Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 10749

1 Monday, 12 September 2005

2 [Open session]

3 --- Upon commencing at 2.23 p.m.

4 [The accused entered court]

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Registrar. Could you call the case,

6 please.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case

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

9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, and good afternoon.

10 Mr. Oric, can you follow the proceedings in a language that you

11 can understand?

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours, ladies

13 and gentlemen. I can follow the proceedings in my own mother tongue.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down. And good afternoon

15 to you.

16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: Appearances for the Prosecution.

18 MR. WUBBEN: Good afternoon, Your Honours, and also good afternoon

19 to my learned friends of the Defence. My name is Jan Wubben, lead counsel

20 for the Prosecution. I'm here together with co-counsel,

21 Ms. Patricia Sellers, Mr. Gramsci Di Fazio, Ms. Joanne Richardson, and our

22 case manager, Mrs. Donnica Henry-Frijlink.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, and good afternoon to you and your team.

24 Appearances for Naser Oric.

25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. I'm

Page 10750

1 Vasvija Vidovic, and together with Mr. John Jones, I represent

2 Mr. Naser Oric. We're joined by our legal assistant, Ms. Jasmina Cosic,

3 and our case manager, Geoff Roberts.

4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Any preliminaries? Mr. Wubben?

5 MR. WUBBEN: Yes. Your Honour, last week an issue was raised

6 regarding translation of a statement. I requested Ms. Patricia Sellers to

7 prepare a submission in that respect.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Sellers.

9 MS. SELLERS: Good afternoon, Your Honours.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon.

11 MS. SELLERS: I believe last week Defence counsel used Defence

12 Exhibit D135, and, during the course of their use of the exhibit, they

13 referred to the translation and the problems in the English translations.

14 And then Your Honour, Judge Agius, also mentioned that problems within the

15 translation could no doubt cause further problems as you're looking at

16 documents. We just wanted to return to the Trial Chamber on that issue to

17 inform the Trial Chamber and to also remind Defence counsel that the

18 documents that they used, which became D135, was turned over to them on

19 receipt 11, both that B/C/S copy and an English copy, and that the English

20 translation you received was not made by the Registry here or by any of

21 the OTP services. As a matter of fact, they came up with the original

22 document from its source in the former Yugoslavia.

23 Because it was not one of our translations, we then put in for

24 formal translation with the Registry service and that was served on the

25 Defence counsel a few months later, as early as January 2004. And Your

Page 10751

1 Honour, I state that to say that there was an official translation that

2 was not being used by the Defence. The Trial Chamber and the Defence will

3 have access to this official translation made by our services. And just

4 lastly, I believe the Defence gave our attention that on December 16th,

5 they did make mention of this problem in the record. We have checked the

6 record. We have been unable to locate that mention. So if we could have

7 further assistance on that, we would appreciate it, but we would like to

8 inform the Court that the official translation is probably the best one to

9 look at in terms of putting forward the evidence.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Has the official translation been tendered?

11 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, my impression is that the unofficial

12 translation is part of D135, and not the official. We would say that if

13 they would just go into their official translation, that that might

14 resolve any issue.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: Right. But it might or it may resolve the issue for

16 the Defence, but what about the Trial Chamber?

17 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour --

18 JUDGE AGIUS: If there is an official translation, and we don't

19 have it, we need it.

20 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, this is in essence what we lead to,

21 that if that is not part of D135, that we might have to ask that the

22 Prosecution submit just the translation in relationship, the official

23 translations in relationship to D135.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Ms. Sellers. Let's not lose more time

25 on this. May I suggest that you look into this further and that if the

Page 10752

1 official translation is not in the records as yet, that you will have it

2 brought forward or tendered at the earliest.

3 With regard to the rest, I think -- I honestly don't think we

4 ought to lose much more time. Try to sort it out amongst yourselves,

5 whether it was mentioned on a previous occasion, when was that? I don't

6 think we are interested in that for the time being.

7 But let me send out the message loud and clear, what is of great

8 concern to us as a Trial Chamber. Unless our attention is drawn to

9 possible errors in translation of the hundreds of documents that have been

10 tendered, we would not be aware of such errors. And we would rely on the

11 documents as translated and as tendered. I would hate to think for a

12 moment that after having gone through such a laborious exercise as we are

13 bound to do later on, when we come to the final exercise, we rely on one

14 or more particular document as translated and as tendered. We sadly find

15 out at a later stage, after judgement has been delivered, that either you

16 or the Defence would have found out that we were relying on a wrongly

17 translated text.

18 So this is our concern. I mean, we have hundreds of documents

19 that have been translated, and we are not in a position, ourselves, to vet

20 them, to check where the translation is accurate or not. We've had

21 several instances here where the translation was pointed out to be

22 incorrect. I don't know. I would take it on that score that there may be

23 others. But if there are others that you are aware of, please do come

24 forward and let us -- draw our attention to that. Because it would be

25 tragic, literally tragic, having spent a year and a half on a trial,

Page 10753

1 handing down a decision one way or another, only to find out that it was

2 handed down, partly at least, on a translation which was not accurate.

3 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, the Prosecution shares your concern and

4 we'll act accordingly. Thank you.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm sure you will.

6 So any further preliminaries? Ms. Vidovic? You don't need to

7 address this matter. So if there are any other preliminaries ...

8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just very briefly with

9 respect to translations, because this is something that I've always seen

10 as a huge problem from the very beginning. We always do our best to draw

11 the Trial Chamber's attention to the accuracy of documents, but there is

12 one document in particular in which there are quite a few mistakes. And

13 from the very start, I think even the pre-trial stage, I did draw your

14 attention to incorrect translations in many parts of the document P84,

15 P84. I've done that on a number of occasions, and so far we have not

16 received a corrected version. It is a very serious document, and I would

17 like to take this opportunity to draw the Prosecutor's office attention

18 once again to this matter. And we do need an official translation there,

19 because as far as I can see, it was still using an unofficial or a draft

20 translation of this. And this is a rather bulky document as well, and

21 that's why we're calling the witness as well, who is the author of the

22 document. But it would be better not to have to correct it in the course

23 of the author's testimony, because it would take ages. So it would be

24 better to check it out sooner.

25 JUDGE AGIUS: The difference between the two parties in this

Page 10754

1 context is that while I can look at the Prosecutor -- at the Prosecution

2 and demand a correct translation and expect from the Prosecution to

3 provide the Trial Chamber with precise and correct and faithful

4 translations, I cannot at the same time look at the Defence and call on

5 them to point out any mistakes in the translations, because I simply

6 cannot do that. They have a right to remain silent, even on -- in that

7 context. So I do appreciate, Ms. Vidovic, you standing up and pointing

8 out that you -- in your opinion, there are still inaccuracies in P84.

9 Yes, Mr. Wubben.

10 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, we will contact the Defence, because we

11 will always support any change or any way to improve the translation. We

12 will do that today already.

13 JUDGE AGIUS: Last thing before we bring in the witness. I think

14 you have been informed that we're trying to finish a little bit earlier

15 today and instead of having two breaks, we'll have one break, which will

16 be of 30 minutes, which will enable us to cover the same territory but

17 finish half an hour earlier. All right?

18 So, Mr. Buric.

19 [The witness entered court]

20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.

21 Good afternoon to you, Mr. Buric.

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: I hope you had a good weekend, during which

24 hopefully you rested, because you have got two days now of

25 cross-examination. But before we arrive at the cross-examination, we

Page 10755

1 still have about 20 minutes, I understand, or half an hour, of

2 examination-in-chief. May I just remind you that you are still testifying

3 pursuant to a solemn declaration that you made a few days ago, that you

4 will be speaking the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

5 So please make yourself comfortable, and Mr. Jones can proceed

6 with his examination.

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

8 WITNESS: Nesib Buric [Resumed]

9 [Witness answered through interpreter]

10 Examined by Mr. Jones: [Continued]

11 Q. Yes, good afternoon, Mr. Buric.

12 A. Good afternoon.

13 Q. Before I resume, I just want to clarify two matters from your

14 evidence last week. The first is, last Thursday you described how a

15 delegation of the municipality of Srebrenica had gone through Ruljevici

16 and seen the camp there in early 1992. I'm sure you recall giving that

17 evidence. I simply, for the record, want you to tell us again who the

18 president of Srebrenica municipality was, his name. Because it's even in

19 the corrected transcript, it hasn't come out. So his name, please.

20 A. The president was Besim Ibisevic. And as to the delegation that

21 when to Lijesce and came back to Boljevici, there was Becirevic, Hasan.

22 Q. Thank you. And that helps. We have his surname, and believe it's

23 Besim Ibisevic, starting with an I.

24 A. Yes. Ibisevic, and his first name is Besim.

25 Q. Thank you. On Friday you gave evidence about Kravica and the

Page 10756












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13 English transcripts.













Page 10757

1 action in Kravica on the 7th of January, 1993. You gave a lot of evidence

2 about weapons and ammunition which were captured. I just want to ask you

3 this: Have you heard of a raketa, or rocket? Do you know what that

4 refers to?

5 A. Never heard of it.

6 Q. What I mean firstly is have you actually heard of the weapon

7 itself, never mind in relation to Kravica, a rocket, or raketa?

8 A. No, I've never heard of it

9 Q. In relation to Kravica, did you hear of a rocket or raketa being

10 captured?

11 A. Definitely not.

12 Q. And did you discuss amongst you, you who had been in Kravica, what

13 had been captured? Is that something which was discussed amongst you?

14 A. No. We collected the arms, and I said Zis was with me, and we

15 gave most of those weapons to Glogova, and he took the weapons to Biljeg.

16 Q. Okay. That's fine.

17 MR. JONES: Now, with the usher's assistance, I'd like to move on

18 to the next exhibit on our list. It's D577. It might not be the next one

19 on the list.

20 Q. Mr. Buric, I'm going to ask you just to have a look at that

21 document. It's a shortish one. I'm going to start by just reading a few

22 sections from the document. Firstly, it's from the War Presidency of

23 Srebrenica municipality. It's dated 23 January, 1993, and it's a report.

24 The first paragraph I'm going to read into the record: "There is no peace

25 in the area of Srebrenica today. From Zvijezda near Bratunac, the

Page 10758

1 aggressor bombed the area of Potocari from a Howitzer practically the

2 whole day and they fired at the town centre of Srebrenica from a VBR,

3 multi-barelled missile launcher, from Nemici in Serbia. This artillery

4 was followed by shots from anti-aircraft machine-guns and anti-aircraft

5 cannons from Zvijezda and Kaolin, near Bratunac."

6 The next paragraph: "The area of Osat and Kragljivoda and the

7 newly liberated area of Jezero were targets for projectiles launched from

8 VBR cannons and mortars."

9 And then I'm moving down a bit further. I just want to read two

10 other sentences into the record and then ask you some confession. The

11 third paragraph: "14 persons in the territory of Srebrenica died of

12 starvation, cold weather, and disease, including eight children below the

13 age of 14. Forest fires were caused by aviation activities, with napalm

14 bombs and incendiary shells in four locations, destroying the wood

15 resources in this area. The aggressor fires at these areas from heavy

16 artillery on a daily basis, which makes it more difficult for fire brigade

17 teams to approach and put out the fires."

18 There are a number of items mentioned here and I won't go into all

19 of them. I specifically want to ask you about the reference to napalm

20 bombs and ask whether during the war you ever came across the use by the

21 Serbs of napalm.

22 A. I can state with a great deal of responsibility that I witnessed

23 it myself. I think it was the 23rd of January, when the Serb forces

24 shelled the area of Kusik [phoen] where I myself was, I couldn't believe

25 what I saw. Basically snow was on fire. They were shelling us, and when

Page 10759

1 the shells were landing and going off, there were some incendiary device

2 inside and it would set the snow on fire. It was very cold. It was minus

3 20 degrees centigrade. And there was a metal pillar, and I could see that

4 on fire. Had anybody told me this story, I would not have believed it. I

5 saw it with my own eyes. There was this metal pillar that was on fire, as

6 well as snow, and that was caused by those napalm shells that the Serbs

7 were shelling us with.

8 Q. All right. Thank you. Did you understand that to be some

9 chemical which was burning on the snow? Do I understand you correctly?

10 A. When those shells would go off, we didn't actually know the

11 nomenclature for that kind of weapon. We thought there was phosphorus

12 inside, but I heard other people said that it was napalm and that it was

13 much more contemporary, a much more modern kind of weapon used by the JNA

14 Q. Thank you.

15 Q. Just one small matter, actually. The ELMO is between me and the

16 witness. It's obscuring our view of each other. I'd just ask that it

17 could be moved.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: Usher, please. I think if you- exactly- turn it and

19 push it a little bit towards the back, it will be much better. I think it

20 can still be reached by the witness.

21 Is it okay now for you, Mr. Jones?

22 MR. JONES: Yes. There was a bit of hide-and-seek there.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: You should have told me before and I would have

24 looked into it straight away. I didn't realise it myself.

25 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.

Page 10760

1 Q. I'm not going to dwell, Mr. Buric, over-long on this document and

2 on the situation in Srebrenica. Can I just ask you this: As referred to

3 in this document, death from starvation, cold weather, and disease, was

4 that common or uncommon in this period of January to March 1993?

5 A. In the medical files of Srebrenica, as far as I can remember, this

6 is stated quite clearly. I think 60 people died of hunger in Srebrenica,

7 and you can see it in the medical files. And that was a document drawn up

8 by the doctors who used to work at Srebrenica. So that many people

9 actually did die of hunger.

10 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, moving on chronologically and turning to

11 demilitarisation, what did you do following the demilitarisation of

12 Srebrenica?

13 I'm just -- that may be a very open question. Simply, what was

14 your task, if any, in the period following demilitarisation?

15 A. After the fall of my village of Osmace on the 23rd of March, 1993,

16 I withdrew to Srebrenica. And after the demilitarisation on the 18th of

17 April, or to be more accurate, as of the 1st of May, I started working at

18 the municipality of Srebrenica, and I was in charge of education, physical

19 education, and sports, at the office of municipal councillor Avdic

20 Hajrudin. And not much later, there was a new councilor, Fahrudin

21 Salihovic.

22 Q. From the start of hostilities in 1992 to demilitarisation, did you

23 in Osmace keep lists or anything of that description of the fighters in

24 Osmace? Is that something which you maintained?

25 A. No, never. Definitely not. For as long as I was in the area, up

Page 10761

1 until the 1st of May, 1993, I can tell you that not a single paper of that

2 sort existed with regard to the Osmace group.

