1 Thursday, 20 January 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Would the registrar please call
7 the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Case
9 IT-01-47-T, the Prosecutor against -- versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir
11 May I have the appearances for the Prosecution, please.
12 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning,
13 Your Honours. Good morning to everyone -- Mundis, and our case manager,
14 Janet Stewart.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] May I have the appearances for
16 the Defence.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President.
18 Good morning, Your Honours. For General Enver Hadzihasanovic, Edina
19 Residovic, lead counsel; and Alexis Demirdjian, legal assistant. Thank
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The other Defence team?
22 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
23 Appearing for Mr. Amir Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and
24 Nermin Mulalic, legal assistant.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Today, on Wednesday, the 20th
1 of January, 2005 this is the 165th day of the trial. I wish to greet
2 everyone in the courtroom, the counsel, the accused, and the witness in
3 the courtroom, as well as all the personnel working in this courtroom.
4 First, the Chamber will hand down its oral ruling on the
5 admissibility of two exhibits. I will read out the ruling slowly in order
6 to get the best possible interpretation.
7 At the request of the Prosecution to have exhibits admitted in
8 connection with the testimony of Ramo Durmis of the 26th of October, 1993
9 and the list of members of the El Mujahed Unit who left that unit on the
10 9th of February, 1994, the Trial Chamber pursuant to its oral ruling of
11 the 29th of November, 2004 has decided that these two documents may be
12 admitted as exhibits; however, they may only be used to test the
13 credibility of the witness. Under these conditions, these documents
14 cannot be marked only for identification. You will have an opportunity to
15 read this oral decision as well.
16 Now, Mr. Registrar, would you please assign numbers to these two
17 exhibits with the proviso that has been mentioned in this decision.
18 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
19 The exhibit numbers will be as follows: The first document of
20 the 26th of October, 1993, entitled "Record of interview of the accused
21 Ramo Durmis," will be P941, and its translation into English, P941/E.
22 The second document, of the 9th of February, 1994, entitled "List
23 of foreign citizens who left the detachment," will be Exhibit number P942,
24 and its translation into English will be P942/E.
25 Thank you, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The registrar said that these
4 documents were admitted with the proviso mentioned in the ruling, but this
5 has not been entered into the record in English. The record has now been
6 corrected. I must repeat that these two documents, P941 and P942, have
7 been admitted exclusively within the restrictions of the oral decision
8 handed down today. That is what was said in French but wasn't heard in
10 Mr. Mundis, you have the floor.
11 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 The Prosecution at this point would simply alert the Chamber and
13 the Defence to the possibility or to raise this issue now that our view
14 would be that if we at a subsequent date bring additional witnesses or
15 lead evidence concerning these documents, that we -- that the proviso
16 would either be released or alternatively that the documents would be
17 retendered into evidence for the purpose of establishing the truth of the
18 matter contained in the documents. I simply want to put that on the
19 record that that would be our position, depending, of course, upon future
20 witnesses or future developments in the trial.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Your position has
22 been entered into the record.
23 And now we shall resume the examination of this witness. It must
24 be said, however, that yesterday there was some discussion in connection
25 with two documents that were not disclosed. The Judges are still debating
1 the matter, and we shall hand down an oral decision a little later. In
2 connection with the problem raised by Mrs. Benjamin in the course of next
3 week, we shall hand down a decision relating to the disclosure of
4 documents before a hearing that the Defence wishes to use during the
5 testimony of one of their witnesses.
6 I now again give the floor to the Defence so that they can
7 continue their examination-in-chief of this witness.
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
9 SAKIB ZIKO [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 Examined by Ms. Residovic: [Continued]
12 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Ziko?
13 A. Good morning.
14 Q. Yesterday at the end of the day we were mentioning the fact that
15 Commander Hadzihasanovic, because of the extremely difficult combat
16 situation in the Zepce [Realtime transcript read in error"Zepa"] area
17 had -- do you remember that?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. Mr. Ziko, at that forward command post, were some of your
20 colleagues from the operations and training organ also present? Were they
21 working there, your colleagues from the operations centre, so that the
22 commander could exercise his functions connected with the mission in the
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Mr. Ziko, did you personally work in that area? Did you go there
1 in the period of July and August while there was a forward command post
3 A. Yes. I was part of the second group that replaced Mr. Vezir
4 Jusufspahic, a colleague from the operative centre, and I continued on
5 there almost until my return to Sarajevo.
6 Q. I apologise. In line 16, on page four it says: "Zepa," it
7 should say: "Zepce."
8 Yesterday you were shown three documents: One of the 30th June;
9 one of the 9th of July; and 1 of the 11th of July about the situation in
10 the area.
11 Mr. Ziko, as you yourself were at the forward command post for a
12 while, tell me, do these documents reflect the situation and the gravity
13 of the situation facing the commander of the 3rd Corps in this period?
14 A. Yes. This partly illustrates the situation; however, the
15 situation was so complex that it is hard to depict. But this document
16 does illustrate it, yes.
17 Q. Mr. Ziko, did you have any information not only about fighting
18 with the HVO? At that time, did the commander have any information and
19 was it evident on the combat lines that the battle against the Army of
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina was being waged not only by the HVO? And if you
21 have such information, tell me what forces were facing the Army of Bosnia
22 and Herzegovina in that area?
23 A. There was then a union between the HVO and the Chetniks, and that
24 part of the theatre of war which had previously been relatively quiet for
25 the 3rd Corps, they opened up a new flashpoint. They expelled the
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 population from Novi Seher, they cleansed the population from the river to
2 Maglaj, from the River Bosna to Maglaj in the Zepce municipality, and they
3 established their line on the dominant features facing the forces of
4 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Would counsel and witness please pause between
6 question and answer.
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Tell me, Mr. Ziko, what were the forces at the disposal of the
9 enemy at that time in relation to the units of the Army of Bosnia and
11 A. Bearing in mind that the HVO units were partly armed with light
12 weapons and some artillery, they didn't have any significant weapons until
13 they joined up with the forces of the Serbian aggressor, where from the
14 area of Ozren large forces came which were armoured and mechanised, and
15 they had manpower as well as heavy artillery weapons.
16 Q. In view of this overall situation in the area we are discussing,
17 Mr. Ziko, tell me, for how -- or, rather, how much time, if any, did the
18 commander have to devote to other issues in other parts of the territory
19 of the 3rd Corps?
20 A. No. As a rule, he didn't have any time for anything else. But
21 he transferred some of his duties to his deputy, to the Chief of Staff,
22 and all the officers from the command of the 3rd Corps. His priority was
23 this area we are talking about.
24 Q. In this connection, another question: As this area is to the
25 north of Zenica, tell me, please, did the defence of that territory have
1 any significance for the defence of the area of Northern and North-Eastern
2 Bosnia, that is, the area around Tuzla and the area where there were about
3 a million inhabitants of Bosnia and Herzegovina and refugees? Was that
4 area of any military and strategic significance for the survival of other
5 parts of the free territory?
6 A. Yes. This territory was exceptionally significant for us in the
7 Zenica region because of the road communications and because of the depth
8 of the territory. For the aggressor, this would have meant cutting off
9 all these communications and creating enclaves. For example, Maglaj,
10 Tesanj, Zavidovici would have been in one enclave and Zenica in another.
11 And we have had experience of the fate of enclaves, so I believe this
12 would have been even more tragic.
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Would the usher now show the
14 witness a map. And with his assistance, could we mark the areas where
15 combat activity was taking place and where Commander Hadzihasanovic's
16 forward command post was located.
17 This map is part of a series of maps that we have already
18 tendered into evidence. This is set 2 in set Sarajevo and Doboj. The
19 scale is 1 to 200.000. So this map was compiled on the basis of these
20 maps that are in evidence.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We could perhaps
22 place the map on the ELMO.
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Are you familiar with this map, Mr. Ziko?
25 A. Yes. I've always worked with maps.
1 Q. Please use this map to indicate the location of Zenica and the
2 location of the headquarters of the 3rd Corps Command.
