Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 6737

1 Monday, 10 December 2007

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.

6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning to everybody in the court this

7 morning.

8 Mr. Registrar, can you please call the case.

9 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, and good morning, Your Honours. This

10 is case number IT-04-83-T, the Prosecutor versus Rasim Delic.

11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.

12 Could we have the appearances, please, starting with the

13 Prosecution.

14 MS. SARTORIO: Good morning, Your Honours, and everyone. Laurie

15 Sartorio and Kyle Wood for the Prosecution. We're assisted by our case

16 manager, Fraser McIlwraith.

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 learned friends from the OTP, to everyone in and around the

21 courtroom. I am Vasvija Vidovic, with Mr. Nicholas Robson, representing

22 Mr. Delic, with our legal assistant, Lana Deljkic.

23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Madam Vidovic.

24 May the witness please make the declaration.

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

Page 6738

1 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Sir, you may now be seated

3 and make yourself comfortable.


5 [Witness answered through interpreter]

6 JUDGE MOLOTO: And good morning to you. Good morning.

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.

8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.

9 Madam Sartorio.

10 MS. SARTORIO: Yes, Your Honour. This witness's statement has

11 been admitted pursuant to Rule 92 bis, and therefore we'll just be

12 proceeding right into cross-examination.

13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.

14 Madam Vidovic.

15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, sorry for the interruption. Just

16 for the record, the statement of the witness, which has been -- which was

17 admitted on the 5th of December, will be Exhibit number 970.

18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Exhibit number 970, witness statement. Thank you

19 very much, Mr. Registrar.

20 Yes, Mr. Robson.

21 MR. ROBSON: Thank you, Your Honours.

22 Cross-examination by Mr. Robson:

23 Q. Good morning, Mr. Omerasevic. My name is Nicholas Robson, and

24 I'll be asking you some questions today on behalf of General Rasim Delic.

25 Just to explain to you, you have prepared two statements to the

Page 6739

1 Office of the Prosecutor. The first was dated the 24th of October, 2006,

2 and the second was dated the 8th of May, 2007. Those two -- those two

3 statements have been admitted into evidence with the Trial Chamber, and

4 the Trial Chamber have read those statements. They will therefore be

5 aware of what you say in those statements.

6 The reason for you coming today is so that we today can clarify

7 some of the points that you mention in the statements. If at any time you

8 do not understand any of my questions, please let me know, and I'll try to

9 rephrase them. Is that clear?

10 A. Yes, it is.

11 Q. So, Mr. Omerasevic, in 1995 you were the deputy commander of the

12 5th Battalion of the 328th Brigade; is that right?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. The commander of the 5th Battalion was Ahmet Sehic; is that so?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And am I right in saying that at the time of the combat operations

17 in September 1995, the headquarters of the 5th Battalion was in the

18 village of Marici?

19 A. Marici.

20 Q. So the headquarters was located in that village.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And is it also correct that your unit, the 5th Battalion, also had

23 a rear command post in the village of Borovnica?

24 A. It wasn't in the village of Borovnica. It was between the Sehici

25 and Borovnica villages.

Page 6740

1 Q. Thank you for that clarification.

2 I now want to turn to your first statement, given in October

3 2006. And in that statement, at paragraph 39, you mentioned the El

4 Mujahedin Detachment and you explain how, as far as you can remember, that

5 unit was involved in operations at Podsjelovo.

6 Now, would you agree with me that apart from the El Mujahedin

7 Detachment, there were other Mujahedin groups operating in Central Bosnia?

8 A. Officially I don't know about the El Mujahid Unit. I do mention

9 it in my statements sometimes as "El Mujahid." This is what the others

10 referred to it. I don't know if there was some other such group. There

11 were all sorts of stories, but officially I don't know. On the other

12 hand, I never managed to find out where the El Mujahid Unit was located,

13 at which level of command in the hierarchy of the Army of Bosnia and

14 Herzegovina they belonged, and the only thing I am sure of is that the

15 brigade command did not have any authority or jurisdiction over them.

16 Q. You say that -- during September 1995, is it right that you were

17 primarily located at the command post at Marici?

18 A. It was a provisional forward command post of a unit of the 5th

19 Battalion. In order to avoid confusion, it was a forward command post

20 that was set up before the preparations for the action itself. We

21 received an order that Ahmet Sehic conveyed to me orally to place it along

22 the line of defence, this forward command post, and to place two-thirds of

23 the soldiers. That was the first order.

