1 Tuesday, 2 October 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good afternoon, everybody.
7 May you please call the case, Madam Registrar.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours.
9 This is case number IT-04-83-T, the Prosecutor versus Rasim Delic.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
11 May we have the appearances for the day, starting with the
13 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Good afternoon, Your Honours, Counsel, and everyone in and around
15 the courtroom. For the Prosecution, Daryl Mundis and Matthias Neuner,
16 assisted by our case manager, Alma Imamovic.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Mundis.
18 Yes, for the Defence.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good
20 afternoon, my colleagues from the Prosecution, to all in the courtroom and
21 around the courtroom.
22 I'm Vasvija Vidovic, with Nicholas Robson, representing General
23 Rasim Delic, with our assistant, Lejla Gluhic.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the witness please make the declaration.
25 Good afternoon, sir.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. I
2 solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing
3 but the truth.
4 WITNESS: NERMIN PESTO
5 [The witness answered through interpreter]
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. You may be seated, sir. Good
7 afternoon to you.
8 Mr. Mundis. Mr. Neuner.
9 MR. NEUNER: Good afternoon everybody in and around the
10 courtroom. Good afternoon, Witness.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
12 Examination by Mr. Neuner:
13 Q. What is your name?
14 A. My name is Nermin Pesto.
15 Q. Mr. Pesto, when were you born?
16 A. I was born on the 2nd of March, 1956.
17 MR. NEUNER: With the Court's permission, I would lead the witness
18 through his military career.
19 Q. In 1980 and 1981, you performed the regular military service in
20 the JNA; is that correct?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. And in September 1991, you left the JNA, having assumed the
23 position of captain of the reserve?
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 Q. Until May 1992, you worked in an organisation in Rogatica. Later
1 on, you found out that it was the Patriotic League for which you were
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. And in May 1992, you entered the ARBiH?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. And after having held positions in the 1st Rogatica Brigade and
7 the TO Kakanj, you became, in June 1993, an operations officer in OG
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. And in November 1993, you transferred to the 3rd Corps Command?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. From late 1993 until early -- until September 1997, you were chief
13 of the Operations Centre of the 3rd Corps?
14 A. I was the chief until 1997. You said "1994".
15 Q. I apologise. You were, from late 1993 until September 1997, in
16 that position?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Having held several positions afterwards, you retired in 2004 from
19 the army of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, holding the rank of
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thank you. I want to take you to your time when you arrived in
23 the 3rd Corps in November 1993. Could you tell us, at that point in time,
24 who was the commander of the 3rd Corps?
25 A. General Enver Hadzihasanovic was in command at the time, and then
1 in three or four days the commander was the late General Mehmed Alagic.
2 Is there something else?
3 Q. How long did Mr. Alagic perform the function of 3rd Corps
5 A. General Alagic was the corps commander from the beginning, from
6 November 1993, until the 27th of March or the 6th of April, 1994, when
7 Mr. Mahmuljin took over the command of the corps.
8 Q. And at the end of the war, who was commander of the 3rd Corps?
9 A. Mr. Mahmuljin.
10 Q. You confirmed that you had been head of the 3rd Corps Operations
11 Centre. Who was your superior in mid-1995?
12 A. My superior officer was Colonel Haso Ribo, G3 of the Corps
14 Q. To whom did Mr. Ribo report to?
15 A. To the chief of Staff, Colonel -- or -- yes, he was a colonel at
16 the time, Kadir Juso [as interpreted].
17 Q. Could you repeat the last name of the gentleman you just
18 mentioned, for the record?
19 A. Kadir Jusic.
20 Q. How many subordinates did you have as chief of the Operations
21 Centre in mid-1995?
22 A. I had two officers at the time, and I had one operator. The
23 operator would change, but what is important was that there were two
25 Q. Could you state the name of your two officers, your two
2 A. Captain Safet Sivro and Captain Mirsad Caluk.
3 Q. Could you very briefly describe the tasks of your 3rd Corps
4 Operations Centre?
5 A. The 3rd Corps Operations Centre had as its main function the
6 organisation and the control of the functioning of the internal and the
7 guard service in the corps and in all the subordinate units.
8 Q. Apart from the internal and guard service, were there any other
9 functions performed by your Operations Centre?
10 A. The Operations Centre's more important function was to take part
11 in the formation of forward command posts. We would draft the plans and
12 prepare the documentation that would be then maintained at the corps'
13 forward command posts.
14 Q. And with regard to the -- you stated the internal service -- or
15 you were providing internal services, you said. What internal services
16 were you providing, as the Operations Centre?
17 A. A small digression. You're talking about internal guard service.
18 No, it's the internal or the interior service, implying the shift duties.
19 The guard duty was something separate. That was doing the guard
20 activities. If you're asking me about the interior service, it was the
21 duty shift service. We had a management team on duty. This was in 1995.
22 Q. And what would this internal duty shift service provide for
23 services? What type of services would they provide?
24 A. The duty service would receive information, process information,
25 and pass on information. When I say "information," I'm thinking of
1 reports, regular, interim reports, telephone reports, and contacts of the
2 duty officer who would be in the duty officer's room.
3 Q. And could you tell us, in mid-July 1995, where were you stationed
4 or where were you working at that point in time?
5 A. Upon return from the operation to deblock Sarajevo, I was in
6 Zenica. I was in Zenica thus at the beginning of July and then throughout
7 the whole period until the end of the war I was at Zenica, at the main
8 command post in the building of the 3rd Corps.
9 Q. Thank you. I want to show you a document. Exhibit 494 will
10 appear on your screen shortly.
11 Having just established that you had been at the 3rd Corps
12 headquarter in Zenica in mid-July 1995, I'm interested, when the document
13 appears, whether you have ever seen that document.
14 Have you ever seen that document?
15 A. I saw it when I was preparing to testify with you.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat what he just
18 MR. NEUNER:
19 Q. Could you repeat your answer?
20 A. During preparation for my testimony, you showed me this document
21 from the General Staff, and I confirmed that on the basis of that, I --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Can counsel please turn off his microphone. We
23 have problems hearing correctly.
24 MR. NEUNER:
25 Q. Could you just repeat your last answer, please?
1 A. I saw this document during proofing with you a month ago in
2 Sarajevo, when I was giving my statement. I cannot recall -- I told you
3 at the time that I could not recall if I saw this document in 1997. But
4 later, while working with you, I saw that I was drafting my own orders,
5 the orders of the 3rd Corps Command to the subordinate units, on the basis
6 of this order, meaning that I must have then seen this order at the time.
7 I hope I was clear.
8 Q. Yes, you were. Could you just explain what own orders you then
9 drafted, based on that document?
10 A. We made operational orders on the basis of this order, the order
11 according to which the subordinate units would implement what the General
12 Staff was requesting.
13 Q. So if we look at paragraph 1 of this document, it deals with the
14 situation in Zepa; right? And paragraph 2 states that the front in Zepa
15 should be relieved. And picking up on your own words, you said that you
16 drafted an order to subordinate units. Could you explain, looking at
17 number 1, what did this order you drafted to subordinate units entail?
18 A. Probably the same as this item or paragraph, or very similar. I
19 cannot remember now what I wrote, but I probably wrote also that it was
20 essential to immediately undertake combat throughout the front in the area
21 of units of the 3rd Corps on the selected objects and axes.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Thank you. Only one microphone is needed,
23 either the lapel microphone or the other microphone. Thank you.
24 MR. NEUNER: Sorry, we're having some microphone problems. It's
25 not on.
1 Q. So do you remember to which units you sent your orders?
2 A. To all the units that were connected with us at the time. I
3 really cannot remember now, but yesterday, during proofing, I saw that
4 there were two operations groups, the 35th and 37th Divisions, and there
5 were three independent brigades, the 303rd, 319th, and 330th Light
7 Q. So if I understood you correctly, you believe you had sent orders
8 to them, implementing the order which is in front of you.
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. NEUNER: Could we have document PT2260 shown to the witness.
11 Are there some problems getting the document? PT -- or P02260,
12 yeah. Okay.
13 Q. We see here it's a document from the 18th of July, 1995, at 2000
15 If we could please go to the last page in the B/C/S just to look
16 at the initials, because I'm interested in who drafted this document.
17 Yes. We see here the initials "NP." Could you explain, what do
18 the initials "NP" stand for?
19 A. Those are my initials, "NP," and this "/HD," it's the typist,
20 Dervisa Heric.
21 Q. So am I right in assuming that at this point in time, you, as head
22 of the Operations Centre, have drafted this document in performing your
23 ordinary duties?
24 A. Yes.
25 MR. NEUNER: If we could look for a second at numbers 3 and 4 of
1 the document. In B/C/S, it's the first page.
2 Q. We see here, first of all, in the upper right-hand corner, it's
3 addressed to the General Staff in Kakanj. Can you confirm that?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And if you look at number 3 and 4, just an abstract, can you
6 explain what you're reporting about here?
7 A. It's a regular combat report, reporting to the superior command
8 that the planned attack was realised in the area of responsibility of the
9 319th and the 330th Light Brigade.
10 Q. And moving to number 1 and 2 of your report now, you're reporting
11 here about the 35th Division; right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Could you explain what you're reporting to the General Staff
14 Kakanj here?
15 A. Based on the report from the 35th Division, I made this report,
16 and it states that forces of the 35th Division, in coordination with the
17 El Mujahedin Detachment, carried out the necessary preparations and were
18 expecting combat to begin.
19 Should I read everything or can I just explain in brief?
20 Q. Just explain.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: If I may just interrupt you, Mr. Neuner, do you
22 need both microphones?
23 MR. NEUNER: I don't know how to switch one off. That's my
24 problem. I can either unplug the one -- technically, I have a problem. I
25 don't know how to switch one of the two off.
1 MR. MUNDIS: This came from the audio-visual booth two days ago.
2 They suggested this plan. And once you plug in the microphone, the lapel
3 microphone, they inform me the standard microphone doesn't work, although
4 the red light is on, but I had my doubts about whether this would be an
5 effective way to proceed, but the AV booth is the one who came in and
6 suggested this.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: The only problem I have is that when you have both
8 of them, I have an echo that I hear.
9 MR. NEUNER: I'm fine to switch this one off, but I understood the
10 suggestion from the AV booth was to especially wear this one. I'll switch
11 it off then, yeah.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do that which will be most efficient for your
13 purposes. We'll just have to bear the consequences.
14 MR. NEUNER: I hope this works.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let's hope so. Okay.
16 MR. NEUNER:
17 Q. Could you explain why you're reporting to Kakanj?
18 A. All reports did go to Kakanj.
19 Q. Why did you not report to Sarajevo General Staff?
20 A. That was the procedure. The General Staff was in Kakanj.
21 MR. NEUNER: Can I tender this document, Your Honour, please.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
23 please be given an exhibit number.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be Exhibit number 525.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
1 MR. NEUNER: I want to move on to the next document. It's P02279.
2 Q. You have just informed us that you have reported that combat in
3 the 35th Division should go on, and looking at this document now, I want
4 to follow up on this very point.
5 If we can scroll on the B/C/S a little bit down, please.
6 Could you first of all tell me who drafted the document?
7 A. These are my initials. I probably wrote that order, because at
8 the time I was the only operative in the Corps Command, in the G3.
9 Q. We see, if we scroll up on the B/C/S a little bit, that it is from
10 the 21st of July, so three days after the report we just discussed. If
11 you look at number 2, the first sentence, please, you're reporting here:
12 "The forces of the 35th Division started the attack combat
13 operations according to the Proljece plan ..."
14 Could you explain what the Proljece plan is?
15 A. Each planned attack has its code, its secret name, its name. In
16 this case, it was"Plan Proljece, spring," like the Operation T, Operation
17 Farz, Operation Proljece. Actually, Proljece was not an operation,
18 because it was done by the 35th Division, so it was not at an operation
20 MR. NEUNER: Can I have this document tendered into evidence, Your
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
23 please be given an exhibit number.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be Exhibit number 526.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
1 At what level was it, this one, now that it was not at the level
2 of operations, sir?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the level of a fight or combat.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thanks.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Battle.
6 MR. NEUNER:
7 Q. We have seen the order of the General Staff. We have heard that
8 you issued orders to subordinate units. We have seen now you have just
9 reported on the 21st of July that the combat has started. Could you
10 explain to the Chamber, once a combat has started, what role has the
11 Operations Centre in the 3rd Corps while the combat is ongoing?
12 A. The Operations Centre received reports from subordinate units and
13 had to inform the superior command about it. We would receive the
14 information, process it, and then pass it on.
