Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 14645

1 Monday, 24 January 2005

2 [Open session]

3 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.

4 [The accused entered court]

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar. Could you call

6 the case, please.

7 THE REGISTRAR: IT-01-47-T the Prosecutor versus Hadzihasanovic

8 and Kubura.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: Thank you, Mr. Registrar. Could we have the

10 appearances of the Prosecution, please.

11 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon, Your

12 Honours, counsel, and everyone in and around the courtroom. For the

13 Prosecution Tecla Henry-Benjamin and Daryl Mundis, assisted today by our

14 case manager, Andres Vatter.

15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Mundis. And

16 could we have the appearances for Defence counsel, please.

17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. President. Good

18 day, Your Honours. On behalf of Enver Hadzihasanovic, Edina Residovic,

19 counsel; Stefan Bourgon co-counsel; and Muriel Cauvin, our legal

20 assistant.

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. And other Defence

22 team.

23 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours, on

24 behalf of Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and Nermin

25 Mulalic, our legal assistant.

Page 14646

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Today on the 24th of

2 January, the 168th day of the hearing, the Chamber would like to greet

3 everyone present, members of the Prosecution, Defence counsel, the accused

4 and everyone in and around the courtroom.

5 The Trial Chamber will render an oral decision that concerns the

6 disclosure of documents between the Defence and the Prosecution. It's

7 very brief. We have made a lot of headway, and I will now read out our

8 decision.

9 The Trial Chamber takes note of the Defence's wish to disclose

10 before the hearings commence to the Prosecution the definitive list of

11 exhibits or of documents that should be used when the witness is being

12 examined and after the Defence has proofed the witness. This disclosure

13 shall take place by fax, electronic memo, or by any other means.

14 That is our oral decision. We will be rendering a written

15 decision in the following days on the motion filed by the Defence with

16 regard to clarifying certain questions posed by the Judges. We have

17 received submissions, written submissions from the Prosecution and from

18 Mr. Kubura's Defence counsel, and we are now in a position to render a

19 written decision.

20 We will now continue with this hearing. We will start by calling

21 the witness into the courtroom. Could the usher call the witness into the

22 courtroom, please.

23 [The witness entered court]

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good day, sir. I would first

25 like to make sure that you are receiving interpretation of what I'm saying

Page 14647

1 in your own language. If so, please say that you can hear me and that you

2 can understand me.

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can hear you and I understand you.

4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have been called here as a

5 witness for the Defence. Before you take the solemn declaration, I would

6 be grateful if you would tell me your first and last names, your date of

7 birth and your place of birth.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Osman Menkovic. I was

9 born on the 2nd of March, 1954 in Kozarac, Prijedor municipality.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I can see that the transcript

11 does not contain the date, could you repeat your date of birth, please.

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 2nd of March, 1954.

13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. 2nd of March, 1954

14 are you currently employed and if so what is your job.

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I work in the Interior Ministry in

16 Bihac. I work as the commander of the police department in police

17 administration 3 in the Sanski Most police station.

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. In 1992 and in 1993,

19 did you hold a position of any kind? If so, what sort of position did you

20 have and which unit were you in and where were you located?

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From 1990 until 1992, from the month

22 of April, I worked as a planner, controller in a production company for

23 paper in Prijedor.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And in 1993?

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1993, I had already become a

Page 14648

1 member of the ABiH in Travnik.

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And what was your position in

3 the ABiH in Travnik?

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I arrived there in 1992, I was

5 just an ordinary army member, a soldier. Later, I became the commander of

6 an MP platoon in the 1st Bosnian Krajina Brigade and then in the 17th

7 Krajina Brigade.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Is this the first

9 time you'll be testifying before a national or international court?

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is my first time before an

11 international court.

12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And have you already testified

13 before a national court on the events that took place in Bosnia and

14 Herzegovina in 1992 and 1993, or have you never testified before a

15 national court?

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have never testified.

17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could you please

18 read out the solemn declaration.

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

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

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You may sit down.

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.


24 [Witness answered through interpreter]

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, before I give the floor to

Page 14649

1 the Defence, I would like to provide you with some information on the

2 procedure that we will be following. This is what I always do when

3 witnesses appear. I provide witness for the Defence or for the

4 Prosecution with this information. As you are a witness for the Defence,

5 you will first have to answer questions that will be put to you by Defence

6 counsel for one of the accused. You have certainly already met members of

7 the Defence. You will see that the questions put to you have to be

8 completely neutral. As you have worked as a policeman, you will

9 immediately understand the sense of the questions put to you. These

10 questions will not be leading questions.

11 Once this stage has been completed, the Prosecution, who are to

12 your right, will conduct their cross-examination. As you have worked for

13 the police, you will see that the questions put to you by the Prosecution

14 will not be of the same kind since the cross-examining party may put

15 leading questions to the witness. In such cases, the witness can answer

16 such questions by saying yes or no, whereas the questions are more

17 elaborate in the previous stage.

18 Once this stage has been completed, Defence counsel may put

19 additional questions to you that relate to questions put to you in the

20 course of the cross-examination. Then the three Judges sitting before you

21 may also put questions to you. According to the Rules of Procedure, the

22 Judges may ask questions at any point in time, but as a rule, the Judges

23 prefer to wait for both parties to examine the witness before they ask any

24 questions they might have.

25 When Judges ask questions, they have two objectives. Firstly, to

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Page 14651

1 clarify some of the answers the witness has provided or to fill gaps we

2 feel there may be in your testimony. We have to fill in these gaps since

3 the indictment refers to certain allegations, and if the parties haven't

4 asked you questions about these matters, the Judges must put such

5 questions to you in the interest of justice.

6 You will notice that if Judges -- if the Judges put questions to

7 you, we will not be putting leading questions to you. The questions we

8 put are phrased in a very neutral manner so that the witness can answer in

9 the simplest possible terms. Once the Judges have asked their questions,

10 we give the floor to both parties. The Defence is last to take the floor,

11 and the parties can put questions to you after the Judges have examined

12 the witness. This should help everyone to have a clear view of the

13 situation and should not cause prejudice to either of the parties.

14 I would also like to draw your attention to two important points.

15 You have taken the solemn declaration, which means that you should not

16 give false testimony, as false testimony is an offence which is

17 punishable. A witness could be given a prison sentence of up to seven

18 years for false testimony. It is the witness's duty to speak the truth.

19 The witness also has certain rights. For example, if you believe

20 that an answer you may provide to a question could be used against you at

21 a subsequent date, in such a case you may refuse to answer the question.

22 That is your right, and that is a right enshrined in a number of penal

23 codes in various countries. But in such exceptional circumstances, and we

24 have never had such a case, in such exceptional circumstances the Chamber

25 may compel you to answer the question, but you are granted a form of

Page 14652

1 immunity.

2 In addition, if you feel that a question is too complicated or

3 confusing, ask the person putting the question to you to rephrase it,

4 because you should be aware of the fact that we do not have any written

5 documents, any written testimony that relates to you, apart from a summary

6 of the reasons for which you are here. This is why the transcript of your

7 testimony is so important. You can see a monitor in front of you and we

8 can see the English transcript of everything that is said, on the monitor.

9 This transcript reflects your testimony, and this is why your answers are

10 so important.

11 In the course of the afternoon, we will be having two technical

12 breaks that will last for 20 or 25 minutes. We need these breaks because,

13 first of all, it's necessary for you to have a rest, because as you are

14 well aware, being examined can be tiring. And then there are technical

15 reasons for which we have to have a break every one and a half hours. So

16 we will be having two breaks.

17 Theoretically, if everything goes as planned, your examination

18 should be over by 7.00 p.m. However, if we have to continue with your

19 examination, you might have to come back tomorrow.

20 This is the information that I wanted to provide you with, and

21 it's information that I provide to all the witnesses who appear here. I

22 will now give the floor to the Defence.

23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

24 Examined by Ms. Residovic:

25 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Menkovic. In addition to what the

Page 14653

1 Presiding Judge has just told you, I would like to ask you to pause

2 briefly after I have put my questions to you. This should make it

3 possible for my question to be interpreted. And I will also wait for your

4 answers to be interpreted. This will enable the Trial Chamber and my

5 colleagues in the courtroom to follow what we are saying. Have you

6 understood me?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. You said that you worked in Prijedor and that you were born in

9 Kozarac. Mr. Menkovic, at any point in time in 1992 did you leave

10 Prijedor, under what circumstances, and where did you go?

11 A. Yes. On the 18th of August, 1992, my family and I were expelled

12 from the territory of Prijedor municipality, and a convoy that had been

13 organised took us to Travnik through Central Bosnia.

14 Q. When you arrived in Travnik, did you join any armed formations,

15 and if so, which ones?

16 A. Yes, I did. On the following day, on the 19th of August, the same

17 year, I reported to the 1st Bosnian Krajina Brigade in Travnik.

18 Q. Where was that brigade located?

19 A. The headquarters of the brigade were in the former JNA barracks in

20 the town of Travnik.

21 Q. Mr. Menkovic, tell me, when you arrived in Travnik, what was the

22 general situation in the town?

23 A. Since I worked -- I had worked as a policeman for a long period of

24 time, the situation in Travnik was a situation that I could immediately

25 notice because it was a very difficult situation, especially in terms of

Page 14654

1 security. The situation caught my attention immediately.

2 Q. You said that you arrived there in an organised convoy as people

3 who had been expelled from Prijedor and its surroundings. At that time,

4 were there any expelled or displaced persons in Travnik and, if so, who

5 were they?

6 A. When I arrived in Travnik, the entire population of Bosnian

7 Krajina, almost the entire population, had been expelled from their

8 municipalities, and most of them were, in fact, located in Travnik. So

9 during that period of time when I arrived there with my family in that

10 small Central Bosnian town, half the population was local and the other

11 half was composed of people who had been expelled from Bosnian Krajina.

12 Q. You also said, in response to a question put to you by the

13 Presiding Judge, that you reported to the 1st Bosnian Krajina Brigade.

14 Initially you said that you were just a private. At any point in time

15 were you assigned any duties in that brigade and, if so, what sort of

16 duties were you assigned?

17 A. Yes. Having spent about ten days in this unit, I was recognised

18 by people who knew that back in 1976 I had graduated from the police

19 academy and they knew that I had worked as a policeman for about 15 years

20 in Croatia. They suggested to the brigade commander that I should help to

21 organise the military police forces and the military security services in

22 the Bosnian Krajina Brigade.

23 Q. Mr. Menkovic, a minute ago you said as a former policeman you

24 immediately noticed that security situation in Travnik was difficult.

25 What did you mean when you said that? Could you clarify your answer?

Page 14655

1 A. Well, at that time in Travnik, Travnik had been inundated by these

2 expelled persons. The combat lines were very close. At the time, we were

3 only facing one enemy. There were a lot of expelled persons who had no

4 papers to identify them. The town or in fact the population were quite

5 impoverished because everything that they had been left behind in the

6 territory they had about expelled from. So the situation was very

7 difficult in terms of resources.

8 Q. Mr. Menkovic, given such a difficult situation which had an effect

9 on security questions, tell me whether there was a police presence in

10 Travnik that could influence the overall security situation.

11 A. At the time, the town of Travnik was particularly in various

12 senses in the town itself. More important buildings, the headquarters of

13 certain organisations, et cetera, were divided in three senses. Certain

14 buildings had HVO flags. This means that members of the HVO had taken

15 over those buildings. Other buildings had red flags with the symbols of

16 the HOS, the Croatian Defence forces. And there were two buildings in

17 town, the former JNA barracks and maintenance and repairs institute, where

18 the flag of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was flying. That means

19 that the army had possession of those buildings.

