1 Wednesday, 20 April, 2005
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, could you call the case, please.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
7 IT-03-68-T, the Prosecutor versus Naser Oric.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Registrar. Good morning to you.
9 Mr. Oric, can you follow the proceedings in a language that you
10 can understand?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour and
12 gentlemen. Yes, I can follow the proceedings in my native language.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good morning to you.
14 Appearances for the Prosecution.
15 MR. WUBBEN: Good morning, Your Honours. My name is Jan Wubben,
16 lead counsel for the Prosecution, and good morning to the Defence team.
17 I'm here together with Mr. Gramsci Di Fazio, co-counsel, as well as
18 Ms. Joanne Richardson, and our case manager, Ms. Donnica Henry-Frijlink.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Wubben, and good morning to you.
20 Appearances for the Defence.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. My
22 name is Vasvija Vidovic. Together with Mr. John Jones, we represent the
23 Defence counsel of Mr. Naser Oric. Together with us is we have our legal
24 assistant Ms. Adisa Mehic, and our case manager, Mr. Geoff Roberts.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Vidovic, and good morning to you
1 and your team, as well.
2 Any preliminaries on your part, Mr. Wubben?
3 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour. When it comes to filing
4 yesterday -- sorry. Yes, Your Honour, I will repeat. When it comes to
5 the filing of yesterday, with a view to the witnesses to add and not to
6 call. In paragraph 7 of the referred motion, we named a person as a
7 witness to add, which we didn't include in our witness list as such. So,
8 and just a matter of being complete, we will file an addendum showing the
9 complete witness list, including that name as well.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, I thank you, Mr. Wubben. Thank you.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Incidentally on this motion, which I suppose you
13 have received as well, I think I will be extremely brief and it's an
14 invitation to the Defence rather than anything else. You know that we
15 are doing our utmost to have the Prosecution rest its case by the end of
16 May and not later. When I say "by the end of May, not later," plus/minus
17 one or two days, all right.
18 We would appreciate very much if, instead of taking the entire
19 two weeks, 15 days, that you have according to the Rules to file your
20 response, you try to file it earlier, possibly very early next -- this
21 coming week.
22 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have received the
24 motion; we have reviewed it. It is also very important to us to have
25 this trial completed, or rather the Prosecution case completed, as was
1 envisaged; and in view of the cooperation we have had so far with the
2 OTP, we will not object to these witnesses being placed on the list.
3 Another matter that we have to review is the OTP's proposal regarding one
4 of the witnesses, to have his supplemental statement read out. We will
5 give a reply within two days regarding this; however, as for the other
6 witnesses, we have no objections to them being placed on the list.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. So...
8 [Trial Chamber and legal assistant confer]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. And, Madam Vidovic, I must
10 acknowledge, on behalf of the Trial Chamber, our appreciation for your
12 Yes, now this witness, I suppose you have got nothing to say
13 before he comes in? I take it? No. How long do you expect -- who will
14 be leading this witness.
15 Yes, Ms. Richardson.
16 MS. RICHARDSON: Good morning, Your Honour. I will be leading
17 this witness, and I expect to be done with his examination-in-chief
18 tomorrow. I do have a substantial amount of documents, exhibits,
19 photographs, et cetera, that we would like to tender through this -- via
20 this witness, and so I suspect that I will take at least one and a half
21 sessions, if not more.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So that leads us into tomorrow.
23 And the Defence? Things being what they are and of course you haven't
24 heard one single word coming out of this witness's mouth, I understand it
25 will only be a rough guess.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we planned to
2 complete the cross-examination of this witness in one day. However, the
3 OTP delivered to us a vast number of documents, I think hundreds of
4 documents, and a lot depends on how much time they will spend on the
5 documents and how much time we will need to spend on them as well.
6 So perhaps it might take as long as two days. We will do our
7 best to complete it in one day though.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: In other words, you can't make an effort,
9 Ms. Richardson, to finish this exercise in -- today?
10 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, that is impossible, unfortunately.
11 This witness is extremely important and --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm not -- I know he is important, but I'm just
13 trying to tap all the resources that I can think of. All right. Let's
14 bring the witness in please.
15 He doesn't enjoy any protective measures, does he?
16 MS. RICHARDSON: No, Your Honour, indeed, and he hasn't requested
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Mr. Becirovic.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Welcome to this Tribunal. You are a witness for
22 the Prosecution in this case that has been instituted by the Prosecutor
23 of this Tribunal against Mr. Naser Oric, and you will very soon start
24 your testimony. Before you do so, our Rules require that you enter a
25 solemn declaration in the sense or to the extent that in the course of
1 your testimony you will be speaking the truth, the whole truth, and
2 nothing but the truth.
3 The text is contained in a piece of paper that Madam Usher is
4 going to hand to you. Please read that text out loud, and that will be
5 your commitment, your undertaking, with this Tribunal that you will be
6 testifying the truth. Go ahead.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
8 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Please take a seat. Yes. Welcome once
10 more. As I said, you will start your --
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: -- your testimony in a matter of seconds. Of
13 course most of us -- who will be cross-examining.
14 Most of us, until we reach the cross-examination stage, will be speaking
15 in English, so we have interpreters translating all the proceedings for
16 you in your own language. It's important that you can follow the
17 proceedings completely and that every single question and every single
18 remark said here is translated into your language. If at any time there
19 are problems with interpretation, or if at any time the volume is too
20 loud or too low or you're not receiving interpretation at all, then
21 please draw our attention straight away.
22 Another thing that I wanted to tell you is that, you will be here
23 for today and for tomorrow for sure, in all probability over the weekend.
24 And then we will try and finish with you Monday, doing our best to finish
25 by Monday. It's more or less a tiring exercise, sitting down and
1 answering questions. I don't know if you have any court experience. If
2 at any time you need a break, please let us know.
3 We usually have a break every hour and a half and that there be a
4 25, 30-minute break. All right. Did I make myself well understood?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Ms. Richardson from the Prosecution
7 will be questioning you now, examining you.
8 Yes, Ms. Richardson.
9 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 WITNESS: IBRAHIM BECIROVIC
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Examined by Ms. Richardson:
13 Q. Good morning, Mr. Becirovic.
14 A. Good morning.
15 Q. Please state your full name for the record.
16 A. My name is Ibrahim Becirovic.
17 Q. And for the record, is it a fact that you are here testifying
18 before this Tribunal by means of a subpoena, in that you are not
19 voluntarily here of your own free will, but you are here to testify in
20 this case because you were subpoenaed?
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. Please confirm the following information - if I misstate
23 anything, please do correct me - you were born on July 18th, 1962; you
24 were married; have two children; and you are of Muslim ethnicity?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You were born in the village of Opetci in the Srebrenica
2 municipality and you lived in Srebrenica until 1995. You presently
3 reside in Sarajevo?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You are now a member -- presently a member of the federation
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Please tell us what position you hold there at this time and tell
9 us when you were appointed to this position?
10 A. At this moment, I am an officer for ethics in the human resources
11 of the joint command of the federation of the army of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina -- or rather the Army of the Federation of Bosnia and
13 Herzegovina. I was appointed to this position in September of last year.
14 Q. And how long have you held this position?
15 A. For about six months.
16 Q. And prior to the present position that you presently fill, could
17 you tell us what position you held and whether it was also a part of the
18 Federation Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
19 A. Yes. Starting with the creation of the joint command of the
20 Federation Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1997, I was a member of the
21 telecommunication administration of the joint command of the Federation
22 Army. Starting in 1997 until 2004, I was in the telecommunications
23 administration and served there as planning officer, officer for planning
24 telecommunication links. My other position was an officer for management
25 of units in the Federation Army, telecommunication units in the
1 federation army.
2 Q. And what period of time did you hold this position or these
3 positions I should say?
4 A. From July of 1997 until mid-2001, I was the planning officer in
5 the telecommunications administration. And from mid-2001 until, July or
6 rather September of 2004 I served as officer for management of organs and
7 telecommunication units.
8 Q. And prior to 1997, were you employed and could you tell us with
9 whom and what position, if any, did you have?
10 A. From 1984, from December of 1984, I worked in the municipal
11 centre for monitoring and alerting, therefore I was an operations officer
12 in that centre for monitoring, informing, and alerting. I remained there
13 until April of 2002 -- or rather until April of 1992, until the war broke
14 out in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Srebrenica.
15 Q. Okay. Before we move to other positions, could you just tell us,
16 very briefly, what were your duties during the time that you were
17 employed from 1984 to 1992, with the municipal centre?
18 A. My main tasks or main tasks of the persons serving as operations
19 officers in the monitoring centre were to collect information from the
20 field, or rather from the territory of the municipality pertaining to
21 various emergencies and climate conditions, disasters, snowfalls and so
22 on. This information was very important for the organs of Srebrenica,
23 for the mayor who was to decide how to proceed in such cases. Based on
24 information collected, the authorities decided in what area mechanisation
25 ought to be used in order to clear away the snow, or in case where there
1 were land-slides what steps ought to be taken.
2 Q. And in your capacity during the time that you held this position,
3 did you receive any training or even prior to this position, were you
4 trained in any particular skill?
5 A. Yes. In 1987, from September to December, I attended a training
6 course for cryptographic encryption. In the former Yugoslavia, that was
7 the highest training level for encryption tasks, for encrypting and
8 decrypting written information. Upon completion of this course in
9 December of 1997, or rather 1987, in addition to my previous duties, I
10 was also authorised to conduct the tasks of encrypting and reading
11 encrypted information. We had a service in Bosnia-Herzegovina which was
12 organised in various regions. Srebrenica fell under the Tuzla region, as
13 a result of which the information arriving from the republican executive
14 council and sent to the municipal authorities went through these
15 channels, which means that they were encrypted at the source side. And
16 then that encrypted information was read at the final point and then made
17 available to authorised officials. That means that if there was, for
18 example, some information that originated from Srebrenica and was being
19 sent to regional authorities, then that information was encrypted in
20 Srebrenica and that the encrypted information was read in Tuzla.
21 Q. Going back briefly to the position you held at the municipality.
22 Did you have an opportunity to work with the local communities, in
23 Srebrenica as well as Bratunac?
24 A. In Srebrenica municipality -- rather, that territory was divided
25 into 17 local communes. Majority of these local communes had
1 communication links with the centre for monitoring, informing, and
2 alerting. I will refer now to the centre as the centre for informing,
3 just to make it easier, with your permission, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead. It is relevant?
5 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honour, indeed.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: That's why I have said go ahead. Go ahead.
7 MS. RICHARDSON:
8 Q. Did you complete your answer, with respect to -- well, I will
9 pose another question. Please continue.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: You said you were going to refer -- you asked for
11 permission to refer to the centre as the centre for informing so that we
12 could understand better, and I said "go ahead".
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I collected information from
14 the territory of local communes as well, because these were small
15 territorial units within the municipality which did not have telephone
16 links between each other. Therefore, the information that was needed, as
17 I have explained to you earlier, was gathered via radio.
18 MS. RICHARDSON:
19 Q. Thank you. Now, after you left the information -- your
20 employment with the information centre, did you work anywhere else?
21 A. Several days before the SDS of Srebrenica, or perhaps the SDS of
22 Bosnia and Herzegovina, or the Yugoslav People's Army, or the volunteers
23 perhaps, issued an ultimatum to the Muslims in Srebrenica to surrender
24 their weapons, I worked in the centre for public security, or rather in
25 MUP in Srebrenica, performing encrypting tasks there and forwarding this
1 information to the regional centre in Tuzla or the Republican Ministry of
2 the Interior in the Sarajevo. That was, therefore, several days before
3 the 17th of April, 1992.
4 Q. And you completed your mandatory military service with the JNA.
5 And could you tell us what year that was and whether or not you
6 specialised in any particular fields or tasks.
7 A. I think on the 5th of July, 1982, until the 1st of August, 1983,
8 so in that period of time I served my regular military service with the
9 former Yugoslav People's Army. I performed my service in Kragujevac and
10 in Rasko, which is in the territory of today's Serbia. Upon completing
11 my military service I was trained and acquired skills in the signals
12 field, communication field, and I specialised as an officer for radio
13 telegraphing, which means that I was trained to use the Morse alphabet
14 via radio links.
15 Q. Thank you. Now, I would like to draw your attention to
16 Srebrenica and ask -- I would like to -- for you to tell the Trial
17 Chamber what the ethnic makeup was of Srebrenica prior to the conflict in
19 A. According to the 1991 census, in the territory of Srebrenica
20 municipality there were about 37.000 inhabitants, about 72 or 73 per cent
21 were Bosniaks Muslims, 25 per cent were Serbs, and the remaining 2 or 3
22 per cent were others, Yugoslavs, the Roma, Croats and so on and so forth.
23 Q. And with respect to Srebrenica, are you referring to Srebrenica
24 the town, or is that number also encompassing other villages surrounding?
