1 Friday, 27 May 2005
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.24 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Registrar, could you call the case,
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-03-68-T, the Prosecutor versus Naser Oric.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam and good afternoon to you.
10 Mr. Oric, can you follow the proceedings in a language that you
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours, ladies
13 and gentlemen. I can follow the proceeding in my mother tongue.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Please sit down.
15 Appearances for -- and good afternoon to you, appearances for the
17 MR. WUBBEN: Good afternoon to you as well, Your Honours. My name
18 is Jan Wubben, lead counsel for the Prosecution. So good afternoon to my
19 learned friends of the Defence. I'm here together with co-counsel,
20 Mr. Gramsci Di Fazio, and our case manager, Ms. Donnica Henry-Frijlink.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Wubben and good afternoon to you
22 and your team. Appearances for Naser Oric?
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour, Vasvija
24 Vidovic and John Jones appearing on behalf of Mr. Naser Oric. Today with
25 us are our legal assistant, Ms. Adisa Mehic, and our CaseMap manager, Mr.
1 Geoff Roberts.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Vidovic and good afternoon to you
3 and your team. Are there any preliminaries before we start with the next
5 MR. WUBBEN: No, Your Honour.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: If I understood you well, yesterday, although it
8 wasn't you, Mr. Wubben, it was Ms. Sellers, you are renouncing to witness
9 number 51 Rajko Sarenac.
10 MR. WUBBEN: That's right, Your Honour, we will not call that
12 JUDGE AGIUS: So when will you finish?
13 MR. WUBBEN: That means that we aim to finish on the 31st of May.
14 That's the Tuesday.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Doesn't change anything, in other words?
16 MR. WUBBEN: No, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: That's the important thing because I wanted to make
18 sure that no one is caught on the wrong foot, and that includes our staff
19 as well. But that's okay. That's fine. That's fine, and I appreciate
20 your cooperation, Mr. Wubben.
21 I take it that you will be leading this -- all right. Let's bring
22 the witness in, please. I also take it that you will conclude today?
23 MR. DI FAZIO: No question about that.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: And that you will have the entire of Monday.
25 MR. JONES: That should be sufficient.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: I may even be finished before the end of the day.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: That's even better. I mean, that's the only good
4 news I would have received today, Mr. Di Fazio.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you, Mr. Delic.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon to you too,
8 Your Honours.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome to this Tribunal.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I take it that you are receiving interpretation in
12 your own language. If at any time in the course of your testimony today
13 and Monday you have difficulties in receiving interpretation, please draw
14 our attention straight away and we will rectify that. That applies also
15 if the sound level is not to your liking.
16 You are about to start giving evidence as a witness brought
17 forward by the Prosecution and our Rules require that before you do so,
18 you enter a solemn declaration equivalent to an oath in the sense that in
19 the course of your testimony, you will be speaking the truth, the whole
20 truth and nothing but the truth. The text is contained in a piece of
21 paper that Mr. Usher is going to hand to you now. Please read it out
22 aloud and that will be your solemn undertaking with us.
23 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, I solemnly declare that I will speak
24 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
25 WITNESS: SEAD DELIC
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Delic. Please make yourself
4 Now, let me introduce to you the Bench. I am the Presiding Judge,
5 my name is Carmel Agius and I come from Malta. To my right I have Judge
6 Hans Hendrik Brydensholt from Denmark. To my left I have Judge Albin Eser
7 from Germany. Together we are presiding over this trial that has been
8 going on for a few months against Naser Oric. To your right you have the
9 team from -- for the Prosecution, amongst which the nearest person to you
10 is Mr. Di Fazio who will be examining you in chief. To your left you have
11 the team for the Defence led by Madam Vidovic but the cross-examination
12 will be conducted by Mr. Jones who is co-counsel with Madam Vidovic in the
13 defence of Mr. Oric.
14 Yes. I would last but not least before I hand you over to
15 Mr. Di Fazio, I would suggest to you that you try to answer the questions
16 as precisely as possible to the best of your ability, but also as
17 concisely as possible. In other words, please try to answer the question,
18 the whole question and nothing but the question. Don't try to give us
19 more information than you are being asked to give. Do I make myself clear
20 to you?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Completely, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Di Fazio, he's in your hands.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Examined by Mr. Di Fazio:
25 MR. DI FAZIO:
1 Q. General Delic, I'd like you to confirm for me, if you may, these
2 particular details, and I could I ask, Mr. Usher if we could move the ELMO
3 machine because I can't see the face of the witness?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, by all means, Mr. Di Fazio.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: Thanks very much. I appreciate that. All right.
6 Q. Personal background and details. Tell me if these are correct and
7 correct anything you want to. You're a Bosniak, you were born in
8 September of 1954, you were born in Gorazde in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As
9 far as your educational background is concerned, in 1973 you completed
10 your secondary schooling. In 1977, you completed your JNA military
11 academy training. In 1991, you completed your ground forces Command Staff
12 academy training, and furthermore, you have obtained a masters degree in
13 political science which you obtained in 2000. Those details correct?
14 A. Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
15 Q. Thank you. Where did you -- where did you obtain your masters
16 degree in political science?
17 A. I obtained my masters degree in political science in Sarajevo --
18 Q. Thank you.
19 A. -- with the law of political science -- with the school of
20 political science.
21 Q. Your military appointments in the former JNA included these
22 positions: You were at some stage assistant to the Chief of Staff for
23 operational and educational issues; is that correct?
24 A. For a short while, during 1991.
25 Q. Okay. And where was that position located?
1 A. The position was with the Varazdin Corps after I finished the
2 education on the ground forces, and during -- that was a part of the
3 Varazdin Corps of the former JNA.
4 Q. Thank you. You were an intelligence officer with the 17th Corps
5 of the JNA; is that correct?
6 A. Yes. Upon my return from Varazdin that is from the Republic of
7 Croatia I was transferred to the Tuzla Corps and I was the intelligence
8 secretary with the 5th Corps of the JNA in Tuzla.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction with the 17th Corps in
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was until March 1992 and I only
12 worked part time, four hours a day.
13 MR. DI FAZIO:
14 Q. Thank you. In April of 1992, you left the JNA, and at some point
15 between the 18th and the 22nd of April 1992, you were appointed commander
16 of the Municipal Territorial Defence Staff in Tuzla; is that correct or
18 A. That is correct.
19 Q. On the 10th of November, 1992, you were appointed commander of the
20 5th or 5 Operational Group in Tuzla. Can you confirm that or correct me?
21 A. That is correct.
22 Q. In November of 1994, you were appointed commander of the 2nd Corps
23 of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Tuzla; is that
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. You remained in the army until -- in the ABiH army, until October
2 of 2000, but from 1997 until 2001, you also were a professor at the
3 University of Tuzla. Those two --
4 A. That is correct.
5 Q. And on the 5th of October 2002, you were elected as a deputy in
6 the House of Representatives in the parliament of the Federation of Bosnia
7 and Herzegovina and you remain to this day a member of parliament; is that
9 A. Yes, that is correct.
10 Q. Throughout the greater part of the period of time between 1992 --
11 April of 1992 and 1995, regardless of whatever command positions you held,
12 were you in the main located in Tuzla?
13 A. Yes, at the entire war.
14 Q. Thank you. Do you know Naser Oric?
15 A. Yes, I know Naser Oric.
16 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber when you first met, and I mean
17 personally, face to face, with Mr. Oric?
18 A. I met Brigadier Naser Oric for the first time once he returned
19 from Srebrenica in 1995.
20 Q. And was that just prior to the fall of Srebrenica?
21 A. Yes, perhaps two months prior.
22 Q. Thank you. We'll return to that later.
23 In the course of your duties in the army, and in particular in the
24 course of your duties between April of 1992 and 1995, did you become
25 familiar with the -- the documentation used by the Army of the Republic of
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina?
2 A. Yes. To the extent of the amount of information that would reach
3 me personally.
4 Q. Thank you. Yes, of course. And in giving evidence today, I'd
5 like you at all times, if you can, to inform the Trial Chamber when you're
6 asserting something as a result of your own direct knowledge and when
7 you're asserting something on the basis of what you have heard or been
9 I'd like to show you a series of documents now.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness please be shown Exhibit P279?
11 Yes, it's on Sanction, if Your Honours please.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
13 MR. DI FAZIO: The first question --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
15 MR. DI FAZIO:
16 Q. The first question that I wish to ask you is this: Have you ever
17 seen this document before? Are you familiar with it?
18 A. Yes. I did see this order previously.
19 Q. And was that when you were stationed in Tuzla?
20 A. One could say that that was so because as a commander, I did not
21 receive this order, but I did see -- I was given this order after the war.
22 Q. So you in fact laid eyes on it after the cessation of hostilities
23 and not in August of 1992 when it was apparently created; is that correct?
24 A. Precisely so. Having taken over the duty of the corps commander,
25 I did not go through the archives in order to locate such documents.
1 Q. Can you recall the circumstances under which you saw it after the
2 cessation of hostilities? How was it that you came to see it, become
3 aware of it?
4 A. I was personally engaged as military expert in the case of the
5 late General Alagic. Hence a part of the documentation pertaining to the
6 initial periods of aggression against the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
7 was accessible to me. Based on that, I was given an opportunity to see
8 this document as well.
9 Q. Thank you. The part of the document that I want to take you to is
10 contained in paragraphs 1 and 2. The following corps are formed in the
11 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, then lists a number of army corps. The
12 first one is based in Sarajevo, the second one in Tuzla. You see that?
13 A. Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
14 Q. All right. In paragraph 2, it asserts that the zones of
15 responsibility of these corps that I've just directed your attention to
16 cover the territories of the following municipalities. And in particular
17 the 2nd corps the headquarters of which is in Tuzla covered various
18 municipalities, one of which is Srebrenica. Do you see that?