3 Q. Okay. Now, on Friday you told us at one point that you were taken

4 prisoner subsequently by the Serbs, and a man called Petko from Obarak, I

5 think it was, boasted that he took two Muslim civilians prisoner, Hajro

6 and Osman. Just for the reference, this is page 4, lines 12 to 20, from

7 Friday's LiveNote transcript. And that Hajro and Osman were still

8 missing. Can you give us the name of that person again, please, his full

9 name, if you know it, Petko.

10 A. I was not captured by Petko. I don't know what is indicated in

11 the documents. But I was injured on the 6th of July, 1995, and I

12 sustained serious injuries, and there was the Dutch Battalion at the

13 Srebrenica hospital, and we were handed over to the Serbs in Bratunac.

14 And the person who was on call there, who was called Petko, who used to

15 live in the house owned by Hasan Smajlovic, he told us, not to just me,

16 there was about 150 of us - I can't remember correctly - that he had

17 killed Hajro and Osman and that he captured Bahra, who was the daughter of

18 Mahmut. I did not know any of these people in person, but I do remember

19 that statement of his.

20 Q. Right. Now, do you know Petko's last name, or did you learn it at

21 any stage?

22 A. I think Petrovic, but I know exactly where he used to live. There

23 was a well-respected Muslim from Bratunac, Smajlovic Hasan, who is a

24 veterinary surgeon, and he was a well-respected citizen of Bratunac and he

25 lived in his house throughout the war.

Page 10762

1 Q. And when Petko boasted that he had - just reading from the

2 transcript - that he had killed Hajro and Osman and he captured Bahra,

3 what period of time does this relate to?

4 A. I think it must have been in May, June 1992, thereabouts, the

5 capture of Bahra. In May or June 1992, but at any rate the first half of

6 1992.

7 Q. And do you know in what area they were captured?

8 A. In the area of Poznanovici, just below the village of Poznanovici.

9 Hajro and Osman were doing some work and he approached them and he

10 captured them. And as to Bahra, she was captured in the course of the

11 attack on the Muslim village of Joseva when it was on fire, the first time

12 they tried to attack it was in May or June, as far as I can remember,

13 1992.

14 So let me just make it clear. They used to burst into the areas,

15 the Serbs from the neighbouring villages used to come to the village of

16 Joseva and they would set a house or two alight. And they would push them

17 back. But I think it was in May or June 1992.

18 Q. Right. And from anything which Petko said, were you able to

19 ascertain where he had come from in that time, where he was based in this

20 time, in May, June 1992?

21 A. He told us to -- all of us, not just myself, as far as I can

22 remember, there were three or four rooms there, full of injured people,

23 and he was on call there. He was on duty. And he told us -- I think his

24 village was Mlecva or Obarak since it is a small village, a hamlet, two or

25 three houses. And they withdrew to Fakovici. That's where the battalion

Page 10763

1 was. And he was a member of that battalion of theirs, the battalion of

2 the Serb armed forces there. And he was there throughout the war.

3 Q. So you've told us he was a member of that battalion that you've

4 said was in Fakovici. Do you know whether or not he was in Fakovici on

5 the 5th of October 1992?

6 A. Yes. He approached me personally when I was on the stretcher and

7 he indicated me and he said I -- he pointed a finger at me, in fact, and

8 said to me: "I could have killed you at Fakovici when you took that

9 three-barrelled gun and I didn't kill you because otherwise I wouldn't

10 have been able to get out myself."

11 "I was together with another guy from my unit hiding in the

12 bushes. I had the machine-gun, 84-millimetre calibre, the one that you

13 normally called 'death sower,' and I didn't kill you anyway. We just

14 waited for the night to fall behind those bushes and we got out across the

15 River Drina and crossed over into Serbia."

16 Q. So that's what he told you, and this is in July 1995; correct?

17 A. Yes. Yes, in July 1995.

18 Q. And just -- just out of interest, really: Did all of you wounded

19 who were turned over by DutchBat to the Serbs, did you all survive?

20 A. After Sefik's death, the other tragedy that I'll never be able to

21 forget is the fall of Srebrenica and the capture of the entire hospital in

22 Srebrenica. There were about 200 wounded in Srebrenica. And on that day,

23 on the 11th, when Srebrenica fell, some friends just carried us outside,

24 and everything was left behind. And Serbs were already entering the town,

25 and there was shooting around the hospital. They were shelling the post

Page 10764












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Page 10765

1 office. I don't know. And we had three or four lorries, and we were

2 taken to the accumulator, the akumulatori, and there were 200 of us. And

3 then we were taken to Bratunac. And about 60 or 70 people who were only

4 lightly wounded were taken away, and they went missing without any trace

5 at all. I can give you the names of the wounded who were with me. I'm

6 going to give you the list of people as far as I can remember. Semir

7 Hrustic --

8 Q. For our purposes --

9 A. Let me finish and then you can ask me the other questions. So

10 about 60 people were killed. About 60 were taken to a camp at Batkovici,

11 and those of us who were seriously wounded, 60 or 70, were taken to the

12 Tuzla hospital. And it was on the 6th of July, after the fall of

13 Srebrenica.

14 Q. Okay. Thank you.

15 MR. JONES: I want to pass the next exhibit to the witness. It has

16 ERN number 01320782. We have copies for distribution.

17 Q. Now, this, as you can see, it's a list from December. The year

18 isn't indicated, but we can perhaps get there. A list of soldiers from

19 the 5th Battalion. It should say "for payment." For payment. And I just

20 would ask you firstly to look at number 25 on this list. We see Petko

21 Petrovic, number 25. Do you see that, Mr. Buric?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. You referred to a battalion in Fakovici in October 1992. Do you

24 know if that was the 5th Battalion or do you or do you not know what it

25 was called?

Page 10766

1 A. I don't know what it was called. I can see number 25, Petko

2 Petrovic. I don't know what it was called.

3 Q. And as far as you know, that's the name of the man who had this

4 conversation with you about his presence in Fakovici in October 1992?

5 A. I suppose that must be him.

6 MR. JONES: I'll ask for an exhibit number, please, for this

7 document.

8 THE REGISTRAR: D747, Your Honour.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: So this document will become Defence Exhibit D747.

10 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour. And the next exhibit is also

11 new. It's 04337008.

12 Q. And this document is dated 4th October 1992. I'll just read it

13 for the record while the witness is given the document. Command of the

14 Bratunac garrison, confidential number 243-9, 4 October 1992, to command

15 of the Birac Brigade: "It is mainly ambush action that is being carried

16 out in the area of responsibility of the 5th Battalion. On the night of

17 3, 4 October 1992, an ambush was set out in the sector of the Sase mine,

18 Bojici [phoen]. Our group killed two enemy soldiers and wounded five or

19 six of them who managed to run away. The bodies of enemy soldiers were

20 pulled out, one Kalashnikov and two handmade pistols were captured."

21 Q. Now, this document is dated 4th of October, 1992, refers to the

22 5th Battalion. We saw reference in a document a moment ago to the 5th

23 Battalion, with a Petko Petrovic in it. Now, the Birac Brigade, is that a

24 brigade which you are familiar with? Does that name mean anything to you?

25 A. I know on the basis of history what Birac is. That's Srebrenica,

Page 10767

1 Bratunac, and Vlasenica, which is a part of Zvornik which is covered by

2 the region of Birac. So I suppose it must be a brigade, on the basis of

3 such a name. Birac is a region.

4 Q. Thank you. And you gave evidence a moment ago about how this

5 Petrovic had captured people in, I think you said Poznanovici. Here

6 there's a reference to an ambush in Sase, which is, again, some distance

7 from Fakovici. My question is: Based on your experience and if you can

8 help us with this, would it surprise you if a battalion from Fakovici were

9 operating in Sase, Poznanovici, and in those areas?

10 A. They were active in that area, especially Muslims. Since there

11 was this overall chaos and hunger, Muslims would go and get food in their

12 villages, Voljavica and Sase. And they went on a daily basis, setting

13 ambushes for those people who were going to collect food. For example, to

14 get some corn from Voljevica and Zanjevo, and that was the area of

15 operations of that battalion from Fakovici.

16 Q. All right. Okay. So the battalion from Fakovici was active in

17 those areas which you've also mentioned, Voljevica, Sase, Zanjevo?

18 A. Yes.

19 MR. JONES: Can I have a number for this document, please.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: This document, Mr. Jones, will become Defence

21 Exhibit D748.

22 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.

23 Q. Now, just a few more documents. If the witness could be shown

24 Prosecution Exhibit P566, which is a book by Nijaz Masic, "Srebrenica:

25 Aggression, Resistance, Treason, Genocide," published in 1999.

Page 10768

1 I want to ask you, Mr. Buric, firstly, are you familiar with --

2 well, firstly, do you know Nijaz Masic?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And are you familiar with this book?

5 A. I did hear that he wrote a book, but believe me, I didn't read any

6 of it.

7 Q. You say that with a slight smile. Is there any reason why you

8 didn't read the book or any opinions you have about the book?

9 A. I don't know what to say. I didn't read it. I really can't

10 comment on that at all. I didn't read a word of it. And as far as Masic

11 is concerned, he's a historian, and people who write history or about

12 history, they lie a lot.

13 Q. Well, let's -- firstly I want to go to page -- I think it's page 2

14 in the English. It says: "The list of the persons that assisted me in

15 the technical and expert parts of my writing is too long. I express

16 special gratitude to ..." And five lines down it says "Buric, Nesib." My

17 first question is: Did you ever meet Nijaz Masic and consult with him on

18 the writing of this book?

19 A. Masic came to me only one time, at the place where I worked. And

20 as far as I can remember, he wanted some kind of financial assistance in

21 order to print or to publish a book, and it was probably this book. This

22 is what I can remember. He wanted for the association of military

23 disabled veterans give him some kind of contribution in order to publish

24 this book. That's where I was working at the time, and I think that, as

25 far as I can remember, he came and he asked for some money.

Page 10769

1 Q. Okay. So in that financial capacity, then, he approached you.

2 Did you provide him information about Osmace and events in Osmace in 1992,

3 1993?

4 A. No.

5 Q. If we turn to the next page in English, we have a section, it's an

6 extract, obviously, but on Osmace. And in the B/C/S it's going to be page

7 01099744. And in Bosnian, if you see Osmace and then you go down four

8 paragraphs, there's a paragraph which in Bosnian starts [B/C/S spoken],

9 1992. Do you see that? I'll read it in English?

10 JUDGE AGIUS: The usher would need to go down two further

11 paragraphs, please. Yes. Go ahead, Mr. Jones.

12 MR. JONES: In English it says: "We could breathe easier when the

13 Skelani unit led by Tihic was formed end of May 1992. This unit forms a

14 guard on Biljeg facility, above the village of Miholjevine; then help to

15 Poznanovici follows. The soldiers," in fact in Bosnian it's [B/C/S

16 spoken], which we would say should be "fighters," but, "the soldiers or

17 fighters from Osmace, Kragljivoda, Biljeg, Skenderovici, and Stari Grad,

18 helped in the destruction" - and we've had the issue, and we say that's

19 liquidation rather than destruction - "of the Chetnik strongholds in

20 Ratkovici," and it mentions the hamlets.

21 I simply want to ask you this: You told us last week that 20 or

22 50 men from Osmace - sorry - I'll read the quote. You said, and this is

23 page 79, line 7 to 15 of Thursday's transcript. You said: "I can state

24 with a great deal of responsibility that as far as my group of 20 or

25 50-something men from Osmace are concerned, nobody participated in any

Page 10770

1 action in the area of Ratkovici."

2 So my question is this: Looking at this section of the Masic book

3 saying that soldiers from Osmace helped in the liquidation of Ratkovici,

4 is that accurate or inaccurate?

5 A. I state with a great deal of certainty that Osmace was not --

6 there was nobody from Osmace in Ratkovici. There were no armed formations

7 or groups in the events there. Nobody was even -- from Osmace was there

8 anywhere near that date.

9 Q. So as far as the book is concerned and what you read there, does

10 that reflect the truth or not?

11 A. This is 100 per cent untrue.

12 Q. Thank you.

13 MR. JONES: Your Honours, one matter. The same point arises in

14 relation to P95, but rather than presenting P95 and asking for the same

15 comment, I would just note for the record that it's page 12 of that

16 exhibit, the same issue arises of fighters from Osmace participate in

17 Ratkovici. So I'm not going to put that to the witness --

18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, thank you, Mr. Jones.

19 MR. JONES: -- just for expediency, I make that mention.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: I take it that that is acceptable with the

21 Prosecution. Mr. Di Fazio?

22 MR. DI FAZIO: I don't have P95. Can I get back to you on this?

23 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly. But try to get back --

24 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, immediately.

25 JUDGE AGIUS: -- before he finishes his examination-in-chief.

Page 10771

1 MR. JONES: Thank you. It's page 12 of that exhibit. It's just

2 that one point.

3 Now, if the witness could be shown, yes, P90, Prosecution Exhibit

4 P90, and this is the book, "Naser Oric, Srebrenica." And I'm going to

5 start just by referring to page 2 in the English, which is in the

6 foreword. So in B/C/S, it's page 5. Page 5. In the English it says: "I

7 have not been able to collect all the data and research all the sources

8 that would make this war complete, because the war is not yet -- not over

9 yet and the evidence is still being gathered and classified. Anyway, it

10 has not been my intention to make this the final work on the events past.

11 On the contrary, I want to invite new discussions and new arguments so

12 that we may get closer to the real truth."

13 I want to ask about that in a second. It's the next page in

14 English, the extract, page 89.

15 Q. If you can see, Mr. Buric, in the B/C/S, it's page 159 to 160. One

16 moment, please. And it's the quote in English, page 89, sixth paragraph,

17 last sentence, where it says: "The town of Srebrenica was fully opened

18 towards the Kragljivoda area in June 1992, after the aggressor had been

19 beaten in the fights for Jasenova, Turija, and Pribojevici."

20 Now, Mr. Buric, you gave us evidence about the situation in

21 Kragljivoda and Osmace in June 1992. Is that true, that sentence, that

22 Srebrenica and Kragljivoda were fully opened up towards each other in June

23 1992?

24 A. In June 1992, they were not linked, because the Serb settlements

25 of Postonje and Podrid were there. We also had Brezani, where their

Page 10772












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13 English transcripts.