20 And in the town itself, instead of stabilising the security

21 situation, there were seven different police forces. And this didn't lead

22 to stability. There was the municipal police of the territory staff which

23 later became the military police of the ABiH. It was the military police

24 of the HVO. There was the HOS military police. And then as far as

25 civilian institutions are concerned, there was the public security station

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Page 14657

1 in Travnik. They had their own policemen. There were policemen carrying

2 out tasks for the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. They acted as the

3 civilian police but on behalf of the Croatian population. There was some

4 kind of mecatove police force. That's what they called it. And the

5 seventh type of police force was court guard, a judicial guard, which

6 later became a sort of judicial court police force.

7 Q. Mr. Menkovic, you said that in your brigade you were assigned the

8 task of attempting to form a security organ or, rather, a military police

9 force. Tell me, did you succeed in carrying this task out?

10 A. At the very beginning, it was very difficult to carry this task

11 out because there was intense fighting around the town of Travnik, intense

12 fighting against the Serbian aggressor. Our units were holding defence

13 positions around the town of Jajce too. That's where there was fighting

14 as well. So most of these young people from whom one could have formed a

15 well-trained police force didn't even want to join the police.

16 However, with approval of my command, I made attempts to gather

17 certain number of men, and on the 6th of October, 1992, I had gathered

18 about 40 men who were in a position to start carrying out certain military

19 police tasks and assignments.

20 Q. Mr. Menkovic, tell me, when you arrived there and you formed that

21 MP platoon, was there a prison in Travnik?

22 A. When I joined this military unit, I immediately noticed that men

23 who were not members of those unit would join up or try to find out who

24 they were, and there were court guards, judicial guards who were guarding

25 the district military prison which was also located in the barracks.

Page 14658

1 Q. Was your brigade in charge of this district prison or was any

2 other military organ in charge of it?

3 A. No. The district prison was the responsibility of the court, and

4 the people who performed these duties were, in fact, at their posts, and

5 they were responsible to report to the court exclusively.

6 Q. Given the information you have just mentioned, tell me whether

7 that prison had previously been on the grounds of the barracks or were

8 there any reasons for which it had been located there?

9 A. No. The prison had not been in the barracks before. It had its

10 headquarters in the vicinity of the hotel in Travnik. That was the

11 building of the district prison called tri bora, three fir trees, probably

12 because they had three such trees in front of the building. That's where

13 the administrative headquarters of the district prison were located.

14 However, that building was taken over by HVO members. And then by a

15 decision of the civilian authorities, that prison was moved to the former

16 JNA barracks before I arrived in the town, because there were the

17 necessary conditions in these barracks to have the prison there.

18 Q. When you say that there were conditions, what conditions are you

19 talking about, and where, in which part of the barracks were such

20 conditions in place?

21 A. Every military unit in the former JNA had certain premises or

22 rooms for their own soldiers who were punished by disciplinary measures.

23 In the Travnik barracks, there was a basement. There were some basement

24 rooms which most probably in the former JNA used as the prison for

25 soldiers. In one part of the basement rooms, that's where the district

Page 14659

1 prison was.

2 Q. Around the 6th of October, 1992, you established an MP platoon.

3 Did you have any detention rooms?

4 A. Yes. At that time, there was a lot of members of our brigade who

5 had committed crimes and breached discipline. That's why we had to have

6 our detention unit in the same area as the district prison was. However,

7 between our detention unit and between the district prison there was an

8 iron gate which physically separated the two.

9 Q. Mr. Menkovic, towards the end of 1992, were there any changes in

10 the BiH army? Did you move to another position?

11 A. Yes. After the occupation of the town of Jajce, the situation got

12 more complex on the ground. The units the army became bigger and that is

13 when the 3rd Corps was established. As for the 1st Krajina Brigade and

14 another Krajina Brigade, the 7th Krajina Brigade, we joined the two and

15 formed one unit, the 17th Krajina Mountain Brigade.

16 Q. In the 17th Krajina Brigade, what was your position, and who were

17 members of that unit?

18 A. In this newly formed unit, I brought that unit my former military

19 police platoon, and from the 7th Krajina Brigade, they only had one squad

20 of the military police that performed the policing duties for them. I

21 brought in both of these units. I strengthened the new unit, and I was

22 appointed the commander of the new Military Police Platoon on the strength

23 of the 17th Krajina Brigade.

24 Q. Mr. Menkovic, you told us that in one of the pavilions in the

25 barracks, in the basement there was both the district prison as well as

Page 14660

1 the detention unit of your brigade. Tell me, did you have any authority

2 over the district prison or, in other words, where did your competencies

3 and authorities lie in the position that you assumed at that time?

4 A. We didn't have anything to do with the district prison, with its

5 guards or its warden. I did not have any authority over them. My

6 authority and the authority of the police officers from this platoon lie

7 with our detention unit, and we had the authority exclusively over the

8 members of the 17th Krajina Brigade. This is where our authority stopped.

9 Q. A little while ago, you started talking about the purpose of the

10 military detention unit. You mentioned crimes and breaches of discipline

11 committed by your members. Can you now explain in somewhat more detail

12 who could be put in the prison under the authority of the military

13 policemen of the 17th Krajina Brigade?

14 A. The primary purpose of this detention unit, the military detention

15 unit, was to keep in those premises those who committed certain crimes or

16 there was a suspicion that they had committed certain crimes. And they

17 could be kept there until the moment the criminal report was filed. The

18 maximum duration of that detention was 72 hours.

19 The second use of that military prison was for the members of the

20 17th Krajina Brigade who served disciplinary measures. Later on, the same

21 detention unit was used for the accommodation of prisoners of war.

22 Q. Mr. Menkovic, after the 72 hours that you mentioned and once the

23 criminal report is filed, what happened with the members of the 17th

24 Krajina Brigade? Who assumed authority over them? Did they stay in your

25 part of the detention unit?

Page 14661

1 A. The military police and the military security service were

2 duty-bound to file -- to collect evidence within the 72 hours and to file

3 criminal charges if a crime had been committed by that person. Once

4 criminal charges were filed, those who were suspects until then and were

5 remanded in custody in the military detention unit were moved to the

6 district part, district prison, pursuant to the decision issued by the

7 court. We could only keep people for 72 hours. Once the court issued a

8 decision to keep them in custody for a longer period of time, they were

9 transferred to the district prison.

10 Q. After that, did the military policemen have any authority over

11 these people who were transferred under the authority of the court and

12 into the district prison?

13 A. No.

14 Q. Mr. Menkovic, you said that later on part of the prison was also

15 used for the accommodation of prisoners of war. Tell me, please, how long

16 would prisoners of war be kept in those premises, and what was your

17 attitude towards them, and what was your authority over them?

18 A. Let me explain why we kept prisoners of war there in the first

19 place. As the military, as the BiH army, we did not engage in an

20 offensive war, so we didn't know that we would have prisoners of war.

21 However, once we did take prisoners, then we were thinking of the safest

22 place where they could be accommodated.

23 According to the international law, we could have kept them until

24 the end of war, until the moment they were set free, until the moment

25 prisoners of war were transferred to the centre in Zenica that had been

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Page 14663

1 established there at the corps level. However, if it was established that

2 among those prisoners of war there were persons who had either committed

3 crimes or there was reasonable grounds to suspect that they had committed

4 crimes, then we behaved towards such persons as we would towards any other

5 person who might have committed a crime.

6 Q. On several occasions, you've already mentioned that you had

7 authority over the soldiers of the 17th Krajina Brigade. Tell me, who was

8 a military person in keeping what you knew at the time about the

9 regulations regulating that area?

10 A. The decree that regulated the status of a military person provided

11 that a military person is any active military person and reserve soldiers

12 while in certain military service.

13 Q. In addition to the military regulations, given the duty that you

14 performed, if you can tell us that, were there any other regulations that

15 regulated the notion of a military person?

16 A. The penal code that was in effect at the time provided some more

17 detail with regard to the definition of a military person. According to

18 the penal code, the persons who were military persons were recruits

19 serving in the army, students of military academies, non-commissioned

20 officers, officers, all those who were members of the reserve of the army

21 while they were performing a military duty, as well as some civilians if

22 at the time they were engaged by any military unit to perform tasks and

23 duties on their behalf.

24 Q. What was it that defined the authorities of the military police if

25 you can remember?

Page 14664

1 A. At that time, the authorities of the military police were defined

2 by the orders of the superior commands, the Law on Criminal Procedure, the

3 international law, the law on district military courts, and the book of

4 rules on the way military security services, duties are performed.

5 Q. Within those regulations regulating the authorities of the

6 military police, what were the measures and actions that you could

7 undertake with regard to the civilians?

8 A. The military police was engaged in a number of activities,

9 especially given the fact that it was the time of war. They provided

10 security for the command posts of various units. They prevented unlawful

11 entry by unauthorised persons into the combat zones. They patrolled the

12 area, and when patrolling the area, the MPs could ask for ID. They could

13 issue orders. They could bring in people. They could arrest members of

14 the military. They could instigate investigation against those people,

15 and they could do anything else that was provided for by the orders of the

16 superior command.

17 Q. You have just told us that you could file criminal charges. When

18 you found out that there was suspicion about a crime having been

19 committed, who did you file criminal charges against, and how did you find

20 about those crimes?

21 A. The victim would contact us and report a certain crime. If there

22 was reasonable ground to suspect that a crime had been committed, we would

23 start our investigation.

24 A lot of buildings at the time were empty, were vacated or

25 abandoned, so most of the reports arrived from the eyewitnesses of a

Page 14665

1 certain event, or it would be a military policeman who would notice

2 something suspicious happening on the ground while on patrol.

3 As a rule, we would file criminal charges against the main

4 perpetrator if such a perpetrator was known, or if the perpetrator was not

5 known, then we would file criminal charges against an unknown perpetrator

6 of a crime.

7 Q. Thank you. Mr. Menkovic, what about the chain of command in the

8 military police? Who were your subordinates and who was your superior?

9 A. My subordinates were my military policemen, members of the

10 military police platoon. My superior was the brigade commander and he was

11 the one who could issue orders to me directly or indirectly via his

12 assistant for military security.

13 Q. Mr. Menkovic, you have told us that your position was the Military

14 Police platoon commander in the brigade. In 1993 did you assume any other

15 position? If that was the case, when was that?

16 A. Yes. Towards the end of June. I believe that the exact date was

17 on the 26th of June. I was appointed the commander of the military police

18 company in the Bosanska Krajina OG.

19 Q. Why was this company established in the first place?

20 A. By then, we had some experience with combatting crime in the area,

21 and it was obvious that the crime rate was on the rise, that the

22 conditions were in place for some perpetrators to flee from the area of

23 responsibility of one brigade to the area of responsibility of another

24 brigade, thus evading criminal charges. From the very beginning, brigade

25 commanders adopted a very rigorous stance against such people, and at the

Page 14666

1 time, it was not customary for an OG to have a military police company.

2 However, due to the circumstances, they decided to form a unit that could

3 successfully act on the entire territory covered by the OG. And also,

4 they wanted to see us who were already experienced and seasoned military

5 policemen to try and improve the professionalism of platoons in the

6 brigades. This MP company had a dual role when it was being formed.

7 Q. Mr. Menkovic, you have just told us that you were tasked with

8 improving the work of platoons in brigades. When the military police

9 company was established, did the brigade retain, did they keep their

10 military police platoons?

