1 Thursday, 18 November 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
6 the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Case Number IT-01-47-T, The
8 Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 Could we have the appearances for the Prosecution, please.
11 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning,
12 Your Honours, counsel, and everyone in and around the courtroom. For the
13 Prosecution, Mathias Neuner, Daryl Mundis, and the case manager, Andres
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. And could we have
16 the appearances for the Defence counsel.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President, good
18 morning, Your Honours. On behalf of General Hadzihasanovic, Edina
19 Residovic, counsel; Stephane Bourgon, co-counsel, and Muriel Cauvin, our
20 legal assistant. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the other Defence team.
22 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. On
23 behalf of Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and Nermin
24 Mulalic, our legal assistant.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber would like to
1 greet everyone present, members of the Prosecution, Defence counsel, the
2 accused, and everyone else in the courtroom.
3 Before we call the witness into the courtroom, I would like to
4 address the Defence with regard to the memo that they sent us concerning
5 the witness schedule for the following week, that is to say, the week on
6 the 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th. The Judges have noted that this memo doesn't
7 contain the list of exhibits that you might want to show the witnesses. I
8 would like to remind you that when the Prosecution called its witnesses,
9 they always attached to their memo a list of the exhibits that had either
10 tendered or would be tendered. Defence counsel hasn't indicated exhibits
11 that they want to use that have already been admitted, nor have they
12 indicated the exhibits that they will be tendering. It would be in
13 interest of justice to have -- to be familiar with the exhibits you intend
14 to show before the witnesses come. The witnesses are here to support your
15 case, but if you don't present the exhibits before the witnesses come,
16 this will make it a little more difficult for everyone to follow, for the
17 Judges to follow, for example. It's in the interests of justice to do
18 this in advance. You may continue to proceed in this manner, but in the
19 Judges' opinion, it would be more beneficial if we had at least a list of
20 the exhibits that have already been admitted into evidence and that you
21 intend to use unless when drafting your memo you are not in a position to
22 know which exhibits you will be using. That would be a possible
24 In addition, in December, a witness will be testifying for a
25 number of days. This is something I have already said, but I will repeat
1 it. The hearing on Monday, the 6th of December won't be held because the
2 Judges will be having a Plenary Session. So this witness, the witness
3 scheduled for that date, will not be able to testify in the first week of
4 December -- or rather, he will only be able to testify as of Tuesday, the
5 7th of December. I wanted to point this out to you.
6 As far as the exhibits are concerned, is there anything the
7 Defence would like to say?
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President, we are trying
9 to comply with all our duties in accordance with the Rules and the
10 instructions of the Chamber. We try to do even more than we are supposed
11 to do to make it easier for everyone to follow the proceedings. We know
12 that for the last two months of the Prosecution's case, the Prosecution
13 provided us with a list of the exhibits they would be using for the
14 witnesses they called. So far, the list of exhibits that we'll be using
15 have been provided to the Prosecution so that the Prosecution could
16 prepare itself. Your Honour, we understand that you would like to have
17 this list as well, and we will provide such a list to the Trial Chamber,
18 too. There are certain problems for which it is not possible to provide a
19 list of exhibits at the same time as the list of witnesses. The main
20 problem is that the translation department provides us with translations a
21 little too late. As you know, there are many documents in our list that
22 haven't been translated, and I have to say that we still haven't received
23 translations for the first witness next week. We hope we will receive
24 these translations today, and tomorrow morning we will be able to provide
25 the Prosecution with a list of the documents we intend to use.
1 Naturally, before we see the witness, we cannot know for sure
2 whether we will use all the documents that we intend to use because it's
3 only when we see the witness that we can determine which documents we can
4 show him or her. As far as we are concerned, we will carry out our
5 obligations. This is in the interest of our client, and naturally I think
6 this is in the interest of expeditious proceedings. We try to provide the
7 Chamber and the Prosecution all the documents that we intend to use on a
8 given day so that we don't waste time on looking for documents in the
9 course of the proceedings.
10 As far as the witness you mentioned is concerned, the witness who
11 will be heard in December, we will provide the documents, the relevant
12 documents, two weeks in advance, and we hope that the translation
13 department will give us by tomorrow the translations of all the documents
14 that we intend to show this witness. So by Tuesday at the latest, the
15 list of exhibits we intend to use, or rather the list of exhibits that
16 have already been admitted into evidence will be provided both to the
17 Prosecution and to the Trial Chamber.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for that information.
19 Is there anything the Prosecution would like to say?
20 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, thank you for the floor. We note
21 simply that we don't as of yet have a list of any documents for the
22 witness tomorrow, which again is more of a pressing concern in the
23 immediate future than next week. We would be grateful for any indication
24 as to which document or documents might be used with tomorrow's witness.
25 Thank you.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Defence counsel, as far as
2 the witness scheduled for tomorrow is concerned.
3 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we'll be seeing
4 this witness this afternoon. For the moment, we haven't got the intention
5 to use any particular document. We have provided this information to the
6 Prosecution. However, if some material should be used, we will inform our
7 colleagues from the Prosecution of the fact by 5.00 this afternoon.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. We'll call the
9 witness into the courtroom now.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good day, sir. I'd first like
12 to check that you're receiving the interpretation of what I'm saying. If
13 so, please say "yes, I understand you."
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can hear you and understand you.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before you testify, I'd be
16 grateful if you could tell me your first and last names, your date and
17 place of birth.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Hamid Suljic. I was born
19 on the 25th of April 1970 in Zagradje.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. What is your current
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Currently I am unemployed, but I'm a
23 locksmith by profession.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In 1992 and 1993, did you have a
25 profession of any kind? Did you hold a position of any kind? And if so,
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 what was it?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I wasn't employed, didn't work
3 before 1992 or after 1992.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In 1993, were you assigned to a
5 military unit of any kind, and if so, which unit were you assigned to?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 93rd, yes -- in 1993, yes, I was
7 a member of two units. That is to say, I was a member of the Mehurici
8 Detachment, and towards the end -- just a minute. Are you referring to
9 1992 or 1993?
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] 1993.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1993, I was a member of the 314th
12 Motorised Brigade.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did you have a rank in the 314th
14 Motorised Brigade, or did you have a function of any kind?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was the commander of the 3rd
16 Company of the 4th Battalion in the 314th Motorised Brigade. There were
17 no ranks at the time, but there were some sort -- there were markings, a
18 yellow marking and a blue one.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Have you already
20 testified before an international or national court about the events that
21 took place in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992 and 1993? Or is this the first
22 time that you will be testifying about these events?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, this is the first time.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could you please
25 read out the solemn declaration.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
2 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You may sit down.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, the witness said he
5 was a machine fittest, not a locksmith.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You will have to answer
7 questions that will be put to you by Defence counsel for the accused. As
8 a rule, Defence counsel may conduct their cross-examination for up to an
9 hour and a half. After this stage, the Prosecution, who are to your
10 right, will also ask you questions. As a rule, their examination--
11 cross-examination will last the same amount of time as the
12 examination-in-chief. After the Prosecution has cross-examined you,
13 Defence counsel may re-examine you. Their questions should be related to
14 the questions put to you by the Prosecution. According to the Rules, the
15 three Judges sitting before you may ask you questions at any point in
16 time. Usually, the Judges prefer to wait for the conclusion of the
17 examination-in-chief and cross-examination before they ask witnesses
18 questions. The Judges should have enough time to ask you questions that
19 they think they should ask you in the interest of justice if both parties
20 don't go beyond the time allocated to them.
21 Try to answer the questions precisely. If you fail to understand
22 a question, ask the person putting it to you to rephrase it. The Judges
23 don't have any written documents that relate to your testimony. As a
24 result, your testimony is very important as you will be giving oral
25 testimony, and your answers will be providing us with the necessary
1 information. Try to be as clear and precise as possible. If you don't
2 know the answer to a question, just say so.
3 I'd also like to provide you with two other pieces of information
4 that are very important. Firstly, and this is very important, you have
5 taken the solemn declaration. You shouldn't give false testimony because
6 false testimony is an offence for which you could be given a prison
7 sentence of up to seven years. So this is something you should bear in
8 mind as it is an important factor. Secondly, I would like to provide you
9 with some information about the answers you will be providing. If you
10 feel that an answer could be used against you, you may refuse to answer
11 the question. But if you refuse to answer a question, the Trial Chamber
12 may oblige you to answer it. In such a case, you're granted a form of
13 immunity which means that what I saw cannot be used on a subsequent date
14 against you. This Rule exists in order to ensure that witnesses feel free
15 to testify in the interests of truth. If you encounter any difficulties,
16 please inform us of the fact, and we will try to resolve them. Your
17 testimony should be over by the end of the day.
18 I'll now give the floor to Defence counsel who will provide you
19 with some additional information.
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
21 WITNESS: HAMID SULJIC
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 Examined by Ms. Residovic:
24 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Suljic. As the Presiding Judge
25 has just said, there is something else I would like to draw your attention
1 to. As we both speak the same language, you might want to answer my
2 questions immediately. However, it is necessary for my questions and your
3 answers to be interpreted in order to enable everyone present in the
4 courtroom to follow what is being said. This is why I would be grateful
5 if you could make a brief pause after I have put my question to you, and
6 only then answer the question.
7 Mr. Suljic, where do you live right now?
8 A. I live in the Mehurici local commune, in Miletici, to be precise.
9 Q. Mr. Suljic, could you tell us where you lived at the beginning of
10 the war in 1992, or rather in April 1992.
11 A. I have always lived, since the time of my birth, that is to say,
12 since 1970, in Miletici.
13 Q. You said you were a machine fittest. Could you tell us something
14 about your educational background.
15 A. I completed the first four classes of primary school in the
16 Zagradje primary school. It's not a big school so the last four classes,
17 the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th class I finished in Mehurici. And I
18 completed secondary school in the Dautovic school in Travnik.
19 Q. You also told the Chamber that you were not employed before the
20 war. Just before the war, what were you involved in? What did you do?
21 A. Since the area is a mountainous one, and the people were involved
22 in agriculture, raising livestock, et cetera, before the war although I
23 had completed secondary school -- secondary school for machine fitters, I
24 was involved in raising livestock and agricultural work. I worked with my
1 Q. Thank you. Mr. Suljic, did you serve in the army before the war;
2 and if so, which army did you serve in?
3 A. I served in the JNA, the Yugoslav People's Army, before the war.
4 Q. Did you obtain a rank in the JNA?
5 A. Yes, in the school for reserve officers in Bileca, in the school
6 for infantry, I was conferred the rank of corporal. We then went to serve
7 in Pancevo, and after that we went to serve in Sombor.
8 Q. Now that the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina is over, do you still
9 have a rank of any kind?
10 A. Yes, after the end of the war in 1994, by decision from the
11 presidency, I was promoted to the rank of captain.
12 Q. Mr. Suljic, at any point in time after the beginning of the war,
13 did you join any defence units? And if so, which units and where?
14 A. Well, when the Serbs arrived in the Meokrnje sector, in the
15 Zagradje local commune, we formed a local village unit whose task was to
16 go on patrol in the village to provide security for religious buildings,
17 for the water supply system, et cetera, because at the time there were no
18 such lines. So that was the first time I became engaged in what would
19 later become the BH Army. That occurred in 1992.
20 Q. Were the units you referred to Territorial Defence units, or did
21 they belong to any other armed forces?
22 A. How would you I put it? These units were village units. Later
23 they became part of the Territorial Defence. Or rather, they part of the
24 Mehurici sector staff. At the time it was called the Zagradje company,
25 which was part of the Mehurici sector staff.
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 Q. Mr. Suljic, did you have any duties in that company in the sector
3 A. At the beginning, I was an ordinary private. Naturally, since I
4 had graduated from the school for reserve officers, I also had the
5 opportunity of becoming a platoon commander. After the formation of the
6 sector staff, I was appointed as an operations officer in the Mehurici
7 sector staff.
8 Q. Mr. Suljic, what sort of weapons did you and your troops in the
9 unit you were part of have at your disposal?