24 Q. So that is a place where you would spend some of your time in

25 September 1995.

Page 6741

1 A. I think 10, 12, 13 days I was there at that place.

2 Q. And is it right that you would also spend some of your time in

3 September 1995 in Borovnica?

4 A. I wasn't in Borovnica during those few days, since when I would be

5 leaving the forward command post, I would turn left towards my house

6 before that, because the next village to the left of Sehici is my village,

7 where I live, Lijevca. And I didn't really pass that way in the last

8 month or two.

9 Q. Was your village, Lijevca, close to Borovnica?

10 A. It's about 20 minutes, not taking the road that the cars go but if

11 you take a -- a path, pedestrian path.

12 Q. Were you aware -- were there -- to your knowledge, were there any

13 Mujahedin fighters based in Borovnica during September 1995?

14 A. Officially I don't know, and I didn't see any, but I did have one

15 piece of information. Since we from the Marici area waited for ten days,

16 we didn't know how the action was proceeding, Sehic and I decided by

17 ourselves, without the knowledge of the brigade command, to take the unit

18 that was at the line of defence when the order was issued for the other

19 soldiers to come to the line of defence, to send them home to change

20 clothes, bathe, take some more clothes, because it came on its shift.

21 So when that group of soldiers returned, they were saying that

22 there was a group of Arabs which, according to what they saw - because

23 they were only at home for a couple of hours, between 5.00 and 7.00,

24 that's how long it took them to get ready, because they walked on foot

25 over the hill - so the group they noticed was different from the groups

Page 6742

1 that they would see before then. More or less all of them were smoking,

2 and there was a small shop there, and they would come to that shop and ask

3 to -- to see if there was any beer to buy, which was a bit different from

4 all the Arabs that they had met to the -- to date.

5 And then in that story, before the beginning of the Vozuca action,

6 people were guessing that this was a group of Kurds. I don't know how

7 true this is. All I know is what I know based on the stories told by 10

8 or 15 soldiers.

9 Q. Okay. Now, you've mentioned the events in September 1995. In

10 your first statement, you explain how on the 10th or 11th of September,

11 around 4.00 or 5.00 in the morning, shooting started towards the area of

12 Paljenik. You explain at paragraph 66 how later that day you received

13 information about what was going on and you heard that the BiH army was

14 attacking at the area of Vozuca.

15 Do you remember saying that in your statement?

16 A. Yes, I do.

17 Q. In your statement, then you continue to explain how at around

18 10.00 in the evening of that day you were ordered to take the forest

19 behind the village of Kesten, and you made a request to your commander,

20 Ahmet Sehic, and asked if you could take the forest in the morning. Is

21 that right?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. You then explain how the next morning at 5.00 you went down

24 towards Kesten village together with a unit of the 5th Battalion, and that

25 unit was led by Ismet Sogolj [Realtime transcript read in error

Page 6743

1 "Sokolj"]. You then explain that you established a new front line -- you

2 established a new front line and then you and Ismet Sogolj decided to

3 return to the visit -- to the village of Kesten. Is that correct?

4 A. We didn't decide to return to the village of Kesten. It was a

5 couple of hundred metres away. But, however, Ismet, in agreement with me,

6 was going back to the village of Kesten, where he had a certain number of

7 company -- the company that had remained, and I was going back to Jasicka

8 Kosa, where my forward command post was at that time and where I had a

9 telephone connection, a field telephone connection.

10 Q. Am I right in saying that your forward command post at Jasicka

11 Kosa was located on top of a hill that overlooked Kesten village?

12 A. Well, you could see maybe a half or a little bit more than a half

13 of the village from there.

14 Q. So as I understand it, you went from Kesten village back to your

15 forward command post. And while you were at the post, you looked down and

16 you could see that there was a group coming from the forest towards Kesten

17 village. And at that point, on seeing the group, you decided to go down

18 to Kesten to see what was going on. Is that right?

19 A. First I heard shooting in the woods, and then after 10 or 15

20 minutes I could see people coming out of the woods going towards the

21 houses in the village along the macadam road. Since I didn't have any

22 communications with my soldiers or Ismet Sogolj, as the company commander,

23 I tried to use a field telephone, because the communications man was next

24 to me, to see if I could get in touch with Ahmet Sehic in Marici to see if

25 he knew what was going on, and he said that he didn't know. And then

Page 6744

1 after that, I had no other choice. I made the decision, left the

2 communications man in the trench, and then I went to the village of Kesten

3 myself to see what was going on.

4 Q. And is it correct that as you walked down to Kesten, on your way

5 to Kesten village you met some of your soldiers who were -- who were

6 escorting some Serb women and you told those soldiers to take the women to

7 the 5th Battalion's forward command post at Marici?