25 A. I'm referring to the entire territory of Srebrenica municipality.
1 In other words, the town and the villages around it.
2 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, if I could ask the usher's
3 assistance, I have a map that I would like the witness to take a look at.
4 Please place this map on the ELMO and -- actually this portion.
5 Q. The map is rather large so, Mr. Becirovic, you may have to
6 manipulate it a bit.
7 If you could take a look at the map that is presently on the
8 ELMO, Mr. Becirovic, could you locate Srebrenica and, following that,
9 could you locate the surrounding villages that make-up the municipality
10 of Srebrenica. Maybe you can start out by circling Srebrenica on the
12 A. [Indicates]
13 This part here, the encircled part, is the town of Srebrenica.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, the witness draws an oblong figure
15 parallel to or perpendicular to Srebrenica on the map.
16 Could you please put your initials next to that oval. Yes, okay.
17 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Yes.
19 MS. RICHARDSON:
20 Q. And could you point or circle -- I know there are a number of
21 villages, but circle the villages that are closest to Srebrenica that
22 make up the municipality.
23 A. [Indicates]
24 The village of Bajramovici, the village of Pusmulici. This
25 stretch here, from Srebrenica to Bratunac, is mostly inhabited first of
1 all there is the village of Gostilj. This is the village of Donji
2 Potocari. There is no name, but that is what its name was. The village
3 of Pecista, the village of Djogazi, the village of Gornji Potocari. Here
4 there are a number of hamlets that make up the local commune of Potocari.
5 Q. All right. Let me just stop you for a moment.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
7 For the record, the witness has encircled all the places that he
8 has just mentioned.
9 Could you please put your initials against those circles, please.
10 THE WITNESS: [Marks].
11 JUDGE AGIUS: You missed one, Mr. Becirovic, the unnamed one.
12 The unnamed one just below Pecista.
13 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right, okay. Yes.
15 MS. RICHARDSON:
16 Q. While you have the -- are those the major villages that make up
18 A. There are a number of other villages here as well.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's put it like this. I think basically there
20 should be agreement between Prosecution and Defence as to what
21 constituted the municipality of Srebrenica, which towns, which villages.
22 So if you are interested in identifying, on this map, particular
23 villages, go ahead, put a direct -- a direct question.
24 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: And then make a submission which the Defence can
1 object to or dispute, whether -- if they don't agree that these form part
2 of Srebrenica municipality.
3 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour. That's all I really
4 need with respect to Srebrenica.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Then let's move ahead.
6 MS. RICHARDSON:
7 Q. As you have the map before you, Mr. Becirovic, could you also
8 point out for us where on the map Bratunac is located, the municipality
9 of Bratunac. Please circle it.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. He doesn't need to point it out. We can see
11 it, Ms. Richardson. Let's move. Let me just ask one question.
12 You don't have reason to think that this map is not accurate, do
13 you, Mr. Becirovic? This is an accurate map?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's move.
16 MS. RICHARDSON:
17 Q. Now --
18 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you. I don't have any other questions
19 with respect to the map at the moment.
20 Q. Mr. Becirovic, did there come a time when --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
22 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: Could the witness explain, what was the
23 composition of the inhabitants in the town of Srebrenica. You have told
24 us about the municipality. The town itself, the number of inhabitants
25 there and how they were divided between Muslims and Serbs?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The town reflected the total
2 composition of the population in the territory of the municipality. I
3 don't have the exact data, but if there is a difference between the town
4 of Srebrenica and the total area of the municipality of Srebrenica in
5 that respect, it certainly isn't major.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: What was the population? I mean that's one other
7 question that Judge Brydensholt asked you, the population of the town
8 itself prior to the war?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Between 3 and 4.000 people.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Thank you, Judge Brydensholt.
11 Yes, Ms. Richardson.
12 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, if I may, we would ask that a
13 number be given to this Prosecution's exhibit.
14 THE REGISTRAR: That would be exhibit P521.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I thank you, Madam Registrar. This map will
16 be admitted or is being admitted in evidence and is being marked as
17 Prosecution Exhibit P521.
18 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Mr. Becirovic, did there come a time that tensions in Srebrenica,
20 the Srebrenica municipality, rose between the ethnic groups?
21 A. Yes. This became noticeable as of September [as interpreted]
22 1992. Approximately, at the time when the SDS of Bosnia and Herzegovina
23 expelled all non-Serbs from Bosanski Sabac also during the time of Arkan
24 and Seselj's volunteers from Srebrenica were cleansing Bijeljina. During
25 that time in Srebrenica, one could feel the pre-war psychosis, which
1 resulted in the departure of a number of Serbs from Srebrenica - when I
2 say "Serbs," I mean women, children, and the elderly - who moved towards
3 Ljubovija and Bajina Basta in Serbia.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment.
5 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, a correction in the
7 transcript. The witness mentioned February 1992 and here it says
8 "September 1992." Can this be clarified with the witness.
9 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I thank Defence counsel. I noticed
10 it myself and that was going to be my next question. I appreciate it.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So we agree, in fact, that that's what
12 I thought I heard, too. So we're talking of February 1992 and not
13 September of 1992.
14 MS. RICHARDSON:
15 Q. Is that correct, Mr. Becirovic it was in February of 1992 that
16 you were just describing those events?
17 A. Yes, February and March.
18 Q. And what, if anything else, of significance occurred during that
19 month, in Srebrenica?
20 A. Due to the increased presence of Arkan's and Seselj's volunteers
21 from Serbia, as well as of the reserve troops of the former JNA in
22 Bratunac, Bosniaks experienced a great degree of fear, and together with
23 their neighbours, Serbs, either at their own initiative or the initiative
24 of the Serbs, attempted to keep guard in front of various buildings and
25 facilities in order to feel safer there.
1 And while the local politicians were trying to resolve the
2 situation through frequent meetings of the National Council for Defence
3 of Srebrenica, and they tried to convince the people that there was no
4 reason for fear; however, these meetings were futile. A need arose at
5 these meetings to talk about the administrative division of the
6 municipality of Srebrenica. It was the Serbian Democratic Party of
7 Srebrenica headed by Goran Zekic that insisted on that division?
8 After a few meetings of that nature in April, Goran Zekic -- that
9 the administrative division will not go through and the Serbian
10 Democratic Party wanted to have control and power of the entire
11 municipality of Srebrenica. And then the Srebrenica Muslims started
12 leaving the town. They started departing for Tuzla, Slovenia, Germany,
13 and some of the Muslims also found shelter in the villages around the
15 Q. Had your answer been completed?
16 My next question that I would ask you is: What occurred as a
17 result of the meetings?
18 A. Well, these meetings were being held, the Serbian Democratic
19 Party armed the Serbs. There was a lot of propaganda activity.
20 Information was being disseminated about Muslims being trained in the
21 territory of Srebrenica. There was a lot of confusion.
22 Q. And what happened following these meetings and did there come a
23 time that the population of Srebrenica, the Muslims, were advised of --
24 or were told -- I will rephrase the question.
25 What happened following the meetings, with respect to the Muslim
2 A. On the 16th of April, 1992, information came from Bratunac,
3 according to which a delegation of Muslims should go to Bratunac in order
4 to agree on the way how life would proceed in Srebrenica. Sabit Begic,
5 who was the director of the medical centre in Srebrenica; Cazim
6 Salimovic, who had an administrative duty in the municipality of
7 Srebrenica; and Salih Sehomerovic, who was a former mayor of Srebrenica
8 and at the time he was retired; these three people went to that meeting.
9 According to my information, at that meeting in Bratunac, they
10 met with Arkan and some other men from his group who were wearing
11 camouflaged uniforms with a Chetnik insignia. There was no conversation
12 to speak of. There was also local politicians from the SDS of Bratunac.
13 And at that meeting, the only thing that Arkan said was that on the 17th
14 of April the Muslims of Bratunac should surrender their weapons; and he
15 was referring to the active and reserve police forces as well as the --
16 those members of the Bosniak ethnicity who had hunting rifles.
17 On the 18th of April, by 8 o'clock in the morning, the Muslims of
18 Srebrenica were supposed to surrender their weapon; by the same token,
19 they had to pledge loyalty to the Serbian government. On return of this
20 delegation from Bratunac, Salih Sehomerovic went again either to Bratunac
21 or Ljubovija where he had friends; I suppose he felt safer there. Sabit
22 Begic and Cazim Salimovic left the town, went to -- in the direction of
23 Tuzla or Sarajevo. I know that later on, in 1995, the both of them were
24 in Sarajevo.
25 Q. I beg your pardon. Please continue your answer.
1 A. Bosniaks in Bratunac honoured the ultimatum; they surrendered
2 their weapons. And only a few days later, the former JNA and the reserve
3 forces and volunteers of Arkan and Seselj committed a slaughter in
4 Glogova. They also expelled and slaughtered population in their local
5 commune of Voljevica. Some of the population, the women and the
6 children, on the 10th May, about 10.000 people were deported to Bratunac.
7 And in Bratunac itself, in the primary school called Vuk Karadzic they
8 executed in a most beastly way about 2 -- 2.500 men, mostly educated
10 In that group was also Sali Sehomerovic, he was also killed.
11 That's the person who was a member of that delegation I was talking
12 about. The Bosniaks of Srebrenica did not surrender their weapons. They
13 mostly left the town. One group rallied around Naser Oric in Potocari.
14 Another group rallied around Hakija Meholjic in the Stari Grad sector;
15 one group rallied around Akif Ustic and so on and so forth.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I think rather than say "and so on and so forth,"
17 let's finish the list. Akif Ustic, where did people -- in which
18 particular area did people rally around Akif Ustic?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Also in the Stari Grad sector.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: And is that all? Is it just Akif Ustic, Meholjic,
21 and Oric, or was there rallying by people around someone else as well?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In April 1992, that was all. Later
23 on as of the beginning of May, there were other groups in other places.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous translation continues]....
25 THE WITNESS: Yes. In the territory of Suceska, they rallied
1 around Zulfo Tursunovic.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Anything else that you remember? That you can
3 remember? I'm trying to chase this up --
4 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: -- because I realise that this witness, if you let
6 him speak, I think we will get most information out without a long series
7 of questions.
8 MS. RICHARDSON:
9 Q. Were any other areas --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: So now we have Tursunovic, Oric, Meholjic, and
11 Akic -- Akif Ustic. Anyone else in particular that you can remember? We
12 are in May now of 1992, as you put it.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
15 Yes, Ms. Richardson.
16 MS. RICHARDSON:
17 Q. Now, with respect to the individuals that you just named for the
18 Court, could you tell us whether or not you were familiar with any of
19 these individuals prior to May of 1992. Let's first start with Mr. Naser
20 Oric; did you know him before? And could you tell us what, if anything,
21 did you know about him?
22 A. I didn't know Naser Oric directly. I was familiar with a face.
23 I saw him in town immediately prior to April 1992.
24 I found him interesting, because up to then he worked in Belgrade
25 for a number of years. He was a personal guard to Slobodan Milosevic.
1 And I lived in a small town, and I found such a person interesting,
2 without any particular reason. He was young, he was handsome,
3 athletically built. And I believe that he might have been a good person
4 to socialise with, although I was not among those who socialised with
5 him. I knew Zulfo Tursunovic well, because I am native -- a native of
6 the same local commune that he was a native of.
7 He was a farmer. And that's --
8 Q. Is there anything else in particular with respect to Mr. Zulfo
9 Tursunovic, other than being a farmer, that you knew about him?
10 A. I don't know whether this Trial Chamber will find it interesting
11 to know that before the war, Zulfo had a murder case pinned to him and I
12 believe that he spent some 14 years in prison. This is something that
13 may be should be said about him.
14 Q. All right. And I would just like to go back for a moment,
15 briefly, to Naser Oric. Where did he live prior to -- where was he from,
16 what area of Srebrenica, and what role did he play, prior to the -- you
17 described for us previously as people rallying around him? Did he have a
18 particular position in Potocari -- excuse me, in the area he was from?
19 A. Yes. He was born in Gornji Potocari; that's where his parents
20 lived. And prior to April 1992, he was the commander of the forward
21 command post of the public security station of Srebrenica, that was
22 located in Potocari.
23 Q. How did you know Hakija Meholjic?
24 A. From the December, and I knew Hakija as a policeman. And in
25 1992, Hakija was already retired; he lived in Srebrenica.
1 Q. And that's Akif Ustic?
2 A. Akif Ustic, I didn't know him before. He was a teacher who
3 worked in the primary school of Srebrenica. I met him for the first time
4 in April 1992.
5 Q. Did there come a time that you left Srebrenica in or around the
6 time of April 1992? And could you tell us, very briefly, where you went
7 and -- well, that's it for now.
8 A. On the 19th of April, 1992, I left Srebrenica and I went via
9 Potocari and Buljim mountain to my place of birth in the local commune of
11 Q. And briefly tell us what you did in Suceska and how long you
12 stayed there.