19 A. Yes, that is precisely so.
20 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber if armed forces of the Republic of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina that operated in Srebrenica were therefore subordinated
22 to the headquarters of the 2nd Corps located in Tuzla? Is that a correct
23 understanding of the document?
24 A. That would be the logical interpretation, Mr. Di Fazio.
25 Q. Thank you. However, a number of these municipalities, were they
1 at the time that this document was created, in August of 1992, and in the
2 period of time immediately preceding August of 1992, and after August of
3 1992 up until 1995, were some of those municipalities under Serb forces,
4 under the control of Serb military forces?
5 A. Mr. Di Fazio, almost half of these municipalities were not under
6 the control of the regular armed forces and authorities of the Republic of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I will list them. Bijeljina, Bosanski Brod,
8 Bosanski Samac, the largest portion of Bratunac, Derventa, Doboj, and the
9 municipalities of Kalesija, Lopare, in full, Modrica, in fall, a part of
10 the Odzak municipality, and a part of the Srebrenica municipality, Teslic,
11 Sekovici, Ugljevik, Vlasenica, almost the entire territory of Zvornik. In
12 those municipalities, there were no units of the Army of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina and they were not under the control of the civilian
14 authorities of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
15 Q. Thank you. I've finished with that document. And perhaps if I
16 can save Mr. Usher a trip I'd also like to produce P76 to the witness.
17 General Delic, you've seen this document in the last two days of
18 proofing here. Up until you came to The Hague, had you ever laid eyes on
19 this document?
20 A. Until my arrival to The Hague, I have never seen such a document.
21 Q. Do you know or can you tell us if the appointment of Mr. Oric as
22 commander of the Srebrenica municipality TO, pursuant to Article 18,
23 paragraph 1, item 1 of the decree law, is apparently - I'm only talking
24 about the face of the document - apparently done in accordance with the
25 correct legislation? If you don't know, please say so.
1 A. I personally think that it is rather extraordinary to appoint a
2 commander using two very short sentences.
3 Q. Would you normally have expected --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: Sorry.
6 Q. Would you normally have expected this sort of appointment to be
7 a -- contained in a more voluble document, a longer document?
8 A. Precisely so, but in 1992, everything was possible, including
10 Q. Thank you, I've finished with that document.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, before you finish with that document.
12 Could he possibly recognise the signature on that document?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the signature is
14 unclear. I cannot say with certainty what it is, and I cannot see it from
15 the stamp.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
17 MR. DI FAZIO: Perhaps just one other question, sorry, that arises
18 from His Honour's question.
19 Q. The document appears to emanate from the Republic of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina TO Staff, Sarajevo. Is that where one would normally
21 expect such an appointment to emanate from? This type of appointment
22 to -- as commander of the Srebrenica TO?
23 A. Under the regulation, the TO Staff commanders in municipalities
24 were appointed by this particular organ, that is the Republican Staff of
25 the TO.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness be shown Exhibit P129.
3 Q. Again, this is a document that has been shown to you in the last
4 two days since your arrival in The Hague. Just look at it, acquaint
5 yourself with it.
6 A. Yes. That is all right.
7 Q. Thank you. Can you tell the Trial Chamber if you saw this
8 document during the course of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
9 A. I did not see this document during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
10 but I implemented a part of it pertaining to the municipality of Tuzla.
11 Q. All right. Did you see an order in similar or identical terms
12 directed to you in Tuzla?
13 A. Yes, an excerpt of the order was sent to me personally.
14 Q. And can you just tell the Trial Chamber why you did not see the
15 full order, if you only saw an excerpt?
16 A. Within the military system of command and control and the military
17 hierarchy, it is not regular practice that the command at the third level
18 communicates directly with the first instance command. I had to
19 communicate via the corps command. As you see in the document, this was
20 received by the District Defence Staff or later it was the 2nd Corps of
21 the ABiH.
22 Q. Thank you. The order requires certain organisational changes to
23 be conducted. If you flick through the document - Your Honours will find
24 it at page 5, the relevant part - it purports to effect -- or issue orders
25 to ABiH armed forces in Srebrenica municipality. There is just a few
1 things that I would like you to explain to the Trial Chamber as best you
2 can because it's not entirely clear in English. Paragraph A, can you read
3 paragraph A, please? Can you tell the Trial Chamber what, in effect, that
4 order is seeking?
5 A. Mr. Di Fazio, under item 9, with the title, in the Srebrenica
6 municipality, under subparagraph A, it states the following: "The
7 Municipal Defence Staff and headquarters support units, numerical
8 designation T-30072, duration of mobilisation, 12 hours." From my point
9 of view, that would mean that this particular municipal staff, as of the
10 moment of the issuing of the order, that that particular staff had to be
11 mobilised within 12 hours.
12 Q. Thank you. Can you -- you don't have to read them out
13 individually. We can save time if you don't do that, but can you take us
14 through each of the subheadings, B, C, D, and explain in more
15 straightforward terms the actual, practical effect of these orders to the
16 Trial Chamber?
17 A. Under B, the following is defined. Detachments of the armed
18 forces as follows, this is first and the second detachment with numerical
19 designations T-30360 and T-30361. Under C, independent infantry companies
20 of the armed forces, according to the war formation for an independent
21 infantry company of the TO; and item D, independent platoons according to
22 war deployment or war formation for an independent rifle platoon of the
23 TO, number T-412108.
24 Paragraph ends with war units cited under A and B are to be set up
25 according to the aforementioned organisational order. The coordinator of
1 the mobilisation plan for all war units cited in this item shall be the
2 Srebrenica Municipal Defence Staff.
3 Q. Tell the Trial Chamber that you received an order in accordance
4 with the -- directed to you in Tuzla, in accordance or emanating from this
5 general order?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you know if a similar order based on this general order was
8 delivered to ABiH armed forces in the Srebrenica municipality? Do you
9 know? If you don't know, say so.
10 A. As concerns the municipality of Srebrenica, I have no knowledge
11 about that, but as for the municipality of Tuzla, the units that were
12 formed before that were later on verified.
13 Q. So you can't say if a similar order, similar to the one you
14 received in Tuzla, was or was not sent to Srebrenica?
15 A. Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
16 Q. I've finished with that document.
17 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness be shown Exhibit P201.
18 Q. Could you please look at this document, reacquaint yourself with
19 it? It was shown to you here. First question I want to ask you is --
20 it's apparently signed by Zeljko Knez. Does that signature -- do you
21 recognise that signature?
22 A. Yes. I do recognise the signature of my commander.
23 Q. Did you become familiar with that signature during the course of
24 carrying out your duties in the years 1992 to 1995?
25 A. I had opportunities to meet Mr. Zeljko Knez even before the combat
1 operations because in the JNA he had been my battalion commander for two
2 years, at the time when I was the commander of an infantry company.
3 Q. But I'm actually more interested -- thank you for informing us
4 that you know him, but I'm actually more interested in the signature.
5 Look at the signature. First question: Did you ever become familiar
6 through your contacts and your work with him, did you become familiar with
7 his signature? And secondly, is that his signature, if you did become
9 A. Although it's unclear, I'm certain it's his signature. The copy
10 is blurred but I'm sure it's his signature.
11 Q. Thank you. The actual text of the order we can deal with fairly
12 quickly. It's an order establishing training centres in various
13 locations, including Tuzla and Srebrenica, as you can see under
14 paragraph 1. Do you see that?
15 A. Yes, yes, I see it.
16 Q. Did you, in fact, establish a training centre in Tuzla?
17 A. It existed in Tuzla throughout the war.
18 Q. Right. Thanks, but did you set one up pursuant to, in response
19 to, this order?
20 A. Yes, precisely, pursuant to this order. The same order, without
21 this sign that says Srebrenica, is one that I received as commander of the
22 Tuzla TO staff.
23 Q. Thank you. And is it the case -- well, let me withdraw that,
24 rephrase it. Can you tell us if you know, and only if you know, whether a
25 similar training centre was ever set up in Srebrenica or not?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. No. In the period from 1992 until the end of 1994, I do not know
2 what happened in Srebrenica municipality.
3 Q. Thank you. Now I would like you to look at the top right-hand
4 corner of the original there, the B/C/S version. You have in handwriting
5 the word "Srebrenica." Do you see that?
6 A. Yes, yes, I do.
7 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber the circumstances under which that
8 hand -- that sort of handwriting entry would be made on the document such
9 as this, the stage at which it would be placed on a document such as this?
10 In other words, take the Trial Chamber, just listen to my question. Take
11 the Trial Chamber through the process from the point at which the order is
12 made, its creation on writing, its placing on paper, to the points where
13 such a handwritten entry might be made, thank you.
14 A. Your Honour, in the commands where I commanded and where I was
15 present during the war and before the war, there were regulations on the
16 administrative proceedings of these units. These regulations clearly
17 defined the manner in which documentation circulated within military
18 units. There was only one original document, and all other copies were
19 made in the numbers required, depending on how many people needed to use
20 them. They were registered in the office. They were given numbers in
21 sequence and then sent to their immediate users. In every organisational
22 and establishment structure, there had to be a register from which you
23 could see where and when which document was sent and possibly who received
25 Q. Thank you. But how does the handwriting fit in with the answer
1 that you have just provided us? Does the appearance of the handwriting on
2 this particular document mean that it is the one original document that
3 you spoke of, or is it one of the other copies that were made of the
4 original? That's the first point that I want to know.
5 A. Without going into the content of this document, there is only one
6 original which remains in the archives of the unit. The other copies are
7 copied in the office, distributing the document, and then in the office
8 they would write on each copy to whom it was to be delivered. Looking at
9 this, the office of the district Territorial Defence staff intended to
10 send this document to the Municipal Staff of the Srebrenica Territorial
11 Defence. That's how I see it.
12 Q. All right. Okay. So someone writes in Srebrenica on the document
13 intended to go to Srebrenica. Do I understand you correctly?