10 A. During that period of time, I didn't have any weapons. But my
11 father did. He had a pistol. Since he was involved in raising livestock,
12 he had a license for a 7.62 millimetre pistol. This is the pistol I would
13 carry around with me. Members of those units --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, could you move a little
15 back from the microphone because it is difficult for the interpreters to
16 hear you clearly when you speak directly into the microphone. Thank you.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. You may continue.
19 A. The troops at the time had hunting rifles and carbines because we
20 didn't have any other weapons. We only had the weapons that our local
21 inhabitants had.
22 Q. Mr. Suljic, in 1992, in the summer of 1992, were there any
23 organisational changes within the sector staff? And if so, tell me which
24 unit you then became a part of?
25 A. Well, first of all, the sector staff was formed, and then
1 detachments were formed. My unit became part of the Mehurici detachment
2 at that time.
3 Q. Where was the command of your detachment?
4 A. The detachment command was in the elementary school in Mehurici.
5 Q. What duties did you have in the Mehurici detachment?
6 A. In the Mehurici detachment, I was the operations officer.
7 Q. Tell us, please, Mr. Suljic, in the year 1992, as a member of the
8 sector staff, and later on the Mehurici detachment, did you participate in
9 combat operations? And if that was the case, where was that?
10 A. Yes. The first combat operation that I took part in was the
11 Meokrnje operation. I participated in that operation together with my
12 Zagradje detachment. I was on the right flank of those forces that
13 launched an attack on the Meokrnje facility.
14 Q. While you were the operations officer in the Mehurici detachment,
15 where did you spend most of the time and what activities were you engaged
17 A. During that period of time, and during my engagement in the
18 Mehurici detachment, I spent most of my time on the line. The Defence
19 line that I was deployed at was at the Zenica River and the Bila River.
20 My task was inspect every trench, every dugout. Our task was to reinforce
21 the defence lines and the defence positions. My task was to control the
22 way the trenches were dug, to give the instructions to men, to have the
23 dugouts constructed for the men to take shelter from shelling.
24 Q. Mr. Suljic, when you were not in combat, you and your men, did you
25 go to any barracks? If this was not the case, what would happen with the
1 men who were not on the defence line?
2 A. We are talking about 1992. There were no barracks. There was no
3 accommodation for the troops. We did not have any conditions for that.
4 Members of my unit would spend time at home once they returned from the
5 lines, when they were on leave.
6 Q. Mr. Suljic, towards the end of 1992, were there any significant
7 organisational changes in the BiH Army? If that was the case, could you
8 please tell me, if you know, what changes took place?
9 A. According to the information that I had towards the end of 1992,
10 brigades were established. Towards the end of 1992, the brigades were
11 established, and my unit, together with the unit to my left, were
12 incorporated in the 314th Motorised Brigade.
13 Q. Where was the command of your brigade?
14 A. According to my information, although I did not have an occasion
15 to visit the command, I received the information that the command of the
16 brigade was in Zenica, in a street called Travnicka.
17 Q. What was your duty or position at the time when you became a
18 member of the 314th Brigade?
19 A. From the 1st of December 1992, if I'm not mistaken, I was the
20 commander of the 3rd Company of the 4th Battalion of the 314th Motorised
21 Brigade. This is the Zagradje Company I'm talking about.
22 Q. Mr. Suljic, where was the command of the 4th Battalion?
23 A. The command of the 4th Battalion of the 314 Motorised Brigade was
24 in the elementary school in Gluha Bukovica.
25 Q. Once you became a member of the 314th Brigade, did your battalion
1 have the barracks for the troops?
2 A. The battalion did not have any such thing. However, in the area
3 covered by my company, that is, in Zagradje and in the Gluha Bukovica
4 elementary school, there were a platoon in each of these buildings. 10 to
5 15 members of each platoon had a task to intervene on the defence line
6 should there be an attack launched by the aggressor or a unit of the
7 Serbian and Montenegrin aggressor.
8 Q. Mr. Suljic, you have told me that you resided in Miletici village
9 at that time.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Can you please tell me who you lived with in Miletici.
12 A. I lived with my family. To be more precise, my father, my mother,
13 my three sisters and my two brothers. In Miletici, there were also other
14 members of my family. To be more precise, three of my uncles. That was
15 in Donja Miletici. There is also a village called Gornji Miletici.
16 Q. Who resided in Gornji Miletici?
17 A. In Gornji Miletici, the population was Croat.
18 Q. What was your relationship with your neighbours from Gornji
20 A. Our relationship was good. We visited each other. We socialised.
21 We spent holidays together. They celebrated Christmas. We did it
22 together with them. We celebrated our holidays. They celebrated those
23 with us. Whenever there was a party, whenever there was a funeral, we
24 would visit each other. In addition to that, for example, we were each
25 other's best men. We participated in every aspect of each other's lives.
1 Q. Mr. Suljic, in the year 1992, in addition to the population that
2 resided there already, did the refugees start arriving in Mehurici and in
3 that general area? If that was the case, can you tell us where they came
5 A. The Bila valley and Mehurici became the gathering point of
6 refugees from all the over the place. Most of them came from the relation
7 of Banja Luka and Kotor Varos.
8 Q. Mr. Suljic, did you notice at any point in time that some
9 foreigners started arriving in your area? Foreigners who did not hail
10 from either Bosnia-Herzegovina or the former Yugoslavia?
11 A. Yes, there were such foreigners.
12 Q. Do you know where these people came from? Did you know who they
14 A. It is very hard for me to say where they came from. I was not a
15 policeman. I did not inspect their IDs, so I wouldn't know where they
16 came from. Some of them had fair skin. Some of them had dark skin. And
17 I wouldn't be able to tell you where they came from.
18 Q. Did you see foreigners wearing typical uniforms of Arabic
20 A. Yes, I did see them. I saw them in Mehurici, in the Mehurici
21 mosque. Friday is the church day for Muslims, and it was on a Friday that
22 I saw these people for the first time.
23 Q. After your first encounter in the mosque, did you later on see
24 these people in some other places?
25 A. I saw them in the mosque, but I also know that they were in the
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 Mehurici elementary school.
2 Q. Where were they accommodated in that elementary school? Can you
4 A. The sector staff or the Territorial Defence - I'm not sure which
5 one of those organisations - was on the first floor of the elementary
7 Q. How did you and other people call these foreigners? And how did
8 they themselves introduce themselves to the people of the area?
9 A. At first, we just called them Arabs. We didn't know who they
10 were. However, later on, it turned out that they came from other states
11 of the world. At the beginning, they introduced themselves as
12 humanitarian or aid workers. They brought presents and aid to the
13 population because the conditions at the time were really very bad.
14 Q. Did there come a time when the name that people used for them
16 A. People watched television, and they saw reports on Afghanistan
17 where the word mujahedin was mentioned. So people started referring to
18 these foreigners as mujahedin.
19 Q. Let me go back to one thing that I've already asked you. When you
20 mentioned their accommodation in the elementary school, can you please
21 tell me where the command of your detachment was, in which part of the
22 elementary school?
23 A. The detachment command was in the staff room. This is where we
24 had our briefings. This is where we had our meetings.
25 Q. Is the staff room on the ground floor or somewhere else?
1 A. It is on the ground floor, to the left, the first door to the left
2 as you enter the school.
3 Q. And when you saw, heard that these foreigners had arrived, where
4 were they accommodated in the elementary school?
5 A. They were on one of the upper floors. There are two upper floors.
6 I never had an occasion to go upstairs to visit any of these floors, so I
7 wouldn't know exactly on which floor they were accommodated.
8 Q. Thank you very much for this clarification.
9 You've told us that at the beginning they introduced themselves as
10 humanitarian workers, that they distributed all sorts of aid and presents
11 amongst the population in light of the dire straits that the population
12 was in. Mr. Suljic, are you aware of the fact that these foreigners had
13 left the school? And once they did that, where were they accommodated?
14 A. First they were in the school, and then they left. As you cross
15 the bridge in Mehurici and you walk by the mosque and you start climbing
16 uphill towards Poljanice, there's a place called Savica house. I believe
17 that the family name is Savic. And this is the house where they found
18 their accommodation later on.
19 Q. Once the brigade was established and once your detachment was
20 incorporated in the 314th Brigade, where was the command of your company?
21 A. It was in the elementary school in Zagradje, in the settlement
22 called Luka. That is where my company command was.
23 Q. You were in a new position. In that position, did you learn
24 anything about the possible problems that these foreigners may have caused
25 in your area?
1 A. Yes. This was during a religious service in Mehurici. The Efendi
2 informed people about the problems that we had with these foreigners,
3 these mujahedin. What was it all about? First of all, they introduced
4 their way of observing religious services. In Bosnia, we have Islam, but
5 we practice it in one way. And they came from different parts of the
6 world, and they started introducing their own customs. And that's where
7 the first problems arose from.
8 Q. Mr. Suljic, at that time, did you know that in addition to these
9 problems that involved religion, and despite those problems, that there
10 were still people who joined them?
11 A. At that time, I didn't know of anybody joining their ranks. It
12 was maybe later on that people started joining them, but this was mostly
13 for training. Some lads who were still minor and who were not members of
14 the BiH Army joined them for some sort of training.
15 Q. In your village, in the village of Luka, were there any particular
16 problems? Or let me ask you: Was your unit in any contact with these
18 A. No. We did not have any contacts with these foreigners. We had
19 our own mission, our own task, which was primary to defend the line that
20 the command of our unit entrusted us with. We didn't have any problems
21 with them. They caused problems in Mehurici and in Kljaci. This is where
22 they created most of the problems.
23 Q. According to your information, how did they behave towards people
24 who did not want to follow their religious ways and customs in those two
25 places that you have just mentioned?
1 A. There were even some threats against people who did not want to
2 observe their ways. It was very difficult during that period of time for
3 people to go to a mosque. My late uncle, who was 80 years of age at the
4 time, he always rebelled. He said my father taught me one thing, and now
5 all of a sudden, there are these new people who are now teaching us new
6 customs. At that time, it was very difficult for the people to observe
7 the religious teachings of Allah.
8 Q. Mr. Suljic, let's now move on -- let's move on to a very specific
9 event. Can you please tell us where you were on the 24th of April 1993,
10 if you remember.
11 A. On the 24th of April 1993, I was on the defence line at the
12 forward command post of the 3rd Company in the area of Studenac.
13 Q. How far is this defence line from your command post in Luka
14 village i.e., how far is it from Miletici, from the place where you
16 A. Some 15 kilometres or so.
17 Q. Mr. Suljic, on that day, did you leave your combat position, and
18 were you supposed to -- or did you go back to your command?
19 A. Once my task was accomplished at the forward command post of my
20 company, I went to pay a visit to the forward command post of the
21 battalion. Then I went to the forward command post in Gluha Bukovica.
22 From Gluha Bukovica, I went home. Actually, I was walking towards
23 Mehurici settlement.
24 Q. Did you spend any time in Mehurici, or did you continue towards
25 your command post?
1 A. No, I didn't spend any time there. I asked a colleague of mine
2 who had a car to drive me to my command post, to the company command in
3 Luka elementary school.
4 Q. As you were travelling, did something happen? Did you have an
5 encounter with some people? If that was the case, can you tell us what
7 A. Yes. As we started driving from Mehurici, in Celamov Gaj, I came
8 across a column. In the column, there was my father, my uncle, my
9 father's uncle, and my Croat neighbours.
10 Q. Where were these Croat neighbours from?
11 A. They were from Miletici. They were walking from Miletici.
12 Q. Was there somebody with these people, or were they walking of
13 their own free will?
14 A. They were in a column. They were walking in twos, in couples, and
15 there were masked people around them.
16 Q. How were they walking? First of all, let me ask you, were there
17 only men, or were there women there as well?
18 A. There were both men and women.
19 Q. Did you observe how they walked? How did the men walk? How did
20 the women walk?
21 A. Men were in the front and women were behind them.
22 Q. What about these masked people? What did they have with them?
23 A. I saw that they had weapons.
24 Q. You said that you saw your father among these people. Can you
25 please tell us your father's name; and secondly, can you tell us if you
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 saw something on him.