11 A. Yes. All the brigades had their military police platoons, and one

12 brigade, which was somewhat bigger, had a military police company. And

13 these units performed duties within the purview of their brigades.

14 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, from now on I will

15 be using some documents. That's why I would kindly ask the usher to

16 distribute the binders to everybody in the courtroom. The Chamber, the

17 witness, and the Prosecution has already been provided with a binder.

18 They got it from us before the beginning of this session.

19 Q. Mr. Menkovic, can you please look at documents under "military

20 police" chapter? Can you please look at document number 1 bearing the

21 number 1871?

22 A. Before I do that, can I please change my glasses? I need another

23 pair of glasses, if I may.

24 Can you please repeat your question now?

25 Q. In part 1 of this binder, there is a document bearing number 1871.

Page 14667

1 Can you please look at that document?

2 A. Yes, I can see it.

3 Q. As we can see, this is a document from the 312th Motorised

4 Brigade. In this daily report, according to your knowledge, can we see

5 all the customary duties of the military police of your brigade or the

6 military police of any brigade?

7 A. This document is the document that the commander of the military

8 police company on the strength of the 312th Motorised Brigade sent as his

9 report in which he described what his military policemen, members of this

10 company, did on that particular day. He was duty-bound to inform his

11 commander about his own work and the work of his unit.

12 Q. Mr. Menkovic, were you superior to the military police companies

13 in the brigade? If not, can you please tell us who their superior was?

14 What was your relationship with them?

15 A. No. I did not have the superior role. I did not have authority

16 over this particular company or any other unit of the military police of

17 any of the brigades. However, my role was to help them professionally,

18 because it was for this very reason that my company was established.

19 Those units which were parts of the brigades reported to their brigade --

20 respective brigade commanders.

21 Q. Mr. Menkovic, these platoons or companies, were they duty-bound to

22 send daily reports to you similar to the one that you have before you?

23 A. No. They were duty-bound to inform their superior commands of

24 what they did during the day.

25 Q. Can you please look at document number 2, bearing number 1920.

Page 14668












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Page 14669

1 Tell me, please, do you recognise this document?

2 A. I do. This document is an order, and this is an official decision

3 on the way and the time of establishment of the MP company can the

4 Bosanska Krajina OG. It determines the number of its policemen, how they

5 will be recruited, and it also sets out the future tasks of this unit.

6 Q. In your previous answer, you have told us that your company had a

7 due and task. One task was the normal task of any military police unit,

8 and the second task was professional education of the military policemen

9 in the brigades. Can you please tell me what was the professional level

10 of military police units in the brigades in your area, and secondly, what

11 knowledge did you try to convey onto these military policemen in the

12 course of their education?

13 A. There was a shortage of qualified staff in all the military police

14 units. All the military policemen were rather poorly qualified, and they

15 did not have enough knowledge to perform their task. My company carried

16 out a certain form of education. We had drafted a plan to educate

17 military policemen in all the brigades.

18 Q. What were the basic topics that you discussed and the knowledge

19 that you conveyed to the military police officers in your units?

20 A. We had to start from very scratch with all these men. The

21 priority was given to informing all these people with the tasks and duties

22 that the military police performs. We also taught them about their

23 authorities in their capacity as military policemen. We also tried to

24 teach them how to use their authority correctly and in a timely manner.

25 We also carried out some physical training with them. We tried to

Page 14670

1 teach them the ABCs of self-defence as well as the way to restrain a

2 criminal. We tried to provide them as much knowledge as possible about

3 international law.

4 Q. Mr. Menkovic, since you weren't responsible for the platoons and

5 companies in the brigade, were you subordinate -- subordinated to the

6 military police battalion in the corps? Or, rather, could you tell me who

7 your superior was? What was your relation to the military police

8 battalion in the 3rd Corps?

9 A. I and my company were not subordinated to the military police

10 battalion, but we cooperated in a professional sense, because they were,

11 after all, a unit which could assist us in that respect. I was

12 responsible for my military policemen from the military police company,

13 and my superior was my commander in the operations group, and his

14 assistant for security in the operations group. That means that he was

15 also in a position to issue direct orders to me or to issue orders to me

16 through the intermediary of his assistant or, rather, the military

17 security service.

18 Q. Mr. Menkovic, all these events took place in wartime. Tell me

19 whether the military police could also be engaged in combat action, and

20 who took decisions about this matter or, rather, who issued such orders?

21 A. Yes. In response to your question about the conditions, the tasks

22 and assignments of the military police, I said that other tasks and

23 assignments were tasks and assignments that came from the superior

24 command. So the main task, the main mission of the commander had to be

25 successfully completed. Then the commander could always order, on the

Page 14671

1 basis of his authority, that part of the unit or the entire unit should

2 also be engaged in combat action.

3 Q. Mr. Menkovic, do you remember how this in fact took place, what

4 actually happened in 1993? Were military policemen in the brigades and in

5 your company engaged in combat action?

6 A. Yes. From my unit throughout that period of time while active

7 combat action was being carried out, throughout that time I had at least

8 one platoon that was engaged in combat action at all times.

9 Q. Mr. Menkovic, when you spoke about the reasons for which the

10 company had been formed, you said that one of the reasons was that you

11 wanted to be in a position to control the entire area and control the

12 troops that moved from one brigade to another.

13 Have a look at the following document, number 3. The number of

14 the document is 1936. Since we only have the B/C/S version of this

15 document, I would first like to ask you to tell me who drafted the

16 document. Could you read out the introduction, and could you then tell us

17 in your own words what this document is about? The number of the document

18 is 1936.

19 A. That is document or, rather, an order from the commander of the

20 operations group to all military security organs stating that assistant

21 for security and part of the team from the military police company should

22 visit the units in the field that are part of the operations group. The

23 purpose of this visit is to make an attempt to ensure that security is

24 stable and improve the work of the organs of military security and of the

25 military police.

Page 14672

1 Q. Mr. Menkovic, could you please place this document on the ELMO,

2 now, and you just read out items 1 and 2 which in fact refer to the items

3 you've just been speaking about? Please, could you read out items 1 and 2

4 in this order.

5 A. "I hereby order, 1. The assistant commander for security and

6 intelligence is to visit the brigades from the operations group and to

7 control them. On the 25th of July, 1993, he is to visit the 306th

8 Mountain Brigade from 1100 hours. On the 26th of July, 1993, he is to

9 visit the 308th Mountain Brigade, and the municipal defence staff in Novi

10 Travnik at 1100 hours. On the 28th of July, 1993, he is to visit the

11 312th Motorised Brigade from 1100 hours. On the 29th of July, 1993, he

12 has to visit the 325th motorised brigade from 1000 hours. On the 30th of

13 July, 1993, he is to visit the Municipal Defence Staff in Travnik from

14 1000 hours. And on the 31th of July, 1995, from 1000 hours.

15 "Item 2: Assistant commanders for security in the brigade must

16 draft a report on the security situation in their units. And when the

17 assistant for security arrives, they are to organise a meeting which will

18 be attended by the security organs from battalions, by lawyers, by MP

19 commanders, and by assistant commanders, deputy commanders, for

20 information and propaganda."

21 Q. Since you have already commented on this document, I just wanted

22 to ask you to read out these items in the order for the sake of the

23 Chamber and my colleagues. These items refer to the procedure that you

24 followed, the way you worked in the field.

25 Can you tell me where your military police company was located?

Page 14673

1 Was it located in the barracks, too, or was it located in some other

2 premises?

3 A. The military police company and the operations group of Bosanska

4 Krajina was located in the former JNA centre in Travnik, and that is where

5 we organised our work.

6 Q. Could you now tell me what sort of measures you took in order to

7 prevent crime and to identify the perpetrators of crimes?

8 A. When the MP company and the Bosanska Krajina OG was formed, we had

9 an MP unit for the first time which was in a position to act throughout

10 the area covered by the Bosanska Krajina OG. By using the forces that

11 remain at our disposal, that is to say by using the forces that were not

12 engaged in combat, we attempted to cover through the entire area or most

13 of the area by organising patrols. Also, in addition to prevent people

14 from entering these abandoned these places without authorisation, we

15 established checkpoints, and this is how we tried to provide unauthorised

16 entry into those places. If we had information according to which

17 something or some incident might break out in a certain area, we would

18 then block or cut off certain areas, or we'd lay ambushes, and this would

19 allow us to deal with certain individuals involved in certain illegal

20 activities. This would enable us to arrest them.

21 Q. Mr. Menkovic, since you were responsible for certain members of

22 the military, tell me if you also cooperated with the civilian police, and

23 if so, in what way?

24 A. The military police and the civilian police shared a common

25 objective, and that was to make our that the security situation in our

Page 14674












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13 English transcripts.













Page 14675

1 area was favourable. But when my company was formed and later on, it did

2 not have some of the equipment that they needed to perform certain tasks

3 when investigating matters. So I had to cooperate, and I did cooperate

4 with the public security station in Travnik, and this mostly involved

5 technical assistance.

6 Q. Mr. Menkovic, tell me, given the conditions was it simple to

7 identify perpetrators, and what circumstances, what sort of circumstances

8 made it more difficult for you to perform your duties?

9 A. It's never easy to identify the perpetrators of crimes, especially

10 in such particular situations. Travnik, in terms of its area and the

11 number of its inhabitants was not a big town, but given the specific

12 conditions, given the fact that the population of Bosnian Krajina had been

13 expelled to that area, Travnik had been inundated by people. The number

14 of expelled persons, of homeless persons, was enormous. And then the

15 Serbs who were in the war would take all the papers from these people

16 leaving these areas. So it was extremely difficult establish the identity

17 individuals because they didn't have the necessary papers. These were

18 problems that we encountered and that made it more difficult for us to

19 identify certain perpetrators in good time.

20 Q. Mr. Menkovic, could you please have a look at section number 3.

21 Have a look at document 1 and tell me whether this document refers to some

22 of the measures that the civilian police also tried to take to implement

23 something that you have just spoken about, and then have a look at

24 document under number 2. Both documents or, rather, the first document is

25 only in B/C/S, so I would be grateful if you could just tell us who

Page 14676

1 drafted the document, who issued the document and what is the document

2 about? The number of the document is 0939.

3 Before the witness answers this question, Mr. President, I'd be

4 grateful if you could grant me another 20 minutes to examine the witness

5 since in four minutes' time we will have used up the time that we had

6 planned for this witness, according to what is stated in our written

7 submissions. Since when proofing the witness we felt it necessary to put

8 certain additional questions to the witness, I would be grateful if you

9 would allow me to do so. Thank you very much.

10 Mr. Menkovic, who issued this document? Who is it addressed to

11 and what is it about?

12 A. You can see in this document that the Sarajevo MUP or, rather, the

13 public security station in Travnik is writing to the War Presidency of the

14 Municipal Assembly in Travnik, and they're mentioning certain proposals

15 concerning measures that should be taken in order to resolve some of the

16 accumulated problems in the Travnik public security station.

17 Q. Mr. Menkovic, since you have mentioned cooperation with the

18 civilian police, tell me whether at any point in time your MP company, the

19 OG or the ABiH, had authority over the police, and if not, who in fact had

20 authority over the civilian police?

21 A. The civilian police or, rather, the Travnik public security

22 station were never under the military authorities. They were never an

23 occupied territory. So there was continuity in their work, and they were

24 under their MUP, which via the security services in Zenica maintained

25 contact with the Travnik public security station.

Page 14677

1 Q. Earlier on you said that you would file criminal reports against

2 known and unknown individuals. Have a look at document number 2, please.