14 A. No. I don't think we understand one another. The original
15 document is copied, but without what it says here in handwriting,
16 Srebrenica, without mentioning to whom it is being sent. And then on the
17 copies, they add -- they write in to whom the documents were to be sent,
18 and then they sent these documents on.
19 Q. Thank you. That's right. So the appearance of the
20 word "Srebrenica" in handwriting, does that indicate to you that this
21 particular document with that writing was intended to be sent, physically
22 sent, to Srebrenica? That's my question.
23 A. Yes. You're right. This is the only conclusion I can draw.
24 Q. Now, whether it was actually sent or not, do you have any
25 knowledge about that? And I'm asking about this particular document.
1 A. You could check this information only through the deliveries book
2 in the command of the Tuzla Territorial Defence staff. I can only
3 speculate but I'm not here to speculate, only to tell you what I know and
4 what is the truth.
5 Q. If it wasn't sent to Tuzla -- to Srebrenica, would you expect to
6 find the original plus this copy with the handwritten words -- hand
7 written word, "Srebrenica", only in Tuzla?
8 A. That's what I would expect to happen, yes, only in Tuzla.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, because you are presenting it to the
10 witness and he is taking it for granted that it is so and it can only be
11 so. But I can figure out, for example, that if it could not be delivered
12 in the normal manner, it could also be faxed, and if it is faxed, the
13 original will remain in Tuzla but the faxed copy would have reached
14 Srebrenica. So there is that option also. In other words, the fact that
15 the original, this document, with the written, handwritten name
16 "Srebrenica," is found in Tuzla, does not necessarily mean that it has
17 never reached Srebrenica. It could have been faxed.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: I know that. If Your Honours please, and at some
19 stage later in the Prosecution submission you'll be reminded of the
20 evidence of Rasim Manas and where the Prosecution --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop, because the witness is here. Yes, Mr. Jones.
22 MR. JONES: Particularly on that point the witness himself has
23 said that he's not here to speculate --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly.
25 MR. JONES: -- and that these are very involved questions which are
1 inviting him to do precisely that. These are submissions which can be
2 made in the due course of --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. The fact is, it's wrong to draw the conclusion
4 or to suggest to the witness the conclusion that the fact that this may
5 have been traced or found in Tuzla means that it never reached Srebrenica.
6 MR. DI FAZIO: That's not my point.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Then make it clear.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm trying to do precisely the opposite to that.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Then make it clear to the witness. And while we are
10 at it, perhaps while the witness has the document right in front of him,
11 right above those -- that name, the "Srebrenica," the handwritten name of
12 the town, in the middle of the top part of the page, there is what looks
13 like a signature. Does that look familiar to him? Can he identify that
15 MR. DI FAZIO:
16 Q. You heard His Honour's question. Can you -- can you inform us or
17 shed any light on that?
18 A. Your Honour, if I may comment. What Your Honour said is precisely
19 so. As for this signature, I don't know whose it is. It may be somebody
20 who compiled the original document. In my career, my practice was that
21 all those who wrote an order and brought it to me for my signature should
22 sign the original as well before I signed it so that if something went
23 wrong, these signatures would be there. However, as for this document, I
24 do not know why this signature is there.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] ... was shown on computer
1 evidence for sure. I want to make sure that the public who may have been
2 following the proceedings has the opportunity of seeing this document on
3 the ELMO. So put it briefly, the original, the B/C/S version on the ELMO,
4 please. And could you also zoom on the top part of the first page? The
5 top part of the first page, so that the public can see what the witness
6 was being referred to, that is the written name of Srebrenica, handwritten
7 name of Srebrenica, plus that unidentified signature in the middle of the
8 top of the page, and then let's put on the ELMO the second page, lower
9 half, please, where there is the signature of the commandant Zeljko Knez
10 which has been recognised for all intents and purposes although it's not
11 that clear, by the witness. All right? Okay. You can remove the two
12 documents, the two pages, and we can proceed with your questions,
13 Mr. Di Fazio.
14 MR. DI FAZIO:
15 Q. Just one more question, not necessarily for -- I don't need the
16 document. But just arising from His Honour's -- what His Honour said, do
17 you know if there were any fax facilities in existence at around the time
18 of July 1992 as between Tuzla and Srebrenica? And again, that constant
19 reminder, if you don't know, say so.
20 A. I don't know anything about this.
21 Q. I've finished with the document, if Your Honours please.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness be shown P143.
23 Q. Again, there is no secret that you have seen this document, at
24 least in the last couple of days here in The Hague. My first question is,
25 look at the signature at the back of the document. Do you recognise it?
1 A. Yes. This is the signature of the commander of the district
2 staff, Mr. Zeljko Knez.
3 Q. Acquaint yourself with the content of the order and tell the Trial
4 Chamber if you're aware of any such order having been issued during --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Take it as a rule that although we have access to
7 the -- to Sanction and we can follow, the public is not in a position to
8 follow -- are they in a position to follow Sanction as well? If it's --
9 oh, I see. All right. Okay.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: Apparently it's broadcast, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know. I mean, because I -- I'm seeing what
12 I need to follow here on my screen and I can't see what the public has
13 access to. So I want to make sure that the public, as well as the
14 accused, can see the document.
15 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.
16 Q. So -- thank you, Witness. The signature at the back of the
17 document, is it -- no.
18 A. It's the same as the previous signature.
19 Q. All right. Let me rephrase my question. Look at the content of
20 the document and tell the Trial Chamber if you're aware of any such order
21 having been issued around October 1992.
22 A. I received the identical order as the commander of the TO Staff of
23 the Tuzla Territorial Defence.
24 Q. And did you carry out the order in accordance with the terms --
25 A. Pursuant to this order, in the Municipal Staff of the Tuzla
1 Territorial Defence, the situation that was already in place was simply
2 approved. I only acted on what was not in the -- in compliance with this,
3 in the previous establishment structure.
4 Q. I'd just like to be absolutely clear. Are you saying that there
5 was -- you had already formed military police structures prior to this
6 order having been issued and that the structures you had set up complied
7 with this order in any event?
8 A. Precisely so, Mr. Di Fazio. You see that there is no mention here
9 of the Tuzla Municipal Staff. I was duty bound to carry out only the
10 second part of the order which says that the company should have 105 men
11 and about the moral profile of those entering the military police.
12 Q. Okay. Thank you. Could you look at paragraph 2 of the order?
13 That says that the chiefs of security in Municipal Defence Staffs, such as
14 Tuzla or Srebrenica or wherever, have to control the units of the military
15 police in professional terms. Can -- it's not entirely clear in the
16 English translation. Can you just explain that in a little more detail to
17 the Trial Chamber, please?
18 A. Mr. Di Fazio, item 2 regulates the method of command and control
19 of the military police organs. It says here that the chiefs of security
20 in municipal defence staffs or brigades shall control the units of
21 military police in professional terms. This is horizontal control. As
22 for the control of the work and the carrying out of the assignments, this
23 shall be done by the chief of security of the Tuzla District Defence Staff
24 or a person he appoints, as it says here.
25 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber if the effect of this order was
1 that military police and the security organs in Municipal Defence Staffs
2 were therefore subordinated to the chiefs? Sorry, the commanders of those
3 municipal defence staffs?
4 MR. JONES: It says "chiefs of security," it didn't say
5 commanders. That's misreading.
6 MR. DI FAZIO: Chiefs of security.
7 Q. Were they subordinated to the Municipal Defence Staffs?
8 A. The chiefs of security within the Territorial Defence Staffs were
9 subordinate to the commander of the Territorial Defence Staff.
10 Q. Did that change at all in the period of April 1995 until the end
11 of the war? Until 1995, at least?
12 A. This relationship between the security organ and the commander did
13 not change until the end of the war. There was a horizontal and vertical
14 hierarchy. The vertical relationship was that of superior and
15 subordinate, which meant that the chief of security was subordinate to the
16 staff commander. Horizontally he could cooperate both with the
17 subordinate chiefs and those from the higher command, both the lower and
18 the higher commands. Professionally, they carried out tasks with that
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Perhaps he can enlighten us on this because we are
21 really interested in what was the position in 1992, in particular, and
22 1993, early parts of 1993.
23 This document is dated 14th of October of 1992. What was the
24 position before the 14th of October 1992? And after the war had started.
25 I mean between April, in other words, and October, 1992, when this
1 document is issued.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the system was not well
3 organised and attempts were being made to organise it properly to bring it
4 into line with the kind of system that exists in every army everywhere.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Di Fazio.
6 MR. DI FAZIO:
7 Q. It may not have been organised properly but can you tell us if in
8 the period preceding the 14th of October 1992, whether military police and
9 the security organ were subordinated to local TO commanders?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. --
11 MR. JONES: Your Honour, I'm bearing in mind the answer which the
12 witness gave earlier which was, I'm quoting, "in the period from 1992
13 until the end of 1994, I do not know what happened in Srebrenica
14 municipality." If his question is confined to what happened in Tuzla,
15 then that's fair enough. If it's a question about Srebrenica, then we
16 need to be clear because so far the witness has said he didn't know what
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, you're perfectly right. Mr. Di Fazio, you are
19 of course free to pose the question, but keep in mind also what the
20 witness has already stated in regard to Srebrenica, and if you want to
21 articulate it further, you have of course all the possibility to do so.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: Grateful to Mr. Jones for reminding me.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I think so. And I think it's very important, the
24 point he has raised.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, yes, quite right.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: What was the position in --
2 MR. DI FAZIO:
3 Q. I'm not asking you about Srebrenica. You've already told us you
4 don't know. I'm asking you about the situation prior to October of
5 1992 -- I'm asking you about the situation in Tuzla and if you know what
6 the situation was in other areas of the country, other than Srebrenica.
