1 Monday, 22 October 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning to everybody.
7 Mr. Registrar, will you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
9 This is case number IT-04-83-T, the Prosecutor versus Rasim Delic.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
11 Can we have the appearances for today, starting with the
13 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Good morning, Your Honours, Counsel, and everyone in and around
15 the courtroom. Daryl Mundis and Kyle Wood for the Prosecution, assisted
16 today by our intern, Emma Berry, and our case manager, Alma Imamovic.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
18 And for the Defence.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
20 morning to my friends from the Prosecution, and to everyone in and around
21 the courtroom.
22 My name is Vasvija Vidovic, and Nicholas Robson, appearing for
23 Rasim Delic, with our legal assistant, Lejla Gluhic, and our intern,
24 Raymond Byrnes.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
1 I see the witness is in court. May the witness please make the
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
4 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
5 WITNESS: HAMDIJA SLJUKA
6 [The witness answered through interpreter]
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. You may be seated, sir. Thank
9 Mr. Delic [sic] -- I beg your pardon. Mr. Mundis. Mr. Wood.
10 MR. WOOD: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Examination by Mr. Wood:
12 Q. Sir, could you please tell the Court your name, spelling your
13 first and last name for the record.
14 A. My name is Hamdija Sljuka.
15 Q. If you could please spell your first and last name for the record,
17 A. H-A-M-D-I-J-A, S-L-J-U-K-A.
18 Q. Could you please tell the Court your date of birth, Mr. Sljuka?
19 A. I was born on the 13th of December, 1948.
20 Q. What is your ethnicity, Mr. Sljuka?
21 A. I was born in Bosnia, and now I declare myself as a Bosniak.
22 Q. What's your current occupation, Mr. Sljuka?
23 A. I am an attorney-at-law, practicing in Kakanj.
24 Q. I'm going to ask you some questions specifically about 1994 and --
25 between 1994 and 1996. Could you please tell the Court what jobs you held
1 between 1994 and 1996?
2 A. I cannot recall the exact date, but I will try to tell them
4 Upon an order by the Municipal Staff of Defence of Kakanj, how
5 should I put it, by that order I was appointed deputy commander of
6 security for the Operational Group Bosna with its seat in Zavidovici, in
7 January 1994. I remained at that position until September 1994 or by
8 early October 1994. It was then that the deputy commander for security,
9 Mr. Imamovic, Fadil, was appointed. I was appointed as desk clerk for
10 security with some other three or four desk clerks.
11 At that duty, I remained until the end of September 1995 or
12 towards the end of September --
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: I beg your pardon. Earlier, you said
14 "September/October 1994". Is it now 1995?
15 At line 7, you said:
16 "I remained at that position until September 1994 or by early
17 October 1994."
18 Now, line 11 says until the end of 1995. Which is correct?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember the exact date. It
20 was the end of September, early October.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ... No, I
22 understand. I understand you don't remember the date, but was it 1994 or
23 was it 1995?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1994.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As of the end of September or early
2 October 1995, I was the desk clerk. My superior, professional superior,
3 was Fadil Imamovic, assistant commander for Security. I remained at that
4 position until the end of September 1995.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: There's a big problem here, Mr. Wood.
6 MR. WOOD: Yes, Your Honour. Perhaps I could ask some questions
7 to make this more clear. It might be helpful, considering this is
8 generally non-controversial.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Fair enough.
10 MR. WOOD: If I could lead him through this, it might assist, with
11 the leave of the Court.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: It depends on how your opposite number will
13 respond, but go ahead.
14 MR. WOOD: I see that across the aisle --
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No objections, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Madam Vidovic.
17 MR. WOOD:
18 Q. Mr. Sljuka, between January 1994 and October 1994, you were
19 assistant commander for Security in OG Bosna; is that correct?
20 A. That is correct.
21 Q. Between October 1994 and September 1995, I think you said the end
22 of September 1995, you were desk clerk in the Security --
23 A. For security, until the end of September 1995.
24 Q. And between -- after that, after the end of September 1995, until
25 the 10th of June, 1996, you were assistant commander for Security in the
1 35th Division; is that correct, sir?
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. Now, to clear up some confusion here that the Judges might have,
4 could you tell us, sir, the difference between the different groups you
5 mentioned, OG Bosna and the 35th Division?
6 A. I don't know whether I'll be able to be precise in terms of
7 military structure, but OG Bosna was in charge of the units from Kakanj
8 and Zavidovici. When divisions were formed, being larger-scale units --
9 well, that's it; namely, the Army of BH grew in time and larger units were
10 being formed, divisions and corps. Those were the changes which ensued
11 or, rather, that is what was going on between the beginning and the end of
12 the war in terms of the organisation of the Army of BH.
13 Q. Was the 35th Division the successor to OG Bosna?
14 A. One could say so, more or less, yes.
15 Q. Was OG Bosna and the 35th Division -- were they both based in
16 Zavidovici, sir?
17 A. Yes, they were.
18 Q. Just for the sake of clarity, sir, could you tell the Court when
19 OG Bosna became the 35th Division?
20 A. A minute ago, I tried to be cautious with the dates. When the
21 35th Division was formed, more or less, there were new people appointed,
22 and when I came from Sarajevo on the 30th of September, I came to
23 Zavidovici. An order awaited me there, stating that I was to be security
24 clerk, and Fadil Imamovic was the assistant commander for Security.
25 Q. Sir, the 30th of September of which year are you speaking of?
1 A. 1995 -- 1994, sorry. 1994. Given the communication that was in
2 place between Sarajevo and the rest of the territory in
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, it is possible that some of the orders were late, and
4 then --
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Excuse me, sir. You're talking now of 1994. I
6 thought October 1994 to September 1995 you were a desk clerk in the
7 security, you had nothing to do with the 35th Division by that time.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now you --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was all within the Division until
11 September/October 1994. I was with OG Bosna as of September or October
12 1994. Until demobilisation on the 10th of June, 1996, I was with the 35th
13 Division, and its seat was in Zavidovici.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: The question that you had been asked was:
15 "Are you able to tell us, more or less, when the 35th Division was
17 And then you started telling us about all these positions that
18 you're holding again. Are you able to answer that question, sir, more or
19 less when the 35th Division was established?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my opinion, October 1994.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is that helpful, sir? Thank you.
22 MR. WOOD:
23 Q. In military formation, what corps was OG Bosna in the
24 35th Division, what corps were they within, sir?
25 A. The 3rd Corps of the ABiH. Its headquarters were in Buzanica [as
2 Q. When you were in the 35th Division, who was the commander of that
3 unit, sir?
4 A. Mr. Fadil Hasanagic.
5 Q. If I could clarify just one thing before we move on, sir.
6 Earlier, you said the headquarters of the 3rd Corps of the ARBiH
7 was in -- and what's written on the screen here is "Busovica." Could you
8 confirm, where was the headquarters of the 3rd Corps, sir?
9 A. The headquarters of the 3rd Corps was always in Zenica, as of the
10 date of its establishment until it was disbanded.
11 Q. Thank you, sir. During the time when you were assistant commander
12 for Security -- I'm sorry. During the time when you were in the
13 35th Division as a desk clerk, who was your commander, who was your direct
15 A. In terms of command and control, it was Mr. Fadil Hasanagic. In
16 professional terms, it was Mr. Fadil Imamovic for security.
17 Q. Who was the 3rd Corps commander during this time, sir?
18 A. I'm afraid I cannot be precise. For a while, it was the late
19 General Mehmed Alagic. Later, it was Mr. Sakib Mahmuljin.
20 Q. I'm going to ask you some more questions about your position as
21 what you've been referring to as a desk clerk. Could you please tell the
22 Court, generally, what were your duties as a desk clerk in the security
23 division, the security department service?
24 A. All tasks that fall within the remit of the Security Service,
25 which existed in all units, starting with brigades, divisions and corps.
1 We received different security-related information, processed it, verified
2 it, and sent it onwards to the superior command, this being the 3rd Corps.
3 Q. And in this position, how often would it come to pass that you had
4 to go into the field?
5 A. According to the needs, as was required given the situation that
6 existed within the area of responsibility of my division. If there was
7 any combat, it was possible to have to go to the field more often. "More
8 often" would mean perhaps once every week or on occasion we would even go
9 as seldom as once in two months. Sometimes we had to go once a day. It
10 all depended on the type of problems that had to be dealt with.
11 Q. In compiling the reports that you spoke of, sir, where would you
12 get the information that you would use to write those reports?
13 A. Each brigade had its own security organs and its police. The
14 Division had its own security organ and police. All information related
15 to security, the 35th Division security organ received from its own units
16 that were within the 35th Division. The information was put together in a
17 report and forwarded to the 3rd Corps. Information could come from
18 various security organs from the subordinate units or personally gained by
19 the work of us, the desk clerks, gathered in the field.
20 MR. WOOD: Could the witness please be shown Exhibit P02632.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is that an exhibit or a document to be tendered?
22 MR. WOOD: That is -- well, it's a document to be tendered. It's a
23 "P" number, Your Honour. It has not yet been tendered, so it is P02632.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
25 MR. WOOD:
1 Q. Sir, do you see that document in front of you?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. Can you tell the Court generally, is this the sort of report or of
4 a type or sort of report that you would produce in the department, that
5 is, the Security Service of the 35th Division?
6 A. This is not a report. This is an official note. Could I please
7 be shown the second page? There should be a signature there.
8 This is an official note drafted by the desk clerk Fikret Skejic.
9 It contains the information he gained in the field, and it was forwarded
10 to the 3rd Corps. In addition to such official notes, we also sent out
11 daily reports to the Security Service of the 3rd Corps.
12 Q. And what position did Fikret Skejic hold in relation to your
13 position, sir?
14 A. I see here the 18th of September, 1995, he held the same position
15 as I did, desk clerk, and in addition to him being there, there were other
16 three desk clerks, Mehinagic Ferid of Maglaj, and Husnija Marusic of
17 Zavidovici, and Husein Mujkic, aka Mujkara, of Zavidovici. There was also
18 an assistant commander for Security, Fadil Imamovic; the technical
19 assistant or secretary to Fadil, I cannot recall her last name; and the IT
20 person who worked on the reports. I think his name was Fuad Terzic.
21 MR. WOOD: Thank you, sir.
22 Could this exhibit please be admitted into evidence, Your Honour?
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
24 please be given an exhibit number.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number 623.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
2 MR. WOOD:
3 Q. Now, sir, could you please explain to the Court what was the duty
4 of the Military Security Service in relation to POW that had been
6 A. Any combat order contained -- or rather every combat order
7 contained a chapter that had to do with security. As regards the
8 Division, we had orders in place on the treatment of POWs. Each unit that
9 captured an enemy soldier were supposed to have him delivered to the
10 35th Division police, and then that person was supposed to be escorted to
11 the 3rd Corps.
12 Q. What was the relation between the 35th Division police and the
13 Military Security Service?
14 A. What do you mean, "relation"? The police were controlled
15 professionally by the Military Security Service. All instruction, in
16 terms of professional work, was given by the Military Security Service, in
17 terms of orders, directives, professionally speaking.
18 Q. Thank you for that answer, sir. I'm going to ask you some
19 questions now about some units that were in the AOR of the 35th Division.
20 Did you come to learn anything about the El Mujahid Detachment
21 during your time as a security officer, sir?
22 A. I can't be precise in terms of dates, of course, but as for the
23 El Mujahid Detachment, I cannot tell you exactly as of what date it was
24 within the area of responsibility of the 35th Division out of all the
25 units that were there. I think it was from the end of 1994 until the end
1 of the war or, rather -- how should I put it? Until the truce was signed
2 or, rather, the Dayton Accords, all units from within the Army of B and H
3 were linked in terms of security and concerning the area that I worked on.
4 All of the units were included in the chain except for the El Mujahid
5 unit. That unit had no security organ of its own with which the Security
6 Service of the 35th Division --
7 Q. But first I want to show you a document that might help clarify
8 things about dates.
9 MR. WOOD: Could Exhibit -- I'm sorry, could document P01863
10 please be shown to the witness.
11 Can you see this document in front of you, sir?
12 A. Yes, I can see it.
13 Q. And what does this document tell you about the movement of the
14 El Mujahid Detachment?
15 A. This document describes the relation within the -- between the
16 Corps and the OG North. I can only comment in terms of what I can
17 conclude from this document that I see for the first time.
18 Q. I'll ask you specifically about the line: "Established line of
19 defence and the unit detachment, El Mujahedin, according to the decision
20 of the unit commander, move it to another region."