Page 10773

1 communications where. There were also incursions by Serb units from

2 Podravanje and Srpska Jasenova. I'm not sure exactly what the date was

3 when the Serbs left Podravanje. They left and left the village behind.

4 But definitely in June there was no contact, there was no free

5 communication between Kragljivoda and Osmace.

6 Q. You would disagree with what's written there as being accurate?

7 All right.

8 Sorry, the witness said "ne" a couple of times. It hasn't been

9 interpreted.

10 Is what you read in that book accurate or inaccurate?

11 A. No.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: No, I take it that you mean to say that it is not

13 accurate.

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm just interested in knowing the

15 date. When did the Serbs withdraw from Brezani, if you can help?


17 Q. I'm afraid I can't help with that, Mr. Buric. It's your evidence.

18 A. I think that this was in late May, and I state certainly that the

19 Serbs withdrew on the 30th of June. So at this time, there was no

20 communication between these two places. When the Serbs withdrew from

21 Brezani towards Podravanje and came from Postolje and Podrid, then there

22 was some kind of communication between the two places. But this was

23 already most probably beginning of July.

24 Q. Okay. Thank you. That's clear. We saw in the preface some

25 remarks about the circumstances under which this book was written. Do you

Page 10774

1 know anything about this book purportedly by Naser Oric, how it was

2 written or with or by whom?

3 A. I think that this book was also written by Nijaz Masic. The war

4 was still going on in Bosnia. I was clear earlier. Those who write

5 history also lie a lot.

6 Q. Okay. There are historians who might take exception to that, but

7 we'll take that point, and will show, if we may, an extract from P328,

8 which is a segment of an interview. And the reference to the transcript

9 is tape 3, side A, pages 8 to 10. We need to obviously have the sound. I

10 don't know if that involves the technical booth making a switch.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: What I noticed was that the tape was running, but

12 there was no sound.

13 MR. JONES: Okay. We'll run it.

14 [Videotape played]

15 SPEAKER: I just want to talk about this book that I wrote and in

16 particular I want to talk about how this book came to be. With the very

17 demilitarisation of Srebrenica, when the UN came into Srebrenica, we then

18 stopped our military activities, and our whole military ...

19 MR. JONES: Your Honours, I in fact wanted to just play a small

20 extract of this exhibit. However, I'm just thinking again now that in

21 fact, given the answers which this witness has given, it suffices really

22 to draw Your Honours' attention to this exhibit and to the particular

23 portion. And rather than playing it, which might be a bit long-winded, I

24 can simply read this section that I'm interested in.

25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, certainly. Please go ahead.

Page 10775

1 MR. JONES: I think it will be quicker. And it's the section

2 where Naser Oric, I think I can lead to that, the speaker says: "So the

3 manuscript was finished within 15 days. The whole thing went up to

4 Sweden. And then from Sweden to Ljubljana, and then it was printed. To

5 tell you the truth, I haven't even managed to read it."

6 Further down: "So if they lied about me in the book or

7 exaggerated the things that were happening, because you know how it goes,

8 people exaggerate things a little bit to make their own role seem larger

9 than it really is. They exaggerated my role most of all."

10 Q. Now, Mr. Buric, you mentioned that historians, as you say, lie

11 sometimes, or a lot. Specifically, as far as Mr. Masic is concerned, do

12 you have any comment to make about this -- this extract which we've just

13 read out from the interview about exaggerations of the roles played by

14 Naser Oric?

15 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, has the witness testified

16 he's even read this? How can he answer such a question? I mean ...

17 JUDGE AGIUS: The witness hasn't been asked the question as yet,

18 whether he's read the book.

19 MR. DI FAZIO: No, but he's been invited to comment on the content

20 of the book and --

21 JUDGE AGIUS: He's also told it was written by Masic.

22 MR. JONES: That's his evidence. That was absolutely his

23 evidence. He said this book was written by Masic, and so it was really a

24 question of whether Masic was reliable --

25 JUDGE AGIUS: He didn't say that it was definitely written by

Page 10776

1 Masic. He said there is suspicion, sort of, that it was written by Masic

2 and not by Naser Oric.

3 MR. JONES: He said: "I think that this book was also written by

4 Nijaz Masic"

5 JUDGE AGIUS: But "I think" is "I think." He's not sure about it.

6 If he's sure about it, he better tell us that he knows for sure that it

7 was written by --


9 Q. Mr. Buric, how confident are you in that opinion that the book was

10 written by Nijaz Masic, the Oric book?

11 A. I assume, but I'm not sure, I assume that this book was written by

12 Nijaz Masic too.

13 Q. Why do you make that assumption?

14 A. While I was working at the municipal office, there were two or

15 three historians there. I think the only person who came from Srebrenica

16 was Nijaz Masic, so I assume that that is his book and that his influence

17 in the book was as much as 99 per cent.

18 Q. All right. Well, I'll move on from that exhibit and that subject.

19 I think that's sufficient.

20 Finally, three more exhibits.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, because I think we need to clear this.

22 Are you pursuing the question that Mr. Di Fazio sort of objected to or

23 not? Or are you dropping it?

24 MR. JONES: Well, I'll ask this witness if he's read the book. I

25 can pursue it to that extent. I'm satisfied with his answer, considering

Page 10777

1 the likelihood it was written by Masic, and his opinion of the Masic book.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.

3 MR. JONES: All right. I'd ask if the witness could be shown P9.

4 I'm not going to put that question.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.


7 Q. Just a quick question on this document, Mr. Buric. This is staff

8 of the Srebrenica armed forces, purportedly, dated 15 October 1992. It's

9 allegedly an order of the OVH staff to form brigades. You've told us

10 already that there wasn't a battalion in Osmace in 1992, so I'm not going

11 to ask you about that. It's the items which appear on page 2 of the

12 English and also page 2 of Bosnian, or the bottom of page 1, where it

13 says: "Formation of the following independent branch and service units."

14 And we see mortar company, in English it has mortar, COY, but [B/C/S

15 spoken]. Are you aware of whether there was ever a mortar company formed

16 in Srebrenica. Sorry, not ever; before demilitarisation.

17 A. No, I was not aware of that. And I believe that there probably

18 wasn't a mortar company there.

19 Q. And how about the next item, an armoured platoon?

20 A. Well, I don't know if they're thinking of horses being in some

21 platoon, but there was no armoured platoon. There was no armoured

22 equipment in Srebrenica. So why would an armoured platoon be there?

23 Q. All right. Thank you. That's all I want to ask on this document.

24 MR. JONES: Now, if the witness could be shown D561. And this

25 purports to be a list of information on combat operations from an attack

Page 10778

1 on Gradina, from the 2nd of June, 1992. Now, firstly, I want to take -

2 and I think we need the last page in Bosnian on the ELMO, please. I want

3 to take -- draw your attention to the second name on the right-hand side,

4 where in English we have -- first we have source information, Mirsad

5 Dudic, and in the English it says Nesib Buric. Is that what you read in a

6 Bosnian, the number 2, or do you read something else? It's further down,

7 under [B/C/S spoken]. Yes, number 2. Can you read what it says there,

8 please, Mr. Buric, in number 2.

9 A. Nesib Buric, commander of the Osmace TO platoon.

10 Q. Now, do you know anyone of that name in Osmace who might be

11 described as having any commanding role in Osmace, or does that refer to

12 you?

13 A. This is supposed to be me here, but I had no platoon. I was no

14 commander, not a commander of a platoon. Like I said, I had about ten men

15 in my group. This was like my family, those who were with me. There was

16 no platoon. The entire Osmace --

17 Q. That's fine. I want to establish this: Is that actually your

18 signature?

19 A. No. No. This is definitely not my signature.

20 Q. How in fact do you sign your name? I'm not asking you to give a

21 demonstration, but do you write "Nesib Buric" or "Buric, Nesib," or what

22 precisely do you write when you sign?

23 A. It's very short. I never use my full signature, very rarely on a

24 document. My signature is completely different.

25 Q. Were you a source of information for this combat sheet, this

Page 10779

1 combat action sheet? Did you provide information to the 2nd Corps or to

2 anyone about this action?

3 A. On the 1st of May, 1993, when I started to work at the Srebrenica

4 municipal office, I had never even glanced into any kind of military

5 office or institution. The only time would be if I personally needed some

6 kind of paper or certificate or something. So I never stepped into any

7 kind of military office until the 1st of May, 1993.

8 Q. All right. First of all, did you either fill in this form?

9 Firstly, I'll ask you that. Did you fill in this form?

10 A. This is the first time that I'm seeing this.

11 Q. And did you ever go to Zivinice, in 1997, specifically?

12 A. No, never.

13 Q. And just a couple of questions on the information in this

14 document. Was Bektic, Nedzad, Nedzad Bektic, was he a commander of the

15 3rd of May Brigade on the 2nd of June, 1992?

16 A. I said that there was no brigade at all. He had his own group,

17 Karacici, so he was in Karacici the entire time.

18 Q. Right. So I take it the answer is no. Mirsad Dudic, was he the

19 commander of Osmace TO.

20 A. No. No. Mirsad Dudic was not a commander. He had a group of

21 about ten men. In my village, he was together with me.

22 Q. Thank you. We all heard it the, no, no was answering my question,

23 so I take it the answer was no, the witness answered, and then the next --

24 A. No.

25 Q. Right. Thank you. So in your opinion is the information which

Page 10780












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13 English transcripts.













Page 10781

1 you can see on this document, is it reliable? Is it accurate?

2 A. This is 100 per cent untrue, and I don't know where these papers

3 were filled in.

4 Q. And we have a similar document, P87. If that can be shown to the

5 witness. It's the final document. I'll be finished very shortly. And

6 just for the record, this deals with an alleged attack on Ducici on the

7 19th of June, 1992. And again, if you could first look at the last page

8 and tell us whether that's meant to be your name and whether that's your

9 signature.

10 A. This is not my signature. It states "Nesib Buric, commander of

11 the Osmace TO platoon." But somebody else filled this in. I don't know

12 where this comes from. This is not my signature. I state definitely that

13 I never saw Ducici in my life, and I never went to Ducici either.

14 Q. And as far as you know, was Osmace TO commanded by Atif Krdzic,

15 the unit in charge of combat operations in Ducici on the 19th of June,

16 1992?

17 A. Excuse me. Could you repeat the name, please. I didn't

18 understand it.

19 Q. Atif Krdzic.

20 A. Atif Krdzic was in our group at Osmace. And as I said, not a

21 single man from Osmace went to the territory of Ratkovici.

22 Q. So finally, if you could look at paragraphs 2, 3, 4, and 5 of this

23 document, which purports to set out the units which were involved in this

24 action and tell us whether, as far as you know, this is accurate, reliable

25 information or not.

Page 10782

1 A. I didn't go to that area, so I don't know which groups were there.

2 Q. Okay. Let me ask you just one final question, then. You see

3 paragraph 5, we see the name Zurijet Mujic. Do you know Zurijet Mujic?

4 JUDGE AGIUS: Muhic or Mujic?

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Zurijet Mujic is -- I'm familiar

6 with him. I know his name. I didn't have any contacts with him. He

7 couldn't have been in that area. Zurijet is part of the Skenderovici

8 area. Actually, I know him personally and I believe that he could not

9 have been physically present in that area.

10 MR. JONES: Yes. My apologies. It was Mujic. And where was he

11 from, Zurijet Mujic?

12 A. Zurijet Mujic is from Skenderovici. It says Srebrenica here, but

13 it's not, actually. He's have Skenderovici.

14 Q. Okay. Just finally, when did you leave the army, the Bosnian

15 army?

16 A. On May 1st, when I started to work at the Srebrenica municipal

17 office, in 1993.

18 Q. And did you have any contact with the 28th Division of the army

19 after demilitarisation, or after your retirement?

20 A. No.

21 Q. And did you have any role in this project of preparing these

22 information sheets on actions?

23 A. In March 1992, from March 1992 until 1995, until I was wounded, I

24 did not write a single paper or no single document or piece of paper was

25 issued from the -- or by the Osmace group.

Page 10783

1 MR. JONES: Thank you. No further questions.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Jones.

3 Mr. Buric, we are going to move to the cross-examination, which

4 will be conducted by Mr. Di Fazio. I just remind you of what I advised

5 you the first day when you arrived in this courtroom, namely, that you

6 have the same obligations to answer the questions fully and truthfully,

7 irrespective of who is putting the question to you. So the same

8 obligation applies also when the questions are being put by the officer of

9 the Prosecution.

10 Mr. Di Fazio.

11 MR. DI FAZIO: Sorry, Your Honours. Just give me a moment.

12 Cross-examined by Mr. Di Fazio:

13 Q. Mr. Buric, my name is Mr. Di Fazio. I have some questions for

14 you. Moments ago, you were asked by Mr. Jones: "Just finally, when did

15 you leave the army, the Bosnian army?" And you said: "On May 1st, when I

16 started work at the Srebrenica municipal office in 1993."

17 What was your role in the Bosnian army that you had prior to May

18 1st 1993? What rank did you hold in it?

19 A. I had no rank whatsoever. I never got a rank.

20 Q. All right. But you were in the army. Were you a private? You've

21 just told us. You just told us that you left the army and then went to

22 work in Srebrenica in May 1st, 1993. So what rank did you hold, what

23 position did you hold in the Bosnian army prior to May of 1993?

24 A. I made myself clear. There was no official army. There were

25 armed groups. And I had about ten people with me in my village, Mahala,

Page 10784

1 in Osmace. As I said, ten people were with me. Five or six out of them

2 were actually armed. So that group of about ten people was where I was.

3 Q. I see. So it was just a failure on your part to correct

4 Mr. Jones, and say, "Well, actually, Mr. Jones, there was no army in

5 Bosnia prior to May in the Srebrenica area, prior to May of 1993." Is

6 that what you really meant to say?

7 A. Yes. I said that there were armed groups.

8 Q. But no Bosnian army structure in existence of any sort or

9 description whatsoever in 1992 and the first few months of 1993? That's

10 your position, isn't it?

11 A. It is. With regard to my group, for instance, nobody gave us any

12 rifles. Nobody allocated any logistics or barracks or anything to us.