7 A. Yes, I understand your question, Mr. Di Fazio. In no municipality
8 in the free territory of the then Tuzla canton, and district, this is a
9 civilian term, the conditions were not the same. Even neighbouring
10 municipalities to Tuzla did not have the same material and human resources
11 which would enable them to organise themselves in the way demanded by
12 military organisation and practice. Specifically in Tuzla municipality,
13 as for what we were able to do, we attempted to set up the system as soon
14 as possible, and we were in the vanguard, in the forefront, of everything
15 that was happening in this respect, compared to the District Staff which
16 had its headquarters in Tuzla.
17 If it's of assistance, I think in most neighbouring
18 municipalities, this order was complied with for the most part. I am
19 convinced that, at least where the municipalities of Tuzla are concerned,
20 these units of the military police were established.
21 Q. Yes, but as you know, I'm asking you about the situation that
22 applied prior to October of 1992. Now, you've already commented and told
23 us the effect of this order, vis-a-vis subordination, military police, and
24 the security organ, post disorder. Now, prior to this order. Remember,
25 don't comment on Srebrenica.
1 A. If you are seeking my comment, an order comes from the situation
2 in the field or rather a problem in the field. I formed the military
3 police company and I had it complete by June 1992. But the problems were
4 inside the army, within the command and control system, as well as the
5 problems of relationship between municipal and district staffs. The
6 district Staff was in its inception. It did not have its logistic
7 services and no impact on municipal staffs, and the most important role of
8 that staff was to be active in the field. That's why this order, in order
9 to regulate their relationship, amongst other things to improve the
10 security situation.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Vidovic?
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Just a correction for the
13 transcript. The witness stated that the Municipal Staff was in its
14 inception. The record reflects the District Staff, which is incorrect.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, the Municipal Staff.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam Vidovic, and thank you, Mr. Delic.
17 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, I've finished with that document.
18 Q. Avoid documents for a few moments. You've told us that you met
19 Mr. Oric for the first time in 1995 at some point prior to the fall of
20 Srebrenica. During the course of 1992 and 1993, did you come to know of
21 Mr. Oric?
22 A. Yes, I did come to know.
23 Q. What were your sources of information at that time?
24 A. As with other citizens, one of my sources of information were the
25 media, the radio and the TV. The second source of information were the
1 meetings of the Territorial Staff of the TO in Tuzla, and I attended such
2 meetings, and on one occasion the subject of discussion was Srebrenica.
3 Q. Let's break that up a bit. First of all we will come to the
4 meetings later but first let's look at the media. What newspapers or what
5 TV did you read or hear in which -- where Mr. Oric was introduced to you,
6 as a person, as a character?
7 A. I didn't have much time on our hands to read or to watch TV, but I
8 believe that was the radio television channel of the Tuzla canton, as it
9 exists even today, and it included ham radio operators reporting on
10 events, and radio-television Tuzla also mentioned the issue. But I also
11 believe a magazine called Armija Ljiljana wrote about that at the time.
12 Q. Armija -- I won't even attempt the second word, I apologise. This
13 magazine, is that an army magazine, a BiH army magazine or newspaper?
14 A. Yes, it is a magazine that wrote about events on frontlines and
15 important events from individual units and corps of the Army of
17 Q. Thank you. How was Mr. Oric described in these media sources?
18 A. As regards those media reports, my impression of
19 Brigadier Naser Oric was that of a courageous man who commanded that area.
20 Q. What area?
21 A. The wider area of Srebrenica, where he was.
22 Q. Would you see such commentary in Armija Ljiljana -- let me finish
23 the question actually, namely that he was courageous, secondly that he was
24 the commander in that area?
25 A. I don't remember exactly whether I read it in Armija Ljiljana, but
1 I still maintain that I did hear what I just said.
2 Q. Thank you. You also mentioned earlier that another source of
3 information that you had about Mr. Oric prior to your meeting him was
4 meetings that you attended. It's not in dispute that in --
5 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, certainly, Mr. Di Fazio.
7 MR. DI FAZIO:
8 Q. It's not in dispute that there was -- Srebrenica was demilitarised
9 in the first quarter of 1993. I'm sorry I can't recall the precise date.
10 In relation to that --
11 A. On the 8th of May 1993.
12 Q. All right. Thanks. Prior to that date, did you attend any such
13 meetings to discuss the situation in Srebrenica?
14 A. Precisely so. One of the meetings was called in the command of
15 the then corps of the 2nd Corps of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the
16 subject of discussion was aid to the populace of Srebrenica and deploying
17 a unit to Srebrenica, and the unit was supposed to be organised by the 2nd
18 Corps of the ABiH. The meeting was attended by the commanders of
19 municipal staffs in order to receive specific tasks, first and foremost,
20 concerning material and equipment, that had to issue the unit with. The
21 unit had to be manned from the people from Podrinje, and sent to combat
22 some 100 kilometres away from Tuzla to Srebrenica.
23 Q. Was this meeting also concerned with the issue of organising,
24 actually bringing about, this -- this result, getting aid into Srebrenica?
25 A. Yes, precisely so. A brigade was supposed to be formed in order
1 to help the people on Srebrenica to survive there.
2 Q. And you said that the meeting was called in the command of the
3 corps of the 2nd Corps of the ABiH army. Can you tell the Trial Chamber
4 the highest ranking military officers who attended this meeting?
5 A. I'm certain that all Municipal TO Staff commanders around Tuzla
6 were present, as well as the immediate corps command. I can list the
7 people, or rather the regions, Tuzla, Lukavac, Zivinice, Srebrenik,
8 Kalesija, Gradacac, the free territories of Brcko, Gracanica, the free
9 territories of Doboj East. That is what comprised the single free
10 territory under the then authorities. It was called the Tuzla District.
11 Today it is known under the name of Tuzla Canton.
12 Q. Who was the single most -- who was the single most high-ranking
14 A. The highest ranking officer was the corps commander.
15 Q. And what was his name?
16 A. I don't know whether that was the end of 1992 or the beginning of
17 1993. I cannot recall, but I believe it could have been only Zeljko Knez
18 or Hazim Cavic, both generals.
19 Q. Now, to effect -- carry out a mission like that, get aid into
20 Srebrenica, military aid, and civilian aid, would have involved - you
21 correct me if I'm wrong - a dangerous mission through enemy territory and
22 penetration into the area of the Srebrenica enclave with -- held by ABiH
23 forces. Am I correct or not in that description?
24 A. Yes. It was a very risky operation. One had to go through 100
25 kilometres of the enemy's territory in order to reach Srebrenica.
1 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber if it was important to you,
2 attending that meeting, and to the other military officers attending that
3 meeting, that you be able to deal with someone who was in charge of armed
4 forces in the Srebrenica enclave, or in command?
5 A. I was not with the command of the then 2nd Corps of the ABiH but
6 as a soldier I would suppose they had to have some sort of communication
7 in order to regulate the situation, if possible, of course.
8 Q. Do you know if the -- there was any mention of anyone who might
9 have been in command of ABiH army forces in Srebrenica at this meeting?
10 A. We all knew that the commander there at the time was
11 Brigadier Naser Oric. No one asked that as a separate question or an
13 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, that would probably be an
14 appropriate moment. I know it's five minutes early.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Doesn't make a difference, Mr. Di Fazio.
16 We'll have a 25-minute break starting from now. Thank you.
17 --- Recess taken at 3.40 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 4.13 p.m.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Di Fazio, let's continue.
20 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, if Your Honours please.
21 Q. General Delic, I'd like to show you very briefly two documents,
22 which are headed "the Rules of Operating Procedures for the Military
23 Security Service in the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina," and secondly "The Rules of Service for the Military Police
25 of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina." Could you
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 please look at the two documents that are presented to you.
2 I believe copies have been provided to the Defence. Good.
3 Do you recognise those documents?
4 A. Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
5 Q. The English should be placed on the ELMO. The English should be
6 placed on the ELMO although, if Your Honours please, I'm going to be
7 extremely brief with these. I'm just seeking to --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
9 MR. DI FAZIO:
10 Q. You recognise both documents. Did they apply, did these rules
11 apply, to the armed forces of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1992
13 A. Yes. These are the initial rules regulating the functioning of
14 the military police of the Armed Forces of the Republic of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina, regulating in detail the work of the military security
16 in the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina as well.
17 Q. Thank you. If you look at the rules relating to the military
18 security service, they are apparently signed by the president of the
19 Presidency and dated at 11th of September 1992, Sarajevo. That's at the
20 back of the document. Do you -- do you find that?
21 A. Yes. I found it. I can see it.
22 Q. Thank you. And as far as you can recall or as far as you're
23 aware, did they apply indeed from about that time, the 11th of September
25 A. I can only speak about my immediate environment. We did our best
1 to fully implement the rules we received.
2 Q. Can you recall how long they applied for?
3 A. I believe these rules were in force throughout the war.
4 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honour please I seek to tender that
5 document into evidence. Namely the rules --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Shall we -- will you tender them separately as two
7 documents or as one document?
8 MR. DI FAZIO: I think we should tender them separately.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: That's what I think as well. So let me do this.
10 The first of these two documents that are being tendered by the
11 Prosecution has -- starts with ERN 02131181 and ends at 02131212.
12 MR. DI FAZIO: I think that's the military police.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I'm going to say -- no, no, no. These are the
14 rules of service for the military police of the armed forces of the
15 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Right? And this is being tendered
16 and marked as Prosecution Exhibit P558.
17 The other document that the Prosecution seeks to tender and which
18 is being admitted is entitled "The Rules of Operating Procedures for the
19 Military Security Service in the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bosnia
20 and Herzegovina," dated 1992, and in the English version starts with ERN
21 number L0060579 and runs through and inclusive of L0060606. The
22 Serbo-Croat version, corresponding Serbo-Croat version starts at ERN
23 02131159 and runs through and includes as the last page 02131180. This
24 document is being marked Prosecution Exhibit P559.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you happy with that, Mr. Di Fazio?
