1 Wednesday, 9 February 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 please
6 call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. This
8 is case number IT-01-47-T, the Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and
9 Amir Kubura.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 Appearances for the Prosecution, please.
12 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon,
13 Your Honours, Counsel, and everyone in and around the courtroom. For the
14 Prosecution, Mathias Neuner and Daryl Mundis, assisted again today by
15 Mr. Andres Vatter, our case manager.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Appearances for the Defence,
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. President.
19 Good afternoon, Your Honours. On behalf of General Hadzihasanovic, Edina
20 Residovic, counsel, and Muriel Cauvin, legal assistant. Thank you very
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Appearances for the other
23 Defence team, please.
24 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
25 On behalf of Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and Nermin
1 Mulalic, legal assistant.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. The Chamber bids
3 welcome to everybody present in the courtroom. I would like to bid
4 welcome to the representatives of the Prosecution, Defence, the two
5 accused, and everybody who assists us in our work, the usher, the
6 registrar, the court reporters, the interpreters, and everybody else
7 inside and outside the courtroom.
8 Before we begin, I have a few issues to raise: Firstly, the
9 Chamber would like to raise the problem arising from the fact that we
10 finished yesterday around quarter past 7.00. As you already know, the
11 plan is fixed in the following way: There is a session in the morning
12 starting at 9.00 and ending at quarter to 2.00, and the afternoon session
13 that begins at quarter past 2.00, which is supposed to finish at 7.00. If
14 we're late in the morning, this has repercussions on the afternoon
15 session, because for technical reasons there is a half an hour delay
16 between the two sessions, and that's why the afternoon session is delayed.
17 And this might pose -- be a problem for the Judges and everybody else.
18 In order to avoid that, we have to adhere strictly to the
19 decisions that have been taken, meaning that the session has to finish
20 either quarter to 2.00 or at 7.00 in the afternoon. Unfortunately, we
21 were from time to time obliged to overstep that time for certain reasons.
22 The Chamber is of the opinion that it has authorised the
23 prolongation of certain sessions because the witnesses had to return to
24 their homeland; they could not stay any longer. And if on Friday we have
25 a witness and if that witness cannot finish on that day, this witness has
1 to stay for three additional days. For this reason, I am appealing to
2 both parties to adhere strictly to the rules.
3 Why? We have noticed - and we discussed that early this
4 morning - that when we overstep the time, this is due to the objections
5 that arrive from one party or the other, and these objections are usually
6 the cause of this problem. And the objections are of two types: The
7 first type of objection that usually comes from either the Prosecution or
8 the Defence arises from the fact that the Defence tends to ask leading
9 questions. Sometimes it is useful, but the Chamber can quote you a number
10 of times that you asked leading questions. In order to avoid that, the
11 Chamber from now on asks you when you are engaged in examination-in-chief
12 or when you ask additional questions, to ask neutral questions rather than
13 leading questions, because the Prosecution will rise and object to any
14 leading questions.
15 The Chamber has stated on various occasions that you have asked
16 leading questions, that those have been objected to. In order to avoid
17 losing and wasting time, we would like to ask you to adhere strictly to
18 the rule that applies to the examination-in-chief and not ask leading
19 questions. We will observe -- we will make sure that this rule is
21 As far as the Prosecution is concerned, we have noticed that the
22 Defence has objected on several occasions regarding new documents which
23 are shown to the witness either in order to test the credibility of the
24 witness or to refresh their memory. Since the Chamber has already
25 indicated, you have the right to do it but before you show a new document
1 to the witness, you have to prepare the grounds by asking pertinent
2 questions because if you want to test his memory or to test the
3 credibility -- refresh his memory or test the credibility, you don't have
4 to show him documents immediately. Showing him the document is your
5 ultimate resource. So if you want to produce a new document, you have to
6 first ask questions that will make the witness either confirm what
7 happened or why he changed his opinion, and then if he does change his
8 opinion, then you can confront him with that contradiction or you can give
9 him the document to refresh his memory. And this was the nature of the
10 objections put forth by the Defence.
11 If you have adhered strictly to the instructions, we will have --
12 we would have saved time.
13 This week the Judges have not had the time to put questions to
14 any of the witnesses because we did not have the time, and this is not
15 something that should be tolerated. In the future, I am going to ask you,
16 Defence, when you have your witness, I'm going to ask you exactly how much
17 time you will need for the examination-in-chief, and if you go beyond your
18 time, I will have to interrupt you and I will have to cut your
19 examination-in-chief short. If you tell me 45 minutes, it cannot be 50
21 Yesterday I asked Mr. Bourgon how much time he would need. He
22 said 45 minutes, and he took an hour. So he went 15 minutes longer. And
23 that is why we had to go beyond 7.00 in the afternoon.