21 Can you tell me, sir, before the El Mujahid Detachment was in the
22 AOR of OG Bosna, in what area of responsibility was it?
23 A. I don't know that. I only know of the El Mujahid Detachment while
24 it was within the area of responsibility of OG Bosna or the 35th Division.
25 I don't know whether that unit was anywhere. I don't know that. I know
1 that they came from Zenica.
2 Q. The date of this document, sir, if the English could be scrolled
3 up a bit, I believe it's 6 November 1994. Does this correspond with what
4 you remember about when the El Mujahid Detachment moved into the area of
5 responsibility of OG Bosna?
6 A. No. Of OG Bosna, it could only have been arrived then. As far as
7 I can remember, they came into the area of responsibility of OG Bosna
8 towards the end of 1994. It is possibly related to that, but I don't
9 know. I apologise.
10 As of January 1994, I was with OG Bosna, and at that time there
11 was no El Mujahid Detachment. They may have come towards the end of 1994.
12 As to where they were before that, I don't know.
13 MR. WOOD: I would ask that this document be tendered into
14 evidence, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour. The
17 Prosecutor has not established a sufficient base or has not established a
18 link between the witness and the document.
19 Another thing, the document is not known to the witness. This is
20 apparent. And facts within the document are not known to the witness,
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Wood.
23 MR. WOOD: Well, that's a pretty high standard, Your Honour,
24 considering -- and inconsistent, I think, with the standards that we've
25 been used to in this court. The witness did indicate that this does
1 appear to be a document from the ABiH, and he did indicate that the
2 information within it appears to be consistent with what he recalls,
3 generally speaking, about the movement of troops at the time. I believe
4 that the Prosecution has established sufficient grounds for this to be
5 admitted into evidence, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: It's easy for anybody to say this document comes
7 from the ABiH, because one looks at the document and can read that. We've
8 been asking that there must be a link between the witness and the
9 document. The witness also doesn't know anything about the facts written
10 in the document. I think you've got to establish a link, Mr. Wood.
11 MR. WOOD: At this time, Your Honour, perhaps it would be most
12 expedient to have this marked for identification. Another witness later
13 might be able to establish --
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: We'll do that.
15 May the document be marked for identification and be given an
16 exhibit number, please.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be MFI 624.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
19 MR. WOOD:
20 Q. Now, sir, you've told the Court that you believe -- you've told
21 the Court that you believe the El Mujahid Detachment came into the area of
22 responsibility of OG Bosna late 1994, early 1995. Can you tell the Court,
23 how often did you have contact with anybody in the El Mujahid Detachment
24 during your time after 1994?
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, objection. First of
2 all, the basis should be established, and it must be determined whether
3 the witness had any contact before he's asked how frequently he had
4 contacts with them.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Wood.
6 MR. WOOD:
7 Q. Did you have contact, sir, with any members of the El Mujahid
8 Detachment in your capacity as a member of the Security Service?
9 A. A minute ago, I tried to explain this.
10 With regards to security matters and affairs, I had no contacts
11 with the El Mujahedin Detachment, because Security Service members are
12 appointed and vetted, that they are professional people with integrity,
13 honest people, it couldn't be known who is who and who does what in that
14 detachment because they did not have any military hierarchy. So I could
15 not receive any information about security.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Excuse me, sir. Hello, sir. Mr. Witness, can you
17 look at me? Hello, sir.
18 The question simply is:
19 "Did you have any contact with the El Mujahedin Detachment?"
20 And I think you can answer that confidently with either "yes" or
21 "no." Did you?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, with a member of the
23 El Mujahedin Detachment named Aiman.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, sir.
25 MR. WOOD:
1 Q. Thank you, sir. Could you please tell the Court a little bit
2 about Mr. Aiman? For instance, what language did he speak?
3 A. What I learned about him was as follows: He lived before the war
4 in the area of the former Yugoslavia, that he had studied medicine in
5 Rijeka, that he was married to a woman from the area of the former
6 Yugoslavia and that he was fluent in Bosniak. I did have some contacts
7 with him, mainly whenever the El Mujahid Detachment was passing from
8 Zenica to Zavidovici and from Zavidovici to Zenica. After the Dayton
9 Accords there were check-points at the entrance to Zepce which was
10 controlled by the HVO, and at the exit of Zepce there was a joint
11 check-point of HVO and the Army of BiH. All units had to announce their
12 passage through the HVO-held territory, which means that each passage of
13 the El Mujahedin Detachment or members thereof had to be announced to
14 Security Service by Aiman, and then the Security Service would announce
15 this to the Zepce security officer so that they could pass through that
17 Q. I'm going to ask a follow-on question to that, sir. At page 15,
18 line 15, you said: "This was after the Dayton Accords." Is that correct,
20 A. No, the Washington Accords between the Army of BiH and the HVO,
21 the Washington Agreement.
22 Q. When was the Washington Agreement -- when did it come into force,
24 A. In February 1994.
25 Q. Do you recall, generally speaking, when was the first time you had
1 contact with Mr. Aiman?
2 A. I can't remember precisely over the phone when this was, but also
3 I personally met him. He would drop by the Security Service maybe to make
4 arrangements for tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. He would stop and
5 talk to the police officer within security. Somebody would -- from our
6 Security Service would speak to him. Sometimes it was me.
7 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Sir, I'm sorry to interrupt you,
8 but I would like to ask the witness the following: When you would meet
9 Mr. Aiman, what function would he have?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know which function he
11 exercised, but he spoke Bosniak and he, as I stated previously, he spoke
12 to Security Service because the Security Service was in charge of
13 announcements being sent to the HVO security officer in Zepce so that
14 their passage can be arranged. As far as his function was concerned, I
15 don't know which it was. That detachment had no military hierarchy, they
16 had no insignia. I don't really know which post he occupied.
17 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.
18 MR. WOOD:
19 Q. You described -- well, first of all, let me ask you, sir, you said
20 you don't remember exactly when you had your first contact with Mr. Aiman.
21 If I could maybe help to clarify that a bit.
22 Did you have any contact with him in 1994?
23 A. Contacts could have been by phone or on the premises of my
24 Security Service, where it was located. In 1995, I personally met him
25 once when I attended a meeting at the Corps. I was driving back, stopped
1 in a cafe to have a coffee, and ...
2 Q. I appreciate the comprehensiveness of your answer, but my question
3 is a more simple one. Did you ever have contact with him in 1994?
4 A. I cannot claim. I may have -- in person, you mean?
5 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... I mean any contact over the
6 phone or in person.
7 A. Over the phone, yes, concerning the passage of the -- that
8 detachment, as I have explained.
9 Q. Now, sir, you explained there were these check-points in Zepce,
10 that it had to be cleared ahead of time before troops could go through
11 that check-point. Was this the same procedure that was followed when
12 other ARBiH units had to pass through that check-point?
13 A. The delineation line between the HVO, Zepce, and the Army of BiH,
14 looking from the direction of Zenica and from Zepce towards Zavidovici,
15 there were two check-points. If you're going from Zenica, the entry
16 check-point, the exit check-point, on the one there were BiH Army soldiers
17 manning it, at the other HVO soldiers. That arrangement applied to all
18 Army of BiH units, including the El Mujahedin Detachment. Everything had
19 to be pre-announced.
20 If I may add something. Since members of the El Mujahedin
21 Detachment did not speak our language, a very strict time slot had to be
22 arranged so there would be no problems or no conflict erupting there.
23 Q. You spoke earlier of contacts with Mr. Aiman on the telephone and
24 also in person. Could you tell the Court generally, how often would you
25 have contact with him, either on the phone or in person?
1 A. I cannot state precisely how frequently, but each passage of
2 theirs had to be cleared in advance. There were five or six of us in the
3 service. Sometimes I would take the call, somebody else would on other
4 occasions, maybe once or twice a month.
5 Q. Other than to arrange passage through the check-point at Zepce,
6 did you ever have any other contact with Mr. Aiman?
7 A. I remember one occasion when we talked about the problems that we
8 had detected among the El Mujahedin Detachment members. In Zavidovici, we
9 had a rule prohibiting soldiers to carry rifles, and the police of the
10 35th Division carried out such controls, but the El Mujahedin Detachment
11 members disregarded this order and they moved around, disregarding the
12 curfew as well. Once, I spoke to Aiman about that, and I received his
13 assurances that they will cease with such practice, that they would be
14 sanctioned, but I could not tell him who the perpetrators were, since they
15 did not come from our part of the country and they were very difficult to
17 Q. I'm going to ask a follow-on question to something you said
19 At page 18, line 12, you indicated, sir, that:
20 "Sometimes I would take the call, somebody else on other
21 occasions, maybe once or twice a month."
22 I just want to ask, sir, what time period are you speaking about
23 when there would be contact with him, that is, Mr. Aiman, once or twice a
25 A. I'm talking about the period and exclusively about the period
1 while the El Mujahedin Detachment was in the area of responsibility of the
2 35th Division.
3 Q. I'm going to ask you now, sir, some questions about the Military
4 Security Service and its role in handling POW. You explained a little bit
5 about that earlier. I'm going to ask you some questions specific to
6 specific incidents now.
7 Do you recall, sir, how many times, during the time that you were
8 in the 35th Division or OG Bosna, did the Military Security Service deal
9 with POW, that is, process captured POW?
10 A. Of the Security Service of the Operational Group and the
11 35th Division did not have the task to process war crimes. Security
12 Service had a task of safely and securely transferring POWs to the
13 3rd Corps, where experts or professionals would establish and document
14 whether somebody had committed war crimes or not. Our Security Service
15 had no hand in that.
16 Q. And did the Military Security Service safely and securely transfer
17 POW during the time when you were with the 35th Division, sir?
18 A. I personally took part in -- on two occasions. In the first case,
19 we had two members of the Army of Republika Srpska, and on the other
20 occasion, three captured members of the Army of the Republika Srpska. I
21 cannot recall whether any other clerks or my commander worked on such
22 cases. I personally had occasion to talk maybe for an hour or two with a
23 professional JNA lieutenant originating from Bosanska Krupa, then
24 another --
25 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt, but it might be easier if we could go
1 through this step by step. Now, you said there were two occasions. Can
2 you say generally, sir, on the first occasion, what month and year was
4 A. In 1995, both cases, 1995.
5 Q. And the first occasion, do you recall what month?
6 A. As far as I can remember, those two POWs may have been captured in
7 June or July 1995, before the Vozuca pocket, and the other three were
8 captured during the Vozuca operation.
9 Q. Could you tell the Court, sir, when was the Vozuca operation?
10 A. As far as I can remember after so much time that has elapsed,
11 maybe October or November. I'm not sure. Maybe September and October,
12 maybe the 10th or the 11th month of 1995.
13 Q. Now, you were saying, at page 20, line 6, you personally had
14 occasion to talk for an hour or two with a professional JNA lieutenant
15 originating from Bosanska Krupa. Was this one of the POW you dealt with
16 in July or was it one of them that you dealt with in September?
17 A. That was the group captured at Vozuca.
18 Q. Was this the only POW that you were aware of who was captured or
19 who was rumoured to have been captured in September 1995?
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour. I did not
22 hear the witness say that prisoners of war from September 1995 were
23 discussed, so this is a leading question.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Wood. Can you also explain the use of the word
25 "rumour"? I'm not quite sure I understand why that crept in.
1 MR. WOOD: Certainly, Your Honour.
2 As to the objection, I don't understand exactly the basis for the
3 objection. The witness did say that this professional JNA lieutenant that
4 he spoke of was captured in September, in relation to the Vozuca
5 operation. I don't know how it can be more plain than that.
6 And as for the question of "rumoured", I can ask him a more
7 specific question along those lines, Your Honour, to make that more plain.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Did the witness say this lieutenant was captured in
9 September during the Vozuca operation or did he just say "during the
10 Vozuca operation," and therefore you inferred that it must be September
11 because that was the time of the Vozuca?
12 MR. WOOD: Well, Your Honour, he did say it was during the Vozuca
13 operation, and he did say, as far as he remembered, that it was September
14 or October, maybe the 10th or 11th month of 1995. I'm quoting now from
15 page 20, line 17.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: I have seen that. Thank you very much.
17 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, but I have not
18 understood you correctly, so I would like to clarify this point.
19 I understood that he was talking about two prisoners. The first
20 time he was dealing with POW, this was either in June or July -- July,
21 rather. And from what I understood, that particular prisoner was a
22 prisoner who was one of the first two prisoners he saw on the first time.
23 I would like you to clarify this for me, please.
24 MR. WOOD:
25 Q. Sir, could you please tell the Court, as to the prisoner you spoke
1 of in July, was that the first time you had come into contact with POW
2 during your time in the 35th Division?