3 A. Zenica was on the N15 road from Zenica to Zepce, Maglaj, and
5 Q. Could you please put the map further up on the ELMO, because we
6 can't see it.
7 A. Perhaps this would be better.
8 Q. Very well. Or you could move the map.
9 Please take a pencil and encircle "Zenica," mark that location
10 with number "1".
11 A. Very well.
12 Q. And as you said --
13 A. Zenica, number 1, command post of the 3rd Corps. This is the
14 wider area. So I couldn't find this exact point on the map. This is the
15 Zepce sector; I'll mark it with number 2. The forward command post would
16 be in the wider sector of Golubinja. In this case -- well, I'll mark it
17 with an "X" here. That's number 3.
18 Q. Using this map, would it be possible to point to the front lines,
19 to indicate the front lines, or is this map not sufficiently accurate to
20 indicate the lines facing the Serbian aggressor and the HVO? Apart from
21 Zepce are there any other points you could indicate on the map?
22 A. Well, there is a large-scale map. We used maps, the scale of
23 which was 1 to 50.000. And for reports to the Supreme Command Staff the
24 scale was 1 to 100.000. For the units, the scale was 1 to 25.000 in order
25 to be able to locate significant features. But I don't think I'll be very
1 mistaken if I indicate the location of certain features on this map too.
2 Q. Very well. It's not necessary, then.
3 You said that this region was significant and that it was
4 significant because other places that weren't involved in the combat
5 around Zepce were also under threat. Could you encircle the place you
6 have just been testifying about, in the north -- or, rather, north-east of
8 A. Since Zavidovici is a large industrial area which is settled, if
9 you cut off the road to Zepce and cut off the road towards Maglaj in this
10 area, Zavidovici is then in a very awkward position, since that is the
11 only good road that can be used for the rapid transport of people. And in
12 this case, it concerned the inhabitants who were very often shelled and
13 hit by Chetniks or fired at by Chetniks. So this road was very important
14 for the population.
15 Q. Could you please mark "Zavidovici" with number "4".
16 A. [Marks]
17 Q. In the northern part of the map, there are some other places you
18 have testified about, so could you please tell us something about them.
19 A. This is Maglaj, and there is another feature here -- or, rather,
20 this is a town which is separate. And there is Tesanj, which I will mark
21 with number 6. Teslic was in the hands of the Serbian and Montenegrin
22 aggressor. I'll mark a line here to indicate that Ozrenski part up until
23 the conflict with the HVO. There was another line here. So this was a
24 semi-enclave in the real sense of the term.
25 Q. Thank you. Could you please write down your first and last names
1 on this map and the date today.
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] And, Your Honours, I would like
3 to tender this map into evidence. And this concludes my
4 examination-in-chief of the witness.
5 Thank you.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Mundis --
7 Ms. Benjamin, any objections to this map being tendered into evidence.
8 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: No, Mr. President. The Prosecution has no
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We will show the
11 map to the Prosecution, the accused.
12 Mr. Registrar, could we have a number, please.
13 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Thank you, Mr. President. DH1993 will be the exhibit number for
15 the map, which has been marked by the witness today.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Does -- do Mr. Kubura's Defence
17 team have any questions for this witness?
18 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we have no
19 questions for this witness.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 I will now turn to the Prosecution, who may commence with their
23 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Cross-examined by Ms. Henry-Benjamin:
25 Q. Good morning, sir. My name is Tecla Henry-Benjamin, and along
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 with my colleague, we represent the Prosecution in this matter.
2 I am going to ask you a few questions so as to clarify certain
3 things for us. If, however, when I'm doing this you do not understand me
4 clearly or you need me to rephrase the question in any way, please feel
5 free to interrupt and I will oblige. Thanks.
6 Yesterday my learned friend asked you a question in connection
7 with the task that Commander Hadzihasanovic was faced with and assigned to
8 when he came to Zenica. And according to page 82 of the transcript, line
9 4, you said that "a commander of a corps and of a larger unit knows what
10 an operation unit is and what operations and training body is. And it's
11 the commander's right hand; it's the commander's brain." Do you recall
12 saying that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, could you please elaborate for me when you said that the
15 department of operations -- or the operations unit, rather, is the
16 commander's right hand and the commander's brain. Could you please
17 clarify that for us?
18 A. Yes, I can. It would be logical for a commander, as the most
19 responsible individual for the 3rd Corps, to receive all information,
20 information which was insignificant and information which was significant
21 for the corps command and for him to have contact with the lowest levels
22 of contact, to have contact with other organs from the unit, and he
23 wouldn't be in a position to be rested, to be functional in order to act
24 in a productive way. The operations organ is an organ that gathers all
25 information from all relevant elements, from civilian structures, from
1 units, from the superior command, from the MUP on the situation in the
2 zone of responsibility of the 3rd Corps, and it's on the basis of this
3 information that we, an operations organ, make proposals. So we are the
4 brain that gathers all the information, and the commander is the person
5 who makes a selection, decides on the importance to give certain
6 information. In this way, we are an organ whose responsibility it is to
7 inform the subordinate units on any omissions. This isn't the commander's
8 responsibility. Otherwise, a commander would have to work for far longer
9 hours, and I don't think he would be in a position to do this.
10 Q. If I were to -- after listening to you, if I were to assess what
11 you say in these terms, would I be right: That the commander's role was
12 more of a rubber stamp?
13 A. Well, since there's just one commander, all the others had to
14 perform our own duties by making proposals when he was present. But when
15 he was absent from the command post, we also took certain decisions for
16 which we had competence. On a number of occasions, I said yesterday that
17 the commander was frequently unable to read documents that came from the
18 field. He had an operations and training organ. He had his assistants.
19 He had staff, a Chief of Staff, a deputy commander.
20 Q. Now, in connection with your role as an officer in the training
21 and operations department, could you clarify for the Trial Chamber whether
22 your role was specifically in training officers to draft orders or your
23 role expanded to more than that, your training role.
24 A. No. As a member of the operations and training organ, it was my
25 responsibility - and this was the case for all other officers too who had
1 experience in drafting orders - to participate in operations to draft
2 orders. I and my colleagues in the organ could not draft orders that had
3 to do with intelligence, logistics, finance, and other matters that we
4 were not responsible for. But I must point out that our command and the
5 command of units was composed of people who had volunteered for the
6 defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And it's quite certain that almost 90
7 per cent of the members were not soldiers or not officers and they had no
8 experience of working in an operations organ. They had no experience in
9 drafting orders.
10 Q. Yesterday you indicated in a response to my learned friend that
11 it was your obligation to train lower-ranking officers or at least give
12 them instructions in order for their work to be as good as possible.
13 Hence the reason why I asked the previous question, because the impression
14 I got is that your role was to train officers how to write combat reports.
15 Am I correct? One.
16 A. Yes, yes, you're quite right. The reports sent to us from units
17 had to be unified. All the reports had to be identical. It depended on
18 the situation and on the task, but it was necessary for us to receive such
19 reports so that we could forward them -- forward the same reports to the
20 Supreme Command Staff. In each report, the first item was "Intelligence
21 and security." They had to inform us of the situation of the enemy and
22 the zone of responsibility of the unit. So this was the case for all
24 The second item was the situation in our units. They all
25 provided information that was relative to their zone of responsibility.
1 The third item could be "logistics." They would state their
2 requests for technical equipment and materiel that they needed.
3 So these are the items concerned and we trained all officers to
4 provide their own information on the basis of these reports.
5 Q. If I'm permitted, could you explain to us how this training was
7 A. Yes, I can. As a rule, we -- if we went to the commands of
8 units, we would take working booklets with us and the officers would then
9 enter information in those booklets on the deployment of their units in
10 the zone of responsibility, on the deployment of their command and units
11 in the zone they had been allocated, and we would then inform them in a
12 timely manner about the significance of symbols on maps. In the case
13 of -- in this case, there was artillery, tanks, and other items of
14 relevance. There were minefields that our units had, that the enemy had.