24 A suggest on my part would be when you prepare your
25 examination-in-chief, it's up to you. It's up to the strategy that you
1 have adopted. I believe that it would be useful if you start with the
2 more important questions at the beginning and then -- and leave minor
3 issues for the end. But if you start with the issues of minor importance,
4 sometimes you will not have enough time to put the most important
5 questions. So it makes sense to start with more important things and to
6 finish with things that are not that important.
7 The Chamber believes that if we all respect the rules, we will be
8 able to finish at the time we're supposed to finish.
9 Then we have also to deal with the documents that arise from the
10 testimony. Yesterday we had a new document, so every time we have about
11 half an hour, that we have to take after the testimony. So if you take an
12 hour and a half for the examination-in-chief, if the Prosecution takes an
13 hour and a half, we cannot squeeze everything into the time that we have
14 for one session. When you tell me, "I need an hour and a half," sometimes
15 you won't be able to do everything because of the time that we -- the time
16 constraints that we're facing. Sometimes you -- there are questions that
17 are repetitive and the time could be better used for more fundamental
18 questions. This is in the interest of both parties and in the interest of
19 justice. I'm sure that both parties will make an effort. Both parties
20 have to be aware of that problem because only if we deal with this
21 problem, we will be able to work more efficiently and finish on time.
22 Having said that, before I give the floor to the Defence -
23 because I know that they want to say something - I have to deal with
24 another problem, and that is interpretation or translation.
25 The Judges have made a list of problems linked with the
1 translations contested by the Defence. We have seen that there are six
2 documents. I'm going to give you their numbers. The first one is P662,
3 429, DH1360, DH270, DH165, and P545, and P616.
4 As regards the document P662, this document is being re-examined
5 by the CLSS as per our decision and the transcript page is 1534. We have
6 received -- as soon as we receive a memo from the CLSS, we are going to
7 ask Mr. Registrar to give us the number.
8 The next document is P429. This document has been admitted as
10 As far as document 1360 is concerned, this is a Defence
11 document. This was tendered through Mr. Spajic from the 312th Motorised
12 Brigade. We have received three memos from the CLSS concerning this
13 document DH1360. These documents were sent on the 17th January and 7th
14 February, and you can -- you can look in the transcript pages 14316, 1422,
15 and 1433. So the document number is DH1360.
16 I'm going to ask Mr. Registrar to give us three numbers for the
18 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
19 The numbers will be admitted into evidence as Chamber numbers as
20 follows: The memo sent on the 13th January is admitted as C4; the memo
21 sent on 19 January will be C5; and finally, the memo of the 7th February
22 2005 will be C6.
23 I would like to mention that document DH13 -- 1360/E has been
24 modified and it is going to be admitted in its final version as 1360/E, as
25 per memorandum of the CLSS dated 19 January 2005.
1 Thank you, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the document number 1360/E
3 has been modified by the CLSS memo sent on the 19th of January, 2005.
4 As far as the document P491 is concerned, in this document two
5 English words were contested. The first one was "invited," and the second
6 one was "summoning." The question was whether to translate these words by
7 terms "invited" or "summoned." And the meaning is by no means the same.
8 The Chamber has requested from the CLSS in the light of the transcript
9 regarding -- the transcript of the session on 2nd February 2005 - the page
10 is number 14075 and 074 - to send us a memo regarding the issue of
11 translation of the term "invited" as meaning "to invite" or "to summon."
12 The Chamber would like to know how the B/C/S word has to be translated
13 into English. So this is for document -- the document P491 and DH270.
14 Regarding document P439 and DH1656, both are per the orders
15 issued by Rasim Delic. We have also requested from the CLSS to revise the
16 problem of translation in the light of the transcript of the -- 17 January
17 2005, the pages number 14321 and 14322.
18 And finally, the last document, P616. This document was
19 translated by CLSS on the 2nd of February, 2005, and it's a request for a
20 helicopter flight. The translation was provided and we need an exhibit
22 Mr. Registrar, could we have a number.
23 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. This
24 memo dated the 2nd of February, 2005 shall be C7.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We have dealt with
1 the -- we have to deal with the problems of the documents that we couldn't
2 deal with yesterday since we were working late.
3 I will first turn to the Defence. Does the Defence want to
4 tender the documents shown to the witness into evidence? You may take the
6 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
7 As far as the witness Edin Husic is concerned, we suggest that
8 the document under 1, 3rd Corps order dated the 5th of December, 1992, ERN
9 number 01819218, be admitted into evidence -- or rather, be marked for
10 identification since there is no English translation. Similarly, we
11 suggest that the document from the 3rd Corps, strictly confidential,
12 number 10/902-2, ERN number 01820719, be marked for identification, and
13 then the order from the 3rd Corps, strictly confidential, number 10
14 through 902-4, ERN number 01822418 be marked for identification. We
15 suggest that it be marked for identification too because there is no
16 English translation, and we suggest that documents under numbers 7, 8, and
17 9, 0556, 0571, and 0575 [Realtime transcript read in error "0557"], be
18 admitted into evidence. We also suggest that document number 10, which
19 was also used by the Prosecutor in the course of his cross-examination.