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour. Her Honour
5 Lattanzi said and repeated what the witness had said, that he spoke to
6 this witness in June or July, and now that June or July has become "July"
7 in the Prosecutor's question.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Wood.
9 MR. WOOD:
10 Q. Sir, I'll repeat the question. The POW that you came in contact
11 with in June or July 1995, was that the first time you had come into
12 contact with POW during your time in the 35th Division?
13 A. I personally for the first time worked with prisoners of war then.
14 It was maybe in July. I cannot be precise, but it was before the Vozuca.
15 We received, from one of the brigades, two prisoners of war. The police of
16 the 35th Division transferred those two prisoners of war to Zavidovici,
17 and this was my first contact. This was my first personal case of
18 prisoners of war.
19 The second contact occurred after the Vozuca operation. I cannot
20 specify the date, but I am sure because I drank coffee with those people
21 at the office, we watched television, and we discussed matters from the
22 day he came to the Bosnian territory after -- he explained to me that
23 after the Croatian war he was transferred to Titograd and then he was
24 given an order that all people originated from Bosnia should go fight in
1 I spoke to those people. They spent the night, because it was
2 quite late, and for at least one and a half hours I smoked and had coffee
3 with those people in my office or, rather, in the premises of the police
4 of the 35th Division. We discussed matters. They would ask what is going
5 to happen to them. I explained to them that they are going to be
6 exchanged. That officer asked me whether it would be possible for him not
7 to be exchanged. I explained to him that he could remain in the territory
8 of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. One of them was a lawyer, a
9 secretary of a court --
10 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt. We do have limited time, and I want to
11 ask more questions about some other incidents, though I do appreciate your
13 Now, other than this person you're speaking of, did you ever come
14 to hear that any other POW had been captured during the Vozuca operation?
15 A. I cannot be certain and claim so, but there must have been,
16 because more people were exchanged than the number of people that I saw
17 personally. And after the Dayton Accords, all sides had to release
18 detainees or prisoners of war from the military detention centres. The
19 number of people exchanged was higher than the number that I just stated.
20 Q. Sir, did you ever have any specific information that other units
21 might be holding POW?
22 A. In my statement to the investigators, I said that in accordance
23 with some rumours or stories, the El Mujahedin Detachment held a number of
24 captured members of the Army of Republika Srpska.
25 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Do you recall, sir, where
1 this information came from?
2 A. Well, you know how it was; it was a state of war. Maybe I heard
3 it in the town of Zavidovici or maybe I heard it from soldiers. What had
4 to be done was to verify the veracity of such rumours.
5 As far as I could remember, in order to verify such
6 unsubstantiated information, I was tasked with going to the El Mujahedin
7 Detachment to see for myself. I cannot recall the date.
8 Q. I was just going to ask you. You said you cannot recall the date.
9 Can you tell us was it after or before the Vozuca operation?
10 A. How do I explain this? I am quite uncertain as to whether it was
11 before or after. From this position here, I cannot tell you whether it
12 was before or after the Vozuca operation. It could have been before, it
13 could well have been after. I cannot say anything for certain. I
14 probably drafted the report on that. Should you find such a document,
15 perhaps that would jog my memory a bit.
16 Q. Sir, it's your testimony that you don't remember whether it was
17 before or after the Vozuca operation; is that correct?
18 A. I cannot say with any certainty whether it was before or after.
19 Q. You mentioned earlier that you had given a statement to an
20 investigator; is that correct, sir?
21 A. It is.
22 Q. Do you remember when that statement was given?
23 A. On the 5th of July, 2005.
24 Q. Was your memory of these events fresher in 2005 than they are
25 today, sir?
1 A. It's about that date, that time, I couldn't remember the other two
2 POWs. It was only yesterday that I recalled that. Of course, I allow for
3 the possibility that it was before as well as after, but I cannot be
5 Q. Would it refresh your recollection, sir, to be able to take a look
6 at the statement that you gave to the investigators earlier?
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, let us clarify
8 something. Did the witness provide the statement in 2005 or is it the
9 statement that we have, since we only have one statement with a different
10 date than the one mentioned by the witness?
11 MR. WOOD: Yes, Your Honour, and thank you, Defence, for bringing
12 that up. It is dated 2006. The statement I have is dated 2006, 7 July
13 2006. The witness told me yesterday he believes that that was taken in
14 2005. Near his signature it says "7/7/2006". This is something that we
15 can perhaps clear up with the witness, but in any event we are speaking of
16 the only statement that I'm aware of that he gave to the OTP, and that is
17 the statement dated July 7th.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Wood, clear this by talking to the witness
19 rather than testifying, sir.
20 MR. WOOD: Yes, Your Honour.
21 Q. Mr. Sljuka, there is some confusion about when you gave this
22 statement. Can you tell, was it in 2005 or was it in 2006?
23 A. I think I gave the only statement, and this is the statement
24 mentioned by the Prosecutor, but however I think the date is wrong. As
25 far as I recall, I gave the statement in July 2005, in Sarajevo.
1 Q. And when you gave the statement, did you sign the pages, sir?
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: First of all, was it a written statement, sir, that
3 you gave in July 2005, before we talk about signing?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, in English, and it was read
5 back in Bosnian. I signed it. I believe that it was in 2005, when I
6 opened my office. I think it was in 2005. And then I observed --
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let's stay one point at a time. My question was:
8 Was it a written statement or was it oral? You said it was written.
9 My next question to you: Did you sign that statement, sir?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did, and this is the statement.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, thank you. You have answered me. Once
12 you said, "Yes," you've answered.
13 When you're saying this is the statement, which statement are you
14 referring to now?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Whether it was in July 2005 or July
16 2006, I don't know, but it is the same statement. I gave that statement
17 in Sarajevo.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, thank you very much. If you were shown a copy
19 of a statement, would you recognise it?
20 I'm not quite sure, Madam Vidovic, based on your objection,
21 whether you object to him being shown a statement, a document.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. We do not dispute
23 that. We merely wanted to see whether the witness gave just one
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Madam Vidovic.
1 Let's put it on the e-court so that everybody knows what we're
2 talking about, e-court or ELMO, whatever it is.
3 Sir, can you recognise that handwritten -- wait a minute, let's
4 look at the handwritten part first. Can you recognise that? What is
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is my signature and the date of
7 the statement.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: And what is the date there, sir?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 7th of the 7th, 2006.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we turn all the pages for the witness, let him
11 see just that handwritten part, sir? Turn over the pages. I thought we
12 were going to turn over the pages there on the ELMO.
13 You see the signatures there? Next page. Just check them all and
14 see whether they are all your -- yes, carry on.
15 Okay, I guess that's enough. Can you then look at the first page.
16 The first page, the heading at the top of the page.
17 You do read English, sir, don't you?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, then there's no point in you looking at that
21 You may carry on, then. I don't have a B/C/S copy of that
23 MR. WOOD: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. So just for the record, sir, is this the statement you provided to
25 the OTP?
1 A. Yes, it must be, and it was me who was wrong about 2005. This
2 must be the date.
3 Q. Now, sir, would it help to refresh your recollection if you were
4 able to see this statement you provided in 2006, as to the date when you
5 visited the camp? And if I could draw your attention particularly, sir,
6 to paragraph number 51.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Wood, the document just given to the witness,
8 is that the English statement or is it the B/C/S statement?
9 MR. WOOD: I apologise for not clarifying that, Your Honour. Yes,
10 that is the translation of this English statement into a language that the
11 witness understands, that is, Bosnian.
12 Q. Have you had a chance to read paragraph 51, sir?
13 Does that refresh your recollection about when you might have
14 visited the camp?
15 A. The document put before me contains certain information about the
16 El Mujahid Detachment. When I gave this statement, I referred to some
17 other things. Perhaps this was the reason why I mentioned it in the
18 statement. I don't know whether I referred to any other particular
19 document, or the one mentioned here, or whether I referred to any other
20 information that was in circulation about the El Mujahid Detachment when.
21 When I visited them, I don't know if it was September. I said here it was
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry. Just look at paragraph 48 of your
24 statement, sir. I think that's a better paragraph to look at.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Have you read it?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I have.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: And do you stand by that statement that you have
4 made on paragraph 48 today?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I mentioned on several occasions
6 here that it was in September. I am not certain now whether it was in
7 September, indeed, or not.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sir, listen to my question. My question is: Do
9 you stand by the statement you've made in paragraph 48 as you sit there
10 now? Does that reflect your recollection of the events?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am not certain whether what I
12 stated was at that time or at some other time.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Wood, carry on.
14 MR. WOOD: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. When you went to the camp -- well, first of all, let me back up. I
16 just want to make clear you were tasked with going to the barracks of the
17 El Mujahid Detachment. Was that your testimony, sir?
18 A. Yes, it was.
19 Q. Who told you to go there?
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I truly fail to
22 understand this line of questioning. First one needs to establish what
23 the facts were pertaining to different things and whether he did, indeed,
24 receive a task. This is a most leading question.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic, I think that comes from the
1 statement of the witness himself at paragraph 48, and the question was:
2 "When you went to the camp -- well, first of all, let me back up.
3 I just want to make clear. You were tasked with going to the barracks of
4 the El Mujahedin Detachment. Was that your testimony, sir?"
5 I think by "testimony," really it should be, "Was that your
6 statement?" So it comes from the statement, and then the question
7 followed, "Who tasked you?"
8 Are you going to stand up?
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I insist on my
11 First, it has to be established whether he received the task by
12 someone, because that's not what the witness said. He did not clearly
13 state that he stood by the statement exactly. First we need to establish
14 what had happened, why he went there, who said what. Otherwise, we fail to
15 understand the testimony.
16 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I haven't understood you well. I
17 understood that the only uncertainty he had was with regard to the date,
18 if it was in September 1995 or another date.
19 Can you confirm this? Have I understood this correctly?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Proceed, Mr. Wood.
22 MR. WOOD: So has the objection been ruled on, Your Honour?
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, the objection is overruled.
24 MR. WOOD: Thank you.
25 Your Honour, I see the time is 10.20. This would be an
1 appropriate time, in the course of the examination, to take the break, if
2 that's --
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. So be it.
4 We'll come back at quarter to 11:00.
5 Court adjourned.
6 --- Recess taken at 10.17 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 10.47 a.m.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Wood.
9 MR. WOOD:
10 Q. Sir, I want to move on to a different topic now. To confirm, you
11 became assistant commander for Security for the 35th Division at the end
12 of September 1995? Was that what you said in your testimony?
13 A. That is right.
14 Q. And that's the position you held until you were demobilised, until
15 10 June 1996, just to confirm that's what you said?
16 A. That is correct.
17 Q. Could you please tell the Court briefly, what is the role of the
18 Military Security Service in investigating crimes?
19 A. The Security Service is a body that deals with security issues
20 within the given unit. There was a criminal investigation department
21 within the military police, with qualified people, investigators, and
22 people who would, after having assembled statements and information, would
23 draft criminal reports and forward them to the military prosecutor's
24 office. Their domain covered only military personnel.
25 Q. As assistant commander for Security, what knowledge did you have
1 of what reports were being sent to the military prosecutor?
2 A. In principle, I offered professional help to the criminal
3 investigations department of the military police. It had to do with
4 crimes committed by military personnel on duty. It had to do with
5 property crime, deserting, murder and such things.
6 Q. Let me ask my question in a different way. Were you aware, sir,
7 of any reports going to the military prosecutor about specific crimes
8 like, for instance, murder or property crime?
9 A. I don't know during which period it was exactly, but it was me who
10 was drafting criminal reports. I drafted about a dozen, and they were
11 later processed by the military court. Sentences were handed down up to
12 five or seven years' imprisonment.
13 Just to add, since the military court and the military
14 prosecutor's office had many cases on their hands because of the war, some
15 crimes were processed more -- faster and some were received as criminal
16 reports. What ensued was a general amnesty for certain types of crimes
17 where people were not prosecuted, and those that had their trials
18 initiated were acquitted.
19 Q. You said at page 32, line 21, you don't know which period it was
20 exactly, "but it was me who was drafting the criminal reports," and I'll
21 ask that now. What period was it exactly where you were drafting criminal
22 reports, when you drafted about a dozen criminal reports?
23 A. It was before I came to the 35th Division, when I was assistant
24 commander for legal affairs.
25 Q. And I'm speaking specifically now about when you were assistant
1 commander for Security in the 35th Division, sir. What was your knowledge
2 of the criminal reports that were going to the military prosecutor?