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, thank you, Your Honours.
3 Q. Just on that lass document P559, in order to save time this
4 document was signed on the 11th of September 1992, apparently created on
5 that date, and bears the endorsement of the president of the Presidency,
6 Alija Izetbegovic. Did it apply, as far as you're aware, from about that
7 date, the 11th of September 1992, throughout the remainder of the war?
8 A. Yes, I have confirmed that. There were amendments and changes
9 added on later in the rules of service for the military police but this is
10 the document.
11 Q. Well, do you know -- if you don't know, say so, I don't know what
12 sort of memory you have, but would you be able to comment at all on what
13 amendments and changes were made later? And when they were made?
14 A. I guess these were some smaller changes that were not regulated by
15 the rules at first but then they meant to explain in detail the
16 implementation of the rules.
17 Q. Thank you. I'd now like to show you some more documents. I'd
18 like to show you some documents.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: Can Mr. Usher please provide the witness with P87,
20 P88, P89 and I'll deal with them in sequence if Your Honours please but
21 firstly if they can be given to the witness and I'll start off with P89.
22 All of these documents are on Sanction.
23 Q. Now, over the last two days, you've been shown these documents.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Before I ask you about the entries, the entries that are made into
1 these particular documents, it's obviously apparent that this is a pro
2 forma, standard form document. It's common to that -- all of the three
3 exhibits that I've given you.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Go ahead. In the meantime, you can, if you
5 have the copy in English, you can put it on the ELMO as well, usher,
7 MR. JONES: I just want to state for the record that these are
8 documents that we'd objected to in terms of authenticity.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you for pointing that out, Mr. Jones.
10 MR. DI FAZIO:
11 Q. Right. Now, can you explain to the Trial Chamber the -- if you
12 know, the background to this particular document, how it was created? And
13 I'm not talking about the entries that were made into it but how and why
14 this pro forma document was created.
15 A. Your Honour, as far as I can remember, from 1997 until I retired
16 in October 2000, a project was ongoing, a scientific project, including
17 teams from both the civilian and military life. These were university
18 professors from the University of Sarajevo and the soldiers participating
19 in the war between 1992 and 1995. The aim of the project was to register
20 the activities of the army of B and H starting from the beginning of the
21 war and up until the Dayton agreements. It encompassed combat activities,
22 commands and units of the AB and H, as well as all the other segments, for
23 example, logistics, draft calls, and other activities conducted by the
24 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina during the war.
25 Q. Thank you. What was the ultimate purpose of this scientific
2 A. The purpose of the scientific project, of course from my point of
3 view, was to register in historical terms the events that happened between
4 1992 and 1995, until its end.
5 Q. It's not -- I don't think it's in dispute that occasionally war
6 histories are created following cataclysmic events such as these. Is --
7 was this raw material for a war history? Or am I -- is my suggestion
9 A. I believe this was used as a starting point to learn about the
10 real events that took place during that time concerning different aspects
11 of activity of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
12 Q. Thank you. And so was this a -- in effect, a standard form
13 document that was sent to military elements or units for completion?
14 A. The institution in charge of the project was the joint command of
15 the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Together with a team that worked on
16 the project, the command drafted the form and sent them -- sent it to the
17 corps commanders. Through the hierarchy of command and control, they
18 forwarded such forms to their subordinate units and formations who were
19 then in turn supposed to form teams to deal with various areas including
20 direct participants as well as including people from various commands.
21 Once filled out, the forms should have been forwarded to the joint command
22 which then conducted the scientific analysis together with the team in
23 order to have a complete picture in one place pertaining to various
24 domains of activities.
25 Q. Thank you. Was the document required to be countersigned once the
1 information had been collated and the form filled out?
2 A. You are correct. By hierarchy, the documents were signed by the
3 person authorised, the person who sent it to the commands at all levels.
4 That was also the guarantee that the documents were properly filled in and
5 that they present a sound basis to continue with the project.
6 Q. Thank you. Would you now -- Mr. Usher, would you make sure the
7 witness has P89?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Are you finished with this document or
9 will you be referring to it --
10 MR. DI FAZIO: I've still got a lot more to do.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. All right. No, no. Then I keep my mouth
12 shut because if you had finished then obviously I had a question, but if
13 you haven't finished I will let you put the questions.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: I've got more questions about this series of
15 documents, these three.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Go ahead.
17 MR. DI FAZIO:
18 Q. Of the three documents I've asked you to look in particular, I
19 want you now to focus on P89 and go to the last page of that document.
20 There is an entry there for "commandant to sign." Whose signature is
22 A. Yes. I can see that.
23 Q. Whose is it? Whose signature?
24 A. This is my signature, but only the signature.
25 Q. Put there by your hand?
1 A. As far as I can see, I signed this by hand.
2 Q. Do you recall signing such forms, and of course if you can tell us
3 about this particular one, by all means do, but my question is first
4 framed in the general, general terms. Did you complete such forms and --
5 sorry, not complete. Sign such forms once they had been completed during
6 the life of this scientific project?
7 A. Mr. Di Fazio, as an authorised person and as a commander, I signed
8 this form without going into its contents because the persons who were
9 responsible for that filled in this form, and I, as the commander, was
10 duty-bound to sign it. My subordinate commanders did the same. I
11 personally participated in filling in several of these forms because as
12 the commander of the municipal staff of the Tuzla Territorial Defence, and
13 as the commander of the 5th Tuzla operative group, I was a direct
14 implementer of certain combat operations and I had to provide the
15 necessary information. And these units consulted me in order to avoid
16 making mistakes.
17 Q. Thank you. Did you have the expectation that the form had been
18 completed as honestly and as accurately as was possible in all of the
20 MR. JONES: I object to the leading nature of that question.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Objection sustained.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: All right.
23 Q. Could you go to the font of the document, please? This document,
24 P89, apparently deals with a description of a combat operation being an
25 attack on a place called Bjelovac. Do you know Bjelovac at all?
1 A. No. I was never there.
2 Q. Thank you. I'm going to ask you questions about the interaction
3 and how to read this document, in particular paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 4.
4 Paragraph 1 is pretty clear, I don't need to ask you anything about that.
5 What does paragraph 2 -- what sort of information does it contain?
6 A. Mr. Di Fazio, paragraph 2 says the unit that participated in the
7 combat operation and it has all the information about that unit, about its
8 command and other information.
9 Q. Paragraph 3 is an entry relating to the officer who was most
10 responsible for planning the -- the combat operation and it says it was
11 Mr. Oric. That speaks for itself.
12 Paragraph 4, can I ask you to look at paragraph 4? That's an
13 entry requiring information about the "composition of the defence or
14 liberation unit in charge of the operation during its execution." And
15 then it gives the name of the unit and it says it was the Srebrenica TO,
16 and that the commander was Mr. Oric. Can you explain to the Trial
17 Chamber, in simple and clear terms, the interaction between paragraph 4
18 and paragraph 2? We are laymen and you're a soldier - just let me finish
19 my question - and you can provide us insight as to how the two should be
20 read. It would appear that the commander in charge of the combat
21 operation is Senahid Tabakovic but that the commanding unit and its
22 commander was Mr. Oric and the Srebrenica TO. Explain to the Trial
23 Chamber how the two interact.
24 A. I personally have a slightly different interpretation. It's
25 correct that in paragraph 2 it says that the unit in charge of the combat
1 activities participating in the attack on Bjelovac was the Skenderovici
2 Battalion. The commander of which was a Senahid Tabakovic if I'm reading
3 this correctly. The link between paragraph 2 and paragraph 4, in my view,
4 is that this unit which carried out these combat operations was part of
5 the establishment of a higher unit and that was the Srebrenica Territorial
6 Defence. That's how I interpret this, because the title of paragraph 4
7 says that it was in its composition.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you can repeat the
9 procedure of yesterday, I have the impression that this is a mistaken
10 translation into English. That is why the Prosecutor is putting these
11 questions. If the interpreters could see paragraph 4 in Bosnian and
12 translate it into English, this is what the witness is actually talking
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's -- there is nothing one can lose by
15 doing that and perhaps we can understand better. Can I ask, please, the
16 relative interpreters to translate --
17 MR. DI FAZIO: On Sanction.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: On Sanction, yes, paragraph -- what you have in
19 paragraph 4. I think if you look at it it's much better than if I try to
20 pronounce it because the general might censor me if I do not pronounce it
21 well. It starts with [B/C/S spoken]. Can someone start translating into
23 THE INTERPRETER: The defence-liberating which is the bearer or
24 exponent of combat operations during their execution was within the
25 composition of.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Are you happy with it Ms. Vidovic?
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
4 Yes, Mr Di Fazio.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm very grateful to the Defence for their
6 clarification because it solves --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I think so.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: -- the problem I've been labouring under for the
9 last two days.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: It answers your question actually.
11 MR. DI FAZIO: It does, it does.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. You may proceed, Mr. Di Fazio.
13 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
14 Q. Well, we don't -- I can abandon my questions to you regarding the
15 interaction between 2 and 4 because I now understand the interaction, and
16 the document speaks for itself now.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Perhaps he can tell us while you look further into
18 the documents whether he knows who filled this document -- who filled it
19 in or filled it up, who wrote the insertions, in other words, and am I
20 correct in -- yes?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in all the units, teams
22 were designated for certain areas that the project was dealing with.