3 This was a document that was issued by the Travnik police administration

4 at the request of a colleague of mine who was representing the late

5 General Alagic. The number of the document is 1603. And could you tell

6 me whether the regular police force was in the same situation as the

7 military police force. Did they file criminal reports against known and

8 unknown individuals?

9 A. Yes, but the civilian police was able to file criminal reports on

10 unidentified perpetrators, unknown perpetrators more frequently than the

11 military police. If we didn't know who had committed a crime, it would be

12 more practical. It would be better for them to file a criminal report,

13 because we didn't know whether the individual was a member of the military

14 or a civilian. So it was customary in areas where we worked together for

15 them to file criminal reports on unidentified or against unidentified

16 perpetrators.

17 Q. If a perpetrator was identified and if the perpetrator was a

18 member of the military, what would then happen?

19 A. As a rule, the criminal report was then forwarded to the competent

20 military prosecutor's office.

21 Q. Have a look under section 2. Have a look at documents 1, 2, and

22 3, 4, and 5. It's not necessary for you to comment on these document or

23 make any particular kind of comments, but could you just say whether these

24 are documents from the military police, and are these examples of criminal

25 reports against unknown perpetrators?

Page 14678

1 The first document is DH118/1, the seconds is DH118/2, the third

2 one DH118/4, the fourth one DH118/3, and the last one under number 5 is a

3 new document.

4 A. These documents are criminal reports that we filed as an MP

5 company, and there are certain other documents here that are attached and

6 should be attached to criminal reports.

7 Q. Thank you. In line 28 of the transcript, page 28, line 21, it

8 says that they were then forwarded to the competent military prosecutor.

9 The word military "police" is superfluous. It should say "the military

10 prosecutor's office."

11 Thank you, Mr. Menkovic. Mr. Menkovic, before we have the break,

12 I would like to put another question to you. As I have already said, we

13 have provided the Prosecution with all the documents that the witness has

14 before him. In those documents there are some documents that we will

15 include in our final list, and in a list you have. That's in section 2,

16 document 5, and then in section 4, documents 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15,

17 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20, 21, 22. In total we have 15 documents there. The

18 Prosecution did not object to us using these documents, so, Mr. President,

19 I would be grateful if you would allow me to use these new documents and

20 to show them to this witness.

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. That is not a

22 problem.

23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Before I put my final questions to

24 the witness, it might be a good time to have a break now.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. It's time for our break

Page 14679

1 since it's quarter to four. We will resume at about ten past four.

2 --- Recess taken at 3.43 p.m.

3 --- On resuming at 4.12 p.m.

4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall now resume.

5 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

6 Q. Mr. Menkovic, to one of my previous questions you answered that

7 the refugees were impoverished, so I would like to ask you about the year

8 1993. Did their position improve? What was the social status of fighters

9 and their families during that period of time?

10 A. As for the social and financial status of soldiers, soldiers and

11 their families, it got worse by the minute. The town of Travnik was under

12 a complete blockade, and the only way one could establish contact with

13 Zenica was through the Bila valley, and through the Bila valley a lot of

14 civilians and refugees moved at all times, and the situation was rather

15 difficult at that time.

16 Q. And this situation, to what extent did it have an impact on the

17 security of the area and other things that you dealt with in the military

18 police?

19 A. This had a huge impact on the security situation in the entire

20 area. The situation was not stable. The units were composed of men whose

21 families were impoverished. They didn't have anything to eat. They

22 didn't have anywhere to sleep. They didn't have any clothes. And that is

23 why our men paid more attention to their own families than to their

24 mission. The dissatisfaction of the citizens had a huge impact on the

25 security situation in the town.

Page 14680












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Page 14681

1 Q. To what extent did the BiH army have the ability to look after the

2 families of its fighters?

3 A. The BiH army did not have enough capabilities or resources to look

4 after the families of its men. Even the army and its men did not have

5 enough provisions, let alone their families.

6 Q. Who was tasked with looking after the families of the fallen or

7 wounded members of the BH army at the time in keeping with the

8 regulations?

9 A. It was the civilian bodies of authority that were supposed to do

10 that.

11 Q. Can you please look at document number 3 in the chapter 3. The

12 number is 1579. It has only a B/C/S version. Can you please read the

13 title of this document. Look at the issuer of the document and tell me

14 whether this is the body that was charged with looking after the social

15 status of the families of your soldiers, because this social status was

16 one of the very important factors of security. Chapter 3, document number

17 3.

18 Can you please read who the issuer of the document is and what the

19 document is about, and also, can you tell me whether the issuer of the

20 document is the civilian body you have testified about.

21 A. It says the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Municipal Assembly

22 of Travnik, War Presidency, commission for looking after the families of

23 fallen and wounded members of the armed forces of the Republic of

24 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

25 This document was the foundation of a commission that was

Page 14682

1 established by the War Presidency of Travnik, which was a civilian body of

2 government, and this commission was tasked with looking after the families

3 of the fallen and wounded members of the armed forces. In other words, to

4 try and provide the bare survival minimum for them.

5 Q. Just for the transcript, my colleague has just warned me that on

6 page 10, line 3, the English transcript says the source -- the resources

7 that these persons have. In French, it says the economic situation of

8 these persons, which does not correspond to the English transcript and the

9 English record which is the true reflection of what the witness was

10 saying. This is just for the record.

11 Can you please look at chapter 4 of the binder. There are a

12 number of documents contained in that part of the binder. I would kindly

13 ask you to look at these documents, number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14,

14 15, and 22.

15 Tell me, are these criminal reports issued by your company of the

16 military police? Are these criminal reports filed against known

17 perpetrators by yourselves after the investigations carried out by your

18 men?

19 Under number 1, document 121/3, is this a document of your

20 company?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Can you please look at document number 2. The number there is

23 DH121/4. Is this another criminal report that you are familiar with?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Document number 3 bearing number DH121/5, is this a criminal

Page 14683

1 report that was issued by your company?

2 A. Yes. However, the -- it was signed by the commander of the OG on

3 my behalf. I suppose I was absent when this report was filed.

4 Q. Thank you. With regard to this particular criminal report, can

5 you tell me, the description of the crime, it says that there are --

6 there's reasonable ground to suspect that the crime committed was pursuant

7 to Article 148, which is an aggravated theft. And also another article is

8 mentioned that describes the general misdemeanour.

9 What was your duty? What were you supposed to report, and who was

10 it that qualified the crime that was committed?

11 A. Our duty and obligation was to file criminal reports for all

12 crimes that we were aware of. I have already explained that crimes were

13 either reported to us by the victims, by the witnesses or eyewitnesses, or

14 sometimes the crimes were witnessed by our own policemen.

15 As for the description and the qualification of the crime, we

16 described the event as such. We described it only as the event. As a

17 rule, individual crimes were committed. There would be one theft, one

18 aggravated theft, or when the one house was set on fire or one facility

19 was set on fire, we would file a report on those individual acts and

20 describe them.

21 Q. Was the prosecutor bound by your qualification of the crime or was

22 it the prosecutor's duty to issue his own qualification of the act

23 described by yourself?

24 A. The prosecutor was not bound by our qualification as stated in the

25 criminal report. The prosecution -- prosecutor could rename the crime to

Page 14684

1 give it a different qualification if he was of the opinion that we had

2 made a mistake in our qualification of the crime.

3 Q. Mr. Menkovic, at that time, how were these crimes committed? What

4 were the most frequent MOs that you discovered and reported about?

5 A. The situation in the area was as it was, and the most common forms

6 of crime were theft, aggravated theft, and -- and causing general danger.

7 In most cases, these crimes involved abandoned and vacated buildings. The

8 perpetrators used force and various objects in order to force entry into

9 such buildings. Very often, it would be in the vicinity of combat

10 activities, and sometimes an arson would be ascribed to the vicinity of

11 combat activities. So the same level of damage could have been caused by

12 a flare. So it was sometimes difficult to establish whether the crime was

13 committed by an individual who was a criminal or whether it was a

14 consequence of combat operations.

15 In any event, criminals always look for an opportunity. They

16 often perpetrated their crimes during the night, or they chose such

17 locations which were not covered by the police.

18 Q. You were talking about the police coverage. When it came to crime

19 prevention, how significant was the fact that vast areas had been

20 abandoned, and was anything done in that respect?

21 A. We're talking about a number of hamlets and a vast suburban area

22 around the town of Travnik that remained completely abandoned. There were

23 only a few people there who did not want to abandon their houses. They

24 were usually elderly people. The remainder of the population had left.

25 It was very give to protect property under such circumstances. The

Page 14685

1 military police did not have enough strength around enough men to be

2 deployed to look after every single house. We cooperated with the

3 civilian protection and with the public security centre of Travnik, which

4 was the civilian police, and we took various measures in order to prevent

5 people from entering such abandoned houses. We put up checkpoints. We

6 controlled all the persons entering those areas. We had patrol -- patrols

7 through those abandoned areas. All this was done in order to protect the

8 property that had remained there abandoned.

9 Q. Can you please look at the documents following number 4. Can you

10 look at document number 5, bearing number DH121/C; under number 6 DH121/7;

11 under number 7, the document bearing number DH212/8; under number 8,

12 DH121/8B. Can you also look at the document number 9 dated 11 November

13 1993. It bears number 0922/149.

14 Please tell me, do you recognise these criminal reports? Do you

15 recognise these documents as documents issued by your company and

16 forwarded to the competent prosecutor's offices for further proceedings?

17 Have you looked at them?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Do you recognise documents issued by your motor police company?

20 A. Yes. In most cases, they were signed by me, and in some cases

21 they were signed by my deputy. These documents were all issued by my

22 company, and they all accompanied criminal reports.

23 In these documents, we describe statements taken from suspects.

24 We recorded statements given by eyewitnesses and witnesses. There are

25 orders to enter premises and carry out searches. We have confirmations

Page 14686












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13 English transcripts.













Page 14687

1 that various things were seized from suspects, and there are also

2 decisions on remanding perpetrators in custody or remanding in custody

3 those persons against whom the criminal report was filed.

4 Q. Just for the record, I would like to ask you, are these decisions

5 that you were entitled to issue by law? I'm referring to documents number

6 10 bearing number 09/2, the date is 7 July 1993; document under 11, dated

7 7 July 1993; document number 12 bearing number 09/1/3, dated 7 July, 1993;

8 number 13, 09/1/2, again dated the 7th of July, 1993. Are these decisions

9 on remanding suspects in custody that you were entitled to do, that you

10 were entitled by law to issue?

11 A. All these decisions that I have before me are decisions that I

12 signed personally, and I recognise them as such.

13 Q. You've also told us that in this set of documents there are also

14 orders on entering apartments, searching apartments and seizing objects

15 from suspects. Can you please confirm that these are documents that

16 follow number 17? The first one is of the 7th of August, 1993, under

17 number 17. The next document was issued on the same date, and it is under

18 number 18. The next one was issued on the 7th of August, 1993, under

19 number 19. Document number 20, issued on the same date, then document

20 under 21, again on the temporary seizure of objects. The date is the 7th

21 of August, 1993. Are these examples of orders that you issued at the time

22 and activities that you undertook at the time involving perpetrators of

23 crime?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Mr. Menkovic, can you please look at the documents after V,

Page 14688

1 procedures from number 1 through number 13. Most of these documents or

2 all of them are all in B/C/S only. Can you please look at document

3 bearing number 1328. Can you please tell us who drafted the document, who

4 the document was sent to, what is that document's name? And then I'm

5 going to ask you questions about all the documents that are contained in

6 this part.

7 A. The Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the military district

8 prosecutor's office in Travnik, sent to the military district court, to

9 the investigating judge in Travnik, and this is a request to carry out an

10 investigation.

