered, were

16 there discussions involving military issues, military matters?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. At such meetings where all of those men are gathered, were there

19 also discussions about other matters not involving military issues?

20 Matters touching upon issues within the Srebrenica enclave?

21 A. I don't remember, and I don't know. It's a bit unclear to me.

22 Q. All right.

23 A. But I would prefer you to ask a direct question, really.

24 Q. I can't in this particular circumstance, Mr. Meholjic, but just

25 bear with me. Were you able to, on these occasions that you were at

Page 6802












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13 English transcripts.













Page 6803

1 meetings with other men and those three mention that I've mentioned,

2 Mr. Oric, Mr. Tursonovic, Mr. Ustic, were you able to observe and see how

3 those three men interacted with the other men gathered in meetings,

4 interacted with you and the other men.

5 A. Well, of course. We talked as people normally talk, depending on

6 the situation. Sometimes you raise your voice. Sometimes you don't. But

7 it depends on the overall atmosphere, on the circumstances around you.

8 Q. Yes, precisely. That's exactly what I wanted to know. Thank you

9 very much. So can you comment on any ability on the part of Mr. Oric, or

10 lack of ability, to influence matters, issues at such meetings?

11 A. Of course. Everybody did. And especially him. I mean, he was a

12 commander. He's supposed to have more influence than others.

13 Q. Did he exert that influence that commanding influence at these

14 meetings where he, Mr. Tursonovic, you, and other men were gathered?

15 A. Well, I don't know. Sometimes he did. Sometimes he must have

16 deemed that it was not necessary for him to do so. When -- I wasn't

17 sitting inside his head, so I can't tell you what he was thinking.

18 Q. I understand that. I understand that. I'm not asking you to get

19 inside his head. I'm just asking you to tell us what you saw and

20 observed, but I will leave the topic. Thank you very much.

21 I want you to turn now to another issue and that is the issue of

22 military operations. You've already mentioned -- you've already

23 mentioned, in your evidence today, a place called Zalazje. And that was

24 one of the reasons that you went to Mr. Oric's house. In other words, to

25 discuss something concerned with Zalazje on the occasion that

Page 6804

1 Mr. Tursonovic was rude to you and you decided to turn back and go home.

2 Do you know if, prior to that occasion, there had been launched

3 any attacks on Zalazje by Muslim forces within the Srebrenica enclave?

4 A. According to my knowledge, it was failure twice and we had quite a

5 few losses and so we had -- we suffered losses both times.

6 Q. Okay. You say "we suffered losses." Do I take it that, yes,

7 indeed, Muslim forces had attacked Zalazje on two prior occasions?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Who commanded the forces on those two prior occasions? If you are

10 able to say who did so, tell the Trial Chamber the basis for your saying

11 that.

12 A. I don't know who was in command, but I do know that Akif and

13 Hamdija and Naser's people participated, because we know it on the basis

14 of the dead, because of course you knew who had been killed. But even

15 though -- well you're not asking me this, but we had to attack. There was

16 no other way. They had been shelling and we had to attack.

17 Q. I'm not suggesting for one moment there was no reason for it. And

18 I will get to that, the reason for it in just a moment.

19 But what I am interested in is the command of the attack, the

20 first two. You didn't participate in those attacks, I take it?

21 A. I -- when I say "I myself," I did not participate a single time.

22 But my men on those two occasions that I know of, did not participate.

23 But on the third occasion, when Zalazje fell, I sent my people to join in,

24 although we had not agreed on that.

25 Q. I'm going to get to the third occasion in just a moment. It's one

Page 6805

1 very small matter that I just want to know. If you can't help us, that's

2 fine. But the first two, the first two occasions involving Zalazje, you

3 weren't there, you've just told us. Your men didn't participate, you've

4 just told us. And that's clear. But do you have any source of

5 information as to who commanded those first two attacks on Zalazje?

6 A. Since Akif and Hamdija's men took part, I don't know whether some

7 other units as well. Well, since the people from Potocari were

8 participating, there must have been a coordination there. But who was in

9 fact in command of the entire operation of the entire action, I do not

10 know. And it would be illogical that there would have had to be a staff

11 that somebody would have had to issue orders. These are my assumptions,

12 but I can't tell you exactly.

13 Q. Fine. Thank you. Thanks for that. Now, let's get back to the

14 third attack on -- sorry. Before we get to that. Can you tell the Trial

15 Chamber why it was that Zalazje was a source of concern to the Muslim

16 forces. What were the Serbs doing from -- involving Zalazje that

17 precipitated these attacks?

18 A. Well, it's a village where most of them were soldiers. It was the

19 army. They were heavily armed, from our point of view. They had guns,

20 mortars, anti-aircraft, machine-guns and they were on a hill basically and

21 it is above Srebrenica and Potocari. Since Srebrenica and Potocari are

22 pretty close. And so they're halfway between the two. And the distance,

23 the overall distance is about five kilometres. And they were shelling the

24 civilian population on a daily basis. And we had to remove them. There

25 was no other way.

Page 6806

1 Q. And do -- can you tell the Trial Chamber if the Muslim forces had

2 met with any success in the first two attacks?

3 A. No. Well, it wasn't successful since we didn't manage to take the

4 position. We felt many of our people were killed and we never managed to

5 get to them either.

6 Q. Okay, thank you. That's the background to Zalazje. Now, tell us

7 about the conversation that you had with Mr. Oric regarding Zalazje and

8 this is, of course, following the meeting or the failed meeting at his

9 house at Potocari. When Mr. Tursonovic was rude to you, you left. Did

10 you see Mr. Oric that evening?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And tell us where you saw him, whether he arrived alone or with

13 others and what the topic of conversation was.

14 A. Naser came to see me in late afternoon, early evening he came to

15 see me at Domavija. He apologized a bit for Zulfo's behaviour. He was

16 uncomfortable with it. But basically he came to see that there would be

17 an attack on Zalazje and he told me, you know what, my friend, I'm a bit

18 afraid of Zalazje. Would you agree to send your people to Zalazje and

19 Zulfo will not be here. He will go to Alizovic [phoen] which was a

20 neighbouring village and I accepted for my people to join in, to join his

21 people, a certain number of my men. And we both talked to Kamenica, who

22 was called Ziga. Because he too agreed and he was supposed to lead those

23 men, and to come from the direction of Potocari. And, well, we agreed.