15 Q. Okay. So I want to deal with this exact point now by showing you
16 a couple of documents relating to this combat going on in the 35th
17 Division, documents which relate to the evolution of combat and how you
18 report to your superior command, as you just stated.
19 The first document is P02298.
20 We see here it's a document from the 23rd of July, 1995. And if
21 you look at the initials "BS," could you state who drafted this document?
22 A. It was probably the duty officer, the operations duty officer.
23 There was a different one every day.
24 Q. Okay.
25 A. I didn't write this myself. I was probably off that day.
1 Q. I understand, but who is the abbreviation "BS" standing for?
2 A. Sinad Biramovic. He was an operative who occasionally worked at
3 G3, so these might as well be his initials.
4 Q. And if we look here at the first paragraph of that document, it
5 talks about, inter alia, that the El Mujahedin unit routed the Vukovi
6 Detachment. The El Mujahedin Detachment, together with the 1st Manoeuvre
7 Battalion, the 7th Muslim -- 7th Brigade routed the Vukovi Detachment. Do
8 you find this? It's in the first paragraph, starting with the first
9 hyphen here.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam Vidovic. Just a second.
11 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if the witness could
13 look at the document without the Prosecutor leading him to believe or say
14 something that isn't in the actual document. It is being put to the
15 witness that the El Mujahedin was together with these units, which does
16 not faithfully reflect the substance of the document itself.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Neuner.
18 MR. NEUNER: I will rephrase my question.
19 Q. It says here -- I agree now, I was misled myself. It says here:
20 "The El Mujahedin Detachment ..."
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Get the witness to read and let's get the evidence
22 from the witness, sir.
23 MR. NEUNER: Yes.
24 Q. If you look at the first hyphen which mentions the El Mujahedin
25 Detachment and the Vukovi Detachment, if you have a look at this, please.
1 Could you explain, to which army did the Vukovi Detachment belong to?
2 A. Probably the Serb forces, the Chetnik forces.
3 Q. And if you look here at the place names, Cevaljusa, Nikolino Brdo,
4 would you know where these places are located, in which AOR?
5 A. The 35th Division.
6 MR. NEUNER: Could I have this document tendered into evidence,
7 Your Honours.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
9 please be given an exhibit number.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be Exhibit number 527.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
12 Yes, Mr. Neuner.
13 MR. NEUNER: I want to move on to the next document, P2316.
14 I don't think that this is the document. 2316. Yes.
15 Q. Could you, looking at the initials, state first of all who has
16 drafted it?
17 A. These are my initials, so I was probably the one who produced it.
18 Q. And I want you to look at the second paragraph, starting
19 with: "Snage Odrena." If you have a look briefly. It talks here again
20 about Nikolino Brdo, Ravne and later Potsjelovo. Could you explain where
21 was the combat which you were reporting about, in which zone's AOR, which
22 unit's AOR?
23 A. The 35th Division.
24 Q. If you look at the initials in the upper middle of the document,
25 could you explain what these initials are meant?
1 A. I signed this document, personally, instead of the commander,
2 Colonel Ekrem Alihodzic. This was done in the morning hours, and the
3 reason was he was absent from the command post. The next morning, when he
4 arrived at the Command, I showed him this document and he initialled it,
5 because he had by now seen it. That's that.
6 MR. NEUNER: I ask the document please be entered into evidence.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
8 please be given an exhibit number.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be Exhibit number 528.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
11 MR. NEUNER: I want to move on to document P02342, the last report
12 about combat activities I'm showing you.
13 Q. We see here it's a document from the 29th of July, 1995, and we
14 can see in the addressee list again, as in the previous documents, among
15 others, Kakanj is the addressee. I'm interested in section 2 of the
16 document, which is, I believe, on the second page of the B/C/S. There is
17 a subheading "35th Division" there, and in English it is page 4.
18 If you have a short look at this subject section, please. You
19 were reporting here that El Mujahedin and the 328th Brigade move a forward
20 defence line to two points, 702 and 552. Can you see that?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Could you explain, in whose units, AOR, this combat is taking
24 A. The 35th Division, within the 35th Division -- well, I'm not sure
25 what the subdivision was in terms of areas of responsibility. You can
1 probably find that in the documents of the 35th Division, in their plan.
2 Q. We've seen now a couple of documents in which you report about
3 ongoing combat activities. Could you explain, did you get any response
4 from Kakanj?
5 A. I can't remember, but I don't think so.
6 MR. NEUNER: I wish to tender this document into evidence.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
8 please be given an exhibit number.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be Exhibit number 529.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
11 Mr. Neuner.
12 MR. NEUNER:
13 Q. I want to move on to another aspect of the combat occurring in the
14 35th Division AOR. Could you explain whether, during these combat
15 activities, any prisoners of war had been taken, any materiel, or any
16 documents have been seized?
17 A. I don't know. The documents that I looked at during my proofing
18 contain references to those who were captured, but I didn't see any of
19 those simply because I was in Zenica myself.
20 Q. I didn't ask whether you have seen them but whether you know that
21 prisoners had been taken or other items seized --
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I simply must object
24 to this line of questioning and the general misdemeanor on the part of the
25 OTP. Obviously, this is not the only witness. We've had this with
1 several witnesses already. Witnesses say, "I never heard anything about
2 POWs, I didn't know about those at the time," and then they say, "the
3 Prosecutor showed me certain documents, this and that, and what we just
4 heard as I was being proofed." I really don't get it. What is this
5 supposed to mean? Does it mean that we, the actual parties, must confront
6 witnesses with documents that they've never seen before, something they
7 were entirely unaware of as all of this was happening, and then in chief
8 the Prosecutor or --
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just make your objection and get to the point on
10 the objection. What is your objection? You're objecting that this
11 witness is being asked questions about things he knows nothing about?
12 Make the point. It doesn't help to give a long lecture. You've got to
13 give the basis of your objection.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with all due respect,
15 it is not my intention to lecture anyone. I am trying to point out that
16 there is a very serious form of behaviour at work here that is unseemly
17 for an international court of law like this. I wish to get my objection
18 on the record in its entirety.
19 I object to -- I object to such questions being asked of the
20 witnesses --
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Which questions, Madam Vidovic?
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] -- given the fact that -- the last
23 question about information concerning POWs. It is clear that the witness
24 is expected to answer based on documents that he was shown during his
25 proofing. It is furthermore clear that the witness has already told us he
1 knew nothing about these.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Neuner.
3 MR. NEUNER: The only thing I wish to state is that I have only
4 selected documents which were drafted by this witness, and in these
5 documents there are certain features, including POWs, items seized, and
6 documents mentioned, so I'm not basically asking him to talk about
7 something he does not know about. I'm asking him to comment upon his own
9 I cannot exclude the fact that he has forgotten, in the meantime,
10 about it, but I'm only showing him his own documents.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's what I find very surprising, Mr. Neuner,
12 from your point of view. I've seen at least two documents that are
13 drafted -- were drafted by this witness in which POWs are mentioned. You
14 didn't ask him -- you did not draw his attention to those paragraphs.
15 Now, when the documents are gone, you're asking him, and he gets the
16 answer -- he gives you the answer that he gives you, you get an objection,
17 because he now says he knows nothing, and yet his own reports talk about
18 those issues.
19 MR. NEUNER: Yes. I have the documents listed here, ready to go,
20 and I thought I established, before I showed him individual documents, his
21 general knowledge about these issues without leading him. This was
22 actually my intention.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, but if you refer a witness to a document that
24 he drafted and you ask him about the contents of that document, are you
25 leading him?
1 MR. NEUNER: I'm not leading him. Just before doing this, I
2 wanted to establish his general knowledge about POWs taken, MTS taken, and
3 other issues, so this is, I think, in all fairness to the witness, giving
4 him a chance to say something without showing him his own documents. I'm
5 prepared to show him his own documents in any moment.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: You already have.
7 MR. NEUNER: But in these documents, I didn't --
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm not -- well, I saw statements to the effect
9 that Chetniks have been picked up. There was one that talked about 20, at
10 least, that I saw, and you didn't refer this witness to the contents of
11 the document, you just got him to look at the initials, who signed it,
12 whose initials they are. You tendered it into evidence.
13 MR. NEUNER: I will be prepared to follow Your Honour's advice for
14 the following documents and see whether I get further objections or
15 hopefully that I succeed.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Please do. For the time being, this objection is
17 upheld. Just do the things correctly.
18 MR. NEUNER: Could PT or P02289 be shown to the witness.
19 Q. So we see here this 2289 -- I believe it is a different document,
20 to be honest. We had this document a moment ago. I'm sorry. This is the
21 wrong document. I need 2289. Thank you. Yes.
22 So we see here it's from the 22nd of July, 1995. It's in addition
23 to the regular combat report.
24 Could you, first of all, explain who drafted it?
25 A. My initials. Could you please bring the document up a little? I
1 signed it. I was the officer in charge on that particularly -- on that
2 particular operations duty team.
3 Q. And I want you to look at the third-last paragraph from the
4 bottom, or in the English it's the very last paragraph of the first page.
5 Could you explain the entry you are making here?
6 A. Based on a report by the 35th Division, and I had processed that
7 report and adjusted it for the purposes of informing General Staff, the
8 35th Division informed us that they had processed documents captured from
9 the 1st Prnjavor Brigade, their intelligence organ. They had questioned
10 prisoners and realised that their forces had been decimated. Eventually,
11 it reads --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, could the witness please be
13 asked to read more slowly when quoting from the document.
14 MR. NEUNER:
15 Q. Could you quote again, and slower?
16 A. It reads that after processing the seized documents of the
17 intelligence body of the 1st Prnjavor Light Infantry Brigade and
18 interviewing those captured, we learned that the forces of the 1st
19 Prnjavor Light Infantry Brigade had been decimated.
20 Q. If I can just stop you here, it talks about interviewing of
21 captives. Do you know who interviewed them?
22 A. I don't know.
23 Q. Do you know anything about the fate of the persons who were
25 A. Well, much less even. I was up in Zenica. I didn't hear anything
1 about their fate.
2 Q. Did you get, from the General Staff in Kakanj, any response
3 relating to what you reported about?
4 A. I don't remember. It has been a very long time. I don't know if
5 anything happened about this. If so, it was probably down the security
6 line or through the intelligence organs. However, it was the established
7 practice, following a report that was submitted, to review anything. In
8 particular, sometimes there would be orders about something that had gone
9 awry. As for this, in particular, I don't think so. I can't say either
10 way, whether anything happened or, in fact, nothing happened.
11 MR. NEUNER: I wish to tender the document into evidence, please.
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: Hold on a bit, Mr. Neuner, because the Presiding
13 Judge just invited you to be a little more careful in discussing the
14 issues with the witness, and the last sentence of the part that he read
15 out seems to suggest that there has been some sort of a disagreement with
16 the El Mujahid Detachment, who apparently burned some of the papers. So
17 the issue that raises out of this is, of course, whether anyone from the
18 El Mujahid Detachment was involved in the questioning of prisoners of war
19 and whether they were involved in the seizure and destruction of
21 MR. NEUNER: I believe I have tried to clarify who was
22 interviewing and didn't get an answer for which unit did it, but I want to
23 ask the second question.
24 Q. You have heard Your Honour Judge Harhoff. He was interested in
25 who was involved in the seizure and destruction of the documents. It
1 says "burning" here.
2 A. The report by the 35th Division says that this was done by
3 fighters from the El Mujahedin Detachment. Whether they were there or
4 not, I don't know, I can't comment, because I wasn't actually over there.
5 MR. NEUNER: Can I ask that the document please be tendered into
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Judge Lattanzi wanted to ask something.
8 The document is admitted into evidence. May it please be given an
9 exhibit number.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be Exhibit number 530.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
12 MR. NEUNER: I want to move on to document --
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: What's the date of this document?
14 MR. NEUNER: 22nd of July. I want to move on to document 2319
16 Q. We see it's a document from three days later, 25th of July, also
17 sent to Kakanj, and I'm interested in the last page, namely, the question
18 who drafted the document, or the second-last page, please.
19 Could we go to the second-last page in B/C/S, please. Scroll down
20 a little bit, please. Thank you.
21 Who has drafted it?
22 A. I am the final author. When I say "the final author," by this
23 time we had started making reports in each of the departments, G3, the
24 corps department. Item number 6, for example, it was the security
25 department that drafted that. They provided him with that particular
1 portion, and the document was signed by Colonel Ekrem Alihodzic.