8 A. It's true.

9 Q. In your statement, you go on to explain what you saw in Kesten

10 village. You say that you saw Ismet Sogolj arguing with Arabs outside a

11 hall. You also explain how you saw four or five Arabs in the room inside

12 the hall and maybe 40 to 50 Serb prisoners of war.

13 Now, the Trial Chamber have read your account of what you saw in

14 and around the hall, but what I would like to ask you specifically about

15 is the following: In both statements, you refer to the men who took the

16 Serb prisoners of war as "Arabs." Am I right in saying that those men

17 that you called Arabs, in terms of their appearance, they had no insignia

18 or markings that could identify them as belonging to a particular group?

19 A. You are correct, because they didn't have any insignia for me to

20 be able to know which unit they belonged to. I must be sincere, though.

21 The day before, there was a decision made about the insignia worn by the

22 soldiers of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but since we had already

23 started moving, I didn't know what the other units of the armija were

24 wearing, what their insignia was, other than the units of the 5th

25 Battalion. So sometime in the afternoon on that day, from a messenger

Page 6745

1 from the commander of the brigade, I received a new code word for the

2 328th Brigade, a new password.

3 Q. But just to be absolutely clear, in terms of the appearance of

4 these Arabs that you saw in and around the hall, there was nothing about

5 their clothing from which you could conclude that they were members of the

6 El Mujahedin Detachment.

7 A. No, they were not wearing all the same clothing. Some had

8 camouflage uniforms with darker colours. Some had such uniforms of

9 lighter colours. The clothes they were wearing were not uniform, and I

10 didn't see any unit insignia.

11 Q. Now, you describe how the Serb prisoners of war were led towards

12 Krcevine. Can you confirm the Krcevine village is along the road to the

13 north of Kesten?

14 A. Well, I'll try to orient myself. It is to the north of Kesten, I

15 think, and it's a good 2 kilometres through wooded terrain, and then you

16 get to a little hill where the village is. Maybe it's some 7 to 8 to 10

17 kilometres. That's where it is.

18 Q. In your statement, you explain that you travelled to the forward

19 command post at Marici, taking the two boys, or young men, with you. Did

20 you go there in a vehicle?

21 A. We took a -- a van, a TAM van, T-A-M van.

22 Q. You explain in your statement that as you passed Krcevine village,

23 you saw the prisoners of war there. Is it right to say that that was the

24 last time you saw those prisoners of war?

25 A. Yes.

Page 6746

1 Q. How long did it take you to travel from Kesten village to Marici

2 approximately?

3 A. Maybe 15 or 20 minutes. It's a bad macadam road, and it's not

4 more than 7 or 8 kilometres away.

5 Q. And by the time you arrived in Marici village, is it correct that

6 you found out that the Serb women had already been taken by what you

7 describe in your statement as "another group of Arabs"?

8 A. Yes, because I found one of the two soldiers there with whom the

9 women were sent to the forward command post of the company, and he told

10 me, when we came down from the forest road, to the road, there was 100

11 metres to the forward command post. Then a group of Arabs came along and

12 they took those women from them.

13 Q. In your statement, you used the word -- you use the

14 expression "another group." Is it your understanding that the Arabs that

15 took the three women were members of a different group from the Arabs that

16 took the Serb prisoners of war in Kesten village, or are you unable to

17 say?

18 A. I couldn't say. It was a different group in relation to the group

19 that happened to be in Kesten at that point in time.

20 Q. Now, you said that the last time you saw the Serb prisoners of war

21 was in Krcevine village. It follows from that that after you arrived in

22 Marici, at no point did you see the captured Serbs traveling through

23 Marici village at any stage. Is that right?

24 A. No, I didn't, because it was already getting dark. If we're

25 talking about the time when I came from Sehici with those two young men

Page 6747

1 that we had brought out, when we arrived at Marici, I returned to Jasicka

2 Kosa again and I spent the night there. But in the morning, 4.00 or 5.00

3 in the morning, an order came that we would need to switch our unit to the

4 Cevaljusa region, a unit of the 5th Battalion, which is what we did. And

5 then between 9.00 and 10.00, we took the whole 5th Battalion unit in that

6 -- to that area.

7 Q. I'm moving to a slightly different issue. As I understand your

8 evidence, the Serb prisoners of war were taken by the Arabs on the second

9 day of the September operation. Is that right?