24 And there was supposed to be no problem, with the proviso that I wouldn't

25 be coming along.

Page 6807

1 Q. Thank you. And did in fact your men participate in the attack?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Did you speak to Mr. Oric after the attack?

4 A. Yes, I did.

5 Q. Was the attack successful in military terms, achieve its

6 objective?

7 A. Yes, it was a success. We achieved our goal and Mr. Oric came to

8 thank my guys who had been good. And he said, had it not been for the

9 people from Potocari and my men, they would never have made it, and that

10 was okay.

11 Q. During the attack, under whose command were Ziga and the men that

12 you provided?

13 A. I don't know who was entrusted with the task. I mean, Ziga was

14 the commander of that group, but in the course of the fighting he might

15 have been entrusted with the task by somebody who was appointed Ziga's

16 superior by Naser. Ziga was not able to lead the operation.

17 Q. Okay. Did Mr. Oric ever say to you that he commanded the attack?

18 A. Naser was up there. I know that. And there was no blame there

19 from any side.

20 Q. Don't worry. I'm not talking about blame on anyone's part. I'm

21 just asking about command. The command. Command of Ziga and the group of

22 men who go off to battle in Zalazje, were they operating independently or

23 were they under the command of anyone?

24 MR. JONES: Your Honour, there's a third possibility they were

25 coordinating since this witness has referred to that. It is just -- it's

Page 6808

1 a general objection that the question shouldn't presume that one person

2 had to be in command. The witness has spoken of different units

3 coordinating and he should be given the option of responding that there

4 was no overall command, just different units coordinating.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: But he was suggesting to the witness.

6 MR. JONES: He said that already.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: He was suggesting to the witness. Let the witness

8 answer the question, please.

9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, sorry. Mr. Meholjic, please answer

11 Mr. Di Fazio's question. If you want, we can repeat it, read it out to

12 you.

13 Yes, Mr. Di Fazio referred to the command. And he said: Command

14 of Ziga and the group of men who go off to battle in Zalazje, were they

15 operating independently or were they under the command of anyone?

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. Since I sent them up

17 there, they were not allowed to do as they pleased. They had to obey

18 someone.


20 Q. Okay. Who? Who? Who did they have to obey during the attack?

21 You weren't there.

22 A. Well, they had to obey Ziga and Ziga had to obey someone who -- I

23 mean on the basis of my conversation with Naser, I sent him with Naser and

24 it was up to him to decide who was to do what. They were acting in

25 cooperation, but somebody would have had to command, to be in command,

Page 6809

1 because otherwise the action wouldn't have been successful.

2 Q. Well, with respect, that makes perfect sense. Do you know who it

3 was, who that someone who would have had to command, do you know who the

4 someone actually was? I'm not talking about the localised actions. I'm

5 talking about the entire operation.

6 A. Well, since Naser was up there, Naser obviously. Who else?

7 Q. Thank you. Do you know a placed call Fakovici?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Do you know if Muslim forces from within the Srebrenica enclave

10 launched a military operation in that area, in 1992?

11 A. It wasn't an enclave at the time. I don't know how you called

12 that, but, yes, we did attack.

13 Q. Sure, okay. Well what I meant was that Muslim-held territory

14 around Srebrenica. And can you remember the time of the attack? You may

15 not know the date, but can you remember the month? If not the month, can

16 you remember the season?

17 A. I know it was in autumn, because we needed food.

18 Q. Thank you. Do you know a place in Srebrenica called Dom Kulture,

19 or culture club?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Did you ever go there in relation to any events concerning this

22 military operation on Fakovici?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Was that before the attack or operation, call it what you will,

25 involving Fakovici?

Page 6810

1 A. Before the operation.

2 Q. Who was there?

3 A. There were quite a few of us. We were invited to be informed that

4 the staff had made the decision to launch an attack on Fakovici. There

5 were between 20 and 25 people there, who came to hear what their task

6 would be. And the meeting was chaired by Osmanovic, the Chief of Staff.

7 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speaker please not cover his mouth and

8 could we have the second mike on because we can't hear him properly.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was Akif, Zulfo, Naser, I

10 myself, Sefik, Mandzic, myself. There were quite a few people, quite a

11 few people who had some kind of army and who were commanders either of

12 companies or units. It was a situation when everybody had to join in and

13 do something, because there was -- people were starving there.


15 Q. All right. Osmanovic, is that Osman Osmanovic?

16 A. Yes. Yes.

17 Q. Was there a discussion amongst the assembled men on how to conduct

18 the attack?

19 A. Well, everyone gave their point of view, their view of the

20 situation and we decided how many men we could each provide.

21 Q. Was there a proposal for you and your men?

22 A. Yes. I accepted, I could provide about sixty people and that I

23 would go to the area stretching between just below a place called Skelani,

24 below a place called Dziljebac [phoen] and we had to cut that

25 communication link to prevent Serb forces from coming from the area of

Page 6811

1 Skelani since it was at the very border with Serbia, the border is marked

2 by the river Drina. And I was entrusted with that task myself to go

3 there.

4 Q. At the meeting when you're -- when your tasking is being raised,

5 were you concerned about the issue of mines in the area?

6 A. Yes. I asked for that because the date had not been made public

7 at that stage. I asked for four days, for my people to go and demine the

8 area, because otherwise we would be at the risk of mines, because a couple

9 of days earlier a fighter from Ahmo Tihic, not one of my fighters but one

10 of Ahmo Tihic's fighters was killed there.

11 Q. And did you. You -- you -- you asked for the four days. Was

12 there any reaction from anyone?

13 A. Mr. Oric said to me "you'll get that".

14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speaker please not cover his mouth.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Meholjic, I am being asked by the

16 interpreters to ask you not to cover your mouth when you are speaking,

17 because your voice is not reaching them, because you are covering your

18 mouth. Okay. It's a simple thing. Thank you. Let's go, let's proceed,

19 Mr. Di Fazio.


21 Q. Mr. Oric gave you your four days. Can you recall anything else

22 that Mr. Oric said at the meeting? Any other matter that he raised, view

23 that he took?