3 A. If the police dealt with such cases, I don't know what the outcome
4 of the proceedings was.
5 Q. Again, sir, I'm asking specifically about the reports. What was
6 your knowledge of the reports that were going to the military prosecutor,
7 that is, from the people in the Military Security Service beneath you?
8 A. On each criminal report submitted by the criminal investigations
9 department, the Security Service would be informed as to the name of the
10 person and the crimes allegedly committed.
11 Q. And when you speak of each criminal report submitted, can you tell
12 us, what general category of crimes were these?
13 A. It was the crime of illegally selling weapons, deserting a unit,
14 theft, property crime, and similar offences.
15 Q. Did you ever know of criminal reports submitted by investigators
16 to the prosecutor for the crime of murder?
17 A. I know of one murder in Zavidovici. It was processed by the 328th
18 Mountain Brigade. There was a murder in which one soldier of the brigade
19 was killed by another soldier of the same brigade. Proceedings were
20 initiated against that person at the military court in Zenica.
21 Q. Now, when you say, at page 34, lines 7 to 8:
22 "It was a murder in which one soldier of the brigade was killed by
23 another soldier of the same brigade," can you clarify for us, sir, which
24 brigade are you speaking of?
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: I thought the witness said the 328th Mountain
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct.
3 MR. WOOD: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. Sir, did you ever hear of any criminal reports being filed for any
5 crimes committed in the Mujahedin camp that you alluded to earlier that
6 you had visited?
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, objection. This
9 question implies that certain crimes took place, and that is not what the
10 witness ever mentioned. The question implies certain crimes having been
11 committed which deserved a criminal report to be filed. The witness did
12 not mention that by a single word, and there is no basis for such a
13 leading question.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Wood, I think the formulation of your
15 question suggests that crimes were committed in the El Mujahedin
16 Detachment, and you haven't established that through this witness.
17 MR. WOOD: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Did you ever become aware, sir, of crimes that were committed, if
19 any, in the Mujahedin camp?
20 A. Personally, I have no such knowledge.
21 Q. So as the organ in charge of criminal reports and referring them
22 to the military prosecutor, were you aware of any crimes that had been
23 committed in the Mujahedin camp?
24 A. I will correct myself to a certain degree. I don't know whether
25 any crimes occurred within the El Mujahedin Detachment. However, I do
1 know that when one POW was being transferred, and he was a member of the
2 VRS, as he was handed over to a unit of the 35th Division, and that was
3 the police, several members of the El Mujahid Detachment kidnapped that
4 soldier, and a report was drafted. That took place in September 1995.
5 The Military Security Service filed a report with the 3rd Corps.
6 Q. Where did this event take place, sir?
7 A. That POW, in September, was being transferred from one of the
8 units, I believe from the 328th Mountain Brigade, to the Military Police
9 of the 35th Division. When he was being handed over at the gate of the
10 35th Division's barracks' perimeter, several members of the El Mujahid
11 Detachment kidnapped that man and drove away with him in their vehicle.
12 This was the information given to me by the military police, and the
13 Security Service informed the 3rd Corps about that.
14 Q. Where was the 35th Division barracks?
15 A. The command of the 35th Division was at the post office building
16 in Zavidovici. This incident took place at the military police barracks,
17 which was quartered in the former kindergarten in Zavidovici. So the
18 Command of the 35th Division was on the right-hand side of the Bosna River
19 and the military police was on the other side.
20 Q. Do you recall, sir, whether anybody was ever charged in connection
21 with this kidnapping?
22 A. I don't know what ensued. The report was drafted. As for any
23 measures being taken, I am not familiar with those. I don't know what
24 happened subsequently.
25 Q. You say a report was drafted. Was that a criminal report?
1 A. No, it was informing the 3rd Corps. I cannot submit reports
2 against unidentified people. We have to know exactly what their name is.
3 Q. Finally, sir, during your time in the 35th Division, were you
4 aware of any member of the Mujahedin Detachment being charged with any
5 crime committed anywhere within your AOR?
6 A. I cannot be precise in terms of date. I know that a member of the
7 El Mujahid Detachment was brought before the court when they attacked an
8 official. They attacked a colonel, I believe, of the Nordic or the Polish
9 Brigade. It was in Zenica. And they were also charged with theft and
10 robbery in Zenica. However, I cannot recall at what time that was. It
11 was outside the Division, and I am not certain whether it was still during
12 the war or not.
13 Q. When you say "the Nordic or Polish Brigade," what general
14 organisation are you referring to, sir?
15 A. When they were passing through, I don't know, it was SFOR at the
16 time or something else, but when they went on the road, by certain
17 El Mujahid Detachment members in Bukva, the incident followed. A colonel
18 was attacked and proceedings were instituted, and I believe those people
19 were sentenced by the Zenica Court.
20 Q. So can we take from your answer, sir, this is the only incident
21 that you can recall in which a member of the El Mujahid Detachment was
22 charged with a crime?
23 A. As I said, there were instances in Zenica, but I'm not sure
24 whether this was during the war period or post-war period. I cannot be
1 Q. Is Zenica within the area of responsibility of the 35th Division
2 or was it during the war?
3 A. Well, the 3rd Corps was headquartered at Zenica, and that is the
4 superior command of the 35th Division. The seat of the 3rd Corps was
6 MR. WOOD: The Prosecution has no further questions at this time,
7 Your Honour.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Wood, before you conclude, since the witness's
11 statement has not been entered into evidence, I would like you to follow
12 up on the question that you put, yourself, to the witness about the visit
13 to the El Mujahid camp. You asked him about it, and he did say that he
14 was tasked with going to the El Mujahid camp, but we never heard if he
15 actually went and what happened.
16 MR. WOOD: Yes, Your Honour. If I could have just one moment to
17 consult with my colleague.
18 [Prosecution counsel confer]
19 MR. WOOD: Okay. Thank you for your indulgence, Your Honours.
20 Q. Now, Mr. Sljuka, we talked before about you were ordered to go to
21 the El Mujahid camp. Can you tell the Chamber, please, did you go to the
23 A. Yes, I did.
24 Q. And perhaps it might be helpful if you could tell the Court
25 generally where this camp is located.
1 A. The El Mujahedin camp was located somewhere mid-distance between
2 Zavidovici and Kamenica, some ten kilometres from Zavidovici up the
3 Gostovic River towards Kamenica. It was located in the Gostovic River
4 valley at a plateau. There were several abandoned homes of Serbs who had
5 left. Those houses were destroyed. There was a number of tents erected
6 there, used by the El Mujahedin Detachment. It was their military camp or
7 their barracks.
8 Q. And what happened when you got to the camp, sir?
9 A. Pursuant to the command of either the 35th Division commander,
10 Mr. Fadil Hasanagic, or the assistant commander for Security, Mr. Fadil
11 Imamovic - this means I don't really remember who gave me this order - I
12 went to the El Mujahedin camp, and in my conversation with members of that
13 detachment, I was to ascertain whether they had any captured members of
14 the VRS.
15 Upon arriving there that day, I went to the gates, accompanied by
16 a driver and two military policemen with the insignia of captain first
17 class. We stopped our vehicle before the gate. This is the tarmacked
18 road between Zavidovici and Kamenica. On the right-hand side, level with
19 the road, was a gate. There was a bar. And two El Mujahedin Detachment
20 members stood by that ramp. When the vehicle stopped, I made a couple of
21 steps towards them. Two military policemen exited the vehicle and stood
22 by the vehicle. I tried to establish some contact, but they did not speak
23 Bosnian. I mentioned Aiman, and I tried to find somebody who spoke
24 Bosnian. I was told that he wasn't there.
25 One of those persons went to a tent, and another person, who spoke
1 Bosnian, came to me. Therefore, I established contact with that person.
2 I told them about my intentions, the intentions of my superior command,
3 what I was requested to do and what we need to ascertain. I asked them --
4 I asked -- rather, I told them that we had information that that
5 detachment held a certain number of prisoners of war. I explained to them
6 how prisoners of war should be treated, where they should be held, and
7 that they should not be held by units. I explained to them that there was
8 a pending exchange, where the 7th Corps was planning an exchange with a
9 unit of the Serbian Army, that the Bosnian Army had no prisoners of war,
10 and that the VRS held civilians, so if there were any prisoners of war,
11 this matter should have been sorted out as soon as possible.
12 That person went back to a tent, summoned by somebody else, so
13 that person was absent for a couple of minutes and then came back, and
14 what he provided to me were assurances that they had no prisoners of war,
15 that had they some prisoners of war, they would have handed them over.
16 What I could see with my own eyes on that plateau, I could see all the
17 tents, and I saw 10 to 12 members of the El Mujahedin apart from those on
18 the gate. Some people were fetching water. Some people were washing
19 themselves. And from what I saw, I could not determine whether or not
20 they had any captured POWs.
21 I told them that we had information that there was a captured
22 woman, and I explained to that person, my interlocutor, that the
23 conditions had to be so and so, given that the prisoner of war was a woman
24 and they had a duty of care and they should stick by such rules, but that
25 person told me that there were no prisoners of war, that the camp
1 contained only El Mujahedin Detachment members.
2 And upon hearing that, I returned back to Zavidovici and reported
3 back to the instance that issued the order. I must have drafted a report
4 to the 3rd Corps Military Security Service.
5 Q. Thank you, sir. Can you tell the Chamber, please, did you ever go
6 into the camp?
7 A. No. I was in front of the gate, from which point I could see the
8 whole area that they used, all their tents and all the facilities that
9 they used, but I did not enter the camp itself.
10 Q. From your vantage point, the gate, could you see into all the
11 tents and into all the building?
12 A. There were no buildings there. There were destroyed houses and
13 barns without roofs, of inhabitants of Serb ethnicity who had left for
14 Vozuca. I saw two tents which were open, and that person I spoke to when
15 he went back to that tent, there were sleeping bags lined up there, but I
16 could not see anything else.
17 Q. These two tents you speak of, were these the only two tents in the
19 A. There were four or five, but those two tents which were closest to
20 the gate were the only open ones, and they were empty. As far as I could
21 see, there were no persons in there. There was some other tents -- how
22 can I explain? The perimeter was 100, 200 square metres, and the tents
23 were located on that plateau. There was no proper gate. There were two
24 poles with a bar placed across those two poles, serving as the gate, and
25 this is the place where the vehicles entered and left the camp, and of
1 course they walked in and out of the camp through that gate. And that
2 gate was level with the road between Zavidovici and Kamenica, and the gate
3 was located some five metres away from the road.
4 Q. On page 39, at line -- beginning at line 18, you said that when
5 you got to the gate, you told them "we had information that the detachment
6 held a certain number of prisoners of war." Did you ask at that time or
7 at any time to go into the camp? And just for your clarification, sir,
8 I'm speaking of the transcript. I'm not speaking of your statement. I
9 see you're looking at your statement.
10 MR. WOOD: Perhaps if that could be removed from in front of the
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I first came to the gate and
13 when my vehicle stopped, that is, those two persons manning the gate,
14 let's call them "sentries" or "security," they had their rifles hanging
15 from their right shoulders. When the vehicle stopped, one of them
16 approached the vehicle with the rifle slung across the shoulder, and the
17 other person pointed the rifle at the vehicle that we were in. When I
18 explained I wanted to speak to the man in charge to discuss matters, I was
19 told to wait.
20 One of the sentries went to the camp to look for somebody speaking
21 Bosnian, and he entered several tents. He came back with somebody who
22 could not speak Bosnian fluently but with whom I could communicate, and it
23 is that person that I spoke to at the gate. I did not insist on entering
24 the camp because I was told that I should wait and that somebody would be
25 coming to the gate. And as my conversation with that person progressed, I
1 received information and I did not enter the camp itself.
2 MR. WOOD:
3 Q. After you returned to the headquarters in Zavidovici, as you
4 testified earlier, did you do anything else to try and follow up the
5 information that there were POW in this camp?
6 A. I could not find out, on the basis of rumours and after my visit
7 to the camp. I personally did not learn or could determine that they had
8 any prisoners of war from the point of my visit afterwards.
9 Q. You testified earlier about contacts that you'd had with a
10 particular member of the El Mujahid Detachment, Mr. Aiman. Did you at any
11 time ask Mr. Aiman about this rumour that there had been POW in the
12 El Mujahid camp?
13 A. I can't remember whether I discussed with him this issue. I can't
14 remember whether I discussed this matter with him. I really can't recall.