20 The document number is 0580. We also suggest that this be admitted into
22 Documents number 11 and 12, 0579 and 0587, are documents that we
23 would also like to have admitted into evidence; although, 0579 is a
24 document that the Prosecutor also used in the course of his
25 cross-examination. We suggest that document number 14, 1782, also be
1 admitted into evidence; document number 16, Defence number 0866, there is
2 only a B/C/S version of this document, and we therefore suggest that it
3 only be marked for identification until we receive a translation of the
5 Document number 27, Defence number 1387, is the document that we
6 would also like to tender into evidence.
7 We would like the following document to be marked for
8 identification: Document number 31 on the list. This is a 3rd Corps
9 document, number 10/183-1. This is an official record dated the 15th of
10 December, 1992. Document 33, which is also a 3rd Corps document, number
11 10/99-2, dated the 11th of January, 1993 should also be marked for
12 identification. Document 34, a 3rd Corps document, number 10, which is an
13 official record dated the 11th of January, 1993; we would like this
14 document to be marked for identification too.
15 We would also like to mark for identification document number 35.
16 This is a 3rd Corps document, number 10/99-3. It's an intelligence report
17 number 9 dated the 12th of January, 1993.
18 Then there's the 3rd Corps document 10288/1. It's also an
19 intelligence report dated the 23rd of January, 1993. We suggest that
20 document 39 also be admitted into evidence, 1716, which had previously
21 been marked for identification, document 400573 is a document we would
22 also like to tender into evidence, since there is no translation of this
23 document, we suggest that document 42, a 3rd Corps document number
24 10/234-2, which is an intelligence report dated the 18th of January, 1993,
25 be marked for identification as well as document 43, which is a 3rd Corps
1 document, 10/280-1. It's an intelligence report dated the 22nd of
2 January, 1993.
3 Document number 45, Defence number 1913, as there is no English
4 translation, we would like this document to be marked for identification.
5 Document number 46, 1331 is a document we'd like to tender into evidence,
6 as well as document number 48, Defence number 0651.
7 We suggest the following be marked for identification: Documents
8 number 49 -- document number 49, Defence number 1192, and document number
9 50, Defence number 1260.
10 Document number 51, 1280, is a document we'd like to tender into
11 evidence as well as document 52. The number of this document is 1291, and
12 this is a document that was also used by the Prosecutor in the course of
13 his cross-examination.
14 Document number 53, Defence number 1309, has no English
15 translation, which is why we would just like it to be marked for
17 Document number 54, number 1340, we suggest that this be admitted
18 into evidence. We also suggest that document 55, number 1335, and
19 document number 56, 1339, be admitted into evidence.
20 We'd like to mark the following document for identification as
21 there is no English translation: Document number 57, Defence number 1380.
22 As this document has an English translation, we would like to tender the
23 following document into evidence: Document 58, number 1543, and document
24 number 59, 1542.
25 And finally, document number 63, which was a new document, dated
1 the 7th of May, 1992 is one we would like to tender into evidence.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution.
3 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 The Prosecution has no objection to the documents as tendered by
5 my learned colleague being admitted into evidence. We do, however, wish
6 to put on to the record our concern with respect to the large number of
7 documents for which English translations were not available. Again, we
8 have no objection to them being marked. We may revisit this issue once we
9 have those translations perhaps with a -- with a request at that -- at
10 that point in time. But we have no objection to the documents being
11 admitted. We simply at this point note the large number of documents
12 which for translations were not available.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
14 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Registrar, I'll
16 give you the floor now so that you can carry out your task, which is to
17 provide exhibit numbers or numbers for identification.
18 But there is a correction the Defence would like to make. There
19 is a minor error.
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. Document
21 under number 9 in the transcript, it says that the number is 557; whereas,
22 the Defence number is 0575. So to avoid that error, I would like to have
23 it corrected.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Registrar,
25 could you inform us of the numbers for these documents.
1 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
2 These documents will be admitted into evidence under the
3 following numbers: Document number one, DH2016, marked for
4 identification, dated the 5th of December, 1992, and the ERN number is
6 The second document, DH017 [as interpreted], marked for
7 identification, dated the 9th of April, 1993. The ERN number is 01820719.
8 The third document, dated the 18th of April, 1993. The ERN
9 number, 01822418, shall be admitted as DH2018, marked for identification.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute.