11 Q. If you look at all of these documents, number 1328, 1342, 1451,

12 1483, are all of these requests that the prosecutor's office submitted to

13 the competent body? What was your role as the military police company

14 once the prosecutor's office received the case, and what do you do next?

15 A. These are all requests for investigation to be instigated if at

16 that moment there is something lacking. If the prosecutor need the us as

17 the military police to carry out some investigative acts on the ground,

18 then we acted on their request, and we carried out those actions.

19 Q. When the court issued a decision to carry out an investigation, on

20 whose request did you act?

21 A. If the court issued a decision on investigation, then anything

22 that the court might have needed we could do and we did do only at the

23 court's request.

24 Q. Can you please look at all the documents through to the end of

25 part V and tell me, are these documents those that were issued by the

Page 14689

1 prosecutor's office and by the court, and are these documents based on the

2 criminal reports that you filed?

3 A. The documents that I have just looked at are various documents

4 issued by the prosecutor's office and by the court. The prosecutor's

5 office issued documents to the preceded indictments and the court issued

6 documents to carry out investigations. And I also saw a couple of

7 judgements.

8 Q. Let's go back to your testimony before the break. Once you took

9 over the duties of the commander of the military police company of the

10 Bosanska Krajina OG, who was the one who provided security for the

11 detention unit in the part of the pavilion where the military police was?

12 A. It was the company of the military police which had authority in

13 the area of responsibility of the OG. Those were military policemen on

14 the strength of the company that provided security for the military police

15 prison in the barracks.

16 Q. Since you said that later on there were prisoners of war who were

17 held in that prison, tell me whether International Red Cross had regular

18 and free access to the individuals detained in the military prison.

19 A. Yes. They were never prevented from entering the detention centre

20 or talking to anyone they wanted to talk to at any time of the day or

21 night.

22 Q. Mr. Menkovic, tell me, did any of the detainees or did any of

23 their family members or did any representatives of the International Red

24 Cross or did any representatives of any other international organisations

25 complain to you at any time about the bad treatment of the individuals

Page 14690

1 detained in your military prison?

2 A. No. No, no one ever complained. None of the detainees, none of

3 the prisoners of war, none of their family members ever complained about

4 mistreatment.

5 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Menkovic?

6 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this concludes my

7 examination-in-chief of this witness.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I'll now turn to the

9 other Defence team.

10 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we have no

11 questions. Thank you.

12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. The Prosecution now

13 has the same amount of time as Defence counsel for their

14 cross-examination. I don't know who will be conducting the

15 cross-examination. Ms. Benjamin, Mr. Mundis? Ms. Benjamin.

16 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon to

17 everyone.

18 Mr. President, before we begin with the cross-examination the

19 Prosecution wishes to raise an issue for purposes of the record, and it

20 deals with the 65 ter summaries. Again, the Prosecution wishes to inform

21 the Trial Chamber that the summaries that are provided through the Rule 65

22 ter are not complied with by the Defence. My colleague and I have

23 listened to the testimony in chief, and we have compared it with our 65

24 ter summary, and the Defence have departed greatly from the 65 ter

25 summary, and we wish to again inform the Trial Chamber as to this anomaly.

Page 14691

1 I must admit, though, that I'm very grateful to the Defence for providing

2 us with the documents, even though there was a long weekend before we

3 actually began, but the examination-in-chief with respect to this witness,

4 the majority of the examination-in-chief had absolutely nothing to do with

5 what was represented in the 65 ter summary. Thanks.

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I'll give the floor

7 to the Defence. The Prosecution claims that the examination-in-chief does

8 not correspond to what was stated in the summary on the testimony of

9 Witness number 38. I have it before me, and there's a discrepancy between

10 the questions put to the witness and the information contain in the

11 summary. What would Defence counsel like to say about that?

12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we provide very

13 brief summaries in accordance with the Rules, very brief summaries on the

14 testimony of the witness we'll be calling, but we did say that the witness

15 in question was the company of the military police -- was the commander of

16 the military police company of the OG Bosanska Krajina, and we also said

17 that he would be talking about disciplinary measures, criminal reports,

18 and other matters, other procedures that relate to the army and his

19 duties. In fact, this witness has spoken about these matters in the

20 course of his testimony. He couldn't testify about any other events

21 because on the basis of the information we have, according to what we

22 know, the witness can only testify about things he has knowledge of and

23 this information is contained in the brief summary.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Judges will

25 discuss the matter later on. I'll give the floor to Ms. Benjamin now so

Page 14692












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13 English transcripts.













Page 14693

1 she can commence with her cross-examination.

2 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Thank you, Mr. President.

3 Cross-examined by Ms. Henry-Benjamin:

4 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Menkovic. My name is Tecla Henry-Benjamin and

5 along with my colleague we represent the Prosecution in this matter. I am

6 going to ask you a few questions for the purpose of clarification, and if

7 at any time you don't understand what I'm saying, or you wish me to repeat

8 the question to you, feel free and I'll certainly do so.

9 Now, as commander of the military police company of the operations

10 group Bosanska Krajina, could you tell me who was your first reporting

11 officer? Who did you report to first?

12 A. My first reporting officer was my command officer, Bosanska

13 Krajina operations group.

14 Q. And could you please tell us who that was by name, please?

15 A. He was the late General Mehmet Alagic.

16 Q. Thank you. Did there come a time that you reported to the

17 assistant for military issues?

18 A. The deputy commander for military security helped me in

19 professional terms to organise the work of the military police company,

20 and it is in that area that I cooperated with him.

21 Q. And for the benefit of the Trial Chamber, could you tell us by

22 name who was the assistant for military security at that time?

23 A. Initially when the MP company was formed in the Bosanska Krajina

24 OG, the assistant for security was Mr. Salko Beba.

25 Q. Could you state for us please what was the area of the military

Page 14694

1 police company of the operations group Bosanska Krajina, please?

2 A. The same area that was covered by the Bosanska Krajina OG.

3 Q. And could you tell us what area that was, please?

4 A. There were two fronts, the front line facing the Serbian aggressor

5 to the north of the town of Travnik. That was a little bit backward,

6 Ovcarevo, and I can't remember the name of a plateau above Travnik where

7 the Defence lines had been established facing the Serbian side. And

8 towards the HVO, the extremist part that we were fighting against, there

9 was the Bila valley and the border at Donji Dolac, the border with the

10 municipality of Novi Travnik.

11 Q. Now, sir, you told us that the military police company of the

12 operations group Bosanska Krajina was formed in July of 1993. Am I

13 correct?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And would I be correct in saying that the actual order for the

16 formation of the -- of the company originated in March of 1993?

17 A. Yes, as far as I know.

18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. In line 15, the line

19 was -- the response is yes, whereas the witness said no.

20 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Thank you.

21 Q. Were the OGs created in March of 1993?

22 A. I was a member of the 17th Krajina Mountain Brigade, and I

23 remained in that brigade until the 26th of June, 1993, when I was

24 appointed as the MP company commander in the Bosanska Krajina OG. As to

25 when the OG was formed and on the basis of which documents it was formed,

Page 14695

1 I don't know.

2 Q. Well, then maybe you can help us with this: Could you assist us

3 as to what prompted the formation of the military police company of the --

4 of the operations group Bosanska Krajina of which you were the commander?

5 A. In the area of the municipality of Travnik and in general in the

6 area covered by the OG, the security situation was unstable. There was a

7 vast area in which there were abandoned buildings. There were incidents

8 of theft, of aggravated theft, and the police in the brigades couldn't act

9 on equal terms, couldn't deal with the situation. And when the order was

10 issued to form a military police company, I think that the company was

11 supposed to be in a position to operate throughout the area of

12 responsibility, and it was supposed to deal with these incidents in an

13 efficient manner, and this was considered to be a matter of priority.

14 Q. And I'm suggesting to you that maybe it might have been because of

15 the increasing crimes in areas like the Bila valley in early June 1993

16 which actually brought into force the emergence of the military police

17 company of the operations group of the Bosanska Krajina. Would that be

18 correct?

19 A. No. No. A number of abandoned buildings and the rate of crime

20 was on the increase, but this was more the case in the northern part of

21 Travnik where most of the population had left. Most of the inhabitants of

22 that area had left the buildings in the area. And this is an area which

23 is closer to the town. We didn't have any military units that had been

24 deployed there, and I think that the command and the corps had decided to

25 crack down on crime in that area, and that is why the commander decided to

Page 14696

1 form such a military unit.

2 Q. For the benefit of the Trial Chamber, could you tell us

3 approximately how many members were attached to the military police

4 company of the operations group of Bosanska Krajina, please?

5 A. On the basis of the document or, rather, order on establishing an

6 MP company, it is possible to see what the exact number of men was for the

7 company or at least what the number planned was, because the commander of

8 the OG had ordered or had issued an order to commanders of subordinate

9 units stating how many troops should be separated and sent to the military

10 police company. As far as I can remember, I think that the number was

11 supposed to be about -- well, between 90 and a hundred men at the very

12 beginning.

13 Q. And I think you're absolutely right. But in your particular

14 platoon, could you tell us how many members did you have?

15 A. I was in command of a company which consists of three platoons. I

16 don't understand you.

17 Q. You indicated to us that there might have been about 90 such

18 members. Were you responsible for the 90? That's my question.

19 A. Yes. I was in command of the entire unit.

20 Q. And were -- were there different units in different command posts?

21 A. Each brigade as an armed formation, as a military formation had

22 its own MP platoon, or depending on the brigade structure, it had an MP

23 company.

24 Q. So would I be correct if I'm saying that some were located in the

25 JNA barracks, some were located in -- in Orasac? Am I correct?

Page 14697

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. You did in reply to my learned friend in examination-in-chief tell

3 us about the role of the military police company --

4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I don't understand

5 why this is happening again. My learned colleague, in line 23 and line

6 24, asked whether they -- whether some were located in the JNA barracks

7 and others in Orasac. The witness quite clearly answered the question,

8 whereas what is stated in the transcript is quite different. Could this

9 question be put to the witness again since it contradicts his answer. The

10 transcript contradicts his answer.

11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter apologises, but the answer was

12 not very audible.

13 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Thank you very much.

14 Q. Sir, as you may have heard, I have to put the question again to

15 you because the interpreters could not receive your response. Could you

16 speak a little loudly, please.

17 My question to you was that: Were there other barracks in which

18 members of the platoon of the military police company of the operations

19 group Bosanska Krajina was located, and I suggested to you that there

20 might have been at the JNA barracks, Orasac, and you responded. Could you

21 please give us your answer again?

22 A. My answer was no, because members of the military police company

23 were only billeted in the former JNA centre in Travnik.

24 Q. Thank you. Now as to your role or as to the role of the military

25 police, you indicated to us that amongst the role was investigations,

Page 14698












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13 English transcripts.













Page 14699

1 preparing them to write reports, et cetera. My question to you with

2 respect to your role is, when crimes were reported by victims, exactly how

3 did the military police go about investigating such crimes?

4 A. If a victim reported a crime committed by army members, that is to

5 say by soldiers, we would then go to carry out an on-site investigation to

6 secure the site, and if the perpetrator was known, we would arrest the

7 perpetrator, question the perpetrator, the suspect. We would file a

8 criminal report and forward the case to the relevant prosecutor's office.

9 If the perpetrator or perpetrators were unknown, then as a rule we acted

10 together with the civilian police, because we did not know who the

11 perpetrator was.