15 MR. WOOD: Again, the Prosecution has nothing further at this
16 time, unless Your Honour has specific questions. Thank you, then. The
17 Prosecution has no further questions at this time.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
20 Cross-examination by Ms. Vidovic:
21 Q. Good morning, Mr. Sljuka. My name is Vasvija Vidovic. I'm going
22 to question you on behalf of the Defence of General Rasim Delic. And since
23 we speak the same language, please, after each of my questions, you pause
24 a while for the interpreters to have the time to interpret my question and
25 then your answer.
1 The nature of cross-examination is such that most of my questions
2 can be answered with a "yes" or "no," so please, whenever possible, do so.
3 You told us that you provided a statement to the investigators of
4 this Court on the 7th of July, 2006; is that correct?
5 A. I must comment on this. It must have been a mistake. I provided
6 one statement, maybe erroneously wrote "2006". I still believe it was
7 2005, but this is the statement. I gave no other statement.
8 Q. However things may be, you gave that statement and this is what
9 you recall?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You, in that statement, described -- and I invoke paragraph 10 of
12 your statement. You referred to the very difficult situation in the part
13 of Bosnia-Herzegovina that you worked in in 1994-1995, including
14 Zavidovici and the wider area; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I'm going to ask you a couple of questions specifically concerning
17 that situation.
18 In that area, before military activities of Vozuca and Ozren in
19 1995, is it correct, is it not, that Zavidovici, before the July and
20 September operations in 1995, were in a very difficult position?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. They were encircled by Serbian forces?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Those Serb forces daily shelled the area of Zavidovici and other
25 Muslim villages surrounding the town from the area of Vozuca and Ozren?
1 A. And Blizna, which was the closest to Zavidovici, and they held --
2 they could see Zavidovici as they could see the palm of their hand.
3 Q. The area of Tuzla was shelled from these areas as well; is that
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Those shellings had horrendous consequences; is that so?
7 A. Yes.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like the
9 witness to see D582. This is a video. The interpreters have a transcript
10 of that video, so the interpreters will be able to read the transcript.
11 It is video 10.
12 [Videotape played]
13 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Oh, what have they done? An
15 "In the late afternoon today, we once again visited the clinical
16 centre in Tuzla, there, the battle for the lives of the seriously wounded
17 citizens of Tuzla continues. The Cantonal Minister of Health, Dr. Kasim
18 Muminhodzic, gave us the latest information concerning the state of the
19 patients accommodated at this clinical centre. Let us say right now
20 that --"
21 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] The French booth just told us
22 that they did not receive the transcript or the French translation, so I
23 would maybe expect them to interpret directly from what they hear.
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] We apologise, Your Honours.
25 [Videotape played]
1 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Oh, what they have done.
2 "In the late afternoon we revisited the Clinical Centre in Tuzla,
3 where the battle for the lives of the seriously wounded citizens of Tuzla
4 continues. From the Cantonal Minister of Health, Dr. Kasim Muminhodzic,
5 we received the latest information concerning the state of the patients
6 accommodated at this clinical centre.
7 "Let us say right away that the number of killed is 66, while the
8 list of those who were seriously or lightly wounded last night has gotten
9 longer; namely, 176 citizens were wounded. Dr. Muminhodzic told the
10 journalists that in the course of last night, a total of 241 persons were
11 received and accommodated in the Clinical Centre as well as in other
12 health institutions in this town. The fact that 66 of those were killed
13 clearly shows the dreadful proportion of the Chetnik crime against the
14 youth of Tuzla.
15 "Otherwise, while fighting to save the most seriously wounded,
16 there has been an intensive effort since last night to identify the young
17 men and women from Tuzla who were killed. Thanks to the immense efforts
18 of the medical teams and the help of the families of those killed, 63
19 persons have been identified so far, while the identification of the three
20 remaining citizens of Tuzla continues. During the day in Tuzla were
21 organised a number of extraordinary ..."
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 Q. Mr. Sljuka, you knew of this incident; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, that's correct. This happened on the 25th of May, 1995, on
25 the occasion of the prom night of high school students in Tuzla. I was in
1 Zavidovici when this happened.
2 Q. This was not an isolated incident; such shellings from Ozren were
3 an everyday occurrence in the area of Zavidovici and the wider area which
4 included Tuzla. Is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And now, Mr. Sljuka, my question concerning this incident is as
7 follows: Many incidents such as this, with very grave consequences, did
8 take place. Did you ever hear that this incident was prosecuted, that
9 somebody was held to account for this?
10 A. As far as I know, families of the victims still insist --
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just stop.
12 MR. WOOD: Yes, Your Honour. I rise to my feet to object to the
13 form of the question. It doesn't really seem like a question at all, in
14 fact. At 46.23:
15 "Many incidents such as this with very grave consequences did take
17 That sounds more like a statement than a question to me,
18 Your Honour, and I would object on those grounds; that is, specifically,
19 the legal grounds are: No foundation and relevance.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] First of all, Your Honours, this is
22 a cross-examination. My suggestion to my witness is that many such
23 incidents did take place which had not been prosecuted.
24 As for relevance, it is twofold. In this case, I am trying to
25 prove that my client issued a legitimate order or, rather, he approved a
1 legitimate military action, through his directive, which concerned the
2 Vozuca pocket. That's one matter.
3 The other matter is the question that I'm coming to, and that
4 refers to the capacities and capabilities of military security to
5 investigate such incidents as this one which occurred in the same area, at
6 the same time, with horrendous consequences, and which they did not
7 investigate. And this is the relevance of my question.
8 May I finish?
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: No, don't. Just let me comment.
10 First of all, Madam Vidovic is cross-examining, and she's obliged
11 to put her case to the witness and get the witness to comment. I don't
12 think there is anything wrong in her saying that there were many such
14 Madam Vidovic, your client is not charged with approving a
15 military action in the Vozuca pocket, so when you say that: "As for
16 relevance, it is twofold. In this case, I'm trying to prove that my
17 client issued a legitimate order or, rather, he approved a legitimate
18 military action through his directive which concerned the Vozuca pocket,"
19 he's not charged with that, ma'am.
20 So I allow the question, but if the purpose is to show that the
21 approval by your client was legitimate, then that's irrelevant because
22 he's not facing that charge.
23 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, but I still have
24 another issue I'd like to discuss.
25 During the examination-in-chief, incidents in which the soldiers
1 from the ABiH would have been involved and investigations -- and criminal
2 investigations were conducted into these incidents, this was mentioned.
3 But in this particular case, the incident was caused by the enemy, so I
4 would like to understand how there can be a connection between this
5 question and the questions put by the Prosecutor during its
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, first of all, this is a
8 part of the Defence thesis, and it is not directly linked to the questions
9 posed by the Prosecutor. It is our case here that I have the right to
10 develop further during my cross-examination.
11 Second of all, there may have been a slight error in
12 interpretation. Therefore, I'll try to answer Judge Moloto's question
14 As regards what I said, that the Vozuca operation was a part of
15 the directive issued by my client, well, what I'm trying to establish with
16 this witness is this: Whether the military security services of the area,
17 including his own, had the ability and means at their disposal to
18 investigate such incidents, including the incidents from the indictment
19 and including the incidents such as this one, with horrendous
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ... Madam, with
22 what is raised by Judge Lattanzi, which is that this witness cannot tell
23 us about the capabilities to investigate crimes on the part of the VRS
24 army. He didn't work for the VRS army. I thought this clip is talking
25 about atrocities committed by Chetniks.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, you are correct, but as
2 you will see, as will be confirmed by the Prosecutor, according to the
3 rules, the Bosnian Army security services were duty-bound to investigate
4 such incidents and they had to establish who the victims were,
5 disregarding the fact that this incident or this crime was committed by
6 the opposing party.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: They may have been obliged, in terms of the rules,
8 to investigate, but in terms of this case, was it their responsibility to
9 investigate those cases and punish them, punish the perpetrators? That
10 may be a reason, in terms of their rules, for purposes of keeping
11 statistics of their casualties, but is it relevant to this case?
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes, they were
13 duty-bound, and I don't mean the witness specifically, but the security
14 organs were duty-bound to submit criminal reports for each and every
15 crime. Why is it of relevance for this case? I'm trying to prove that
16 even as grave incidents as this one, which happened in the same area and
17 at the same time, was not investigated, no report was submitted, since
18 they had no means and ability to investigate it and to establish the
19 facts. And I will try to clarify that with the witness by putting one or
20 two questions.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Wood.
22 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, but I still have an
23 issue with this. I know full well that as far as credibility of the
24 witness is concerned, you are putting all the questions you would like to
25 put and can put in any manner you wish to put, because you would like to
1 test the witness's credibility. But as far as substance is concerned, you
2 should nonetheless establish a connection with the examination-in-chief,
3 and I don't see this connection.
4 When you put this question, you are talking about investigations
5 into actions caused by the enemy, so to my mind this question cannot be
6 admitted. This is my own personal view.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] If I may respond.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry. Your opposite number is on his feet,
10 Yes, Mr. Wood.
11 MR. WOOD: I think another thing that is worth pointing out here,
12 Your Honour, is that we have heard testimony about the area of
13 responsibility in this case of the 3rd Corps and in the area of
14 responsibility of the 2nd Corps. This does not fall into the area of
15 responsibility of the 3rd Corps, which makes this line of questioning all
16 the more irrelevant.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes. Now, Madam Vidovic, you may respond,
18 including to that last point.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, first and foremost,
20 I'll respond to the latest portion.
21 This shell was fired from Ozren --
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now you are testifying.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] The question was relevant, since it
24 concerns the same area and the same period of time. It displays -- it
25 illustrates the facts which I'm trying to test here that had to do with
1 the indictment. These facts pertain to the events within the framework of
2 the indictment.
3 Another thing concerning cross-examination: It is my deep belief
4 that Defence is allowed to pose questions in addition to the questions
5 pertaining to the witness's credibility, to put questions which are in
6 favour of the thesis of the Defence, as Defence sees them.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic, I've heard your argument. I'm going
8 to allow your questions only because you say you want to establish the
9 existence or lack of capabilities within the 35th Division to investigate
10 these problems. That is the only basis, really, that the question can be
12 You may proceed.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I was about
14 to put that question when I was interrupted by the Prosecutor.
15 Q. You saw the footage and you said that no one was prosecuted,
16 although the victims' families demanded that. My next question is this --
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: That becomes a problematic question. Is it for the
18 35th Division of the BiH Army to prosecute criminals within the VRS,
19 unless they've caught them as prisoners of war?
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that is precisely what
21 I'm trying to clear up. I will ask certain questions of the witness.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, but you're talking about prosecuting these
23 people from the VRS who committed these crimes. I thought I'd said to you
24 your question becomes relevant to the extent that you want to establish
25 that the 35th Division didn't have the capability to investigate these
1 problems because, in terms of the rules, they would have to.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, Your Honour. Yes,
3 Your Honour.
4 Q. Witness, it is true, is it not, that security organs, including
5 the security organs of the 35th Division, were duty-bound to gather
6 information on a crime committed within the AOR, be it that it was
7 committed by a member of the Army of B and H or a member of the VRS, so
8 that they would be able to submit a criminal report?
9 A. That is correct.
10 Q. My next question, thus, is the following: Many incidents with
11 horrific consequences were never investigated because the Army of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, including the 35th Division, had no means to undertake
13 appropriate investigations; am I correct?
14 A. You are. May I comment?
15 We had no technical means needed to carry out an on-site
16 investigation and to document things. We had people who were there but
17 were not professionally trained, so if one looks at their professional
18 expertise, some of them were carpenters, locksmiths, people working in the
19 field of economy.
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] We'll get to that later, Witness.
21 Your Honours, before that, could we please assign an exhibit
22 number to this footage.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Wood.
24 MR. WOOD: The Prosecution objects to this being admitted into
25 evidence, again on grounds of relevance, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe the footage
3 is very relevant to the thesis of the Defence.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I still have a problem with this,
6 and in light of what's been said, namely, that this came under the
7 responsibility of the 2nd Corps and not of the 3rd Corps, but beyond that
8 I also wanted to acknowledge that the witness this morning did mention
9 investigations that did take place. Therefore, I still have a problem
10 understanding the line of questions put by the Defence.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: The clip is -- sorry, the objection is overruled.
12 The clip is admitted into evidence. May it please be given an
13 exhibit number.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number 625.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
16 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. Witness, I will go back to your field of work. Before the war, as
19 far as I could see from the background information on you in the statement
20 given to the prosecutors, to the investigators, you stated that you were a
21 judge at the Court of Associated Labour. Is that correct?