2 Q. If you look at the number section, information provided by the
3 security department, it talks here about processing of captured members.
4 Could you explain what that refers to?
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Could we have the English a little bit enlarged,
6 please? We can't see what you're referring to.
7 MR. NEUNER: Previous page actually. In English, it should be
8 page 6.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, take us to the relevant page, so that when
10 you read, we can read with you, Mr. Neuner.
11 MR. NEUNER: It's page 7 right now. We need to go to page 6,
12 yeah, and below, the section "Security." Thank you. And we see the first
13 paragraph here mentioning processing of captured members. In the second
14 line, Your Honour, under number 6, it talks about processing of captured
15 members of the platoon of Bosniak Muslims.
16 Q. Could you explain what is meant here?
17 A. The reference here is probably to statements being taken from the
18 Muslims who, as the document shows, were from Prnjavor. Processing means
19 the taking of statements in order to obtain maximum intelligence and
20 security information on the enemy. That's what processing means, but this
21 is in error. They were not captured. They were, in fact, set free,
22 because they had been used by the aggressor to perform labour. This was
23 written by a fellow officer of mine from the security department.
24 Q. Would you know his name?
25 A. I can't remember his name right now.
1 MR. NEUNER: Nevertheless, based on this explanation, I would seek
2 to tender the document into evidence, please.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
4 please be given an exhibit number.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be Exhibit number 531.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
7 MR. NEUNER: I have one last document relating to POWs and
8 Bosniaks, P02324. The document we just saw was from the 25th of July, and
9 this document, if we can maybe in the B/C/S go to the second page just for
10 a second, we see here it is dated a day later, the 26th of July. And to
11 help you familiarise yourself with the document, if we could go in B/C/S
12 to the last page for a second to check for the initials of the drafter.
13 Could we scroll down, please. Yes.
14 Q. You see here the initials are "NP." Who has drafted the document?
15 A. I did.
16 Q. Okay. So I want to take you in that document, in B/C/S, to page
17 5, namely, its first paragraph. And in English, corresponding to that, is
18 page 9, the second paragraph.
19 We see here, in the second sentence, "a total of 11 surviving
20 members of work platoons of Muslim ethnicity were captured together with
21 12 Chetniks, as well as one T-55 tank."
22 Could you explain where, in whose AOR, these people have been
24 A. I'm looking at page 2, and then I can see page 4, but that's not
1 Q. I said page 5 of the --
2 A. Perhaps what I need to look at is page 3 in the B/C/S.
3 Q. Is it page 3 in the B/C/S? On page 5, actually, it says "Page 5."
4 Yes. I think it's the first paragraph here.
5 A. That's it.
6 Q. Yes. We see here the 12 Chetniks and the 11 persons of Muslim or
7 Bosniak ethnicity. Could you explain where -- in whose AOR were these
8 people captured?
9 A. This paragraph refers to the 35th Division, and then after that
10 you have the area of responsibility of the 37th Division. So this must
11 have been in the area of responsibility of the 35th Division.
12 Q. And you see here for the first time numbers mentioned.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Twelve Chetniks and 11 surviving members. Could you explain -- we
15 talked before about Muslims from work platoons. Are we talking about one
16 and the same group or are we talking about different groups here?
17 A. Probably the same or it's a coincidence that there were 11 on the
18 other side, but it was in the area of responsibility of the 35th
19 Division. I don't know if those 11 that we mentioned earlier -- or
20 perhaps this was in some other place. I don't know. It's not possible to
21 conclude if the 11 mentioned previously are the same as these 11 now. We
22 don't have any names.
23 MR. NEUNER: Okay. Nevertheless, I wish to tender the document,
24 based on the explanations given, into evidence.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
1 please be given an exhibit number.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be Exhibit number 532.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
4 MR. NEUNER:
5 Q. I want to ask you, what role did the Operations Centre play when
6 high guests or distinguished guests were visiting the 3rd Corps?
7 A. The Operations Centre was in charge of preparing the operations
8 room or the briefing room, meaning that you would draw the name tags,
9 indicate where people would be sitting. If the commanders were at the --
10 if the meetings were at the commander's office, then we were not there;
11 only if the meetings were held in the operations room, then we would be
12 doing these preparations.
13 Q. Who was superior to Mr. Mahmuljin?
14 A. The commander of the army, General Rasim Delic.
15 Q. Do you remember whether Rasim Delic visited the 3rd Corps in 1995
16 and 1994?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. With whom would Mr. Delic meet if he would come to the 3rd Corps?
19 A. With the commander, and if the commander was not there, the chief
20 of Staff. If both of them were absent, then with the deputy commanders.
21 Q. When, if at all, did you see Mr. Delic visiting?
22 A. I saw him several times over the period of those three years,
23 1993, 1994, 1995. When I say "several times," I mean three or four times
24 a year; not frequently, but he would come to the Corps Command, yes.
25 Q. We saw that in your documents, a couple of times El Mujahedin
1 units -- the El Mujahedin Detachment was mentioned. Did you ever meet a
2 member of that detachment during the war?
3 A. Like I said to you yesterday during the proofing, the first time I
4 saw two or three members of the Mujahedin movement, I was with General
5 Nehru Ganic, and we received those three in the duty operations room,
6 those three Mujahid members. And I think we discussed then the transfer
7 of the Mujahid movement from the -- detachment from the Bosnia Operations
8 Group to the 3rd Corps. I think that was the one time that I saw those
9 three Mujahedin come. We didn't really have any access later. As I said,
10 the El Mujahedin Detachment, we did send orders to them, but none of us
11 ever went there to check what the situation was there in the field; are
12 they organised, do they have documents. They never reported to us. They
13 never sent reports about anything that they requested. They were their
14 own, as we would say.
15 Q. So apart from that visit of the three gentlemen, did you at any
16 point in time again encounter a member of the El Mujahedin Detachment?
17 A. No.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: If I may just get some clarification here, what is
19 the Bosnia Operations Group from which the El Mujahedin Detachment was
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I didn't
22 say "Operations Group Bosna." The Operations Group Bosna was a forerunner
23 of the 35th Brigade --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat his answer?
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: You are asked to repeat your answer.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I said "Bosanska Krajina, I
2 didn't say "Operative Group Bosnia." These are two operations groups.
3 Operations Group Bosnia -- Bosna is in Zavidovici, and that is where the
4 35th Division was formed from. Where the Mujahedin were before they came
5 to the 3rd Corps, they were in the Operations Group or the operations
6 group zone of the Bosanska Krajina group in Travnik, I think they were in
7 some village near Travnik, I believe. I don't know how many of them there
8 were. I also don't know the exact date when they came to us.
9 Are you satisfied with the answer?
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Not quite. Maybe it was a question of translation,
11 because what was written -- what's written here was what you said, they
12 had been transferred from the Bosna Operations Group, but you've explained
13 what the difference is.
14 My question to you now is: Of what army, if at all, was the
15 Bosanska Krajina Group near Travnik a unit of, if it was indeed a unit of
16 an army?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The Operations Group Zapad and
18 Bosanska Krajina were units of the 3rd Corps. By forming the 7th Corps,
19 they then were transferred to the 7th Corps, on the 4th of April, 1994.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let me understand you. Are you then saying that
21 the El Mujahedin Detachment was being transferred from the Bosanska
22 Krajina Group to the 3rd Corps?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: So it has been transferred from a unit of the 3rd
25 Corps to be subordinated directly to the 3rd Corps without coming
1 underneath a unit within the 3rd Corps?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that point in time, yes.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
4 MR. NEUNER:
5 Q. Could you state who was the 7th Corps commander in 1994 and 1995?
6 A. The late General Mehmed Alagic.
7 Q. And you have mentioned OG Bosna also in your response. To whom
8 was OG Bosna subordinated to?
9 A. To the 3rd Corps Command.
10 Q. I want to come to my last topic relating to September 1995. Where
11 were you, in the first half of this month, employed?
12 A. Could you please repeat the question?
13 Q. In the first half of September 1995, where were you working?
14 A. At the Corps Command in Zenica.
15 Q. Your subordinate Safet Sivro, where did he work the first half of
16 September 1995?
17 A. After returning from the Forward Command Post Orahovo near
18 Sarajevo, he went to the corps' forward command post in Zavidovici right
20 Q. To do what?
21 A. An operative officer, operations officer.
22 Q. Working in the IKM of the 3rd Corps?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Where was Haso Ribo working in this time period, your superior?
25 A. At the IKM also in Zavidovici.
1 MR. NEUNER: I believe it is time for the break. I'm two to three
2 minutes from being done, maybe five, so I leave it in your hands.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: You have used one hour 15 minutes of your one
4 hour. You realise that.
5 We'll take a break and come back at 4.00.
6 Court adjourned.
7 --- Recess taken at 3.30 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 4.03 p.m.
9 MR. NEUNER:
10 Q. Witness, I want to take you directly to PT2 -- please?
11 A. Your Honours, if I may provide a clarification.
12 Earlier, when we were talking about the Operations Group Bosanska
13 Krajina, I have no information. I don't know that they were part of the
14 Mujahedin, that they were part of the Bosanska Krajina Operations Group.
15 I don't know if they were their members. I'm afraid that from my
16 statement earlier, you could interpret that they were in the establishment
17 formation of the 7th Corps or the Operations Group Bosanska Krajina, but
18 this is something that I don't know. All I know is that they were from
19 the environs of Travnik and then that they came to the village of Sarici,
20 I think, near Zenica.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Pesto, I am not sure I understood exactly.
23 When did you see these three members of the El Mujahid Detachment and
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I said, then they were talking
1 about whether it was the Bosanska Krajina Operations Group, so it was in
2 the summer, or at the end of the winter, or in the spring of 1994. I'm
3 not sure whether they were from the Operations Group Bosanska Krajina,
4 that zone, or whether that was already the 7th Corps, when they came to
5 the village of Sarici.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: And that is where you saw them?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, no, no. No, I didn't. I
8 saw those three who came to the Corps Command.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Who did they come to talk to at the Command?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were received by the chief of
12 Staff, Nehru Ganic.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: And was it him only they spoke to?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the duty officer's room, there
15 was only myself and Mr. Ganic. As for what we talked about, please
16 believe me when I say that I don't know now, and I don't have that in my
17 notes. I don't have any information in my notes, what we talked about.
18 That's why I couldn't find the exact date when we spoke.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: But they only spoke to you and Mr. Ganic?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With Mr. Ganic. I was just present
21 as the operations officer.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
23 You may proceed, sir.
24 MR. NEUNER:
25 Q. I wanted to talk about September 1995, but since you just referred
1 back to 1994 and the El Mujahedin Detachment, I want to show you a
2 document, PT1740. Maybe this helps you recalling certain events.
3 Actually, the date is not exactly visible. It says here in the
4 English translation "3rd of May, 1994", and if we scroll down to see who
5 drafted the document, could you tell us whether you recognise the document
6 and who drafted it?
7 A. They're my initials, so it was probably me, I drafted it, because
8 my handwriting is in the paragraph marked "1." I wrote something in
10 Q. At 2(b), it mentions here -- this is, I think, from May 1994, the
11 document. It mentions here also the El Mujahid Detachment. Do you recall
12 the incident or why you drafted this?
13 A. What, the incident?
14 Q. I mean, why you drafted this. It refers here to several units,
15 Ogiceva, 330 Light Brigade, 319th Mountain Brigade, El Mujahid Detachment
16 and so on. Do you recall why you drafted this?
17 A. Not specifically, no, but I can comment on this, that the El
18 Mujahid Detachment is in OG3 North, is part of it, because it's in that
20 Q. Could you explain where the headquarter of OG3 North is?
21 A. At the 3rd Corps IKM at Postojna. This is a settlement before
22 Topcic Polje near Zenica.
23 MR. NEUNER: Could I ask that the document please be tendered into
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
1 please be given an exhibit number.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be Exhibit number 533.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
4 Yes, Mr. Neuner.
5 MR. NEUNER: I want to go back to September 1995 now.
6 Q. You explained to us where Mr. Sivro was before the break, and if
7 you look at PT2566 for a moment -- excuse me, 2561. Exhibit 394, I'm
8 told. Yes. And I'm interested in entry number 1, which is, I believe, on
9 the second -- the third page in the B/C/S, as well as on the third page in
10 the English. Entry number 9 in English. In English, we see entry number
11 1 here. We need the next page, I believe. Could we in English go to the
12 next page, please. Yes, it can stay like this.