12 Q. Now with respect to the JNA barracks in particular. Is it your

13 testimony that under your command the military police company of the

14 operations group Bosnia Krajina had never received reports of any kind

15 from either victims, civilians, or families of victims with respect to

16 mistreatment of POWs at the JNA barracks?

17 A. I as the commander of the MP company never received any complaints

18 from the detainees themselves or from their family members or from the

19 International Committee of the Red Cross.

20 Q. But you will agree with me if I say to you that members of your

21 platoon guarded the detention centre at the JNA barracks? You would agree

22 with that, would you?

23 A. No. My policemen secured part of the military detention unit, not

24 the prison, only part of the military detention unit.

25 Q. Your members had absolutely nothing to do with respect to the

Page 14700

1 protection of the POWs at the JNA barracks?

2 A. That's not what I said.

3 Q. Excuse me. That's what I am asking. Thank you.

4 A. My MPs secured the military detention unit, and in one part of it,

5 when we had POWs, that's where they were located, in the detention unit.

6 That's where they were held.

7 Q. So in fact, they were guarded by your military police, the POWs,

8 whilst they were in the detention unit?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. As far as you know, you had never received any complaints from the

11 POWs?

12 A. No, never.

13 Q. Now, with respect to reports received, were the military police

14 able to address requests received from the investigating judge?

15 A. I don't understand the question. You said criminal reports and

16 then you mentioned an investigating judge.

17 Q. My colleague showed you a group of documents in your language,

18 starting off number 1328 and following, and you indicated to the Court

19 that you based your investigations on requests received. Am I correct so

20 far?

21 A. No. We carried out our investigations until criminal reports were

22 filed, and we did this independently. But if we filed a criminal report

23 and handed it over to the prosecutor's office, we then only acted upon

24 requests from the prosecutor's office if there were any questions, and if

25 not, we didn't hand anything over.

Page 14701

1 Q. I think we're on the same page. A little bit further than that

2 I'm asking now with respect to requests from investigating judges, did you

3 instigate investigations if a request came in from an investigating judge?

4 A. If the investigating judge asked us to carry out certain

5 investigations on the ground with respect to a particular crime, we would

6 do that as much as we could.

7 Q. So my question to you, then, were that if -- was if you had

8 received requests with respect to complaints that were made to, for

9 example, an investigating judge, and you were asked to carry out certain

10 examinations, was your department -- was that part of the role that your

11 department played?

12 A. Firstly, we never sent our reports to the judge. Our reports were

13 sent to the prosecutor's office.

14 Q. I understand you, but my question is: Should an investigating

15 judge request of you to do an investigation, was that in the preamble of

16 your duties? Could you carry it out?

17 A. If an investigating judge asked us to carry out certain actions to

18 add to what had already been done by ourselves during our initial

19 investigation, we would do that, and we would send him a report on our

20 additional findings.

21 Q. Thanks. Would you consider -- or, rather, could you tell us what

22 was the life of the -- of the unit? For how long did this unit exist?

23 A. The unit existed from the 26th of June, 1993, up to sometime in

24 April or May 1994. At that moment, the new corps was established, the 7th

25 Corps, and a new military police unit was established to be attached to

Page 14702

1 the new corps. That was the 7th Battalion of the military police.

2 Q. And you indicated in your examination-in-chief that you worked

3 along or you cooperated with the civilian police. Am I correct?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. What about reports that may have been made to the civilian police?

6 Were you involved in investigating such complaints?

7 A. If somebody filed a direct report to the civilian police, and if

8 they felt the need for our help or if they thought that the perpetrators

9 were members of the military, then we cooperated and carried out certain

10 parts of the investigation together.

11 Q. Did there come a time when you had ever received reports from the

12 civilian police with respect to reports that had been made been civilians

13 with respect to mistreatment of POWs or detainees in the JNA barracks?

14 Did that ever happen?

15 A. I never received a single report from the civilian police to that

16 effect.

17 Q. Document 1603 was shown to you, and it's a register of reports,

18 numerous reports, and when I looked through the report and when I looked

19 through the document, all the reports are basically of a similar nature,

20 and maybe you can explain to the Trial Chamber for us a little bit about

21 how it operated.

22 Most of the -- most of the reports are simple theft, larceny of a

23 car, a pig, or something of that sort, that nature. Did you ever receive

24 any serious reports with respect to looting in your AOR?

25 A. All events that were reported to the MP company were individual

Page 14703

1 cases, and that is why they were qualified as such. When you say

2 "looting," what I have in mind is an organised group of people acting in

3 concert and stealing things from a large number of buildings, taking

4 everything that they can put their hands on.

5 The crimes committed were threats and aggravated threats. There

6 was no looting.

7 Q. At no time at all in your tenure always commander of the military

8 police company of the operations group Bosanska Krajina, at no time at all

9 did you ever receive or any reports were received with respect to members

10 of your platoon breaking into houses, stealing equipment, destroying

11 houses? At no time at all? Of course in your AOR.

12 A. Members of my platoon of the military police?

13 Q. No, of the military, of the army. No --

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, the Defence.

15 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Page 50, line 16, the witness said

16 that there was theft and aggravated theft, and my colleagues are telling

17 me that the word used is threats. I am not sure that this word means the

18 same. Can this please be corrected in the transcript.

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, it has been done.

20 You may proceed, Ms. Benjamin.


22 Q. Members of the army. And if I made a mistake I'm sorry.

23 A. There were reports against members of the military who were

24 stealing things from a -- individual houses. We acted on such reports

25 immediately. If they were found on the spot, they were arrested, taken

Page 14704












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13 English transcripts.













Page 14705

1 into custody. They were interrogated as suspects and criminal reports

2 were filed against them. If the owner of the stolen property was there,

3 then the stolen property was returned to such an owner. If the owner

4 wasn't there, then the stolen property was stored in a place that was

5 envisaged for that.

6 Q. Thanks. Did you -- you were in contact with the civilian police,

7 and you worked along with them. What about the civilian prosecutor? Did

8 you have a working relationship with the civilian prosecutors?

9 A. No. I did not have any contact with his office because there was

10 no need for me to have any contacts with them.

11 Q. Thank you. And how was the punishment that was given out to the

12 perpetrators, who prescribed the punishment?

13 A. It depended on the type of crime committed. There were some

14 disciplinary breaches that could be punished by the commander. The

15 disciplinary measures could be instituted by the commander. If a crime

16 was committed, then the military police filed the criminal report to the

17 prosecutor's office. The prosecutor's office forwarded that report to the

18 court and such a criminal would be tried.

19 Q. And was it your duty or was it the role of the military police

20 company of the operations group Bosanska Krajina to follow up on these

21 reports?

22 A. It was not my duty to follow that. My duty was to file my

23 criminal reports to the proper place, and to be honest, I didn't have the

24 time to do anything else. It was war.

25 Q. And the proper place would have been to whom, to which department?

Page 14706

1 A. What do you mean when you say forward to the proper place? What

2 are you referring to?

3 A. I am responding to what you responded, and maybe I can quote you.

4 You said that, "My duty was to file my criminal reports to the proper

5 place," and I asked you where was the proper place or who was the proper

6 place.

7 A. The relevant military prosecutor's office.

8 Q. And now I go back to my question. If -- if the report was filed

9 to the relevant military prosecutor's office and no action was done, do

10 you follow up the report to see if it was, in fact, sent? Did you follow

11 it up? Did your department follow up the report to see what action was

12 given to the report?

13 A. Once we submitted our criminal report to the military prosecutor's

14 office, the military prosecutor made his own assessment as to whether the

15 criminal report contained enough elements for criminal proceedings. If

16 there were not enough such elements, the criminal record could be

17 rejected. I didn't have either the time or possibility to follow my

18 criminal report to the prosecutor's office and onwards in the court. I

19 didn't do that. I didn't have the time or the capability to do that.

20 Q. You would agree with me, I take it, that there is the possibility

21 that the report could end up on a desk and never be seen by the military

22 prosecutor and that's the end of the matter? You agree with me that that

23 could happen?

24 A. I don't. Every criminal report was made out in two copies. When

25 it was received by the prosecutor's office, it was registered when the

Page 14707

1 criminal report was received, on what date by the prosecutor's office, and

2 this was on both copies, on the copies that remained with the prosecutor

3 and on the copies that were -- on the copy that was returned to me, to the

4 military police.

5 Q. You see, I ask you this question because one of your -- your

6 duties is the pre-trial investigation of the -- of the criminal offences.

7 Am I correct?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And it was in that vein that I posed question to you that if the

10 matter was not followed up by your department.

11 A. No.

12 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us what was the general tone of the

13 investigations? How were these investigations carried out?

14 A. As soon as we either received information or notice that certain

15 crimes had been or were being committed, military policemen from my

16 company would be sent to secure the place of crime. We had people who

17 were involved in investigations, and these people would inform the

18 prosecutor and the judge, and they could go with us to the crime scene or

19 they could authorise somebody else to carry out an on-spot investigation.

20 It depended on the gravity of the crime.

21 In keeping with our technical capabilities and equipment, and

22 those that we used belonged to the public security station because we did

23 not have our own, we would mark the traces of crime. We would carry out

24 an on-site investigation. We would interview witnesses or eyewitnesses,

25 if there were any, in order to collect as much information as possible as

Page 14708

1 to who the perpetrator of the crime might be.

2 If the perpetrator had been recognised by somebody, we established

3 their identity and we tried to locate them to arrest them and to bring

4 them in. On our premises these persons would be interrogated as suspects

5 and criminal reports would be filed against them.

6 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, I look at the time and I

7 wonder if this would be a convenient time for us to take the break. I do

8 not anticipate I will be much longer when we get back.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It is twenty-five to six. We

10 are going to make a break until five to six or 6.00.

11 --- Recess taken at 5.35 p.m.

12 --- On resuming at 6.07 p.m.

13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I give the floor to

14 Mrs. Benjamin again.

15 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Thank you, Mr. President. I just have two

16 questions for the witness.

17 Q. Sir, you indicated to us in your testimony in examination-in-chief

18 that you reported to the commander of the OG as well as sometimes to the

19 assistant for military security. Am I correct?

20 A. I was directly responsible to the commander of the OG when it came

21 to the police task and duties. I had indirect contact via the assistant

22 commander for security with the commander when the latter was absent. And

23 also from the assistant commander for security, I received professional

24 and expert advice on my work.

25 Q. Thank you. So if there were any instances of looting, for

Page 14709

1 example, by soldiers, the assistant for military security could be

2 informed, and he could have knowledge of same. Is it possible?

3 A. Things like that never happened, and that's why I never had to

4 report to him on any such thing. However, through my report on the work

5 of the MP company which I submitted to him on a daily basis, I informed

6 him about everything that was happening on the ground and what was done by

7 the company of the military police with that respect.

8 Q. Thank you, sir. And my last question to you is you had stated --

9 made reserve to the military police battalion and the military police

10 company, and for the benefit of the Trial Chamber, could you give us the

11 distinction between the military police battalion and the military police

12 company, if there is any?

13 A. There is a difference. An MP company is a smaller military unit,

14 and it has a hundred or up to 120 military policemen at the most. A

15 battalion and the company can both be on the strength on motorised

16 brigades which were bigger formations within the BiH army. A battalion is

17 a bigger military police unit which consists of at least five companies,

18 so a battalion should be five times bigger than a company. It has a

19 battalion command. It has its commander who has his assistants. It is an

20 independent military police unit that acts within a corps, which is the

21 highest formation within the structure of the BiH army.

22 Q. You worked along with the civilian police. Would I be correct in

23 saying that you also worked along with the military police battalion?