15 So we said that those people should inform us of the zone of
16 responsibility that was under threat or inform us of the areas in which
17 they required requests.
18 When we were checking the situation, we wanted to be able to
19 determine whether the zone was threatened and whether there was sufficient
20 forces to defend a given area.
21 Secondly, the officers who came to the 3rd Corps Command were
22 officers we checked. We tried to see whether they were familiar with the
23 situation in the zone of responsibility and to see whether we had received
24 relevant and correct information in the corps, and we wanted to see the
25 extent to which they were familiar with military terminology or though
1 this terminology was not something they were very familiar with.
2 Q. Thank you. One of the other aspects of your tasks that you told
3 us yesterday was to actually be on the ground. And my question to you
4 then would be: Was this specifically in relation to the front line?
5 A. Yes, exactly. It's not sufficient to go to the command, examine
6 these work booklets, and visit the command. On the other hand, at the
7 forward defence lines, the situation observed might be quite different.
8 There may be insufficient troops. Officers may be behaving arrogantly.
9 Or the defence line might not be adequately arranged in relation to the
10 aggressor's forward line. This would mean touring, visiting either from
11 the right or the left side of the area of responsibility of the units.
12 They had to tour the entire area of responsibility, depending on the
13 security situation so as not to imperil the men on the line.
14 Q. When you told us that in order to carry out your work or when you
15 were carrying out your work, you encountered certain difficulties. And
16 one such difficulty was the lack of communication equipment. Am I
18 A. Yes, you're correct. On our arrival in the Zenica area, we were
19 duty-bound to establish a corps from scratch, and that was very difficult.
20 We were given assistance in establishing the corps by officers from the
21 Zenica Regional Staff. And although it may sound a bit strange, these
22 officers were not very well received because outside the area of Zenica,
23 we weren't well known and they were a bit envious because of our arrival.
24 This process was very slow, the process of equipping the units,
25 establishing the units, and so on.
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 Q. What about the transmittal of the orders? Could you assist us in
2 how you got the orders sent out to the different units?
3 A. After signing orders, we transmitted them in all possible ways.
4 Those who had packet communications -- we used packet communications to
5 send orders to those who had them. If they were close to the command
6 post, we used couriers exclusively. We used every means available, but we
7 insisted that the orders be in writing.
8 Q. And would I be correct in saying that you had a wide range of --
9 of ways in which you could communicate to the units on the ground?
10 A. No. No, that wouldn't be correct because the means of
11 communication we had were outdated. Those were means used for training.
12 They were very poor. But even had they been very good, we did not have
13 sufficient generators and batteries to make use of them. Very often we
14 would fail to receive information by means of communication but, rather,
15 an officer would call us up on the telephone and this information was very
17 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: With the Trial Chamber's permission,
18 Mr. President, could the witness be shown Prosecution Exhibit 599, which
19 is one of the documents shown to him yesterday.
20 Q. I'm not sure what page it will be in your language, but it's page
21 2 of the English version, and I want you to look at the very bottom of the
22 page, to the left-hand side. Do you see a little box at the bottom of the
24 A. Are you referring to the initials?
25 Q. No, it's below the initials. Do you have a box below the
1 initials and --
2 A. No.
3 Q. -- below the -- and below the signature of the commander?
4 A. Yes. Yes, I see it now.
5 Q. Okay. And if we are looking at the same thing, your box should
6 say "Date, 30th of June, 1993," and then below that it should say
7 "Processed by." And then there are a couple means by which the document
8 can be transmitted. Are you seeing that?
9 A. Yes, I found it now.
10 Q. When I -- when I look at this, it seems to --
11 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, I wonder if my learned
12 friends on the other side could offer some assistance. It doesn't seem to
13 be on the B/C/S. I don't know if it's in another part of the document.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] In this document which we
16 probably printed out from the CD where we have the Prosecution documents,
17 this part is really missing, so it might be a good idea to find it in the
18 evidence. Because there is only something in handwriting here.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Would the registrar
20 please hand me this document in B/C/S.
21 In the document in B/C/S, we cannot see what you are referring
22 to. Perhaps we should look for the original document, because the stamp,
23 which has been translated into English, in the original document might
24 perhaps be on the back.
25 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Yes, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You don't have this document at
3 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: No, Mr. President. The document that I have
4 in B/C/S is the same as the witness has.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. But in this document, in
6 B/C/S we do not have the stamp.
7 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: I believe, Mr. President - and it's as I
8 indicated - it may be at the back of the original, as you quite rightly
9 said. And I suppose the original is lodged with the Court, P59 -- no?
10 [Prosecution counsel confer]
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No. No. The document that is
12 lodged with the Court does not have a stamp on the back.
13 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Then I, Mr. President, I'm told that the
14 original would be with the Evidence Unit. And perhaps we will have to get
15 same, if it's -- if it's possible.
16 [Prosecution counsel confer]
17 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Okay. I'm told that -- I'm told by my
18 learned colleague that it's going to take us some time before we might be
19 able to acquire the original. And the question to the witness, I can just
20 put it to him in -- in words and see if we can get an answer.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Perhaps we can ask
22 the witness the following: If an order were sent, would someone somewhere
23 note down the date, the hour, and the means of communication used to
24 transmit the document?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That is the rule. That shows
1 that a document was sent on to a unit and at what time. If there is a
2 packet communication, then that would have to be noted down. Or if it was
3 sent by courier, that would also have to be noted down. Those are the
4 basic elements.
5 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN:
6 Q. Thank you. And to add to that, would the document state the
7 different route that the order would have been sent? And when I say this,
8 would it state whether it's going by electric -- electronic communication,
9 teleprinter, telegram, telephone, radio relay wire, et cetera, would it
10 say that?
11 A. Yes. In any case, from the lower-ranking units, we received
12 reports as to when they had received the order. All the orders sent from
13 the command of the 3rd Corps were always sent to the most responsible
14 officer who was there. Usually either the commander or the Chief of
16 Q. Thank you. So that it is possible that a document could have
17 been transmitted during your tenure by several different means, whether it
18 be teleprinter, telegram, telephone, whatever? Is it possible?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. So when you said that the system was -- there was lack of
21 communication and there was a problem with the methods of conveying the --
22 conveying the information, do you think that would be quite accurate?
23 A. It is accurate. We had the greatest possible problems with means
24 of communication. Had we had good communications, we would have known
25 about every change in good time, not two or three days later when the
1 changes had become even greater.
2 Q. But it seems to me - and pardon me if I'm not understanding you-
3 it seems to me that you were exposed to several different means of -- of
4 transmitting communication.
5 A. No. No, we misunderstand one another. We did have several
6 different means of communication. If a unit had a basic means of
7 communication for their communications with the superior command, they did
8 not have their own communications with their subordinate units, so that
9 they used their means of communication they had with us only to
10 communicate with us. But the units, especially the lower-ranking units I
11 am speaking about - companies, platoons, and so on - they did not have
12 their own means of communication. Is this -- does this reply to your
14 Q. Thank you. That will suffice. Thank you.
15 When you were again describing your task for which the majority
16 of your examination-in-chief was, you said that only matters of high
17 significance were conveyed to the Chief of Staff and then if he felt it
18 necessary, he informed the commander. Could you for the benefit of the
19 Trial Chamber tell us what you determine as matters of high significance.
20 A. Every piece of information relating to the situation on the part
21 of the aggressor, that is, movements of the aggressor, combat activity by
22 the aggressor, regrouping of the aggressor, or any other kind of combat
23 activity they undertook in relation to the units of the 3rd Corps was
24 significant information for the commander. On the basis of this
25 information, if it was important, the commander was duty-bound to act
1 according to his assessment of the situation, whether he would utilise
2 reserve units, whether he would require certain activities to be
3 undertaken, and so on and so forth. The information that was used for our
4 daily work, falling within the competence of the various organs of the 3rd
5 Corps, this was information that was not for the use of the commander. But
6 this information also had "For the commander" noted on the top, because
7 they were submitted by the commander of the lower-ranking unit, who would
8 then say "for the commander" in the report.