2 A. My father's name is Akif. And I could see blood on his right or
3 left side. I'm not sure of the side actually.
4 Q. What about you? Where were you at that moment?
5 A. At that moment, I wore civilian clothes. I wore a pair of jeans,
6 and I had a vest that I had been given as a unit commander.
7 Q. Were you armed at that time?
8 A. Yes, I was armed. I had a 7.62 millimetre pistol under my arm.
9 Q. The masked people who were escorting your father, your family, and
10 your neighbours from Miletici, were they armed? If yes, what arms did
11 they carry?
12 A. The first two that I saw walking in front of the column, I saw
13 that they carried automatic rifles.
14 Q. Were any of the people in the column tied?
15 A. All the men were tied, save for my uncle who was not tied. As for
16 the women, I don't know. I did not see whether they were tied. I was
17 focussed more at the front of the column because my father was there.
18 Q. Did you try to approach the column? Did you try to ask anything?
19 A. Yes, I did try to approach the column. However, the two people
20 wearing masks, one of them said something in a foreign language to me. I
21 didn't understand. But then he waved his hand, and I decided to step
23 Q. When you heard this word "Yallah," did it mean anything to you?
24 Could you maybe decide who these people belonged to?
25 A. Yes, when I --
1 MR. NEUNER: Sorry. If I may just object, my learned colleague,
2 you just mentioned that a person has said something. I quote "Yallah"
3 here from the transcript, and I couldn't see the witness saying that
4 before. This would be leading.
5 THE INTERPRETER: It is the interpreter's correction. The
6 interpreter did not mention the word "Yallah" the first time the witness
7 used it.
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. It is not in the
9 transcript. Let me ask the witness again.
10 Q. Mr. Suljic, did you try and approach this column, and did somebody
11 react in any way?
12 A. The first soldier reacted.
13 Q. What did he say?
14 A. I understood him saying "Yallah," and I don't know what this
16 Q. This word uttered by this armed man, did it cause any sort of
17 opinion as to who this man belonged to?
18 A. I could only assume, bearing in mind that he didn't speak our
19 language, that he belonged to the so-called mujahedin.
20 Q. You said that you stepped back. And what about the column? Where
21 did the column go to? In which direction?
22 A. The column went on towards Mehurici.
23 Q. After that, what did you do, Mr. Suljic?
24 A. I waited in Celamov Gaj for about 15 minutes. After that, I set
25 off in the direction of Mehurici.
1 Q. Did you report to anyone in Mehurici, or did you notice something
2 strange, anything strange in Mehurici?
3 A. I didn't report to anyone. I entered the primary schoolyard. And
4 opposite the road from the primary school, there were cafes. I saw
5 civilians coming out of the cafes. They were drinking coffee and sitting
6 there. A soldier of mine said that they had taken his uncle and father,
7 and his uncle Haso away. He said that the mujahedin had taken them away.
8 Q. Do you know how events unfolded in Mehurici? Do you know anything
9 about the sequence of events, and do you know whether anyone attempted to
10 get your father, uncles, neighbours released? I'm referring to the people
11 who were taken away by the mujahedin.
12 A. Yes. They tried to establish contact with the mujahedin in many
13 ways. It was difficult to know who was in charge. That is to say, it was
14 difficult to know who the Emir in that unit was. That's what they called
15 the leader. Naturally, during that period of time and in that area, the
16 person in command of those units, or rather, the person who was in command
17 of the troops wasn't present. They wanted him to come and to talk to the
18 representatives of the mujahedin. I know that he went there. I know that
19 Ribo Sulejman went. I don't know that he negotiated with them. He's an
20 inhabitant of Luka near Zagradje.
21 Q. Mr. Suljic, how long did these negotiations last? And do you know
22 what the result of the negotiations was?
23 A. These negotiations lasted for an eternity for me. A minute was a
24 year for me. And a year an entire century, as one would say. But between
25 2200 hours and 2300 hours, they agreed on something. I don't know. But
1 later, I saw my father and my older uncle in the courtyard of the school.
2 Q. Mr. Suljic, I apologise, but I just want to go back to a previous
3 question. When you said you didn't know who the commander of that unit
4 was, the commander of the unit in the school, which unit were you
5 referring to? Who was in the school during that period of time? Which
6 unit was located in the school?
7 A. As far as I know, a unit of the 306th was there. I don't know
8 which battalion, but it was one of the battalions of the 306th Brigade.
9 It used to be called the Siprage Battalion. I think that it might have
10 been the 1st Battalion, but I'm not quite sure.
11 Q. Thank you. We'll go on. So around 2200 or 2300 hours, your
12 father and your uncles were released. Mr. Suljic, tell me, do you know
13 whether negotiations continued and what happened to your neighbours from
14 Gornji Miletici?
15 A. Yes. The negotiations were never interrupted. After my father
16 and two uncles had been released, the people involved in the negotiations
17 requested that the inhabitants of Miletici be released as well. I think
18 that Ribo Sulejman played a key role in these negotiations, and naturally
19 the commander of that battalion in Mehurici. They reached an agreement
20 according to which these people were to be released. Naturally, these
21 people were released up there, and they came to the courtyard. They
22 arrived before the courtyard of the Mehurici primary school.
23 Q. And afterwards, where did these people go or where were they taken
25 A. There was a bus in the courtyard. And these inhabitants of
1 Miletici were taken to Luka by bus. So it was across the river.
2 Q. Mr. Suljic, where did you go on that evening?
3 A. Since the situation was such as it was up there, since people were
4 afraid, I wanted to go home naturally. But no one spent the night in that
5 inhabited place up there. But later, I returned to the Luka sector where
6 these people had been accommodated. I tried to visit those neighbours of
7 mine. And naturally, I spent the night in the school in Zagradje. I
8 wasn't able to sleep, but that's how one puts it. It was a difficult day.
9 I was supposed to celebrate my birthday on that day, and it was the most
10 difficult day for me.
11 Q. Mr. Suljic, on the following day, what sort of information did you
12 obtain and did anyone arrive in that area?
13 A. On the following day, naturally we visited these people. To the
14 extent that it was possible, we aided them, gave them some tea and coffee
15 to drink, provided them with some food. And perhaps -- well, I'm not sure
16 whether it was in the morning or in the afternoon, but vehicles arrived.
17 I think UNPROFOR and other vehicles arrived, and some TV channels, et
18 cetera. I don't know who else arrived.
19 Q. Apart from the foreigners who were UNPROFOR members, did you
20 notice the presence of army members or HVO members?
21 A. Yes. On that bend that led towards Miletici and in the direction
22 of Luka, these vehicles came to a halt. And since it's about a hundred
23 metres from where these inhabitants were accommodated, we went to see what
24 was happening. And naturally, I saw someone with HVO insignia for the
25 first time, and I saw another man who had the insignia of the BH Army.
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 This person introduced himself, and I think his name was Dzemal.
2 Q. After you had seen these people, did any of them address you, and
3 did you provide them with information?
4 A. Yes. Dzemal said that some sort of a mixed or joint commission
5 had come to establish what had happened in Miletici. I said that I was
6 the commander of the company in Zagradje, and he issued -- or he gave me
7 an oral task so to speak. He asked me whether I had any forces. I said I
8 had about 15 soldiers. The task was to send them to the defence line. He
9 said that these men should provide security for the civilians who were in
10 Luka. And he said that they should prevent people from entering the
11 village and looting property, the property that belonged to those
12 inhabitants. Naturally, we did what we were told to do, to the best of
13 our ability, but he also requested that I and some other soldiers go to
14 Miletici and that we determine what had actually happened on the site.
15 Q. Did you carry out this second task, and with whom did your
16 soldiers go to the village of Miletici?
17 A. Look, I know that I went there in a vehicle, and there was an
18 armoured vehicle of some kind, a vehicle that belonged to monitors, I
19 think. I got into that vehicle and went up there. There were three or
20 four soldiers. A shortcut was used to go to Miletici from Luka. And
21 naturally, I went up to that area in Miletici with those soldiers. And
22 since I was afraid -- I was afraid of what might happen. But later, it
23 was established that there were dead people up there.
24 Q. After this commission left, could you tell me how you continued to
25 carry out the task that the member of the army, his name was Dzemal,
1 assigned to you?
2 A. Well, look, as far as the civilians are concerned, we carried out
3 this task in a professional way because the inhabitants of Luka won't
4 allow anything to happen to them. They were neighbours with whom we
5 lived. On a number of occasions, the people called the mujahedin tried to
6 enter the inhabited place in the afternoon. We wouldn't allow them to
7 enter the place. So I think that we carried out the task to the extent it
8 was possible for us to do so. Dzemal naturally said that we should set up
9 a checkpoint at the entrance from Luka. He said that two men should be at
10 a checkpoint, and they should prevent certain vehicles from entering.
11 Vehicles that were used by men who might want to loot the property of
12 Croats should be prevented from entering. That's what the task was.
13 Q. Mr. Suljic, did you carry out this task, too?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. At any point in time, did any other teams of foreigners arrive,
16 and did the inhabitants of Gornji Miletici leave Luka and with whom did
17 they leave?
18 A. Yes. An UNPROFOR team arrived, and they collected the bodies
19 which were taken away naturally. But I don't know where. Later -- well,
20 naturally, they spoke to the inhabitants. And some of them said that they
21 wanted to leave the area because they were afraid of the mujahedin. They
22 wanted to go to a safe place.
23 Q. Do you know whether these people left and where did they -- which
24 place did they leave?
25 A. Well, they left Luka. Or rather, they left the houses they were
1 in, Smajo's house, Osman's house, Idriz's house, these were the houses
2 that they left. How should I put it? The troops escorted them to
3 Mehurici, and there were vehicles waiting for them in Mehurici. They got
4 into the vehicles, and they were driven away. Naturally, some of those
5 inhabitants remained. I think Marko's family, Markinica, remained.
6 Srecinica, Zdravkinica, I didn't know their real names. We used their
7 nicknames. For example, Pero, we called his wife Perinica. I wasn't
8 really interested in their real names, so I didn't know their real names.
9 Q. After most of your neighbours from Gornji Miletici had left, who
10 took charge of protecting the village and the other inhabitants?
11 A. After these inhabitants had left, the MUP, the Ministry of the
12 Interior, took over the duty of taking care of the remaining families.
13 Police patrols would visit this place on a daily basis because I know that
14 some such people came on one occasion and had coffee in my house.
15 Q. As far as the families that remained in Gornji Miletici are
16 concerned, did they continue to communicate with your family and the
17 families of your uncles? And what was the attitude of your family towards
18 these people, towards these families?
19 A. Well, look, they remained in contact. They never said that we had
20 done anything to them. They said that other people had done something to
21 them. We were on good terms with them. We gave them food. I remember
22 that my father would give them cigarettes. He didn't want us to take
23 money for those cigarettes. And in that place, because they were afraid
24 in their place, a lot of them would spend the night in our house. And in
25 the early morning hours, they would have to go to their places to prepare
1 food for themselves.
2 Q. Mr. Suljic, did you speak to your father about this event at that
3 time or later on?
4 A. Well, look, at that time my father really didn't like to talk
5 about these things. And later on, he didn't want to talk about this. All
6 he said was: "My son, it wasn't possible to provide help and something
7 bad happened." That's all he said. Why did he say that? Well, I believe
8 that he had been hit by a rifle butt, with a rifle butt when this took
9 place. And perhaps that's why he didn't want to speak about this subject,
10 because he was afraid that I might do something reckless and might provoke
11 a conflict with those forces, with those mujahedin who were very dangerous
12 in our area.
13 Q. Very well. Thank you.
14 Mr. Suljic, let's now move on to another subject, another event.
15 On the 7th of June, did you receive from your battalion commander a task
16 ordering you to go somewhere with your company's troops?