23 Thus, teams for the execution of combat operations were designated. In
24 this document, you can see who filled in and who revised the information
25 entered into this document. You can see this on the last page of the
1 document, which bears number 02 --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat the number?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Where, on the left-hand side, there
4 is the date and the place where the form was filled in, who filled in the
5 form, and the sentence, the revisers of the information and then they list
6 the revisers. Also on the right-hand page of the document, it says what
7 the source of the information is. The reason is that when the war ended,
8 we knew there would be exaggeration. We knew there would be attempts to
9 show certain documents in a different light, and we therefore tried to
10 reduce subjective interpretations as far as was possible. This is raw
11 material. It had not been analysed. It was being sent to experts for
12 analysis using scholarly and scientific methods in order to establish
13 truth which would be relevant for us.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: That is precisely why I asked you the question. So
15 I take it that this was a collective exercise by these different persons.
16 And who chose these different persons? Who selected them?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we tried to designate
18 these persons or teams so that they would consist of people who had
19 participated in the events and also people who had military or other
20 expert knowledge. For example, about logistics. These were groups of
21 three to five people dealing with these matters. I have to say here that
22 in the case of Srebrenica itself, there were problems because when this
23 project was being done, the unit no longer existed and some officers who
24 had not been in Srebrenica were part of the team as well as some who had
25 been. If this answers your question.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Yes. Mr. Di Fazio.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
3 Q. And if we may just return to paragraphs 2 and 4, based on the
4 information that you see in those paragraphs, can you tell the Trial
5 Chamber who, if any person, was the overall commander of the attack on
7 MR. JONES: Sorry, I do object to that question. It's a
8 mischaracterisation of what the form itself says. As we've seen this form
9 purports to say that Commander Senad Tabakovic was in charge of the combat
10 operations and his unit was within the composition of the Srebrenica TO
11 and it says Oric was the commander of the Srebrenica TO. Whereas now it's
12 being suggested that he was the overall commander of the --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: This is what the question would be -- seeks to find
14 out. It's precisely what the question --
15 MR. DI FAZIO: Any lines of subordination.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly. It's a perfectly legitimate question, the
17 document being what it is and shows what it shows.
18 MR. JONES: Yes, what the document purports to say and --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's see. Let's not discuss in front of the
20 witness. It's a perfectly legitimate question. We need to -- the witness
21 to explain to us what all this means because we have a commander under 2,
22 another commander or officer under 3, and then a commander under 4. What
23 are we talking about? Who was at the top?
24 MR. JONES: Might I also note that the witness said there was raw
25 material which hadn't been analysed, essentially a draft?
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: That's on the record.
3 Q. Anyway, you know what the question is.
4 A. Your Honour, I remember the question, but you said Mr. Di Fazio
5 should proceed. That's why I stopped. It is clear in paragraph 2 that
6 these combat operations, the attack on Bjelovac [Realtime transcript read
7 in error "Brelovac"], was being carried out by Commander Senahid Tabakovic
8 with his battalion. He was the one who executed the task directly, who
9 commanded the troops and executed the task directly. It's also clear, in
10 paragraph 4, as I see it and interpret it, and I think my interpretation
11 is correct, this battalion was part of the units of Srebrenica -- of the
12 Srebrenica Territorial Defence, the commander of which at the time was
13 Brigadier Naser Oric.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I think that answers your question beautifully and
15 in effect is a repetition of what he had stated earlier, in essence, at
17 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. Would Your Honours just bear with me
18 for one moment, please? There is just a spelling mistake, line 23 should
19 be "Bjelovac," not "Brelovac."
20 JUDGE AGIUS: That's okay. That can be rectified later,
21 Mr. Di Fazio. Let's not waste time on these things.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
23 Q. Let's go to P87. Thanks. Go back to the rear of the -- the last
24 page of the document. There is a signature there.
25 Do you recognise that signature? Do you know whose signature it
1 might -- it is?
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Usher, please could you put it also on the
3 ELMO for a while?
4 MR. DI FAZIO: And it's on Sanction.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: And it's --
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I think I'm sure that this is
7 Mr. Hariz Saric's signature on behalf of the 28th division.
8 MR. DI FAZIO:
9 Q. And who is -- who is he, Hariz -- Hariz Saric?
10 A. Hariz Saric, Brigadier, up to a few months ago, was a professional
11 commanding officer in the command of the 2nd Corps of the Army of the
12 Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. When this report was drawn up, he
13 was in the command of the 28th division.
14 Q. Thank you. And so that we can deal with this document fairly
15 quickly, again I'd like you to look at the entries for paragraphs 1, 2, 3,
17 A. Your Honour, in paragraph 1 of this document, it says "attack on
18 Ducici village," "Ducice" actually, not "Ducici." It should be "Ducice."
19 In paragraph 2 it says that "the unit which was in charge of the combat
20 operations was the Osmace Territorial Defence," if I'm reading this
21 right, "/Srebrenica Territorial Defence. These are two different
22 Territorial Defences. The commander of these combat operations in the
23 attack on Ducici was Atif Krdzic, and this paragraph contains some
24 personal details pertaining to this command. I'm referring to Atif
25 Krdzic. In paragraph 3 it says that the most responsible officer who was
1 responsible for the planning of the operation was Mirsad Dudic. And then
2 there follow the personal details of Mr. Mirsad Dudic. In paragraph 4, it
3 says that this unit carrying out the combat operations was part of the
4 composition of the Srebrenica TO Staff, the commander of which at the time
5 was Brigadier Naser Oric.
6 Q. And can you assist the Trial Chamber with the entry under
7 number -- under paragraph 5 of the document? How does that -- how does
8 the 3rd of May Brigade and the Srebrenica VT -- VTO, TO platoon, and TO
9 Skenderovici --
10 A. Territorial Defence.
11 Q. Yes, yes. How does that -- how -- what participation did they
12 have in the attack?
13 A. Your Honour, it states here clearly, in paragraph 5, that the
14 defence liberation units participating jointly in this combat activity so
15 they were cooperating, whether they were carrying out combat operations in
16 their own areas or participating in defence or participating in some other
17 way in the realisation of this goal, which was being carried out by the
18 Territorial Defence of Osmace and Srebrenica. In other words, they were
19 cooperating and this is in a strength below one battalion. In Srebrenica
20 acting jointly with this unit, there was only one platoon numbering 30
21 men, the commander of which was Rajet [phoen] Memic or whatever. I can't
22 see it very well. And this is probably a detachment, but a small one, of
23 180 men from Skenderovici. These are units participating, cooperating,
24 but not involved in the action directly. These were not under the command
25 of Mr. Atif Krdzic who was in charge of combat operations with these
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Territorial Defence forces.
2 Q. Thank you. And that brings me to my next question. The lines of
3 subordination that you can discern from the interaction of paragraphs 1,
4 2, 3, 4 and 5, can you please explain those, that line of subordination,
5 if any, that you can discern, to the Trial Chamber?
6 A. My response may consist of two parts. One part refers to the
7 hierarchy in the command and control system, and the other one relates to
8 the participation of these commands in the task itself. In my view, there
9 is no doubt that the unit carrying out the combat operations was part of
10 the Srebrenica TO staff, was within its composition, at least the part
11 that participated in this action. Also, there is no doubt that the unit
12 itself was the unit directly carrying out the task, and it was commanded
13 by Atif Krdzic. He was the direct executor or implementer of there task.
14 Of course in paragraph 3, we see the name of the officer who planned, who
15 went through the thought process beforehand. I don't know Mirsad Dudic
16 personally. He was probably part of a team from this battalion or
17 somebody who was able to conceive the plan for this action to be carried
19 May I add, Your Honours, I see here that he was a member of this
20 unit, of this company, this Mirsad Dudic. You can see that in paragraph
21 3(3). He was a member of the Osmace company.
22 Q. Okay. Good, thank you.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness now be shown P88?
24 Q. All right, let's get through this document. Firstly, the
25 signature at the back of the document, have you any idea whose signature
1 that is? Don't speculate. If you don't know, say so.
2 A. No. I don't know. Someone from the 28th division but I'm not
3 familiar with the signature.
4 Q. Thank you. And again, this -- on the face of it, this document
5 appears to be the -- deal with an attack on Kravica village. And again,
6 my -- I want you to explain any lines of subordination and command that
7 appear to you looking at the interaction of paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.
8 A. Your Honour, although this document has the same form, it differs
9 in content from the document I explained previously. In paragraph 1, it
10 says that an attack was mounted on Kravica village. In paragraph 2, it
11 says that the unit in charge of this task was the 1st Cerani detachment,
12 and that the immediate commander of this detachment was Semsudin
13 Salihovic. And then there follow his personal details, ending with
14 paragraph 2(9). In paragraph 3, it says under 3(1), that the officer most
15 responsible for planning the combat operation, the theoretical and
16 organisational part, that is, was Ferid Hodzic, but at the time he was the
17 commander of the Vlasenica Territorial Defence Staff. From this, I can
18 only conclude that the Cerani detachment was probably under the direct
19 command of the Vlasenica TO Staff. This is the only link I can make here.
20 In paragraph 4, it also says - and this differs from what we saw
21 in the previous documents - that these were a joint armed forces of the
22 subregion. So they did not belong to only one Territorial Defence Staff,
23 Srebrenica or Vlasenica, but at least two, because it says that about 150
24 men participated in total, and that the commander of these joint forces --
25 there is something up here that I can't read, but down below I can clearly
1 see the name of Brigadier Naser Oric. I don't know what it says above his
2 name because the copy is bad.
3 Q. Thank you. So from this document, do you conclude that -- that
4 the 1st Cerani detachment and elements of the Vlasenica TO participated in
5 this attack and that they, in turn, formed part of the joint armed forces
6 of the subregion?
7 A. Mr. Di Fazio, there is no doubt that the exponent of the combat
8 operation was the 1st Cerani detachment headed by commander Semsudin
9 Salihovic. What is more difficult for me to say is whether there were
10 joint armed forces of the subregion and whether there was such a
11 commander. Although these were my units, I'm not familiar with the
12 existence of the joint armed forces of the subregion, but that was prior
13 to me taking over the office. From the document, one can read that the
14 unit the 1st Cerani detachment belonged to, were called the joint armed
15 forces of the region.