24 A. At the end of the meeting, we were informed that the attack would

25 be launched in two days' time.

Page 6812

1 Q. Who informed you at the end of the meeting that the attack would

2 be in two day's time as opposed to four?

3 A. Osman Osmanovic said that.

4 Q. Was Mr. Oric still around at the end of the meeting when you are

5 informed of this?

6 A. I don't think so. I think that Zulfo and himself had gone out for

7 a while. I seem to be recalling that. I think they were out and this

8 other guy relayed the conclusion, but basically it was him who said that.

9 Q. What was your reaction when you heard it was to be two days

10 instead of four days?

11 A. I said I wouldn't go along.

12 Q. And briefly explain to the Trial Chamber why. Why wouldn't you go

13 along if the attack was in two day's time as opposed to four days?

14 A. Because I thought my people would get killed and I would myself

15 get killed and nothing was worth an attack being launched on a haphazard

16 date. I mean it is not a defence operation where you have to do what you

17 have to do, but if you're attacking, you have to make sure that you have

18 as few victims as possible.

19 Q. But just very briefly, tell the Trial Chamber what difference is

20 two days going to make as opposed to four days? Is that linked somehow to

21 the issue of mines? Or some other matter? Just tell them why. What is

22 it about two days' warning as opposed to four days' warning that makes you

23 say, no, I'm not going to participate?

24 A. Because if I think in terms of Srebrenica and my seat, my

25 headquarters, it was a long way away. We had no vehicles. We had to

Page 6813

1 walk. So we would have needed a whole day to get there. And the demining

2 team needed about two days to do that job, and then one day to come back.

3 So sooner than four days I wouldn't have been able to make it. We're

4 talking about 35 kilometres, I think. 35 kilometres away, I think. And

5 it was not enough for me in order to prepare and I didn't accept to go

6 with them.

7 Q. Just to be finally clear about this, you made it clear you weren't

8 going to participate at the meeting, that's when you made it clear?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. After the meeting and before the attack, did you see Mr. Oric?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Where?

13 A. He came to the Domavija hotel, he did.

14 Q. And what transpired between you and him?

15 A. He says "You're not going." I say, "No." Then he says, "Okay.

16 When I come back we will deal with that." And I said "Very well then."

17 Q. What did you understand him to be saying?

18 A. I don't know. Either we would be arguing, or we would shoot at

19 each other. I didn't know what to expect. In any case, nothing came out

20 of it.

21 Q. Did the attack, indeed, take place?

22 A. Yes. And the area that I was supposed to cover was covered by

23 Sefik Mandzic who was killed when he stepped on a land mine.

24 Q. And do you know who commanded that attack?

25 MR. JONES: If anyone.

Page 6814












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13 English transcripts.













Page 6815


2 MR. DI FAZIO: If anyone. If anyone.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, if anyone, obviously.

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Naser and Zulfo went up there. I

5 don't know who was in command. Somebody should have coordinated the whole

6 thing, somebody who was entrusted with that task by the staff. Naser was

7 there. I don't know who was in command.


9 Q. Thank you. And you earlier mentioned - when you started to talk

10 about this attack - that you mentioned, in an aside, that people were

11 starving in Srebrenica. Just moments ago in your evidence, not too long

12 ago. What were you driving at when you talked about starvation - as you

13 were talking - and hunger, as you were talking about the attack on

14 Fakovici? What was the point that you were making?

15 A. Every member of the army, whatever that army may have been at the

16 time, had their family and we all had to eat. People were starving,

17 literally. Srebrenica as a town did not have any food and Fakovici was on

18 a level ground up to the Drina. There was wheat and you could take food

19 from there in order to survive and a lot of people did that and they

20 couldn't care less whether they would die, whether they would be killed in

21 the process or not.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Vidovic.

23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just a correction or

24 clarification in the transcript. The witness said that it was an army of

25 the sort which was not organised at the time. And this has not entered

Page 6816

1 the transcript.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Meholjic -- are you finished Madam

3 Vidovic?

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not. Your Honour, the witness

5 also said that people were starving. Dying of hunger. They were starved

6 to death and this is what he said.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. You've heard Madam Vidovic make these

8 two statements. Would you agree that that is precisely what you had

9 stated yourself in your answer to Mr. Di Fazio?

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The army was not organised.

11 There were no barracks. And why am I saying this? You asked me how many

12 people we could give for the action. I had men and I could give some.

13 The others didn't. They had to go from one man to another to ask them

14 whether they could go. It was not an organised army. It was not a real

15 army and I can claim that before the God and the whole world that this

16 army was not organised. It was not a real army and the circumstances were

17 just the way they were.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.

19 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: And the other part you didn't answer with regard to

21 whether the people were starving to death. Is that what you stated

22 earlier on in your answer to Mr. Di Fazio's question?

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. When this was mentioned -- I'm

24 sorry, you have to excuse me for a moment. I suffered through a lot and

25 we had to do things that we had to do. And I'm very sorry that it didn't

Page 6817

1 take part in that attack. I suffered greatly for that.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.

3 MR. DI FAZIO: Okay. I think we can cut this -- I don't think

4 there will be an objection to this, if I make the suggestion.

5 Q. Was the attack on Fakovici primarily to get food for the starving

6 population of Srebrenica?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Thank you.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Vidovic.

10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I really don't want to

11 interrupt my learned friend. The witness has just said that the children

12 were starving, but this hasn't been recorded.

13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Did --

14 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm not trying to diminish this in any way at all.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: But the question is the transcript should reflect

16 what the witness actually states or what is actually stated.

17 So is it correct that in what you have just stated in reaction to

18 my question earlier on, is that children were also starving?

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that. And I had to eat what

20 horses normally eat, and let alone the children; I had to eat oats.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, and thank you Madam Vidovic.

22 Mr. Di Fazio.

23 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm sorry. Would Your Honours just give me a

24 moment, please?

25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, certainly.