13 It is an entry we see from the 10th of September, 1995, at 0030 in
14 the morning, and could you first of all look at the signature on the
15 right-hand side. Whose signature is this?
16 A. Of my operative, Safet Sivro.
17 Q. Thank you. Could you explain what the entry relates to? Could
18 you explain what is happening here?
19 A. Captain Safet Sivro here from the Forward Command Post, called me.
20 I was the duty operations officer at the 3rd Corps Command, so by chance
21 my name happens to be there because I was on duty over there. And he
22 asked that the intelligence unit implements the order from the General
23 Staff that arrived at the IKM, and not because it came as a preparatory
24 order. As far as I know, the order always went via Zenica. Here, it was
25 probably a routine assignment, because every other day we would provide
1 important aggressor targets because the NATO bombing was underway.
2 So it could not be something that could be linked to the operation
3 that was going to ensue, this particular information, and it was forwarded
4 on from Zenica because Ekrem Alihodzic, who was looking at the mail, knew
5 that in the intelligence sector there were only one or two officers who
6 could not resolve that, so he sent that to the chief of the intelligence
7 section at the IKM. And then, in turn, he ordered the -- actually, the
8 corps commander ordered Safet Sivro to call the duty operations officer to
9 finish this assignment in Zenica. These were probably just routine tasks
10 that were not related to the operation. This is my conclusion about why
11 he had called me, but I cannot remember the particulars about when he
12 called me and what happened.
13 Q. No problem. Did you follow up and contact the intelligence
14 officer, because that's what Mr. Sivro appears to have in mind?
15 A. Probably, yes.
16 Q. I want to show you the last document. It's PT2566. This entry
17 was from the 10th of September. The document is from a day later, you
18 will see.
19 First of all, whose handwriting is this?
20 A. It's my handwriting.
21 Q. If we look in the English, we see it says: "Assistant Commanders
22 Briefing." Could you explain what an assistant commanders briefing is?
23 A. These are regular briefings of the assistant commander, reporting
24 to the commander or the acting commander about the activities in the
25 sections, the intelligence, operations, morale, personnel, security,
1 finance, legal affairs and logistics, all those sectors, and at the end
2 would be the garrison affairs. The briefings were on Mondays, Wednesdays
3 and Fridays, and these were regular briefings.
4 Q. And where were these briefings held?
5 A. At the commander's office at the 3rd Corps Command.
6 Q. I understand that. So you're reporting here the situation of your
7 own forces. Could you explain what you're doing here?
8 A. After the intelligence officer informs about the enemy activities
9 over the past two days, then I report and inform the deputy commanders
10 about our forces and of the tasks of the G3 sector that are connected to
11 other departments or sectors.
12 Q. I want to turn to the first remark made by Nermin Prijic. Could
13 you first of all explain who is Nermin Prijic?
14 A. Prijic.
15 Q. Who is -- in which field of work was Mr. Nermin Prijic working?
16 A. He was the desk officer for intelligence, in the intelligence
18 Q. He is reporting here, in the first line, that about 100 Chetniks
19 remain encircled in Pejanovici sector. Could you explain what that means?
20 A. Based on his information and information that came through the
21 intelligence organ's information channel and the operations channel,
22 meaning the regular and interim reports received by the officer, he
23 received information that 100 Chetniks were encircled in the Pejanovici
24 area. "Encircled" means that they were surrounded or encircled. I don't
25 know whether the number of 100 is the correct number or whether the sector
1 is correct or not. I can't know that. But, anyway, that is the
2 information that he presented at the briefing.
3 Q. About which AOR -- about which unit's AOR is Mr. Prijic reporting?
4 A. About the operation that was afoot in the area of responsibility
5 of the 35th Division.
6 Q. If I show you a map of the wider area, would you be in a position
7 to find Pejanovici?
8 A. Why not?
9 MR. NEUNER: If please the map from Court binder number 12 could
10 be shown. The ERN is 0618-6712.
11 Q. While this is being -- before this is being shown on the screen,
12 could you tell us when these briefings would take place, at what time of
13 the day?
14 A. In the morning, 8.00, half past 8.00.
15 Q. So Mr. Prijic is reporting this, then, at about 8.00, half past
16 8.00 in the morning; yeah?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. If you look on this map, would you find Pejanovici sector?
19 A. The map's unclear. Can we zoom in, please?
20 Q. Actually, if we could --
21 A. To the right -- I think this is the wrong map. We need the map
22 with Pozovici, which is northeast of Vozuce -- northeast of Vozuca.
23 Q. We could also -- okay. As it is -- I just see here the location
24 is not shown. If we scroll down a little bit in the map, if you have a
25 second look at it now, please.
1 A. Yes, Pejanovici.
2 MR. NEUNER: If he could please get a Stelo so he could encircled
4 A. [Marks].
5 MR. NEUNER:
6 Q. I see you have marked the location of Pejanovici. Could you mark
7 a "1" next to it, please.
8 A. [Marks].
9 MR. NEUNER: Thank you. I would ask the map please be tendered
10 into evidence.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: The map is admitted into evidence. May it please
12 be given an exhibit number.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be Exhibit number 534.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
15 MR. NEUNER: Before I ask that the document be tendered:
16 Q. Could you explain the significance -- or how was the reaction in
17 the room when it was announced that 100 Chetniks would be encircled in
18 this sector of Pejanovici?
19 A. This was very good news for our morale, very, very good news for
20 our forces. It means that we inflicted a military defeat on the enemy and
21 that we were about to liberate a part of Bosnia.
22 Q. Could you explain which forces managed to encircled the Chetniks?
23 Which army managed to encircle?
24 A. I don't know. Our forces that were involved in the operation, the
25 forces of the 3rd Corps. I do know that, but specifically as to the exact
1 unit that was there, I don't know. I wasn't there, myself.
2 Q. But units of the 3rd Corps?
3 A. Yes.
4 MR. NEUNER: Can I ask that the document please be tendered into
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
7 please be given an exhibit number.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be Exhibit number 535.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
10 MR. NEUNER: The Prosecution has no further questions.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Neuner.
12 Madam Vidovic.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
14 Cross-examination by Ms. Vidovic:
15 Q. Good afternoon, Witness. I'm Vasvija Vidovic. I'll be asking you
16 questions on behalf of the Rasim Delic Defence team.
17 Could you please speak as slowly as possible so that everything
18 gets recorded. It is in the nature of cross-examination, as such, that
19 you will be able to answer a great deal of my questions with a
20 simple "yes" or "no." Should you require any further explanations, please
21 say so.
22 A. I understand.
23 Q. Since we don't have that much time, I will ask you directly about
24 issues related to the role and functioning of the Operations Centre of
25 which you were head; right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. At the time, you had very few people working for you there, as you
3 said; right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You had two administrators or desk officers and several people who
6 occasionally helped out with that; right?
7 A. Yes, two administrators, desk officers, and a stenographer, as
8 well as an operator.
9 Q. You also said that as head of the Operations Centre, or at least
10 that was my understanding of what you had said, you had the responsibility
11 of organising the work of the Operations Centre at the command post and
12 many of the forward command posts and observation posts of the commander
13 throughout 1995. Is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do you agree with me that to cover a number of forward command
16 posts, and I am putting to you which ones specifically, during the Farz
17 operation, Klek, Luca, Kumanista, Stavci, Natron and Postojna, I think
18 that post was mentioned, too, right, and then another two, commanders'
19 observation posts, plus the principal command post, the main command post
20 in Zenica, would I be right that given the shortage of manpower, it was
21 very difficult to effectively cover all of your responsibilities?
22 A. Yes, that's a fair statement.
23 Q. Just so that everybody understands, I think it is necessary for
24 you to explain to us a number of issues that have to do with the
25 functioning of the centre. This is for our benefit, so that we may
1 understand what sort of documents were being produced there and what it
2 was, generally speaking.
3 Let me ask you this first: It's true, isn't it, that you were in
4 charge of keeping planning documents primarily; right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Work plans, a log of daily orders, and a duty roster; right?
7 A. Yes, that's quite right.
8 Q. Then you kept records, operations log, war log, minutes from
9 briefings such as the ones we looked at earlier today; right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. This also included reports or information documents; right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Regular and interim reports; right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Analysis of the implementation of monthly plans?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And analysis of combat readiness; is that right?
18 A. Analysis of combat readiness, that is something we did, because I
19 was the only one there at the time, at the Corps Command. I mean,
20 normally this sort of document would be produced by the Department for
21 Planning and Monitoring Combat Operations.
22 Q. Thank you very much for this additional elucidation. Let me ask
23 you this now: The planning documents thus you mentioned and that you
24 enumerated, those were prepared and produced, but in practical terms, amid
25 all the fighting and combat, one often had to give them up in some ways,
1 right, or there were aberrations from these reports?
2 A. Yes, that's right.
3 Q. The situation in this part of Bosnia, the Ozren and Vozuca area,
4 for example, during the Farz operation, was such that the planning
5 documents could simply not be kept on a regular basis; is that right?
6 Things happened ...
7 A. For the most part, we tried to go on producing these documents. I
8 don't know about regularity, though. It's difficult for me to say.
9 Q. This is the gist of my question. Amid much fighting and combat,
10 it was impossible to keep neat and regular documents, in terms of planning
11 documents; right?
12 A. That's right, it is just as you suggest.
13 Q. Now, let me ask you something about these records, such as, for
14 example, operations logs, war logs. We had been looking at a number of
15 those during this trial. You were head of the Operations Centre. Do you
16 agree with me that the operations logs, for example, or war logs were not
17 priority documents, were not a priority for the Operations Centre; right?
18 A. The operations log was, to some extent. As for the war log, it
19 was something that one of my clerks did, but this would normally get done
20 two or three months post facto. Sometimes a day or two would be skipped
21 in the war log when the desk officer was away. Those days would simply
22 not get recorded at all. The war log that we kept was not kept on a daily
23 basis, because people were busy elsewhere and there was nobody around to
24 do it.
25 Q. All right. Can you please elaborate on this? My understanding
1 was this: Daily entries were made into the war log, whatever was
2 happening at the time, but that is in fact not true at all, is it?
3 A. No, it's not.
4 Q. So sometimes several days went by before someone eventually sat
5 down to it and recorded something based on their memory; right?
6 A. Not then, not necessarily based on their memory. They would get
7 old reports and they would extract the meaning from them. This would
8 normally include a brief description of the situation on a particular
9 day. This might be recorded two or three months later. I realised at one
10 point, for example, that it wasn't being kept, I would tell my desk
11 officer to go back to it and get the job done, then he would update the
12 whole thing. And then I would forget about it for a while again and he
13 would keep on doing the same thing, but the document was not being
14 regularly updated at the 3rd Corps level.
15 Q. Thank you very much.
16 A. I wish we had a copy of that document available now so we could
17 check closely.
18 Q. Let me ask you this: As you were being proofed for your
19 testimony, was such a document ever shown to you?
20 A. Not document. It's actually a book, a 500-page book, and I wasn't
21 shown that, the war log.
22 Q. As you were being proofed, were you shown that or not?
23 A. No, I wasn't.
24 Q. All right. I will now go back to my previous topic.
25 Witness, please, it is true, or at least that's what I understand
1 you to be saying, that certain persons were entering information into this
2 war log, and it depended entirely on them, regardless of whether we are
3 talking about the operations log or the war log, what sort of information
4 would be recorded; right?
5 A. Yes, you're entirely right.
6 Q. This information being entered into the operations log or the war
7 log was, in fact, entered by the operations duty officer, whoever happened
8 to be there; right?
9 A. Yes, that's right.
10 Q. Is my understanding correct, sir, these people were not actually
11 physically present when all of this was happening; somebody was informing
12 them about what was going on? I mean the operations logs and the war
13 logs, not the regular combat reports.
14 A. The war log was something that was kept at the Corps Command, and
15 the entries that were made were made in a chronological order reflecting
16 developments across units, the Command and so on and so forth. It was
17 often the case, however, that entries were made at a later stage
18 additionally. As for the operations log, another document that was kept
19 at the time, this was a compulsory document kept at forward command posts
20 and back at the Command, and it is the duty operations officer who is in
21 charge of this document, whoever happens to be on duty. They get
22 information by telephone, and then this gets recorded. In 95 per cent of
23 the cases, the officer gets information by telephone, and then this
24 information gets recorded, without verifying whether information is, in
25 fact, true or not.
1 Q. Let me ask you this: The operations log, the war log, these two
2 are official documents, aren't they?