17 A. On the 7th. Well, look, a courier arrived from Gluha Bukovica.
18 He arrived in Zagradje. Or rather, he arrived at the unit command and
19 said that our task was for one of our units to go via Miletici and
20 Jezerci, Cukle, and to link up with forces from our brigade who were
21 arriving from the direction of Zenica. That's the task he said we had to
22 carry out.
23 Q. On the 8th of June in the morning, did you start carrying out that
24 task? And if so, where did you go?
25 A. All the tasks that the superior command assigned to subordinate
1 units were carried out to the best of our ability. And from the Luka
2 sector in the early morning hours, perhaps at about 3.00 or half past
3 3.00, we set off from that sector, via Miletici, via Donji Miletici,
4 Jezerci, and we continued to the Rakin Do feature.
5 Q. During that trip, did you notice whether there was any fighting in
6 the Bila Valley?
7 A. No, I didn't notice anything of that sort. It was early in the
8 morning, perhaps at 3.00 or half past 3.00 in the morning. And later on,
9 at about 4.00, you could hear small-scale shooting.
10 Q. How far did you get, Mr. Suljic, and what happened to you?
11 A. I reached Rakin Do, and I was going down towards the Strazbica
12 feature. I think that's the name. And at about 4.00 or half past 5.00,
13 while there was shooting going on, as we were going down, and on that
14 occasion I was wounded. I was hit by a fragmentation bullet, or rather
15 there was a shell that fell, and I hid behind a sort of heap. Some
16 bullets were fired, some shots were fired, and a fragmentation bullet hit
18 Q. Where were you taken afterwards?
19 A. Well, since I couldn't see anything with my left eye since that
20 eye had been hit, two of the soldiers took me back up to Rakin Do, and we
21 then descended to the Jezerci village. There was some sort of reception
22 centre, if I may put it that way. They bandaged my eye, and then they
23 took me to Mehurici. In Mehurici, I was seen by someone called Suvad, a
24 Dr. Suvad. And since you couldn't get to Zenica via Ovnak and the
25 territory down there, I was returned to an area near Zagradje, and I was
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 taken along the Jasenica River via Javor to Kustarica [phoen]. And from
2 Serici, from the village of Serici, which is in the Zenica area, I was
3 driven to the hospital in Crkvica.
4 Q. Mr. Suljic, I have two other questions for you: Tell me, the
5 families of your neighbours from Gornji Miletici, do they now go to
7 A. Yes. They come to Miletici. They have property of their own
8 there. And we buy hay from those people. We use it to feed the sheep,
9 the cows, et cetera. They visit their properties, and there was a woman
10 who came to pick the apples. A young man who went to school with me, his
11 name was Philip, he came to see me about a month ago and had coffee with
13 Q. When these people come to the village, do they visit your
14 families, and what sort of terms are you on today?
15 A. Well, yes, when they come, they do visit them, if they have time,
16 of course. Look, you're asking me about what sort of terms we are on.
17 We're on the same sort of terms that we were on before the war. We
18 respect each other. We respect their religion. They respect ours. So I
19 think that even today, we treat them fairly, and they treat us fairly.
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Suljic.
21 Mr. President, this concludes my examination of the witness.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. It is now 10.25. We
23 will have our break, and we will resume at about 10 to 11.00.
24 --- Recess taken at 10.26 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 10.59 a.m.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The other Defence team, do you
2 have any questions to put to the witness?
3 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We do
4 have a couple of questions for the witness.
5 Cross-examined by Mr. Ibrisimovic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Suljic, at the beginning of your testimony,
7 you said you were born in Zagradje. Is that correct?
8 A. Yes, it is.
9 Q. In Zagradje village, there's no elementary school, is there?
10 A. The elementary school is in Luka. But Luka belongs to the local
11 commune of Zagradje.
12 Q. So your company was in Zagradje; is that correct?
13 A. Yes, it was in Zagradje, but to be more specific, it was in Luka
14 because there's no school in Zagradje. The upper part is called Zagradje,
15 and the lower part by the river where the school is, that's Luka. The
16 whole area, both Luka, Skomorje, and other settlements make up the local
17 commune of Zagradje. In Zagradje itself, there's no school as you have
18 just said.
19 Q. In May or June 1993, was there the 309th Mountain Brigade from
20 Kakanj staying in Zagradje?
21 A. No, I'm not aware of that unit. In Zagradje, there was only the
22 314th Brigade. Actually, the 3rd Company of the 4th Battalion. And that
23 was the only unit that ever came to that area.
24 Q. During that period of time, was there maybe a unit or the 3rd
25 Battalion from Kakanj belonging to the 7th Muslim Brigade?
1 A. No, there were no such units in that place.
2 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would kindly
3 ask the witness to be shown Prosecution Exhibit Number P564. I have this
4 document in B/C/S. Maybe it is going to make things easier if this
5 document could be shown to the witness.
6 Q. Have you read the document?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. In this document, it says that the 309th Mountain Brigade from
9 Kakanj will be staying in the school in Zagradje, and also one company of
10 the 7th Muslim Brigade from Kakanj.
11 A. Yes. The Zagradje village is mentioned. However, I don't know
12 whether there might be several places bearing the same name in
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I know that this particular unit never existed in my
14 territory, and it never stayed in my area.
15 Q. If you have read the document, you can see that the municipal
16 staff of the national defence of Kakanj should have been informed.
17 A. Yes. The municipal staff of Kakanj. But what did we have to do
18 with Kakanj? If we're talking about Travnik, then we didn't have anything
19 to do with Kakanj. This is relative to the units that stayed in the
20 territory of Kakanj. I really don't know. I suppose that there must be a
21 place with the same name with a school. This village here, Zagradje, did
22 not have a school. There was only a school in Luka, so this letter could
23 not have referred to us because it doesn't mention my unit at all.
24 Q. Since the units are mentioned in this document that stayed in the
25 territory of Kakanj, and if I told you that in the municipality of Kakanj,
1 there is a village bearing the same name, Zagradje, you will agree with
2 me, won't you?
3 A. Yes, of course I will, because that is a very plausible option. I
4 even heard that there was a place called Mehurici in the territory of the
5 Municipality of Kakanj. And as you know, there is Mehurici in the
6 territory of the Municipality of Travnik as well.
7 Q. Thank you very much. We won't need this document any more.
8 Let's go back to the incident in Miletici. When returning from
9 the command of your battalion on that day, you arrived in Miletici, and
10 you encountered this column in which your father and other members of your
11 family were. Tell us, please, when you encountered these -- this column
12 and those armed men, did you notice a member of the 7th Muslim Brigade
13 among those masked men?
14 A. No. In that area, the 7th Muslim Brigade never existed. It was
15 never there.
16 Q. I am referring to that specific event when you encountered that
17 column. Did you notice or observe any member of the 7th Brigade?
18 A. No, I didn't. I don't know that they were ever there. They would
19 have had some insignia. These persons did not bear any insignia that
20 related them to any army.
21 Q. When you descended to the area across the road from the school and
22 when you were waiting for the outcome of the whole situation, in front of
23 the school and anywhere around the school did you notice a member of the
24 7th Brigade or an officer of the 7th Brigade?
25 A. No, I only saw members of the 306th Brigade who were there.
1 Q. And one more question at the end: On the 8th of June in the
2 morning, you were seriously wounded. You lost your right eye.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. A day before, you received from the command of your unit in Gluha
5 Bukovica a mission or a task to go to Miletici, Jezerci, and Cukle. That
6 was the direction where you had to go?
7 A. Yes, not towards the village of Cukle, but above it towards the
8 facility called -- actually, we went from Luka to Miletici, and then from
9 Miletici -- Donji Miletici towards Jezerci village, and then Rakin Do.
10 Rakin Do was our final destination and there we linked up with the forces
11 that were moving from the direction of Zenica. And it's -- I was informed
12 well at that time those were the units of the 314th Brigade that were
13 moving from the direction of Zenica.
14 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] We have no further questions,
15 Mr. President.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution, you have the
18 Cross-examined by Mr. Neuner:
19 Q. Good morning, Mr. Suljic. My name is Mathias Neuner, and I'm
20 representing the Prosecution here, and I'm going to put a couple of
21 questions to you. If you don't understand my question, please ask me to
22 rephrase it, and I will try to do so. Do you understand this?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. If I understood correctly, apart from your JNA service, you were
25 living all your life in Donji Miletici or in Zagradje where you stayed at
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 the school. Is this correct?
2 A. I stayed in Donji Miletici.
3 Q. And the family name Suljic which was a common name in Donji
4 Miletici, were there other families by the name of Suljic in the Bila
6 A. As far as I know, there were people bearing the name Suljic in
7 Zagradje. I'm not aware of any others.
8 Q. And if I take you to your own name, Hamid Suljic, to the best of
9 your knowledge, do you know that any other person by the name of Hamid
10 Suljic was living in the Bila Valley in 1993?
11 A. I don't know. I can't be a hundred per cent sure. I have never
12 seen any population census, so I have never been in the position to see
13 whether there was any other Hamid Suljic living in the Bila Valley. I was
14 the only Hamid Suljic residing in the Bila Valley, in Miletici. I can't
15 be sure of anybody else bearing that name residing there.
16 Q. Thank you. You know Halim Husic?
17 A. Halib Husic?
18 Q. Halim Husic, he was in 1993 assistant commander in the 306th
20 A. Do you know where he was born?
21 Q. I cannot tell you where he was born. He testified in front of
22 this Trial Chamber, and he stated that in 1993, he was in Rudnik and
23 working there at the command of the 306th Brigade. Would this help you?
24 A. If you're talking about Halim Husic, the one from Dub, then I can
25 say that he was a theology teacher, a religious education teacher, and I
1 do know him.
2 Q. So this is exactly the person I'm talking about. He studied in
3 Saudi Arabia -- I'm not exactly sure, but in an Arabic country. So you
4 know Mr. Halim Husic.
5 You were a colleague or a friend of Mr. Halim Husic?
6 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would just like
7 to object to one part of this question put to the witness by my learned
8 friend. When he was explaining where Halim Husic studied, the witness
9 said that he was a student in Sarajevo. And I don't know where my learned
10 friend got this information from, that he was a student somewhere in Saudi
12 MR. NEUNER: To the best of my -- to the best of my recollection,
13 the witness has appeared some weeks ago. I just knew that he was
14 travelling to the region, and I wanted to help actually Mr. Suljic to
15 remember Mr. Halim Husic.
16 Q. But if I understood correctly, you said he was a professor of
17 theology. Do you recall whether he was studying in Sarajevo? I think you
18 already stated Mr. Husic, but can you please tell the Trial Chamber
19 whether you know Mr. Halim Husic from Sarajevo -- whether you know he was
20 in Sarajevo?
21 A. How am I supposed to know where somebody graduated from? I was
22 not interested in that. I only knew that he was a theology professor, and
23 I also know that he worked in Sarajevo. Now, as to where he graduated
24 from, I really wouldn't be able to tell you that. I don't know.
25 Q. Did you meet Mr. Halim Husic in 1993 from time to time?
1 A. Yes. I saw him in Mehurici in the mosque on Fridays during the
2 religious service, the main religious service that usually takes place on
3 Fridays. And he would be there. He would often come there to participate
4 in this religious service.
5 Q. For the record, can you state the name of this mosque, please, in
7 A. It doesn't have a name. Our mosque was just the Mehurici mosque.
8 In Zagradje, there was the Zagradje mosque. So our mosques bear the names
9 of the settlements. Our mosques do not bear any other names. Those
10 mosques are fairly new. They were all constructed in -- from the 1970s
12 Q. So there is one mosque in Mehurici and one mosque in Zagradje
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. I want to take you to the 314th Motorised Brigade and its
16 establishment in late 1992. Is it correct that the Patriotic League in
17 Gluha Bukovica joined the 314th Motorised Brigade?
18 A. I'm not aware of that. I only know that a company from the Gluha
19 Bukovica Detachment became integrated in the 314th Motorised Brigade. As
20 for the Patriotic League, I don't know.
21 Q. And was there also from Skomorje a unit which joined the 314th
22 Brigade in late 1992?
23 A. Yes. Zagradje, Skomorje were the villages that became part of the
24 Zagradje Company. And the Zagradje Company, members were members of the
25 314th Brigade.