13 Already in the introductory part of my evidence, I said that it was just a

14 resistance on the part of the population, in order for them not to be

15 destroyed, as has been the case in some other villages, for example, as it

16 happened in May and June 1992 and until 1993. We got organised amongst

17 ourselves within the village to defend the village. So I can state with a

18 great deal of responsibility that we were not given rifles, uniforms, or

19 any logistical support from anyone whosoever. And it was just an armed

20 resistance on the part of the population.

21 Q. Okay, well, we'll return to this topic later. Mr. Nijaz Masic.

22 You say he's a historian. And do you also say that he is a man who is

23 given to lying when he writes? Is this -- I want to be clear about your

24 evidence. Do I understand you correctly?

25 A. I do apologise. I have to say something quite apart from this

Page 10785

1 courtroom. A well-known writer in Bosnia, Ivo Andric, in one of his

2 books, The Travnik Chronicles, said "it is not he who doesn't know how to

3 read who is stupid." The ones who believe that whatever has been written

4 is true are even more stupid. So that's the essence of my comment. In

5 those areas, the former Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, I didn't mean

6 the world as a whole. But in my part of the world, history tends to be

7 misrepresented, and, for example, the battle of Kosovo, even though it had

8 been lost, it somehow turned out to have been won. It is just by way of

9 example. I wasn't going to actually quote this example now.

10 Q. So is it your position that what Mr. Nijaz Masic writes in his

11 books is unreliable because historians in your part of the world are

12 unreliable? Is that what you're saying?

13 A. Facts tend to be blown out of all proportion, things are

14 exaggerated a million times. And that's why this is written in that way.

15 I mean, I haven't read the book, but even the small passage that refers to

16 Osmace is definitely not true, and on the basis of that, I believe that 99

17 per cent of the book isn't true.

18 Q. So the Trial Chamber can understand your evidence very clearly.

19 You haven't read this book, you don't know what's in it, apart from what's

20 been pointed out to you this afternoon by Mr. Jones, but you can quite

21 confidently say that the rest is rubbish; is that correct, not having read

22 it, not having read it?

23 A. No, no. I was referring to the passage that was read out to me. I

24 didn't read the book by either Naser or by Masic, but I can definitely

25 state, confidently state, that what was read out to me in relation to

Page 10786

1 Osmace is a lie.

2 Q. How does that lead you to conclude, if you do, that the rest --

3 the remainder of the book is either -- contains untruths or is not

4 credible?

5 A. I didn't actually say anything about the rest of the book. I said

6 I didn't know what was included in the rest of the book. I referred to

7 the passage that was read out to me.

8 Q. Look, isn't it the case that your evidence just -- just moments

9 ago, a few moments ago as Defence counsel was finishing his

10 cross-examination, your evidence regarding this book was that

11 Mr. Nijaz Masic was a historian and was quite possibly given to lying?

12 That's the impression you wanted to convey to the Trial Chamber; isn't

13 that so?

14 A. The part that I did read, of course. Only that bit.

15 Q. I see. Now, Mr. Nijaz Masic, you had some dealings with him after

16 demilitarisation. Was that in Srebrenica?

17 A. I worked at the municipality as a person in charge of education,

18 culture, and sports, and Masic was a teacher of history at the school

19 there, and that's how I knew him.

20 Q. Did you know that he was writing a book, a history or a -- an

21 account of events in Srebrenica in -- at least in the period 1992/1993?

22 Did you know that?

23 A. I didn't know that. No, I didn't know.

24 Q. Do I understand your evidence to be that he approached you, or the

25 organisation you worked with, with a view to obtaining funding for his

Page 10787

1 book?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. The result was you refused him, or your organisation did? I don't

4 mean that in any bad way, but you said: "No, we don't have any money

5 available for you. We can't fund you"?

6 A. I can't remember. I think he did get some money, but I can't

7 remember how much. I think a very small amount, 100 or 200 Deutschmarks,

8 perhaps.

9 Q. Were you instrumental at all in arranging for that 100 or 200

10 Deutschmarks to be given to him? Did you play a part in that decision?

11 A. The main role was played by the chief of the municipality. I was

12 his assistant. And there was simply a request that I saw and I processed,

13 but I did not play any role in terms of suggesting anything at the

14 municipality. Councilor was Fahrudin Salilovic or maybe somebody called

15 Markic. I can't remember. At any rate, it is the councilor's office that

16 decided what was to be done.

17 Q. So Mr. -- sorry - Mr. Nijaz Masic would have no particular reason

18 to be grateful to you for any assistance in the creation or the writing,

19 publication, of his book?

20 A. I believe one thing: I don't think it was about providing

21 assistance or not providing assistance. But since I was involved with

22 education, culture, and sports, he hugged me from that point of view,

23 rather than in terms of some kind of payment. He thought that it was good

24 form to include my name as well. I think he also thanked a dead man, Alic

25 Zajko. I don't know why he would want to thank a dead man. He was killed

Page 10788












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13 English transcripts.













Page 10789

1 during the attack on Srebrenica, and he nevertheless includes him in the

2 list of acknowledgments.

3 Q. How do you know that he thought it was good form to include your

4 name in the list of contributors to his book?

5 A. You'd have to ask him. I don't know, believe me.

6 Q. No. I'm asking you, because you said it. You said just now that

7 he thought it would be good form to include you in his book. But your

8 evidence is that you had done very, very little to assist him in getting

9 the book published. So why do you say that he thought it would be good

10 form to help you, to acknowledge your contribution?

11 A. I was quite clear in what I said. I said that organising any sort

12 of education in Srebrenica, to collect children from the streets, it was a

13 huge effort. And we're talking about 7.000 students besieged by poverty,

14 hunger, and everything else. And we nevertheless managed to organise

15 something to take care of those children, and I was involved in that. And

16 I believe that's why he thought he should mention my name.

17 Q. Let's turn to another book, Exhibit P -- actually, on reflection,

18 no. Let's just stay with this current topic.

19 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness be shown P566, please.

20 Q. Let's have a look at the contributors to the book. Your name is

21 included. Your attention has already been drawn to your name. I think if

22 you scroll down through the names that are listed there, you'll come

23 across the name of Mr. Naser Oric. Do you see that?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Do you have any idea what contribution, if any, Mr. Oric made to

Page 10790

1 this book?

2 A. I don't know.

3 Q. Are you in a position to say that he made no contribution to the

4 book?

5 A. I believe that 60 per cent of these names are names of people who

6 made no contribution whatsoever. I don't know for what reason they are

7 listed here and I don't know for what reason Naser Oric's name is listed

8 here.

9 Q. Just explain that last answer that you gave to the Trial Chamber.

10 Just explain to the Trial Chamber on what basis you believe that 60 per

11 cent of the names that are written in this particular document are the

12 names of people who made no contribution whatsoever. What is the basis

13 for that assertion?

14 A. Alija Zilic [phoen] - okay. He was never in Srebrenica. Zulik

15 Fikar [phoen], Hasic, Amir [phoen] was never in Srebrenica either.

16 Abdurahman Sarajlic was never there, Nermina Sacic. And these names just

17 caught my eye. And I really don't see on what basis these names would be

18 listed here, in much the same way as my name and Naser's name. Either

19 Catic, Smajl [phoen], Cekic, they were never present in the area of

20 Srebrenica. They did nothing there. Nizama Delkic and Dizdarevic seems

21 to be -- no. Begic Sabit. There was nothing they could have provided him

22 with, no data. I don't know why he's thanking them, but I just looked at

23 this list briefly and I spotted quite a few names of people who had

24 nothing whatsoever to do with Srebrenica. And some of these people are

25 dead, Zali Cajko [phoen] is a dead man.

Page 10791

1 Q. Do you say that those people were never in Srebrenica, do you mean

2 that they were never in the Srebrenica area, for example, they are from

3 Croatia or perhaps Germany or somewhere else? Or they weren't in

4 Srebrenica town itself?

5 A. They're not originally from that area and they were not in

6 Srebrenica. They were somewhere else. And originally, they came from

7 other parts of the country.

8 Q. Okay. Now, Mr. Nijaz Masic has written in his book, this little

9 portion that deals with Osmace and that Defence counsel showed you, and

10 you know that's the next page in the exhibit. And we've heard your

11 evidence that it's just nonsense, what's written there, it's not true at

12 all. Would you agree with me in this sense: You are a person who could

13 really provide good information about events in Osmace? Would you agree

14 with that?

15 A. I can give you 100 per cent information with regard to Osmace.

16 Q. Thank you. And would you agree that if Mr. Masic were to set

17 about writing a book and include in it a chapter about Osmace, you would

18 be a good person to go and speak to in order to get that information?

19 You'd have to agree with that, wouldn't you?

20 A. I wouldn't give him any information and I don't believe anyone

21 else from Osmace would provide any information, and I believe that

22 whatever he has written came from his own head. And I can say that Masic

23 was certainly not in the area of Osmace during the war.

24 Q. I understand that. All I'm saying to you is this: A person in

25 Mr. Masic's position, wanting to write a book about events in Srebrenica

Page 10792

1 in 1992, and perhaps early 1993, and who wanted to include a section

2 dealing with events in Osmace, you, and perhaps many other men, but you,

3 certainly, would be in a good position to help him out? You agree with

4 that, don't you?

5 A. I do have the information, but I wouldn't have provided Masic with

6 that information. I'm sorry, but, no, I wouldn't provide him with the

7 information.

8 Q. I just want to be clear about that. You say "wouldn't." Do I

9 understand you to be saying that you would not like to, you would not

10 consider doing it, or is it the case that you are simply saying that you

11 did not, in fact, provide him with information about Osmace?

12 A. I can state with a great deal of responsibility that I never

13 provided any information, and I never heard of anyone else from Osmace

14 providing any information either. I don't know what his sources were. But

15 definitely I myself did not breathe a word to him.

16 Q. Thank you.

17 MR. Di FAZIO: I've finished with that exhibit for the moment.

18 Q. You were also shown Exhibit P90, which is purportedly, on the face

19 of it, a book written by Mr. Oric. And you said that you think that this

20 book was written by Mr. Nijaz Masic, when you were shown it. And you also

21 said that you assume the book was written by Mr. Nijaz Masic. Now, why do

22 you make that assumption?

23 A. I don't know. It just came to mind. I suppose it could have been

24 written by Nijaz Masic.

25 Q. Mr. Buric, you're testifying in a war crimes trial. You

Page 10793

1 undertake -- you understand your responsibility here is an extremely

2 serious one, don't you?

3 A. I do.

4 Q. Yes. And you can understand, can't you, that the credibility -

5 sorry. I withdraw that. The authorship of a book written by the accused

6 in this trial is a matter that might concern the Trial Chamber? You

7 understand that, the true authorship of the book?

8 A. I do understand that.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jones.

10 One moment, Mr. Di Fazio.

11 MR. JONES: Simply this. I don't think it's appropriate for my

12 learned friend to remind the witness of this point of the solemn

13 obligation, et cetera, when the question about why did you make that

14 assumption was put in precise terms by me and the witness answered it.

15 He's been asked again. If the witness is somewhat nonplussed being asked

16 it a second time, I don't think it's the occasion to start lecturing him

17 about the solemnity of his task. The question was asked. It may be

18 unclear why it's being asked again. And the reference is page 24, line

19 11: "Why do you make that assumption?" Absolutely the same question

20 Mr. Di Fazio's put, and he gave an answer. Now, if Mr. Di Fazio isn't

21 happy with the answer the witness gave, that's more a matter for him than

22 for this witness.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio. Because he -- indeed he did --

24 Mr. Jones did put that question and you actually repeated the same

25 question to the witness.

Page 10794

1 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, but the witness has now said it just came to

2 mind.


4 MR. DI FAZIO: That's what I'm concerned about.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: The only innovation and novelty is in the way he has

6 answered the question. I agree with you that perhaps it wasn't a case of

7 putting the same question again, but --

8 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, I'm only interested in this answer: "It came

9 to mind." That's all I'm interested in.

10 Q. And, Witness, I'm certainly not intending to lecture you. I don't

11 want you to feel intimidated in any way. Do you understand that?

12 A. I'm not at all intimidated.

13 Q. Good.

14 A. If I may, I would just like to point out that I am unable to

15 comment on books which I haven't even set eyes on, let alone read. So I

16 can't really comment on something that I have no idea about.

17 Q. Well, that's precisely my point, Mr. Buric. You see, you were

18 asked on what basis did you assume that Nijaz Masic wrote P90, the book

19 that's apparently, on the face of it, written by Naser Oric, and you've

20 just told us: "Well, it just came to mind." Why did you tell the Trial

21 Chamber that you assumed it was written by Mr. Nijaz Masic when it just

22 came to your mind? Why didn't you stop and think: Well, actually, I

23 don't have any information about who wrote the book, and I'll tell the

24 Trial Chamber that? Is there any reason why you didn't provide that

25 answer instead?

Page 10795

1 A. Because I wasn't commenting on the actual contents of the book. I

2 couldn't have done that. And there were one, two, three, four, five, ten

3 questions. And I didn't even try to comment on the contents of the book.

4 And then it simply crossed my mind, but I really am unable to comment,

5 because I don't know who could have written it, because this is the first

6 time that I'm seeing this book.

7 MR. DI FAZIO: I don't think I need to show you the book. If you

8 want to see it, by all means.

9 Q. But the front of the book, first page, I suppose, the beginning of

10 the book, let's call it the beginning of the book, says: "Naser Oric,

11 Srebrenica, testifies and an -- and accuses genocide of Bosniaks in East

12 Bosnia, April 1992 to September 1994." And he then -- then there's a

13 foreword, and at the bottom of it, Naser Oric, the name Naser Oric,

14 appears.

15 Is there anything that you can think of or anything that you're

16 aware of, I should say, that makes you think that Naser Oric did not

17 author the book, as appears to be the case on the face of it? We know now

18 that it's got nothing to do with Nijaz Masic, because that just came to

19 mind, so is there any other reason that you say that this book is not what

20 it appears to be, a book written by a man named Naser Oric?

21 A. In order to write a book, I mean, I'm a mathematician by

22 profession, so in order to write about it I need to know the matter, to be

23 very familiar with it. And if I were to write a book, I would write about

24 my Osmace. I wouldn't write about anything else. I couldn't describe or

25 write about anything that I didn't see for myself. So I assume, in order

Page 10796












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

13 English transcripts.













Page 10797

1 to do something properly, Naser had to have been there, to have seen it in

2 order to write about it. I don't see any other reason. I could write and

3 talk about my Osmace, but couldn't talk about any other place because I

4 couldn't comment or talk about or write about anything that I myself

5 didn't see.