22 A. Yes, it is.
23 Q. You also worked as an assistant commander of the Territorial
24 Defence Staff for Kakanj?
25 A. Yes, for legal affairs.
1 Q. Very well. Then as of 1993 onwards, you worked as a desk officer
2 for security?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. I would like to put the following to you: You are an experienced
5 lawyer. However, you will agree that you had no military knowledge before
6 working at the positions you held within the army; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You had no knowledge or experience from within the competence of
9 security organs?
10 A. I encountered that for the first time when I was assigned to those
12 Q. Thank you. Your associates from the security organ of the
13 35th Division, as you began describing, had no knowledge or experience
14 concerning security issues; is that correct?
15 A. Yes, it is.
16 Q. We see -- we saw the document drafted by Skejic, Fikret. What was
17 his profession?
18 A. He was a locksmith. He worked at the metal factory in Krivaja. He
19 was a qualified locksmith.
20 Q. Thank you. What was Husein Mujkic's profession? He also worked
21 with you, as you said.
22 A. He worked on prefabricated houses. He was a carpenter.
23 Q. You also mentioned Ferid -- I cannot recall his last name. What
24 was his profession?
25 A. Ferid Mehinagic. Before the war, he was in the Natron company in
1 Maglaj. He was a qualified locksmith.
2 Q. What was Husein Marusic's profession?
3 A. Marusic, Husnija.
4 Q. I apologise.
5 A. He was a clerk for economic affairs. He would draft a report sent
6 to the 3rd Corps.
7 Q. Not a single member of your Security Service section had specific
8 training such as it existed in Serbia, in Pancevo, before the war?
9 A. That is correct, they had none.
10 Q. The General Staff and the corps organised various training
11 sessions for those people, but you will agree, I hope, it was insufficient
12 to compensate for the lack of knowledge they did not gain through
13 education or previous experience.
14 A. That is correct. Those were one- or two-day sessions, and not
15 everyone attended.
16 Q. However, the situation demanded that such people be placed at
17 those positions, since you had no other personnel?
18 A. That is correct.
19 Q. The services of the military security functioned according to the
20 principle of subordination?
21 A. That is correct.
22 Q. Battalions had a person tasked with military security; is that
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Then brigades had desk officers for security or assistant
1 commander for Security, depending on the type of brigade?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. All brigades within the AOR of the 35th Division had their own
4 security organ, with the assistant commander of the brigade for security,
5 during 1995?
6 A. That is correct.
7 Q. The security section of the 35th Division was supposed to receive
8 reports from security officers of the brigades on all important events
9 from within the AOR of the brigade?
10 A. That is correct.
11 Q. Summaries were made, in terms of information, and sent onwards to
12 the corps or, rather, to their security section?
13 A. That is correct.
14 Q. Simultaneously, the division commander would be informed on
15 important events pertaining to his work?
16 A. That is correct.
17 Q. I wanted to put some questions to you concerning the duties of
18 subordinate commands and their security organs and their remit and
19 competence, given the fact that you were also asked about that by the
20 Prosecutor concerning the submission of criminal reports. I wanted to ask
21 you this: You will agree that the obligation to report, which we
22 discussed a minute ago, was supposed to follow the line of subordination?
23 It was not the only obligation of the subordinate command, specifically of
24 a battalion or brigade, when it comes to events from within the area of
25 activity of the brigade; is that so?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You'll agree with me, won't you, that security organs of
3 battalions or brigades, if they were to receive information about an event
4 which would fall within their remit, they would be duty-bound to be
5 concerned with that event and investigate it; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Therefore, they would have to take concrete steps in terms of
8 investigating such events; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. It is not incumbent upon them just to report on events; is that
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. Working on security matters, it is known to you that there was a
14 rule -- rules of service for security services within the armed forces; is
15 that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. The Security Service had certain competences from the area of
18 counter-intelligence; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. This included detection, surveilling, documenting, and preventing
21 activities of intelligence services, particularly military intelligence
22 services, against the armed forces; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. However, this also included the creating of the pre-conditions for
25 as complete documented as possible when it comes to war crimes and other
1 criminal offences in Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that correct?
2 A. Yes, that's correct.
3 Q. Military Security Service also performed some functions pertaining
4 to staff security; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Within this competence, a military security service would assess
7 the security situation; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, and would inform the commander of irregularities detected.
9 Q. Thank you. Therefore, on the basis of conclusions from security
10 assessments, Military Security service, apart from informing the
11 commander, service [indiscernible], had to take measures falling within
12 its remit?
13 A. Yes, it was duty-bound to do so.
14 Q. Which included giving proposals to superior officers of
15 appropriate measures that the superior officer should take in the system
16 of control and command; is that correct?
17 A. Yes, that's correct.
18 Q. And, finally, Military Security service had jurisdiction
19 concerning military police affairs; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You told us today that this included professional direction and
22 guidance of authorised personnel within the military police in
23 pre-criminal investigation proceedings?
24 A. That's correct, yes.
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we show Exhibit
1 585 to the witness.
2 Q. Before it appears on the screen, Witness, let me ask you: You
3 must have seen this document. This is the rules of service adopted by the
4 Presidency on the 11th of September, 1992. You told us that you knew
5 these rules, and at this point I would like you to take a look at page 13
6 of the B/C/S version, which is at page 9 in the English version.
7 Please take a look at paragraph 40 and 41. But for the record,
8 let me just say I'm not sure whether it can be seen in the English
9 version -- can we scroll down, please?
10 Witness, do you agree that this chapter is entitled "Military
11 Security Service in Criminal Proceedings"; is that correct?
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. Now, please take a look at the provisions of paragraphs 40 and 41.
14 You can read them to yourself. And in the English version, paragraph 40
15 continues on the next page.
16 And let me ask you - and I presume that you've read paragraphs 40
17 and 41: Do you agree that these provisions of the rules of operations of
18 the Military Security Service, namely, paragraphs 40 and 41, have the
19 effect of Military Security Service of brigade command and their superior
20 Military Security officers propose criminal reports to the Military
21 Prosecution Service if there are grounds to suspect that a criminal
22 offence, falling within the jurisdiction of military courts, had been
23 committed; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 Q. So they must take steps to apprehend the perpetrator and to secure
1 evidence and other information that may be used for a successful
2 prosecution or for a successful conduct of criminal proceedings; is that
4 A. Yes, that's correct.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will continue
6 dealing with these rules of service, but I believe that the time is right
7 for taking a break.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Madam Vidovic.
9 We'll take a break and come back at half past 12.00.
10 Court adjourned.
11 --- Recess taken at 12.01 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 12.31 p.m.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Sir, we discussed the competences of military security organs at
16 brigades and lower levels; is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You will agree with me, won't you, that if a military security
19 organ of a brigade were to come upon information of a criminal offence
20 falling within the jurisdiction of a military court, it is incumbent on
21 that organ to obtain information on that event and to refer those to the
22 competent military prosecutor; is that so?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. They would be failing in their duty if they simply wrote a report
25 to the superior command; is that so?
1 A. Yes, that's correct.
2 Q. It is incumbent upon such an organ to secure the evidence of
3 criminal offences and the basic information available to them because they
4 are the closest to the event, in terms of area and time; is that so?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. They are closest to the perpetrator of the criminal offence in
7 question; is that so?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Were it otherwise, that information would be going to the superior
10 command and then to another superior command, and this would be a waste of
11 time in order to secure evidence, et cetera, and information; is that so?
12 A. Yes.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we put this document away,
14 Your Honours, because this has already been admitted into evidence.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Madam Vidovic.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. And I'll just mention the military prosecutors. Working at
18 Military Security, you must know that during 1992, a decree having an
19 effect of a law was passed on District Military Courts and District
20 Military Prosecutors.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like the witness to see
22 Exhibit 25.
23 Q. I'm discussing the decree law on District Military Courts. You
24 know that the Presidency adopted such a decree in the Presidency of the
25 Bosnia and Herzegovina Republic?
1 A. Yes.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we take a look at
3 page 4 of the B/C/S version, but let's first have the witness see the date
4 of this decree, when it was adopted. And the page in the English version
5 is 11.
6 A. The 13th of August, 1992.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 Q. Witness, please --
9 MS. VIDOVIC: Your Honours, is it necessary --
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is it the 13th of August, 1992? I don't think
11 there was a question that sought that answer. Oh, the date of the decree.
12 Okay, sorry. Thank you very much.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct.
14 May page 2 of the Bosnian version be shown to the witness, page 2
15 in the English version as well.
16 Q. Witness, please take a look at Chapter 3, "Jurisdiction of
17 District Military Courts."
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we have the Bosnian version
19 enlarged a bit, this relevant portion, Articles 6 and 7, please. And the
20 English version, could it be scrolled down so that we see both articles?
21 Well, yes, Article 6 is on this page and Article 7 on the next page.
22 Q. Witness, please take a look at Article 6 and, after that, Article
23 7. Read those to yourself, and then I'll ask you some questions.
24 In connection with this, I would like to ask you this: You will
25 agree, won't you, that military courts, during the period of war in Bosnia
1 and Herzegovina, had jurisdiction to try criminal offences perpetrated by
2 military personnel?
3 A. That is correct, and this is how they proceeded.
4 Q. They also held jurisdiction to try civilians if they committed
5 criminal offences against the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and its property;
6 is that so?
7 A. Yes, that's correct.
8 Q. Well, now please take a look at page 3 of the decree in Bosnian,
9 and that would be page 7 in the English version.
10 A. Can we enlarge this text?
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we enlarge Article 25 under
12 "Special Provisions." It is towards the end of the page.
13 Q. Can you see, Witness, the special provisions on criminal
14 proceedings before district military courts? Please read this article.
15 Have you read it?
16 A. Yes.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Now can we scroll up to the next
18 page, the next column. Thank you.
19 Q. Do you agree that this provision lists the competences and the
20 tasks and powers stipulated by the Law on Criminal Procedure, and under
21 item 3 it says that those of the organs of the Interior will be carried
22 out by authorised officials of the security organs of the Army of the
23 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and military police organs within their
24 prescribed jurisdiction.
25 Witness, in other words, when a criminal offence falling within
1 the jurisdiction of military courts is perpetrated, then the organs of the
2 Interior that would otherwise be in charge if these concerned civilians,
3 that security organs take over jurisdiction?
4 A. Yes, that's correct, together with the military police.
5 Q. So the military police organ within their prescribed
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. Do you agree that this means that they collect evidence, which
9 means organs of military security, and submit and file criminal reports;
10 is that so?
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. By the same token, they are obliged to file a criminal report to
13 the district military prosecutor; is that so?
14 A. Yes.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honours, can we put this
16 document away, please. It's already been admitted.
17 Q. Witness, you will agree with me, won't you, that the pre-war penal
18 code, the Penal Code of the SFRJ, has been taken over by the Republic
19 through a decree before the war, and you're a legal professional, you know
20 about these things?
21 A. Yes. That, and other laws.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, can we have the witness take a
23 look at Exhibit number 3. That's the Penal Code of the Socialist
24 Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. Can the witness be shown the cover
1 Q. That is the law that the Bosnia and Herzegovina republic took over
2 as the Penal Code of the Republic at the beginning of the war?
3 A. Yes, for the jurisdiction of criminal offences which were tried at
4 the federal level.
5 Q. Correct. Well, what we're interested are criminal offences that
6 were regulated by the Penal Code of the SFRJ.
7 Can we take a look at page 87 in the Bosnian version and 93 in the
8 English version, please. In the Bosnian version, 87.
9 A. Can it be enlarged, please?
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] The next page in the Bosnian
11 version, please. The English version is okay. Can we have the next page
12 in the Bosnian version.
13 Q. Witness, can you see that this chapter is entitled "Criminal
14 Offences against the Armed Forces of the SFRY," but this was amended to
15 read: "against the Armed Forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina"?
16 A. That is correct.
17 Q. Now I would like you to see this page, but first we have to state
18 this: Do you agree that Article 201 regulates failure or refusal to carry
19 out an order; is that correct?
20 A. Yes, that's correct.
21 Q. Then refusal to accept or use arms, that's the next article, and
22 especially the following Article 203, which regulates the matter of
24 Well, let's take a look at page 104 in the Bosnian version and 109
25 in the English version. So 104 in the Bosnian version. Page 104, the
1 first article on the page. Let's have the title.
2 Witness, can you see?
3 A. "Failure to report".
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that would be the
5 following page in the English version. That's 109 in the English version,
6 page 109.
7 Q. So this is "Failure of Duty to Inform Military Organs". So you
8 saw the criminal offences listed in this law, and you would agree that the
9 Criminal Code of the SFRY, which was then taken over by
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, envisages a range of criminal offences which protect
11 the principles of line of command and control and command in the
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina Army; is that correct?