3 A. Indeed.
4 Q. Is my understanding correct, these actually had to be stamped,
5 they had to be sealed at the end of each and every one of these documents
6 there would be an official stamp, seal; right?
7 A. Yes. Once these eventually got filed, the documents were stamped
8 or sealed. Every time you have a book that is kept, you need to somehow
9 complete it, and this is normally done by putting a seal on it.
10 Q. Can you please just tell me what this means, to complete a book or
11 a document? You have the last entry for a particular day, for example, so
12 this is then ratified. A line is drawn under it, marking the end of that
13 log. There needs to be a stamp, and this needs signing by whoever
14 confirms that this is the end of that particular document, and then there
15 is a stamp. Is that the procedure?
16 A. That is the procedure, but I'm not sure we put the stamp there,
17 not always at the end, but the general procedure is, indeed, what you
18 suggest. A filing number is given, a date is given. The document is
19 signed. And that's it. I'm not sure if you are referring specifically to
20 a document that you have in mind, but you know that this was always the
21 case, the procedure was always the same every time records were kept,
22 especially in relation to forward command posts. A line is drawn under a
23 document, the date is recorded, for example, the 18th of September, 1500
24 hours. You might get to read something like that. A line is drawn, and
25 that's that.
1 Q. And can you please tell the Trial Chamber how this is ratified,
2 how this is confirmed? Where do we see that on a given document? Is it
3 the same place where the line is drawn?
4 A. Yes, that's where it's supposed to be. I'm not sure which
5 specific document you have in mind, but someone signs it and then
6 certifies this by putting a seal on it.
7 Q. In other words, it's the person's signature that gets certified?
8 A. Yes, right.
9 Q. Regardless of whether we're talking about the operations log or
10 the war log, about the register or whatever, we have a situation, for
11 example, developments on a given day, a certain person hands over, another
12 person takes over, comes on duty, and then there is a blank that runs into
13 20 or more pages with no entries, and then at the end we see: "Certified
14 by," "This book contains 35 lists," and so on and so forth. Is something
15 like that possible or did this have to be certified, the very end of all
16 entries made to a particular book?
17 A. When the book is opened, at the end it's written that the book has
18 so many pages, and then it's certified either by the chief of Staff or the
19 commander of the chief of the office. This is done at the end of each
20 book that is opened. Even the work books that we used, the procedure is
21 the same. Sometimes pages were skipped. I know in the war log or diary,
22 pages were skipped. That's what we did in our books.
23 Q. Just one moment, just one moment. The number of pages is
24 certified precisely so that somebody would not rip a page out, copy
25 something or add something. Pages should not be ripped out from that
2 A. No, no. In no case, yes. This was not something that should have
3 been allowed to happen.
4 Q. So if it said that a book had 95 pages, it had to have had 95
6 A. In 1995 as well as now, today, it would still have to have the
7 same number of pages.
8 Q. All right, very well. So I am correct when I say that the last
9 entry, at the end of the last entry, has to be something that bears a
10 stamp and the signature of the person indicating that that was the end of
11 the data entries, so that something else could not be added on
13 A. Yes, that's how it should have been. I'm not sure if this was
14 certified by a stamp, but I would always, for example, sign my own books
15 at the end. I don't know if a stamp was used. I don't know if I had the
16 right to use a stamp or not, but I used my own signature to sign it.
17 Q. In other words, it had to have been entered that the book was
18 completed and that the fact that it was completed was something that
19 Nermin Pesto certified of?
20 A. Yes, that is correct.
21 Q. All right. Now I'm going to ask you something about information
22 and the accuracy of information that was being entered into the war or the
23 operations logs or diaries.
24 Do you agree that the information and its accuracy directly
25 depended on the way the person that was receiving the information -- or
1 actually that was sending the information first about the event, and then
2 the person that was receiving that information, understood that
3 information; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And it also directly depended on the knowledge and the experience
6 of that person?
7 A. Yes, particularly so.
8 Q. In other words, it depended on whether the person had military
9 training, would they understand properly what they were supposed to write
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now I would like to show you one of these logs or diaries.
13 Can we please show the witness Exhibit 394.
14 Your Honours, I expected, and I wrote that in the letter to my
15 colleagues in the Prosecution, that they would need to bring the original
16 of this logbook, but in any case perhaps Mr. Pesto can tell us, without
17 looking at the original. Perhaps he can give us some explanations, in any
19 Mr. Pesto, please, it seems here we don't have any -- if I can ask
20 my colleague Mr. Mundis about the original that we had yesterday. That
21 was this original of this document. Does the Prosecution still have this
22 document with them here in the courtroom now?
23 MR. MUNDIS: No. Those documents need to be returned to the
24 evidence vault every evening. I wasn't aware that she'd -- that my
25 learned colleague wanted the document again today. We can send an e-mail
1 out and try to get it here. It will take some time to get it signed out
2 of the evidence vault. But if she wants it, we can certainly attempt to
3 have it. I'm sure we'll have it at the beginning after the next break.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Will you please try to do that.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Very well, Your Honours. In
6 connection with this document, I'm going to go back behind this document
7 after the break, but still when we have this document on our screens, I
8 would like the witness to look at a page of this document. This is page 3
9 of the Bosnian version, and it's the same page, actually, the same page 3
10 that the Prosecutor showed the witness earlier. Entry number 9. Yes,
11 that was all right.
12 Q. Witness, please, you gave us an explanation about this document.
13 All I want you to know is what I'm going to be asking you about. It says
14 an order arrived from the General Staff on furnishing information on
15 important aggressor military targets, and you explained to us that this
16 was something that was routine. Do you remember that?
17 A. I don't, but I assume that this was a routine task.
18 Q. Well, I'm asking you if you recall testifying to this effect
19 earlier today in connection with this document.
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] All right, thank you.
22 Your Honours, if at this point in time the witness can look at
23 document D503.
24 Can we put this document away, please. I'm going to go back to it
1 Q. We saw a little bit earlier, and that's why I showed you this
2 document -- do you recall that this was a document before that you saw for
3 the last time? This was an entry for the 10th of September, 1995. You saw
4 this in this diary; isn't that correct? And now I would like you to look
5 at this document and to read it to yourself.
6 Do you agree that --
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Excuse me, Madam Vidovic. Is this document dated
8 the 10th of September or is it the 9th of September? It looks like --
9 you're talking about an entry here, not the date. Thank you very much.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I wanted to say this document
11 is connected to that entry of the 10th.
12 Q. Witness, do you agree that this is a document of the General Staff
13 in Kakanj of the 9th of September, 1995, requesting the dispatch of
14 information via an order of the Commands of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and the
15 7th Corps and these divisions? I would like you to look where it says:
16 "For the purposes of completing and updating information on the
17 aggressor forces, urgently submit the coordinates of the aggressor's
18 important military targets in your area of responsibility, such as ..."
19 and then they are enumerated.
20 Your Honours, I would just like to scroll down the document so
21 that you can follow.
22 Do you agree that it says here that it was processed under KZ
23 cryptographic protection on the 9th of September, 1995, at 2207 hours; do
24 you agree?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And do you agree that the Corps Commands are giving a deadline
2 here for the implementation of that particular task?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, it's correct, isn't it, that at that time --
5 Your Honours, at this point in time, because of the information
6 that we are going to refer to, I would like to move into private session.
7 I'm not sure that it would be wise to put questions like this in open
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Please move into private session.
10 [Private session]
11 Page 3469 redacted. Private session
12 [Open session]
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
15 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at this entry for the
17 10th of September, 1995, which we looked at a little bit earlier. I think
18 that that's page 3 of the Bosnian version, Your Honours.
19 Q. Witness, I would like to ask you again, just look at the date
20 here. This entry bears the date the 10th of September, 1995, and do you
21 agree that this was at 0030 hours, right after midnight?
22 A. Yes, that is correct, and the task had to be implemented by 8.00
23 in the morning.
24 Q. All right, thank you. So that document that I showed you of the
25 General Staff of Kakanj is directly connected with what is ordered to you
1 in this entry; is that correct?
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. Thank you. I would like you to tell us a little bit more about
4 the reporting documents. This one can be put away, the document that is
5 on the screen.
6 We had the opportunity to see, and this is something that the
7 Prosecutor showed you today, we saw regular and interim reports for which
8 you've said were sent from the corps -- or actually they were sent from
9 the corps to the superior command; is that correct?
10 A. Yes, it is.
11 Q. And now, in order to understand -- in order for all of us in the
12 courtroom to understand, because we lack military training and we did not
13 work with the military, I would like to ask you to clarify the following:
14 It's correct, isn't it, that you personally did not -- or any person in
15 the Operations Centre did not -- the person drafting that report, it would
16 be wrong to believe that that person is the author of that text; am I
18 A. Absolutely.
19 Q. In other words, the text that you draft as a combat report is
20 actually something that you receive from the subordinate unit, and then
21 you put it all together, several reports like that from different units,
22 and then you compile one report on combat actions, which you then forward
23 to the superior command; am I correct?
24 A. Yes, you are.
25 Q. So to simplify all of that, in your Operations Centre, the
1 operations duty officer sits. Simply, he receives this report, and he
2 does not check the information; is that correct?
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. He processes it -- go ahead. You wanted to say something?
5 A. Especially if he sees something that something is not quite right
6 or if he has doubts about the accuracy of the information, he would check
7 whether it was correct or not by telephone. He has the right to do that.
8 Q. All right. In view of the large volume of work that they had,
9 what do you think, did they check this information?
10 A. I believe that they did not. During proofing, I told the
11 Prosecutor that unfortunately -- well, my commander is here and I can say
12 that there were cases when reports that were sent to the superior command
13 were even done by messengers. They would copy what happened the day
14 before. I mean, things like that happened. There were different
15 officers, trained and those who did not have any training. There were
16 lazy and there were diligent officers.
17 Q. Thank you very much. I understand now.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: I beg your pardon. I don't understand. What does
20 the "doing by messengers" mean when you say, "My commander is here and I
21 can say that there were cases when the reports that were sent to the
22 superior command were even done by messengers"? What does that mean?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry that after 12 or 15 years
24 my commander finds out only now that reports were sometimes produced by
25 messengers, couriers in the units. The duty officer tasks a courier, a
1 messenger, with doing this -- I'm not sure what to call them, a messenger,
2 and they put it together, they put the gist there, and then the other guy
3 tells him to type it up for him and off he goes.
4 I tried to find a way around this by introducing the following
5 procedure, and this received the support of the brigadier, the chief of
6 Staff. Everyone in the department had to verify their own input, and
7 that's when better quality reports, if I may put it that way, started
8 being produced.
9 I hope that I have now clarified sufficiently for your purposes,
10 Your Honour.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much for that point.
12 When you say they copied what happened the day before, what do you
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, believe me, there were reports
15 that I checked myself a day or two later, a Tuesday, for example, and then
16 the report reads: "Given the fact that yesterday was a day of, the
17 situation at the unit commands remained unchanged." And the previous day,
18 for example, was a working Monday. I remember that. And I also remember
19 the name of the officer who actually wrote this, but he asked me to please
20 not mention his name here.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: We will not force you to mention his name here.
22 Okay. So, in other words, he just repeats what was reported the previous
23 day; he's not reporting today's report? He copies what was recorded
24 yesterday, a report which --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: -- he already gave yesterday, he repeats it today.
2 Okay, now I understand. Thank you very much.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Given the fact that you were physically present there, do you
5 remember that -- do you agree that the 3rd Corps was facing problems with
6 inaccurate reporting by subordinate units?
7 A. Yes, that's right.
8 Q. Certain units inappropriately amplified their own success in terms
9 of capturing POWs or MTS and such like; am I right?
10 A. Yes. The commander of the 303rd Brigade was actually dismissed or
11 replaced because of untruthful reporting. I think it was sometime in 1994
12 or early 1995. Stojanovic was the name of the commander, I believe. He
13 was reporting during the clashes with the HVO that they had shifted some
14 lines, that they had taken a strategically-important hill or elevation,
15 but they never specified. It was all just about him obtaining more
16 ammunition. It was about him informing other people that he had carried
17 out an attack, whereas in actual fact he hadn't, not at all.
18 There was a lot of amplifying and exaggerating, various issues
19 that were being reported, in order to improve combat morale but also
20 because some people were simply not familiar with the situation.