1 Q. So these two units you just mentioned, together with your Zagradje
2 unit, they formed the 4th Battalion?
3 A. No, no, those were not two units. Zagradje and Skomorje was just
4 one unit. If you look at Gluha Bukovica and Zagradje, those were two
5 companies by establishment. We called them companies at the time.
6 Q. And these two companies you just referred to, did they form the
7 4th Battalion? You said already that this -- the headquarters of the 4th
8 Battalion was in Gluha Bukovica?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Zagradje -- you stated that you had been in the suburb of Luka or
11 the hamlet of Luka in the Zagradje school. From when to when did you be
12 the commander of the unit in the Luka school?
13 A. From the 1st December 1992 until the 11th of May 1993.
14 Q. And from the 11th of May 1993, what did you do then?
15 A. On the 11th of May 1993, pursuant to an order of the commander of
16 the 314th Motorised Brigade, I was appointed the assistant commander for
17 intelligence in the 4th Battalion.
18 Q. So from then onwards, from 11 May onwards, you were stationed
19 again in Luka, or you moved to Gluha Bukovica where the headquarters of
20 the 4th Battalion was?
21 A. No. The man who was ordered to become the unit commander needed
22 help, and I stayed on to help him in his new duty. From time to time, I
23 would go to the defence line. I would report to the battalion command,
24 and I would go back to the command of my unit, the unit that I was the
25 commander of prior to that.
1 Q. So the unit you were commander of prior to that, this unit you
2 were referring to, the Zagradje or Luka school unit, just for
4 A. Could you please repeat your question.
5 Q. Sure. You just stated that you returned back to the command of my
6 unit, the unit that I was commander of prior to that. I'm reading from
7 the transcript here. I just wanted to establish, after 11th of May 1993,
8 where were you, so to speak, based? Was this still in Luka school?
9 A. Yes. I had received a task from the battalion commander. I was
10 appointed to that duty, and I performed those duties. However, I still
11 helped the new company commander. Why? Because I had received some
12 education about tactics, about strategy, and since we were fortifying our
13 defence lines and since the men trusted me as their commander and they
14 obeyed me when it came to the performance of tasks, I remained there to
15 help fortify the defence line. And also, from time to time, I would send
16 intelligence on the enemy forces to my superior command.
17 Q. I want to take you now to the period in spring 1993 and talk again
18 about this unit in the Luka school. You testified earlier it was an
19 intervention unit. Can you please explain to the Trial Chamber what the
20 tasks of an intervention unit is, or what the tasks are?
21 A. It was not a unit. We just call it a unit. However, it was a
22 group of men, some 10 or so men, maybe between 10 and 15 soldiers, whose
23 task was to intervene. In case we received information from the defence
24 line which was along the Jesenica/Studenjacija river, their task was to go
25 to the defence line in the shortest possible line and to preserve the line
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 occupied by the members of the 314th Brigade during that period of time.
2 That was the task of that unit, so to speak.
3 Q. Would it be fair to say that this intervention unit, the 15 men
4 you mentioned, they were engaging in hazardous tasks, dangerous tasks,
5 being one of the first units who would go to the front line or who would
6 be the front of the attack?
7 A. No.
8 Q. What was the armament --
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, although the
10 witness has answered, I would still object to this line of questioning.
11 The witness has already said that in case this group was needed, they
12 would be sent to the line. The witness did not mention any hazardous
13 situations. The witness has answered. However, I just wanted to make it
14 straight for the record. I wanted my objection to be recorded.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The objection has been recorded.
16 What has the Prosecution got to tell us with regard to this objection?
17 MR. NEUNER: I move on to another topic.
18 Q. Just, please tell me what the armament of your unit was.
19 A. I believe that I've already said that our unit had hunting rifles.
20 Hunting rifles and carbines. Those were the type of weapons that the
21 villagers had licenses for. Those licenses were obtained from the MUP in
22 the Municipality of Travnik.
23 Q. A witness testified in front of this Trial Chamber, Mr. Ribo, that
24 towards the end of 1992, five or six mujahedin arrived in the school in
25 Luka or Zagradje. Since your unit had been billeted in this school, have
1 you seen these people?
2 A. What period of time are you referring to?
3 Q. Mr. Ribo testified at the end of 1992. Page 11090 of the
5 A. They were moving around the entire area. And Ribo could see them
6 because Ribo's house is some 50 to 70 metres away from the school, whereas
7 my house is about a kilometre away from the school. So Ribo could have
8 seen these people in the schoolyard.
9 Q. You were referring to Ribo's house, just for clarification? The
10 transcript is not precise on this point here. You're referring to Ribo's
11 house which is 50 metres away?
12 A. Yes, Ribo's house was between 50 and 70 metres away from the
14 Q. On page 18 of the transcript, you're referring not necessarily to
15 the mujahedin in Zagradje, but I believe you were referring to mujahedin
16 in Mehurici, that some lads, I believe you were referring to locals, some
17 locals joined the mujahedin for training. Can you elaborate a little bit
18 on this.
19 A. They had money. You have to bear that in mind. They also had
20 uniforms, all sorts of uniforms, representing various armies of the world.
21 They also had the humanitarian aspect. When I say that, I mean food. The
22 young people who were still minors and not members of any of the BiH Army
23 unit could not be mobilised by the Travnik Municipality staff. These
24 young men went there to receive religious education-- primarily religious
25 education, and they participated in the training as well.
1 Q. You just said "these young men." Having lived in the Bila Valley
2 your whole life, do you know any names of persons, of these young men?
3 A. Who are you referring to? The ones who underwent training?
4 Q. Yes, the ones who underwent training with the mujahedin.
5 A. I know just one name. His -- this man's name was Avdija. He
6 hailed from my village. His name was Avdija. And he received training,
7 both religious training and training of other type.
8 Q. Avdija, do you know a last name, please?
9 A. Kadric.
10 Q. And when did he receive that training, please?
11 A. I think that it was in 1993, mid-1993, June, July, August. During
12 that period.
13 Q. And apart from the religious training you mentioned, he received
14 also other training. What do you mean by "other training"?
15 A. Well, look, he received religious training. But apart from that
16 training, they were trained in other fields. They received physical
17 training. They ran through the villages. That's what I had in mind.
18 Q. They ran through villages. Through which villages? Where did the
19 training of your neighbour take place?
20 A. Well, first of all, they weren't our neighbours. If we're using
21 military terms, well, then, to the left and right we have neighbours. But
22 I didn't have any neighbours there. If we use other terms, if we talk
23 about it in other terms, they did pass through Mehurici, for example, and
24 other inhabited places. They would go there before the religious service
25 when there were a lot of people.
1 Q. So before the religious service, the mujahedin spoke to people and
2 asked them - I'm just asking for clarification; I don't want to put words
3 in your mouth - they were asking people whether they would join in
4 training, or how did this work?
5 A. Look, everyone was free to express their opinion, to say whether
6 they would join them or not. But since the population in the Bila Valley
7 was in a crisis, the Bila Valley was in a crisis, the people weren't
8 employed, there was nothing to eat, nothing to wear. And they used money
9 and humanitarian aid to gain the support of these young men.
10 Q. Can you please tell me for the record, where did they usually make
11 their approaches of the local population? Was this in front of the
12 mosques or somewhere else?
13 A. I never had the opportunity of listening to any of them because I
14 didn't like them much. But I assume that they approached the people who
15 were present in the mosques.
16 Q. And the physician training Avdija Kadric received, would you call
17 this a military training, or was it purely physical exercise?
18 A. Well, I think it was purely physical exercise. The people wore
19 civilian clothes. If they had been involved in military exercises, they
20 would have been -- they would have worn military uniforms. That was not
21 the case when I saw them. After the training had been completed, they
22 would then receive uniforms as a kind of prize.
23 Q. To the best of your recollection, Avdija Kadric, did he stay with
24 the mujahedin, or did he return to a regular ABiH unit?
25 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, since the witness
1 already said that this person was a young man who hadn't yet been
2 mobilised, I think he has already answered this question, and I don't
3 think the Prosecution can put the same question to the witness now.
4 MR. NEUNER: I can rephrase the question.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, you may rephrase it.
6 MR. NEUNER:
7 Q. Do you know the age of Mr. Avdija Kadric in 1993?
8 A. No, I wasn't interested in that.
9 Q. After the training, did Mr. Kadric join any regular ABiH unit?
10 A. I don't know. You should ask him. I don't know which units men
11 were members of. Everyone was able to choose.
12 Q. You mentioned the mujahedin stayed in the Mehurici elementary
13 school and that at some point in time they went to Poljanice. Do you
14 recall at what point in time they went to Poljanice? What month?
15 A. They never went to Poljanice. I said they were in Savica Kuca,
16 Savica houses. And as to when they left, I think it was towards the end
17 of 1992 and at the beginning of 1993. That's when they left the primary
18 school. But occasionally -- they apparently had premises of their own.
19 And occasionally, one or two men would use those premises, would use that
21 Q. I'm now going to put a couple of names to you. Previous witnesses
22 have testified that these people were in one way another affiliated with
23 the mujahedin. Since you have lived in the area, I just want to ask
24 whether you know these persons. Do you know Osman Tahirovic?
25 A. Osman Tahirovic -- you're asking me whether he was an inhabitant
1 of the Bila -- I'm not sure which village you're referring to. Are you
2 referring to my place, to my village? In that case, the local commune and
3 the inhabitants of that local commune, well, I know there were three men
4 with the same name in that local commune. I don't know who you're
5 referring to, if it concerns some other Tahirovic, someone who arrived
6 there. Before you said there were some Hamid Suljics in the area, too.
7 If that is the case, it's difficult to say who this person was.
8 Q. Witnesses said he worked in a cafe in Mehurici and that he cooked
9 at the Mehurici school for the mujahedin. Maybe this helps you.
10 A. No. I never observed anything like this. As far as cafes are
11 concerned, I was brought up in a religious way. And as a result, I rarely
12 go to such places. If they had gone to a cake shop, perhaps I would have
13 seen them there.
14 Q. But you know any person by the name of Osman Tahirovic? Is this
16 A. Look, I know three persons called Osman Tahirovic. So who is this
17 person? Is this one of the three, or is it some other Tahirovic? I
18 really don't know. Have you got a photograph of this person? If you do,
19 then I'll have a look at it to see if I can remember such a person. But
20 if not, I don't know how I can help you.
21 Q. Any of the three Osman Tahirovics, was any of these three in the
22 Muslimanske Snage in 1993?
23 A. No, I'm not aware of Muslim forces being present there in 1992.
24 I'm not aware of any presence of Muslim forces in 1992.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the witness already
2 answered the question. But I think that the witness should first
3 be asked of whether he is aware of the existence of Muslim forces. The
4 Prosecution should establish the grounds upon which it wants to put its
5 questions to the witness. But the witness has already answered the
7 MR. NEUNER:
8 Q. Do you know Ramo Durmic?
9 A. No, I don't. I know the name. This is a name that one would
10 hear. But I never saw him, and I wouldn't want to see him.
11 Q. Jasarevic, do you know a person by the name of Vahid Jasarevic?
12 A. The Jasarevici live in Jezerci, if I remember this correctly.
13 There are Jasarevics in Jezerci. I know someone called Vahid. Perhaps
14 that's the person, a fat man.
15 Q. I want to move on to the incidents in Miletici on 24 April. You
16 said you were at the forward command post on the 24th of April, and you
17 returned to Mehurici. At what time in the day did you return to Mehurici?
18 A. It was in the evening. I don't know the exact time. But it was
19 already dark.
20 Q. And you said together with another person -- a person drove you
21 towards Luka, so you were sitting in a car before you were encountering
22 the column of captives from Miletici. What was the name of the person?
23 A. Look, first of all, I didn't go to Luka. I set off from Mehurici
24 in the direction of Luka. In the area of Celamov Gaj, that's what we call
25 the place, I came across this column. And the person I set off with was
1 either Semir or Samir from Fazlic. He had a car. And he continued
2 towards his place, whereas I stayed on there for about 15 minutes and then
3 returned in the direction of the Mehurici school. So on that occasion, I
4 didn't go to Luka.