Page 6818

1 MR. DI FAZIO: All right.

2 Q. Do you know a place called Podravnje?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Are you aware of there ever having been an attack by Muslim

5 forces on that place?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Can you tell us if it occurred before or after Fakovici?

8 A. It must have been before.

9 Q. And --

10 A. Sefik Mandzic is somebody I associate with Podravno. He did a

11 good job there. When I say "a good job," I mean he destroyed a military

12 nest of an anti-aircraft machine-gun that was firing at people. There was

13 this nest where the -- with a PAM which is an anti-aircraft machine-gun.

14 Everybody talked about that, those who participated in that action. My

15 people talked about that as well, because they were there.

16 Q. Okay. Did you --

17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Could we show the witness a map so that he

18 could indicate to us where Podravnje is, in respect to Srebrenica, please.

19 MR. DI FAZIO: I don't know if my map is actually -- oh, it might.

20 Can I show you this map here. It's a new one. Put your glasses on

21 because it is not --

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is west of Srebrenica.

23 MR. DI FAZIO: Have a look at this map.

24 A. Can this be zoomed in a little? I can't see too well.

25 Q. You may ...

Page 6819

1 A. The map has to be moved upwards.

2 Q. Is it on that map or is it off that map?

3 A. The name is Podravno, and it is here.

4 Q. Thank you.

5 A. Podravno has to be the name.

6 Q. Thank you. Can I ask you to mark in pink marker text that I have

7 here and I'm just about to hand to the usher the place called Podravno.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's cut it short. Your finger was actually almost

9 pointing to --

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Here. Here it is. [Indicates]

11 P-o-d-r-a-v-n-o, Podravno.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. And put your initials next to it, please

13 okay. Can we zoom out now so that we can see where it is in respect to

14 Srebrenica -- so it is south-west at 40 minutes south of Srebrenica.

15 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I seek to tender this map

16 into evidence and I may refer to it later and ask for further markings,

17 but I've got copies here.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, all right. This will become P --

19 THE REGISTRAR: P518, Your Honour.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: P518, Mr. Di Fazio.

21 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.

22 Q. On the map it actually says Podravno. I spoke about a place

23 called Podravanje. Is Podravanje and Podravno, is it in fact the same

24 place? Or is it just different --

25 A. Yes.

Page 6820

1 Q. Now, did you attend any planning meetings concerning this

2 operation?

3 A. No. But my deputy was there.

4 Q. And who was that?

5 A. Velid Delic.

6 Q. Did he report to you or tell you what had been discussed or

7 planned at this meeting?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. What did he tell you?

10 A. That Podravanje should be attacked in order to connect to Luka

11 Zepa because they were wounded there. Nobody could assist them there.

12 There. There was an interruption between these two territories and in

13 strategical terms this was justified. And from there Suceska was being

14 constantly shelled. They were very well armed. They had tanks and we had

15 to deal with that.

16 Q. Thank you. Do you know -- sorry. Let me rephrase that.

17 Do you know if soldiers or fighters from the Srebrenica TO

18 command -- I'm sorry. Let me withdraw that question.

19 Can you tell us if Muslim fighters from the Srebrenica area were

20 intended to participate in this military action?

21 A. Of course. This is a large area, a five-kilometre area. You

22 can't take that just like that.

23 Q. Fine. Do you know of an area called Zepa?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber if any fighters, Muslim fighters

Page 6821

1 from that area, Zepa, were meant to -- were intended to participate in

2 this operation?

3 A. Yes. This was to open a road for them and it wouldn't have been

4 okay if we were fighting and they were just sitting and twiddling their

5 thumbs. They had to participate as well.

6 Q. Do you know under whose command these fighters from Zepa were?

7 A. Avdo Palic for a time. They belonged to us down there. But I was

8 not a person who could say anything about that, because I don't know.

9 Avdo Palic was the commander and sometimes he would come to the meetings

10 down there, to the staff. And this is the extent of my knowledge about

11 that.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Vidovic.

13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, whilst the witness is

14 talking about this, the transcript is still lacking something. The

15 witness mentioned that Zepa belonged to them for a time, and on the record

16 it says "they belonged to us," and there is a huge difference there.

17 Maybe the witness could clarify that for us.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Meholjic. Will you confirm what Madam

19 Vidovic has just attributed to you having said a few minutes ago?

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Ne were under the command of Avdo

21 Palic, I believe that they were some sort of a battalion for a while.

22 They did not belong to us. Naser and Zulfo went up there to negotiate. I

23 don't know what they agreed. For a certain period of time they

24 coordinated with us, as far as I know. And I don't know later on what

25 happened. I don't know what was the situation like at that moment, but I

Page 6822

1 know that they participated either in coordination or whichever way the

2 staff told them to, to do that.

3 In any case, they were there. They had to be there during the

4 attack.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you satisfied with that, Madam Vidovic?

6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.

8 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.

9 Q. Now, Velid, your commander, went to the meeting and participated.

10 Did you agree that your men should participate in the operation involving

11 Podravno or Podravanje?

12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Vidovic.

13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour. Not for a

14 single moment did the witness mention an operation. On several occasions

15 my learned friend has used the word "operation" for these developments.

16 The witness has never mentioned the word himself.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Meholjic, would you describe the attack on

18 Podravanje or Podravno as an operation, in military terms? Or not?

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not a military expert. I have

20 very little experience, negligible experience. And knowledge that dates

21 before -- from before the war, when I served in the JNA. We called this

22 an action. An action to liberate Podravanje. And this is the terminology

23 that we used and you can call it whatever you want to call it. We never

24 used the term "operation." An operation means something huge and we were

25 not involved in anything huge. We were just little people there.

Page 6823

1 MR. DI FAZIO: Well maybe that's been source -- in fact, if I can

2 allay Madam Vidovic's fears, I'm actually using the word operation in

3 order to be as neutral as possible.

4 JUDGE AGIUS: I thought so as well. But now you have more or less

5 a direction from the witness himself.

6 MR. DI FAZIO: I will switch from operation to action.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: To action, yes. Yes, Madam Vidovic.

8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. In our

9 language there is a huge difference and the witness may be confused if the

10 terms are mixed up.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: In instances like this where there is obviously a

12 difference in the significance or in the meaning of terminology from one

13 language to another, it is important to have these laid out and clarified.