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 Can we admit this document into evidence? Oh, I apologise. It
16 has already been admitted, it has an exhibit number. It can be put away,
17 unless the Bench have any questions concerning it.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: The only thing is, ma'am, that I would like to
19 understand is: The document, in English that I see on the screen, is
20 titled "Failure to Carry Out Duties During Mobilisation." You referred to
21 Failure of Duty to Inform Military Organs," and I don't see that.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe you can see
23 it now.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now I can see it. Thank you.
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I apologise.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Not a problem.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could we please put
3 this document away.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document may be put away.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. I want to ask you this: Within the area of responsibility of the
7 35th Division, its brigades had military platoons, did they not?
8 A. Yes, that is correct.
9 Q. The 35th Division also had a platoon of military police of their
11 A. No, a company.
12 Q. Very well, a military police company. How many military policemen
13 does it mean within the Division?
14 A. Around 100 policemen.
15 Q. Thank you. Am I correct in thinking that in Zavidovici, there was
16 a military police battalion as well?
17 A. I cannot be precise, but we always refer to them as the company of
18 the military police of the 35th Division, and the battalion of the
19 military police was with the 3rd Corps. This company was probably part of
20 that battalion, but, in military terms, I cannot be any more precise.
21 However, the company was larger in terms of numbers than the platoons in
23 Q. The battalion of the military police, for which you said was
24 within the 3rd Corps, were they quartered in Zavidovici?
25 A. No, in Zenica.
1 Q. Very well.
2 A. Occasionally, there was contact and information was exchanged, in
3 professional terms.
4 Q. As regards the military police, it is true, is it not, that the
5 use of the military police could be ordered by the unit commander within
6 which that military police unit was?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. However, I'm also correct in saying that the use of the military
9 police could also be suggested by the military security organ?
10 A. That is correct.
11 Q. The competent military security organ?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now a few questions regarding the functioning of the military
14 security in the 35th Division.
15 It is true, is it not, that the orders which had to do with combat
16 activities always contained a chapter pertaining to security situation?
17 A. That is correct.
18 Q. Therefore, inter alia, orders defined the tasks of the military
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. An order for combat activity included instructions on how to treat
23 A. That is correct.
24 Q. The treatment of POWs in accordance with the relevant Geneva
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Such orders also regulated the accommodation of such POWs?
3 A. Yes.
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] At this moment, Your Honours, I
5 would like to show D154 --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: D584 to the witness.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] For the record, it is a General
8 Staff document dated the 35th [as interpreted] of August, 1995. Among
9 others, sent to corps commands and military security sections. It is
10 titled "Instruction --"
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: The interpreter said "dated the 35th of August." I
12 haven't experienced that date before. I see it's called the 31st of
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, the 31st of August, 1995.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could we zoom in, please?
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Can you see it now? It is possible that you have never seen this
18 document, but I wanted to ask you something about certain facts mentioned
19 in this document.
20 Could we scroll down so as to be able to see the whole item 1
21 which has to do with the processing of POWs.
22 Please have a look. Do you agree that by virtue of this document
23 and its item 1, it is described how captured enemy soldiers should be
24 treated so as to keep that in accordance with the application of rules of
25 International Law of War which had been sent previously as part of an
1 order of the General Staff concerning any -- concerning the application of
2 the International Laws of War?
3 A. I agree.
4 Q. You also agree that this came via the Military Security Service?
5 A. That is correct.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Would the counsel and witness please pause
7 between question and answer.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Do you agree that this document by the General Staff -- I
10 apologise. Witness, we have to slow down. Do you agree that item 2 of
11 this document of the General Staff states -- or rather regulates the work
12 of military security when researching and documenting war crimes and the
13 crime of genocide?
14 A. I agree.
15 Q. By the same token, what is mentioned is the obligation to put into
16 practice the order of the 7th of July.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we please have a
18 look at the next page in both versions.
19 Q. You can see the top of the page. What is mentioned here is that
20 the Staff needs to implement the orders of the 17th of July and of the 7th
21 of April which were sent downwards by the Security Administration of the
22 General Staff. Do you agree that the subordinate units received this
23 instruction by the Security Administration concerning the treatment of
25 A. They must have.
1 Q. Thank you. Witness, do you know who Jusuf Jasarevic is?
2 A. He was the chief of the Security Administration within the
3 General Staff of the ABiH.
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 Your Honours, could we assign an exhibit number to this document,
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
8 please be given an exhibit number.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number 626.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please show Exhibit -- no,
12 actually, it is D585 -- to the witness.
13 Q. Please have a look at the document. It is a regular combat report
14 by the 3rd Corps and the 3rd Sabotage Detachment. Today you mentioned
15 certain POWs that you met. I believe it was in September. Please have a
16 look at the first paragraph so as to be able to establish whether you
17 actually were referring to these POWs.
18 There is a mention here of two officers, a captain and a
19 lieutenant. That is what reminded me of your previous answer. Is it
20 possible that these were the two POWs?
21 A. Most likely. There was a lieutenant, there was a captain, and
22 there was a second lieutenant and a reserve officer in Doboj.
23 Q. Commander Sead Rekic signed this. Can we scroll down in order to
24 be able to see the signature. In English, it is page 2. We cannot see
25 the signature quite well.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] However, Your Honours, we can give a
2 Bosnian copy for your perusal. Perhaps on that copy we can see the
3 signature better. Here, it was cut in half when copying the document.
4 Q. Witness, it says "Dekic," I believe. Yes, perhaps you can see it
5 clearly on our copy. Can you see that?
6 A. Yes, and thinking about it, most likely it was Sead Rekic's unit
7 that transferred those people to the 35th and Division military police.
8 Q. Please, let us go back to chapter 1. In this document, it states
9 that -- that is, paragraph 1 --
10 A. Which line?
11 Q. The first sentence, read it to yourself. In the English, it is
12 the first chapter, Your Honours. You can see there that it states that:
13 "During the day, the reconnaissance group which was based near
14 Ljajevac --"
15 Well, I can't read very well since I have given my copy to the
16 witness. However, it is stated here that the POWs were treated in
17 accordance with the corps commander's instruction, and two officers are
18 mentioned. It is mentioned here that, according to the document, four
19 Chetniks were taken prisoner, two of which were officers, a captain and a
20 lieutenant, and that they were treated in accordance with the corps
21 commander's order concerning prisoners.
22 A. I'm certain that I was talking about those mentioned in this
24 Q. Thank you. You will agree with me that this document shows, does
25 it not, that units of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina reported on the
1 treatment of POWs?
2 A. That is right.
3 Q. Whether they were treated correctly or incorrectly?
4 A. That is correct.
5 Q. And they were duty-bound to report on that?
6 A. That is correct.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could we assign an
8 exhibit number to this document, please.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
10 please be given an exhibit number.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number 627.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I have but a few questions left,
14 Your Honour.
15 Q. When giving your statement to the investigators, in paragraph 39
16 of your statement of the 7th of July, 2006, you describe the treatment of
17 POWs as follows:
18 "Specifically, if I would refer information that a POW was taken
19 by any unit, and if I would hear that the regular procedure was not
20 followed, I wrote up information about it also saying that I would
21 continue with further action about that. When I say that, I mean that I
22 would check whether it was true or whether somebody was just boasting with
23 such information."
24 I quoted your statement to the investigators of the OTP, and I
25 wanted to ask you this: Have I understood well that if there was
1 information on irregular treatment of POWs, you would report on that?
2 A. That is correct.
3 Q. You would be duty-bound to do so?
4 A. Yes, first check information, establish what the case was, and
5 then report.
6 Q. Given that there were irregularities, you were also duty-bound to
7 conduct an investigation?
8 A. Yes, procedure as prescribed. If the information were true, if it
9 was proven to be true, then further measures would be undertaken which
10 fell under the competence of the security military -- military security
12 Q. Those further measures would mean conducting an investigation?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. I noticed another thing. You said that first you would try to
15 establish whether someone was merely boasting concerning that information
16 on POWs. That is why I would like to ask you the following: It is
17 correct, is it not, that subordinate units occasionally sent information
18 on far greater numbers of captured soldiers or killed soldiers on the
19 enemy side, which did not correspond to the reality of the situation,
20 trying to boast or, rather, give a wrong picture of their successes in
22 A. Yes. There were reports from subordinate units which were unreal,
23 unrealistic. Subsequent checks would confirm that this did not correspond
24 to the situation on the ground. It was during the war, and then certain
25 units would try and boast by stating that they had liberated a certain
1 portion of the territory, whereas it wasn't true. That is what I had in
2 mind, and that is what I tried to explain.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'd like to clarify
4 something for the record. It is page 75, line 17 and 18.
5 Q. Witness, I asked you this. I asked you about exaggerating the
6 number of people taken prisoner and those killed. I asked you whether
7 they were trying to inflate their successes, and I apologise, this is line
8 12 to 14, page 75. Did you understand me?
9 A. I didn't understand your question.
10 Q. My question is the following: It happened, did it not, that
11 subordinate units would inflate the number of enemy soldiers killed and
12 taken prisoner so as to inflate their success during the combat
14 A. That is correct.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Now I would like you to
16 see another document, Exhibit 480.
17 Q. Please, this is a report of the 328th Mountain Brigade that was
18 shown to you by the Prosecutor, while you were providing your statement to
19 the investigators. That document is dated the 13th of September, 1995.
20 This is a regular daily combat report. Please take a look at the
21 addressee of this report. It will be KM or the command post of the 35th
22 Division of land forces.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please show the witness the
24 second page of this document, and the following page or the last page,
25 which bears the signature. That would be page 5 in the English version.
1 Q. What I'd like to ask you is as follows: You may remember that you
2 made comment on something which the Prosecutor showed you today, that you
3 said that after seeing this document, you went to the El Mujahedin
4 Detachment's camp. What I'd like to ask you in connection with this
5 document is as follows, please: Did you receive, down the line of command
6 through security organs, any information about the prisoners of war being
7 kept at El Mujahedin camp?
8 A. I can say with certainty that I did not receive such information.
9 Q. So through the line of subordination from the military security of
10 brigades to the military security organs of the Division, that you did not
11 reach such document or information; is that correct?
12 A. That is correct.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 Your Honours, I have no further questions for this witness.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Madam Vidovic.
16 Mr. Wood.
17 MR. WOOD: Just one question, Your Honour, as a follow-up to the
18 last question asked by the Defence.
19 Re-examination by Mr. Wood:
20 Q. Sir, you said you can say with certainty that you did not receive
21 information down the line of command through security organs of any
22 information about prisoners of war being kept in the El Mujahedin camp?
23 A. In connection with this document, that's correct.
24 Q. What information did you have when you were ordered to go to the
25 El Mujahedin camp in September 1995?
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour. My
3 cross-examination in connection with this document was limited to the line
4 of communication through the military organs from subordinated to superior
5 organs. What Mr. Wood is doing is that he is reopening his
6 examination-in-chief on the information that he received prior to going to
7 the camp, so this falls outside the boundaries of redirect.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Wood.
9 MR. WOOD: Well, I think the record will be deeply confusing if
10 this question isn't clarified, Your Honour. I don't think this goes
11 beyond the scope of the cross-examination, and I'm in no way trying to
12 reopen my direct examination. I think that this is just something that is
13 confusing and that needs to be clarified.
14 The testimony is that the witness went to the camp. He must have
15 had some information. I just seek to find out what that was, for the
16 clarity of the record, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: You want to find out whether that came through the
18 lines of communication or not?
19 MR. WOOD: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. In that event, then, the question will be
22 MR. WOOD:
23 Q. Now, sir, the question asked before was what information you had
24 when you went to the camp. Perhaps it might be helpful also, considering
25 this, to explain where you got this information from.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: No, that's different from what I asked you. If you
2 were going to follow up what I asked you, you would then ask the witness
3 where he got the information from that tasked him to go to Gostovici.
4 MR. WOOD: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
5 Q. So, Mr. Sljuka, I'll repeat the Judge's question.
6 Where did you get the information from that tasked you to go to
8 A. I stated clearly that there were unverified rumours, so what
9 must -- what had to be determined is whether they were true or not, and
10 this is the --
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: I must interrupt you, sir. You were not tasked by
12 a rumour. Some official tasked you to go to Gostovici. Who was that
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I said, either the commander or
15 assistant commander for Security. So division commander or assistant
16 division commander for Security.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: There is your answer, Mr. Wood. You may carry on.