24 A. You would be right when it came to my professional and expert

25 equipment. A battalion was a figurer formation, and they received

Page 14710












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13 English transcripts.













Page 14711

1 instructions from their higher command, and according to that instruction,

2 if I needed any professional or expert help, then they would be instructed

3 to help me or I would address them for help, and in that respect we

4 cooperated.

5 Q. Thank you very much, sir.

6 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, Your Honours, this is the end

7 of the cross-examination. Thanks.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I'm going to give

9 the floor to the Defence for re-examination.

10 Re-Examined by Ms. Residovic:

11 Q. Mr. Menkovic, my learned friend asked you about crimes that you

12 detected, elucidated and reported, and she asked you about looting. In

13 your answers you gave us a number of examples of theft and aggravated

14 theft. If anything else happened at the time, if any other crime had been

15 committed by army members, crimes such as murder or a similar thing, would

16 you have acted in the same way you acted in case of arson or theft?

17 A. The approach was identical to all the committed crimes. We

18 focused and invested a lot of effort in detecting perpetrators of

19 aggravated crimes. This can be seen from my documents that I sent to the

20 prosecutor's office, especially in my reports that involved aggravated

21 crimes, bodily injury, murders and similar things.

22 Luckily enough, we managed to detect perpetrators of all the

23 aggravated crimes, and we managed to refer those criminals to the

24 prosecutor's office and further on to the courts for trial.

25 Q. You told us that you were a platoon commander in a brigade, and

Page 14712

1 later on you became the commander of a company within an OG. My learned

2 friend suggested a time period preceding the establishment of that

3 company, and you answered her.

4 In the brigades, not only in yours but in others as well, were

5 there military police platoons that were engaged in the tasks and duties

6 that you testified about?

7 A. Yes. Every mountain brigade by its military formation and by its

8 organisation had to have a Military Police Platoon on its strength. A

9 motorised brigade, which is a bigger formation, according to its formation

10 had to have a military police company on its strength.

11 Q. Thank you. And now, Mr. Menkovic, when the military police

12 company of the OG was established, did the platoons and the company on the

13 strength of the motorised brigade remain existing within those units and

14 did they continue performing their duties within the purview of their

15 respective brigades?

16 A. Yes. They continued functioning on the strength of their

17 respective brigades. The objective of the formation of the military

18 company of the Bosanska Krajina OG was to establish such a unit that could

19 go beyond the boundaries of the area of responsibility of any one brigade.

20 They could work across the entire territory.

21 Q. When it came to detecting crimes and perpetrators of those crimes,

22 can you tell us what was the position of the commander of the OG of the

23 3rd Corps? Were you told by your commander that you had to detect

24 criminals, or if you hadn't done that, would they have tolerated that?

25 A. I could not fail to act on criminal reports filed. From the

Page 14713

1 moment the 3rd Corps was established, one could feel a certain change in

2 the work of the brigades and especially in the military police platoons.

3 A pressure was put on brigade commanders to mobilise into those units only

4 those people who would be the best suited to become military policemen. A

5 pressure was put from the top town the line which said that our men had to

6 be trained in order to respond to our task in a timely manner.

7 Q. Thank you very much. There is a mistake on line -- on page 57,

8 line 25 and page 58, line 1. My question was the commander of the OG and

9 the commander of the 3rd Corps, and here it reads as if the OG equals the

10 3rd Corps. I apologise for the interruption. I had to make the

11 correction while the page was still before me.

12 You have answered my question, but I have an additional question

13 to put to you. Did the commander of the OG, who was your superior officer

14 as you've told us, or anybody else, any other of your superior commanders,

15 did they ever ask you or tell you not to perform your duty, not to detect

16 a certain crime although it would have been normal for you to do that

17 within the purview of your duties?

18 A. On the contrary. The commander always insisted on crime

19 prevention. He insisted on preventing crimes committed by BiH members.

20 There were never any attempts to obstruct my work and the work of the

21 military police. Pressure was always exerted on us to perform those

22 duties and carry out those tasks to the best of our ability.

23 Q. The position of the OG commander, was it in accordance with the

24 policies of the 3rd Corps Command with regard to detecting and prosecuting

25 perpetrators?

Page 14714

1 A. Yes. In the previous answer, I said that when the corps was

2 established, we noticed that discipline was being tightened up and that we

3 had more work and we were performing this work better. These are only

4 orders that could have come from the commander, especially from the 3rd

5 Corps Commander.

6 Q. My colleague asked you a number of questions about the work of the

7 prosecution and the court and on whether you followed their work. Tell me

8 whether at any point in time in 1993 in the course of the war did the

9 military police or military unit, a brigade, an operations group, or a

10 corps, did they ever have authority over the courts or the prosecution's

11 office are or, rather, were the prosecution and the court military organs

12 or judicial organs?

13 A. The prosecutor's office, the military prosecutor's office, the

14 military court were always independent of the army, and they were always

15 under the civilian authorities in those areas. As far as I know, that was

16 the case, and I was there throughout that period, but as far as I know,

17 the army was never responsible for them.

18 Q. Given the large number of criminal reports that you filed with the

19 prosecutor's office or, rather, with the court, do you know whether

20 Commander Alagic and brigade commanders were ever unhappy about the

21 expeditiousness of the procedures engaged or were there any complaints or

22 reports that were drafted or is there nothing that you know about this?

23 A. Well, I don't know whether from the superior command drafted

24 documents in which they expressed their discontent, because dealing with

25 court proceedings was too slow, but I had some unpleasant experiences with

Page 14715

1 commanders from brigade units in which the policemen were subordinated to

2 me. Because there were forces engaged in combat, but if someone had done

3 something, we would detain the person. We would arrest the person. And

4 they felt uneasy because of this, because the proceedings in court were

5 too slow. The courts or the court needed at least six months to deal with

6 a case, and in some situations cases would go on for a year or even more,

7 and in some situations cases were never resolved.

8 Q. In order to ask the witness my following question, could he be

9 shown DH119.

10 Could you give the B/C/S to the -- the B/C/S version to the

11 witness.

12 Mr. Menkovic, as you can see, this document is a report only the

13 work of the district military prosecutor's office in Travnik for 1993. Do

14 you have the document before you?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. I apologise. Do you have the report on the district military

17 prosecutor's office for 1993, because perhaps there is a mistake. Is that

18 what it says in the heading?

19 A. Yes, I have that document.

20 Q. Very well. We thought that we made a mistake as far as the

21 number, it was listed under as concerned.

22 With regard to the questions by my learned friend on whether

23 reports remained on the prosecutor's desk, could you have a look on page

24 2, item 2. Could you read out what it says there? Number 2, item 2.

25 A. "Criminal reports received. The prosecutor's office in the

Page 14716












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Page 14717

1 reporting period received a total of 823 criminal reports against 1.044

2 individuals."

3 Q. Thank you. Tell me, does this report show that you submitted a

4 large number of criminal reports to the prosecutor's office and you had

5 proof of that in your archives where one copy of your report or reports

6 were kept?

7 A. Yes, that's correct.

8 Q. Have a look at the following page, page 3, item 4B. My learned

9 friend, since you aren't interested in what happened to criminal reports,

10 my learned friend asked you whether criminal reports might remain on the

11 desk of the prosecutor without having anything done about them. Have a

12 look at item 4B and could you please read is out?

13 A. Six hundred eighty-eight requests were made to conduct an

14 investigation against 860 individuals.

15 Q. Does this information show how many criminal reports were filed by

16 the MPs and other organs, and does it show -- how much such requests were

17 dealt with by the prosecutor's office or, rather, does it show how many

18 requests they made for the relevant organs to conduct investigations

19 against certain individuals?

20 A. Yes, that's what these figures show.

21 Q. In an area such as the area covered by the district military court

22 or, rather, the district military prosecutor's office in Travnik, what

23 would you say? Was this a small, significant, or very large number of --

24 of criminal reports that the prosecutor's office dealt with, criminal

25 reports against army members?

Page 14718

1 A. Given that this took place in 1993 when the ABiH was fighting a

2 war on two fronts and when each and every soldier was needed, I would say

3 that this number is an extremely high number.

4 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Menkovic.

5 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have no further

6 questions for this witness.

7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Does the other Defence team have

8 any questions?

9 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we have no

10 questions.

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, I have a few questions I

12 would like to put to you to clarify certain matters.

13 Questioned by the Court:

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A while ago you said that your

15 company had been established in the AOR of the OG in order to unify the

16 practice or the work of the various platoons or battalions or, rather,

17 companies within brigades. What I would like to know is how did you

18 coordinate your work between the company that you were in command of and

19 the military police of brigades?

20 Let's take one example. The 306th Brigade had its military police

21 force. What did you do or how did you proceed in order to coordinate with

22 them?

23 A. Perhaps you misunderstood me. I said that my company was composed

24 of three platoons. I as the company commander was in charge of that unit

25 and of its three platoons, and the purpose of establishing an MP company

Page 14719

1 was to have one unit which could take military and police measures

2 throughout the territory covered by the OG. My task, in accordance with

3 the order on establishing the company, was to help, to train MPs in the

4 existing units and brigades. So I had no authority over them. I couldn't

5 issue them orders. I couldn't order them to do anything, only their

6 commander could. I was only to provide them with professional assistance

7 as far as training is concerned, but if I engaged in action with the

8 company MP in the zone of responsibility of a certain brigade, then I only

9 had to inform the commander in charge of the fact.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I have understood you very

11 well, but what I wanted to know is the following: Let's take the example

12 of an offence committed by a soldier from the 312th Brigade. In the case

13 of such an offence, would the military police of the 312th deal with such

14 an offence or would you deal with the offence?

15 A. As a rule, the MP of the 312th Brigade would deal with it if they

16 were aware of the identity of the perpetrator. But if crimes had been

17 committed, serious crimes in particular, in such a case the military

18 police and the military security service from the company and from the

19 brigade would act together.

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you be more specific,

21 because I really don't understand what you're saying. I provided you with

22 an example. I mentioned a soldier from the 312th who had committed an

23 offence, who would be involved in the proceedings and who would send a

24 report to the military prosecutor. Would it be the commander of the 312th

25 or would this be done through the commander of the OG and in such a case

Page 14720

1 would you send a report to the prosecutor? Who would send the report?

2 A. If the report on the crime was sent to the MP company, we would

3 immediately do everything that was necessary. MPs from the company would

4 do this. But if the event was reported to the military police of the

5 312th, then this depended on what was necessary. If they could carry out

6 the investigation on their own, then they would do so. They had there

7 right. But if they were not in a position to do it on their own, we would

8 assist them.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the case of an offence, you

10 said that you were under General Alagic. Did you correspond with General

11 Alagic orally or did you submit written reports? How did you report to

12 your superior? Did you tell him tell him orally this is what is

13 happening, that is what I'm going to do or were you obliged to send a

14 written report to say you were going to hand over the case to the military

15 prosecutor's office? Who took the final decision, you or General Alagic?

16 A. I drafted daily written reports on the work of the MP company. I

17 did this through my operations officer who was on duty 24 hours a day. So

18 any event reported to the operations centre was recorded, and I would

19 inform my superior command of the relevant information in a written

20 report. As far as the decision on submitting criminal reports is

21 concerned, well, this was a decision I had to take, because if we had

22 established through investigations that there was -- there were reasonable

23 grounds to suspect that someone had committed a crime, I, or rather, my

24 service would draft a criminal report which would I -- which I would sign

25 and then send to the prosecutor's office. And in this written report

Page 14721

1 there would be information on the perpetrators of a certain crime.