13 A. On the 19th of April when I arrived in Suceska, the war was less
14 present in the air, if I can say so. People still continued working in
15 the bauxite mine, for example. I expected that the war would be over
16 soon and that I would be able to return back to my job in Srebrenica.
17 However, that did not happen. On the 1st of May or perhaps the
18 2nd of May, 1992, an incident occurred. A group of Muslims who worked in
19 the bauxite mine in Milici, where the reserve forces of the JNA were
20 being trained, were called to come in and receive their monthly salaries.
21 Serbs, on that day, detained about 30 Muslims from Suceska and Derventa.
22 Derventa is in Vlasenica municipality, however it is closely linked with
23 local commune Suceska local commune. They sent an ultimatum via one of
24 the workers for the Muslims in Suceska to surrender their weapons or else
25 Suceska would be burned down.
1 On the following day, an attack ensued, launched from Milici
2 against Suceska local commune. They came to Zutica with four APCs or
3 perhaps four tanks. Since this was in the afternoon, the attack was
4 stopped and the Serbs burned Homalja [phoen] village and Olavaca
5 [phoen] --
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear the name of the
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- upon which the Serbs retreated.
9 When they burned down villages, they also detained women and children,
10 took them to the camp in Milici, and the men fit for military service
11 fled to the forests. On the following day they continued with burning
12 villages, Basta, Nurici, Stedra, Stedric, Dzile.
13 MS. RICHARDSON:
14 Q. All right. Let me stop you for a moment. Before we talk about
15 the events -- well, let's just go back for a moment, I should say.
16 Why was it that you left Srebrenica in April?
17 A. I was afraid. I didn't feel safe, since all of the Muslims had
18 already left the town. On the 18th of April, when the ultimatum expired
19 at 10.00 to surrender weapons and the weapons had not been surrendered,
20 the Serbs started shelling, first in the area of Budak village and then
21 Donji Potocari. Later on, on the 19th and 20th of April, they shelled
22 with mortars, Gornji Potocari, Donji Potocari, and so on. People fled
23 with their bare -- basic belongings in any direction they could.
24 The road between Bratunac and Srebrenica was also shelled.
25 People were hoping that to would be over soon and that they would be able
1 to return soon. A man was killed on the 18th of April in Gornji Potocari
2 by a shrapnel. On the 19th, I decided to leave the area and go to my
4 Q. And were your wife and children still in Srebrenica at the time?
5 A. I sent my wife and my child, I think on the 12th of April, with a
6 convoy, the Red Cross convoy, away. First they went to the refugee
7 centre in Rijeka in Croatia; and later on, they spent the rest of the war
8 in Ljublijana, in Slovenia.
9 Q. Did there come a time that you returned to Srebrenica.
10 A. On the 18th of April, before the shelling started and before the
11 ultimatum expired, I returned to the police station in Srebrenica with
12 another man. The situation, the atmosphere, in this city was terrible.
13 There were no people in the street. There was snow falling. The police
14 station was deserted. There were -- therefore, there was nobody there.
15 We established contact with Avdo Hebib, who at the time was in
16 the republican MUP. We informed him of the situation. We told him what
17 they atmosphere was like, asked him what to do; he suggested that we
18 should leave town as well, not dwell there any longer.
19 At around 10.00, before the shelling started, we arrived in
20 Gornji Potocari. That was my first encounter with shells, with explosion
21 of shells. On the 18th of April, we attempted to leave town. We arrived
22 in Vidikovac, which is a suburb and where a neighbour of mine was who
23 called, via the telephone, the police station, as he wanted to check what
24 was going on.
25 The person on the other side of the line who picked up the phone
1 was Ostoja Bozic, who before the war was a reserve policeman in the
2 Srebrenica police station. He told him that the Serb authorities were in
3 place, that they had been established, that the Serb authorities placed
4 their people in the Srebrenica police station. He offered him to express
5 his loyalty. Sidik used to be a policeman before the war as well;
6 however, we did not dare go back.
7 On that day, before the Vidikovac settlement we came across a
8 barricade, a patrol, with two people wearing camouflage uniforms,
9 green-olive, with weapons who most likely were members of the Serb
10 Territorial Defence. They stopped us, asked us where we were headed; we
11 explained that Sidik wanted to go to his house. On our way back, they
12 didn't stop us, they let us through, and we went back.
13 Q. All right. Let me just ask you to go forward a little bit to
14 when you return to Srebrenica after leaving and being in Suceska. What
15 state -- when did you return to Srebrenica and, could you tell the Trial
16 Chamber what state you found the town in when you returned.
17 A. Around the 20th of May, 1992, I returned from Suceska to
18 Srebrenica. The town was deserted. The Serbs had already left the town.
19 Some of the Muslim residents, who just prior to Arkan's and Seselj's
20 people left -- had left the area, started coming back were there. The
21 town was partially looted. All of the vehicles that had been left by
22 Muslims there were transported mostly to Serbia. Everything that they
23 could take with them, household appliances, TV sets, and all other
24 valuable technical goods were looted. The shops were demolished. Many
25 Muslim apartments were looted?
1 Q. And did you speak with anyone?
2 A. I met Akif Ustic then in a suburb called Kazani. We spent a
3 brief period of time together. There was some other people there with
4 us. We discussed what had happened. I asked him whether the centre for
5 informing, where I used to work, was looted and whether the
6 communications equipment was still there; he didn't know and told me that
7 I should go and look myself.
8 On that day, I returned to Suceska once again and, after several
9 days, went back to Srebrenica, visited the premises of the centre for
10 informing, saw that it had not been broken into. This was located behind
11 the municipal building in Srebrenica. I did not have the keys then, and
12 later on we were given the keys. We entered the premises and found the
13 equipment there.
14 Q. Before we get to the equipment that you found, did he tell you
15 anything else with respect to what had happened in the town during the
16 time that you were absent?
17 A. It is well-known that on the 8th of May, 1992, Goran Zekic was
18 killed; he was ambushed. On the 9th of May -- rather on the 8th, in the
19 evening and on the 9th of May, the Serbs left the town.
20 Akif Ustic was in the Stari Grad sector. He told us that there
21 was no major fighting there, that there was only sporadic exchange of
22 fire between his group and the Chetniks. He mentioned that three members
23 of the white eagles, I think, were killed in that sector, between the
24 Stari Grad and the town.
25 He also said that one of his relatives had been killed. So,
1 there was no intense fighting there, and the Serbs left the town.
2 Q. All right. Now, with respect to the neighbouring villages and
3 the people that you mentioned, which is Naser Oric and Hakija Meholjic,
4 could you tell us whether or not Akif Ustic told you what happened with
5 respect to them.
6 A. I don't understand the question. What happened to whom, to Akif.
7 Q. I will repeat the -- I will repeat my question and make it a
8 little bit more clear.
9 With respect to Naser Oric, for instance, did Akif tell you what
10 happened with Naser Oric and the people who had rallied around him, or
11 rallied around Naser Oric?
12 A. No.
13 Q. And with respect to Hakija Meholjic, did he say anything with
14 respect to Hakija and the men that Hakija had rallied around him?
15 A. Since Hakija Meholjic and his people were in the forest, near the
16 area where Akif Ustic was, when he spoke about sporadic shooting and
17 exchange of fire between the Serbs and his group, he wasn't sure whether
18 Hakija and his group took part in it as well. So he didn't really say
19 anything special about Hakija.
20 Q. And with respect to Hakija and his group, who were the men that
21 made up the group that Hakija had with him, if you know?
22 A. Those were mostly members of police force, both the active police
23 force and the reserve police force from Srebrenica who, on the 17th, the
24 night between the 17th and the 18th, wanted to go with Hakija. There
25 were some who didn't with a to go with Hakija and went to neighbouring
1 villages. At the time, I did not know these people, none except Hakija
3 Q. When you arrived at the communication building, could you tell us
4 what the condition of the building was and whether you found any
5 equipment there.
6 A. Yes. When I arrived in the building of the centre for informing,
7 I saw that the front door was locked. At the time, we couldn't enter the
8 premises. I knew that a certain Bekir Salihovic, who used to work in the
9 centre for informing before the war, possibly had the key; that was my
10 assumption. I wanted to find him and find the key so that we wouldn't
11 have to break down the door. After several days Bekir Salihovic brought
12 the key; this took some seven to ten days perhaps, because he wasn't in
13 town at the time. So we opened the door, entered the premises of the
14 centre for informing, found the equipment there, several radio stations,
15 radios, which were used before the war by the centre for monitoring,
16 informing, and alerting. Therefore, the equipment was in tact.
17 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber exactly what equipment you
18 found, the names of the equipment and the type of equipment that you
20 A. In the centre for informing, there was a radio manufactured by
21 Iskra before the war, the factory in Slovenia called Iskra. This was
22 used to establish radio connection with local communes. In addition to
23 that, there was a radio device of Japanese origin, IC-345 [as
24 interpreted]. Before the war, it was owned by the Srebrenica radio club,
25 and via this device, the ham operators from Srebrenica contacted ham
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 operators throughout the world.
2 In addition to this, there were another two radio devices, Atlas
3 220-X, which were owned by the centre for informing before the war. They
4 were not used before the war and the idea was to use them in case of
5 exercises, or some training purposes. They were compatible with the
6 radio device ICN-45 [as interpreted]. These are older types of
7 equipment, dating back to the Second World War, the American type of
8 equipment, and at that period of time they were not really useful. In
9 addition to that, there were another two small radio devices owned by
10 civilian protection.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness is
13 discussing the types of equipment and I think it is very important, in
14 two instances, when he said "IC" he said "745," and in both instances
15 this was incorrectly recorded. And I believe that it is very important
16 to have accurate information regarding the exact type of equipment used,
17 and I hope that this can be corrected in the record.
18 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, just as I may, I agree with the
19 Defence and I noticed it myself and was about to go over that again. So
20 maybe we can ask the witness to clarify and have another answer.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Yes.
22 When you referred to this radio device, I think it's of Japanese
23 origin, IC, is it IC-745?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
1 Yes, Ms. Richardson.
2 MS. RICHARDSON:
3 Q. All right. Could you tell us how many of that type of equipment,
4 the IC-745, you found in the communications centre.
5 A. One.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. At this stage perhaps you can ask the
7 witness, because we will need the information in any case, the size of
8 this equipment, these various radio devices that he saw there, what were
9 their size? Can we go through them one by one, please.
10 Let's start with this Japanese IC-745. How big was it and where
11 was it located?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the offices where the centre for
13 informing was headquartered, there was one room used by the Srebrenica
14 radio club before the war, and it was in that room that the IC-745 device
15 was located. Its dimensions, approximate dimensions, are as follows:
16 35 to 40 centimetres in width; the length, perhaps 40 centimetres also;
17 and its height was perhaps 15 centimetres. On the front panel, there
18 were various buttons which could be used to change frequency, working
19 frequency, then there was the antenna tuner, and so on.
20 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, perhaps this is a good time, if I
21 may, to have the -- I apologise.
22 Perhaps this is a good time, if I may, to have the witness look
23 at an exhibit of the radio he's describing and we do have copies, and
24 this is also in Sanction I'm told.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
1 MS. RICHARDSON: There is an additional copy, if the usher could
2 take it from me. Thank you.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Witness, you can see on your screen a photo of --
4 or two photos of what appear to be radio transmitter receivers. Could
5 you help us identify either or both of them, please. The one on the top,
6 what would that be?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is IC-745 piece of equipment,
8 which I found in the premises of the radio club, or rather the premises
9 of the centre for informing.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And the one below it, underneath it?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The one underneath is IC-751, also
12 manufactured in Japan of a somewhat newer production and of a better
13 quality when it comes to tuning the antenna.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: And was there an IC-751 on the premises that you
15 visited on that day?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Richardson. Shall we give this document a
19 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, please, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: This will become Exhibit -- Prosecution Exhibit
21 P --
22 THE REGISTRAR: 522, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: 522. Yes. Thank you.
24 MS. RICHARDSON:
25 Q. Just to complete the picture of the IC-745, Mr. Becirovic, could
1 you tell us from looking at this photograph what is not -- what is not
2 present? In other words, is there a microphone or are there headphones?
3 Are there any other piece of attachments to this radio that we don't see?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it important, Ms. Richardson?
5 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, it is, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. All right. That's -- if it is important,
7 let's go to it.
8 MS. RICHARDSON:
9 Q. My question is specifically with respect to -- excuse me, if I
10 may, so that we're clear. We're talking about the equipment that you
11 found in the information centre. And could you tell us, based on this
12 photograph, if there is something else that is a part of this equipment?
13 A. Yes. The set also contained the transformer from 220, to 212 [as
14 interpreted] volts; in addition to this, there were headphones and a
16 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, if I may, I have one exhibit with
17 respect to --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it 204 -- 240 to 212? 220 to 212? There seems
19 to be something wrong there.