9 Q. Would you -- would you say that information on the existence of
10 foreigners in the units of the 3rd Corps, would you consider that as
11 significant information?
12 A. Yes. If someone transmitted this information to the security
13 organ or the intelligence organ, those would be personal information for
14 that level but it would have a certain significance.
15 Q. And could you tell us what significance it may have?
16 A. Well, the significance would be that the commander should bear in
17 mind what kind of forces these were. Because in the area of
18 responsibility of the corps, we needed every man; we needed every weapon;
19 we needed everything we could have. And if these men or anyone else was
20 there putting themselves at the disposal of the corps command, then they
21 would be very welcome.
22 Q. Today in response to a question from my learned friend you said
23 that the commander did not have time for everything else -- anything and
24 everything and that he transferred some of his duties to his deputy or to
25 the Chief of Staff; is that correct? Would you agree with --
1 A. Yes. Yes, that's correct. Because every absence from the
2 commander of the command post, if he went to a place from which he could
3 communicate, there would be a gap in between where he could not
4 communicate, and then the deputy or the Chief of Staff would have to take
5 on his duties and he would gather information or make proposals.
6 Q. Would you agree with me then if I said in light of what you have
7 said that the commander in that instance would have been fully appraised,
8 and is usually fully appraised on what's going on on the ground?
9 A. Not necessarily. If the commander was in an area which was a
10 matter of priority, he, together with the officers who had gone with him
11 and the officers who were there in the field, would take measures to deal
12 with the problem so that the officers in the command, the deputy commander
13 or the Chief of Staff, were then in a position to issue orders, and this
14 is how it would have functioned until the commander returned. The
15 commander would not have been aware of all the information, especially
16 since we were sometimes not in contact with the commander for two or three
17 hours. And in certain cases, it was necessary to act within five minutes
18 or within an hour.
19 Q. Yes. But I -- I agree with you, but isn't the deputy's duty to
20 report to his commander?
21 A. Yes, that's correct. But it depends on whether he's in a
22 position to report to him as far as information is concerned. For us
23 soldiers, it's not logical for important information to be relayed over
24 the phone or Motorola that the commander had on him. All such information
25 waited until he returned to the command or these people took measures
1 without waiting for him.
2 Q. But you'd agree with me, as you indicated earlier on, that the
3 ones of significance he was certainly appraised of.
4 A. When they assessed that something was of importance and that he
5 should be informed of it, they informed him. But quite frequently by the
6 time a commander returned to the command post, his deputy or Chief of
7 Staff -- well, very frequently they wouldn't see each other for a couple
8 of days. As to when information was relayed and as to when the person who
9 was to relay the information was to relay the information, well, this is
10 another matter. I wouldn't be able to say whether someone relayed the
11 information or not.
12 Q. And my final question to you has to do with administrative
13 matters --
14 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: And if the witness can be shown Exhibit
15 271E, which was shown to him yesterday. And I hope this time it's on your
17 Q. It's going to be the last page of the English version, which is
18 page 2, and it's at the very bottom of the page above the word "stamp."
19 And it's two initials, "JV" and "/VE" Do you see that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Could you for the benefit of the Trial Chamber tell us what that
22 means on the document?
23 A. Yes. All documents that were forwarded to subordinate units or
24 to superior units contained certain basic elements. As far as
25 administrative affairs are concerned, you have a heading, "The corps
1 command." That was one element. Then there was information according to
2 which it was the corps command, that it was a strictly confidential
3 document, the place where the document was drafted is mentioned, and the
4 date is mentioned. To the right of the heading, it says: "Defence of the
5 secret. Strictly confidential." Documents were given various levels of
7 It also states that the document is being forwarded. It mentions
8 the type of document, whether it's an order, a report, et cetera, or
9 whether it's a -- an answer to some other document. Reference is also
10 made to the person it is addressed to. The items are listed in the
11 document which refer to tasks, duties, et cetera.
12 At the back -- at the bottom of the document, you mentioned
13 initials in order to know who drafted the document. In this case, it's
14 the initials of the first person, "JV," and then we have initials of the
15 person who typed the document. Since we have to monitor certain
16 activities, this is the information that had to be contained. And we'd
17 then forward the document to the addressee, and then there is the stamp
18 and the signature. These are the elements contained in documents that
19 were forwarded from the corps command.
20 Q. Sir, the drafter of the document, the draftsman, his initials
21 alone would be borne on the document; am I correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, if you look below the initials, you would see a box and then
24 you would see a stamp. Am I correct?
25 A. Yes. Yes.
1 Q. And in the stamp, you see a signature.
2 A. Yes, below the stamp.
3 Q. Could -- could you tell me, if you can, whose signature that is?
4 A. It's difficult to recognise this signature. It's not
5 General Hadzihasanovic's signature. This document could also have been
6 signed by the person who drafted it, Vezir Jusufspahic is the person in
7 this case. This is an internal document from the operations and training
8 organ. It's a warning we issued stating that units should respect
9 previous orders about sending information of interest to us in accordance
10 with the rules that we had established, although these rules were
11 dependent on the unit. This couldn't have been -- or this could be his
12 signature. It could be the signature of the Chief of Staff or the deputy
13 commander or of one of the officers. Mr. Hadzihasanovic has a very
14 distinctive signature.
15 Q. And I ask you that -- ask you this: Once the signature is in the
16 box, whoever's signature it is, is it to be taken that that particular
17 person saw the order and signed the order? Is it to be interpreted that
19 A. No, not necessarily. This is an internal document from the
20 operations and training organ. Yesterday on a number of occasions I said
21 that the commander was not in a position to sign a large number of
22 documents. This is an internal document. And given the commander's
23 authority, we used his name and his position. But we would sign the
24 document or colleagues of ours who were competent for this would sign the
25 document. We didn't have the right to put down our own names because
1 after all it is the commander who was in a position of authority.
2 Q. As an officer of training and operations, would you agree with me
3 if I say to you that that in itself was a dangerous precedent, to have
4 a -- to have had adopted.
5 A. Well, one could say so. Since we didn't have any prescribed
6 rules from the Supreme Command Staff and later from the Main Staff. We
7 had no rules, and that is why the procedure followed varied.
8 I've just mentioned some elements that these documents have to
9 contain: The commander's signature and everything else. Well, in other
10 cases procedure varied. Had rules been established, perhaps things would
11 have been different. But this was not the case.
12 Q. Because, I believe you will agree with me, if I say to you that
13 once your signature is there or your name is there and the signature is
14 underneath it, it's purported to be your document. Am I correct?
15 A. Yes, it's a document but the document is the document of the
16 person who drafted it, not of the person who signed it.
17 Q. Well, I disagree with you on that point, but that's a matter of
19 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Thank you very much.
20 Mr. President, this concludes the examination --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
23 Defence counsel, do you have any additional questions?
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Just a
1 Re-examined by Ms. Residovic:
2 Q. [Interpretation] In response to a question put to you by my
3 learned friend, you spoke at length about the work of your operations and
4 training organ and about the work of the operations centre. You mentioned
5 all the duties that you were involved in. Given the level of the corps
6 commander, were you within your organ duty-bound to follow in your
7 requests policies established by the corps commander?
8 A. Yes, it was our duty to act in this way. But since at the level
9 of the corps command there were no established policies, no established
10 procedure, given what the commander would request -- or what the commander
11 would request was requested on the basis of his ideas. Ideas varied.
12 Q. Naturally this has to do with specific procedures that you
13 discussed with my colleague. But with regard to what you were testifying
14 about yesterday, sometimes you yourselves were not sufficiently trained --
15 your units were not sufficiently trained. What sort of policies did the
16 corps commander pursue with regard to the need for officers and soldiers
17 to be trained and was it your task to take specific and permanent measures
18 in that regard?
19 A. Well, that was the second priority of the commander. The
20 commander had to ensure that the officers were trained and that they could
21 work independently. So each organ within the 3rd Corps Command at its own
22 level had to train subordinates in units, in battalion, in brigades, in
23 the operations group, et cetera. And even colleagues in the joint command
24 had to do this to ensure professional military conduct.