14 Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.

15 MR. DI FAZIO: Right. "Action" it is.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, the question, if you want me to repeat it for

17 you, was -- I lost it now from my screen. It has -- I lost it. I have

18 to go to a previous page.

19 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. I remember.

20 Q. Did you contribute any forces, any of your men to this action in

21 Podravanje?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. How many?

24 A. I don't know. Between 20 and 30. I can't remember exactly.

25 According to the estimates we were given a task. We made a commitment.

Page 6824

1 And we estimated that this is how many men would be needed to comply with

2 that commitment.

3 Q. Thank you. Did you or your men possess any Motorola radios?

4 A. Velid was given a Motorola of some sort. I don't know who from.

5 I can tell that you're insisting on some details. This was a long time

6 ago. A lot of things happened in the meantime. In any case, he was given

7 Motorola from somewhere. I don't know whether this Motorola had been

8 captured from somebody, not everybody who was involved in this action

9 could have Motorolas. Only the people who were important could be

10 provided with Motorolas. Velid was one of those. He was given a Motorola

11 and from Avdo, the assistant commander from communications, he was given a

12 coding machine.

13 Q. I want you to focus on the -- this action in Podravanje. During

14 that particular action, was Velid given a Motorola to use?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Who gave it to him?

17 A. Somebody in the staff. He went there and picked it up. He was

18 given a Motorola and he was entrusted with the task. We looked at the

19 task, to see what he was supposed to do. Within that framework, as we

20 were given this task for ourselves, we had to see what is it that we were

21 supposed to do on the ground.

22 Q. All right. Thank you. Excuse me. Did you ever understand, from

23 Velid, what he was to do with the Motorola during this military action?

24 Did he ever explain to you?

25 A. As far as I can remember, when he arrived in the position from the

Page 6825

1 direction of the mountain called Caurka, he was supposed to report to

2 Naser, to tell him that he had arrived. I don't know what the agreement

3 was about the beginning of the attack. There was some sort of tactics

4 involved, as much as we could engage in any tactics, given our very modest

5 experience.

6 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us who commanded this action, if anyone?

7 A. Again, I want to be very clear, but in order to be clear I can't

8 be short. And this is very important. If the Chamber will allow me.

9 We were not real army. Somebody had to coordinate things as much

10 as they could. And without that coordination, there wouldn't have been a

11 successful action. I believe that Podravanje was a successful action.

12 Naser was there. And if he had not appointed anybody else, then

13 it was him. If he did not -- had not authorised anybody else to be in

14 command -- Velid was not in command in any case.

15 Q. Velid was under the command of someone else at the action? That

16 was your understanding?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And do I understand your evidence to be that that person would

19 have been either Mr. Oric or someone he assigned?

20 A. Yes.

21 MR. DI FAZIO: This would be --

22 JUDGE AGIUS: There are two or three minutes left, because I saw

23 you looking at the clock, so ...

24 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm not finished with the attack but --

25 JUDGE AGIUS: It's up to you. If you want to --

Page 6826












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13 English transcripts.













Page 6827

1 MR. DI FAZIO: Could I break now?

2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. That's fine with us. If you want to go a few

3 more minutes, we can go a few more minutes and then break after. But we

4 are going to have a break now. 25 minutes from now. Thank you.

5 --- Recess taken at 12.27 p.m.

6 --- On resuming at 1.00 p.m.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.


9 Q. Thank you. We were talking, before the break, about the action in

10 Podravanje. Did you visit the site of the action after it had been

11 completed?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Did you go alone or were you in company with anyone?

14 A. Dr. Nadret came with me. We went together to check it out.

15 Q. Just for the record that's Dr. Nadret Mujkanovic, I take it?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Did you go to a point in the landscape where you could -- where

18 you had a good view of the site of what you understood to have been the

19 area of action?

20 A. We were not on a hill actually. We were at Podravanje. Not

21 really where the centre was, where the school was, but on the other side.

22 And I saw a tank and I went to investigate. That entire area, I mean, the

23 villages are not organised in the same way. They're a bit scattered as

24 here, so you can't really say that there is a proper centre. The centre

25 is usually where the school is and the houses are sometimes even one

Page 6828

1 kilometre away and it is still a part of the same village.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Vidovic.

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would just like to

4 point out to a mistake in the transcript. The witness said "I went to

5 look what it was" and the transcript says "I went to investigate."

6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter believes it is the same meaning

7 in English, but we do apologise.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, all right. I think we don't need an

9 explanation from the witness so, Mr. Di Fazio, please proceed.


11 Q. Thanks. What I'm interested in is, did you have an opportunity,

12 during your visit there, to have a look around and see either the entire

13 area where the action had taken place, or parts of the area where the

14 action had taken place?

15 A. I was in a situation in which I could see parts of it.

16 Q. Could you see any evidence of burning of property? Any sort of

17 property at all?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. What could you see burnt?

20 A. I saw some hay, which had been burnt and dumped. And I said don't

21 touch it. Well I don't know what the name for this is. It is some kind

22 of a truck, because it's in -- it was in an area where there was a mine

23 and that truck was used to carry the ore. And I said to the people "Don't

24 set fire on it because it can be used. Don't set fire on it." Then there

25 was some hay burning and I said, "Why are you setting fire to it? We'll

Page 6829

1 need that hay." And they said, "Well Cica has told us to."

2 Q. Who is Cica?

3 A. Zulfo Tursunovic.

4 Q. Thank you. Did you see soldiers there? By that I mean, people

5 who you understood to be Muslim fighters?

6 A. You know what, we had no uniforms. People were dressed in rags.

7 They didn't have either proper clothes or shoes, both soldiers and the

8 civilians. Mostly the civilians were gathering food in the fields,

9 pumpkins et cetera. It was in the autumn. And an army, any sort of

10 official formation, well I didn't see that.

11 Q. Do you know what the ethnicity was of the people who were

12 gathering food in the fields?

13 A. Muslims of course. They wouldn't have been Serbs.

14 Q. Were they people from the local area, or were they people who had

15 come to the area?