5 Q. When you were on your way with Samir from Fazlic, when you were on
6 your way to Celamov Gaj, did a car pass you from the opposite direction?
7 A. No, I don't remember that.
8 Q. When you finally encountered the column on Celamov Gaj, how broad
9 was the street you were driving on? What was -- how broad was the street?
10 A. How wide was it? Well, it wasn't a street. It was a -- it was a
11 road. Perhaps it was 4 metres wide.
12 Q. So you were --
13 A. It was a dirt road, but it has now been asphalted. It's now an
14 asphalt road. It's about 3 metres wide. And on both sides, there's
15 perhaps a hard shoulder, which is about half a metre wide.
16 Q. So you were sitting -- and this is actually a question. You were
17 sitting next to the driver on the right-hand side when the column
18 approached you?
19 A. Look, after about 20 minutes, we got out of the car -- after about
20 20 metres we got out of the car. The car was parked on the left-hand
21 side, or rather on the right-hand side when coming from above. Across the
22 road, there's the house belonging to the Ajanovic. So we parked -- the
23 car was parked across the road from the house of Ajanovic.
24 Q. So you were outside the car while the column was passing, and it
25 was already dark?
1 A. While the column was passing by, I was at a distance of 2 or 3
2 metres from that column. It was on the left-hand side, or rather on the
3 right-hand side if you come from above. So it passed by us on the
4 left-hand side.
5 Q. You mentioned that the escorters, the first two persons of the
6 escorters, were wearing automatic rifles and had masks. Is this correct?
7 A. Well, look, they had some sort of camouflage paint on them. I saw
8 two them of with such paint on them. And those who were at the rear had
9 these masks, and you could only see their eyes and to an extent it was
10 possible to see their noses, too.
11 Q. So altogether, how many escorters did you see?
12 A. I saw the first two men, and at the rear there were two or three
13 men. But later when I wanted to react in some way when I saw that the
14 father was covered in blood, I wanted to affront [as interpreted] them. I
15 was then stopped by someone behind me who said "Suljic, we'll die, we'll
16 be killed." He grabbed hold of my shoulder and said this. As I was
17 afraid at the time, I couldn't tell you how many of them there were
18 exactly. But I thought that there were a lot of them.
19 Q. My last question: Was your impression that the escorters were
20 exclusively foreigners, or could it also be that the escorters were
22 A. Well, look, given the way that they spoke to each other, well,
23 they were speaking in some foreign language that I couldn't identify, that
24 I didn't know.
25 Q. You said you returned to Mehurici, to the Mehurici school. Did
1 you return by foot after you had waited the 15 minutes?
2 A. Look, first of all, I didn't go to the school. I returned on
3 foot, and I went to the school's yard.
4 Q. You mentioned that an Emir was not available from the mujahedin at
5 the beginning. Do you know who this Emir was, what the name of this Emir
6 was? Did anybody mention the name of this Emir?
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm not sure
8 whether there was an error in the translation. As far as I remember, the
9 witness said that when he arrived there, there was no commander of the
10 Siprage -- there was no unit commander of the Siprage Battalion. I don't
11 remember the witness mentioning an Emir who was a mujahedin. I could
12 check the transcript, but I don't think that the witness mentioned such an
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I think you should check this.
15 But as far as I can remember, the witness did mention an Emir. And as I
16 have a very good memory, he referred to an Emir.
17 MR. NEUNER: Without having verified it, while the witness was
18 speaking, I believe it was on page 23, around line 19. Line 14, page 23.
19 Am I allowed to ask the question, Your Honour?
20 Q. Should I repeat the question. I was asking for the name of the
21 Emir, if you recall the name of the Emir from the mujahedin unit.
22 A. Just a minute. Are you referring to the person with whom they
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. We just checked this
25 part of the answer. The witness said that they tried to -- he said that
1 it was difficult to establish contact with the Emir. And he said that he
2 didn't know who that Emir was. I apologise if I did not accurately
3 remember the answer this witness provided.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please continue.
5 MR. NEUNER:
6 Q. If I return to the negotiations, can you just state for the
7 record, next to Mr. Ribo, who was the name of the commander of the
8 battalion in Mehurici who was involved in the negotiations? Just the
9 name, please.
10 A. Look, at the time, I wasn't in a position to know anything about
11 the battalion command of another unit. As a commander of the unit, I was
12 an assistant commander for information and reconnaissance. And as such, I
13 wasn't interested in the command of other units. And at that time, I
14 didn't even know who the commander of my brigade was, let alone who people
15 from other units were.
16 Q. After the captured persons were released at night and transferred
17 by bus to Luka, how many ABiH soldiers remained in Mehurici after the
18 captives had been brought to Luka? How many soldiers approximately were
19 there in Mehurici?
20 A. Look, there weren't any soldiers in Mehurici. There were three,
21 four, or five men who were securing the facility where the unit command
22 was located. All the men were at the defence lines, or they were involved
23 in carrying out other tasks assigned to them by the command.
24 Q. To the best of your recollection, while you were in Mehurici, did
25 anybody ask for reinforcements to get new soldiers deployed to Mehurici?
1 A. Well, I don't know. I wasn't the commander of the units in the
2 area of the Bila Valley, so I wasn't in a position to have all the
3 information that concerned that area.
4 Q. Was it maybe discussed to go and look in Gornji Miletici, to look
5 for the remaining people there after the captured people from the
6 mujahedin camp had been freed? Was it discussed to go and look in Gornji
7 Miletici, what happened to the other persons?
8 A. Well, listen, I don't know what the commanders of other units
9 agreed on. From local people, I heard that they had asked the men in the
10 command to protect the people first of all. And only after having
11 provided protection for the people were they to provide protection for
12 property. I don't know if they remained up there in Miletici. I wasn't
13 aware of that. Later when I returned to Luka, I found out that some had
14 remained up there in Miletici.
15 Q. The next day when Mr. Merdan was coming, do you recall the time of
16 the day when Mr. Merdan was arriving?
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, it's not possible
18 to ask this witness such a question because the witness said that a BH
19 Army officer came and introduced himself as Dzemal.
20 MR. NEUNER: I will rephrase that question.
21 Q. Sir, you mentioned a while ago a person by the name of Dzemal. Do
22 you know the last name of that person?
23 A. At the time, I didn't. He didn't tell me what his last name was.
24 All he said was that his name was Dzemal, and there was someone else with
25 an HVO insignia on him. That's the first time I saw the HVO insignia.
1 They said that they were from some sort of a joint command, and they said
2 that they had to establish what had happened at the site.
3 Q. At what time of the 25th of April did you meet the person by the
4 name of Dzemal?
5 A. I can't remember the exact time. But I think it was in the middle
6 of the day.
7 Q. You then started, since this person told you to guard Gornji
8 Miletici, you then started with the guarding. Until when -- when did you
9 first start? Was it directly on that day that you started guarding Gornji
10 Miletici? Or was it a day later?
11 A. No. Look, I hadn't been authorised by anyone to provide security
12 for that village, nor had I been ordered to do so. However, the unit that
13 was present in the area, I ordered the unit or that group of people, that
14 group of men who were in the school to aid the people who had arrived in
15 the area of Luka. Why did I do this? Because we thought that these
16 people might appear again, and naturally the locals and these 15 soldiers
17 tried to organise defence for that part of the population that had been
18 brought there from the mujahedin camp.
19 After Dzemal had arrived, he gave me the task of setting up a
20 checkpoint. We were not to allow anyone to enter the village. And
21 naturally, he also said that the people should be protected and that the
22 village up there should be protected to the extent that this was possible.
23 However, it wasn't possible to provide much protection because it's a very
24 big area, and with 15 men, you could only hold a position about 200 metres
1 Q. Just for clarification purposes, so you started the guarding on
2 the 25th of April 1993.
3 A. I started after having received this oral order from Dzemal. From
4 that moment on, I assigned tasks. I positioned people, and I told them to
5 provide security for the people and for the village as much as we could.
6 Q. Until when approximately did you supervise or perform these guard
7 duties, until when?
8 A. It's very difficult to give you an approximation. We received the
9 task, and it covered a certain period. And the period was up to the
10 moment the vehicles came to transport the bodies from Miletici. And once
11 the villagers of Miletici left, we stopped guarding them. The men who had
12 stayed behind or the people who had stayed behind were taken over by the
13 Ministry of the Interior. We, ourselves, returned to our everyday tasks,
14 and we focussed our activities on the facilities which were on our defence
15 lines between the two rivers, the Studenjacija and Jesenica.
16 Q. During the time your men or you yourself guarded the village of
17 Gornji Miletici, was there any investigative activity carried out by
18 others, by an ABiH unit in Gornji Miletici?
19 A. I don't know. I was not in a position to know everything. A foot
20 soldier knows very little. It is more up to the man in charge to have
21 such information.
22 Q. Were there any other senior ABiH people enter the village of
23 Miletici during the time you or your men were guarding? Did anybody enter
24 the village apart from the inhabitants?
25 A. I know that nobody but Dzemal did. Dzemal was the one who entered
1 the village, together with us. And if you're referring to this soldier,
2 he did. And also, some men of the 314th Brigade entered. As for the
3 others, I don't know. I don't know if anybody else entered the village.
4 Q. Did Mr. Merdan -- excuse me. I rephrase. Did Dzemal, who
5 appeared on the 25th of April, ask you or in your presence anybody else
6 about the mujahedin, whether the mujahedin had done anything in this
7 village? Did he mention the mujahedin?
8 A. No, he didn't mention the mujahedin to me. So I wouldn't know.
9 Q. Did he ask you anything about your knowledge, since you were on
10 the ground by the time? Did he want to know anything about the incident
11 from your side?
12 A. No, he didn't ask me. He only asked me to go to the spot with
13 him. I was the unit commander. And he asked some other men to accompany
14 us, for all of us to establish what had happened.
15 Q. Sir, you testified that the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade wasn't in
16 the area, I understand, in the area of the Bila Valley. Is that correct?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. You also testified -- I believe it was on transcript page 34, line
19 17 or 22, that the 7th -- members of the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade never
20 were -- wore any insignia that would relate them to the army. Can you
21 elaborate on this, please.
22 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
23 don't think that the witness has ever said that in this particular way.
24 He only said that he did not notice anybody wearing the insignia. He
25 didn't say that members of this brigade didn't wear them at all.
1 MR. NEUNER: If I --
2 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] This is on page 21, just for the
3 clarification. Page 34, line 21.
4 MR. NEUNER: If I can just read it for the record, the question
5 was: "I'm referring to that specific event when you encountered that
6 column. Did you notice or observe any members of the 7th Brigade?" The
7 answer: "No, I didn't. I don't know that they were ever there. They
8 would have had some insignia. These persons did not bear any insignia
9 that related them to any Army."
10 Q. Yes, having read it again, I understood that you were referring to
11 the escorters, is that correct, while stating this? This, rather,
12 referred to the escorters of the column? Is that correct, just for
13 clarification purposes?
14 A. When you see your father who had been beaten and when you see him
15 covered in blood, to ask you to look at the insignia and recognise the
16 insignia, it's impossible. I was -- I was not in a position to see any
17 insignia or recognise them.
18 Q. I have one last question; I move on to another topic. You said
19 you were a member of the 314th Brigade in 1993, and you said that on the
20 11th of May 1993, you were an assistant commander for intelligence, if I
21 recall correctly. Have you ever in 1993 been in any other unit than the
22 314th Motorised Brigade?
23 A. No.
24 MR. NEUNER: Thank you. The Prosecution has no further questions.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Any re-examination by the
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. We don't have
3 any additional questions.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The other Defence team?
5 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. No
6 re-examination on our part.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a few questions to put to
8 you, sir.
9 Questioned by the Court:
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are going to go back to the
11 incident involving your father. His name is Akif. Is that correct?