20 The transformer would lower the voltage from 240 to what?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From 220 to 12 volts.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: To 12 volts, thank you.
23 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, actually, I think this is a good
24 time to take a break.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. 25 minutes.
1 --- Recess taken at 10.24 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Richardson.
4 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Mr. Becirovic, before the break, you were describing for us the
6 745 -- the IC-745; you said it was made by the Japanese I believe. Could
7 you tell us whether this piece of equipment was operational when you
8 found it in the information centre?
9 A. Yes, it was operational?
10 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber how this piece of equipment
11 works and describe for us the system, the manner in which it is used.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Briefly. I mean, we don't need a whole technical
13 explanation. Just briefly explain the use, normal use, of this set and
14 how it's -- while operated.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I have already said that it
16 is an amateur piece of equipment and radio amateurs were people who were
17 volunteers, who joined the organisation in order to make contact with
18 somebody all over the world. It's very simple to use. You press on the
19 microphone button, and you could talk into the microphone. And all those
20 who were on the frequency that was predetermined, could hear you when you
21 did that. The conversations were mostly very short. It is a common
22 practice, due to the fact that this is a very sensitive type of
23 equipment; and after longer broadcast, it would break down. That's why
24 these transmissions were, for the most part, very brief.
25 MS. RICHARDSON:
1 Q. When you say "very brief", could you give us an idea in minutes,
2 five minutes, ten minutes, et cetera?
3 A. Two minutes at the most. Most often this was under a minute,
4 because the messages were really brief. You just transmitted the code,
5 and you provide the other participant in the conversation to give you
6 their code signal. Then you give your name, your first name, your last
7 name, or the place from which you are transmitting. You offer the other
8 participant the same possibility to do the same, and so on and so forth.
9 Q. And when you say a "brief conversation," do you mean -- if you
10 could just explain further, by the minute you mean per -- every time you
11 spoke to someone you would only speak for a minute? Or that was the
12 entire time that you could speak for, the conversation would last only a
14 A. No, you did not understand me properly. One participant could
15 just engage in a very short exchange and then provided the other
16 participant to do the same. The entire conversation could well take over
17 an hour if that was the case, but one exchange was very short.
18 Q. And -- pardon me, go ahead.
19 A. For example, when there were competitions of ham operators before
20 the war, it would happen that there were over 20 participants in one
21 conversation. So that when each of these participants had to be given an
22 opportunity to introduce themselves to say where they were transmitting
23 from, that was that.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. For the record, I noticed that
25 Mr. Wubben and Mr. Di Fazio are no longer present in the courtroom and
1 that Ms. Patricia Sellers is present instead. Thank you.
2 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. With respect to the conversation, would this conversation be in
4 code or just conversation in an ordinary language?
5 A. Those were open conversations; there was no coding involved. It
6 was just a normal conversation, as if people were in one room, facing
7 each other.
8 Q. And just so that we're clear, you said that this IC-745 enabled
9 you to reach anyone all over the world. Now, does that include, just for
10 the record, the region of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Zagreb, Croatia, et
12 A. Yes, of course.
13 Q. And to your knowledge, at around the time you found this
14 equipment, I believe you said it was May of 1992 - please correct me if
15 I'm wrong - how many radios, such as the IC-745, were in the possession
16 of people in the local communities surrounding Srebrenica or Bratunac?
17 A. The radio sets such as IC-745 did not exist in any of the local
18 communes. Towards the end of May 1992 I found this radio set. I've
19 already said that in the local communes there were the so-called Iskra
20 radio sets, I-s-k-r-a, which had only one frequency. Their frequency was
21 determined by means of crystals and it could not be altered in any way.
22 So these conversations could take place only between the people who were
23 in possession of that particular type of equipment; there could not be
24 exchanges between different types of equipment involving that particular
1 Q. Thank you. Now, with respect to the other equipment that you
2 found, you just mentioned Iskra, and could you tell us whether or not
3 this Iskra, how many of those you recovered in the information building
4 and whether they were in -- they were in working condition, operational?
5 A. There was one such equipment and it was operational.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: How big was it.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The front panel was somewhat
8 thinner than IC-745; it was about 10 centimetres. It was somewhat
9 shorter, and it was about 35 to 40 centimetres wide.
10 MS. RICHARDSON:
11 Q. You testified that there were 17 local stations in the community
12 and they all had the Iskra. Would that be correct?
13 A. 17 local communes there were, that is correct. And those local
14 communes that had telephone lines, they did not have ham radios, for
15 example Skelani, the local community of Sase, for example. And the
16 others did have the same type of equipment.
17 Q. And I take it there were people in the local communities who had
18 the capacity to operate these radios?
19 A. Yes. Those ham radios could usually be found in the offices of
20 the local communes. That's when the newborn babies used to be
21 registered, the marriages were registered, and those offices were
22 integral parts of the administrative services. There were registrars who
23 worked in those offices, and they could also operate those ham radios.
24 And it was easy to operate a ham radio once it was installed, and it just
25 was a matter of somebody pressing the microphone button and starting
1 talking into the microphone. Those ham radios required 220 volt power.
2 Q. Could you tell us a little bit about the Atlas radio that you
3 mentioned earlier. Did you also find one of those, and could you tell us
4 whether or not it was in working condition, and, as Your Honour asked
5 before, could you describe the size, give us a description of it.
6 A. Yes. Atlas 210-X was operational; it was somewhat bigger than
7 the IC-745. As far as I can remember, the front panel was about 20
8 centimetres high. It was about 60 centimetres wide, and in depth its
9 length was about 35 to 40 centimetres. I've already said that this is a
10 somewhat older piece of equipment and it mostly operated on the principle
11 of transistors and the -- it was not as good as the IC-745 in terms of
13 Q. And how many of those did you recover in the information centre?
14 A. Two.
15 Q. Please tell us whether or not you recovered any other type of
16 communication equipment or apparatus or materials.
17 A. In addition to that, there were three pieces of equipment,
18 somewhat smaller, that used to be used by the civilian protection before
19 the war. Their range was very short, maybe 3 to 5 kilometres at the
21 Q. And were these operational?
22 A. Yes, they were operational. They were of somewhat older make.
23 The weight was about 3 to 4 kilogrammes, so they were easily transported.
24 Q. Where did you -- anything else, any other type of communication
25 materials, not necessarily equipment, but any other type of materials?
1 A. Yes. On the premises of the information centre before the war,
2 there was one part where there was a storage of the civilian protection;
3 there you could find the fire extinguishers. There was also a terminal
4 from which alerts were sounded before the war, in case of fires and
5 similar things. And Alerts were given for some other types of danger as
6 well. In the town itself, there were two alert sirens, and from that
7 terminal both of these sirens could be activated at the same time.
8 Q. Did you find any material such as any materials relating to codes
9 or code documents at that time?
10 A. Yes. There was also the piece of equipment called KZV-41 [as
11 interpreted], which was intended for coding and decoding of written
12 information. There was also -- there were teleprinter pieces; one were
13 together with the KZV-41 [as interpreted] for coding and decoding. And
14 the other printer, before the war, was used for the transmission of coded
15 information to Tuzla, mostly in Tuzla. It had to use a telephone line,
16 and that's how we could communicate before the war and this was done once
17 or twice a day or when the need for that arose.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, it was KZU, not KZV.
19 MS. RICHARDSON:
20 Q. With respect to the telephone lines, in May of 1992 when you --
21 at around the time you found this equipment in Srebrenica, were the
22 telephones working?
23 A. Yes. They were working for a period of time after May.
24 Q. And was there electricity?
25 A. Yes. In May and up to mid-June there was electricity, and after
1 that the whole territory of Srebrenica municipality was cut off by the
2 Serbs. The Serbs cut off the electricity.
3 Q. All right. I would like to bring you back to the day that you
4 found the telephone equipment -- the communication equipment that you
5 just testified to. What did you do with the equipment? In other
6 words -- I should rephrase the question?
7 What, if anything, did you do after you found the equipment?
8 A. For a while I tried to listen in and hear whatever I could hear
9 on those frequencies. I did that in coordination with Akif Ustic. And I
10 believe that on several occasions I heard about the activities of the
11 Serbian forces around Visegrad, Gorazde, Foca, and areas in between those
12 places. In more specific terms, on one morning I heard about the
13 preparations for an attack on Kopacevo [as interpreted], a village near
14 Gorazde. I found it very strange to hear that an attack order was being
15 transmitted in that way.
16 Q. Before we talk about what you overheard -- what you heard on the
17 radio, excuse me, could you tell us about the conversation with Akif and
18 when did this conversation take place. And tell us -- tell us what the
19 contents of the conversation included, consisted of.
20 A. The first contact I had with Akif took place around 29th of May,
21 1992, in Kazani. That is when we spoke about the premises of the
22 information centre, when I wanted to know whether they had ever been
23 broken in. When I returned from Suceska and when I entered those
24 premises and when I learned what the equipment was available to me, there
25 Akif asked me to listen in and see whether I could hear any information
1 about the Chetnik attacks and where they were taking place. And as a
2 result of that, I could hear what I mentioned a little while ago.
3 Some ten days later, after I started listening in, I got in touch
4 with ham operators from the Tuzla region. Up to the 10th of May, 1992,
5 after having executed the large group in the primary school, the Serbs
6 deported some 10.000 of women, children, elderly from the area of
7 Bratunac towards the region of Tuzla. Some of the male population stayed
8 behind and after that expulsion moved to the territory not under the
9 control of Serbs. And a need arose to connect the parts of the families
10 which were in different parts of the territory at the time.
11 Q. Let me just stop you for a moment, Mr. Becirovic. We will get to
12 that with respect to what happened in Bratunac in a moment. But just
13 going back to the conversation you had with Akif, he told you to listen.
14 Did he tell you -- how often did you listen? Did you listen every day?
15 And could you tell us, what piece of equipment you used to listen in.
16 A. At that time there was electricity. I could spend as long as ten
17 hours by the equipment and I could listen in. I used the IC-741 [as
18 interpreted] to listen in --
19 THE INTERPRETER: 745, the interpret's correction.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was not easy for me to do,
21 because during the 10 or 12 hours I could only hear short periods of 10
22 or 15 minutes that I found useful. And that's why after 10 days, I told
23 Akif that it was not really very practical, that the information that I
24 could hear could not be used in Srebrenica, that we did not have any
25 means of conveying that information to the areas where the attacks were
1 supposed to take place. And in the meantime the different need arose,
2 and that's why I suggested that maybe it would be better for us to try
3 and learn how many people from the area of Bratunac had been deported to
4 Tuzla, how many of them could still be found in Tuzla, and to try and
5 obtain information about their members of family who had remained in
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Richardson, I am not really familiar with this
8 piece of equipment, the IC-745, although I am familiar with others. But
9 when -- during this exercise that you are mentioning to us, does the
10 IC-745 operate also as a scanner automatically? Does it scan for
11 frequencies that are being used at any given time, or do you have to
12 search for them manually? Just by chance, you keep doing a manual scan
13 yourself until you hit on something? How did it work.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I had to do it
15 manually. I had to turn a button that changed my frequencies for me.
16 And at the moment when I heard somebody on a particular frequency, I
17 would stop and I would listen in for a while.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I thought so much, but of course that
19 becomes an extremely tiring and boring exercise. Those of us who say --
20 know well enough about it, yes.
21 Let's go, Ms. Richardson.
22 MS. RICHARDSON:
23 Q. Were you able to --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's proceed.
25 MS. RICHARDSON:
1 Q. Mr. Becirovic, were you able to, if you wanted to, speak with
2 someone on the other side who had this similar type of equipment, the
4 A. Yes, I was able to.
5 Q. The information you heard, it was with respect to military
7 A. Yes. On one occasion, there was the mention of an artillery
8 attack on the village of Kopacevo, after which an infantry attack would
9 follow. I heard somebody, I don't know who it was, issuing an order for
10 the village of Kopacevo to be shelled for an hour, and after that and
11 infantry attack was ordered. And this order was being conveyed and
12 transmitted for maybe a minute or so. And after that, I didn't hear
13 anything about the -- that attack and how it developed.
14 Q. How many such communication regarding -- how many such
15 discussions about military actions did you overhear, and were these
16 actions -- who were you listening to? Could you tell us if it was Serbs,
17 Muslims or anyone else?
18 A. In addition to this attack on the village of Kopaci, I remember
19 maybe one or two similar attacks, also in the area of Visegrad, the
20 municipality of Visegrad, Gorazde, and Foca. Immediately after that,
21 maybe a day after that, I could see on my topographic map the places that
22 were mentioned and I could locate the places where these attacks were
23 taking place. I would normally hear the details of attacks undertaken by
24 the Serbian forces against Muslims in the areas of Gorazde, Visegrad, and
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. And when you received this information, you report it -- to whom
2 did you report it?