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the last part of
22 the witness's answer.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. And is it true that the commander of the --
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry. Madam Vidovic, may I ask that you pause
1 a little bit after the witness has answered, can you do the same, because
2 the interpreters come after you and they finish some time after you, and
3 if you now then carry on speaking, you overlap with him. The interpreter
4 said he didn't hear the last part of your last answer. Can we finish
5 that, please.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Witness, you spoke in the last part of your answer about how
8 reports were amplified and exaggerated, various issues being blown out of
9 proportion that were being reported on, and you said something else. Do
10 you remember what?
11 A. I mentioned the Command of the 303rd, and there were other cases
12 about that. This was about inaccurate or erroneous reporting, false
13 reporting, if you like, under quotation marks, because we or the duty
14 operations officer didn't know whether the information was in fact true or
15 not, and there was a lot of exaggerating. As I was being proofed, I told
16 the Prosecutor, when the intelligence officer said 100 Chetniks are
17 surrounded, as soon as I heard of this, I told the Prosecutor that they
18 should drop half of those, 100 divided by 2, in other words, because I
19 simply wasn't certain that they were feeding me accurate information.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: But then on what basis would you think, then, there
21 were 50 and not hundred?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm generalising. When I was
23 receiving information on a daily basis and an intelligence officer, for
24 example, would tell me there were 50 of them, we would divide it by
25 2. "Take some and leave some," that's what we say.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Then you, yourself, added to the confusion. You
2 realise this? Maybe you should have divided by three, maybe by four.
3 Maybe you should have multiplied by ten. Now, you're adding to the
4 confusion by tampering with the data. You realise that?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, we didn't tamper with
6 information. We just passed it on.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: If you reduce 100 to 50, if you say "divide it by
8 two," you're tampering, aren't you? Or let me back off. You're saying --
9 in conversation, you say, "Okay, it cannot be 100, it should be 50," but
10 in your reporting, you pass on the figure 100 that you received; is that
11 what you are saying?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Then I'm sorry, I beg your pardon.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, too. I think there's
15 been a misunderstanding. As I was being proofed, I said that I wouldn't
16 take anything that intelligence officers were saying at face value.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay, we understand. You just didn't believe them,
18 but you passed the information as it came?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Witness, you refused to take this at face value simply because you
22 had ascertained yourself that there had been various cases and issues that
23 had been exaggerated in the past; right?
24 A. Yes, probably, but it's difficult for me to say now because you've
25 got me a little mixed up, if I may put it that way.
1 Q. Let me ask you this now: You remember the problem of false
2 information or inaccurate reporting reaching such levels that the morale
3 department had to hold a briefing about this that was attended by General
4 Delic; do you remember that?
5 A. This main factor occurred several times. I'm not sure if
6 Mr. Delic was there, but this subject was discussed several times and
7 commanders were invited to go and see General Mahmuljin, to be subjected
8 to criticism for doing that. They'd be out on their ear, that's what he
9 was telling them, and they stopped doing that. I'm not sure if Delic was
10 there or not.
11 Q. All right. In other words, General Mahmuljin would not just be
12 making something like this up unless obviously there was a real problem
13 like that in the 3rd Corps, an actual problem?
14 A. He was 100 per cent right in being adamant about this.
15 Q. All right. I'll now move on to something else.
16 You were shown today quite a number of documents about reports,
17 the reports that we are now talking about, the reports that were being
18 submitted to the Kakanj command post. You remember seeing that; right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you said that this was how it worked: The reports, combat
21 reports, were delivered to the Kakanj command post, and this was something
22 that was envisaged in a specific order; right?
23 A. Yes, you're quite right.
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] All right. Well, at this point in
25 time I would like the witness to look at a set of documents marked as
1 D446. This contains a number of reports on combat operations. The OTP,
2 in fact, confronted the witness with these documents today, but I do want
3 the witness to look at a number of other documents, too, primarily page 1
4 of this set.
5 I think this is the page, and if I could ask the witness to please
6 just pay close to attention to the portion mentioned by the Prosecutor.
7 You said that you wrote and dispatched this report.
8 Q. Can you just please look at the portion in reference to units of
9 the 35th Division, and of course you see that the El Mujahedin unit is
10 described here as being primarily in charge of the task at hand, and you
11 also confirm for us that this document would eventually be sent to the
12 General Staff, the command post of Kakanj. You see that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. So this is about carrying out actually combat operations on the
15 18th of July; right?
16 All right. Could the witness now please go to page 3 of this
17 set. Page 3. Just a moment, please. All right.
18 This is page 4. Could we please have page 3 of the B/C/S, or the
19 previous page, if that's any easier. Right, thank you.
20 Witness, do you agree that this is a document by the Army General
21 Staff, Kakanj?
22 A. The Administration for Operational Planning.
23 Q. Yes, the 19th of July, 1995, and it's a report on the situation in
24 the BH theatre of war on the 18th of July, 1995. Could you please now
25 just look at the addressees? Do you not agree that it reads the president
1 of the Presidency, the army commander and so on and so forth? Do you
3 A. Yes, right.
4 Q. Witness, you've seen this report. I'm not asking you about the
5 way it was dispatched. I'll be asking you about the information that you
6 looked at a while ago which had to do with the El Mujahedin Detachment.
7 And one thing I would like to ask you: You agree that this information
8 would normally be part of the report concerning the area of responsibility
9 of the 3rd Corps of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Could you please
10 locate that part, "Activities of the Aggressor," and then if we could go
11 to the next page, please, if that can -- if the witness can be shown the
12 next page.
13 A. The commander was in Sarajevo.
14 Q. Yes, we'll get to that. Yes, yes.
15 Can we just look, please? What I'm interested in is this -- this
16 information about activities by the 3rd Corps. For example, look at the
17 third paragraph from the top down.
18 A. There's no reference there whatsoever to that, is there?
19 Q. You agree that this is a very small piece of information being
20 submitted to Sarajevo and there is no mention at all of the information
21 that we looked at a while ago; right?
22 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear the witness.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes. I don't know where the parties are talking
24 about. Can we be told where to read?
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is the part that
1 begins with -- that, yes. That is, I think, paragraph number four down
2 under this -- below this title that says "Activities by our Forces."
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the President, please.
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, and then it reads: "In the area
5 of responsibility of the 3rd Corps."
6 Q. So, Witness, you've seen that, haven't you, the information on the
7 area of responsibility of the 35th Division that you saw earlier on is not
8 included, is it?
9 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter believes the witness says, "Yes,
10 that's right."
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Did you say "yes," sir, to the question?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right. It's not
13 mentioned there, the information that we looked at a while ago.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: The interpreter says he believes you said "yes."
15 He doesn't -- he didn't hear you say "yes."
16 You can go another two minutes, if you can make use of them. Are
17 you moving to a new topic?
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] A different document, Your Honour.
19 The two minutes just won't do, unfortunately. I think it's better to
20 break now, if possible.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay, fine. We'll take a break and come back at
22 quarter to 6.00.
23 Court adjourned.
24 --- Recess taken at 5.15 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 5.47 p.m.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Witness, we stopped for the break when we were dealing with this
4 set of documents.
5 Now I'm going to ask that the witness be shown page 14 of the
6 Bosnian version.
7 Witness, the Prosecutor showed you this document, if you remember.
8 A. Yes.
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is on page 21 of
10 the English version.
11 Q. I think that the Prosecutor showed you paragraph 3 of this
12 document, Witness, if you'll recall. Can you please look. It's the
13 document talking about the acts by the El Mujahid Detachment. If you can
14 look at it again.
15 Can we look at the English version also. Maybe we can scroll down
16 so we can see the bottom of the page, so Their Honours can follow.
17 Witness, do you agree that here -- can you please look at this
18 excerpt carefully. Can you agree that it says here:
19 "By processing the seized documentation of the 1st Prnjavor
20 Brigade and questioning the prisoners, we learned that the forces have
21 been decimated."
22 In any way, are you able to link these prisoners with the El
23 Mujahid Detachment, based on what is written here?
24 A. No. I already said that.
25 Q. I am already going to ask you to remember the date of the
1 document. It's the 2nd of July, and it's in addition to the regular
2 combat report and that it's sent to Kakanj.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is the date of the document the 2nd of July?
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it's the 22nd of July.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness now, at this point
7 of time, be shown page 16 of this document, and page 23 of the English
8 document. The English version is fine.
9 Can we please look at the previous page of the Bosnian version.
10 Q. Witness, can you please look to see that this is an act by the
11 General Staff, the Operations, Planning Administration at Kakanj, of the
12 23rd of July, 1995, and that the document refers to the situation on the
13 front on the 22nd of July, 1995, and do you agree that this act is sent to
14 the president of the Presidency, and it says here to the commander of the
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And do you see that it refers to combat of the 22nd of July, and
18 its characteristics are described here? Now I would like you to look at
19 page 17 of the Bosnian version. That's actually the following page of the
20 Bosnian version and the following page of the English version, too.
21 Can the English version be scrolled down, please, and the Bosnian
22 page is all right.
23 Witness, can you please look at --
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Neuner.
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] -- the first sentence --
1 MR. NEUNER: I don't wish to interrupt my learned colleague. I
2 just want to say for the record this is a series -- or this document or
3 this exhibit appears to constitute -- be constituted out of several
4 documents from the General Staff level. I understand the lines of
5 questioning my learned friend is putting, but I just want to say there are
6 other witnesses from the General Staff Operations and Training Department
7 coming, so maybe these other witnesses would be more suitable witnesses to
8 comment upon these documents, since they're all written on a higher level
9 and are going certainly to another even higher level, the president of the
10 Presidency and so on and so forth.
11 I just wanted to put this on the record.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
13 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may just say,
15 this set of documents contains documents that were shown to the witness
16 today, and we are discussing with the witness specifically the information
17 that the witness entered into the document that goes to the General Staff
18 in Kakanj, and I'm asking whether that information that he entered is
19 contained in the documents that are passed on. I'm talking about specific
20 information that is known to the witness, that the witness entered into
21 the document, and I'm just asking the witness whether that piece of
22 information is contained in the information that is passed on.
23 MR. NEUNER: The problem the Prosecution sees is: How should this
24 witness, who's on the 3rd Corps level, understand what the General Staff
25 officer receiving his document is doing? I think it's more suitable to
1 discuss this line of questioning with a witness who is on that level and
2 who can explain, first of all, to have received the documents from this
3 witness and, secondly, who can then explain in what process he is
4 producing such documents which are sent from the General Staff obviously
5 to a higher level like Presidency and so on. How should this witness,
6 being on the 3rd Corps level, know about the process of what type of
7 information is selected by the General Staff and passed onwards?
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Neuner, on your first point, I understood you
9 to say you just wanted to place something on record. You did that. Now
10 you sound like you are objecting. Obviously, if this witness is asked
11 anything he doesn't know, he'll say he doesn't know.
12 MR. NEUNER: Certainly. I just wanted to put that on the record,
13 that we're not inviting the witness to speculate about what the officers
14 on the General Staff are passing on --
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: When he speculates, stand up and object and
16 say "That's a speculative answer, can the witness answer precisely?"
17 Don't try to prevent him being questioned. If he doesn't know, he'll say
18 he doesn't know.
19 MR. NEUNER: I will do so as advised.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 I just want to say something. I am trying -- I want my learned
23 friends from the Prosecution to understand me. I am trying, with the
24 witnesses, to clarify a situation as much as possible so that I do not
25 have to call witnesses on these circumstances when the time comes for our
1 presentation of the case.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Then ask your questions.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. Witness, please, you understood, I'm not asking you about the
5 procedure of forwarding documents. What I'm asking you is about specific
6 information that was in the document that you authored. Does that piece
7 of information appear here? Can you please look at the first sentence
8 under the heading "The Area of Responsibility of the 3rd Corps." The
9 information that you saw earlier referring to the El Mujahedin, does that
10 appear here?
11 A. Not dealing with the veracity of this document. The information
12 we sent to the General Staff is not contained in this passage that we're
13 looking at here. The information has to do with the fact that
14 documentation was processed and the captives were questioned. It's
15 obvious that that information is not contained here.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 Now can the witness please look at page 18 of this document. Or
18 rather, Your Honours, perhaps the witness can look at page 19 of the
19 Bosnian version of this set of documents.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: What page in the English?
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] It's the page that we are looking at
22 now, Your Honour, I think.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Page 27 in the English. Thank you.
25 Q. Witness, do you recall the Prosecutor showing you this document?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. First, this is a document of the 23rd of July, 1995. It's an
3 interim operations report. The Trial Chamber noticed something that I
4 also noticed, and I would like you to clarify that here.