6 Q. I just want to show you a clip of a group of people in a room

7 talking.

8 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just give me a moment.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, certainly, Mr. Di Fazio.

10 [Videotape played]

11 THE INTERPRETER: "This question was unclear to me, this question

12 and the other question."

13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, we have it now. Perhaps you could start again,

14 Mr. Di Fazio, please. We are at 14:41:50, point 08. That's what we have

15 on the screen. On the clock, actually, itself, which is the bottom of the

16 picture, above the script. On the right-hand side, it says "02 hours, 27

17 minutes, point seventeen, two." That's where we are.

18 MR. DI FAZIO: It's only a very, very brief, extremely brief

19 passage.

20 [Videotape played]

21 THE INTERPRETER: "This question was unclear to me, this one and

22 the other question. I was confused about this the whole time, so I called

23 Masic again, as he was the man who heard the history of what happened in

24 that part of the world and of these events, and so he has quite a lot of

25 material and also knows the most about what actually happened. So he

Page 10798

1 wrote quite a lot of notes and so on."

2 MR. DI FAZIO: All right.

3 Q. Now, I just have one question. You can see this table -- in

4 what's depicted on the screen, you can see the table, papers on it, and a

5 number of men, and at the very end of the table, a gentleman there,

6 longish hair, shoulder-length hair. Do you recognise that man? If I

7 suggested --

8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't understand whether the

9 witness said yes or no.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: I heard the witness say "ne."


12 Q. If I suggested to you that was plainly Mr. Oric --

13 A. I don't see anything on the monitor. I have just -- I can see a

14 door.

15 Q. That explains your answer.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Can you see now on the monitor anything,

17 Mr. Buric, or what are you seeing now?

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's clearer now. I can see Naser

19 Oric in front.


21 Q. Yes. When you say "in front," just to be absolutely clear, as you

22 look at the image --

23 A. He's sitting in the middle, next to the door or in front of the

24 door. That's where I see Naser Oric.

25 Q. Fine. Thank you. Now, the rest of -- you heard the clip, and

Page 10799

1 Mr. Oric seems to be talking about Mr. Masic in a manner, I suggest, that

2 indicates he's got confidence in him as a man you can deal with in terms

3 of events in 1992, reporting and discussing events in 1992. Do you agree?

4 A. I never saw Naser or Masic in 1993. The first time I saw Naser

5 was - I don't know - sometime in late March or early April of 1993. The

6 first time I saw Masic was in May 1993.

7 Q. That might be so. I'm not actually asking that. In fact, I think

8 that if you look on the screen, you'll see that these -- what's happening

9 there has occurred years later. But what I'm interested in is what

10 Mr. Oric has to say about Nijaz Masic. He seems to take the view that

11 he's a man who can be approached with regard to obtaining of information

12 about events in 1992. That's what I suggest to you Mr. Oric is saying.

13 Don't you agree?

14 A. I don't know what their connection was. My personal opinion is

15 that if anyone were to write or go about writing a good-quality book, they

16 wouldn't allow Masic to write it. And I can explain why I believe this,

17 but at a closed session, please.

18 Q. Would you say that if someone was going to write a book about

19 events in 1992, that Mr. Naser Oric would be in a good position to write

20 such a book, that he would have access to the sort of information that

21 would permit him to write an authoritative book?

22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones.

23 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour. I realise Mr. Di Fazio is

24 perhaps moving away from an explanation which this witness is going to

25 give, but, clearly, if the witness wants to explain in more detail in

Page 10800

1 private session, then of course he shouldn't be forced to do it in open

2 session.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm coming to that. But let him answer the question

4 first.

5 The question that Mr. Di Fazio requires you to answer is the

6 following, Mr. Buric: Would you say that if someone was going to write a

7 book about events in 1992, that Mr. Naser Oric would be in a good position

8 to write such a book, that he would have access to the sort of information

9 that would permit him to write an authoritative book?

10 Would you agree with that statement?

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wouldn't agree, and I believe 99

12 per cent, with 99 per cent certainty, that Naser did not have even 80 per

13 cent of the information about what was going on in the Srebrenica region.

14 All the events that were talked about later, exaggerated, I don't know,

15 that's something that happened. And I believe that Naser did not have the

16 right or the proper information about what was happening in the territory

17 of the Srebrenica region.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Now let's go into private session and see what

19 the witness has to say about Masic. Let me just check. Yes, we are in

20 private session.

21 [Private session]

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 [Open session]

25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Judge Eser would like to put a question to

Page 10801

1 you, Mr. Buric.

2 JUDGE ESER: Just to make clear. Now, since you talked about

3 exaggeration and so on, now did you read this book which has on the title

4 the name of Naser Oric, or did you read the other book either from

5 Mr. Masic? Did you read them from the beginning to the end?

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not see either book, either of

7 the books. The first excerpt that I heard was here. But now I would like

8 to say something about why I wouldn't allow Nijaz to write, if I may be

9 allowed to do so.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, let's go into private session now, please.

11 [Private session]

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 10802











11 Page 10802 redacted. Private session.















Page 10803

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 [Open session]

17 JUDGE AGIUS: And thereupon immediately for a break for 30

18 minutes, starting from now.

19 MR. DI FAZIO: I see. Thank you.

20 --- Recess taken at 4.17 p.m.

21 --- On resuming at 4.48 p.m.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.

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

24 Q. Mr. Buric, I just have one more very minor topic about books. I'd

25 like to show you another extract from the book that we were talking about

Page 10804












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

13 English transcripts.













Page 10805

1 earlier, the Nijaz Masic book. It's a very brief matter. I've got copies

2 for everyone, if Your Honours please. And it bears an ERN number

3 01099714. It's just an extract. And it's just a photograph, in fact.

4 MR. DI FAZIO: Do Your Honours have it? It's just one page.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Di Fazio, I heard you say "one page," but it's

6 not one page that we have. Just for the record, let me say what we have.

7 I have -- when I say "I," it means we because we have the same here. We

8 have one page in the B/C/S version. It contains a photo.

9 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: And it has the ERN number 01099714.

11 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: And then the corresponding English translation. But

13 then we were also given the following pages --

14 MR. DI FAZIO: You don't need to concern yourselves about that,

15 because I'm not intending to use that other material, and I'd ask that be

16 withdrawn from you, because it's -- if I decide to use it, I'll produce it

17 later. If Your Honours please, I'm only interested in that one page, the

18 photograph.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm collecting this.

20 MR. DI FAZIO: I can understand how this happened.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not a problem. We have enough papers. So if

22 you spare us another four pages, you would be doing us a big favour.

23 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. It's a very, very brief little issue.

24 Q. Mr. Buric, this is just another page from the book of Mr. Nijaz

25 Masic, and the only thing I want to ask you about is your photo that

Page 10806

1 appears in there. You can set I think, can't you? The photo is pretty

2 bad, and I can understand if you can't tell if it's you or not?

3 JUDGE AGIUS: If the book is available, we can show him the book.

4 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: And then I'm sure the photo would be better.

6 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, it may -- it would be better if it be signed.

7 Perhaps I can -- I don't have it at hand now, and perhaps I can tend to it

8 tomorrow.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay.

10 MR. DI FAZIO: In the meantime, I'll just go ahead.

11 Q. Anyway, you can see underneath the caption, under photo, it

12 says -- it's talking about you, Nesib Buric, son of Hasib, one of the

13 activists in the resistance movement in Osmace, wounded in Srebrenica July

14 1995, and that -- and then there's the photograph. Do you know how your

15 photograph came to be in the book?

16 A. I have no idea. I did not give this photograph to Masic. I don't

17 know where he got it from.

18 Q. I'm not getting any translation, if Your Honours please.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, I did. Mr. Jones --

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I?

21 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. One moment, Mr. Buric.

22 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm okay now.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you receiving interpretation?

24 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, I think it might have been. I'm sorry.

25 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you need the witness to repeat or can you check

Page 10807

1 it over on the transcript?

2 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. That's answered the question. I'd

3 tender it, if Your Honours please.

4 JUDGE AGIUS: I got the impression that the witness wanted to add

5 something.


7 Q. I'm sorry. I didn't want to cut you off.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: If you want to add something.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a photograph from the

10 Srebrenica municipal office in Tuzla. I don't know. I mean, this is from

11 Tuzla, the office where I worked, in the Srebrenica municipal office,

12 which was located in Tuzla. But I really don't know how Masic got the

13 photo.

14 MR. DI FAZIO: Okay. All right. Thank you very much.

15 Can I get a number for this?

16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. This will become Prosecution Exhibit P --

17 THE REGISTRAR: 568, Your Honour.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: 568. Thank you.


20 Q. All right, Mr. Buric. I think that's enough books for one

21 afternoon.

22 Let's move to another topic. You testified on Thursday and Friday

23 regarding the impossibility of -- or not the impossibility, but the

24 difficult of movement around the Srebrenica area in 1992 and early 1993.

25 And I just want to remind you of one or two points in your evidence that

Page 10808

1 you made. You were talking -- Mr. Jones was asking you questions about

2 the ability -- communications and the ability to move around the area in

3 May, June, and July of -- May -- April, May, and June of 1992. And you --

4 the upshot -- the essence of your evidence was that movement was almost

5 impossible. Would you agree with that?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And were your comments confined to just the Osmace area or do you

8 know that to be the case in other areas of Srebrenica?

9 A. I was primarily talking about Osmace, the Osmace region, which was

10 intercepted with Serbian territories. And the same situation was in other

11 places as well.

12 Q. Okay. So would that be -- would that situation have applied

13 further north, in areas, for example, around the Mocevici and Ratkovici,

14 the difficulty of movement, I mean?

15 A. Yes. Ratkovici is a Serb place, Mocevici was a Muslim place, but

16 we had no communications with Mocevici. There was Mocevici, Brezani,

17 Oparci, Crkvina. Until the end of July, they didn't or were not able to

18 communicate with each other in that area.

19 Q. Would you say the same difficulties applied over towards Suceska,

20 the general difficulty of movement for Muslim, Bosniak people?

21 A. Osmace did not have any communications with Suceska throughout the

22 period, because all of those villages, Podjelova [phoen], Jasenova, and so

23 on, all those villages. We did not have any information about Suceska.

24 Q. So I just want to be clear. Are you saying that you don't know

25 what the situation was regarding the ability to move around for Bosniak or

Page 10809

1 Muslim people in Suceska? Is that what you're saying, you just don't

2 know?

3 A. I said that Osmace did not have a physical connection with

4 Suceska.

5 Q. All right. Okay. But do I take it from that fact that there

6 wasn't a physical connection, that therefore you just don't know what

7 situation applied -- what situation applied in Suceska as regards free

8 movement?

9 A. I don't know.

10 Q. You were answering questions on Friday about this topic, and you

11 were talking about the decision to attack a place called Jezero. I'm not

12 sure how you pronounce it.

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And you said - I'm looking at page 75, for Defence counsel: "I do

15 apologise about before. What I said was: By the end of 1992 and the

16 beginning of 1993, certain territories were linked up in that area, and

17 that's why the decision was made on the 16th of January to attack this

18 place called Jezero."

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Are you saying that that difficulty of movement applied equally

21 throughout 1992 and early 1993 in the Jezero area?

22 A. With the fall of Brezani, things had changed. We had Podrid and

23 Postolje on the other side, where Serbs from those villages were going,

24 and people went looking for food there. And they realised that the

25 village was empty. There was nobody there. So then there was some

Page 10810

1 physical link which was established between Osmace and Kragljivoda.

2 Q. Okay. Well, let me -- I want to ask you, without actually going

3 into the great detail, but tell me if you can answer this: Generally

4 speaking, throughout 1992, from what you know and saw and heard and have

5 learnt about what happened in that part of the country of Bosnia, would

6 you say that it was very difficult for Muslims or Bosniaks to move about

7 throughout all of 1992 and the early part of 1993? Would you say that?

8 A. Yes. It was very difficult to move about throughout that period,

9 and those Serb villages from which the population withdrew, well, their

10 patrols and units weren't there anyway and they set up ambushes. And so

11 throughout that period up until 1993, any communication was extremely

12 difficult.

13 Q. That's right. And in your evidence you said that one of the

14 reasons, not the only reason, but one of the reasons to make movement

15 difficult for the non-Serb population was the presence of Serb patrols. Do

16 you recall that?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. You also said that, however, in your evidence -- you also said in

19 your evidence that, when you were talking about the movement of weapons,

20 the movement of Serb weaponry, this, page 19. Mr. Jones asked you: "Did

21 you receive any information as to where these trucks were coming from?"

22 You were talking about trucks and the fellow called Milivoj, who used his

23 trucking company. And you answered: "All the weapons came from the

24 direction of Skelani." And you were asked: "And were trucks the only

25 convoys that were used to bring in weapons into the area or were you aware

Page 10811

1 of other means?" And then you said: "Yes. When they no longer felt that

2 line, Skelani-Brezani, was safe, they started getting weapons from

3 Fakovici en masse. And the transport took place by horseback and by

4 roundabout mountain roads from Fakovici to Brezani, and also by JNA

5 helicopters."

6 And you went on to talk about helicopters.

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And then a little later, page --

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Okay. A little later, page -- sorry.

11 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just give me a moment.

12 MR. JONES: Just one thing for the record. It was conveyances,

13 not convoys. I noticed, rather than -- right.

14 MR. DI FAZIO: That's right. I couldn't see the writing.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you for the comment, Mr. Jones. You're

16 correct.


18 Q. And then, page 22, you were again answering questions about

19 movement of weapons, and you said: "There were rumours in the surrounding

20 Muslim villages that they saw that weapons were delivered to Ducici by

21 helicopters from Fakovici, and as to Brezani, we knew that they were

22 getting weapons and that those weapons were being transported on horseback

23 from Fakovici, weapons and ammunition, that is, and they went through the

24 forests and creeks, et cetera, in a roundabout way, anyway."

25 And you later in the day again made reference to this secretive

Page 10812












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

13 English transcripts.













Page 10813

1 mode of the Serbs moving arms. Why did the Serbs have to adopt that

2 method of transport if they controlled all movement in the area? Why did

3 they have to bring in weapons in roundabout ways?