16 Q. Whose commander on the apparent face of the document was Naser
18 A. Under paragraph 4, when I take a look at the third column, I can't
19 read what it says above Mr. Naser Oric's name. That is the column with
20 the title, "Commander" and the only thing I can read here is "Naser Oric."
21 Q. Right. Yes. Thank you. I've finished with P88.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just give me a moment to look at
23 my notes, please?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, certainly, Mr. Di Fazio.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: I need to deal with some more documents, General.
1 Can the witness be shown Exhibit P29?
2 Q. You've seen this document in the -- in the last two days.
3 However, prior to coming to The Hague, were you familiar with it?
4 A. Yes, Mr. Di Fazio. This document was created as a consequence of
5 an agreement reached in Tuzla. The agreement was reached with Ms. Vildana
6 Helic, the judge, regarding the attitude and actions of soldiers in
7 respect of international humanitarian law and law of war, and I received
8 the document and then forwarded it to my subordinate units.
9 Q. Thank you. Very briefly, is that the signature of Knez?
10 A. Yes. This is the authentic signature of Mr. Zeljko Knez, at least
11 as far as I can see. Nowadays, one can counterfeit anything, including a
13 Q. It claims at the bottom of the document that it was delivered to
14 various TOs, and you can see they are all listed there. One of them is
15 Srebrenica. Can you tell the Trial Chamber if you actually know whether
16 or not this document was in fact delivered to the Srebrenica TO? And I
17 warn you, if you don't know, say so. But if you do know anything about
18 that issue, let us know.
19 A. If I may, Your Honour, I wanted to offer some clarification prior
20 to my answering the question.
21 The Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina began from scratch.
22 We used any personnel we could get to, including farmers, as well as
23 former JNA officers, and it is clear from this document that some people
24 did not have the educational background needed to fulfil the tasks and
25 positions they were occupying. In the lower-left corner, it should state
1 "to be distributed to," but not after the creation of the order. Hence,
2 I do not wish to speculate whether these organs received the document,
3 because prior to receiving this document we did undertake certain measures
4 but I cannot say anything about Srebrenica.
5 Q. Thank you. Can the witness be shown Exhibit P319?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment while this document -- a new document is
7 provided. In the previous document, P29, if we could see it on the ELMO
8 again? And I need the bottom part.
9 MR. DI FAZIO: The B/C/S version, Your Honour?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: The B/C/S version, yes, please.
11 I'm asking my question because although you obviously asked him
12 the right question, namely it claims at the bottom of the document that it
13 was delivered to the various TOs, in his answer or his first part of the
14 answer, he says "in the lower-left corner it should state 'to be
15 distributed to,' but not after the creation of the order."
16 This is not exactly the same -- this is not exactly not the same
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Distributed --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Because the English translation that we have for the
20 word "[B/C/S spoken]" is distributed to or delivered to. If I read the
21 witness properly, he is interpreting that as meaning to be distributed to
22 but not after, not until after the creation of the order or something like
23 that. I think he needs to clarify it.
24 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: First of all, what is the meaning of "[B/C/S
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the clarification I
3 offered was in order to show that this document was put together by a
4 person who was not sufficiently experienced or trained. What it should
5 have read was "to distribute" and not "distributed to." The first -- the
6 latter would mean that I have already received it and "to distribute"
7 means the competent authority should distribute this particular document
8 to the organs specified. I said previously that the office should have
9 the reception log as well as the log of distribution consequently. So
10 that one could see the way the document passed through the office.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: But this -- but again, thank you for the
12 explanation. It is very clear, general, but basically this confirms also
13 that what the document actually says is that it has been delivered to.
14 But it's obviously a mistake according to the general. It should have
15 never shown that word.
16 Yes, Mr. Jones.
17 MR. JONES: Your Honour, I think in English, to be fair, one has
18 to concede that one often sees documents with delivery lists and it says
19 delivered to -- JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, yeah, yeah. MR. JONES. It doesn't
20 mean it has been delivered. It may be that the practice is to take off
21 boxes as we go along. Even in English, "delivered to" doesn't mean it has
22 been delivered. It can mean "to be delivered to." It's a shorthand, even
23 in English I would submit. But anyway, the witness has clarified.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. That's the important thing.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: That's not how the witness understood it.
2 MR. JONES: He thought it should be even clearer, that it hadn't
3 been delivered.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, if the witness can be shown P319?
6 Q. Do you recognise this document? Can you tell us if you've seen it
8 A. I saw it once the war was over, concerning some of the issues
9 about the project that I explained previously. During the war, I did not
10 have the opportunity to see this order that I see before me.
11 Q. Were you aware of the order during the war, namely the
12 requirement, the principal requirement, that the armed forces of the
13 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina shall enforce the rules of the
14 international military law in the armed conflict?
15 A. As a professional soldier with the former JNA and later with the
16 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, I was familiar with international humanitarian
17 law as well as law of war. That's why in my previous answer, I mentioned
18 that as of June, we regulated these provisions ordered by the Supreme
19 Command or by the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, with
20 the president who was the late Izetbegovic.
21 Q. If you just keep P319 there with you but, Mr. Usher, could the
22 witness also be shown P272?
23 Just look at Exhibit P272, and you can see under what -- paragraph
24 19. Do you see that part?
25 A. Yes. I do.
1 Q. Sorry, Your Honours, in the English --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: It's all right. We are following it, it's okay.
3 No, no, no, it's section 19 or it's ...
4 MR. DI FAZIO: I misled you.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: This is part of the government gazette.
6 MR. DI FAZIO: That's right, it's not actually --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: It's -- each publication is numbered, so this is
8 publication number 19, or decree, or rule number 19, or whatever.
9 MR. DI FAZIO: I shouldn't have said "paragraph."
10 JUDGE AGIUS: It's all right. We can follow. I mean it's -- if
11 we had a jury, it would have been a little bit different.
12 MR. DI FAZIO:
13 Q. Now, this gazette, Official Gazette, of the BH army, says --
14 contains an order, and it apparently is made pursuant to amendment L1,
15 paragraph 5, item 3, of the constitution of the Republic of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Article 9, paragraph 1, item 9 of the decree law,
17 numbers 4/92, 6/92, 12/92. It then follows "order issued under that
18 power," and if you look at Exhibit P319, that appears to be made under the
19 same legislation or regulations. Do you see that?
20 A. Yes, I can see that. This reflects the function of the civilian
21 bodies. Orders and decrees they made had to have been published in the
22 Official Gazette, and it should clearly be stated as of what date they are
23 to be put into force concerning the orders of the Supreme Command of the
24 AB and H.
25 Q. Now, P319 you say you didn't see until after the war but I think
1 you said you were aware of it. What about P272, the gazette? Did you --
2 did you -- did you see that during the war, this particular order dealing
3 with the requirement of compliance with international laws of war?
4 A. Mr. Di Fazio, when this order was put together, I was the third
5 command in terms of hierarchy within the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The
6 first was the General Staff, that is the Supreme Command. Then the corps,
7 and I was the operations group. That is the third level. And the only
8 thing that could reach me was the excerpts from those orders as well as
9 complete orders from my next superior command, that is the 2nd corps
10 command. I personally saw those orders after the war. But excerpts from
11 those orders were something I received as the commander.
12 Q. Can you tell us if the fundamentals of the order, namely the
13 requirement of compliance with the -- with international laws of war in
14 armed conflicts, and all of the requirements that follow thereafter, the
15 requirement that unit commanders and individual members be responsible for
16 the application of those laws, requirement that competent officers
17 instigate proceedings, requirement of training and acquaintanceship and
18 becoming acquainted with the laws of the rules of the international laws
19 of war, forming of a commission for the international laws of war, were
20 all of those requirements made known to members of the ABiH army after the
21 23rd of August 1992?
22 MR. JONES: Sorry to rise to my feet. Is that every single man in
23 the ABiH?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I was thinking along the same lines, Mr. Jones. Can
25 you be a little bit more specific, Mr. Di Fazio? Because obviously if the
1 question is understood as meaning each and every member of the army, how
2 can you expect the witness to be able to answer it?
3 MR. DI FAZIO: Very well.
4 Q. Were all of those requirements that are obviously contained here,
5 you can read them in P319 and in P272, were measures taken to disseminate
6 knowledge of those requirements, as far as possible, throughout the army?
7 A. Mr. Di Fazio, although I wanted to give you a precise answer and I
8 want to give you a precise answer now, I cannot do that unfortunately.
9 There are several reasons for that. It depended on the person who was
10 commanding a given unit and its expert knowledge, knowledge of what
11 international humanitarian law or laws of war really are, as well as the
12 influence of that commanding personality on his soldiers and his or her
13 ability to effectively command and control in that time of the war and
14 under the given circumstances. I believe at least to the extent of 80 to
15 90 per cent I managed to implement this task. I'm personally familiar
16 with the fact that we created a directive that we distributed down to the
17 level of platoon, but I don't know whether we managed to reach every
18 single environment and whether it was possible to do anything.
19 Q. Can you just give us a little more detail on how you managed to
20 implement the task? You've already said that we created a directive that
21 we distributed down - I assume you mean the contents of the order - down
22 to the level of platoons?
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, the witness actually
24 said "squad."
25 Q. Okay. Level of squads. And can you tell the Trial Chamber more
1 precisely how that was accomplished, how you went about it?
2 A. When we began with this activity at the very beginning of the war,
3 we were in possession of an instruction by the end of May. It wasn't very
4 detailed but it precisely defined war booty and the behaviour of a member
5 of the armed forces, and documents exist and I believe you had one of them
6 in your possession. Later on, as the armed forces were organised, at the
7 level of the General Staff, a brochure was put together. I don't remember
8 the exact title but it went something along the line the code of ethics of
9 the members of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina or the TO. I am not sure to
10 which one it pertained to. But we were trying to make this as close as
11 possible to every individual soldier, combatant, because they were the
12 people that mattered most. So we put together a small manuals and we
13 distributed them down to the level of squad, as far as I can remember, and
14 they usually had five to ten people. And we did that in order to see that
15 come to life. And the manuals explained in brief the way a soldier should
16 behave in a given situation during the war. For example, what is a war
17 booty, what is a prisoner of war? What targets are legitimate. Some of
18 the basics that any given soldier needed to know concerning the
19 international humanitarian law and laws of war.