11 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Yes. I skipped something. We
12 were talking about 2016 ID, 2017 ID, and 2018 ID.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Microphone not activated]
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Presiding Judge, please.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I was saying that on page 12,
16 line 4 it says DH017. Could the court reporter please be very careful
17 when recording the numbers. Could you correct the number for the second
18 document, which is DH ...
19 Mr. Registrar.
20 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] DH2017.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Marked for identification.
22 Mr. Registrar, please try to read the number out -- read the
23 numbers out slowly so that the court reporter can follow you.
24 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
25 I'll continue: DH556 shall be admitted into evidence, and the
1 English version will be DH556/E.
2 DH571 shall be admitted into evidence, and its English version
3 will be DH571/E.
4 DH575, the English version will be DH575/E.
5 DH580 shall be admitted into evidence, and the English version
6 will be DH580/E.
7 DH579 shall be admitted into evidence, and the English version
8 will be DH579/E.
9 DH587 shall be admitted into evidence, and the English version
10 shall be DH587/E.
11 DH1782 shall be admitted into evidence, and the English version
12 shall be DH1782/E.
13 DH866 shall only be marked for identification.
14 DH1387 shall be admitted into evidence, and the English version
15 shall be DH1387/E.
16 DH2019 shall be marked for identification. This is a document
17 dated the 15th of December, 1992, entitled "3rd Corps Command," internal
18 number 10/183-1.
19 DH2020 shall be marked for identification. The date is the 11th
20 of January, 1993. The title of the document is "3rd Corps Command," and
21 there is an internal number, 10/99-2.
22 DH201 [as interpreted] Shall be marked for identification. This
23 is dated the 11th of January, 1993. It's entitled "The 3rd Corps
24 Command," and has an internal number 10/.
25 DH2022 shall be marked for identification. This is a document
1 dated the 12th of January, 1993 entitled "3rd Corps Command," internal
2 number 10/99-3.
3 DH2023 shall be marked for identification, and it's dated the
4 23rd of January, 1993, entitled "3rd Corps Command," and the internal
5 number is 10/288-1.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In line 20, there's a problem
7 with DH -- it says "201." Line 20, "DH201." That must be 2021.
8 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct. It's
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In order to facilitate the
11 court reporter's name, you could say the numbers in English. That would
12 help us to save time.
13 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Yes, that's quite right,
14 Mr. President. I'll say the numbers in English.
15 [In English] Number 1716 is admitted into evidence under DH1716,
16 English version DH1716/E.
17 DH573 is admitted into evidence under DH1 -- sorry, DH573,
18 English version DH573/E.
19 The document DH2024, marked for identification, dated 8th of
20 January, 1993 entitled "3rd Corps Command," internal number 10/234-2.
21 Document DH2025, marked for identification, entitled "3rd Corps
22 Command," number 10/280-1, entitled "Intelligence report," dated 22nd of
23 January, 1993.
24 The document DH1913 is marked for identification only.
25 The number 1331 is admitted into evidence under DH1331, English
1 version DH1331/E.
2 The document 651 is admitted into evidence under DH651, English
3 version DH651/E.
4 The document 1192 is marked for identification only.
5 DH1260 is marked for identification.
6 DH1280 is admitted into evidence. Its English version, DH1280/E.
7 The document 1291 is admitted into evidence under the reference
8 DH1291, its English version, DH1291/E.
9 The document 1309 is admitted -- is marked for identification
10 only under DH1309 ID.
11 The document 1340 is admitted into evidence; its English version
12 is DH1340/E.
13 The document 1335 is admitted into evidence with an English
14 version, DH1335/E.
15 The document 1339 is admitted into evidence with an English
16 version, DH1339/E.
17 The document 1380 is marked for identification only.
18 The document 1543 is admitted into evidence under DH1543, its
19 English version, DH1543/E.
20 The document 1542 is admitted into evidence under the reference
21 DH1542, the English version, DH1542/E.
22 And to finish, Mr. President, the document dated 7th of May,
23 1992, entitled "Ian Greer associates limited" - it's a press release - is
24 admitted into -- is admitted marked for identification only under the
25 reference 2026.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. That concludes the
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Defence counsel.
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Since this document was in
5 English and there were no objections, we suggested that it be given an
6 exhibit number, that it be admitted into evidence, the last document.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Registrar. We'll be
8 admitting the last document into evidence because there is an English
10 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. In
11 fact, we have an original in English. This document shall be admitted
12 into evidence. It shan't -- it will not be marked for identification.
13 Thank you, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
15 I'll now turn to the Prosecution because there were two new
16 documents in English, 11 and 12. I don't know what the Prosecution's
17 position is with regard to these documents.
18 [Prosecution counsel confer]
19 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, my understanding is that there were
20 two documents which Your Honour has just referred to that weren't in fact
21 used. With respect to the witness Edin Husic, there was one new document
22 which bears ERN number 01809764 through 01809767. The Prosecution would
23 respectfully request that that document be admitted into evidence subject
24 to the typical notation which we've been using with respect to new
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In accordance with
2 the Chamber's decision -- or in the light of the Chamber's decision, what
3 is the Defence's position?