25 Q. As far as I have understood you the duties you were involved in,
1 receiving information, analysing information, and relaying important
2 information to the commander and drafting orders, I believe that these
3 duties related to the commander's main task, his mission, combat tasks for
4 defence and engaging units in combat. Is that the area that the
5 operations and training organ was involved in?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Since you drafted or since you prepared orders for combat action,
8 tell me whether the commander had any clear policies that you had to
9 follow, in terms of respecting orders, the law, and international
10 humanitarian law.
11 A. Yes. The commander issues tasks with regard to those items, and
12 we followed his guidelines, and he was a man who was a very prominent
13 person, educated, and he respected all these matters.
14 Q. Someone who wasn't a professional officer before the war or who
15 was involved in defence before the war for a long period of time and also
16 acted as an active officer in the war, tell me whether your experience,
17 the experience that you have of how armies function, tell me whether you
18 are aware of any situations not only in Europe but throughout the world in
19 which a country before it had established an army of its own was attacked
20 and created an army in wartime conditions and trained its army in wartime
21 conditions. Are you familiar with such a situation?
22 A. No. At least, this is not something that has ever happened,
23 given the -- my knowledge of history.
24 Q. My colleague asked you whether it was your duty to train men, and
25 you said -- or rather, you answered the question. Tell me, since
1 Commander Hadzihasanovic from November 1992 until the 1st of November,
2 1993 was the corps commander, if you now would look back to that period
3 and at the attempts that he made together with yourself, what would you
4 say about the results you managed to achieve in such a short period of
5 time, in terms of creating an army and turning it into a professional and
6 disciplined army?
7 A. Well, my answer might be a little unusual, but as far as
8 General Hadzihasanovic is concerned, he is someone that the politicians
9 did not like. He arrived in the Zenica area and no one liked him because
10 many wanted to be in that command post and he was someone who wasn't
11 supported by the politicians. He had no particular support from the
12 parties, the political parties. The results he achieved in that area were
13 above average, as far as creating the corps is concerned. As far as the
14 defence of the population is concerned, his own population, because Zenica
15 had a lot of religious buildings and members of various religions. And
16 when Novi Seher and Zepce fell, he demonstrated his greatness, and all I
17 can say is -- all I can do is thank this man for the time that I spent
18 with him.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Ziko. I have no
20 further questions.
21 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We
22 have no questions for the witness.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I just have a technical and
24 military question I'd like to put to you.
25 Questioned by the Court:
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yesterday you said that you
2 formed this operations centre that functioned around the clock. This
3 operations centre which functioned around the clock, was it far from the
4 3rd Corps Command or was it near the Main Staff and the deputy commander
5 and commander?
6 A. The operations centre was in the nuclear shelter of the building
7 where the 3rd Corps Command was located. And as far as its functioning is
8 concerned, I said yesterday that the officers or many of them had no
9 training. It was an operations centre that didn't have all the equipment
10 that an operations centre requires. So it worked around the clock, but
11 this meant that it was necessary to be present in the offices. If people
12 had no responsibilities, no duties, they could sleep or they could have a
13 rest. But we in the operations centre and the communications centre,
14 which functioned 24 hours, had the obligation of reacting at certain
15 points in time.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In this operations centre, were
17 there any maps the scale of which was 1 to 50.000, 1 to 100.000? Could
18 you tell us if there were any maps?
19 A. Yes. We had one map the scale of which was 1 to 200.000, and on
20 the map of Bosnia and Herzegovina we indicated our zone of responsibility
21 and partially the zones of responsibility of our adjacent units, the 6th
22 Corps from Fojnica and the 2nd Corps near Vares. We wanted to monitor the
23 situation in Sarajevo too, since it was encircled, and this was a map
24 which didn't have much importance for the 3rd Corps Command, but it was
25 important to be able to follow the situation in the battlefield.
1 We also had map it is scale of which was 1 to 100.000. Our corps
2 had a large zone of responsibility. And there were certain sections of
3 zones of responsibility, operations groups within sections, and the scale
4 of these maps was 100.000 and 50.000. But given the premises, we weren't
5 able to place all these maps on the walls. We would take the maps out
6 when needed and we would indicate the changes that occurred on a daily
7 basis on these maps.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Was there a map on which you
9 could monitor in realtime the positions of your units from hour to hour as
10 well as of the enemy units? Did something like this exist?
11 A. As our maps were 1 to 50.000 and 1 to 100.000, those are big
12 sections in relation to the actual situation on the ground. We entered
13 this data in approximately, roughly, so that from hour to hour yes, that
14 could be done. But we did not immediately enter the information before it
15 was verified. We didn't have enough maps to be able to waste them. We
16 had foils on which we could inscribe this and then erase this as
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In this office
19 where the maps were, did the commander of the 3rd Corps, the Chief of
20 Staff, or the deputy commander come in to look at the maps to see how the
21 situation was developing?
22 A. The corps commander rarely [Realtime transcript read in error
23 "really"] came to the operations centre, but as the operations organ we
24 were duty-bound to go to a map he had in his office from time to time and
25 enter information that was of importance for him. The map of the
1 intelligence organ, which was of special interest for the commander when
2 it came to the deployment of enemy forces was separate, and this was in
3 the office of the intelligence organ.
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think there is a
5 misinterpretation, 31, 16. The witness said that "the commander rarely
6 came." Here it says "the commander really came." Could this be
7 corrected, please.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for this
10 Does the Prosecution have any questions to put arising from the
11 questions on the maps?
12 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: No questions, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Defence?
14 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No questions.
15 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] No questions.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for coming to testify
17 about the events that took place and your activities in the 3rd Corps. On
18 behalf of the Chamber, I wish you a safe return to your country.
19 Now I will ask the usher to escort you out of the courtroom so
20 that you can catch your plane very quickly.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, and goodbye.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Defence, please tender your
25 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we wish to tender
1 document under tab 2, 1194, and to have the document in tab 7, 1397, which
2 is only in B/C/S and goes to the facts that the witness testified about as
3 to when he left the 3rd Corps, I ask that it be marked for identification
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You are asking me
6 for the admission of two documents, document 1194, which has been
7 translated, and the one under tab 7, 1397, which has no translation, which
8 would only be marked for identification.
9 What does the Prosecution have to say to this?
10 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, we have no objections, but I
11 think there may be a little error. The document DH1298, my friend has
12 indicated that it -- it was already in evidence, tendered, but our records
13 are showing that it was not tendered. Are we correct? DH1298.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please let us
15 first resolve the issue of document DH1298.
16 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The registrar says that this
18 document has been admitted. It was admitted during the testimony of
19 another witness.
20 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Thank you, Mr. President. I apologise --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] 1298.
22 Mr. Registrar, would you please assign numbers to these
24 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. The
25 documents will be DH1194 and DH1194/E. As for the other document, it will
1 be marked for identification as DH1397 ID.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 It is almost time for our break, so this is a convenient time.
4 We have time until 13.45. When we return, the witness will already be in
5 the courtroom. We will gain a few minutes in this manner. And then we
6 shall continue with the last witness for this week.
7 We shall resume at five to 11.00.
8 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, sir. First of
12 all, I wish to check whether you can hear the interpretation of what I am
13 saying. If so, please say so.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear you.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, you have been called as a
16 witness for the Defence. Before you make the solemn declaration, you must
17 introduce yourself. Tell us your first and last name and your place and
18 date of birth.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Zaim Kablar. I was born
20 on the 29th of June, 1957 in Vitez.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your current
22 occupation? Are you employed?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I am employed in the Federal
24 Commission for the Search for Missing Persons in Sarajevo.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In 1992 and 1993, were you
1 holding any post or were you part of any military unit? And if so, what
3 A. In 1992 --
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1992 and the first half of 1993,
5 I had a work obligation in the factory in which I was working in Vitez.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And you were never part of the
7 ranks of any military formation?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Up to the 25th of August, 1993, no.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Have you ever
10 testified before an international or national court about the events in
11 your country in 1992 and 1993, or is this the first time?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I testified in October 1998 before
13 this Tribunal in the Kupreskic et al. case.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Were you then a witness for the
15 Defence or for the Prosecution?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For the Prosecution.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And at that time, did you
18 testify without any protective measures in public session?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 I will now ask you to read out the solemn declaration being
22 handed to you by the usher.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
24 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You may sit down.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I hear the interpreter better?