10 A. Well, all of that was happening on the second day.

11 Q. So if the operation started on the 10th of September, it would

12 follow from that that the Serb prisoners of war were taken on the 11th of

13 September. Would you agree with me?

14 A. Captured on the 11th of September, then, but then as for Krcevine,

15 I don't know whether they were taken away on that day or some other day.

16 I don't know. Anyway, the last time I saw them there was in the early

17 evening.

18 Q. Okay. I now want to ask you about some reports that were sent

19 around that period of time. It's correct, isn't it, that the superior

20 unit to the 5th Battalion was the 328th Brigade, which was commanded by

21 Fuad Zilkic?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And would you agree with me that Major Zilkic was obliged to send

24 regular daily combat reports about his subordinate units, which included

25 the 5th Battalion, to his superior unit?

Page 6748

1 A. Either I did not understand you properly or you misspoke.

2 Q. I will repeat myself. Would you agree with me that Major Zilkic

3 was obliged to send regular daily combat reports to his superior unit and

4 the subject matter of those reports were his subordinate units, which

5 included the 5th Battalion?

6 A. Now you expressed yourself in a better way.

7 Q. And the answer to my question? Would you agree with -- that what

8 I put to you is correct?

9 A. Well, on the next day -- I mean, if all of this started on the

10 10th, then on the morning of the 12th, around 4.00 in the morning, I got

11 this oral order. I would call it an "order," because it came from a

12 higher instance to a lower instance. So I was orally ordered by Sehic to

13 transfer the unit to the area of Cevaljici [as interpreted]. And on the

14 same evening --

15 Q. We may be at cross-purposes. I'll start again. I'm speaking in

16 general terms and I'm asking you this question in your capacity as a

17 deputy commander of the 5th Battalion. Would you agree with me that

18 commanders of units were obliged to send regular daily combat reports to

19 their superior units?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And would you agree with me that in general terms, Fuad Zilkic, as

22 the commander of the 328th Brigade, was obliged to send reports each day

23 about his subordinate units?

24 A. Well, I don't know what the agreement was, in terms of the chain

25 of command, the brigade, the division, the corps, but I know that Sehic

Page 6749

1 and I gave an order to our assistant commander for security and our

2 assistant commander for morale to make a report to the brigade with regard

3 to this matter, and I think that was done. Whether this was sent further

4 on, this report, I mean, that is something I don't know.

5 Q. Okay. At this stage, what I'd like to do is show you some

6 documents, if I may.

7 MR. ROBSON: And, Your Honours, if we could please bring document

8 D744 on the screens.

9 Q. Mr. Omerasevic, are you able to see that document clearly? It's

10 the document on the left-hand side of your screen that I'd like you to

11 look at. Are you able to read the writing?

12 A. Regular daily combat report. Sent. Situation and activities of

13 the enemy -- the enemy, UN forces, and MO.

14 Q. Would you -- could you confirm that what we see in front of us is

15 a regular daily combat report dated the 11th of September, 1995 and it's

16 going from the 328th Mountain Brigade. It has a confidential number,

17 02/2-1139/95, and it's going to the 35th Division.

18 A. Well, I -- what I see is that that is what the report says, but

19 this is the first time I see this.

20 Q. I appreciate that this is a -- a document that you have never seen

21 before, but if I could perhaps ask you to -- to take a look at some parts

22 of it.

23 Perhaps, first of all, if we could look at page 5 in the English

24 and page 3 in the B/C/S version. If we can look at the bottom of the page

25 in the B/C/S.

Page 6750

1 We can see there that the document bears the name of Fuad Zilkic,

2 who was the commander of the 328th Brigade; is that right?

3 A. Yes.

4 MR. ROBSON: And, Your Honours, if we could just look at the next

5 page in both document, please, just to ascertain one matter.

6 Q. And can you confirm, Mr. Omerasevic, that this page here, this

7 document certifies that the report that we just looked at is a true copy

8 of the original and was found in the archives of the ARBiH?

9 A. Well, as far as I can say. I mean, I can only make assumptions.

10 I can't confirm that I perhaps sometime did have this -- the original in

11 my hands.

12 Q. I appreciate that.

13 If we can return back to the first page of both documents,

14 please. If we can scroll down the English version, please. Down to the

15 bottom, please.

16 It's right, isn't it, that we can see there a heading which says,

17 number 2, "Situation and activities of brigade forces"? Do you see that

18 heading?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And if we can go to the second page in the English version,

21 please.

22 MR. ROBSON: And, Your Honours, what I'm interested in is -- is

23 about one-third the way down the English screen.