20 If I remember correctly, there was done on the 28th or the 29th of
21 May 1992, the District Staff also issued an order of sorts. And that was
22 much before this particular document.
23 Q. District Staff of Tuzla -- in Tuzla?
24 A. Yes, I mean the district staff in Tuzla. It was in the same city
25 and for a while we shared the same building, the Municipal and the
1 District Staff.
2 Q. Okay. Thanks. Now, you also said that later on, as the armed
3 forces were organised, at the level of the General Staff, a brochure was
4 put together and then you went on to describe the contents. Can you give
5 us any idea about when that was, when this brochure was put together and
6 distributed in the way you hoped it would occur?
7 A. I don't want to speculate, Your Honours. I believe that was in
8 1993 or 1994. I don't think it was in 1992. It was after 1992. The
9 brochure does exist and you could have it.
10 Q. Thank you. I've finished with those documents. All right. I
11 want to ask you about military courts.
12 Was there a military court in Tuzla in 1992?
13 A. Yes, Mr. Di Fazio. It was established quite soon after the
14 aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina began. I believe it was in June or
15 July 1992, at the latest.
16 Q. Where in Tuzla was it located?
17 A. The Court in Tuzla was in the centre of the town, in the building
18 that houses the court today. It is in the centre. I don't know the exact
19 street names.
20 Q. You say it was established in June or July at the latest of 1992.
21 Did it start to actually function, in other words deal with cases,
22 Prosecutions and so on?
23 A. Yes. That military court became operational right away. One can
24 see that from the documents. They must be accessible. And the Court
25 tried the captured enemy soldiers as well as the members of the AB and H.
1 Q. Were there prison facilities at the -- or -- at the military
2 court, keeping of prisoners?
3 A. There were prison facilities in Tuzla, the centre the Tuzla.
4 These were actually rooms in which prisoners of war were kept, as well as
5 members of the army who had committed either breaches of discipline or
7 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber if you - only if you know, again,
8 only if you know - if the prosecutors and the judges working there were
10 A. These were very professional and experienced judges from the
11 former system, and they had been in those posts for many years. There
12 were no amateurs and no interns doing that job.
13 Q. You became commander of the 2nd Corps in November 1994?
14 A. Yes, that's correct, Mr. Di Fazio.
15 Q. Was the Court operating throughout the second half of 1992, 1993,
16 right up until the time you became 2nd Corps commander, and indeed,
18 A. The court was operating throughout the war up until the end of the
19 imminent threat of war. I think this was in April 1996.
20 Q. In the time that you were commander of the 2nd Corps, did you
21 become aware of any ABiH soldiers being charged with war crimes and dealt
22 with in this military court in Tuzla?
23 A. No, never.
24 Q. As commander of the 2nd Corps, would you have expected to be -- to
25 have been informed of any such cases?
1 A. I would have expected my subordinates to inform me if something
2 like that had happened.
3 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, my estimates of when I'm
4 going to finish keep varying wildly. I certainly -- obviously, I'm going
5 to comply with your requirement that we finish today, there is no question
6 about that, but I wonder if you'd be grant -- minded to grant me the
7 indulgence of a ten-minute early break? I think that if we do that, I
8 can have a think about what remains, ensure that it's dealt with in the
9 last 45 minutes, and cut out anything that's unnecessary.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, certainly, Mr. Di Fazio. I suppose there is no
11 objection from your side.
12 We'll have a 25-minute break starting from now. We'll reconvene
13 exactly at 6.00.
14 --- Recess taken at 5.35 p.m.
15 --- Recess taken at 5.35 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 6.01 p.m.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honours. It was worthwhile. I've
19 performed some surgery on my examination-in-chief.
20 Q. You have already mentioned, General, that from -- you assumed
21 command of 2nd Corps in November 1994.
22 A. Yes, that's correct.
23 Q. I want to ask you about the state of communications, if any,
24 between your 2nd Corps command headquarters and Srebrenica. Can you tell
25 us if communications existed; if they did, what was the method of
2 A. In that period, communications with all subordinate units was set
3 up and they were functioning within the 2nd Corps of the Army of BiH.
4 Q. Okay. And was the -- were the ABiH forces operating in the
5 Srebrenica enclave subordinate units? Subordinate to the 2nd Corps, of
7 A. Yes. They were subordinate to the 2nd Corps and they were in the
8 area of responsibility of the 2nd Corps. You must bear in mind that
9 Srebrenica itself was a protected and demilitarised zone.
10 Q. Yes, yes, of course. What was the method of communication with
12 A. Mr. Di Fazio, with Srebrenica we had a Paket radio communication.
13 That's something similar to a teleprinter.
14 Q. Now, you -- I think earlier you said that you took up your command
15 position on the 11th of November 1994? Was it the 11th of November 1994?
16 A. No. Officially, the handover of duty was on the 19th of November
17 1994, although the order on my appointment as corps commander arrived on
18 the 22nd of September of the same year, two months prior to my taking over
19 my duty.
20 Q. Okay. All right. When you in fact took over your duties in -- on
21 the 19th of November 1994, is that when you ascertained that the Paket
22 radio communication was the method of communication with Srebrenica?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. When you took over the command, was this method of communication
25 already in existence or was it something that you set up upon your taking
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 over command?
2 A. This method of communication was already in existence.
3 Q. And what I'd like to know, if you can tell us, can you tell us
4 about how long before you took up your command position on the 19th of
5 November 1994, was that Paket communication system operating? And again,
6 you know, of course not to speculate.
7 A. I don't know that. The chiefs of communications who were in the
8 command of the 2nd Corps should know that, and there are probably
9 documents about this.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honour just give me a moment, please?
11 Q. Were there any problems with the system, or did it function from
12 the time you assumed command? With Srebrenica, I mean.
13 A. During the time that I communicated with Srebrenica, there were no
14 major problems in establishing communication between Srebrenica and Tuzla.
15 Q. Thank you very much.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please I would like to move now to
17 another topic and I'd like to produce a document to the witness but I
18 think we should go into closed or private session for that purpose.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: By all means, Mr. Di Fazio. Let's go into private
21 [Private session]
11 Pages 8664-8675 redacted. Private session.
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session.
4 MR. DI FAZIO:
5 Q. I don't think it's in dispute that you met Mr. Oric in 1995,
6 shortly before the fall of Srebrenica; is that correct?
7 A. Yes, I said so in my previous answers.
8 Q. I don't want to go into the details of all of your encounters with
9 him. Suffice it to ask you this: Did you and he see each other from time
10 to time for a period of about a month or so following his arrival in
12 A. Yes, almost on a daily basis. Or at least every second or third
14 Q. At the time, were you his superior officer?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. During that period of time that you had contact with him in Tuzla,
17 did he ever report to you any episodes of war crimes or criminal offences,
18 indeed criminal offences of any nature whatsoever having been committed by
19 soldiers under his command?
20 A. No. He never did so and we never discussed such matters.
21 Q. Have you ever actually been to Srebrenica?
22 A. No, never.
23 Q. And do you have any direct knowledge of any relationships that
24 might have existed between individuals, the police, military police, the
25 army, Crisis Staffs, War Presidencies, in Srebrenica in the period of time
1 from April of 1992 until you saw Mr. Oric -- or, sorry, I'll withdraw
2 that, until November of 1994?
3 A. If I were to say anything, everything would be speculation or hear
4 say. I can tell you I know less than any regular citizen because I didn't
5 have much opportunity to listen to the TV or radio. Hence, I believe it
6 to be my answer.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you very much for your answering my
8 questions, General Delic. If Your Honours please, I have no further
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Di Fazio. I would imagine -- do
11 you want to start now, Mr. Jones?
12 MR. JONES: May I ask one question for two reasons? One so that my
13 cross-examination is officially underway and secondly just to clarify a
14 matter which might be nicer for all of us if it is clarified before the
15 weekend. But I'd like to go back to private session.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go to private session. This is in the
17 presence of the witness, you mean?
18 MR. JONES: Yes.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
20 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. So I thank you, Mr. Jones. Mr. Jones will be
18 cross-examining you on Monday, General. In the meantime, take the
19 opportunity of the weekend and the nice weather that we are going to have
20 and try to relax, and we'll reconvene Monday. I think we are sitting in
21 the morning, if I remember well. We are sitting in the morning. So you
22 should be -- your testimony should be over by midday.
23 Before you leave the courtroom, although you are a professional
24 man, I would like to remind you of your responsibility not to communicate
25 with anyone in relation to the matters that you are testifying upon.
1 Doesn't mean to say that you cannot speak to your family, for example, or
2 to friends or whatever, but you're not to discuss and you're not to allow
3 anyone to approach you on matters related to your testimony. Thank you.
4 Have a nice weekend.
5 Yes, I recognise Mr. Wubben.
6 MR. WUBBEN: Yes. Your Honours --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I apologise. I didn't realise. I thought you were
8 in a hurry to leave.
9 MR. WUBBEN: Not so quick, please. I have respect for this
10 Honourable Bench but, Your Honours, I would like to inform you that we
11 would like to circulate with a view to the witness on Tuesday, a
12 declaration as a courtesy copy.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I thank you. You're circulating it now?
14 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I think -- can the witness leave the courtroom?
16 Yes, usher, please accompany the witness out of the courtroom.
17 [The witness withdrew]
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Any further business? None? So have a
19 nice weekend and we'll meet again, please God, on Monday. Thank you.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.47 p.m., to
21 be reconvened on Monday, the 30th day of May, 2005,
22 at 9.00 a.m.