3 A. I just made a brief note of what I had heard. I would mention
4 the names of the villages that were mentioned, without any detailed
5 explanations, because I was not aware of any details. And I would take
6 those notes to Akif Ustic.
7 Q. How often did you take the notes to Akif and what period of time
8 was this? By that I mean the month.
9 A. That was in late May and early June 1992, and it happened maybe
10 three or four times. When I had information -- when I didn't have any
11 information, there was nothing for me to take to Akif.
12 Q. The information that you heard, did you later learn -- I will
13 rephrase the question. Was the information that you heard accurate? Did
14 you later learn that these attacks in fact did take place?
15 A. Yes. I could listen to the radio Sarajevo station, which was the
16 radio of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and on those same days or one or two days
17 later, when the media were informed of those attacks, they would
18 broadcast information about those attacks that had taken place.
19 Q. Did you give the information to anyone other than Akif, and could
20 you tell us what, if anything, he did with the information you gave him,
21 if you know?
22 A. I did not provide anybody else with that information, save for
23 Akif Ustic. It was my impression that Akif didn't know himself how to
24 make this information useful, and that's why this activity was short
25 lived and I opted for the other type of activity. And Akif agreed with
1 me that I should try and obtain information on the Muslims who had been
2 deported from Bratunac and providing that information to their family
3 members in Srebrenica.
4 Q. Specifically did Akif tell you whether or not he had passed the
5 information on to someone, or you just assumed he did not?
6 A. He never told me that he passed this information on to somebody
8 Q. All right. And please tell the Trial Chamber why you decided to
9 take the information to Akif, as opposed to anyone else.
10 A. Well, simply speaking, Akif was a person around whom a group of
11 Bosniaks rallied, Bosniaks who were there in town. I did not hear from
12 anybody else, nor did anybody else tell me to take this information to
13 anybody else. We had an arrangement with Akif to take information to
14 him. At the time, I did not -- I did not believe this to be a duty of
15 mine, to provide this information, nor would I take this information to
16 anybody else, had I been requested to do that.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Ms. Richardson.
18 Apart from Akif Ustic, was there anyone else who was aware of
19 what you were doing at the time, in other words, that you were listening?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, nobody else.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
22 MS. RICHARDSON:
23 Q. Now, after you suspended your reporting to Akif, this
24 information --
25 MR. JONES: Sorry, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
2 MR. JONES: My learned friend earlier used the phrase "reporting"
3 as if there was some reporting obligation, and the witness referred to
4 taking notes. He has since clarified there was no duty, so I would
5 object to characterising this as reporting.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I agree with you. I agree with you.
7 MS. RICHARDSON:
8 Q. After you suspended your activities of passing this information
9 on to Akif, what, if anything, did you do after this? You said,
10 previously, that you -- that there was a suggestion to contact families.
11 Could you tell us a little bit more about that, and how did you go about
12 doing that?
13 A. Yes. At the time in the city of Srebrenica, I would come across
14 many people who had been forced out of Voljevica or from parts of
15 Bratunac municipalities, which had been occupied by Serb forces. Their
16 families had been deported to the Tuzla region or perhaps elsewhere,
17 Croatia, Germany.
18 Since the radio station was an only possibility to hear some
19 information from Tuzla, Srebrenica, or elsewhere - and again to pass
20 information on from Srebrenica - it occurred to me that this would be a
21 way of helping these people so that they can find information about the
22 whereabouts of their family members. This is how I got in contact with
23 ham radio operators from Tuzla region, first of all the club called BMN,
24 in Tuzla, the radio club where a certain lady called Nada worked.
25 When we first met, I asked her whether there were any people from
1 Bratunac in Tuzla, people who had been deported from Bratunac; and she
2 told me that she had heard that there were some people registered by the
3 local Red Cross. I asked her whether she could get the lists of these
4 persons with their addresses, which she accepted to do. And in a way she
5 alerted, or rather got into contact with other radio clubs, Zivinice,
6 Banovici, Srebrenik - all of these locations are in Tuzla municipality -
7 and she asked them to do the same activity in their places, to gather
8 lists of persons who had been deported from Bratunac and to pass it on to
9 me in Srebrenica. We did this for the following two or three months
10 perhaps, and naturally, this could not have been accomplished in one day.
11 I would normally receive 20 names per day, sometimes more.
12 So in the following two or three months, we collected the names
13 of all refugees from the Bratunac municipality who were in the Tuzla
14 region. Upon receiving these lists, after Nada in Tuzla would read it
15 out to me, into mike, I would write it down, and this was a very slow
16 process. And then I would put these lists with names on the board in the
17 place where I was. Very often, when family members in Srebrenica asked
18 me something, I would explain it to them directly, about the information
19 I received, about the accommodation that these people had in the Tuzla
20 region, and so on.
21 Q. Mr. Becirovic, did you advise Akif that you had contacted Nada?
22 A. Yes. I told him immediately upon establishing contact with her,
23 and I explained to him what we could do with this, that this was a way of
24 compiling lists of people deported from Bratunac. I said that this would
25 be a way to help families whose members were in Srebrenica and in the
1 Tuzla region, that they could acquire information about their close ones
2 and their whereabouts.
3 In addition to that, I also had occasion to pass on tragic news
4 to people. Sometimes during deportation process there were victims,
5 people were killed. So I could pass information about people killed in
6 Bratunac, in the Vuk Karadzic school or in the shelling, in the forest.
7 I realised that there was no purpose in hiding the truth, that no purpose
8 was served by that, and that this information should be conveyed to the
9 families in Tuzla and that somebody should inform them.
10 Q. The system that you had with respect to contacting the families,
11 I would like you to concentrate on the month of June 1992. Could you
12 tell us whether or not people were permitted to come to the information
13 centre and actually speak on the radio to the family members, or were you
14 simply taking messages and relaying them to the family members?
15 A. In June of 1992, it was not permitted. People didn't even know
16 that that could be done. Very few people knew how to use this equipment.
17 Therefore, they were quite happy to receive first-hand information about
18 their family members being safe. They did not even insist on this,
19 because very -- a lot of them didn't even know that it was possible to
20 establish contact in June.
21 Q. How many operators -- I will rephrase the question?
22 Were you the only person operating the radio at this time at the
23 information centre?
24 A. In June, a young man arrived who used to be a ham radio operator
25 before the war, Abid Zukic. He had a secondary school education. He
1 helped me a great deal in collecting this information, because this was
2 quite a large task, writing down these lists. Except for the two of us,
3 nobody else performed this type of work in June.
4 Q. On a daily basis, could you tell us how many hours you worked and
5 how many messages you sent and how many you received?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Richardson, I hate to interrupt, but we've been
7 spending the last 45 minutes, approximately, on this. What's the
8 relevance of all of this?
9 MS. RICHARDSON: Well, Your Honour, I believe that the relevance
10 is the capacity during that period of time to -- for information to come
11 into Srebrenica as well as to go forward.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: But don't you think that we've heard enough on it?
13 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, if you think that it's appropriate
14 at this time to end this line, I will oblige.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: It's 45 minutes on this.
16 MS. RICHARDSON: That's not a problem, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: And I am -- as we go along, I'm gathering the --
18 forming the impression that we are nowhere, nowhere coming to an end of
19 the examination-in-chief by tomorrow.
20 MS. RICHARDSON: Well, Your Honour, I should say with respect to
21 the number of exhibits that I intended to use, I will not use as many as
22 I proposed. It was sort of an abundance of caution, and I have since
23 then taken another approach and I will probably use half so -- but again,
24 if you think this is a good time to end this line, I can do that. If
25 you've heard enough, that's fine.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: At the end of the day, what we are interested in is
2 whether this equipment or any other equipment that he knows of or he
3 could tell us about was available and made use of during the conflict for
4 purposes that are relevant to our case. The rest, I mean about these
5 refugees and-- we are not interested in that.
6 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, at least in my mind anyway, I
7 thought it was relevant with respect to the capacity and the ability --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, but we could have handled that with one
9 direct question: What was the capacity.
10 MS. RICHARDSON: That's fine, Your Honour. I can move on.
11 Q. Now, with respect to Nada and BMN, were you able to contact any
12 other operators during the month of June in Tuzla? Were you able to
13 contact operators outside of Tuzla and any other place.
14 A. Yes. I contacted operators in Zivinice, Banovici, Lukavac,
15 Gracanica, Srebrenik, Lipnica municipalities, mostly these places,
16 because it was in those areas that refugees from Bratunac were housed.
17 Q. Now, what -- could you tell us what happened the following month.
18 You -- I take it you undertook this for most of June, is that so?
19 A. Yes. This work was continued in July. I told you, two or three
20 months. However, in July I found another piece of equipment in the
21 police station. Initially it wasn't operational, however we repaired it.
22 When I found it, it did not have a microphone. Once we found the
23 microphone, I installed it, it became operational, and then I moved that
24 piece of equipment to the post office in Srebrenica.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: So one question. We are in June now and even later
1 than June. When -- according to your testimony, before the electricity
2 supply had practically ceased in Srebrenica, how were you able to operate
3 these transmitters-receivers without electricity? Because I take it that
4 even the transformer would need electricity in the first place.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I mentioned earlier
6 that the power was cut off, I apologise. I think that I simply said
7 "until the power was cut off." I did not give a particular period of
8 time. I think that the power was cut off in July, and until early July,
9 we were able to use electrical current, 220 volts. After that, once the
10 power was cut off, we were forced to use either batteries from cars or
11 some other types of batteries --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Richardson.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- using the DC current.
14 MS. RICHARDSON:
15 Q. While we're on the topic of electricity, maybe we can stay there
16 for a moment. When the power was cut off in July, could you just explain
17 to us the system -- any systems that existed after that period of time
18 where you were able to get electricity and also how you were able to
19 operate the radios.
20 A. In the post office building, there was a room where, before the
21 war, there were batteries, and this was used for the automatic telephone
22 exchange for Srebrenica in case there were any power outages. Initially,
23 I used these batteries to supply current to the equipment that I used.
24 In addition to that, we had a small generator, which was used for a piece
25 of equipment in a hospital, used to sterilise medical equipment. By
1 way -- we used that generator as long as we had oil to use it -- to run
3 After that, we planned to build a small, mini, power station.
4 Perhaps it's difficult to understand it all now, but it occurred to us
5 that we could use a 5 kilowatt machine and to put it in, plug it in, and
6 connect it with a water supply so that we could produce, I think not more
7 than 3 kilowatt power, which was quite unstable in supply. And this mini
8 power plant was initially used just to provide light in the hospital and
9 to operate the autoclave, the sterilising equipment. However, as I said,
10 this was quite an unstable source of power. And later on, we used this
11 power source to recharge the batteries, which, in turn, were used to run
12 radio equipment.
13 Q. Thank you. With respect to the power, the makeshift power
14 apparatus that had been constructed, do you know if any other individuals
15 in Srebrenica were able to do the same to -- so that they could have some
17 A. Yes. This took place after the demilitarisation. In Srebrenica,
18 there were perhaps five, six, or seven such mini power plants at the
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop. Are we interested in what happened after the
21 demilitarisation, Ms. Richardson?
22 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I was going to ask another
23 question, after that answer.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Then finish.
25 So this happened after the demilitarisation, in other words?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
3 Yes, Ms. Richardson.
4 MS. RICHARDSON: Just one moment, Your Honour. I would like the
5 witness to be shown an exhibit at this time. And if we could -- if the
6 witness could also be shown the prior exhibit, which has this -- the
7 IC-745 on it, Prosecution's Exhibit 522.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: What's the problem? Is there a problem?
9 MS. RICHARDSON:
10 Q. I would just like to ask you a question prior to your --
11 discussing the exhibit before you. You said in the second half of June
12 you went to the police station. Is that correct? And could you tell us
13 if you recovered any communication equipment in that police station.
14 A. Yes. I've already explained that I found this piece of radio
15 equipment IC-751 at the police station. It lacked a microphone.
16 Everything was in disorder in those premises. A few days later I found a
17 microphone and this radio set was operational, and I could install the
18 microphone in. Therefore, in early July, via IC-751, I established
19 communication from the post office building, with the ham operators in
20 Tuzla, whereby we started collecting information on the deported
21 civilians from Bratunac.
22 Q. All right. Please take a look, Mr. Becirovic, at Prosecution
23 Exhibit 7 -- sorry, Prosecution's Exhibit 522. Do you see the -- that's
24 the exhibit that has two radios on it. Do you see the radio that you
25 recovered in the police station.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Or one that looks like it.
2 MS. RICHARDSON:
3 Q. Or one that looks like it, similar to.
4 A. In this photograph, I can tell you that the front panel that I
5 can see on the bottom photograph is the same one as the one on IC-751.
6 Q. All right. Could you take a look at the next picture, the next
7 photograph that you have that was given to you, and could you tell us if
8 you recognise any piece of equipment in that photograph. And this is
9 also in Sanction.