2 The voice of the Judge is too loud in my earphones.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The usher is trying to solve
4 the situation. Is it all right now?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it's all right now.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. If it's better now,
7 perhaps before I give the floor to the Defence, which will start examining
8 you, to give you some explanation as to the procedure.
9 WITNESS: ZAIM KABLAR
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As you have already testified
12 in another trial, this situation will not be completely unfamiliar to you.
13 First, you will be examined by the Defence. You will have met
14 the Defence counsel previously.
15 After this stage of the proceedings is over, you will be examined
16 or, rather, cross-examined by the Prosecution.
17 After this stage, the Defence will have another opportunity to --
18 to examine you in their redirect. And the three-member Trial Chamber may
19 put questions to you at any point; although, the Chamber prefers to do so
20 after both sides have completed their examination in order to clarify any
21 points arising from your testimony or anything else that they feel is in
22 the interests of justice and establishing the truth.
23 Please try to make your answers as full as possible. We have no
24 written documents to accompany your testimony. What you say will be taken
25 down. Before you on the monitor, you can see the transcript in English.
1 I also wish to draw your attention to two points, which I make to
2 all witnesses: First of all, you have made the solemn declaration to
3 speak the truth. This excludes the possibility of making a false
5 Secondly, although this may not refer to you, I still wish to say
6 it: The witness does have the right not to answer a question if he or she
7 feels that answer may one day be used against them. In that case, which
8 is very rare, the Trial Chamber may order the witness to respond to the
9 question but will then give him a certain immunity.
10 This is the way in which today's proceedings will -- will take
11 place. And we will stay here until 45 minutes past 1.00. The Defence has
12 promised that they will do everything in their power to complete your
13 testimony today.
14 You have the floor.
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Examined by Ms. Residovic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Kablar.
18 A. Good morning.
19 Q. Would you please tell Their Honours something about your
20 education, when and where you completed your education, and where you
21 worked before the war.
22 A. I completed the secondary school for economics in 1976 in
23 Travnik, and I was employed from 1976 until the 16th of April, 1993 in a
24 company called Sintevit Vitez. This is a company within the Slobodan
25 Princip Seljo group. That was a factory in Vitez dealing with the
1 production of explosives, gunpowder, and I worked in another department
2 which dealt in the processing of plastics.
3 Q. Thank you. You said that in 1992 until -- until mid-1993 you had
4 a work obligation. First of all, tell me, what town did you live in and
5 did there come a time when this obligation ceased and for what reason?
6 A. Could you please repeat your question.
7 Q. First of all, tell me in what town you were working in 1992 and
8 part of 1993. That's the first part of the question.
9 The second part is: As you mentioned the 16th of April as the
10 date until which you worked, can you tell me why your work obligation
12 A. I lived and worked in Vitez. Up to the 16th of April, when the
13 conflict between the army and the HVO began, I worked there. And then
14 three days later I was brought in and incarcerated in the Vitez cinema.
15 Q. After this imprisonment, were you exchanged at some point?
16 A. I was conditionally speaking released when all the prisons were
17 disbanded. It was on the 30th of April or the 1st of May. I'm not sure.
18 And this was done unilaterally. And speaking conditionally, all the
19 centres or camps or whatever they're called, these places, but not all of
20 them in Vitez were disbanded. There were still prisoners left there.
21 Q. When asked by the President of the Chamber, you said that you did
22 not belong to any military units until the 25th of August, 1993. Can you
23 tell Their Honours where you were after the 25th of August until the end
24 of war, or more precisely, until the end of 1993? That's the period we're
25 interested in.
1 A. On the 25th of August, 1993, I was appointed deputy of the
2 president of the commission for the exchange of prisoners of the 3rd
3 Corps, or more precisely, we were looking after prisoners of war.
4 Q. In what sector of the command of the 3rd Corps was your
5 commission for the care of imprisoned members of the army?
6 A. This was called the PK for morale and for religious issues.
7 Q. Who was the deputy president of the commission before you were
8 and who was the president of the commission?
9 A. I was appointed instead of Beba Salko, and the president of the
10 commission was Emira Bolic.
11 Q. When you took up your duty in the commission for the care of
12 imprisoned members of the army, do you know whether there were any rules
13 existing in the corps as to how prisoners of war were to be treated or
14 rules pursuant to which you carried out your tasks?
15 A. We had an instruction on the work of the commission for the care
16 of prisoners of war. The commission was formed on the 5th of April, 1993
17 pursuant to an order from the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command.
18 Before that, no one dealt with the problem of imprisoned members of the
19 army. And the instruction contained details as to who was to do what.
20 Q. You said that before that there was no military commission in
21 existence. Do you know whether there were any other commissions dealing
22 with the exchange of prisoners of war and their status?
23 A. There was a state commission and within the framework of this
24 commission there were regional and municipal commissions dealing with
25 these problems, that is, the exchange of prisoners.
1 Q. Within the framework of these instructions and your tasks in the
2 3rd Corps, where were imprisoned members of the enemy forces kept? Was a
3 certain place designated where these prisoners had to be brought and from
4 which you could carry out your tasks of exchanging them?
5 A. All persons that were imprisoned were in the centre for prisoners
6 of war in Zenica and only the commission for exchange of the 3rd corps had
7 these prisoners at their disposal, and these were the only ones that we
8 negotiated about and exchanged.
9 Q. Since you arrived there on the 25th of August, 1993, tell me
10 whether the subordinate units encountered any difficulties and were you
11 yourself able to observe difficulties as far as implementing that order is
12 concerned, the order according to which captured prisoners should be moved
13 to the prisoner centre as soon as possible?
14 A. Well, you know that the 3rd Corps Command was in Zenica and the
15 zone of responsibility of the 3rd Corps was vast. A unit that has
16 captured an enemy soldier was not in a position to transfer the arrested
17 men on the same day. They were transferred when conditions made this
18 possible. They were transferred to this prisoner collection centre.
19 Q. When you arrived in the commission, was there a system in
20 accordance with those instructions in existence for the corps and its
21 subordinate units to deal with issues that concerned care for prisoners?
22 Which organs were responsible for this issue in the corps?
23 A. It was the sector for morale responsible for these issues, for
24 the issue of the prisoners. All the brigades in the 3rd Corps had one
25 army member each which assisted the 3rd Corps commission. He represented
1 the brigades to take care of the missing members of the 3rd Corps and of
2 the dead and to inform the 3rd Corps about this. These people who
3 represented the 3rd Corps were also members of the Sector for Morale. So
4 this was a system in place for obtaining information. These individuals
5 in the brigade could negotiate with the enemy side but they couldn't get
6 involved in an exchange without our agreement.
7 Q. Of what importance was it for you and the commission to obtain
8 full and timely information from units in the field on the number of army
9 members arrested, and is this the basis on which you negotiated with the
10 other side?
11 A. Yes, that was the basis. If you have information at all the
12 times, if you know about the losses sustained, if you know about the
13 soldiers captured, well, then you would know how many soldiers were
14 missing. If a unit had arrested someone, we had that information. But
15 this -- this soldier might not be transferred immediately. It was not
16 technically possible. But we had the information. But in negotiations if
17 you acted immediately, it was possible for the soldier to remain alive.
18 This was more difficult if he remained in the unit for a longer period of
20 Q. Mr. Kablar, tell me, did operative groups in the zone of
21 responsibility of the 3rd Corps have a certain role as far as performing
22 the duties that you had in the 3rd Corps Command are concerned?