16 A. You know what, there were refugees from several municipalities in

17 Srebrenica. From Bratunac only we had eleven-and-a-half thousand.

18 Therefore, I did not know everyone. I was basically a foreigner in my own

19 town and I just did not know everyone.

20 Q. I -- okay, thank you. During the -- your visit there, did you

21 see a tank, an armoured vehicle?

22 A. Yes, I was there.

23 Q. Do you know a gentleman named Mandja and another gentleman named

24 Mujo?

25 A. I do know Mandja and I know Mujo, but Mandja has a brother called

Page 6830

1 Mujo. Now what Mujo you mean, I don't know; there are quite a few Mujos.

2 Q. I will approach this topic a little differently. Did troops or

3 fighters at the area do anything in respect of this tank that you'd seen?

4 A. I approached the tank and some guys from the Ljeskovik village

5 wanted to set fire to it and I didn't allow it and I kept saying "Don't

6 set fire to it." And I could see that there were nine grenades in the tank

7 and, well, we needed those grenades. They would have come in useful. And

8 I called a man whose name was Zuhdo, Hajdarevic. He knew how to drive a

9 bulldozer because he used to work in the mine and so I said, Zuhdo, could

10 you try and drive this tank, because we had nobody else. And he was

11 trembling a little bit and I encouraged him. And then he got in and he

12 set it in motion and then very slowly he went down a road from this hill

13 and we took it to Srebrenica.

14 Q. Okay. Now, it is what happened in Srebrenica that I am interested

15 in. Where precisely did you take it to in Srebrenica? To the Domavija

16 hotel? Or some other place?

17 A. In front of the hotel. I mean he was driving and I was riding in

18 it.

19 Q. And was he one of your men, the driver?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And --

22 A. But he wasn't a fighter. He used to work at a workshop.

23 Q. Fair enough. What had been your intention with respect to this

24 tank? Had you intended to seize it and keep it for yourself? I don't

25 mean you personally, but for you and your men.

Page 6831

1 A. First of all, I think -- well, I saved it and I took it down to

2 the workshop and there were two or three engineers there, machine

3 engineers. And they could have repaired it and maybe give it to somebody

4 else. I didn't want it to be a tank unit and I'm not good at it, but it

5 was the first tank that got to Srebrenica and there wasn't a great deal of

6 experience. We didn't know what a tank was.

7 Q. Thank you. That's all I needed to know. And did anyone -- let me

8 rephrase the question. Were you able to hang on to the tank?

9 A. No. Afterwards Mandja, Mujo -- well, they're all called Mandja

10 and there are three or four brothers. And they were all called Mandjas.

11 So if you ask me which one -- because they did have different characters.

12 Different nature. Different behaviour. And people used to say, well

13 okay. Which one. And they asked -- they said it was their tank and that

14 Naser's people took it and they asked for the tank and then we gave it

15 away and then afterwards it was sent somewhere else and nine grenades were

16 used and there was nothing left.

17 Q. That's okay. What I want to know is this. The Mandja and Mujo --

18 of the many Mandja and Mujos who were about -- the Mandja and Mujo who

19 came to take the tank, were they men under the command of Naser Oric? Or

20 not? Or you don't know?

21 A. Well, they claimed to be. They were from Potocari and they were

22 witness there.

23 Q. They were what? Okay I didn't quite get the last part of your

24 answer. They claimed to be. I assume that you mean claimed to be Naser

25 Oric's men. They were from Potocari. And what was the last?

Page 6832

1 JUDGE AGIUS: They were with him.

2 MR. DI FAZIO: With him.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: Here it says they were witness there. But he

4 said -- I mean, the interpretation that I heard was that they were "with

5 him." I take it like that, I mean it's ...

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I said -- perhaps I can be a

7 bit helpful here. They did not actually say they were Naser's people. I

8 knew they were.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But they said, give us the tank.

11 It's our tank, because we took it. And then I said, "Well, if you took

12 it, why don't you take it then?" And then they said they were waiting.

13 They didn't know anyone who could turn the engine on, et cetera. But

14 basically they were Naser's people who came along and there was no

15 incident there.

16 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.

17 Q. Do you know what Dr. Nedret Mujkanovic's purpose was in going to

18 the site of this action? Was it just to have a look and see what

19 happened? Or was there some other purpose?

20 A. To have a look. He was a young man. He was interested. He had

21 never seen it before. And then another tank was taken -- well not him. I

22 don't know. They found another tank in a creek and then he came along

23 riding in this second tank.

24 Q. Who, Dr. Mujkanovic?

25 A. Yes. There were two tanks. And he came with the other.

Page 6833

1 Q. Fine, okay. Were both tanks taken back, and were both tanks later

2 re-taken by Mujo and Mandja?

3 A. I don't know. That tank did not get to Domavija. And it went

4 somewhere else. I don't know where they sent it. I don't know. But it

5 never came to Domavija. I had nothing to do with it. So I have no idea.

6 Later on, I heard that Zulfo's men took it, but that's just a rumour.

7 That's what I heard. I can't state that. But the second tank did get to

8 Srebrenica. I can claim that.

9 Q. Okay. And while we're on the topic of Dr. Mujkanovic, you've told

10 us that he stayed for, I think quite some time with you, at the Domavija

11 hotel. Did you become friends with him?

12 A. Of course, yes.

13 Q. Yes. Fine. And did he, in the time that he was in Srebrenica,

14 become acquainted with other members of the War Presidency and other

15 members of the Srebrenica TO? Men such as Akif Ustic and Mr. Tursonovic?

16 A. When he came, I did not see him. He first met with them. And

17 then he came to see me one day to talk to me. He was already familiar

18 with some problems between us, and I told him: Doctor, take it easy.

19 You will be able to assess it all on your own. I don't want to tell you

20 anything. And he knew all of us.

21 Q. Yes. And what I'm -- and in particular, he also knew and was

22 acquainted with members of the Srebrenica TO? Men such as Akif Ustic,

23 Naser Oric, Zulfo Tursunovic.

24 A. Well, he knew. He perhaps didn't know everyone, but he knew quite

25 a few of them. He treated quite a few of them. He knew many of them.