24 Q. Can you see there a subheading, Mr. Omerasevic, which

25 says "Activities of the units"? It's about three-quarters of the way down

Page 6751

1 the screen.

2 A. "Activities of the units"? Yes. Yes, I see it.

3 Q. And what we can see in here is Major Zilkic is given -- giving

4 information about the battalions of the 328th Brigade, and he says here

5 that "The 5th Battalion has designated forces of the strength of 1

6 mountain company for active b/d."

7 Do you see that?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And does "b/d" mean combat operations?

10 A. Well, I assume that that's it.

11 Q. And it also goes on to say that the "Battalions are carrying out

12 their regular tasks." Is that so?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. So you'd agree with me that in this report, Major Zilkic is

15 describing the situation relating to the battalions on the 11th of

16 September and he's also included information about the 5th Battalion.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. If I can carry on in the document. If we can turn to page 3 in

19 the English and page 2 in the B/C/S version. And if we can scroll down

20 the page in the English, please.

21 Do you see there within section number 4, which is headed "Losses

22 in personnel," there is some information about members of the ARBiH that

23 have been slightly wounded?

24 A. I see that.

25 Q. And within the part that deals with people that have been slightly

Page 6752

1 wounded, we can see that there is information that relates to two members

2 of the 5th Battalion of the 328th Brigade, Rasim Sogolj and Mihret

3 Sogolj. Is that so?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Did you know these two people by any chance?

6 A. I know Sogolj Mihret, but Rasim, not directly.

7 Q. And as far as you were aware, is it right that Mihret Sogolj

8 was -- was injured during the September operations?

9 A. Yes, by a shell.

10 MR. ROBSON: And, Your Honours, the last thing on the document.

11 If we could look at page 4, please.

12 Your Honours, I -- I'd ask that this document be admitted into

13 evidence.

14 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is the document is admitted into

15 evidence. May it please be given an exhibit number.

16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number 971.

17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.

18 MR. ROBSON: Your Honours, if we could please look at document

19 D745.

20 Q. Mr. Omerasevic, this is a one-page report. I appreciate that

21 you've probably never seen this document before, but could you confirm for

22 us that what we see on the screen in front of us is an interim operations

23 report dated the 11th of September, 1995 from the 328th Mountain Brigade

24 to the 35th Division.

25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter could not hear the witness.

Page 6753


2 Q. Could you just repeat that answer again, please. The interpreter

3 didn't hear your answer.

4 A. I do see the report. That's what I said. I see it.

5 Q. Thank you. And, again, can you confirm that this report bears the

6 name of Fuad Zilkic at the -- at the bottom of it.

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And can you confirm that in looking at the report, what we can see

9 is that Major Zilkic has given information to the 35th Division about one

10 of the -- one of his subordinate units, the 2nd Battalion?

11 A. I see.

12 Q. And we can see that the information that Major Zilkic is

13 describing concerns events that took place about 1800 hours on the evening

14 of the 11th of September. Is that so?

15 A. Well, according to this, yes. However, this report which is on

16 this page was far away from me at that point in time. It was on a

17 completely different side, if I can put it that way. Say, 20 kilometres,

18 as the crow flies.

19 [Defence counsel confer]

20 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honour --

21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Sartorio.

22 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honour, I'm going to -- I've let it go on a

23 bit, but I'm going to object to any further questions of this witness with

24 regard to this document. It has nothing to do with anything the witness

25 was -- it has nothing to do with the 5th Battalion. He's already said

Page 6754

1 this was far away from him. And I think any further questions about this

2 document is just going to be him reading the document and speculating.

3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Robson.

4 MR. ROBSON: Your Honour, I would ask that I be given the chance,

5 the opportunity to continue putting one or two foundational questions to

6 the witness.

7 JUDGE MOLOTO: There is an objection, sir. Deal with the

8 objection.

9 MR. ROBSON: Well, Your Honour, I'm still asking foundational

10 questions to this witness. It's my submission that the objection is --

11 it's too early, Your Honour.

12 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm afraid, Mr. Robson, if you are not going to

13 deal with the objection, then I'm going to rule you out of order in any

14 further questions. Your colleague is saying no further questions because

15 of what the witness told you. Now, you've got to deal with that;

16 otherwise, I --

17 MR. ROBSON: Your Honour.

18 JUDGE MOLOTO: -- I must support her objection.

19 MR. ROBSON: I have asked one or two questions of this witness. I

20 still have further questions to -- to put to this witness to ascertain

21 what knowledge he -- he may have as to the content of this document, and I

22 would ask for leave to continue to do so.