4 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Your Honours, we would object to the document being entered into
6 evidence, even with the -- the caveat that my learned friend has pointed
7 out, which is that it was shown to the witness to refresh his memory.
8 The reason being is -- is, as the Prosecution have indicated, the
9 document is -- is not being sought to be introduced for anything else than
10 refreshing the memory of the witness. But when this document was shown to
11 Mr. Husic, it didn't refresh his memory at all. He wasn't able to comment
12 on any of the events he was asked about in the document. It is only his
13 testimony that is evidence in the case, and since he was not able to give
14 any testimony having looked at the document, it didn't remind him of
15 anything, in our submission there's no need to have the document marked as
16 a -- a P-number. It will appear on the record that he was shown a
17 document. The relevant portions of the document were read out to him.
18 And that is in our view sufficient for -- for the record.
19 The document could be given a P-number if -- if it had refreshed
20 his memory in some way and it would be necessary to refer to the document
21 in the future. But in our view, as it took the matter no further, it
22 should not be given any identification number at this stage. It may be in
23 the future that in document is to be introduced, but not at this point in
24 our submission.
25 Thank you, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I'll give the floor to the
2 Prosecution. But if I have understood the Defence's position correctly,
3 this type of document can't be admitted to refresh a witness's memory
4 unless the witness's memory has been refreshed.
5 What is the legal position of the Prosecution with regard to the
6 Defence's position?
7 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, our -- our position in -- in short is
8 in light of the Chamber's previous ruling and the limited purpose for
9 which such documents are tendered into evidence, the witness's testimony
10 in comparison with the document for purposes of refreshing recollection or
11 in the other sense of challenging credibility, which this document was not
12 used for, our view would be that -- that the issues raised by my learned
13 colleague go more to the weight, if any, to be afforded to the document in
14 terms of its ability to refresh the witness's recollection, and it -- it
15 very well may be a distinction without a difference, but our view is that
16 the issue raised by my learned colleague is not one that would go to
17 admissibility, even in the limited context of a document admitted for
18 the -- the limited purpose of refreshing recollection.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Judges will
21 Is there anything that the other Defence team would like to say?
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] We fully support the submissions
23 made by my learned colleague Mr. Dixon. And as far as the objections
24 raised by my colleague Mr. Mundis are concerned, we don't believe that we
25 could talk about the weight of the document since the document can't be
1 admitted into evidence to prove certain facts, so it can only be admitted
2 for the purposes that have been stated in the Trial Chamber's decision.
3 Since the document didn't refresh the witness's memory, there's no basis
4 on which this document could be treated as one that has a weight that is
5 equal to the weight of other documents in evidence.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Judges will deliberate.
7 I'll now turn to -- I'll now address the issue of the documents
8 used yesterday.
9 Defence counsel didn't show any documents, so there are no
10 documents to be tendered.
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, in the course of
12 the witness's testimony, the witness was shown an amended and typed-out
13 part of document DH664, and this is part of the document that's not very
14 legible in the list.
15 Since the witness commented on that part of the document, we
16 provided the document to the Prosecution at the beginning of this hearing,
17 and we would request that this part of the document, DH664/1, be admitted
18 into evidence.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. In fact, I remember that
20 we placed paragraphs 4 and 5 on the ELMO yesterday, as far as I can
21 remember, and they had been correctly typed out. The witness recognised
22 them because the original document, 664, was difficult to read.
23 What is the Prosecution's position about this purely technical
25 MR. MUNDIS: No objection.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Defence counsel.
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] We have a sufficient number of
3 copies for the Trial Chamber, so you could have a look at the document in
4 question in order to be able to take the relevant decision.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Trial Chamber
7 has deliberated, and we admit paragraphs 5 and 11, the English version of
8 this document. This will be annexed or added to document 664 according to
9 the registrar.
10 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. President, this will be
11 added to DH664/E, and the English version, DH664/E.1.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Yesterday certain
13 documents were shown to refresh the witness's memory. Is the Prosecution
14 requesting that these documents be admitted into evidence?
15 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, the Prosecution doesn't seem to
16 recall showing the witness any new documents. I believe that all the
17 documents that were shown to the witness were previously admitted
18 documents. I -- I may be mistaken, but I believe they were all previously
19 admitted documents.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We have dealt with
21 certain issues. There's another issue that has to be dealt with, but we
22 will first go into private session.
23 Mr. Registrar.
24 [Private session]
11 Pages 15878-15893 redacted. Private session.
8 [Open session]
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall now resume, and I'm
10 going to ask the usher to fetch the witness.
11 Could the Defence tell me how much time they think they will need
12 for the examination of this witness.