4 A. Nobody said that they were using those roads, as you say, in that

5 way. Since those were villages which were mixed, Muslim and Serb, and in

6 those places where there were Muslim villages in between, I mean, they

7 didn't do it out in the open in order for the Muslims to be able to see

8 it. They went in a roundabout way and to get arms and weapons they used

9 trucks and horses and vans and helicopters. Not from Fakovici, as you

10 said, directly to Ducici by helicopters, but from Serbia, I said that they

11 were crossing over from Serbia, from Skelani. I mean, the helicopters

12 did. And then from Fakovici to Ratkovici and Ducici, it was all

13 transported on horseback.

14 So the reason for them to take a roundabout route was that there

15 were Muslim villages in between. They had to -- otherwise they would have

16 had to travel through Muslim villages, and they didn't want the Muslims to

17 see what they were up to, and that's why they went the long way round.

18 Q. Yes, but in April, May, June, the Serbs couldn't have cared less

19 about concealing the movement of weapons from Bosniaks or Muslims. War

20 had already broken out. Do you agree?

21 A. They didn't dare travel through Muslim villages.

22 Q. That's what I'm interested in. And is it the case that they

23 didn't dare travel through Muslim villages because Bosniaks -- hang on.

24 A. They did not --

25 Q. Okay. I'll put my question again. Is it the case that they

Page 10814

1 didn't dare travel past Muslim villages because there was emerging in

2 those months a -- an organised Muslim resistance and they were getting

3 better, Muslims and Bosniaks were getting better and more effective at

4 fighting back? Is that the reason they had to take their horses and

5 transport their weapons in roundabout ways?

6 A. We have to get one thing straight. March and April were the time

7 when Serbs made use of the Muslim territories. There was still a certain

8 amount of freedom everywhere, and they could travel freely with those

9 lorries. Nobody would have checked their trucks, et cetera. But after

10 the murders of Meha and Bahrudin, that, of course, triggered off panic and

11 therefore the Serbs didn't dare travel through Muslim villages again

12 because presumably they must have been afraid as well, and so that's why

13 they took this roundabout route. And the most convenient way to travel

14 was on horseback

15 MR. JONES: I'm just reading the transcript of the 8th, and the

16 references to dates there are all April 1992. Just to be absolutely

17 clear, it was in April 1992, that this was going on, the arming of Ducici,

18 and then the questions followed about helicopters, et cetera. And above

19 that as well, he was speaking about General Zivanovic and he's saying

20 April 1992. So those answers were given in relation to April 1992, and I

21 think it's mischaracterising it to say he was talking about April, May,

22 June, 1992. The matter could perhaps be resolved by simply asking the

23 witness what period this -- they were taking roundabout routes.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: I think you're right, because I vividly remember

25 that your question and his answer at the time was limited to that

Page 10815

1 particular period of time, which is just pre-war, in fact.

2 MR. DI FAZIO: All right.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: If I remember well. The term "pre-war" or before

4 the war, was used. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think so.

5 MR. JONES: I'll have to check, but I think so.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio. I think it's easy. This can be

7 dealt with in a pretty easy manner.

8 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, I think so, Your Honour. I understand what --

9 JUDGE AGIUS: The concern showed by Mr. Jones is perfectly

10 legitimate.

11 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, of course.

12 Q. So is it the case that after April there wasn't any need for the

13 Serbs to take roundabout routes to transport their weapons, roundabout

14 routes through the forest and so on?

15 A. I've stated it quite clearly. Up until the 13th of April, the

16 murders of Meho and Bahrudin, the Serbs used to make use of the asphalt

17 roads, used the same trucks and lorries that they used to drive when they

18 did work in agriculture. But after the murders of Bahrudin and Meho they

19 started to hide a little bit what they were up to and they started using

20 those secondary roads. It was later, after that.

21 Q. When? When did they start to use those secondary roads?

22 A. We managed, by the end of April, or in May -- well, we discovered,

23 as I said, that there was a convoy on horseback from Fakovici taking arms

24 to the sector of Brezani.

25 Q. Okay. Well, by the end of April, certainly by the end -- by the

Page 10816

1 beginning of May, hostilities had broken out, hadn't they, in the

2 Srebrenica area?

3 A. That is to say, after the murders of Meho and Bahrudin. They

4 committed those murders and we saw that incident as the beginning of

5 hostilities.

6 Q. Okay. But could you explain why the Serbs felt it necessary to

7 use secondary roads towards the end of April and/or May? I mean, bearing

8 in mind all of your evidence of their massive superiority that you've

9 given in terms of weapons and the assistance they were receiving from

10 Serbia and so on, why would it have been necessary for the Serbs to

11 conceal in the slightest movement of arms?

12 A. I don't know. They should be asked perhaps why they felt they had

13 to hide.

14 Q. Land-mines were another reason you say that Bosniaks and Muslims

15 encountered difficulties in moving around freely. Do you recall that

16 evidence?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And you said that -- I think this is a fair summary, that the

19 Serbs mined their own villages and the areas close to their villages, and

20 sometimes when their villages were too far apart, they would mine the area

21 in between their villages. Do you recall that evidence?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Why -- do you know why the Serbs mined their own villages?

24 A. I didn't say --

25 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry. We did not hear what the witness just

Page 10817

1 said.

2 A. I said that they were shelling their own village. I never

3 mentioned mining. They placed land-mines around the Serb villages.


5 Q. Sorry. Perhaps we're misunderstanding each other. I think we do

6 understand each other. They placed mines around their villages, didn't

7 they, around their own villages?

8 A. Yes, around their own villages. That's right.

9 Q. Okay. And that's a defensive tactic, isn't it, to have a mine --

10 to have a minefield around your own village? It's for protection, isn't

11 it?

12 A. It's not really for protection, in fact. Professional military

13 units, all branches were involved, and they were involved in placing the

14 land-mines, providing arms, bringing in the artillery and the air force.

15 So they were involved in every way, and also some special units. And they

16 used special tactics, that is, starving people and making them exhausted,

17 et cetera. So a special type of warfare was used. And all those

18 different types of warfare was used in Srebrenica.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.

20 [Trial Chamber confers]

21 JUDGE AGIUS: He hasn't actually answered your question,

22 Mr. Di Fazio.

23 Mr. Buric, look at me, please, and give me a straight answer. Why

24 were the Serbs mining the perimeter of the villages? Why would they place

25 land-mines around their villages? What was the purpose of that?

Page 10818

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was not enough population in

2 the Serb villages, because 80 per cent of the population in the

3 municipality of Srebrenica was Muslim. So in whatever area they felt they

4 did not have sufficient cover from a military point of view, they used the

5 land-mines and the artillery. They felt that if you had five -- four or

6 five houses standing together, it would be a village. So there was 80 per

7 cent of the Muslim population and 20 per cent of the Serb population, and

8 out of that 20 per cent, 10 per cent had houses in Serbia. And so they

9 made up for the fact that they didn't have a lot of population by laying

10 the land-mines.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: Does that satisfy you, Mr. Di Fazio, or do you want

12 to pursue it any further? I am not going to pursue it any further.


14 Q. Okay. So is it the case that you think that the fact that the

15 Serbs were -- speaking demographically, in a minority in the area, made

16 them scared, so they mined their own villages? Is that a fair summary or

17 not?

18 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, you're going to confuse him. When you

19 say "they mined their own villages --"


21 Q. Mined the areas around their villages.

22 A. No. No, no. A land-mine is a type of weapon, in much the same

23 way that they used the artillery weapons and rifles, they used mines as

24 well. It is an offensive weapon. They used it for the purposes of

25 destruction, not just around the villages. Jezero is not a village. They

Page 10819

1 had three rows of mines there. So they did not come to Fakovici and so

2 on, they would get to the Muslim village of Zanjevo and they placed

3 land-mines there as well. Wherever they felt that Muslim civilians were

4 likely to walk by to look for food, they would place land-mines.

5 Q. So you're talking about the deliberate laying of mines in areas

6 where they expected Serb --

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. -- to walk in their search for food -- sorry, Muslims to walk in

9 their search for food, so that they would be either killed or maimed; is

10 that correct?

11 A. Yes. Voljevica is a purely Muslim village, and the fact that the

12 civilians went to their fields in order to collect food led them to place

13 land-mines in the cornfields, in the barns. It was their intention to

14 kill and maim Muslims.

15 Q. Okay. But that's the laying of mines in their fields and around

16 their villages; is that correct? And the killings and maimings, which

17 undoubtedly occurred, result --

18 A. No, no. What I have just said --

19 MR. JONES: Your Honours, sorry. It's just the "their" is

20 ambiguous as well. If might be confusing the witness. If we could say in

21 the Muslim fields and around Muslim villages. He says, "explain Voljevica

22 being a Muslim village," otherwise it is ambiguous.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: I would agree with you there.

24 MR. DI FAZIO: All right. Okay.

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did say Muslim villages. Let me

Page 10820












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

13 English transcripts.













Page 10821

1 clarify this once again. Voljevica is a purely Muslim village and those

2 were Muslim fields. And another proof of that: When we talked about the

3 dead bodies in Fakovici, they laid land-mines there. I mean, they were in

4 no danger whatsoever, but did it intentionally to kill as many Muslims as

5 possible.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's cut this short, because I think basically we

7 are just digressing.

8 Would you agree with me, Mr. Buric, that the placing of land-mines

9 around villages -- around Serbian villages, in particular, was meant for

10 both defensive and offensive purposes?

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I just point this out once

12 again. It was not just the Serb villages we are talking about. They laid

13 mines in the Muslim villages as well. Wherever they felt that the

14 population might be going at the crossings, at the access part through

15 their barns, et cetera, it was simply to kill people.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm not going to pursue it any further. I was clear

17 in my question that I was referring to Serb villages. So if you want to

18 pursue the matter any further, please do so, by all means, Mr. Di Fazio.

19 Otherwise we'll move to something else.

20 MR. DI FAZIO: We will. I just want to put a proposition.

21 Q. I suggest to you that the Serbs who lived in their villages in the

22 Srebrenica area mined the approaches to their own villages, primarily as a

23 defensive manoeuvre, and did so because they realised that there was a

24 growing and organised military resistance on the part of Bosniaks and

25 Muslims.

Page 10822

1 JUDGE AGIUS: Divide the question into two parts, please. I mean,

2 first ask him the first part of the question. And if he answers you in

3 the affirmative, then ask him why would they use that tactic.


5 Q. I suggest to you that the Serbs mined the approaches to their

6 villages as a defensive ploy, a defensive move.

7 A. I've already mentioned this. 80 per cent of the population is

8 Muslim. So now, if you look at the map of Srebrenica, 80 per cent of

9 Muslim villages are actually in the middle of land-mines. Let me just

10 make this clear. 80 per cent of Muslim villages are in the middle of

11 minefields created by Serbs. Perhaps humanitarian organisations have

12 these maps indicating where the land-mines are. 80 per cent of Muslim

13 villages are actually surrounded by Serb land-mines.

14 Q. Let's move to another topic. You mentioned that you were a member

15 of an organisation related -- that did work on behalf of war veterans.

16 Did you ever -- what's the name of that organisation?

17 A. I am a member of the association of war invalids and veterans of

18 Srebrenica.

19 Q. And when did you become a member of that organisation, that

20 association?

21 A. It is a voluntary organisation. I mean, anyone can set up an

22 association of this sort, but I think it must be 1997 or 1998.

23 Q. And are you still a member?

24 A. Yes, I am.

25 Q. Is Mr. Oric a member of that organisation, that association?

Page 10823

1 A. I do not know.

2 Q. Okay. Do you know Mr. Oric? Obviously you've said that -- I

3 gather from the way you've been talking that you know of him. What I

4 really would like --

5 A. Yes, I do know him.

6 Q. When did you first meet him?

7 A. The first time that I met him was some point at the beginning of

8 April, the end of March/beginning of April 1993.

9 Q. And where was that? Can you recall?

10 A. In Srebrenica.

11 Q. And how did you come to meet him on that occasion? Can you

12 remember?

13 A. We were gathering in the square in town. This was before

14 demilitarisation, and there were daily attacks by the Serbs. And I saw

15 him somewhere there.

16 Q. And when you met him on that occasion, did you find out what he

17 did in the Srebrenica area?

18 A. As to what we knew about Naser at Osmace and what we appreciated

19 about him was the ambush for the Arkan men at Potocari, because they used

20 to pillage and loot and kill. And in his village, they stopped them and

21 they could no longer get through. I mean, the Arkan's men. And that's

22 how I knew of him. And I remember that. So that was my first impression

23 of him.

24 Q. And that must have given you the impression of a fairly courageous

25 and resourceful man who was able to resist someone as -- like Arkan.

Page 10824

1 A. Yes. I of course appreciated his courage, and we all welcomed and

2 appreciated his courage.

3 Q. Had you known about him prior to meeting him in April of 1993, for

4 example, in 1992?

5 A. Well, we had heard -- I don't know the exact date when, but we

6 heard that Naser staged an ambush against these Arkan's men. But I think

7 it was in July 1992 that we heard about it.

8 MR. DI FAZIO: Sorry, would Your Honours just bear with me?

9 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly.

10 [Prosecution counsel confer]

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

12 Q. When did you hear about this ambush with -- sorry. It was July

13 1992 that you heard about the ambush that --

14 A. June or July. I can't really tell you exactly. I think it was in

15 June or July 1992 that we heard about it.

16 Q. All right. And did that, as far as you're aware, anyway, as far

17 as you're aware in the area of Osmace, mean that Mr. Oric acquired some

18 fame in Srebrenica, in the Osmace area?

19 A. I didn't understand the question.

20 Q. Following -- once you heard about his role in this Arkan business

21 in June or July of 1992, did he become more famous in your area?

22 A. No, nothing special. We just heard that he had staged an ambush.

23 This was about 20 kilometres away from us, and it was a very long way

24 away, as far as we were concerned. It didn't really mean anything to us.

25 Q. And that's the only time you heard about him in 1992?

Page 10825

1 A. That I heard of him for the first time?

2 Q. Yes. That's the only time you heard mention of him, was in 19 --

3 June or July of 1992, when you heard about his role in the Arkan business?

4 A. Well, we also heard in early 1993 is that he was holding the lines

5 at Potocari, that Serbs were trying daily and attacking Srebrenica from

6 Zuti Most, and that Naser was in Potocari and did not allow the line to be

7 moved, and that he was very brave in holding that line. We heard that

8 that part that he was holding, Potocari, was very stable, and we heard

9 that he was brave.