23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Leave --

24 MR. ROBSON: If you --

25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Leave is denied. The objection is upheld.

Page 6755

1 MR. ROBSON: Your Honour, I'll put this document away. If it

2 could be marked, please, for identification before I do so.

3 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the document please be marked for

4 identification and be given an exhibit number.

5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, that will be MFI 972.

6 MR. ROBSON: And if we could please bring up document D746 on the

7 screens, please.

8 Q. Mr. Omerasevic, this is similar to the first document that I

9 showed you. Could you please confirm that what we can see in front of us

10 is a regular daily combat report dated the 12th of September, 1995 from

11 the 328th Mountain Brigade to the 35th Division.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And, Your Honours, if we can turn to page 5 in the English and

14 page 3 in the B/C/S version. If we could look at the bottom of the page

15 in the B/C/S.

16 Could you confirm that this document has come from Major Fuad

17 Zilkic.

18 A. His name is signed there.

19 MR. ROBSON: If we could please return back to the first page in

20 both documents. If we can scroll down in -- in the English version,

21 please. And also in the B/C/S.

22 Q. Like last time, can you see there a section which is headed,

23 number 2, "Situation and activities of brigade forces"?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And would you agree with me that, again, this section contains

Page 6756

1 information about your unit, the 5th Battalion, and specifically it

2 states: "526 fighters are manning the l/o in the z/o of the 4th, 5th, and

3 the 1st Battalions"? Do you -- do you see that, Mr. Omerasevic? It is --

4 A. Yes. Yes.

5 Q. And staying with this section, if we can just turn over on to the

6 English version, please.

7 Before I do so, can you just confirm: What does "L/0" mean? Is

8 it line of defence?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And z/o, does that mean zone of responsibility?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And is it right that in this section, there is further information

13 which says "The focus of activities is on conducting decisive defence in

14 the l/o of the z/o of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions and taking control of the

15 newly reached l/o with forces of the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 1st Battalion of

16 the 328th Brigade." That's in -- it's in the bottom third of the screen

17 in the B/C/S version.

18 A. Yes, I see that. Yes.

19 Q. And beneath that, we can see it states -- it gives information

20 about specific combat activities, and we can see here that place names are

21 mentioned. We can see that -- that Cevaljusa is one of the names

22 mentioned. And it also goes on to say that specific combat activities

23 include: "Taking control of the aforementioned l/o, line of defence, has

24 started at 0700 hours this morning with forces of the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and

25 1st Battalion."

Page 6757

1 Does -- does this information that we see here correspond with

2 what you were telling us earlier about what your units did on the 11th and

3 12th of September?

4 A. I think that this does correspond, but I don't know if I

5 registered the dates of the statements properly.

6 MR. ROBSON: Your Honours, I'd ask that this document be admitted

7 into evidence.

8 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it

9 please be given an exhibit number.

10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number 973.

11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.

12 MR. ROBSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Omerasevic. I have no

13 further questions for you.

14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.

15 Madam Sartorio.

16 MS. SARTORIO: I have no questions, Your Honour.

17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Madam Sartorio.

18 Judge.

19 Questioned by the Court:

20 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Yes, I have a question. Witness,

21 in the reports that you saw on the basis of these documents that were

22 shown to you by the Defence, in addition to combat activities, was there

23 supposed to be a reference to the capturing of prisoners of war too?

24 A. I think there should have been, if people knew about them, that

25 is.

Page 6758

1 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] So why was that not done, in your

2 opinion?

3 A. Well, whether the brigade commander knew about these prisoners or

4 not is something I don't know. If he did know about this, it certainly

5 should have been contained in the report, yes.

6 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] However, the subordinate units,

7 were they duty-bound to report to the commander about that?

8 A. They were duty-bound to do that, and I certainly said at the

9 beginning that as far as I'm concerned and the battalion commander, the

10 two assistant commanders for morale and security were instructed to inform

11 the brigade command, and that was done. At that time, on the premises, I

12 ordered the company commander to make a list of documents -- or rather, of

13 the persons who were taken prisoner. But then this group of Arabs barged

14 in and they prevented that, so I don't know whether at that moment Sogolj

15 [Realtime transcript read in error "Sokolj"] managed to write down the

16 names of all the persons. I don't know how many names he registered. And

17 then he was supposed to make a report in terms of the hierarchy in the

18 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

19 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] So you know nothing in relation

20 to this report. You just know that there was an order that was issued by

21 yourself and your superior officer.

22 A. And all the rest of the time I was out in the field, and I see

23 that this report of the brigade corresponds to that, my movement from one

24 area to another.