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we thought we
14 would need two hours to examine this witness, but since we will be
15 following your instructions, I don't think that it will take me more than
16 an hour and 15 minutes.
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good day, sir. We'd first like
21 to make sure that you are receiving the interpretation of what I am
22 saying. If so, please say that you can hear and understand me.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good day. I can hear you and I
24 understand you.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have been called here as a
1 witness for Defence counsel for General Hadzihasanovic. Before you take
2 the solemn declaration, I would be grateful if you could tell me your
3 first and last name, your date of birth, and place of birth.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Jasmin Saric. I was
5 born on the 25th of October, 1963 in Zenica.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Are you currently
7 employed? Do you hold a position of any kind? And if so, what sort of
8 position do you hold?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am retired.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In 1992 and 1993, what position
11 did you hold and where were you based?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was an officer of the federation
13 army -- or rather, of the ABiH in the course of the war. In 1992, I was
14 the commander of the Zenica Municipal Defence Staff.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And did you obtain a rank of
16 any kind? And if so, what rank?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Towards the end of my military
18 career, I obtained the rank of brigadier.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have you already testified
20 before an international or a national court with regard to the events that
21 took place in your country in 1992 and 1993, or is this the first time?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've testified before the Zenica
23 local court. I testified in the Hakanovic case, which had to do with the
24 events in Dusina. That was in 1992.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you testified in that
1 case, as far as you can remember, were you a witness for the Defence or
2 for the Prosecution?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not sure. I was supposed to
4 testify as to whether Mr. Hakanovic was a member of my military unit and
5 as to whether he could have received orders of any kind from me in the
6 course of the war.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you please read out the
8 solemnly declaration.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
10 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may sit down.
12 WITNESS: JASMIN SARIC
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before I give the floor to the
15 Defence, whom you have already met, I would like to provide you with some
16 information about the procedure that will be followed.
17 Initially you will have to answer the questions put to you by the
18 Defence for about an hour and 15 minutes. You will notice that the
19 questions put to you will be neutral and not leading, and you might have
20 to provide more less lengthy answers to the questions put to you.
21 Once this stage has been completed, the Prosecution, who are to
22 your right, will also put questions to you. They will conduct what we
23 call their cross-examination, which should take as long as the
25 You will notice that the questions put to you in the course of
1 the cross-examination differ from those put to you in the course of the
2 examination-in-chief. When you are cross-examined, you may be asked
3 leading questions, so-called leading questions. In such cases, the
4 witness might be able to answer the questions just by saying yes or no.
5 Once this stage has been completed, the Defence may ask you
6 additional questions that relate to questions put to you in the course of
7 the cross-examination. Defence counsel will be putting neutral questions
8 to you in the course of that stage too.
9 Then the Judges sitting before you may also ask you questions,
10 which will either relate directly to your testimony, and we'll put such
11 questions to you because we feel it is necessary to clarify some of your
12 answers, or because we believe that when answering the questions put to
13 you by both parties certain issues might have been omitted and these
14 issues should be addressed in the interest of justice. When we ask
15 questions, when the Judges ask questions, you shall answer them.
16 Once we have asked our questions, the parties can take the floor
17 again and ask you questions that relate to the Judges' questions. This
18 guarantees that the rights of the parties are respected, in particular the
19 rights of the Defence, which is the party that has called you here. They
20 can put questions to you to correct -- or to ask you to make certain
21 corrections, amendments, provide certain clarifications, et cetera.
22 So roughly speaking, this is how we will be proceeding.
23 If you fail to understand the sense of a question, ask the party
24 putting it to you to rephrase it because perhaps you're not aware of the
25 fact, but we have no written documents that concern your testimony. This
1 is why your oral testimony is that important. Whatever you say will be
2 interpreted into English, and you will see that there is a screen in front
3 of you in which everything that is said -- on which everything that is
4 said is recorded.
5 There are two other issues I would like to point out to you:
6 Firstly, you have taken the solemn declaration, which means that you
7 should not give false testimony. False testimony is an offence that can
8 be punished and a witness could be given a prison sentence of up to seven
9 years for having given false testimony.
10 In addition, there is another provision contained in the Rules
11 that I should point out to you: If a witness believes that an answer he
12 provides to a question may subsequently be used against him, in such a
13 case the witness can refuse to answer the question. However, this is
14 quite exceptional, and to date we have never had such cases. But if such
15 a case should arise, the Chamber may compel the witness to answer the
16 question. Nevertheless, the Chamber grants the witness a form of immunity
17 and the witness's testimony can't be used against him. This is a rule --
18 this is a provision contained in our Rules to ensure that the testimony
19 can proceed as smoothly as possible.