23 A. For a certain period of time, the OGs also had a commission, a
24 three-member commission, which was also involved in negotiations, but it
25 could not carry out exchanges without the agreement of the 3rd Corps
2 Q. When subordinate units engaged negotiations or established lists
3 for possible exchanges for our side and for the enemy side, tell me, in
4 such cases what sort of duties does your commission or the corps -- the
5 3rd Corps Command have in order to carry out the exchange?
6 A. The 3rd Corps Command and I -- or rather, the 3rd Corps
7 commission would make proposals, would suggest that a cease-fire be
8 implemented so that an exchange could take place in no man's land, but it
9 was necessary to receive authorisation to release prisoners of war from
10 the collection centre.
11 Q. If criminal proceedings had been instituted against a prisoner of
12 war, was this part of your responsibilities? And if the other side
13 requested that he be exchanged, can you say what you had to do before you
14 could become involved in the exchange of such an individual.
15 A. We cooperated with the regional commission for the exchange of
16 prisoners in Zenica very well, and if there was a person against whom
17 proceedings had been instituted or if a person had been convicted, he was
18 the responsibility of the civilian authorities. Then at the request of
19 the regional commission, you would ask for approval from the state
20 commission and authorisation could also be obtained from the Presidency of
21 the BH. When there was a decision on a pardon or something of that kind,
22 then one would get involved in exchanging that person.
23 Q. Mr. Kablar, tell me whether you also came across problems of any
24 other kind that related to your work and to the work of state commissions
25 at all levels, municipal, regional, and state levels. Were there any
1 problems for which you had to violate that rule according to which you
2 should exchange a prisoner of war?
3 A. When I arrived on the scene, I had many problems. There were a
4 lot of prisoners in Zepce, over a thousand --
5 Q. Just tell me who was imprisoned in Zepce.
6 A. Civilians, troops, ABiH members. They had been arrested by the
7 HVO. And all the families - there were over 1.000 men -- 1.000
8 individuals imprisoned in Zepce - and all these families, women and
9 children, came to Zenica and they exerted continuous pressure on us to get
10 them exchanged. And in the centre for prisoners of war, we had 30
11 individuals, and it was very difficult to work at the time. Then the HVO
12 commission asked for families of Croatian nationality in Zenica to be
13 linked up, and then through municipal commissions we bypassed our
14 mandate. When we exchanged prisoners of war, we also included civilians.
15 So in a certain sense, we did not respect the rules.
16 Q. So on your final lists, it was possible to find individuals who
17 were not prisoners of war. Could you clarify this? How is it that these
18 individuals appeared in Zenica or in other areas under the 3rd Corps and
19 how is it that these individuals were requested by the HVO in order to
20 rejoin families?
21 A. Well, the HVO, when it left its combat positions around Zenica,
22 they moved on their own with their weapons. Their families remained in
23 Zenica. They were requesting that these families be linked up or if
24 someone had joined the HVO in Zepce, that person might request to be
25 linked up with his family from Zenica.
1 Q. Who were these individuals who were requested to be joined up
2 with their families for whom you weren't responsible? Who were these
3 individuals, as far as the HVO were concerned?
4 A. They were their wives and children, more distant relatives.
5 Q. You arrived in the commission on the 25th of August. Had you
6 participated in conversations with the HVO or representatives of the Army
7 of Republika Srpska with regard to the exchange of our soldiers or of
8 wounded or dead men in their area? Tell me, in those discussions, were
9 representatives of the International Community usually present and who
10 were they?
11 A. In 1993, in the second half of 1993, most meetings were attended
12 by European monitors, representatives of the International Red Cross with
13 their headquarters in Zenica, the regional commission, the military
14 commission, and the -- the enemy side.
15 Q. Mr. Kablar, tell me, from the time you assumed your duties up
16 until -- from the 25th of August up until the end of 1993, at the meetings
17 that you attended was the subject of exchanging prisoners -- Mujahedin
18 prisoners or killed Mujahedin prisoners discussed? Were you ever present
19 at a meeting at which you raised such an issue or at which someone else
20 raised such an issue?
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the answer.
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Tell me whether at that time when you assumed your duties from
24 the 25th of August, 1993 up until the end of 1993, did the HVO at any time
25 or any of the representatives of the International Community who attended
1 the meeting ask about the music school, about the prisoners in the music
2 school --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Mundis.
4 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I hate to interrupt my learned
5 colleague, but the interpreter noted that the answer to the previous
6 question was not recorded or was inaudible. I just draw that to her
7 attention. She just may want to revisit that issue before moving on.
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I also see that the
9 interpreters didn't hear the answer, so I will repeat the question.
10 Q. Mr. Kablar, could you please tell me: From the 25th of August,
11 when you arrived in the commission for taking care of the prisoners of the
12 army up until the end of 1993, at the meetings that you attended did
13 anyone ever raise the issue of exchanging foreign combatants, the
14 so-called Mujahedin, either combatants who were alive or who had been
15 killed? Did you ever attend such a meeting in the course of 1993?
16 A. Not in 1993 but in 1994, yes, if that's what you're asking me
18 Q. Thank you. I now wanted to ask you whether during this same
19 period of time, from the 25th of August, 1993 until the end of 1993, did
20 any representatives of the HVO, of the International Community in the
21 course of those meetings or in any other way raise an issue with the
22 commission that concerned the prisoners in the Zenica Music School or that
23 concerned the exchange of the individuals allegedly detained in the music
25 A. Of all the negotiations that I participated in, this issue was
1 never raised because all the prisoners were in the collections centre for
2 prisoners. There were negotiations -- traditional negotiations about the
3 exchange of prisoners and we used lists. We were provided a list from the
4 HVO. The HVO would provide a list to us and we would discuss these lists.
5 The music school was never mentioned nor any other locations -- other
6 locations were mentioned but the music school was not mentioned.
7 Q. Since the prisoners were in the centre for prisoners of war, as
8 you said - and the Judges are already aware of the fact that that was in
9 the KP Dom - can you tell me whether at any point in time you received
10 from representatives of the international community complaints about the
11 way that prisoners of war were treated in the KP Dom?
12 A. No. I've already said that the NKCK headquarters was in Zenica
13 and they were able to visit the collection centre for prisoners at any
14 point in time in Zenica. That's where the ICRC and -- the ICRC was
15 located. That's where the ICRC was located.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I have
18 no further questions for this witness.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the other Defence team?
20 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] We have no questions for this
21 witness, Mr. President. Thank you.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution.
23 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. We have just a few
24 questions for the witness.
25 Cross-examined by Mr. Mundis:
1 Q. Good morning, sir. My name is Daryl Mundis, and along with my
2 colleagues here today, we represent the Prosecution in this case. I have
3 just a few questions for you, but I want to ask you, sir, if -- if during
4 the course of my questions, if you don't understand any of them, simply
5 tell me that and I'll -- I'll rephrase the question. It's -- it's not my
6 intention in any way to confuse you by the questions that I ask.
7 Now, sir, you just told us that at no point in time between the
8 25th of August, 1993 and the -- the end of 1993 during the time you were
9 on the commission the issue of persons detained in the music school was
10 never mentioned but that other locations were mentioned. Can you tell us
11 which other locations you recall being mentioned as places where HVO
12 soldiers may have been detained, other than the KP Dom?
13 A. I was thinking of -- well, the Republika Srpska representatives
14 always said that in Bilino Polje we had detained individuals. That was
15 the location.
16 Q. And sir, during the period from -- let me ask you one other
17 question in this respect. With respect to surrendered or HVO soldiers,
18 were any places mentioned to you or do you recall being informed at any of
19 the meetings about places where HVO soldiers were detained from the 25th
20 of August, 1993 through the end of that year?
21 A. Yes, in Bugojno we were aware of that, the stadium in Bugojno.
22 That's where HVO members had been detained.
23 Q. Do you recall, sir, any other locations in Bugojno where HVO
24 soldiers may have been kept during this period from the 25th of August,
25 1993 through the end of 1993?
1 A. Only the Iskra Stadium in Bugojno and the Kalin Hotel were
3 Q. So you don't recall any other locations in Bugojno being
5 A. No.
6 Q. Can you tell us a little bit about the information that you had
7 concerning the persons who were detained in Iskra Stadium in Bugojno.