25 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness.

Page 6759

1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Judge Harhoff?

2 Madam Sartorio, any questions arising from the Judge's questions?

3 MS. SARTORIO: I think there needs to be a correction on the

4 record, Your Honour, in terms of the person that he -- I think it's

5 misspelled. And so we could ask the witness for the name of that person

6 again, because it's been several pages and lines so far.


8 MS. SARTORIO: The name at line 22 -- page 22.20. It says

9 S-o-k-o-l-j. And I'm not -- it's not consistent with what is in the

10 statement.

11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Witness, can you tell us -- if you can look at the

12 screen at page 22, line 20, sir. There's a name there called Sokolj.

13 It's spelled S-o-k-o-l-j. Is that the correct spelling? First of all, is

14 that what you said?

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it depends on the context.

16 This very word, "Sokolj," in our language it doesn't really mean much. It

17 can be "Sogolj," though.

18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's Note: S-o-g-o-l-j.

19 JUDGE MOLOTO: In -- in your statement, sir, how did you write

20 this word?

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't see the context in Bosnian.

22 I don't know. It may be Sogolj.

23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Sartorio, I think you'll have to either

24 re-examine this witness and correct that. If you have got problems, I'm

25 not able to help you, because I don't know the context. What do you plan

Page 6760

1 to do, ma'am?

2 MS. SARTORIO: I'll let it go, Your Honour. I have no questions.

3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.

4 Any questions from the Defence?

5 MR. ROBSON: Yes, Your Honour.

6 Further cross-examination by Mr. Robson:

7 Q. Mr. Omerasevic, you said that Sogolj managed to write down the

8 names of the prisoners of war. Could you tell me, who was it, if anyone,

9 who prepared a list that day?

10 A. I said that I told the company commander, Sogolj, at that point to

11 make this list. I issued that task to him. But quickly another group of

12 Arabs appeared, and that prevented him from doing it. So I don't know if

13 he managed to start anything or to write down any names. I think this is

14 what I said in my statement.

15 Q. And do you know, was Mr. Karahasanovic there at all?

16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Does that arise from the Judge's questions?

17 MR. ROBSON: Well, Your Honour, we've heard significant evidence

18 in this case that a list was prepared by somebody on that day, and I'm

19 just trying to clarify who the author of the list was.

20 JUDGE MOLOTO: But that doesn't arise from the Judge's questions,

21 does it?

22 MR. ROBSON: Your Honour, it's --

23 JUDGE MOLOTO: You're leading new evidence now. The Prosecution

24 is going to want to -- to re-examine on that.

25 MR. ROBSON: Your Honour, in this case, we've had -- the Trial

Page 6761

1 Chamber has received evidence of a list.

2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Indeed. And -- yes.

3 MR. ROBSON: And we've heard evidence today that suggests that

4 that list may have been prepared by a man called Sogolj.


6 MR. ROBSON: What I'm trying to ascertain is whether it's the same

7 list or a different --


9 MR. ROBSON: -- list or something else.

10 JUDGE MOLOTO: But shouldn't you have asked about this other

11 person -- what's his name again -- before -- this Karahasanovic, shouldn't

12 you have asked about him in your cross-examination, sir?

13 MR. ROBSON: Your Honour, this is something which has just arisen

14 from Judge Lattanzi's question, this answer --

15 JUDGE MOLOTO: But that's --

16 MR. ROBSON: -- answer suggesting that Sogolj --

17 JUDGE MOLOTO: That was precisely my question to you, does this

18 arise out of -- and you just wouldn't answer me. You've just told me

19 that you've got evidence that this came from somebody else.

20 MR. ROBSON: It arises out of Judge Lattanzi's question, Your

21 Honour.

22 MS. SARTORIO: No. I object, Your Honour. I don't -- I think if

23 we go back to Judge Lattanzi's question, it has nothing to do with the

24 list or Karahasanovic or anything of that sort.

25 MR. ROBSON: I withdraw the question.

Page 6762

1 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I would like to clarify

2 something. Witness in responding to my question clearly said - and I

3 refer to page where this is stated - that he does not know whether the

4 list -- I would like to find the page in order to be able to quote exactly

5 what the witness said. He said that he did not know whether the list was

6 drafted because this action was interrupted. And Mr. Robson perhaps

7 didn't precisely follow, and I think perhaps -- or I hope that this is

8 what the matter is.