10 A. Yes. This set, which is not being used by the operator - the one
11 in the forefront of the photograph, the second from the left - resembles
13 Q. Maybe we can do this. Mr. Becirovic, if you could mark on that
14 photograph so we can create a proper record?
15 MS. RICHARDSON: And we would also like this to be given an
16 exhibit number as well, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. We will give it an exhibit number, 523.
18 In the meantime, while the witness is looking at it and going to
19 mark it, I notice that in the place, or the part that he has indicated,
20 there are two transmitters or two pieces of equipment, one on top of the
22 Which one of the two is the one which looks or resembles the
23 IC-751, the one on top or the one on the bottom?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The lower piece resembles IC-751,
25 whereas the one above I assume is an antenna box allowing us to tune
1 antenna based -- depending on the frequency. The ham operators would
2 normally put the antenna box right above the equipment so it would be
3 easily accessible at all times.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
5 MS. RICHARDSON:
6 Q. And also do you see in this photograph a -- what is -- could be a
7 similar microphone that was used?
8 A. Yes. We can see that there is a cable linking the microphone to
9 the equipment, connecting cable, and the microphone comes with the radio
11 Q. Is that similar to what you -- pardon me. Please finish your
13 A. Yes. I think that the headphones are linked to the equipment via
14 a cable, as we can see, and I believe that they are linked to the antenna
15 box, which sits on top of the equipment.
16 Q. All right. Thank you. If you could -- thank you?
17 MS. RICHARDSON: If we could have an exhibit number assigned,
18 Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I think I said it already. P523.
20 MS. RICHARDSON: Sorry, I apologise.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Judge Eser.
22 JUDGE ESER: Before we leave this exhibit, 522, I would have a
23 question for clarification. Mr. Becirovic, when you have been shown this
24 exhibit at an early stage of our hearing, you -- I think I remember that
25 you told us that the IC-751 was not existing in the centre. Did you mean
1 at that time the centre of information, and, if so -- now where did you
2 find it later on, IC-751.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: It was in the police station.
4 JUDGE ESER: That was in the police station?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ESER: In your earlier testimony, you only wanted to say at
7 the centre of information there was no IC-751, but there was one later on
8 found in the police station; is that correct.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.
10 MR. JONES: Your Honour, may I just -- on this exhibit --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones.
12 MR. JONES: Just for the record I think we can probably all see
13 it says ham radio station in English there, and I just wanted to be
14 clear, obviously for the record, that this is not obviously evidence that
15 there was a ham radio station of this particular composition. It's
16 merely to the extent that this witness has verified pieces of equipment.
17 But we don't know where this is taken, and I don't particularly want the
18 Prosecution to tell us.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't really care either.
20 MR. JONES: No. From the cans of Pepsi and whatnot we might
21 guess that it's United States perhaps, I don't know. But in any event as
22 long, as it is clear.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Jones. You are 100 percent right.
24 MS. RICHARDSON: May I continue, Your Honour?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes.
1 MS. RICHARDSON: Before Mr. Becirovic finishes with that
2 exhibit --
3 Q. Could you please put your initials on it so we have an accurate
5 A. [Marks]
6 Q. Thank you.
7 Now, Mr. Becirovic, what did you do with this equipment after you
8 found it, and could you also tell us if you recovered anything else in --
9 by way of communication in this -- in the police building.
10 A. In the police station building I found only this ham radio, which
11 at the beginning did not have a microphone. Subsequently, we located a
12 microphone. I installed this equipment, but not in that building but in
13 the post office building, and that was in July.
14 Q. And that was regularly called the PTT building, correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And after this was --
17 MS. RICHARDSON: Just a moment, Your Honour.
18 Q. And after you relocated this piece of equipment, what, if
19 anything, happened after that? Did anyone operate this equipment, piece
20 of equipment, 751?
21 A. Primarily I myself operated it. Later on, when Sead and Senad
22 Dautbasic arrived, they joined me. Before the war, they used to operate
23 ham radios in the Bratunac radio club. This made my work on the
24 collection of take 20m information much easier. And also some members of
25 their family had been deported to Tuzla by the Serb forces.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 In any case, it was the three of us who worked there and there
2 was some other people, like Naser Sulejmanovic and Avdo Suljevic who had
3 access; the latter's nickname was Mrdo. They had access because both of
4 their families were in Tuzla and they could also get in touch with ham
5 radio operators there and seek information about their family members.
6 Q. So essentially, there was someone operating the IC-745 and there
7 was someone operating, you said, you mentioned yourself operating the
8 IC-751. Is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And the 745 was still located in the information centre?
11 A. Yes. It was still there, and it was operated by Abid Zukic.
12 Q. I would just like to go back briefly to the messages that the
13 operators you were able to contact?
14 MS. RICHARDSON: And if Your Honour would just give me a moment
15 with respect to this particular question.
16 Q. I would like to ask you if you were able to contact Serb
17 operators as well?
18 A. Yes, I could, and I did it often. And Abid Zukic did it even
19 more often than me. There were cases when the families of Bosniaks, who
20 were in Srebrenica and who were from the area of Bratunac and those who
21 had left Srebrenica before April 1992, were located all over Europe.
22 There were a lot of refugees in Germany, lots of them in Croatia. A lot
23 of them were in the Netherlands and in Denmark, and so on and so forth.
24 There was a ham radio operator from Bajina Basta who was used, so to
25 speak. In other words, he was the one who enabled us to get in touch
1 with the families in Germany, in the areas which were outside of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, because ham radio operators from Tuzla could not
3 contact other states.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: That's enough. We don't need more details.
5 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you for the latitude with respect to that
6 final question on messages.
7 Your Honour, at this time I would like the witness to be shown an
8 exhibit. If I could have a moment. I think it was already entered into
9 evidence. This is Prosecution's Exhibit 300, and the witness will be
10 writing on this particular exhibit so we will have him initial this at
11 the end of his testimony.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Check please -- registrar, please check whether the
13 300 we have is exactly the same like that, because I am under the
14 impression that it showed a little bit less than what this one shows.
15 Let me see it, please.
16 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. All right. Thank you.
18 MS. RICHARDSON:
19 Q. At this time, Mr. Becirovic, could you --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: We don't have it here -- we do have it, or at least
21 I have it. I have it here. Yes, go ahead.
22 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Mr. Becirovic, could you take a look at Prosecution's Exhibit
24 P300, and could you circle for us the municipal building -- excuse me,
25 the information centre.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Don't bother about the screen. Yes, okay. Can you
2 see better now? All right. Now that you have -- you see it enlarged
3 over there, are you sure you've marked the right place?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sure.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So for the record, could you put your
6 initials next to that circle, please.
7 THE WITNESS: [Marks].
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
9 MS. RICHARDSON: And if we could have an exhibit number, Your
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. This will be 524.
12 MS. RICHARDSON:
13 Q. Mr. Becirovic, while -- I'm not done yet with the exhibit. I
14 will just have you -- while we're on the subject of Srebrenica, could you
15 point out any of the official buildings, such as the municipal court
16 building, in this aerial photograph.
17 A. This part here and next to the municipal building is the
18 municipal court building.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Could you put those two buildings in a
20 circle, please.
21 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
23 This is the court.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Could you put a "C" inside of it, please,
25 "C," the letter "C."
1 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. And your initials outside it, please.
3 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you now encircle the municipal building,
5 please, next to it.
6 THE WITNESS: [Marks].
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And could you put, write the letters "MB"
8 inside that circle, please, "MB," and your initials outside the circle,
10 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Richardson. Do you want him to identify
12 anywhere else?
13 MS. RICHARDSON: Indeed, I do, Your Honour.
14 Q. Could you identify the MUP building.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you just write "MUP", M-U-P, inside that
16 circle, please.
17 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
18 JUDGE AGIUS: And your initials outside, please.
19 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Thank you.
21 Yes, next.
22 MS. RICHARDSON:
23 Q. And the municipal building, if that wasn't done yet. I'm not
25 JUDGE AGIUS: The municipal building, yes, it's done already.
1 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you. That's it with respect to this.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: The hospital maybe.
3 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, the hospital, if you see it, as well as
4 Hotel Domavija.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Hotel Domavija is not on the map; this much I
6 remember for sure because Mr. Wubben asked the same question.
7 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I think the PTT building is not on
8 the map, but we can have the witness tell us which building he sees on
9 the map.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct, Your Honour, the
11 PTT building is not on this map, and the Domavija Hotel is. And if you
12 want me, I will put a circle around it.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please. And put a "HD," please, "HD," Hotel
14 Domavija, HD inside the circle.
15 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: And your initials outside, please.
17 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
18 JUDGE AGIUS: And where would the hospital be on this map?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The hospital building is on the
20 road to Bratunac, in this direction that is.
21 MS. RICHARDSON:
22 Q. And finally, could you locate the Territorial Defence
23 headquarters, if you are familiar with it.
24 A. Before the war, the Territorial Defence Staff building was this
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Could you put -- write "TO" in that circle,
3 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And your initials outside.
5 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Right. Let's move.
7 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you.
8 Q. Mr. Becirovic, I would like to ask you a question with respect to
9 the telephone system. Do you recall when it was that there were no
10 longer any telephones, and please tell the Trial Chamber what, if
11 anything, was done with respect to constructing any kind of similar
12 system to communicate within Srebrenica.
13 A. The telephone lines were cut off in the first part of July 2002.
14 It was the Serb forces that did that on the radio relay knob near Tuzla.
15 The -- Srebrenica is in such an area where the terrain configuration did
16 not lend itself to a direct signal being transmitted from Srebrenica to
17 Tuzla. There were certain radio relay knobs that had to amplify the
18 signal, and that is why before the war in the vicinity of Tuzla on Mount
19 Majevica there was a radio relay hub with an antenna installed. It
20 received signals from the radio relay station in Srebrenica and forwarded
21 the signal to Tuzla. These telephone lines were cut off in July 2002 [as
23 And as for the second part of your question, you asked me whether
24 there were any other systems in Srebrenica. In the PTT building there
25 was an induction telephone switchboard which did allow access to a few
1 people. And from then period on, in Srebrenica maybe five or six
2 inductor telephone sets were installed in Srebrenica connecting, for the
3 most part, the hospital. And then in the house of Dr. Nijaz Dzanic
4 there were some of the hospital beds, and he treated the patients there
5 as well. I believe that the organs of civilian authorities, if there
6 were such organs in the municipality at the time, provided him with that
7 sort of connection, in his house.
8 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, just a minor matter with respect to
9 the transcript. I think I saw, I believe, line 61 [sic], 1, it states
10 that "the telephone lines were cut off in July of 2002," so I suspect
11 that should say 1992 if that is the testimony.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, yes, of course.
13 MS. RICHARDSON:
14 Q. Now secondly, other than the hospital and the PTT building, what
15 other authorities were able to have access to this -- to this telephone
16 system that you set up? Did the police have one, et cetera?
17 A. The civilian protection staff and later on with the civilian
18 police were established, the civilian police had it, and also a certain
19 number of people in the municipality were in charge of collecting food
20 for the hospital, and they were also connected. Those people had the
21 induction telephone lines available to them.
22 MS. RICHARDSON: All right. At this time, Your Honour, I have
23 some exhibits, some photographs for the witness to take a look at and --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: These are new exhibits.
25 MS. RICHARDSON: These are new exhibits, Your Honour.
1 Q. Mr. Becirovic, if you could take a look at this photograph that
2 is before you, it's on the Sanction, could you tell us if you recognise
3 this building.
4 A. You can see the hospital in Srebrenica.
5 Q. And does this accurately -- well, is this fairly -- a fair
6 representation of how it looked in 1992? Are there any differences you
7 want to point out? 1992 and 1993, of course.
8 A. There are no major differences. Maybe just the shrapnel halls
9 that were there at the time and cannot be seen on this photo.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Shall we give it a number?
11 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honour, please.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: This will be 525, P525, Madam Registrar. Thank
14 Next photo.
15 MS. RICHARDSON: All right. Next photograph. Thank you.
16 Q. Mr. Becirovic, the photograph that is before you, do you
17 recognise the building -- well, actually there are two buildings. Could
18 you tell us if you recognise them, and if they are fairly -- represent
19 the buildings as it appeared in 1992 and 1993 in Srebrenica.
20 A. Yes, this is the Domavija Hotel. From the beginning of June
21 1992, this is where the refugees from the Bratunac municipality and parts
22 of the Srebrenica municipality that had come under occupation moved to.
23 Q. With respect to that photograph, could you just tell us as well
24 if there was anyone else located in that building during the conflict in
1 A. I believe that in June, Hakija Meholjic and his group returned to
2 Srebrenica and they were billeted in the Domavija Hotel.
3 Q. All right. Thank you. We'll move to the next photograph.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: So this will become Exhibit -- Prosecution Exhibit
6 MS. RICHARDSON:
7 Q. Again, please tell us if you recognise the photograph, the
8 building in the photograph.