20 If you encounter any difficulties in the course of these
21 proceedings, don't hesitate to inform us of the fact. We will have to
22 have a technical break after one and a half hour -- after one and a half
23 hours. You will also find it necessary to have a rest because answering
24 questions can be tiring. So it is also necessary for you to recover and
25 it's also necessary for the interpreters to have a rest. It's also
1 necessary to change the audio CD.
2 This is how we will be proceeding and there shouldn't be any
3 problems. All the previous hearings have run very smoothly.
4 I will now give the floor to Defence.
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
6 Mr. President.
7 Examined by Ms. Residovic:
8 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Saric. I'd be grateful if you
9 could briefly pause after I have put my questions to you. This will give
10 the interpreters time to interpret my question and your answer and it will
11 enable the Chamber and my colleagues to follow you. Have you understood
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Mr. Saric, what were you by profession before the war?
15 A. Before the war, I was a JNA officer.
16 Q. What rank did you hold and did you leave the JNA at any point in
18 A. Up until the beginning of the war, in Bosnia and Herzegovina I
19 held the rank of captain, and in April 1992 I left the JNA from my service
20 post in Bileca.
21 Q. In response to a question put to you by the Presiding Judge, you
22 said that in 1992 you were the commander of the Municipal Territorial
23 Defence Staff. Could you tell me: When were you appointed to the
24 Municipal TO Staff in Zenica?
25 A. Towards the end of October 1992.
1 Q. Which organ was above the Municipal TO Staff at the time?
2 A. There was some confusion at the time, but I was appointed by the
3 commander of the Regional TO Staff, and at that time, according to the
4 former laws, the then-War Presidency also had some authority over the
5 Municipal TO Staff.
6 Q. Mr. Saric, did these relations change in accordance with the new
7 rules and were any other units of the ABiH established in the territory of
9 A. Yes. Towards the beginning of November 1992, a team of officers
10 arrived from Sarajevo and they started forming the corps command and they
11 started organising units that were to become part of the corps.
12 Q. Mr. Saric, could you briefly tell us about the general and
13 military situation in Zenica at the time.
14 A. Well, at the time, towards the end of 1992, the war in Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina was quite intense. That means that combat activity was
16 ongoing in marginal areas and in particular there was combat that resulted
17 in the expulsion of inhabitants, and as a result many refugees arrived in
18 Zenica. The situation in Zenica at the time was very chaotic, very
19 confused, and as I said, it was very chaotic.
20 As far as the town of Zenica itself is concerned, there was a War
21 Presidency which is -- which was a civilian body at the time. It was in
22 session on a daily basis and it would take certain civilian decisions.
23 Apart from the War Presidency of Zenica Municipality, war presidencies --
24 or rather, the civilian organs of power from other municipalities had more
25 or less moved into Zenica. They had been expelled from their territory.
1 For example, they were from the municipalities of Doboj, Banja Luka, and
2 from many other municipalities.
3 Q. Mr. Saric, when you became the commander of the Municipal TO
4 Staff, how did that staff function and how many units were under the staff
5 at the time?
6 A. At the time, the Municipal Staff in fact had two types of units.
7 We had a total of about 130 of various kinds of units, but we only had
8 direct command over a fraction of those units. In fact, we had units to
9 which we only provided logistical support. We did not have command over
10 them. Such units were the Zenica Brigade, the HVO, the HOS, the Green
11 Berets, the Patriotic League, et cetera. And we had direct command only
12 over units that were part of our structure. These were detachments and
13 units attached to the staff.
14 Q. Mr. Saric, tell me how the units over which you in fact had no
15 command, how did these units get established and who in fact had authority
16 over them?
17 A. Well, since the ABiH did not come into existence in a systematic
18 way and in fact there were no legal warehouses, there were no legal means
19 to train and equip these men, and since it was necessary to organise the
20 men in various ways, various units were established in various
21 neighbourhoods, in various areas, and various interests were at stake.
22 Various groups of people would form units, and it depended on how they
23 were able to obtain weapons. As a rule, weapons were bought.
24 Q. Mr. Saric, tell me, what was the atmosphere like in Zenica when
25 Enver Hadzihasanovic arrived there from Sarajevo with a group of officers
1 and started to establish the 3rd Corps command there?
2 A. Well, the situation he found in Zenica was extremely complicated
3 to say the least, and for him as a member of the military, it was
4 certainly an atmosphere that was difficult to understand, since in the
5 marginal areas of Zenica there was intense fighting at the time and since
6 there was fighting in other battlefields, it was necessary for him to
7 engage certain units. And when he saw a list of those units, he could see
8 that there were a lot of them. However, when he tried to use those units,
9 that is when he realised that in fact those units weren't present. They'd
10 been organised who knows how and where. And, secondly, he realised it was
11 very difficult to -- for him to use them without the approval of someone
12 who had in fact established them. So that I remember very well that he
13 couldn't understand that some people who had cevapcici shops - these are
14 meat finger shops - had formed units and he had to ask them whether he
15 could use their units.