18 MR. WOOD: The Prosecution has nothing further, Your Honours. I
19 just wanted to clarify that for the record.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
22 Questioned by the Court:
23 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Witness, you told us, during the
24 examination-in-chief, I believe, that there was an amnesty as regards
25 criminal offences that may have been committed by armies -- soldiers of
1 the ABiH Army. My question runs as follows: The amnesty related also to
2 war crimes, did it?
3 A. No. It was a law on amnesty for specific criminal offences,
4 criminal offences against prisoners of war, genocide, and criminal -- war
5 crimes, rape. This was not encompassed by the amnesty, or criminal
6 offences punishable by 20 years in prison and more. Some criminal
7 offences were exempted from amnesty. Amnesty specified criminal offences
8 which it applied to, but war crimes were not part of the amnesty. The law
9 on amnesty did not encompass those criminal offences.
10 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] One other small question.
11 You told us about your visit to the Mujahedin camp when you
12 stopped at the front gate. What I wanted to know is: Had you wanted to
13 go inside, would you have been able to? Would you have had the authority
14 necessary to entitle you to walk inside?
15 A. When the vehicle stopped at the gate, let's call it a gate,
16 although I described what it was, I emerged from the vehicle with two
17 military policemen. The driver remained in the vehicle. And we were met
18 by two sentries at the gate. When I explained that I was looking for the
19 person in charge, they told me, "Wait until the person in charge arrived."
20 That conversation took place at the gate.
21 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Yes, that I had understood, but I
22 was wondering: Had you wanted to go inside to check and to see whether
23 the prisoners were there, maybe they weren't, would you have been entitled
24 to go inside?
25 A. I was told to stay put there, and I remained there. I was not
1 allowed to go inside.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: But, Witness, please do answer the question. Listen
3 to the question and answer the question that is put to you, please.
4 You're not asked what you did. You're asked what authority you had.
5 A. To go to the El Mujahedin Detachment. I went there, and I was
6 clearly said, "Stay here, wait at the gate," and I waited for somebody to
7 talk to. That interlocutor conducted the conversation with me at the
9 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] In other words, you decided to
10 believe what you had been told; you decided to react like that?
11 A. [Previous translation continues] ... Otherwise, because the other
12 side dictated the terms under which and where we would be having the
14 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] In other words, you did not have
15 the authority to dictate your terms, did you?
16 A. No.
17 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
19 Now, both parties have, during their examination-in-chief and
20 cross-examination respectively, referred to the statement offered by the
21 witness on 7th July 2006, and I was just wondering if I could invite the
22 parties to elicit information on one of the pieces of information which
23 are included in the witness's testimony. And I was specifically thinking
24 of the information contained in paragraph 40 of the witness's statement,
25 in which Mr. Sljuka states that apparently the El Mujahid Detachment was
1 not in the chain of command of the ABiH on the same terms, at least, as
2 other ABiH units.
3 I would like to invite the parties to find out from the witness
4 what he means by this part of his statement, because I think this would be
5 crucial to the case.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: I can also put the questions directly myself, if
8 you prefer to do so. Very well, both parties seem to be in agreement with
10 Mr. Sljuka, can I ask the Registrar to pull up the witness's
11 statement of 7 July 2006, if that is possible, so we can show the -- is
12 that not available in the e-court system?
13 I understand that the statement is not included in the e-court
14 system. Then could I ask that a B/C/S copy be shown to the witness.
15 MR. WOOD: Yes, Your Honour. I have a copy here. I can hand it
16 to the usher.
17 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much.
18 Mr. Sljuka, I kindly ask you to go to paragraph 40 of your
20 Have you read it, sir?
21 A. I have.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: I wish to know what you mean when you say that
23 only those ABiH units who were strictly in the chain of command of the
24 ABiH are the units that you have referred to, and then you continue to say
25 that exceptions to this is the El Mujahedin Detachment:
1 "I had no information on their activities."
2 Can you tell us what you meant by this part of your statement?
3 A. My statement refers to the line of command of security organs from
4 the lowest level of units to the highest level of units. I explained that
5 each battalion had a security organ, brigades had security organs, and a
6 division had a security organ. The exception to this was the El Mujahedin
7 Detachment, which -- with which we never had established contacts with
8 respect to the security organs, that we could verify information with and
9 from, and this is the only unit that we had no such security organ in, and
10 this is what I meant.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: I see. Nevertheless, you say that, in the line
12 just above this, that you only were referring to ABiH units who were
13 strictly in the chain of command of the ABiH. This seems to suggest
14 somehow that you did not consider the El Mujahid Detachment as being
15 within the chain of command of the ABiH. My question to you, sir, in
16 respect of this statement of yours: What were you told by your superiors,
17 if anything, about the position of the El Mujahid Detachment in the chain
18 of command of the ABiH?
19 A. I don't know precisely what kind of contacts the Command had with
20 them with regard to a line of command and command and control. What I'm
21 referring to here is from the -- in the light of security organ
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: Well, let me put my question more directly to you.
24 Did you consider the El Mujahid Detachment to be an ordinary part
25 of the ABiH, on the same footing as other units within the 35th Division?
1 A. I know the detachment was there, which means it was an autonomous
2 detachment, in my knowledge. I know that they did not fit in the
3 control-and-command line as other units of the ABiH. Those who commanded
4 units know more about that.
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: Did you discuss with any of your superiors your
6 lack of means to communicate with the El Mujahid Detachment about security
7 issues, and which instructions were you given to this -- in this matter?
8 A. Well, everybody in the Security Service knew about that. First of
9 all, first you have to appoint a security organ, and the 35th Division
10 security organ must know the identity of that person so that they can
11 contact that person, because apart from regular combat reports, we had
12 security reports up and down the line. So if you do not have a person
13 appointed to be your contact, a person to receive confidential
14 information, then you have nobody to communicate with within that unit,
15 either orally or in writing.
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: I accept that, but I guess it would be natural to
17 try and seek some information from the El Mujahid Detachment on security
18 issues, so if you did not receive any written regular security reports
19 from them, which you say you did not, then one would have sought to elicit
20 this information from your contacts with Mr. Aiman, perhaps. So my
21 question is: Did you seek information which would otherwise have been
22 included in the security reports, from Mr. Aiman?
23 A. What we wrote down about that unit is what we learned from our own
24 organs. They had no insignia. They were not regular -- like regular
25 soldiers of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Whenever we sought something
1 from them, then they would respond, "Oh, yes, of course, you will receive
2 that," but there would be nothing following and you had no means to
3 determine whether some things or matters were resolved or not. And all
4 information that we learned about them were included in our information
5 going to the 3rd Corps. Well, you could not stop and ask an ID of a
6 person who did not have regular military documents, so if an MP were to
7 stop somebody to determine whether a person is on a sick leave or is
8 deserting or is on his rest-and-recreation time, this was possible with
9 those -- with regular soldiers, but this could not be done with the El
10 Mujahedin Detachment members.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Apparently not. But your answer seems to suggest
12 that you did, in fact, include some information relating to security
13 matters about the EMD in your report to the Division Command. What was
14 this information; do you recall?
15 A. Well, I can remember the disregard for the curfew, then carrying
16 rifles, or incidents concerning people sunbathing and bathing in the river
17 during summer, or incidents concerning the socialising of men and women at
18 the same place. There were such incidents. I can't remember, all of
20 JUDGE HARHOFF: Do you know if any action was ever taken as a
21 result of your reports about these incidents?
22 A. I remember that there were cases where El Mujahedin Detachment
23 representatives would promise to 35th Division representatives that there
24 would be no further cases of irregularities, so the 3rd Corps' reaction
25 was that these matters had to be resolved, and I know of such situations.
1 JUDGE HARHOFF: This is crucial evidence. Are you saying that the
2 3rd Corps did exercise its authority to raise these security matters with
3 the EMD and that the EMD -- sorry, the El Mujahid Detachment did, in fact,
4 respond to these calls from the 3rd Corps; is that a correct understanding
5 of what you're saying?
6 A. I don't know how you understood it, but we would include
7 information about irregularities permitted by El Mujahedin Detachment
8 members in our report, and we would try to resolve problematic situations
9 together with the 3rd Corps people dealing with security issues or morale
10 issues of the 3rd Corps.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, sir.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sir, I'm sorry, I had meant to ask you questions
13 about this further, so I am going to ask you those questions. Sorry that
14 we have to go through the same territory once again, but I have slightly
15 different concerns.
16 My first concern, sir, is: Based on this sentence at paragraph 40
18 "When I say units, I exclusively refer to only those ABiH units
19 who are strictly in the chain of command of the ABiH," and then you carry
20 on to say: "An exception to that is the El Mujahedin Detachment," my
21 question to you is: Why do you then include information about the El
22 Mujahedin Detachment in your reports to the 3rd Corps if, according to
23 you, the El Mujahedin Detachment was not strictly in the chain of command
24 of the ABiH?
25 A. Because they were located in the area of responsibility of the
1 35th Division.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Fine. But then why then do you say: "They would
3 not report to us and I never did nor tried nor could establish contact
4 with them"?
5 They are in your area of responsibility. If everything that is in
6 your area of responsibility is your responsibility, then you must try to
7 make contact with them, shouldn't you?
8 A. When I mentioned the security organ a while ago, such organs
9 communicated and coordinate with each other. I never received any
10 information from my superior command that that particular unit had any
11 security organ, and it was never requested that any information be passed
12 on to that unit. That's why I said I had no communication whatsoever with
13 the unit.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay, fine. Then you were tasked to go to
15 Gostovici, and you have told us your experiences when you got there. Did
16 you give a report to your security organ or to your superiors on your
17 visit to Gostovici?
18 A. Yes, certainly.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Was it oral or in writing?
20 A. Orally, I was to inform promptly the person who had issued me with
21 that task. I must have submitted a written report as well. Somebody from
22 the Security -- to someone from the security Services of the 35th
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: What was the substance of your report, sir?
25 A. That on orders, whether it was from the commander or the assistant
1 commander for Security, I visited the El Mujahedin Detachment, trying to
2 establish whether the unit has a certain number of captured enemy soldiers
3 on the premises. In contact with an unidentified person who speaks
4 Bosnian, I learned this and that. I describe it, I mentioned the answers
5 I received, and I must have mentioned in the report what had happened.
6 More or less, it amounts to what I told you. You would find the same
7 thing in the report.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Did you have your own
9 independent impression of whether or not there may have been prisoners of
10 war in that camp?
11 A. As I said, I tried to survey the camp as far as I could see,
12 trying to make any conclusions.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: We haven't got much time. Did you have your own
14 independent impressions, yes or no?
15 A. It was not my impression that at that moment they had any captured
16 people there.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Finally, just before we get off, I'm sorry,
18 I'm not able to say what the exhibit number is, but I just want to -- if
19 we could show the witness the order subordinating the El Mujahedin
20 Detachment to the ABiH, please. It's in evidence.
21 MR. WOOD: That could perhaps be Exhibit 396, Your Honour. If we
22 could have a look at that, that might be what you have in mind, Your
23 Honour. Or perhaps if that's not it, Exhibit 431, perhaps.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I just see the order part of it, please.
25 This is a resubordination order. I want an order that -- anyway,
1 this is an order, anyway.
2 Sir, I would like you to look at just paragraph 1 of that order
3 and then look at the signature of the -- the signatory to the order.
4 Before we go to the signatory, I would like to see the date of
5 this document. 2nd June 1995. Can we see the signatory, please.
6 Okay. Have you read it?
7 A. Yes, I have.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: You realise -- would you still stand by the
9 statement you're making, that this El Mujahedin Detachment was an
10 exception to the other units that were subordinated -- that were in the
11 line of command of the ARBiH?
12 A. This document came from the 3rd Corps commander, Mr. Mahmuljin. It
13 is a combat document, such as the ones I did not encounter at the time.
14 Independently of that, it is still my opinion that irrespective of any
15 orders, one couldn't do anything with that unit.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: This is a resubordination order. I actually wanted
17 the order that established them and subordinated them to the army.
18 MR. WOOD: Okay. We will look for that order, Your Honour. And
19 for the record, just so it's plain, the order that he was looking at just
20 then was Exhibit 396; is that correct, Mr. Registrar? I see that that is
21 correct, yes.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Anyway, we've gone beyond our time. I'm afraid
23 you'll have to come back tomorrow.
24 Tomorrow, the hearing is going to be in Courtroom III, not this
25 courtroom, and it's going to be at quarter past 2.00 in the afternoon.
1 Okay, sir? So make sure that you come back tomorrow at quarter
2 past 2.00 in the afternoon, Courtroom III.
3 Court adjourned.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 23rd day of
6 October, 2007, at 2.15 p.m.