9 And now he asked: You said that somebody drafted that list. But

10 that is not true. The witness did not say that. The witness clearly said

11 that he doesn't know anything about that. If you look at page 22, the

12 question put by Mr. Robson on page 24, the -- that place is where the

13 answer of the witness is recorded, and Mr. Robson cannot continue to put

14 questions to the witness on the assumption that the witness really knew

15 that the list was made.

16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Judge.

17 Anything further, Mr. Robson?

18 MR. ROBSON: I -- I take it, Your Honour, that -- that I'm not

19 permitted to pursue this area.

20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Indeed.

21 MR. ROBSON: Okay. No further questions, thank you.

22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.

23 Sir, that brings us to the end of your testimony. Thank you very

24 much for coming to testify before the Trial Chamber. You are now

25 excused. You may stand down. And please travel well back home.

Page 6763

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

2 [The witness withdrew]

3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Sartorio.

4 MS. SARTORIO: We have no further witnesses for this morning, Your

5 Honour, as discussed on Friday, I believe, with Mr. Mundis.

6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.

7 We'll take a break and come back at quarter to 11.00.

8 Court adjourned.

9 --- Recess taken at 10.08 a.m.

10 --- On resuming at 10.46 a.m.

11 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated] The Trial Chamber now is

12 going to give its ruling. I beg your pardon.

13 The Trial Chamber is now going to give its ruling on two oral

14 motions by the Prosecution that were made on Friday, the 7th of December,

15 2007.

16 In the first motion, the Prosecution requested that the Chamber

17 grant leave pursuant to Rule 50 of the Rules to withdraw count 3 of the

18 indictment, which is rape, and violation of the laws or customs of war.

19 The Defence agreed with the Prosecution's request.

20 The Trial Chamber has considered the oral submissions by the

21 parties and came to the conclusion that the withdrawal of a count after

22 the accused has entered a plea and on which the Prosecution has led

23 evidence would not be in the interests of justice because the accused

24 could be tried again on that count.

25 For these reasons, the motion is denied.

Page 6764

1 In the second motion, the Prosecution requested that the Chamber

2 reconsider its decision of the 5th December 2007 admitting into evidence

3 the written statement of Witness DRW-1, pursuant to Rule 92 bis, subject

4 to DRW-1 appearing for cross-examination.

5 As DRW-1 would under no circumstances be available for

6 cross-examination, the Prosecution asks that the evidence pertinent to

7 count 3 be redacted from the statement, under which condition the Defence

8 would renounce their -- the right to cross-examine her.

9 The Trial Chamber takes the view that pursuant to Rule 92 ter,

10 which is referred to by Rule 92 bis (C), the unavailability of DRW-1 for

11 cross-examination results in her statement not being in evidence. The

12 Chamber, however, decides to grant the second motion and allows the

13 paragraph concerning count 3 to be redacted and admits the statement of

14 DRW-1 in evidence pursuant to Rule 92 bis.

15 Fine. Thank you very much. Those are the two motions that were

16 outstanding.

17 The one last thing -- well, not the very last, but last but one,

18 maybe. We have the last motion by the Prosecution pursuant to Rule 92 bis

19 for next year's witnesses. Because there may not be sufficient time when

20 we come back to give a decision and to enable the Prosecution to schedule

21 their witnesses, where the Chamber felt it must just find out from the

22 Defence whether they has a position with respect to those motions.

23 MR. ROBSON: Your Honour, in respect of the sixth motion,

24 concerning two witnesses, Vukovic and Negovetic, the Defence's position is

25 this: In respect of Mr. Vukovic, we do not oppose his statement being

Page 6765

1 admitted into evidence without cross-examination. In respect of

2 Mr. Negovetic, we will be inviting the Trial Chamber to rule that he

3 should attend for cross-examination, and we will be filing our substantive

4 response this morning, any moment now.

5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Robson.

6 Just before I say the last thing, do the parties have anything to

7 raise, this being most probably the last day of the year that we are going

8 to be together?

9 Madam Sartorio.

10 MS. SARTORIO: The Prosecution has nothing, Your Honours.

11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Madam Sartorio.

12 Mr. Robson or Madam Vidovic?

13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] The Defence has nothing, Your

14 Honours.

15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.

16 In that event, then, as I've said, this is the last day of the

17 year before -- that we are together. The Trial Chamber would like to just

18 take this opportunity to wish everybody a pleasant restive season and

19 hopefully we can come back in the new year refreshed and ready to move on

20 with the job.

21 Please have a merry Christmas and a splendid new year.

22 Court adjourned to the 15th of January at 2.15 in courtroom II.

23 Court adjourned.

24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 10.52 a.m.,

25 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 15th day of

Page 6766

1 January, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.