10 Q. All right. Do you know a fellow named Nedzib, Nedzib Habibovic,

11 Nedzib Habibovic?

12 A. No. I know Nedzib Delic, but not Habibovic.

13 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness be shown P21, thanks. It's on

14 Sanction.

15 Q. I just want to very quickly take you through this document. It

16 won't take long, Mr. Buric. From what you know of Mr. Oric, are some of

17 those details correct, his father's name is Dzemal, his mother's name is

18 Hata?

19 A. I went to his late father's funeral, but I really don't know what

20 his name was. I know that he was a Muslim from Potocari. I don't know

21 when he was born. I know that he was a policeman in Belgrade, a soldier.

22 I mean, I found that out later.

23 Q. When did you go to his late father's funeral? When was that?

24 A. I don't know exactly. Maybe it was in 2003 or 2004. I really

25 don't know. Maybe it was in 2001, 2002. I really don't know exactly what

Page 10826

1 year it was, but I know that I was there.

2 Q. Thank you. And were you invited or did you just go along to pay

3 your respects?

4 A. No. It's not our custom to invite people to the funeral. But all

5 of us exiled people from Srebrenica have this custom of going to the

6 funeral of one of our people.

7 Q. Okay. Now, look at the other detail under number 7. It

8 says "Srebrenica, OS commander." Have you got any idea what that might be

9 referring to in this document?

10 A. I didn't know that he was a commander of the armed forces. I

11 assumed that he had a group of his own and that he was in charge in

12 Potocari. In 1993, I didn't know that he was a commander of the armed

13 forces. I can state with a lot of certainty that I didn't even know that

14 there were any armed forces in Srebrenica.

15 Q. Thank you.

16 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness be shown P22.

17 Q. This document is apparently dated March of 1994, and it's to the

18 command of the 8th Operations Group Srebrenica, and it refers to a number

19 of decorations. And it says that Mr. Oric is the recipient of the Golden

20 Lily wartime decoration. Do you know anything about that? Firstly, did

21 you know that he received any such decoration? And secondly, if you do

22 know, do you know what he received it for?

23 A. I don't know that he received that. I would just like to say one

24 thing, though, Your Honours. In our B and H army, where units were

25 functioning, in Tuzla, Sarajevo, then for some exceptional achievement,

Page 10827

1 you would be decorated for downing an aeroplane or destroying some

2 artillery weapons or capturing a tank or something. So for that you would

3 get the Golden Lily. So I mean, I could just say that this is not the way

4 it was. We're talking about up until the year 2000. When I was working

5 for the Srebrenica municipality, you don't receive a decoration like this.

6 I had asked for some information to be provided about Naser Oric, and

7 there is no information, appropriate information for Naser Oric, because

8 then it would be accompanied by the proper paperwork. And this

9 decoration, as far as him being awarded it, was never accompanied by the

10 appropriate paperwork.

11 Q. Do you know how many other people in the Srebrenica area received

12 the Golden Lily award?

13 A. I don't know about the region of Srebrenica, but I know that

14 people from Srebrenica, about 20 people from Srebrenica, throughout the

15 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, received the Golden Lily. So these

16 were people who had lived in the area of Srebrenica before the war.

17 Q. Yes, thank you. I've finished with that exhibit.

18 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness be shown P32.

19 Q. I don't want to spend long on this. Just -- I'll tell you what

20 it's about. It's a Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina Supreme Command

21 Staff of the armed forces, dated 15th of April, 1993, and it's an order

22 apparently by the -- by Sefer Halilovic, Chief of the Supreme Staff of the

23 armed forces. And there's a special tribute being paid to various

24 defenders, various -- commendation to some units, commendation to some

25 institutions. And then, lastly, commendations to some individuals,

Page 10828












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

13 English transcripts.













Page 10829

1 including Naser Oric. Do you know what that commendation was about? If

2 you don't, that's fine.

3 A. In that period, and as I see in the heading, the 15th of March,

4 1993, there was a general offensive against Srebrenica. When about 90 per

5 cent of the territory had fallen, there was fierce fighting at the

6 approaches to the town of Srebrenica in that period, very close to the

7 centre. And we had managed to keep the Serb forces from entering, from

8 doing what they did in 1995. There was a lot of people in the town at the

9 time, and we did not allow them to enter. So I assume that this is why

10 Naser was commended in this way.

11 Q. But you don't actually know?

12 A. It was chaos in that period, from the 23rd of March, from

13 Kragljivoda, Osmace, there was fierce fighting going on.

14 Q. I understand all that. I've heard what you've said. All -- it's

15 a very simple question: Do you actually know the reason that he got that

16 commendation, the actual reason? If you don't know it, I'm --

17 A. No, no, I don't know.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: Before we leave this document, because the document,

19 at the top left-hand corner says 15th April. Your question, of course,

20 referred to the same date, 15th April. But in his answer, the witness

21 mentioned 15th of March, 1993. Could someone check with the B/C/S version

22 whether we have 15th March or 15th April 1993?

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I did not mention the 15th of

24 May. This was a continuation of the Serb offensive from the 23rd of

25 March.

Page 10830

1 JUDGE AGIUS: It makes it even more confused. Because the

2 confusion that seemed apparent at least is whether it was -- whether the

3 witness actually said 15th March 1993, and what shows up in the B/C/S

4 version of this document, and now we have, at least in the interpretation,

5 15th May of 1993.

6 So can someone -- if it is on Sanction, could we have the first

7 page. One moment, Mr. Buric. Could we just have the first page of the

8 document in the B/C/S version. So it's 15th of April. Okay. All right.

9 15th of April. Let's move. Stop. Finished. Next question.

10 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. Thank you.

11 Q. Mr. Buric, am I correct that this is your position regarding

12 Mr. Oric: You never heard of him being -- holding any position as overall

13 wartime commander of soldiers or fighters in the Srebrenica area?

14 A. I state with a great degree of certainty that he could not have

15 been a commander, and he was not a commander over the whole territory of

16 the Srebrenica region. He could have been a commander of the Potocari

17 group, however.

18 Q. And is it your position that there was - I'm not speaking about

19 Mr. Oric now - but there was just no one in overall command of any

20 fighters or soldiers in the Srebrenica area; there were just isolated,

21 individual groups of fighters who may or may not have had a commander, but

22 no command structure of any description at all, and most of all, no

23 single, overall commander?

24 A. He could not have been a commander, and he was not a commander of

25 all the units or groups, as you say, in the Srebrenica municipality. There

Page 10831

1 was no one who would be an overall commander, as you put it.

2 Q. Do you know of a publication called Dani, in Srebrenica -- in

3 Bosnia, sorry.

4 A. Nasi Dani doesn't exist in Srebrenica, but there is a weekly

5 magazine called Masi [phoen] Dani and Slobodna Bosna. There is a weekly

6 Nasi [phoen] Dani published in the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

7 Q. And do you know that one of the founders and first editors of this

8 magazine was a chap named Senad Pecanin? Have you ever heard of him?

9 A. No.

10 Q. Were you ever interviewed by any journalists or reporters or

11 writers from that newspaper or magazine or weekly, whatever is the right

12 description?

13 A. I don't know. Perhaps it was maybe Hasan Hadzic. Several people

14 came when I was working in the Srebrenica municipal office, but I really

15 can't remember.

16 Q. I think you might be right. I'll show you a document that I want

17 to -- I've got copies here. This has got no ERN numbers, if Your Honours

18 please. For the purposes of the Trial Chamber, this material was obtained

19 from the Internet.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: How far does the first publication of this weekly

21 go, Mr. Di Fazio?

22 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm not sure I understand Your Honour's question.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: When was it first published?

24 MR. DI FAZIO: The actual weekly?

25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, this Dani.

Page 10832

1 MR. DI FAZIO: This particular one or --

2 JUDGE AGIUS: No. This magazine or weekly or whatever it is.

3 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.

4 JUDGE AGIUS: How far does it go back?

5 MR. DI FAZIO: I don't know personally. But I understand, and I'm

6 only reporting what is my understanding --

7 JUDGE AGIUS: The witness just mentioned that he was sort of --

8 several people used to visit him when he was in Srebrenica.

9 MR. DI FAZIO: I see, yes.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: What I'm trying to find out is what period of time

11 is he referring to and whether this weekly was in existence then already.

12 So this is what I basically want to know.

13 Yes, Ms. Vidovic.

14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness

15 said "people came to see me while I was working," but he never said that

16 these visits took place when he was in Srebrenica.

17 Witness, did I understand you properly that you did not say that

18 you were visited in Srebrenica?

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I said that these visits were

20 at the Srebrenica municipal office in Tuzla, and it was after 1996.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: That means that line 12 of the previous page stands

22 to be corrected, because there is a specific mention of Srebrenica. I

23 don't know. I mean, I take your word for it, Madam Vidovic, but -- yes,

24 go ahead.


Page 10833

1 Q. All right. Now, you've got the B/C/S? Good. It's entitled --

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. It's entitled "Humane transfer of population Dani, Sarajevo,

4 Bosnia, on January 18 -- 19 -- 1999, by Hasan Hadzic." Now, what I want

5 you to do is just turn the pages over until you get to what is obviously

6 the -- purports to be an interview with you. Can you find that? I think

7 you'll find yours -- it's got grey on it, grey over the writing.

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And you're being apparently interviewed by this fellow. First

10 question is: Were you indeed interviewed by Mr. Hasan Hadzic, from Dani,

11 around that time, January of 1999?

12 A. Probably, yes.

13 Q. And it's pretty easy to make your way through the document, or the

14 interview. And it -- yes. It says that you're the deputy mayor for

15 social security of war veterans and disabled persons in Srebrenica. Do

16 you see that? Can you tell me yes or no? Do you see that?

17 A. Yes. Deputy mayor for social security at the Tuzla office. So

18 with the fall in 1995 and the arrival at the free territory municipal

19 office of the Srebrenica region -- was formed in Tuzla where it worked to

20 provide social security for war veterans and disabled persons.

21 Q. Thank you. Last question -- sorry. The second-to-last question

22 that apparently you were asked is a question that says: "What hurts the

23 most?" And you then go on to give an answer about events concerning

24 veterans. And then you say, at least what I have here in English: "All

25 of them, starting with Naser Oric, who honourably led us and whom we will

Page 10834

1 always trust, mostly still have the same rank they had in Srebrenica."

2 That's the only part that I'm asking you about now. My first

3 question is this: Did you say that to Mr. Hadzic, or words to that

4 effect, that Naser Oric honourably led you and whom you will always trust?

5 A. Just one moment so that we can clarify certain things. With the

6 demilitarisation of Srebrenica on the 18th of April, they received - I

7 don't know - as far as I can recall, they received some kind of letter

8 from Tuzla to form an operations group, a division - I don't know exactly,

9 because I was in the civilian structures - to form it and then - we're now

10 talking about after the demilitarisation - they, and I'm not really going

11 to deal with that, they made some kind of structure, schedule, units,

12 commanders. But this fragment, excerpt, is something -- these are my

13 private thoughts, because it talks about the expulsion of disabled people

14 from Srebrenica, from their apartments. And we, these invalids, disabled

15 persons, addressed President Alija Izetbegovic in a letter, and our --

16 through our representative, Aldo Smajlovic, that if he couldn't at least

17 provide the basic accommodation for the expellees from Srebrenica, then he

18 should make it possible for us to get out. I'm thinking of treatment,

19 because I spent a lot of time in the hospital.

20 So this is all referring to the period after the demilitarisation.

21 Q. I understand.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: Please, repeat the question.

23 And Mr. Buric, please try to answer the question and just the

24 question, without giving other information, for the time being. And then

25 we'll move to the rest of the information, if you are asked about it.

Page 10835


2 Q. You see, my question, Mr. Buric, is -- it's very simple, okay. On

3 the face of it, Mr. Hadzic asked you: "What hurts the most?" And you

4 gave an answer. Now, I'm not being callous, but I'm not interested in the

5 actual subject. What I'm interested in is part of your answer. And it

6 says: "All of them, starting with Naser Oric, who honourably led us and

7 whom we will always trust, mostly still have the same rank they had in

8 Srebrenica," and then you go on to talk about other matters.

9 Now, all I want to know is this. It's very simple. Did you say

10 to Mr. Hadzic those words or words to those effect, namely, that Naser

11 Oric honourably led you and that he's a man whom "we will always trust"?

12 A. I probably did say it. But I'm thinking of the period after the

13 demilitarisation. So this is the -- making units or putting units

14 together in the area of Srebrenica after the demilitarisation, and it was

15 after the 18th of April, 1993.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: Your microphone, Mr. Di Fazio.


18 Q. What did he do in the period of post-demilitarisation to

19 honourably lead you? Do you know what you might have been referring to?

20 Not just the creation of army units, surely.

21 A. I went to the civilian structures of the Srebrenica municipality

22 and they -- I don't know what they were doing then there in the military

23 structures. I, on the 1st of May, 1993, started to work in the civilian

24 structures, and Srebrenica was a demilitarised zone. Disarming occurred.

25 They ordered the creation of the 2nd Corps, of an operations group. They

Page 10836












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

13 English transcripts.













Page 10837

1 placed Naser as the commander of -- there was a division. So I'm talking

2 about the demilitarised zone, about the disarming of the units, the

3 handing over of the weapons. So all of his command duties are within the

4 demilitarised zone area.

5 Q. So we're not to read that as Naser Oric honourably leading you in

6 the period of 1992 up to April 1992, to demilitarisation. That's not what

7 you're talking about when you say that he honourably led you. You're

8 talking about other matters that happened after there was a peace of some

9 sort following demilitarisation?

10 A. Yes. It all refers to demilitarisation.

11 Q. I see. Thank you for that explanation.

12 You were asked a question, if you go back in the interview now,

13 just go backwards, by apparently the same journalist, and the question

14 was: "What about war veteran organisations? Have you contacted them?"

15 And then on -- you apparently gave the answer that follows, and it seems

16 that you said that: "On May 8, 1992, with 20 guys, I was the first

17 Bosniak to break through to the Drina River. And in my battalion, out of

18 320 fighters, 280 died during the war."

19 First question is this: Did you say that or words to that effect

20 in --

21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: Not for the time being. Let him answer the

23 question, please. The question refers as to whether he has made this

24 statement to the writer. Let him finish first. Let him finish first,

25 please.

Page 10838

1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the interpretation for

2 the witness is incorrect. The witness is receiving incorrect translation.