9 A. Yes. This is the prewar building of the Territorial Defence
10 Staff of Srebrenica.
11 Q. Okay. And -- thank you. Does it fairly represent this building
12 as it appeared in 1992 and 1993 in Srebrenica.
13 A. Yes. This is what it looked like. There are no major
15 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour. If we could have an
16 exhibit number?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: And and that will be Prosecution Exhibit P527.
18 MS. RICHARDSON: Next photograph.
19 Q. The photograph that is before you, Mr. Becirovic, could you tell
20 us if you recognise that building.
21 A. Yes. This is the PTT building in Srebrenica.
22 Q. And is that how it appeared -- does it fairly represent how it
23 appeared in 1992 and 1993?
24 A. Yes. Except for the fact that the facade is somewhat newer,
25 otherwise there is no other changes.
1 Q. All right?
2 MS. RICHARDSON: If we can have an exhibit number.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: This will become Prosecution Exhibit P528.
4 MS. RICHARDSON: If the witness can be shown another photograph.
5 Q. Mr. Becirovic, could you take a look at that photograph and tell
6 us whether or not you recognise this structure, and whether this is how
7 that structure appeared to you around 1992 and 1993.
8 A. I do not recognise this building.
9 Q. All right. Thank you. We can move to the next one.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: So this will be Prosecution Exhibit P529.
11 MS. RICHARDSON:
12 Q. All right. At the moment could you tell us if you recognise the
13 building that is evidently in between -- sandwiched in between at the
14 back of these two buildings that are to the front?
15 A. Yes. This is the building of the municipality of Srebrenica.
16 Q. All right. And is this, based on what you can see here of this
17 building, how it appeared -- fairly accurately represent how it appeared
18 in 1992 and 1993.
19 A. Yes.
20 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, if would he could have an exhibit
22 JUDGE AGIUS: This will become Prosecution Exhibit P530.
23 MR. JONES: Sorry, just for clarity sake, Your Honour, the
24 question is referring to a building sandwiched between the two buildings.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not sandwiched I know.
1 MR. JONES: I think the witness might have been referring to the
2 building are the red roof, if there's any lack of clarity there, perhaps
3 it should be resolved.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, okay. I don't think there is a problem with
5 that, but if you want me to ask him --
6 MR. JONES: No, that's fine.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
8 MS. RICHARDSON:
9 Q. The photograph that you are looking at now, Mr. Becirovic, do you
10 recognise that building?
11 A. Yes. This is the culture hall in Srebrenica.
12 Q. And is this how it appeared to you in 1992 and 1993, with no
13 major changes?
14 A. I don't think that there have been any major alterations to this
15 building. This is exactly what it looked like in 1992 and 1993.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: This will become Prosecution Exhibit P531.
17 MS. RICHARDSON: And, Your Honour, I think this is a good time to
18 take the break.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, certainly, Ms. Richardson. We will have a
20 25-minute break. Thank you.
21 --- Recess taken at 12.28 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 1.05 p.m. take 20o
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's proceed, please. Ms. Richardson.
24 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. Mr. Becirovic, did there come a -- I will rephrase the question.
1 How long did you work, you and the other operators who operated
2 the 745 and yourself, work on relaying messages to family members and did
3 there come a time that you were no longer doing these duties, you
4 yourself, but you had taken other -- taken up other duties with respect
5 to operating the radio?
6 A. As I've said, these activities involving the transmission of
7 messages to the families in Tuzla or elsewhere lasted throughout June,
8 July, and August of 1992, and only the messages were sent in this way.
9 In September, October, November, and onwards, people realised that they
10 could directly contact their family members in Tuzla and they wanted
11 this. Therefore, afterwards people would come in, sit next to the radio
12 equipment next to me or the Dautbasic brothers or whoever was operating
13 the equipment; and, on the other side, in Tuzla, the family members would
14 come to the radio club, to the radio operator, or sometimes the radio
15 operator would call the refugee centre in Tuzla so that they could hear
16 each other's voices via telephone.
17 Q. All right. Let me stop you there. I would like to move to
18 another subject matter. Did there come a time that you were aware of
19 Muslim forces -- that Muslim forces had been organised in Srebrenica?
20 A. At that time the form of their organisation was not clear to me,
21 the manner in which the Territorial Defence was organised, that was not
22 clear to me.
23 Q. When you say -- let me just interrupt you for a moment. When you
24 say "at that time," could you give us a month and the year that you're
25 referring to.
1 A. When I say "at that time" I'm referring to 1992. Some forms of
2 the organisation of the Territorial Defence became known to me only after
3 the demilitarisation in 1993. I am not aware that in 1992 there was any
4 kind of mobilisation carried out in any form; however, based on the
5 events taking place it was clear that people started organising
6 themselves in a way in order to defend their families.
7 First of all, I would like to point out that there were many
8 refugees who had arrived from the Bratunac municipality, from Glogova,
9 from Voljevica. And wishing to return to their properties together with
10 villagers from the Srebrenica area, they organised themselves in such a
11 way as to deflect the Chetnik attacks. They did this all aiming to
12 return to their homes. However, as time went by the attacks of Serb
13 forces became much more intense and there were artillery attacks launched
14 from Bratunac on Potocari, and people were forced to defend themselves.
15 Q. I would like to direct your attention to particular months in
16 1992 and ask you about your knowledge of the Muslim Territorial Defence
17 at that particular time. In the months of May, June and July, were you
18 aware of the Muslim forces and the Territorial Defence?
19 A. In 1992, no.
20 Q. In July of 1992, did you have a conversation with anyone
21 regarding the formation or the organisation of Muslim forces in
23 A. No, I did not talk to anyone about the establishment of the
24 Muslim forces in Srebrenica in July of 1992.
25 Q. Did you have a conversation with a Hamid Alic?
1 A. In a certain sense, when it comes to organisation, I don't think
2 that this involved, the organisation of military forces, no. What he
3 mentioned to me was that within the War Presidency of Srebrenica
4 municipality, there was a service called service for information, and it
5 was headed by Hamid Alic. I was designated as person in charge of radio
6 communication; by this I mean this piece of equipment, IC-751, which we
7 used to establish contact and to relate information on refugees from
8 Bratunac to the others in Tuzla.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's stick to the question that was put to you,
10 because I think you are somewhat answering at a tangent here. Let's go
11 through it slowly.
12 Earlier on in your testimony you told us how, in the early days,
13 April, locals gathered around Naser Oric, around Hakija Meholjic, and
14 Akif Ustic, and the following month, in May, around Zulfo Tursunovic in
15 Suceska, Stari Grad, and Potocari, respectively. Did the situation
16 remain always like that or did it change.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, when I mentioned
18 people, persons that residents rallied around, that didn't mean that, for
19 example, people who rallied around Naser Oric or somebody else remained
20 there around them the whole time. Occasionally people would take 20p
21 migrate, move from one area to another one. In that rallying, I saw no
22 signs of organised resistance, no. This was done in an unorganised way.
23 It just happened that people were there, and there was a need to defend
24 themselves and they expressed a wish to defend themselves. But people
25 could have also gone to other places.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Did the situation remain like that , or did it
2 develop into something else.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1992 I did not see that there
4 was any higher form of organisation that would be more serious. Perhaps
5 the reason for that was shortage of equipment and weaponry and all other
6 elements that are needed in order for something to function properly.
7 When it comes to communication means, it is clear to me
8 nowadays - it was less clear to me in 1992 - that in order to equip a
9 brigade, if applying proper standards, one needs really good
10 communication equipment. And the equipment that existed in Srebrenica
11 could not satisfy the needs of even a company, if I can say so.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I thank you, Mr. Becirovic, but you haven't
13 answered my question.
14 My question, very simply put, was the following: The situation
15 that you described to us earlier on, relating to April and May, where
16 these people rallied in the way you explained, around these four persons,
17 did the situation remain always like that, or did it develop into
18 something else? You were about to tell us that in 1992 you were not
19 aware of -- but then you again escaped and gave an answer which is
20 completely unrelated to the question that I put to you.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am aware that Hakija Meholjic, I
22 think in May, left Srebrenica and went to the neighbouring villages with
23 some of the people rallying around him. Because in Bratunac
24 municipality, in the Skenderovici and Brezovica villages and perhaps in
25 some other villages as well, the Serbs persecuted the inhabitants. So
1 that in Osmace or Tokuljaci which were the villages populated by
2 Muslims, he spent a certain period of time there attempting - at least
3 that's how it seemed to me - to demonstrate that it was necessary for
4 people to organise themselves.
5 In those areas people organised themselves based on their
6 village, place of location, because there was no sophisticated way of
7 organising themselves. And these village organisations had to be united,
8 had to be linked in a way. From April 1992 until demilitarisation in
9 1993, the situation in Srebrenica municipality was such that due to daily
10 shellings, daily attacks, there was no possibility to create a more
11 sophisticated kind of organisation which could coordinate the activities
12 of smaller organisations in villages, therefore each individual in a
13 village defended his own house. And towards late 1992, when the enemy
14 offensive intensified, when the Chetnik offensive intensified, people
15 started going further away from their villages.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Was there anything -- have you ever heard of the
17 Territorial Defence, Territorial Staff in Srebrenica?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. In 1993, after
19 demilitarisation, I heard that a group of people attempted to organise
20 the staff of the Territorial Defence of Srebrenica, which, in my view,
21 did not have a very important role to play when it comes to organisations
22 which existed in local communes.
23 I think that certain people were named, appointed. However, I
24 think that until November 1992, in Srebrenica, there was no one on the
25 Staff to coordinate the Territorial Defence Staffs in local communes.
1 The way they referred to these people was, they were Naser's people or
2 they were Zulfo's people or they were people from Glogova or from
3 Potocari; these were the terms used.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Back to you, Ms. Richardson.
5 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. Mr. Becirovic, did there come a point in time, and specifically
7 with respect to the months of June or July, that you gained knowledge
8 about a meeting that had taken place involving the individuals you
9 mentioned before, such as Akif Ustic, Zulfo Tursunovic, Naser Oric?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: And Hakija Meholjic.
11 MS. RICHARDSON: And Hakija Meholjic. Thank you, Your Honour.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I have mentioned that in the
13 second half of July when talking informally to Hamid Alic, I heard that
14 sometime in May there had been a meeting between Naser Oric, Zulfo
15 Tursunovic, Akif Ustic, and perhaps Hakija Meholjic, and somebody else
16 even, where they tried to organise the establishment of the Territorial
17 Defence Staff; however, I know that following this, it didn't really
18 materialise. And what I saw later, in terms of the conduct of the
19 people, that certainly did not look like a proper organised take 20q
21 MS. RICHARDSON:
22 Q. Did you learn -- what, if anything, did you learn concerning
23 Naser Oric at this meeting, that you were told?
24 A. Hamid told me that, in that meeting, Naser Oric was supposed to
25 be the commander of the groups that assembled there and that other
1 members were supposed to follow his orders; however, in reality that's
2 not how it was.
3 Q. Were you a member, Mr. Becirovic, of the military -- had you been
4 mobilised in Srebrenica in 1992 - well, let's take it specifically month
5 by month.
6 Between May and August, had you been mobilised?
7 A. If we picture a situation where somebody lined me up with other
8 people and said, "Now you belong to this unit," no, that's not what
9 happened. However, while I was in Suceska local commune, I saw that
10 after the 1st of May, the Serbs started shelling that area intensely and
11 frequently. And, together with other people from my village where I was
12 born, I started standing guard, digging trenches, and I have to say that
13 at the time I felt that it was an honour to be part of all of that.
14 Once I arrived in Srebrenica, nobody told me, nor did I request
15 to be become a member of any organised group. I performed the tasks that
16 I have just described to you. And in my conversation with Hamid Alic, I
17 learned that I was a member of the service for signals and informing,
18 which was under the Presidency. I hope that you are satisfied with the
20 JUDGE AGIUS: It may be a problem with interpretation. I am
21 going to read out to you what I have in English here in the transcript
22 and then ask you a simple question to confirm whether I have the right
23 thing or not.
24 "I learned that I was a member of the service for signals and
25 informing, which was under the Presidency." Is that what -- is this what
1 you learned, or that you had been appointed as the person responsible for
2 communications in Srebrenica?
3 A. When I say that I learned, that means that in my conversation
4 with Hamid, I learned that. I didn't use the word "appointed," precisely
5 because I was never informed of this in writing. There was no decision
6 appointing me. I was simply told verbally that I am supposed to perform
7 these tasks.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
9 MS. RICHARDSON:
10 Q. Mr. Becirovic, did you attend any of the meetings, the military
11 meetings, where Zulfo Tursunovic, Naser Oric, Akif Ustic, or Hakija
12 Meholjic was present?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Why are you describing these meetings as military
15 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I can rephrase the question.
16 Q. Did you attend any meetings with those individuals that I just
18 A. No, I did not.
19 Q. So you --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's make it clear, because I think I need to make
21 this clear.