12 A. Yes, it is.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Who is Dedo Suljic?
14 A. That is my uncle. My father's brother.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well then. In the column,
16 you said that there was your father. Was his brother, Dedo, also there in
17 the column?
18 A. Yes.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What was the time? You said
20 that it was in the afternoon. Could you be more specific and tell us what
21 the time was when you encountered the column? As far as you can remember.
22 A. I don't know exactly, but I remember that it was before the
23 evening prayer, as we would say in Bosnia.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What was the time?
25 A. I don't know. One would have to check when the sunset was, and
1 then we would know the exact time of the evening prayer.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you saw your father in the
3 column, were his hands tied? Did you notice that detail or not?
4 A. Yes, his hands were tied, both his hands and my uncle's hands were
5 tied. Only Haso was free because he had a cane in his hands. He was an
6 elderly person. That's why his hands were not tied. He could walk
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And your father, you spoke to
9 him, and did he ever tell you why he was taken in that column together
10 with the others?
11 A. I tried to establish some sort of contact with my father. I tried
12 to receive some sort of information as to what had happened. However, my
13 father never, ever discussed it, never wanted to talk about it. He only
14 told me: "My child, it was down to the evil that had occurred." And
15 that's the long and the short of it.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And what about your uncle, Dedo?
17 Did he know any of the mujahedin?
18 A. I don't know. You should ask him that. I spent very little time
19 in Miletici during that period of time.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And what would you say about the
21 testimony of a previous witness who has told us about what had happened,
22 and he said that -- that the mujahedin had arrived, and this is what had
23 happened. And thereafter, according to the witness, your father and Dedo
24 were the ones who came to see their friends. At that moment, there was
25 shooting, and all the villagers were asked to gather in the square. Would
1 your father remember that? Would your father remember the incident as it
2 was described by a witness, that the mujahedin came to see their
3 girlfriends and there was shooting, and that's how it all happened?
4 A. I've already told you what my father said. He never wanted to
5 discuss those things. My opinion is that he had been hit by one of those
6 masked men. He was hit in the forehead, and he still suffers
7 consequences. I'm sure that he was afraid that if he had told me, I would
8 try and do something. And for that reason, he never wanted to discuss
9 those things.
10 As for the statements of different witnesses, whatever somebody
11 tells me, somebody may guarantee that I would be safe and that I will go
12 back home safely. However, accidents happen, and one can never be a
13 hundred per cent sure of what will happen or what will not happen.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So your answer is -- has two
15 parts. The first part is that your father never spoke with you about the
16 things that happened on that day?
17 A. My father has never spoken about that. However, what he told me,
18 as I've already told you, was that evil things had happened, and he told
19 me: "My dear child, the evil had happened." And since we were so close,
20 they will say that it was the neighbours who did it. And this was my
21 interpretation of his words, the words that he told me.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the second part of your
23 answer you said that accidents may happen. Am I to understand that you
24 are afraid, having testified here?
25 A. No, no. Why would I be afraid? I am here to tell you what I saw
1 and to tell you the truth. Now, as to what other people said, I cannot
2 confirm or deny that because I was not in the same place where that other
3 person was. I have told you what I know, and this is the only thing that
4 I can tell you.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Moving on to another subject,
6 the school in Zagradje, if I've understood you well, your unit was
7 billeted in that school.
8 A. The command and some of the troops were there. This intervention
9 platoon was there. The rest of the unit was on the defence lines facing
10 the Serbs.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution has asked you
12 about Mr. Ribo, who saw the mujahedin in the school in Zagradje. And you
13 said that you yourself never saw them there. There is also another
14 testimony present before this Trial Chamber which indicates that there
15 were mujahedin in that school. My question to you is as follows: Were
16 there the mujahedin in the Zagradje school, the mujahedin who had arrived,
17 who maybe stayed there, who had an office there? Or can you
18 confirm that you never saw them there?
19 A. During the period while I was the unit commander, the company
20 commander, they did arrive in the perimeter of the school. They arrived
21 in a white Toyota. After the time when I was wounded, on the 8th of June
22 1993 up to the end of 1993, I did not have any contacts either with my
23 unit or with the battalion command. I was in the hospital in Zenica.
24 During that period of time, maybe somebody was there, but I wouldn't know
25 because I didn't see them. Maybe your other witnesses did see them and
1 told you what they saw.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're saying that one day,
3 they arrived in a white Toyota, and that they stopped in the school's
4 yard. What did they do there?
5 A. I don't know. They just made a U-turn in that white Toyota.
6 Behind the school, they made a U-turn, and they returned. I was in front
7 of the school. There is a plateau and a little wall. We were sitting on
8 that wall. We were smoking and talking. They made a U-turn in front of
9 that school, and that's when I saw this car, the white car.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Were they armed when they were
11 in that white car? The mujahedin, were they armed?
12 A. I did not see whether they were armed or not. I only saw that one
13 person drove this Toyota.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Was he on his own, or were there
15 any others with him?
16 A. I saw only one.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Another topic: The Prosecution
18 has indicated to you, and you confirmed this spontaneously, that Avdija
19 Kadric, whose age you don't know, underwent training with the mujahedin.
20 This Avdija Kadric, did you ever see him again after the year 1993? Or
21 has he completely gone from the area? Has he gone missing, or does he
22 still reside in the area?
23 A. Avdija Kadric was a very restless person and a very courageous
24 person. He was a good fighter. It was very difficult to control him. He
25 had a different feeling for the fight, different than any other member of
1 the unit. Currently, he's not in the area because he died in Meokrnje in
2 1994 together with the other men who were in combat, who were involved in
3 the combat activity.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you are saying that he got
5 killed in 1994 during combat?
6 A. I am not sure of the year, but it was during the Meokrnje
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Was he a member of a regular
9 unit when he was killed? Was he a regular fighter?
10 A. Yes, he was.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What unit was that?
12 A. I believe that he was a member of the 306th at the time.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're saying that in 1994,
14 he was killed in combat while he was a member of the 306th.
15 A. I'm not sure of the year. But I know that he was a member of that
16 unit at the time, and that he was killed in -- on this mission.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're saying that you finished
18 the school for reserve officers in the former JNA and that you were given
19 the rank of captain. So you did have a military rank. According to your
20 knowledge, in the years 1992 and 1993, men aged 18 and onwards, did they
21 have to be mobilised into the units of the BH Army because of the state of
22 the war that was proclaimed?
23 A. First of all, when I left the JNA, I was not a captain. In order
24 to become captain, you had to go to school for four to six years.
25 Secondly, in the JNA, I was a foot soldier. I finished the reserve
1 officers' school. But when you finish that, you are either a lance
2 corporal or a corporal, which means that you could only command over a
3 unit of ten soldiers. Once I left Bileca, I went to Pancevo, and then to
4 Sombor, and after that I was given the rank of a lance corporal.
5 As for the rank of captain, I gained that during the war, between
6 1992 and 1996. To be more precise, in the year 1994, because all the
7 other officers of the BiH Army were promoted, and pursuant to that I was
8 given the rank of captain in the BiH Army.
9 When we're talking about young people aged 18 and older, there was
10 no obligation. Nobody could force anybody of age to be a member of the BH
11 Army. You could also not force an elderly person, a person who was not
12 fit for service, to fight in the war. There was a decision of the
13 presidency stating exactly how old mobilised members of the BH Army should
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I understand you well,
16 according to you, there was no obligation for the people aged 18 and older
17 to become members of the army.
18 A. No, there was no such obligation. Those who were younger than 18
19 were not obliged.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But those who were older than
21 18, they were obliged to become members of the army? They had to be
23 A. Yes, yes, they fell under the obligation to be mobilised. That
24 was pursuant to the decision of the Presidency proclaiming the state of
25 war, and it was the duty of every citizen of the state to defend their
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And my last question before the
3 break. You have told us that you were guarding the village of Miletici,
4 and you were present in Miletici. The Prosecution has asked you that, but
5 there were some other persons who were responsible for that. I would like
6 to know the following: When you were mounting guard in Miletici, was
7 there anybody above you who was there who had a higher rank, or were you
8 the only officer with some sort of authority who was in charge of
9 providing security for Miletici?
10 A. During that period of time, there were no ranks in the BiH Army.
11 There were just markings. There was a blue mark and a yellow mark. The
12 yellow mark designated commanders. The blue mark was for the persons who
13 did not have the authority to issue orders.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And what was your colour?
15 A. I wore the colour yellow.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well then. In Miletici,
17 were there other persons with the yellow colour, or were you the only ones
18 wearing this yellow colour, the yellow marking?
19 A. There were platoon commanders. Some of them were on the lines,
20 and one of them was in the school in Luka. Platoon commanders had the
21 same yellow markings, however their bands were somewhat narrower than
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The platoon commander who was in
24 the school -- was there a military police platoon there or not?
25 A. You mean in the school in Zagradje or --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 A. No. In the Zagradje school, there was never a military police
3 platoon, or at least I don't remember police being there.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you were in Miletici, if a
5 crime had been committed, who would have carried out an investigation into
6 that crime?
7 A. I don't know who would be in charge. I believe it would be the
8 Ministry of the Interior and those who were dealing in those things.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's imagine a situation. For
10 example, your soldier, a soldier under you was in combat, and there was a
11 mutual wounding, and there should have been an investigation. Who would
12 decide on the investigation that would be carried out? Who had the
13 authority to order an investigation?
14 A. Well, none of my soldiers were involved in mutual -- in an
15 accident of that sort. However, if a soldier would be involved, the
16 investigation would be carried out by a military body, maybe the security
17 body. If the persons involved were civilians, then it would be the
18 civilian police who would carry out such an investigation.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. Thank you very
20 much. It is half past 12.00. We are -- we should resume at 5 to 1.00.
21 --- Recess taken at 12.32 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 1.02 p.m.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll now resume. The Judges
24 have a few more questions.
25 JUDGE SWART: Good afternoon, Witness. Very few short questions
1 on the events in Miletici in April 1993.
2 I understand you were born and you lived during your childhood in
3 Miletici itself.
4 A. I was born in Zagradje, 25th of April 1970. In 1972, my family
5 bought some land and moved to Donji Miletici, so I was very young when we
6 arrived in Miletici. However, I was born in Zagradje.
7 JUDGE SWART: This was Donji Miletici, you said, yes. And this
8 was the Muslim part of the village, and you had a Gornji Miletici, and
9 that was the Croat part. That is right?
10 A. Yes. In Donji Miletici, before we bought that land I mentioned,
11 there were Croats who were living there. We bought their land, and after
12 they had sold their property they moved to Nova Bila, to Stara Bila. They
13 moved to that area.
14 JUDGE SWART: If you go from Mehurici to Miletici, or if you go
15 from Luka to Miletici from Zagradje, you pass first Gornji Miletici, and
16 then you come into -- you pass first Donji Miletici and then you come into
17 Gornji Miletici, or is it the other way around?
18 A. If you go to Miletici from Mehurici, it's about 2 or 3 kilometres
19 away. And you go along -- you go by the road along the Jasenica River.
20 When you reach Luka, there is a road for Miletici. To the right, there is
21 the road leading to the Miletici, and to the left is the road leading to
22 Luka or rather, to the bridge and then to Zagradje. To the right you have
23 the road leading to Miletici. You reach Donji Miletici as you said.
24 That's where we were. That's where we lived. And then the bend, the road
25 leads to Gornji Miletici.
1 JUDGE SWART: So if you want to go to Miletici from Mehurici, you
2 have to pass Luka, or practically pass Luka. Is that correct?
3 A. If you are driving, you have to drive by Luka. If you go on foot,
4 there are a number of routes from Mehurici that can be used. From the
5 crossing for Fazlici and Jezerci, at that crossing there is a village path
6 that the locals used to use to descend from Gornji and Donji Miletici and
7 to reach Mehurici. You can also leave Donji Miletici and descend to the
8 road to Jasenica, so there are a number of village paths. If you drive,
9 then the only possible way of reaching that place is via Luka and Donji
10 Miletici and then you reach Gornji Miletici.
11 JUDGE SWART: If understand from your -- what you have said this
12 morning, that the mujahedin must have taken the main road. Is that right?