Page 6834

1 Q. Did he spend time at the Srebrenica TO headquarters?

2 A. I think that in the talks with Mr. Oric and all that, he helped in

3 the shaping of some things. And I believe that for a while he was in

4 charge of health or something like that, until Avdo came along. But he

5 did attend some of their meetings, which I didn't, and he knew a lot more

6 than I did.

7 Q. I will deal with the issue of communications later, but did he

8 speak to you from time to time about communications that were going on

9 between Sarajevo and Srebrenica, or any communications that might have

10 been going on between Sarajevo and Srebrenica?

11 A. Yes. On a number of occasions. I don't know how many times

12 exactly, but he did say that there were talks with Sarajevo, with Sefer

13 Halilovic, I believe, and with Mr. Izetbegovic.

14 Q. And would he tell you this perhaps at nights when you were at the

15 Domavija hotel?

16 A. It wasn't obligatory, but he carried out surgery on some people

17 and then they said he oh, do you have something nice that you have

18 prepared for the doctor, et cetera. And then we were just sitting around

19 and talking and then somebody started talking. It wasn't information

20 provided on a regular basis. It was just the casual conversation,

21 informal conversation.

22 Q. Exactly. Exactly. Thank you. But that's what I wanted to

23 ascertain. So I wanted to know the nature of it. This wasn't formal

24 contacts with Dr. Mujkanovic. This was just things that you learned in

25 the -- as -- over time as you became more acquainted with him, is that

Page 6835

1 correct?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And did he [Realtime transcript read in error "you"] become

4 friends with Mr. Oric?

5 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, because the transcript says here "and

6 did you become friends with Mr. Oric". Was your question "did you become

7 friends with Mr. Oric or did he, Dr. Mujkanovic.

8 MR. DI FAZIO: Dr. Mujkanovic.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: That's what I thought. That's what I thought

10 you -- I heard you saying, but the transcript is "did you become friends

11 with Mr. Oric". It's not whether you became friends with Mr. Oric.

12 Whether Dr. Mujkanovic became friends with Mr. Oric. That's the question

13 that you need to answer, please.

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If it's about the doctor, yes, of

15 course. We were all good friends with the doctor. He was held in high

16 esteem by all. We all respected him. As far as I knew, he was a great

17 deal of support to us. So Oric, of course, was on good terms with him as

18 well. I don't know of any disagreements between them.


20 Q. I want you to turn your attention to another action. Do you know

21 a place called Bjelovac?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. I think I might refer to the map if Your Honours please. I've

24 forgot the exhibit number?

25 JUDGE AGIUS: 518.

Page 6836

1 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. May P518 be produced to the witness.

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's not on this map. Maybe it is.

3 MR. DI FAZIO: Have a look. I think you can see where the Drina

4 is.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: You are just pointing, you are pointing.

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Here is Bjelovac.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: So for the record, the witness points a spot on the

8 map which is marked as "Bjelovac."

9 MR. DI FAZIO: I will provide you with, again, with a pink marking

10 pen. Could you just find for us Bjelovac. Another place I want you to

11 find for us is a place called Voljevica.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, the witness points to a spot on the

13 map indicate indicated as Voljevica and he marks, he highlights both this

14 village and Bjelovac with pink highlighter.

15 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Meholjic, could you please put your initials

17 next to each of the places that you have marked. Thank you.

18 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.

19 Q. Now, perhaps if you will just keep the exhibit there, I may come

20 back to it while I am asking you questions about this topic, but you don't

21 need to look at it just for the moment.

22 Was there any meeting to discuss any military action at this

23 place?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Thank you. And I should have asked you prior to that. Can you

Page 6837

1 remember approximately -- well, did, in fact, military action take place

2 at Voljevica?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Can you remember about what time of year that was or the date, if

5 you have the date? Or even the month.

6 A. It was in winter, perhaps December, because I remember there was

7 snow on the ground. Whether at the same time or whether we had snow two

8 or three days later that's why I'm saying it, but it was before the New

9 Year.

10 Q. Okay, thank you. Now the meeting. Did you personally go to that

11 meeting?

12 A. No.

13 Q. Did any of your deputies or men attend the meeting?

14 A. Delic Velid, one of my member, my deputy.

15 Q. Did he later inform you what had taken place at the meeting?

16 A. He did.

17 Q. And can you tell the Trial Chamber what he told you had happened

18 at the meeting and what tasking your men had, if any?

19 A. It was agreed that we would attack Bjelovac, perhaps some other

20 place as well. But I wasn't present there. But I focussed on the part

21 that was the task entrusted to us, that was agreed at that meeting; that

22 is to say, for my men to deal with the road links, Bratunac, Voljevica,

23 Zaluzje and Bjelovac and to set up an ambush there in case -- I think

24 we're talking about a four-kilometre road from Bratunac. In order to make

25 sure that Serb forces could not come and provide assistance to the ones in

Page 6838












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13 English transcripts.













Page 6839

1 the area that we wanted to take.

2 I mean, that we had to take because Zalazje and Voljevica is and

3 enormous area that had been inhabited by Bosniaks, but we had too many by

4 Bosniaks, but we had too many people at Srebrenica and we had to take

5 people from Bratunac back to the area of Bratunac and that's what happened

6 later on and then we can talk about it later.

7 Q. Well, were these details provided to you by Velid?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Did you agree to provide men to participate in this action at

10 Bjelovac?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. About how many men?

13 A. 20 or perhaps 25. In any case, they were my best men. And under

14 the circumstances, they were well armed. They were good enough to carry

15 out the action successfully and to prevent those people from passing

16 through.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes Madam Vidovic.

18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just a clarification

19 here. When he was talking about the area, he also mentioned Zaluzje and

20 Voljevica. Not Zalazje, and Voljevica. This is just to avoid confusion.

21 We would like to have the record set straight. In line 17, can the

22 witness confirm he was talking about Zaluzje.

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Zaluzje is the place in that

24 area.

25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, thank you.

Page 6840


2 Q. Did Velid inform you of who had been present at the planning

3 session?