5 It is stated here the El Mujahedin detachment, and then it says in
6 this document here Nikolino Brdo where they routed the forces of the
7 Vukovi in fighting conducted on this axis. Chetnik forces from the Vukovi
8 Detachment had losses, 20 Chetniks who remained on our side.
9 Did I read this -- the contents of this document correctly?
10 Please, I don't know -- it seems to me -- I don't know if the translation
11 into English is clear at this point in time, I'm not able to check that,
12 but, please, can you explain, how do you understand "had losses of 20
13 Chetniks who remained on our side"? Am I right if I understand that dead
14 people remained on our side, the killed bodies of Chetniks, or rather the
15 bodies of killed Chetniks?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Is that how you understand this document? Look at it again,
19 A. Your Honours, the first thing I wanted to do is when the
20 Prosecutor was putting questions to me about this, I didn't draft this
21 document, but as an officer I can try to answer.
22 Q. Yes, go ahead, please.
23 A. It says that in the course of the day, there were attacks carried
24 out, so from this sentence: "In fighting conducted along this axis, the
25 Chetnik forces of Vukovi had losses, 20 Chetniks who remained on our
1 side," it can be concluded on the basis of that that these 20 Chetniks
2 remained on our side, that we pulled out those dead Chetniks. It
3 says "losses, 20 Chetniks who remained," so now you can ask me if they are
4 alive or dead. But when you say "losses," it would seem to imply that
5 they were killed. This is something that is implied, according to our
6 military logic in reporting. If it says that somebody has losses,
7 immediately the conclusion would be that losses equal death. Had they
8 been captured, then it would have said for sure that such-and-such a
9 number were captured. This is something that would have been emphasised.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is that the only interpretation that can be given
12 to that phrase, when you say "20 Chetniks remained on our side"?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. "Our side" would imply the B
14 and H Army.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: I understand that. Doesn't it -- couldn't it also
16 mean that 20 standing Chetniks, not dead bodies? They're not saying, "We
17 have 20 bodies," they are saying 20 Chetniks, they remained, "They could
18 have decided to go our way if they wanted to go our way, but of course
19 they would have been shot at if they go our way."
20 What I'm trying to say. Is that the only interpretation that can
21 be given to that phrase? Could it also mean that maybe injured Chetniks,
22 or they may not be injured, they may just be captured, "they are remaining
23 on our side," they are not going away? Dead bodies wouldn't go away.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I tried, as an officer,
25 to explain the terminology that we used in our work. If we would
1 say "losses," then I believe that they were dead. It's possible to
2 speculate as to whether they were that or not. It's something that I
3 cannot know now. But the word "gubitak" would refer to dead Chetniks in
4 our terminology that we used in our reports in the course of the war.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: I understand that. It's just that the English
6 says "casualties" and casualties could either be dead or injured, couldn't
7 it? Okay. But that's the testimony we're getting. Thank you very much.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, perhaps we can correct
9 the translation. This is why I did that, because the English word is not
10 clear. In Bosnian, it is clear, and this is why I actually brought this
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Madam Vidovic. Thank you.
13 You may go ahead.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] In connection with this document,
15 can the witness please look at page 21. We saw this information here that
16 we have just discussed.
17 Now please look at page 21 of the document. Your Honours, in the
18 English it's page 29.
19 Can you please go to the previous page in the Bosnian. Can we
20 zoom in a little bit on this introductory part, if the witness can see.
21 Q. Witness, can you see that it's a document of the 24th of July of
22 the Staff of Kakanj, referring to the situation in the field on the 23rd
23 of July, 1995. I'm asking you the same information. It's going out to
24 the president of the Presidency and the army commander. I'm asking you
25 something about a specific information.
1 In this document, can the witness look at the following page, both
2 in the Bosnian and the English versions. Can you please scroll down the
3 English version.
4 Witness, can you please look at the part of the document that
5 talks about the area of responsibility of the 3rd Corps. This is the
6 fourth or fifth paragraph, where individual corps are referred to.
7 A. As far as that division, there's only one sentence mentioned here,
8 but there's nothing here from the document that we were talking about
9 before. Here it says: "Defence and preparations for further action --"
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can the English please
11 move on to the next page. There's the first sentence.
12 Q. So you agree, we don't see the same information that was contained
13 in your reports, do we?
14 Fine. Have you answered, Witness?
15 A. The English, but I haven't seen the Bosnian. I tried to look at
16 the English, but if you could please show the Bosnian too.
17 Q. There's the Bosnian version, the area of responsibility of the 3rd
19 A. There's a single sentence, 37th Division, and then it goes on to
20 explain about the 35th. There's just a single sentence there, it says:
21 "In the area of responsibility of the 35th Division, our forces
22 carried out active defence on the Ozren front."
23 And then preparations for further combat activity, but there's
24 nothing in there, not what we talked about earlier on.
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
1 If the witness could please look at page 23 now. 33 of the
3 Q. Witness, you remember being shown this by the OTP?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Look at this portion specifically in relation to the El Mujahedin
6 Detachment, the 328th.
7 A. Fine.
8 Q. Fine. Can you now please go to page 26 -- 25, the same document,
10 Just a minute, please. 35 of the English, Your Honours.
11 Your Honours, we have not been able to obtain the entire
12 translation, but we do have the portion that is relevant for our purposes.
13 Witness, can you please look at the area of responsibility of the
14 3rd Corps. It's on the next page, the next page of the Bosnian. The next
15 page of the English as well.
16 Again, Witness, please focus on where it says the "3rd Corps."
17 Have a look. You agree that again we don't seem to find the information
18 that we saw in that document a while ago, don't you?
19 A. No, we don't see that, but we see new information here, the Gornja
20 Blizna area, the reconnaissance and sabotage detachment, the 328th
21 Battalion, a holiday cottage was destroyed where the Chetniks were. It is
22 estimated that between four and five Chetniks were killed. I've actually
23 never seen that information before.
24 Q. Very well, Witness. If you can't answer, then what can I be
25 expected to do with it? But I would ask you this: The information that
1 we looked at a while ago, we don't see it here, do we, in this document?
2 A. Yes, that's quite right, it's not there.
3 Q. Right. You agree that the information could have been obtained
4 from a war log or something like that? You don't know. Fine, thanks.
5 A. I don't know.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] At this juncture, Your Honour, can
7 we please have a number for this document, this whole set of documents?
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: D446, with all those documents that have been
9 referred to, are admitted into evidence. May it please be given an
10 exhibit number.
11 MR. NEUNER: Sorry to interrupt, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, sir.
13 MR. NEUNER: Could I just make a technical remark, because I saw,
14 while we browsed through the document, that this a compilation -- a set of
15 several documents, and some include documents which have been admitted
16 earlier in the course of the examination-in-chief. So I'm just leaving it
17 here. This -- is it just a technical reason, that this could be dealt
18 with, that we don't admit duplicate translations or documents or split up
19 the documents into numbers 1, 2, 3 or 4. That's all.
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may just add
21 something. It is true, perhaps, one of these documents has been admitted
22 already, but the Defence shall use this document to prove a single fact, a
23 very specific fact by this set of documents provided by the OTP, and then
24 we shall link them up. They go together, some provided by the OTP, some
25 provided by us. It will be very difficult for the Chamber to observe
1 these documents separately, or rather so that we -- or in order for us or
2 the Chamber to look at one exhibit, perhaps the Chamber would have to look
3 at 20 different ones, and that is precisely what I mean. It is in this
4 way that I wish to simplify this to the greatest possible extent.
5 Likewise, Your Honours, you will remember that the OTP introduced
6 large-scale documents, enormous ones, Presidency meetings, in this way,
7 and we, the Defence, raised no objection whatsoever.
8 JUDGE HARHOFF: Madam Vidovic, how big is the document that you
9 wish to admit?
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Forty pages, four or five reports,
11 documents shown by the OTP, and four or five parallel ones, same as we,
12 add to these reports. I even think, Your Honour, it will be much simpler
13 for the Chamber to have it organised in this manner, rather than us
14 tendering them as a series, a sequence of documents.
15 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: Madam Vidovic, the problem we have is that it
17 makes little sense to admit into evidence the same document twice, so our
18 question to you is if you can take away the parts of your document which
19 have already been admitted into evidence and then re-upload the document
20 again so as to have entered into evidence now something only which has not
21 been admitted before. Can you do that?
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Certainly, Your Honour. I'm not
23 sure if I can do it right now, but I could use the next break to do that,
24 and then we can leave this for later, the admission of this document,
25 until the next break.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: The next break --
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] My apologies. We won't have a
3 chance to do that before tomorrow. Tomorrow, then.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: You can do that tomorrow. So what we will do,
5 then, is we admit -- I'm not quite sure which has already been admitted
6 and which has not been admitted here. I seem to think that the
7 document -- the first document of the 19th of July, 1995, has already been
8 admitted, but there may be others.
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I think is the other, but we shall
10 compare, Your Honours. We'll do it all by tomorrow.
11 There's one thing I wish to point out, Your Honours. The OTP also
12 have things organised in this way. I'm just letting my learned friends
13 know, and then I'll be raising the same objections myself. I believe it
14 will be much simpler for the Chamber in the future to follow the facts of
15 the case if this were to be admitted as a single document.
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: We accept that and hope that you can take away or
17 take out the parts which have already been admitted.
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Then document 446 is admitted
20 into evidence to the extent that it has not already been admitted, and
21 those portions that have not been admitted yet are to be given one single
22 exhibit number now. May they please be given an exhibit number.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be Exhibit number 537.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
25 Then the Defence is ordered to re-upload the documents in such a
1 way that those documents referred to herein which are already exhibits are
2 separated from Exhibit 537.
3 Thank you very much. And a cross-reference is made between the
4 two exhibits.
5 Thank you very much. You may proceed, Madam Vidovic.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. I'll just ask you briefly, sir: You mentioned the visit that the
8 commander made to the 3rd Corps. Do you agree that Commander Delic at the
9 time was holding a very high post and that any visit he made, given his
10 position, would have been recorded in the war log or the operations log?
11 A. Well, to us General Delic had the same sort of level of prestige
12 as the late President Izetbegovic. Whenever he came, you can easily check
13 this in the operations log and the war log, in the regular reports, but
14 I'm sure this was recorded in the daily reports, that he came to see us,
15 the army commander. He was even in the area of responsibility of the 3rd
17 Q. In other words, any visit he made would have been recorded in the
18 operations log, in the war log, or in the daily report?
19 A. Yes, it would have had to be recorded in one of those three
21 Q. Thank you. I'll just ask you briefly about monthly analyses,
22 about some analyses that you testified to, monthly ones.
23 I wish to ask you this: If you look at the initials that a
24 document bears, it's always easy to ascertain who actually wrote the
25 document, whether it was you or another person; would that be right, sir?
1 A. Monthly analysis is a collective document. If it bears my
2 initials at the end of the document, I mean, I was the one who collected
3 it, who put it together. I would have different departments submitting
4 their contributions to me. My typist would then put this together. I
5 would go through it. When I say "go through it," I mean over the three
6 months of analyses that were shown me. I did those in July, August and
7 September, and I also made daily reports based on whatever developments
8 were taking place. I would make an analysis based on that and then put
9 the whole thing together.
10 Likewise, I would take parts out of it, because these monthly
11 analyses had to be submitted to our subordinate units, and then all of the
12 corps' departments looked at their own sections and contributed. I didn't
13 look at the 35th Division, what they were saying about their logistics,
14 for example, or their intelligence, for that matter. I was an operative
15 officer. I looked at operative matters, and all the other departments did
16 the same thing. They would do their own job, I would do mine. I would
17 put it together. The Department for Planning and Monitoring Combat
18 Operations were away, they were away on the front lines, so I was alone
19 and --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, could the speakers please
21 not overlap and please pause between question and answer. Thank you very
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Please, Madam Vidovic, the interpreters are
24 complaining. You cut in while the witness was speaking, you overlap, and
25 they don't hear you. They didn't hear the end of the witness's answer, as
1 we can see. He just said: "... So I was alone and ..." and you came in.
2 They didn't -- they missed him.
3 And while I'm speaking, may I just find out from you how much
4 longer you are going to be. I think you've gone far beyond your time now.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I don't have that much, Your
6 Honours, maybe about ten minutes, a total of about ten minutes, not longer
7 than that.
8 Q. Witness, please, Your Honours, and the interpreters say that they
9 missed the last bit of your answer, missed it, the transcript. You said I
10 was -- it must have been me who interrupted you by asking another question
11 altogether. You say, "I was alone," and there was something else you
12 wished to add, sir. Do you remember?