8 A. We only had a list of exchanged individuals from the HVO. We
9 received this at negotiations at Hotel Internacional. It mentioned 253
10 HVO members who had been arrested. I remember that. And at the time
11 there were negotiations to release all the prisoners, to have an exchange
12 of all the prisoners -- all the prisoners on one side for all the
13 prisoners on the other side, but that was at the level of the state
15 Q. Sir, this list that you've mentioned of exchanged individuals
16 from the HVO which contained 253 names, to the best of your recollection,
17 sir, who else would have been privy to that information or who else would
18 have had access to that list?
19 A. You mentioned a list of exchanged individuals. I was referring
20 to a list of arrested individuals which we received in the hotel with
21 representatives of the ICTY [as interpreted]. The president of the
22 commission, Nikica Petrovic, gave me this list. It was a list of those
24 Q. Sir, the -- the English translation just made reference to
25 "representatives of the ICTY."
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: ICRC, International
2 Red Cross.
3 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you. The interpreters have corrected that.
4 Q. Let me ask you this then, sir: This list of these 253 persons
5 who were missing and had been arrested based on what you've told us, all
6 of these people were members of the HVO?
7 A. I don't know about that.
8 Q. Let me -- let me go back then, sir. You -- you told us about a
9 list with 253 HVO members who had been arrested. That's what the
10 transcript says, page 48, lines 2 and 3. Can you tell us about this --
11 these 253 HVO members, what you knew about them, how you found out about
13 A. This is only an amended list of missing persons. My colleague
14 gave me a list of missing persons. They needn't all have been members of
15 the HVO. The list did not classify these persons by category. They just
16 listed their first and last names. As I said, I wasn't sure the precise
17 number was 253.
18 Q. Now, sir, when you say your colleague gave you a list of missing
19 persons, who would that have been?
20 A. As I mentioned, this was Nikica Petrovic, who was -- well, I
21 don't recall his title exactly. I think he was the head for exchange in
22 Central Bosnia.
23 Q. Sir, during this period from August 25th, 1993 through the end of
24 1993, can you tell us, please, where you were working and where you were
25 living. Just the -- the community.
1 A. I was in the 3rd Corps. I was the deputy of the chairperson of
2 the Commission for Exchange and I lived in Zenica.
3 Q. And you told us, sir, that you were not aware during the
4 negotiations, no one raised the issue of persons detained in the music
5 school. Had you heard about that from any other source, given the fact
6 that you lived and worked in Zenica?
7 A. No, I didn't live and work in Zenica. I lived and worked in
8 Vitez, until the 16th of April, 1993. And I was taken prisoner and was
9 imprisoned until the 1st of May, and that was when I went to Zenica.
10 Q. During the period from the 25th of August, 1993 through the end
11 of 1993, sir, did you reside and work in Zenica?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. During that period of time, did you hear from any source or
14 otherwise have any information that persons were detained, HVO soldiers
15 were detained in the basement of the Zenica Music School?
16 A. As I said just a while ago in response to a question by
17 Mrs. Residovic, when I arrived all the prisoners were in the collections
18 centre for prisoners of war. There were no other places on the territory
19 of Zenica where any prisoners were kept. They were all in the collections
21 Q. Can you tell us, sir, where the negotiations, the exchange
22 negotiations that you were involved with, took place?
23 A. With the HVO, it was mostly in Hotel Internacional in Zenica.
24 Q. And can you tell us how frequently you met with the members of
25 this commission in Hotel Internacional in Zenica.
1 A. Approximately from the time I was there -- or in the period I was
2 there, we met on seven or eight occasions perhaps. But we had a line of
3 communication by radio where at any point we could communicate. We had
4 frequencies that every day at 9.00 in the morning if somebody had to say
5 something to the other side, we would use those frequencies. And that was
6 for the Serbs as well as for the HVO.
7 Q. Sir, let me ask you: When you say you met with them on seven or
8 eight occasions, was that from the 25th of August, 1993 through the end of
9 1993, or did that number include perhaps meetings into 1994 or even later?
10 A. I said seven or eight times. That would be from approximately
11 the 25th of August, 1993 until about the end of 1993. Those aren't the
12 precise dates but the approximate dates.
13 Q. Do you recall, sir, on how many occasions the topic of HVO
14 soldiers in Bugojno was brought to the attention of the commission in
15 Zenica at the Hotel Internacional?
16 A. It was mentioned on two or three occasions because we were
17 interested in exchanges with Bugojno because we had a lot of prisoners in
18 Zepce and we conducted negotiations to have all camps disbanded,
19 regardless of how many prisoners someone had, we wanted to have a
20 disbanding of all prisons and camps. The HVO had its own commission,
21 which was based in Mostar, and Pusic was its chairperson, and Pusic --
22 Masovic from Republika Srpska and I think his name was Bulajic, the three
23 of them negotiated the unilateral disbanding of all camps.
24 Q. Sir, you told us earlier this morning that you actually replaced
25 Salko Beba as a member of this commission. Did Mr. Beba have any
1 involvement in prisoner exchanges after you replaced him on the 25th of
2 August, 1993?
3 A. Later on, he was in the Regional Commission for the Exchange of
4 prisoners in Travnik and he did participate on the negotiations for
6 Q. Thank you, sir.
7 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution has no further questions,
8 Mr. President.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Defence.
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I have only one question for
12 Re-examined by Ms. Residovic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] You mentioned the names Masovic, Pusic, and
14 another name on the side of Republika Srpska, and you said they negotiated
15 at that level. When you say "at that level," are you referring to the
16 state level, as you said in response to one of my questions? When you
17 said an "all for all exchange," was it these persons who negotiated that
18 at the level of the state?
19 A. Yes. The president of the HVO commission was Berislav Pusic.
20 For Republika Srpska, it was Dragan Bulajic. And for the state
21 commission --
22 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the name.
23 Q. When negotiations were conducted for the disbanding of all
24 prisons or camps at the state level, did you as the commissioner of the
25 3rd Corps at that time have the ability to make decisions on individual
1 exchanges or were you duty-bound to await the decision of the state
3 A. Sometimes we attended those meetings. Those meetings were held
4 at the airport in Sarajevo. And the representatives of all the corps were
5 invited. They would attend those negotiations where all these persons
6 were and all the military commissions. There would be some 50 people
7 there at those meetings, and then all the lists were exchanged and all the
8 exchanges were negotiated and a joint list was drawn up and then this list
9 would be signed by those three persons or two, as the case may be, and
10 then they would be sent on to the subordinate units and acted upon.
11 Q. While these negotiations were going on, were you able to
12 negotiate any other manner of exchange and practically undermine the work
13 of the state commissions?
14 A. No. If an agreement was signed at the meeting, we had to abide
15 by it.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I have no
17 further questions.
18 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] No questions. Thank you.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, as the Judges have no
21 questions for you either, your testimony is over now. Thank you for
22 travelling to The Hague to testify. On behalf of the Chamber, I can only
23 extend to you my best wishes and wish you a safe return to your country
24 and success in the continuation of your activities in the commission in
25 which you are working.
1 I will now ask our usher to escort the witness from the
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
4 [The witness withdrew]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Defence has submitted their
6 list of witnesses for next week.
7 You have the floor.
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, may we move into
9 private session?
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Registrar,
11 please let's have -- let us go into private session.
12 [Private session]
11 Pages 14630-14642 redacted. Private session.
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are back in open session,
15 Mr. President.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now that we are back in open
17 session, we will now adjourn, as the witness who has testified has already
18 left the courtroom.
19 Next week we have a list of witnesses who will be appearing as of
20 Monday. We will resume on Monday at 2.15 p.m., since tomorrow is a
21 holiday and there will be no hearing. I will see everyone at the hearing
22 on Monday at the hearing at 2.15.
23 Thank you.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.13 p.m.,
25 to be reconvened on Monday, the 24th day of
1 January, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.