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, you would file a criminal

3 report with the military prosecutor. General Alagic didn't play a role at

4 this stage.

5 A. You mean as far as filing criminal reports are concerned.

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. And you said that you

7 would sign. Would General Alagic also sign these criminal reports.

8 A. Yes. At the very beginning when the MP company was being

9 established and before I received the official stamps. There were a few

10 cases of that kind, and then I was authorised by the general to sign

11 criminal reports on my own. I was given such authority as the commander

12 of the MP company.

13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And when did you obtain such

14 authorisation? When did you obtain this right?

15 A. I don't know the exact date.

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you have a look at a

17 document in the binder provided to you by the Defence, under section 4,

18 criminal report, tab 6. Tab 6. There's a report to the prosecutor dated

19 the 14th of July, 1993. This report concerns Dervis Colo. Can you see?

20 Did you find the document?

21 A. I have it.

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As you can see, it's a report, a

23 criminal report against Dervis Colo, dated the 14th of July and signed by

24 Alagic. Why didn't you sign this?

25 A. I can't remember, but perhaps I was absent, or perhaps at this

Page 14722












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13 English transcripts.













Page 14723

1 time I had not yet received his authorisation to sign criminal reports.

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Another minor question. In this

3 report, as you can see, there's a date, the 14th of July, and there's a

4 number above it. This is at the top to the left and it says 09/10-2.

5 That's a -- handwritten. Isn't there a mistake there? Isn't there a

6 number 2 that's missing after the 9? Shouldn't it be 092/10-2?

7 A. I don't know. This is the number under which it was recorded. As

8 to whether this number is correct, I don't know. I couldn't say. It

9 should be the 9th criminal report recorded, and then it says "/ -- -2".

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have a look at the next page.

11 Have a look at page 3. This is a special report sent on the 15th of

12 February, and at the top to the left there's a stamp and it says 092/10-2.

13 A. Yes, I can see that.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you provide us with an

15 explanation? Why is there a stamp there, and why wasn't it typewritten?

16 A. I don't know. This is probably when you're producing a stamp

17 which could be used instead of the heading on the document that was being

18 forwarded. In this case we didn't have it, so -- so we typed it out.

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But the stamp there, it was

20 stamped on the 15th of February, 1994. So in February 1994, you did have

21 such a stamp.

22 A. Yes.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You did have a stamp. Very

24 well. Thank you.

25 JUDGE SWART: Good evening, Witness. I have two or three

Page 14724

1 questions on the military police to put to you in relation to military

2 operations.

3 In the course of military operations, villages may be taken by the

4 army, conquered on the HVO forces for instance, and my question to you is

5 what exactly is the situation of the military police and especially your

6 unit in relation towards ongoing military operations? Are you present

7 with your military police as part of your military police presence at the

8 front line? Does it follow the movements of the front line? Could you

9 tell us something in general about your presence at the front line,

10 especially when the front line is moving?

11 A. If there's an order from the competent commander according to

12 which the entire unit or part of it has been engaged in combat, then we

13 would be present. We would also be involved in the combat. But if a unit

14 wasn't being engaged in combat, we would only go into action after the

15 active troops had passed through the territory, and in such orders there

16 was always an order as to what the military police had to do in the field.

17 JUDGE SWART: If I understand you well, you as a military police,

18 unless you take yourself part in the military actions, you are on stand-by

19 so to speak. If a village has been taken, you come in and you fulfil your

20 tasks. Is that a correct understanding of what you said?

21 A. In the combat order from the commander, we would be assigned the

22 tasks we had to carry out in a given village. For example, ensure that no

23 one entered the village without authorisation. That would be a matter of

24 priority. If there were POWs, we'd have to take them over from the troops

25 or, rather, from the security service that had interrogated them, for

Page 14725

1 example. And if any inhabitants remained, then we should make sure that

2 they were safe in that area.

3 JUDGE SWART: That is exactly the kind of things I wanted to know

4 from you, your presence at the front line after a village has been taken

5 or after some territorial gains have been made by the army.

6 Let me also put you some more specific questions. We know or we

7 heard that we say that in June in the Bila valley a number of villages

8 have been taken by the army, villages like Maline or Cukle or other

9 villages. Do you have any remembrance of your unit being there at the

10 time, at the beginning of June, and doing the work that military police

11 normally do? Can you remember a specific period in June that you were

12 active in that field?

13 A. I remember the time period. However, neither me nor my unit were

14 present there. At that time, I was still on the strength of the 17th

15 Krajina Mountain Brigade.

16 JUDGE SWART: So there was not yet a unified operation groups. I

17 understand that was the 16th or 17th of July. That is correct? But in

18 your capacity at that time, on the 17th Krajina Mountain Brigade, were you

19 protecting houses against looting, or houses against burning, or arson,

20 that kind of thing?

21 A. On the axis of action of the 17th Krajina Mountain Brigade, we did

22 our police work, whatever was required from us. If we did not participate

23 directly in combat operations, we did everything that could prevent theft,

24 looting, arson, or any other illegal acts. This is what we military

25 policemen on the strength of the 17th Krajina Brigade did, but we did it

Page 14726

1 only on the axis of action of our brigade.

2 JUDGE SWART: What parts -- I'm sorry. What part of the region

3 there was the 17th Krajina Brigade engaged in? Could you name some

4 villages that were in the area of activities of the 17th Krajina Brigade?

5 A. The 17th Krajina Brigade had three infantry battalions on its

6 strength. It is very difficult for me to remember certain axes where they

7 were active, because I did not participate directly in any combat.

8 However, from the commander, I received a task to secure or to try and

9 prevent certain crimes in the area north from Travnik, and the villages

10 that I can remember now after 13 years are Bilici, Ovcarevo, Paklarevo,

11 the area towards Turbe, that is.

12 JUDGE SWART: If there has been a movement of the front line and

13 new areas have been conquered and there's, as you've said, a need to

14 protect villages that have been abandoned by the inhabitants, how long are

15 you staying there? What is the time span of your presence in these

16 situations?

17 A. Immediately after the end of combat operations, the priority task

18 of the military police was to try and protect those villages. However,

19 those who had to protect those areas were the civilian police and the

20 civilian protection. The civilian protection, as an institution, they

21 didn't carry arms, you know. That is why we came to help out. We could

22 not be there all the time to protect the abandoned property around the

23 clock, because there were problems elsewhere, and we had other tasks and

24 duties.

25 We did try, however, to send our patrols to the abandoned villages

Page 14727

1 and to cooperate with the public security station in order to help the

2 civilian population and to protect the abandoned areas as best as we

3 could.

4 JUDGE SWART: Thank you very much for your answers.

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And now I'm turning to the

6 Prosecution. Are there any questions arising from the Judges' questions

7 for this witness?

8 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: No, Mr. President, there won't be any

9 questions.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to ask the Defence the

11 same. Do they want to ask any questions arising from the Judges'

12 questioning in order to clarify any of the answers?

13 Further examination by Ms. Residovic:

14 Q. Mr. Menkovic, you said the commander didn't have to give you any

15 particular consent for you to file a criminal report. Do you remember

16 that question?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. In answer to my question, you mentioned the regulations and laws

19 that set out your authorities. I would then ask you, was it the law that

20 gave you the right and obligation to file criminal reports once you

21 collected enough information about the perpetrator or the crime and that

22 nobody had to give you any particular authority to do that?

23 A. The Law on Criminal Procedure regulated the duties of the military

24 police, and by that law I was duty-bound to investigate crimes, to

25 elucidate crimes, and to file criminal reports. If I had not filed

Page 14728

1 criminal reports, I would have disobeyed the law that was in effect.

2 Q. When this came to your commander, you said earlier that your

3 authorities arose from the orders issued by your superior commander.

4 Within the performance of your duties, did your commander issue orders to

5 you to institute measures in order to prevent crimes and to prosecute

6 perpetrators of crimes? Was that the commander's role in respect of the

7 military police? Did the commander have any other authorities with

8 respect to the military police?

9 A. If there was no combat going on, all the subordinate officers had

10 briefings with their superior commander. At every of these briefings,

11 pressure was put on me to step up the military police activities in order

12 to prevent crimes and other illegal activities in the area, the area in

13 which property was completely unprotected.

14 Q. With regard to the questions of the Trial Chamber, you mentioned

15 the authorities that you had in your respective brigades and you provided

16 us with a very good explanation of that. Did you have to instruct the

17 platoons of the military police to file criminal reports or did they have

18 to do it by virtue of their position and work?

19 A. Whatever happened in the area of their responsibility, they had to

20 file reports on within the purview of their responsibilities.

21 Q. With regard to the rate of crime and the abandoned area, did your

22 presence in the territory covered by certain brigades meant that there

23 were less crimes committed by army members, or was your presence there the

24 presence of somebody who had authority in the area?

25 A. Let me tell you that we were established in order to step up

Page 14729

1 activities in the zone and to reduce the rate of crime as much as

2 possible. Our presence in itself in any of the brigades had a positive

3 effect on the brigade military police, because our role was to educate

4 them and to give them any sort of assistance that we could provide them

5 with.

6 Q. Mr. Menkovic, a commander is the highest authority, and a

7 commander has his bodies such as the Military Police Platoon. Given his

8 position, is the commander in the position to sign any document issued by

9 any of the units subordinated to him if he believes that he should do so?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. You were asked about your authorities with regard to combat

12 operations, and you said that your roles primarily arose from the orders

13 of the commander who planned such an operation. Did I understand you

14 well?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. You have also said that this was determined by the axis of action

17 of the unit that the military police was on the strength of. You know

18 that the front line moved very often. Were your tasks relative to

19 following the front line of your unit?

20 A. Of course. As the front line moved, the military police unit

21 would follow -- would follow its brigade. However, my unit was rather

22 independent, and I had to receive specific tasks from my commander as to

23 how I should follow my brigade and what my specific tasks were.

24 Q. Since you had responsibility to detect crimes committed by

25 military personnel, can you tell me, according to the law which was in

Page 14730

1 effect throughout the war, which body was responsible for the safety and

2 security of citizens, territory, and property, and who was it who had the

3 primary task to do that in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina?

4 A. It was the civilian police, public security stations. They were

5 the ones who had the primary task to look after that.

6 Q. And finally I would like to ask as follows: As commander of the

7 military police company acting on the axis of the 17th Krajina Brigade and

8 later only the commander of the company of the military police of the OG,

9 did you ever, during any combat operations, did you ever face wilful

10 destruction of property and wilful arson of houses committed by members of

11 the BiH army?

12 A. Never.

13 Q. Thank you very much.

14 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have no further

15 questions.

16 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] No questions from us,

17 Mr. President.

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, your testimony is finished.

19 You have provided answers to the Defence, to the Prosecution, and to the

20 Judges. I would like to thank you for coming here to The Hague to

21 testify. On behalf of the Trial Chamber, I wish you a happy journey back

22 home. I'm going to ask the usher to accompany you out of the courtroom,

23 and once again, thank you for your testimony.

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

25 [The witness withdrew]

Page 14731

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to turn to the

2 Defence. I would like to know whether they have any documents to tender

3 into evidence, or maybe we can do tomorrow if it is too complicated to do

4 it at this stage.

5 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is exactly

6 what I was going to ask you. There are a number of documents that have to

7 be marked for identification, and I would very much like to do it tomorrow

8 rather than today.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. It is going to

10 be tomorrow afternoon because our session is in the afternoon tomorrow at

11 2.15, and I would like to invite all of you to come back to the courtroom

12 tomorrow at 2.15. Thank you very much.

13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.04 p.m.,

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

15 January, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.