13 A. And instead of the Department for Planning and Monitoring Combat
14 Operations, I was the one who produced the document.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Fair enough, thank you. Can the
16 witness now look at PT2361 [Realtime translation read in error "PT2061"].
17 Q. Before the document is shown on the monitor, Witness --
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: PT2061?
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] 2361, yes. 2361. It was entered
20 here erroneously.
21 Q. Witness, before we look at this analysis, I just want to ask you:
22 You worked at the Orahovo IKM in July 1995. I saw that in your statement
23 to the Prosecutor.
24 A. Yes, that is correct.
25 Q. All right. And is it correct that the IKM Orahovo was formed in
1 order to monitor offensive combat actions according to the plan of
2 operation to unblock Sarajevo?
3 A. Yes, that was the only reason why it was formed.
4 Q. Please, this operation to lift the blockade of Sarajevo took place
5 in July of 1995, is that correct, in late July 1991 [sic]?
6 A. No. I think that it began on the 15th of June, the 15th of June.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: The 15th of June of which year, sir? We have been
8 given two years here, 1995 and 1991.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1995.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Witness, please, it began on the 15th of June, but it's correct,
13 isn't it, that it continued throughout July 1995?
14 A. It's like this: We formed the forward command post in the village
15 of Orahovo in order to lift the blockade of Sarajevo in the beginning of
16 June. On the 1st or the 2nd of June, we were already up there. Ten to 15
17 days before the start of the operation, the IKM was formed and we were
18 staying up there. I was up there until about the 10th, 12th or the 15th
19 of July, 1995. We're now talking about 1995. And after that, I asked to
20 be relieved to go back because I had had enough, I was tired. I wanted to
21 be replaced by my officer Safet Sivro, which is what happened.
22 Q. But the gist of my question was not about where you were, but the
23 actual operation itself continued throughout July 1995; isn't that
25 A. The operation started in -- on the 15th of June, 1995, and it went
1 on, and the IKM was there also until the end of July. The IKM was closed
2 down only in early August.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] All right, thank you very much.
4 Can the witness now look at page 2 of this analysis for July
5 1995. Can you please look. Can we also see the English version, please.
6 Can you look at the part of the section for planning and tracking
7 of combat actions.
8 Q. Do you agree that it says in this part here that has to do with
9 the planning section that the focus of the work of the planning section in
10 the month of July was to monitor offensive combat actions according to the
11 plan of Operation T, and it says "the Sarajevo theatre"?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Do you agree that the 3rd Corps, according to this document, seems
14 not to have prepared or planned combat actions in July concerning the
15 Vozuca-Ozren section?
16 A. Not the Command of the Corps, no.
17 Q. Otherwise, this would be something that would be referred to in a
18 document of this nature?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. The commander of the 3rd Corps and the bulk of the Command was
21 actually at Orahovo, and it was monitoring the Sarajevo operation; is that
23 A. Yes.
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
25 Your Honours, can this document be given an exhibit number.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
2 please be given an exhibit number.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be Exhibit number 538.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
5 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, at this point I would
7 like the witness again to look at Exhibit 494.
8 While we're waiting for the document, and we have it here on the
10 Q. Witness, do you recall that the Prosecutor showed you this
11 document earlier today? It has to do with the execution of combat actions
12 according to the order of the Army General Staff. Do you remember that
13 you testified about this?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can this document
16 be -- and before it's actually put away, Witness, please:
17 Q. Can you see that the order is mentioned here? You actually told
18 us. You testified about the order of the 3rd Corps. You recollect that
19 in relation to this order?
20 A. Yes.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, can this document be
22 put away. And before this hearing today, the Prosecutor presented to us
23 the order. It's very brief. We didn't have time to translate it at all,
24 but we copied the order, and we have distributed the Bosnian version. We
25 have given it to the interpreters. I would like -- oh, actually, we
1 didn't even manage to do that, Your Honours.
2 Perhaps the document can be placed on the ELMO. I'm going to ask
3 the witness slowly to read the document. It's a short document.
4 Q. Witness, please --
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Neuner.
6 MR. NEUNER: I can maybe just assist, because I managed to get an
7 urgent translation, which is unofficial. It says "Draft Translation." It
8 was done -- the document came in this morning. It has no ERN number yet
9 to it, but it's the best, I think, CLSS translator who's working with the
10 OTP has produced it. It's still a draft, but it's better than nothing.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: I would imagine that if it is a short document,
12 maybe the interpreters can interpret it for us. We don't need that.
13 MR. NEUNER: I just wanted to offer.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] And we are going to submit a
16 translation later. I would be grateful to the Prosecution if they would
17 give me that translation.
18 What I would like to ask you is to just scroll down the document
19 so that the witness can see whose document it is. Thank you very much.
20 Q. Witness, can you see -- are you able to read this?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Can you slowly read, slowly, so that the interpreters and the
23 transcript can keep up.
24 A. "Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Command of the
25 3rd Corps. Strictly confidential number 02/3-2," should be "2", and
1 that's the Operations Centre number, "-501. Zenica, the 17th of July,
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can the document be scrolled down so
4 that the witness can continue.
5 A. Heading: "Execution of Active Combat Actions. Order sent --"
6 should I continue to read the order?
7 Q. Yes, yes, please continue.
8 A. "The situation around Zepa is quite favourable in the military
9 sense. However, certain circumstances, strong Chetniks forces, action by
10 Chetnik Air Force, the sense of being closed in, the duration of carrying
11 out combat actions and similar, are having an effect on the morale of the
12 combat personnel who have a sense of being abandoned. For the purpose of
13 assistance and easing the situation around the front -- on the front
14 around Zepa and pursuant to order of the General Staff of the Army of
15 Bosnia and Herzegovina number 1/825-1306, dated the 17th of July, 1995,
16 and the order of the 3rd Corps Command, strictly confidential number
17 02/3-2-500, dated the 17th of July, 1995, I hereby order:
18 "1. Immediately undertake active combat on the entire front in
19 your zones on selected axes and facilities.
20 2. The commanders of divisions and brigades are personally
21 responsible to me for the implementation of these assignments.
22 3. The report pursuant to this order should be delivered to me by
23 1800 hours of the 18th of July, 1995, with activities described in
25 Initials "NP/0N" for the commander, Colonel Ekrem Alihodzic, sent
1 to the 35th and the 37th Division, the 319th Liberation Brigade, 303rd
2 Vitez Brigade, and the 330th Light Brigade, and for the archives.
3 Q. Thank you, sir. This "NP," these are your initials?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And is this the document you told us that you drafted in relation
6 to the General Staff order? You testified about that earlier today?
7 A. I cannot remember, but I probably wrote it on the basis of the
8 order, because I mentioned the order 1306 here.
9 Q. Yes, you do mention it.
10 A. Then that would be it. There is also another order from the Corps
11 Command of the day before dated the 16th. So on the basis of those two
12 orders, we issued this particular order.
13 Q. And now in connection with this, do you agree that it states here
14 that these subordinate units should select the axes and facilities that
15 they would act on?
16 A. The sense of the first paragraph is to immediately undertake
17 active combat in their zones on selected axes and facilities. That would
18 indicate that they already should have known where they were supposed to
19 go. The word "isabrani," [phoen] "selected," indicates that this was in
20 the past, that it had already been done.
21 Q. And you worked on these types of documents. Do you recall that
22 the action -- July action in --
23 A. Sarajevo?
24 Q. No, no, not Sarajevo. I am talking about the July action in the
25 Ozren-Vozuca front. Do you recall if the corps ever issued an order
1 specifically for that front or whether that was done at the level of the
2 division, if you're able to help us?
3 A. Please believe me, I don't know. We were all engaged on
4 Sarajevo. As far as I know, in Sarajevo we were not thinking of making
5 orders for Vozuca, not for Vozuca, but for other areas or for areas of
6 responsibility of other units. I would probably know and remember if we
7 were drafting orders at the IKM, because that's when the complete Corps
8 Command was there at that time, except for 10 or 15 officers who stayed
9 behind in Zenica.
10 Q. All right, thank you very much. We clarified that sufficiently.
11 I'm just going to put one more question to you.
12 And before that, Your Honours, please, if this document can be
13 given an exhibit number, and we are going to do our best to furnish you
14 with a translation and to submit it.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: It is admitted into evidence. May it please be
16 given an exhibit number. And in the meantime, Madam Vidovic, you have now
17 used 19 of your 10 minutes.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be Exhibit number 538.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: It should be "39," Madam Registrar. Madam
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I hope that I will
22 need just one more minute.
23 Q. Witness, please, you were shown a document, the document E535,
24 which mentioned the briefing, if you recall, of the assistant commanders
25 from the 11th of September until the 18th of September, 1995, and it had
1 to do with Perici. Do you recall that document so I don't have to show it
2 to you? It spoke about those 100 Chetniks that were encircled, and I just
3 want to ask you one question about that.
4 Please, did you ever, after that, receive any kind of information
5 that would indicate that any of those people were captured?
6 A. No. I would probably have remembered that. It's quite a
7 significant matter, and I would have remembered it. I remember many
8 things from the time of the war, but this is something that I really do
9 not recall.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
11 Your Honours, I have no further questions.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Madam Vidovic.
13 Mr. Neuner.
14 MR. NEUNER: Given the advanced stage of time, and the Judges want
15 to ask questions as well, I have just one or two clarifying questions.
16 Re-examination by Mr. Neuner:
17 Q. Were you, in the Operations Centre, ever involved in planning of
18 combat operations or was this another unit's domain?
19 A. Specifically, orders were drafted by the Department for Planning
20 and Monitoring Combat Operations. My own desk officer, Captain Mirsad
21 Caluk, was involved in the work of that section. He was the graphic
22 designer. He would produce documents for them, a draftsman.
23 Q. So Mr. Mirsad Caluk would then know how the planning would take
24 place and how approvals about combat operations of subordinate units were
25 given in the 3rd Corps Command?
1 A. I'm not certain that he would, specifically what you're asking me
2 about. I'm not certain he could answer your question. He was just a
3 draftsman. He drew whatever he was told to draw, "Draw this, draw that."
4 He had no influence over who was giving specific orders to units. He just
5 drew for them, and that was the involvement of my own department, the
6 Operations Centre, in their work.
7 Q. So the involvement of your department was that for the planning
8 process, maps were drawn; is that correct?
9 A. Yes, that's correct, but in order to plan for the establishment of
10 forward command posts, we, as a sector, as a department, would always get
11 involved, which means both me and my two desk officers.
12 Q. You have just looked at the last exhibit, which was in B/C/S lying
13 next to you here. I want to show you Exhibit 443. You see it's a
14 document from the 18th of July, and it's sent to the Command of the 3rd
16 Have you ever seen that document?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. If you look at the numbers here in the first line, they refer to
19 this General Staff order 825-1306. Do you see that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And they also refer to the order, if you could confirm this, which
22 you just read out. It's 501. That's the last number.
23 A. 501.
24 Q. That's the order you have just seen; yeah?
25 A. It is.
1 Q. Could you explain, what is the 35th Division doing here in
2 relation to your order which you drafted and which you have seen a moment
4 A. First of all, during the proofing I explained to you that this was
5 an error. It says: "Pursuant to an order of the General Staff, the
6 army," and then the number of the General Staff, so whoever did this in
7 the 35th Division just copied this from my order. He said, "All right, I
8 invoke this and that order," and then he invokes it. I can't say
9 illiterate, but certainly not very accurate. He simply didn't have the
10 order in his hands. I've already explained that, didn't I, the reporting
11 on what they will do. Our orders, as far as I can remember, were for
12 combat operations to start being launched as soon as possible along such
13 axes as had been selected and in their own areas, and then they are
14 reporting, based on the previous order, what they are doing. It's their
16 Q. So is it fair to say that they're responding to your order?
17 A. Yes. It says in the header.
18 MR. NEUNER: No further questions.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Neuner.
21 Thank you very much. This brings us to the conclusion of your
22 testimony, sir. We just take this opportunity to say thank you to you for
23 taking the time off to come and testify. You are now excused. You may
24 stand down. May you have a pleasant journey back home.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I hope
1 that my evidence will contribute to establishing the truth.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, sir.
3 [The witness withdrew]
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
5 I think it brings us to virtually the end of the day. There's no
6 point calling a new witness.
7 The matter stands adjourned to tomorrow at quarter past 2.00 in
8 the afternoon, same court. Thank you very much.
9 Court adjourned.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.48 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 3rd day of
12 October, 2007, at 2.15 p.m.