22 The question that you need to answer is whether, on any occasion,
23 you were present at a meeting where not all of them, Zulfo, Naser, Akif,
24 and Hakija, but any of them were present, too. Any one of them was
25 present, too. Meetings where you were present, happened to be present,
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I was never present.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
4 Yes, Ms. Richardson.
5 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you.
6 Q. So when you testified earlier that orders were not followed, were
7 you present when anyone refused to follow an order by Naser Oric?
8 MR. JONES: I have an objection for a number of reasons.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: You don't need to stand up, Mr. Jones.
10 Please rephrase your question, Ms. Richardson.
11 MS. RICHARDSON: I will rephrase it, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: We haven't spoken, as yet, at least on the part of
13 the witness, on any orders that he knows of that had been given by Naser
15 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I will rephrase the question.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Becirovic, when you say -- said earlier on
17 that, to your knowledge nothing was organised and orders were not even
18 followed, how do you know that?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I was in position to
20 contact other people who were members of village guards, and based on my
21 exchanges with them, I learned that the situation was as follows: For
22 example, without the goodwill of Hakija Meholjic to go with his people to
23 Potocari and help with the defence, this could not have happened. So if
24 Hakija Meholjic or some of his people wanted to help in Potocari when the
25 Serbs attacked, then he could have gone there; if they didn't want to go
1 there, then why would they? I mean, nobody had a duty. Nobody had an
2 obligation to go and help. This is why I'm saying that this was not an
3 organised structure that could coordinate the activities of groups which
4 existed in local communes.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Richardson.
6 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. And so that it is clear, you -- Hakija Meholjic did not
8 actually -- did you have this conversation with Hakija Meholjic?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: He didn't say that.
10 MS. RICHARDSON: I'm asking.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, okay.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, we did not have any such
13 conversation. I mention Hakija Meholjic by way of example. It could
14 have easily been somebody else, Zulfo Tursunovic or Akif Ustic or anybody
16 MS. RICHARDSON:
17 Q. And so that it is clear, you didn't have this conversation with
18 Zulfo Tursunovic or anyone else in particular?
19 MR. JONES: I'm not sure what this conversation is supposed to
20 refer to. And the witness has been describing the environment and the
21 situation as he perceived it and the inability of control. And so he
22 hasn't said there was specific conversation in which this information was
23 relayed to him; he is clearly relying on the much broader information
25 JUDGE AGIUS: You know, I was inclined to intervene myself a
1 moment ago along the same lines that you have followed, Mr. Jones, but I
2 think it is -- the questions that are being put are legitimate. Because
3 the witness initially said that he would speak to people and people would
4 tell him this and that, and then he gave an example. And Ms. Richardson
5 has asked him whether he got this information basically by any
6 conversation that he might have had with Hakija Meholjic himself, and he
7 said "no," categorically denied that. So now she is trying to see
8 whether it would have been Zulfo Tursunovic, and then the following
9 question, whether he ever had any such conversation with your client
10 or --
11 MR. JONES: Maybe the first question would be simply on what he
12 bases that assessment.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I think so. I mean -- but I won't -- I won't
14 restrict Ms. Richardson in that respect. She can -- ask any question you
16 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. My question was: Did you have this conversation with Zulfo
19 A. No, I didn't.
20 Q. And did you have this conversation with Naser Oric?
21 A. No, neither with Naser Oric or with Akif Ustic.
22 Q. I would like to talk to you about Mr. Hamid Alic who you
23 mentioned before. Could you tell us what position he held in Srebrenica
24 during 1992.
25 A. Before April 1992, he worked in Bratunac. He resided there. He
1 was in charge of the telephone switchboard and the post in Bratunac. So
2 the nature of his work, before the war, he was expelled from Bratunac.
3 He survived execution. The nature of his work brought him to Srebrenica,
4 and because he was involved in those tasks before the war, he found
5 shelter in the building of the post office in Srebrenica. I really don't
6 see any other reasons. He was familiar with the equipment, him and Naser
7 Sulejmanovic slept in the post office building for a while. And it is my
8 impression -- it was my impression at the time, during the first month of
9 the war in 1992 that they were there in order to supervise the equipment
10 and prevent the equipment from being stolen from the post office.
11 Q. Was he a member of the War Presidency?
12 A. I wouldn't know that. I don't think so.
13 Q. And what -- I should ask. Did you attend any meetings -- did
14 Srebrenica have a War Presidency?
15 A. Yes, during a certain period of time. I can't remember exactly
16 when. All the information reached me subsequently, after the things
17 happened. The War Presidency of Srebrenica was indeed established. I
18 know that Hajrudin Avdic was appointed its president. As for some other
19 members in 1992 and 1993, I didn't know any. This was not the subject of
20 my interest for that matter. I know that people who were members of the
21 War Presidency, of whom I learned subsequently, were not in Srebrenica at
22 that time. Only Hajrudin Avdic was there, occasionally. And I also
23 believe that the War Presidency did not function properly as it should
24 have functioned in keeping with some provisions of the law.
25 Q. Did you attend any of the meetings of the War Presidency?
1 A. No, I didn't.
2 Q. With respect to the month of July and your conversation with
3 Hamed Alic, did there come a time that -- you said -- I will rephrase the
5 What did you learn from Hamed Alic with -- regarding your duties
6 in July of 1992?
7 A. Hamed Alic only told me this: Since I was the one who had
8 brought the IC-751 radio set to the post office building, I was in charge
9 of this ham radio. I was to collect information on the people who had
10 been expelled to Tuzla.
11 Q. And what, if any, contact did you have with Hamid Alic after this
13 A. We saw each other every day in the post office building. His
14 office was very close to the room where I was with the equipment. He
15 also told me at the time that he had been appointed the chief of
16 communications services, and that I was a member of that service.
17 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, at this time I would like the
18 witness to be shown an exhibit. This has not been tendered yet. So if
19 the witness testifies from it, we can have an exhibit number assigned.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. This will be P532, Ms. Richardson.
21 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you.
22 Q. Mr. Becirovic, could you take a look at that document that is
23 before you. I would ask you to take a look at the names that are on that
24 document and ask if you recognise any of the names and any of the people
25 that are listed.
1 A. I recognise the names.
2 Q. Let's start with the first name. Just for the record, this
3 document, the title is "list of signal unit members staff" in English.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And the first name that the witness is being
5 referred to is the witness which appears on the first page of this
6 two-page document and which bears ERN number 03592912. We're talking of
7 Hasanovic, Hamdija, son of Mohamed.
8 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: What's your question?
10 MS. RICHARDSON: I'm sorry. I was asking the witness if he
11 recognizes the name, the person and as you can see there is a duty
12 attached. There is a duty column that lists him as a TG, ROTG, that's
13 in English any way, radio telegraph operator?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's simplify it, Ms. Richardson. Unless there is
15 any particular question that you would like to put, may I suggest, Mr.
16 Becirovic, look at these two pages and the second -- the first that I
17 have already mentioned, and the second which has ERN number 03592913.
18 check all of the details that there are on these two pages. Take your
19 time. And then come back to us and tell us whether the information
20 contained in it is correct, or whether you would like to correct
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I recognise all of
25 these names. And my comment on the lists would be as follows: The first
1 list which says the "list of signals unit members" and in brackets
2 "staff", I know that these lads were members of the signals unit from
3 demilitarisation onwards.
4 I don't know why, in the last column here, it says "joined unit
5 on" and the dates that I see here precede the demilitarisation.
6 The second list is the list of signals unit members, in brackets,
7 computer post. I know that Nedzad Ahmetovic [phoen], the person on under
8 number 1, on this list, came to Srebrenica from Tuzla towards the end of
9 March, 1993. He brought a lap top that he used in order to maintain
10 communication with Tuzla. Senahid Mehmetovic [phoen] and Siridic [phoen]
11 Hajrudin were the persons that Ahmetovic Nedzad educated to work on the
13 Now on to the third list, the list of the signals unit members,
14 in brackets, post, which contains my name also, this is also a list of
15 people who were members of the signals and information unit that was
16 located in the post office.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Yes Ms. Richardson.
18 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: If you want to close this chapter here, please
20 close it. Otherwise we can adjourn.
21 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I think it's best we adjourn at
22 this point. Thank you.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thanks. So, Mr. Becirovic, are you going to have a
24 rest now? We will -- tomorrow is in the morning as well? Yes. It's a
25 morning sitting.
1 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honour it is.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Tomorrow we will reconvene at 9 o'clock. I think
3 it is in this same courtroom here, courtroom two. 9 o'clock. Thank you.
4 MR. JONES: Your Honour --
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Your Honour, we have a
6 very short issue to raise in the absence of the witness.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please, Mr. Becirovic.
8 [The witness withdrew]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in preparing for the
11 testimony of this witness, we received from our learned friends from the
12 Prosecution a list with 110 exhibits, and this is equal to us not having
13 received a list in the first place. None of the documents have been used
14 so far.
15 I believe that this behaviour of our colleagues from the
16 Prosecution is not correct. It means a lot of work for us, because for
17 each witness we prepare ourselves. We study all the documents and based
18 on that we decide which documents to use ourselves. I would kindly ask
19 our colleagues from the Prosecution to stop this practice which makes the
20 work of the Defence team much more difficult.
21 We would like to receive the exhibits that they really intend to
22 use with the witness. Not even half of these documents will be used
23 tomorrow. They would take seven days to at least -- to use only half of
24 these documents let alone all of them. In any case, it is impossible for
25 us to provide the list of our exhibits before we receive the list of
1 exhibits that they are going to use.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Richardson, if you want to respond to
4 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, I can, Your Honour, quite briefly. The
5 proofing, matter of proofing is quite a lengthy one especially when
6 you're dealing with a witness such as this. The exhibit list was
7 provided and certainly it was my intention, at that time, to use most if
8 not all of them. However I have revisited the exhibit list again last
9 evening very late and I have decided not to use as many as I first
10 proposed. Again, this goes hand in hand with the proofing process.
11 And what I can do, in response to the Defence request, is give
12 them an updated list of the ones that I will most likely use tomorrow. I
13 think I have used some of the exhibits, but I definitely will not use all
14 of the ones that I initially proposed to the Defence.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I do concede that the matter raised by
16 Madam Vidovic does, indeed, involve or call for some more in-depth
17 discussion on this practice. I mean, but I think for the time being we
18 will restrict it to the, what is the bare essential. I mean they have
19 done all of the work now, so at the end of the day the volume of work
20 that this practice entailed with them, with us, with our staff -- I mean
21 I had to decide whether to have all the documents selected or whether to
22 have the four or five volumes that I have, which is what I opted for
23 because otherwise my secretary would have stayed here almost the whole
25 MS. RICHARDSON: I can...
1 JUDGE AGIUS: So we need to be extremely careful here. I mean,
2 we will not discuss it now. Please, if you can reduce this list to what
3 you intend using, I think you will be helping the Defence. You will not
4 be helping us, because at this point in time it would involve too much
5 more work, but we don't have to prepare anything as such ourselves, or at
6 least as near as much as the Defence has to.
7 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes. Your Honour, that is not a problem. I can
8 provide an updated list this evening, if not sooner.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: If you require, we will discuss it further, but our
10 message is definitely one which is -- should be loud and clear enough.
11 There should not appear -- or the Defence should not be given enormous
12 lists of all exhibits, from all the binders, when in actual fact then at
13 the end of the day only a few or handful will be used.
14 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour if I may respond so Your Honours are
15 aware of how the proofing process has worked? When you're dealing with a
16 witness such as this one where he has been proofed over a period of time
17 and time is of the essence to provide the list, so as not to slow down
18 the preparation process for the Defence, I provided a list that included
19 all of the possible documents that I would use. And if I had, in fact,
20 provided them the list when I revisited it, it would have been 12 o'clock
21 in the evening, last night. So I apologise and Your Honour --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: But Ms. Richardson -- Ms. Richardson --
23 MS. RICHARDSON: I do take note of what the court has said and it
24 will certainly be improved upon in the future.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm sure it will and I am sure you didn't do this
1 in bad faith or anything like that. I'm not attributing anything like
2 that to you, of course. But please do also realise that in your case, as
3 a member of the team of the Prosecution, you're just have your Staff that
4 will bring into the courtroom on a daily basis that trolley with all of
5 the documents, they are always available there. The Defence can't keep
6 them here and they have to bring the documents from wherever they keep
7 them. They have to make the selection every evening or every other day,
8 of the documents that need -- it takes a lot more work and preparation on
9 the part of the Defence than on the part of the Prosecution. Please do
10 keep that in mind.
11 MS. RICHARDSON: I understand. What the Court has said and the
12 Defence is duly noted.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. And we will meet again tomorrow
14 morning at 9 o'clock.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.50 p.m.,
16 To be reconvened on Thursday the 21st day of
17 April, 2005 at 9.00 a.m.