4 A. I can't remember exactly. In any case, there was the staff or

5 people in the staff who were in charge of that. I can't say who was

6 present. I suppose there were people who were assigned tasks, the

7 command, I suppose. Not everybody could be invited to that meeting.

8 Q. Okay. And your men did participate in the action?

9 JUDGE AGIUS: He's confirmed that already.

10 MR. DI FAZIO: Sorry.

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

12 MR. DI FAZIO: Sorry for repeating that.

13 Q. Who commanded them during the action?

14 A. Nedzad Mustafic was in command.

15 Q. Now, was he one of your men?

16 A. I would not have given my men to anybody else but another of my

17 men. One of mine would always be in charge of the rest of my men. They

18 were all my men.

19 Q. And who was -- who commanded Nedzad Mustafic --

20 JUDGE AGIUS: Mustafic.

21 MR. DI FAZIO: -- Mustafic, if anyone, during the action, during

22 the action itself?

23 A. Nedzad was given a task and he had to go to carry this task out

24 and if there was anybody from the command ordering hinge differently, he

25 would have to obey. And that's the instruction that I always gave to my

Page 6841

1 men. If they received another order, they had to obey.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: You haven't answered the question actually, because

3 your question was quite different. Who commanded Nedzad Mustafic, if

4 anyone, during the action, during the action itself?

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was so far from where the events

6 were taking place, that -- the events were taking place in one place and

7 he was in charge of an ambush in a different place. There was no

8 communication between the two places. His task was to stop the Chetniks

9 from Bratunac if they started moving from Bratunac. This was his part of

10 the task during that operation, and that's what he was charged in Bjelovac

11 and the general area of Bjelovac. I don't know if I make myself clear.

12 Somebody, Naser or somebody assigned by Naser could have ordered him

13 differently. He could have told him: "The action is called off, you have

14 to withdraw," or "You have to go up there to help the men up there,"

15 because if we wanted to do something, this is how things had to be done.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.

17 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: You have ten minutes left.

19 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. Yes.

20 Q. Do you know a place called Kravica?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Was that place the subject of an action by Muslim forces in

23 January of 1993?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Was -- did you or your men participate in this?

Page 6842

1 A. No.

2 Q. Prior to the action taking place, did you know about it?

3 A. We talked informally, but, no, I did not know that this would take

4 place on that particular day.

5 Q. No, you may not have known the particular day. What I'm asking --

6 tell us if you know or not -- that there was going to be an action at that

7 area, in that area? Not necessarily whether it was on a particular day or

8 not.

9 A. I knew.

10 Q. And what were the sources of your information?

11 A. The citizens knew everything. Sometimes even before the troops.

12 That was part of our mentality. People were scurrying for food. They

13 would follow the army to get hold of whatever was there to bring back home

14 to their children.

15 Q. All right. Think carefully about this question and answer it if

16 you have knowledge. Do you know who commanded this particular attack?

17 A. I don't know. I know that everybody, almost everybody went there

18 except for my men. My men did not participate. I didn't either.

19 Everybody else went. I don't know how the command was organised. I

20 really wouldn't know.

21 Q. Did you speak to anyone in the Srebrenica TO after the attack

22 about the attack?

23 A. We did talk and I saw people carrying corn from Zepa, civilians

24 from Zepa and when I asked them where they were coming from, they said

25 that they were in Kravica, that Kravica had fallen. Everybody was talking

Page 6843

1 about that. There was nothing spectacular or special about that that

2 people wouldn't know about. There was no reason for people not to know.

3 Yes, I did talk to people and I also talked to Dr. Nadret and Djemo and

4 Hamdija. And there was nothing to hide. There was nothing special going

5 on that should have been hidden.

6 Q. Fine. I'm not suggesting there was. Did you ever discuss the

7 attack with Zulfo Tursunovic or Akif Ustic or Naser Oric?

8 A. Akif Ustic was dead. I couldn't talk to him.

9 Q. All right.

10 A. And as for Zulfo, yes, I did talk to him later on. Sometimes we

11 talked informally. And I was told that a lot more civilians entered than

12 the troops even before the troops. They entered the village directly.

13 They were supposed to stay outside the village. It was at the dawn of the

14 7th of January 1993.

15 Q. Thank you. In your conversations with Zulfo Tursonovic, did he

16 say anything about participating, or not participating, in the actual

17 attack? In other words, did he give you to understand that he'd been

18 there and participated? Or did he say something that indicated he hadn't

19 been? Or you can't say?

20 A. I would sooner say that I don't know. His men were there. I'm

21 telling you I don't know anybody who didn't go except for my men. And if

22 I remember well, if I'm not mistaken, I was told that I should stay, since

23 a lot of people went there and in case of an attack on Srebrenica, I could

24 put up resistance. I believe that this is what I discussed with Naser,

25 but it was a long time ago. It was only logical to -- to link up with the

Page 6844

1 troops from Konjevic Polje. The troops from Konjevic Polje participated.

2 They had to be coordinated. When I say forces, there may have been only

3 five men. I'm using some military terms, although I'm not a military

4 expert. I'm just mentioning the things that I remember. So when I

5 say "forces from Konjevic Polje," there may have been only five men.

6 Q. Thank you. Have you ever heard of a grouping of men or an entity

7 of men called the Suceska Brigade?

8 A. Yes. This was Zulfo's brigade.

9 Q. Did the -- sorry. Did the troops from Konjevic Polje have a

10 special name, as Zulfo's men did?

11 A. Well, the only name I am aware of is Konjevic. People from

12 Konjevic.

13 Q. Thank you.

14 MR. DI FAZIO: Your Honours, this would be an appropriate moment.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, I thank you, Mr. Meholjic. We will continue

16 tomorrow. Where do you stand more or less in relation to the projected

17 time you needed to finish this witness? Are you --

18 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm certainly going to occupy the half of tomorrow.

19 No question about that.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. Okay, I thank you

21 Mr. Meholjic. I will give you a rest now. Tomorrow we will return here

22 in this courtroom and we will resume at 9.00 in the morning. I thank you

23 so much. So we stand adjourned until tomorrow morning. Thank you.

24 --- whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,

25 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 7th day of April,

Page 6845

1 2005 at 9.00 a.m.