3 Could perhaps the witness read the text? I do apologise.

4 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm happy to do that, if Your Honours would --

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Di Fazio, please refer the witness to the

6 particular sentence in the paragraph and repeat your question. I mean, he

7 can read it himself. It's not a question of interpretation.


9 Q. It's only a little bit that I'm interested in. It's only a

10 small -- well, perhaps the first -- in English, Mr. Buric, I'm -- let's do

11 it this way. Find the question that starts, that says: "What about war

12 veteran organisations? Have you contacted them?" And then carefully read

13 your entire answer that follows and let us know when you've completed it.

14 A. The question is clear, and I'm going to give you an answer. My

15 area, Kragljivoda --

16 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. You haven't heard the question as yet,

17 Mr. Buric. And the question, very simply put, if I understood you well,

18 is whether the words that you have read here, whether you actually said

19 those words to Mr. Hadzic or not. For the time being that's the --

20 MR. DI FAZIO: Or words to that effect.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: Or words to that effect. If you remember having

22 said those words, say so. If you don't remember having said those words,

23 say so.

24 [Trial Chamber confers]

25 JUDGE AGIUS: The complaint was that Mr. Di Fazio's reading of the

Page 10839

1 English text was being wrongly interpreted in B/C/S. This is the

2 complaint of Ms. Vidovic, if I understand well.

3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Your Honour, it would be

4 better for the witness to read the actual text in this sentence which

5 says: Well, I did not ... And so on. Because the interpretation that he

6 received was totally incorrect. Do believe me. We can check it out

7 later.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: I do believe you, Ms. Vidovic. But I take it --

9 have you read this paragraph now, Mr. Buric, or not?

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. And do you remember -- do you recall

12 having said those words to Mr. Hadzic or words to that effect?

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could I explain what the reference

14 is?

15 JUDGE AGIUS: First, please answer the question whether you recall

16 having spoken those words to Mr. Hadzic.

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Then your question.


20 Q. Thank you. So you never said anything like that. Okay. Well, I

21 just want to --

22 JUDGE AGIUS: He said he doesn't recall. He is not saying that he

23 never did. He's saying that he doesn't recall. I was careful in what I

24 asked.

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could I just explain one point?

Page 10840


2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You have the exact data as to the

3 number killed from the village of Osmace, so you can see quite clearly

4 that the figure here, 280, is incorrect, because in the course of combat

5 activities, about 40 people were killed at Osmace. And we've got a list

6 with names and surnames. About 40 people from killed from Osmace, and not

7 280. And what about this 320? Yes, there were about 20 lads armed with

8 rifles. But -- and about 50 people from the group that operated in that

9 area throughout the war. It wasn't 320. And as to these numbers, 320 and

10 260 or whatever, even according to the structure after demilitarisation,

11 there were not 300 able-bodied men who could have been members of the

12 military service. So it is incorrect, because we've got the exact data as

13 to how many people were killed from Osmace.


15 Q. Okay. So you don't recall ever saying that, and furthermore, you

16 say it doesn't make sense because of those numbers you've just told us; is

17 that right?

18 A. I'm giving you the correct figures. Up until demilitarisation --

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Buric, just answer the question. It's a simple

20 question.

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, this information is incorrect.


23 Q. Okay. Further down, about halfway through your answer, I've got a

24 phrase there that you apparently said: "No one can deny that we set up a

25 large, free territory." It's about halfway through the answer. Do you

Page 10841

1 see that?

2 A. I do.

3 Q. Did you say that or words to that effect to the journalist?

4 A. No.

5 Q. And if I may take you to that earlier portion of your answer

6 there, I was asking you about: "Did you ever use the word "battalion" at

7 any time with this journalist, Hasan Hadzic, when giving the interview,

8 referring to people from your area, word "battalion"?

9 A. I don't recall mentioning the term "battalion."

10 Q. Thank you very much for answering those questions.

11 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I tender the exhibit.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: This will be Prosecution Exhibit P569.

13 Madam. Vidovic, I'm sorry I dealt with you the way I did, but when

14 I tell you "stop," obviously you're required to stop. If it's a question

15 of interpretation, just say it's a question of interpretation, and then I

16 will review my decision, obviously. But the way there was a clear

17 misunderstanding, all right? Thank you.

18 Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.


20 Q. You said in evidence on Thursday and Friday, you were talking

21 about your group in Osmace, and I can't remember the precise numbers, but

22 I think you said about 50 or so men armed with about 20 or 21 hunting

23 rifles. That's correct, isn't it? Did that situation change at all? Did

24 more men come and join this group that you've talked about in Osmace

25 throughout 1992?

Page 10842

1 A. Up until 1993 and the withdrawal of the refugee population, that

2 group earned about 50 rifles, up to 90 people, maximum, were engaged in

3 that area.

4 Q. So it increased by only a small number, about another 40 or so

5 men, later in 1992?

6 A. It increased maybe 100 per cent.

7 Q. You also said that it bore absolutely no semblance whatsoever to a

8 military unit of any description, and you recall Mr. Jones took you

9 through your questions and -- some questions establishing that you didn't

10 have barracks, you didn't have a commander, everyone joined voluntarily,

11 whether they wanted to stay or not was a matter for them. Do you recall

12 that evidence?

13 A. It is not clear to me what you meant, who was supposed to stay

14 where.

15 Q. All I'm saying is -- sorry. When you were answering questions

16 about this group in Osmace, Mr. Jones asked you questions about whether

17 there was any structure to this group and you -- and anything that might

18 make it resemble a military unit. And you pointed out that they had no

19 barracks, you received no weapons, there was no commander, and that people

20 were there voluntarily, they could come and go as they wished. Is that --

21 do you recall that evidence?

22 A. Yes. Well, there were no military units. Everything was on a

23 voluntary basis, without any arms and without any coercion. So whoever

24 wanted to could act to save their lives. So it was only volunteers and

25 there was no military structure whatsoever. There were no platoons,

Page 10843

1 companies, battalions, whatever.

2 Q. And did a leader of this group ever emerge, even in a natural way,

3 someone who simply seemed to take over, so to speak, and start to lead the

4 group?

5 A. What we did, the locals, we would choose the most stable person,

6 for example, somebody who had worked in the police force for a long time,

7 and we decided that perhaps he should be our leader. And he was Atif

8 Krdzic.

9 Q. And how did that come about? Was it a village meeting or was it

10 put to a vote? How did he emerge?

11 A. There wasn't a meeting or anything. I did say earlier on that

12 Osmace is made up of six hamlets and my hamlet, Mahala, was the biggest.

13 We had the majority, therefore, and therefore we suggested Atif Krdzic.

14 Q. I just want to briefly show you a document, P80. Defence counsel

15 showed you this document last week and he focussed your attention on

16 paragraph 3, or heading number 3. You can see, it's under the topic of

17 first formation structure. Number 1 is TO Potocari; number 2 is TO

18 Suceska; and number 3 is TO Osmace. Do you see that?

19 A. Yes, I do see that.

20 Q. I think, after having been shown the document, your position is

21 that this is not a document that really bears any resemblance to reality.

22 Is that fair enough?

23 A. Yes. It bears no resemblance to reality.

24 Q. And under number 3, you'd agree, would you, that there was never a

25 unit called A3, with 121 conscripts?

Page 10844












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

13 English transcripts.













Page 10845

1 A. The last time I had said that in March 1993, when those combat

2 activities were over, that even then there were not as many as 120 people

3 at Osmace. So throughout my testimony I referred to a group of about 50

4 men, up until the period of time toward the end of 1992, when the number

5 was increased.

6 Q. To what sort of numbers was it increased at the end of 1992?

7 JUDGE AGIUS: I think he's answered that question. He said

8 doubled, roughly.

9 MR. DI FAZIO: Oh, I'm sorry. Thank you.

10 A. There were perhaps 90 men in the group then.

11 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. Usher, I've finished with P80.

12 Q. Is Krdzic a fairly common name in the Osmace area, a fairly common

13 surname?

14 A. It is. That's the only area that you come across that name.

15 Q. And what about your surname, Buric? Is that a fairly common name

16 in Osmace?

17 A. It is, only in Osmace.

18 Q. What about Hukic?

19 A. There are Hukics in a couple of villages, and in Osmace too.

20 Q. What about Hasanovic?

21 A. In almost every village. There are quite a few Hasanovics.

22 Q. Handzic?

23 A. In a couple of villages.

24 Q. Jahic.

25 A. The same, a couple of villages.

Page 10846

1 Q. Delic?

2 A. Very many.

3 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me?

4 Thank you. I'd like to produce a document to the witness, if Your

5 Honours please. I've got English copies, and I can put the B/C/S on the

6 screen. We've got B/C/S copies coming down and they should be available

7 many in a matter of minutes. Is that okay with Your Honours? The witness

8 will be able to see it on the screen.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: It's okay with us, I suppose, if it's okay with the

10 Defence too.

11 MR. JONES: We don't have an ERN. So if we could know the ERN and

12 the date as well, if possible.

13 MR. DI FAZIO: 02115774.

14 MR. JONES: Is there a date, just to check we've got the right --

15 MR. DI FAZIO: No.

16 MR. JONES: That's fine with us.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: So, Usher, please, I want to make sure that the

18 witness has got on his monitor the B/C/S version. And please verify that

19 and confirm it to us. And the English version can be put on the ELMO, and

20 we can try and follow from there. And if there are any discrepancies,

21 then obviously please let us know.


23 Q. Firstly, if Your Honours please, just a question of translation.

24 I'd like you to look, if Your Honours please, to the top of the document,

25 as it progresses through, and look at that where it says "Osmace," you see

Page 10847

1 a thick black writing. Okay? Can we see the next page, please. Start at

2 the beginning and scroll through. I wonder if Your Honours would look at

3 that. It's only a minor point. I just want to clarify it before I ask

4 the witness any questions about this. All right? So there's the first

5 page. Now if we could see the second page. Sorry, that is the second

6 page.

7 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

8 JUDGE AGIUS: What we are looking at on this page now is what the

9 first --

10 MR. DI FAZIO: The second one.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: Number 17.

12 MR. DI FAZIO: 75, okay. Let's look at 76, the one ending 76.

13 Let's look at the one ending 77. And let's look at the one ending 78.

14 And finally, the one ending 79. If Your Honours please, that's -- to me

15 is an "A" and a 3, A3. The translation says "Unit 43." I think that's

16 wrong and I'd like to point that out to you. That's all I wanted to point

17 out and raise with you.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay? Okay. Of course, we are not telling you that

19 it is.

20 MR. DI FAZIO: No, but I raise that and that's the Prosecution's

21 position.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.


24 Q. Look at the names on that first page with -- bearing ERN number

25 that ends 5774. Do you recognise those people?

Page 10848

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And turn over to -- or rather, electronically I'll turn the page

3 so we have 7 -- 5775. Do you see that? And there are some names there.

4 Under number 25 is, I think, maybe your name, Nesib Buric. Do you see

5 that?

6 A. I do.

7 Q. Your father's name was Hasib?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. 18th October 1963. That's your date of birth?

10 A. It is.

11 Q. All right. And do you recognise the names of the other characters

12 set out there?

13 A. I do.

14 Q. Thank you. Next page, please. Do you recognise those people, the

15 names there?

16 A. I do.

17 Q. And next page, please.

18 A. I do.

19 Q. And the next few pages, if you'd just tell us, once you

20 recognise --

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Next one.

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Until we get to the end. Next one?

25 A. Yes.

Page 10849

1 Q. And the names at 121, Jahic Mehmeda, Mehmed, do you see that?

2 A. I do.

3 Q. On the face of this document, it appears to refer to the existence

4 of some sort of military unit called Osmace Territorial Defence TO unit, I

5 say, A, "A" for "apple," 3. Was there ever such a unit in existence?

6 A. No, definitely not, never. This is simply a census of the

7 inhabitants of Osmace, and, most definitely -- I mean, this is the census,

8 and, most definitely, only about 50 guys -- I think we should look at the

9 date, because this must have been drawn up during demilitarisation. But

10 if you look at the period of time between April and May, there were about

11 50 lads there.

12 MR. DI FAZIO: Your Honours, I think I have about five minutes.

13 JUDGE AGIUS: Six or seven minutes. It's up to you. But we need

14 to stop at 6.30, because I promised everyone that we would.

15 MR. DI FAZIO: Thanks.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Vidovic.

17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it seems to me that I

18 heard the witness say: "We have to look at the date," and I fail to see

19 this in the transcript.

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, and I also said that this was a

21 census of the population of Osmace, and not a reference to any group of

22 people being active or operational in the field.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Vidovic.

24 And thank you, Mr. Buric.

25 MR. DI FAZIO: Okay.

Page 10850

1 Q. You were shown --

2 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness be shown P80.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: Are we going to give this a number?

4 MR. DI FAZIO: In a moment. I can do it straight away, if we

5 finish. Sorry, Your Honours.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: This document that we see on the monitor will become

7 Prosecution Exhibit P570 [Realtime transcript read in error "578"].

8 Yes.


10 Q. It's only a minor point, Mr. Buric, but P80, which I showed you

11 earlier on, has a part under heading number 3, TO Osmace, a reference to

12 something called Osmace Company A3, with 121 conscripts, as P578 seems to

13 have. Does that alter your view of P80 as being a document unfounded in

14 reality, or not?

15 A. We can see that the date is the 19th of September, 1993. So I

16 don't know where this was drawn up within demilitarisation period. But I

17 can definitely state that up until demilitarisation, this is not something

18 that had existed.

19 MR. DI FAZIO: I think that would be an appropriate time, if

20 Your Honours please.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I noticed that -- thank you, and I noticed

22 that the document that you were expecting --

23 MR. DI FAZIO: It's just arrived.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: It's just arrived. You'll tender it tomorrow? All

25 right. Are you happy with that, Ms. -- Madam Vidovic?

Page 10851

1 MR. JONES: Yes.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I'm being told that when I said five exhibits,

3 this will become P570. Apparently it shows 578 in the transcript. That's

4 line 7 of page 88. So that stands to be corrected. I thank you,

5 Registrar.

6 So, Mr. Buric, we stop here for today. We'll give you a rest. We

7 will continue tomorrow morning at 9.00. Is it here in this same

8 courtroom? And hopefully we will finish with you tomorrow. You're

9 confident that you will finish tomorrow?

10 MR. DI FAZIO: I'll -- yes.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Good evening.

12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.28 p.m.,

13 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 13th day of

14 September, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.