13 Because there you met on the main road.
14 A. Yes, they used the main road, that's true. I met them in Celamov
15 Gaj. That's on the main road to Mehurici. How should I say it? To
16 Mehurici and Zagradje. And below the bend, which is where I met them,
17 there is a road that leads to Fazlici and to Jezerci. That's the main
18 road which leads to Skomorje, Zagradje, Miletici, Jezerci, Fazlici, that's
19 the area.
20 JUDGE SWART: If they would have taken the main road by going to
21 Miletici, they would have passed the house of your uncle and your father
22 before coming to the Croat houses. Is that correct also?
23 A. Who are you referring to? The mujahedin?
24 JUDGE SWART: The group you met on its way to Mehurici. If they
25 would have gone to Miletici to take these people away, they would have
1 passed your uncle's house or your father's house before coming to the
2 Croat part. I suppose so.
3 A. I don't know the route the mujahedin used to enter the village.
4 But the column was moving in the direction of Gornji Miletici. They
5 passed by Donji Miletici. They passed by the bend that leads to Fazlici.
6 At that bend, there is a road, a sort of footpath, towards Fazlici. And
7 then there's Celamov Gaj, and they used that road to Celamov Gaj to reach
8 the main road below the tunnel. And I could see them there on that main
9 road. They didn't go around, via Luka. That's not the route they used to
10 escort those people from Miletici.
11 JUDGE SWART: Thank you. Since you lived in Donji Miletici for a
12 long time, I will ask you the name of some witnesses mentioned. Do you
13 know a family with the name Kasimov in Donji Miletici, or perhaps
14 Kasumovic? I don't know.
15 A. Look, Kasumovic, no, I don't know that name, that family name.
16 There was no one that had that family name in Miletici. In Donji
17 Miletici, after the Croats had left, when we bought the land, that was in
18 the 1970s, there were only four brothers living there. Their name was
19 Suljic. So there was no one by the name of Kasumovic, I think you said.
20 JUDGE SWART: I was just asking you because I stumbled across the
21 name in some document. And you say there is no family with such a name.
22 No Dedo Kasimov either?
23 A. No. Not in that village.
24 JUDGE SWART: Thank you. Perhaps you know, and you may not know -
25 I'm not sure what you know and what you don't know - but what I'm
1 interested in is to know why the mujahedin went to Miletici in the first
2 place? What was their purpose in going to Miletici? Have you ever heard
3 an explanation for their going to that village?
4 A. No, I never heard such an explanation. And I can't say anything
5 about that since I don't know. I can only tell you about what I saw. But
6 as to what I heard, as to what other people said, I can't take such
7 information to be credible. All I can do is tell you about what I
8 personally saw.
9 JUDGE SWART: You can't know what you don't know.
10 My last question relates to your meeting the column of these armed
11 mujahedin and these prisoners, among them your father. Was it still light
12 when you met them, or was it becoming dark? Or have you any recollection
13 of that?
14 A. Well, on the whole, it was visible. I recognised my father and
15 those neighbours in the column.
16 JUDGE SWART: You said that the mujahedin on the front of the
17 group had painted faces. And afterwards, at the end of the group, you saw
18 mujahedin with masks. And in between were the prisoners, so to speak.
19 Did you also observe how they were clothed? Do you remember their
20 clothes, things they wore?
21 A. Are you referring to the civilians or the men who were masked?
22 JUDGE SWART: I'm sorry, not the prisoners; their escorts.
23 A. Well, look, they were wearing camouflage uniforms.
24 JUDGE SWART: You said you were not able to distinguish any
25 insignia on their uniforms. So you could not tell what kind of people
1 they were in that respect. Did you see them wearing or some of them
2 wearing some band on their arms, or not?
3 A. No, I didn't see them wearing bands on their arms. They didn't
4 have any bands. They didn't have any armbands on. The only thing I
5 noticed was a sort of green ribbon on their caps, so I don't know if that
6 has any significance.
7 JUDGE SWART: And caps, that means masks, or is that something
8 else, then?
9 A. Yes. I'm referring to these balaclavas that had an opening for
10 their eyes and mouths, and they had sort of a ribbon on those masks.
11 JUDGE SWART: One witness has said, now that you are mentioning
12 balaclavas, they had nylon masks. Have you seen that also?
13 A. No.
14 JUDGE SWART: I think you said before this morning that there were
15 four or five mujahedin, or four or five escorts, not more than four or
16 five. Is that correct?
17 A. I saw two at the front and two or three at the rear. I couldn't
18 see how many other men there were, but on both sides there were men
19 providing security, or rather, men escorting the people to the place they
20 wanted to take them to.
21 JUDGE SWART: You said that your father didn't want to discuss the
22 events with you because it was apparently too painful for him to do. Did
23 you discuss them -- the events with your uncle, Dedo, for instance, or
24 with your other family members? I forgot his first name at the moment,
25 but your uncle's uncle was also part of the story. Did you discuss the
1 events with other family members who were present?
2 A. Well, I couldn't say. This was a subject that was discussed, but
3 I was not interested in it. So I didn't feel the need to listen to what
4 the man had to say.
5 JUDGE SWART: Thank you very much for your answers.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution.
7 MR. NEUNER: I've just one question.
8 Further cross-examined by Mr. Neuner:
9 Q. You responded to Judge Swart that if a car would go from Miletici
10 to Mehurici, it would need to take the road along the River Jasenica. And
11 you were on that road when you encountered the column. Witnesses
12 testified before this Trial Chamber that one Croat woman from Miletici was
13 wounded during the incident on the 24th of April 1993 in Gornji Miletici.
14 And she couldn't walk. She, therefore, had to be brought by a car to
15 Mehurici. You said before you encountered the column of walking captives
16 from Gornji Miletici you hadn't seen a car. But once you remained on the
17 road and walked back to Mehurici, did there a car pass by?
18 A. I don't remember there being any cars. But I heard that the
19 wounded woman was taken to Mehurici. I really didn't see how she was
20 taken there. I didn't really see the form of transport used.
21 Q. So on the road you took towards Donji Miletici that evening when
22 it was already dark, there was no car coming in the opposite direction
23 before you met the column and after you met the column?
24 A. I didn't see any cars. I can't remember any cars. Perhaps there
25 were some. But at the time, I don't remember there being any vehicles of
1 any kind on that road from Mehurici-Celamov Gaj. Later when I went down
2 to Mehurici, naturally there were cars passing by, but I wasn't really
3 interested in who these cars belonged to or the type of cars. What I was
4 interested in was to know where my father had gone. I wanted to know
5 where they had taken him.
6 Q. So the only alternative road from the road you took would have
7 been, then, a footpath. Do I understand this correctly, a footpath which
8 could be taken maybe also by a car, a footpath on the other side of the
10 A. There's no path on the other side of the river. There's one
11 path -- there's one road for vehicles. That's all on the side where the
12 road is. The road is on the right side if you are coming from Mehurici.
13 It's on the right side of the river, on the right bank. It goes along the
14 river. And that's the road that could be used to reach Miletici. And as
15 to the routes used by the inhabitants to get down to Mehurici, well,
16 only -- this was only used by people who went on foot or by horses because
17 horses were used to transport flour, sugar and oil at the time.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. NEUNER: The Prosecution has no further questions.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Defence counsel.
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Further examined by Ms. Residovic:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Suljic, how far is the place where you met
24 the column from Mehurici?
25 A. Well, if you set off from the bridge, then it's between four and
1 five hundred metres away.
2 Q. How long does it take to reach that place in a car, to reach that
3 place from Mehurici?
4 A. Well, you could get there in two minutes' time.
5 Q. My learned colleague asked you whether you had seen a vehicle of
6 any kind. You didn't see any vehicles from the time you left Miletici or
7 Mehurici until the time when you returned to Mehurici. What sort of a
8 time period are we talking about?
9 A. Well, from the time I left the bridge, it was about 20 minutes.
10 Q. You don't know whether any vehicles used that road either before
11 or after that period?
12 A. No. I don't remember that. I didn't use the road used by cars to
13 return. There is a path. Before you enter Mehurici, you turn right, and
14 then you cross a small bridge. And that is the shortcut I used to reach
15 the school. Perhaps while I was going along that path, some vehicle
16 passed by. But during that period, I didn't notice anything. I didn't
17 see any vehicles apart from my one that headed off to the house.
18 Q. Thank you very much. I think it's clear now.
19 You said that you were the commander of a company of the 4th
20 Battalion in the 314th Brigade. When were you appointed to that duty?
21 A. On the 1st of December 1992. That's when an order was issued by
22 the command.
23 Q. The 1st of December 1992.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, the Prosecution.
25 MR. NEUNER: The last question which was just asked didn't arise
1 out of the Judges' questions.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. What is the purpose of the
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, you asked the
5 witness when he was in the primary school in Zagradje, you asked him
6 whether he had seen the mujahedin. That's why I want him to specify the
7 time when he was in the school.
8 Q. Mr. Suljic, from the 1st of December up until the 8th of June when
9 you were wounded, and as you said, was that the period during which you
10 had your headquarters in the school in Zagradje, in Luka?
11 A. Yes, that's where the unit command was located. But I wasn't
12 there at all times. I spent more time at the defence lines than in the
13 unit's command. The commander should be with his soldiers.
14 Q. Thank you. But that's the period during which you occasionally
15 spent time in the primary school. Is that correct?
16 A. Yes, it is.
17 Q. The following -- or rather the next question that the
18 Presiding Judge asked you had to do with mobilisation. After they had
19 declared a state of war, who was to be mobilised? Were all the citizens
20 of Bosnia and Herzegovina to be mobilised, all those citizens of a certain
21 age group, or were there some exceptions?
22 A. A state of war had been declared, and a general mobilisation had
23 been declared. So naturally, it was everyone's duty to report to the
24 nearest unit. I can't remember the years concerned or the age group
25 concerned. All I know is that minors were not to be mobilised.
1 Q. Mr. Suljic, given this general mobilisation, tell me whether the
2 Serbian and Croatian population in your area joined the BH Army?
3 A. No. As far as I know, they didn't. And the neighbours -- my
4 neighbours with whom I lived, were not members of the BH Army. I don't
5 know if they became members of other formations at a later date, of other
6 formations in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
7 Q. In response to a question I put to you, you mentioned the
8 possibilities that the army and Territorial Defence had. Your brigade, or
9 rather, your unit, were they in a position to provide soldiers with
10 rifles, equipment, and other necessary items?
11 A. No, this was not possible for us to do. We used what we had.
12 There were hunting rifles. We had civilian clothes, clothes that the
13 locals usually wore.
14 Q. Mr. Suljic, you mentioned "company" on a number of occasions, and
15 then you -- could you tell me whether it was possible to carry out an
16 overall mobilisation and bring the units of the BH Army up to strength in
17 terms of the establishment in 1992?
18 A. No, this was never possible. We referred to companies,
19 battalions, and brigade. But to form a company of 50 men, well, such a
20 unit is not a company.
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no further
22 questions. Thank you, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the other Defence team.
24 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] We have no questions,
25 Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, this concludes your
2 testimony. Thank you for having come to testify at The Hague. You have
3 answered all the questions put to you. We wish you a good trip home, and
4 I will now ask the usher to escort you out of the courtroom.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could we have the
8 document. I'll give the floor to the Defence for our schedule for
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we have the witness
11 who has been scheduled for tomorrow. He's on the list that we have
12 provided to the Chamber. We'll be seeing the witness today. For the
13 moment, he's not requesting protective measures of any kind. But we'll be
14 able to tell you whether this is the case tomorrow. And I hope that we'll
15 be able to conclude the examination of this witness tomorrow.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Are there any other
17 issues that either of the parties would like to raise given that we still
18 have a few minutes left?
19 Very well, in that case, we will now adjourn. I will see you all
20 tomorrow at the hearing at 9.00.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.31 p.m.,
22 to be reconvened on Friday, the 19th day of
23 November, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.