16 Q. Mr. Saric, tell me, what sort of measures were taken by the corps
17 command to introduce order in the situation in that area and to make sure
18 that the army could function properly?
19 A. Well, after having examined the situation and after having put
20 everything down on paper, an attempt was made to form a proper military
21 corps. An order was drafted according to which the 3rd Corps should be
23 Q. Mr. Saric, tell me, did the formation of the corps and the
24 brigades within the corps have an effect in some way on the organisation
25 and competence of the Municipal TO Staff?
1 A. Well, naturally it did. In the first stage, we received a very
2 serious superior command. There was a chain of command that had been
3 established and gradually we became fully separated from the municipality
4 and we gradually started to rely on the corps command. For a certain
5 period of time we continued to receive logistics support from Zenica
6 municipality and from the War Presidency, and then as the corps command
7 became better organised, the corps took over those responsibilities and we
8 tried to obtain logistics support through the corps command.
9 Q. Mr. Saric, tell me, what sort of staff did the Municipal Staff
10 have at its disposal and what sort of staff did the corps have at its
11 disposal towards the end of 1992 and at the beginning of 1993?
12 A. Well, I'm not quite sure how correct -- how correctly I can
13 answer this question, but when I arrived -- when I was appointed as the
14 commander of the Municipal Staff, we had about 3.000 men and a third of
15 them had weapons of some kind. As for professional soldiers, well, you
16 could have counted them on the fingers of your hands.
17 Mr. Enver Hadzihasanovic encountered a similar situation. It was as if
18 the Presiding Judge in this court was a lawyer and everyone else was --
19 and everyone else were welders and it was necessary -- and it's necessary
20 for the court to function somehow.
21 Q. Thank you. Since the corps was formed and you said that this
22 affected the organisation of the Municipal Staff, which units remained
23 under the control -- under the command of the Zenica Municipal TO?
24 A. When the 3rd Corps was formed, the Municipal Staff -- or the
25 military organisation of the Municipal Staff became fully clear. We had
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 three combat detachments and the men in those detachments were elderly
2 men, men who were not very fit, and locally-based men. We had a few
3 service units, communications, logistics, et cetera.
4 Q. What were the main tasks your detachments had? How many such
5 detachments did you have and what were their main tasks?
6 A. Well, the detachments had an unfortunate name: Anti-sabotage
7 detachments. However, in fact these people just secured the territory,
8 and our main task was to provide security in the area and to ensure that
9 the other units could carry out their tasks without having to worry about
10 what was happening in the rear. Taking care of the civilians was also one
11 of the tasks -- or taking care of a certain civilian element, such as the
12 water supply, the electricity, the post office services, bridges, tunnels,
13 important crossroads, et cetera. Taking care of these elements was also
14 one of the tasks that had to be carried out.
15 Q. Mr. Saric, given the new organisation, did you in the Municipal
16 TO Staff have a military police force?
17 A. No. As far as security is concerned, we did not have anyone. We
18 only had two or three men in the Municipal Staff command who were
19 responsible for security issues. And since we were in the town of Zenica,
20 whenever it was necessary to involve the police in something, we would
21 contact our superior command.
22 Q. Although your anti-sabotage detachments had the tasks that you
23 have just described, could you tell me whether you at the time
24 participated in combat operations.
25 A. Well, naturally the situation throughout the battlefield was very
1 difficult and complicated. Once the Municipal Staff was reorganised, it
2 remained partially armed and partially organised. And in spite of the
3 poor structure, the poor qualifications of the members of the Municipal
4 Staff, we also had to carry out combat tasks in the territory of Zenica
5 municipality and beyond. We were constantly engaged in combat operations
6 with a unit in the Serici sector. We were engaged in a defensive action
7 there. And we would sometimes send a unit to Maglaj.
8 Q. When you mentioned all the units that you were not able to
9 command, you mentioned the HVO too, the Croatian Defence Council. At the
10 time the corps was established and your staff was restructured, what
11 happened to the HVO in Zenica?
12 A. At that time, the HVO was establishing its Jure Francetic
13 Brigade. And it was at that time that the brigade was indeed established
14 and lined up, the Jure Francetic Brigade.
15 Q. Under whose command -- under whose command was this brigade? Was
16 it under the command of the 3rd Corps?
17 A. Of course not. It was under the command of the Central Bosnia
18 Operation Zone and partly it relied on the logistical support of the town
19 of Zenica.
20 Q. Since you were the commander of the Municipal Territorial Defence
21 Staff, can you tell me how were you treated by the HVO? Were you
22 considered an HVO ally or was it something else that spoke to the
24 A. The situation was a bit funny. The HVO relied on the support
25 from Zenica municipality via the Municipal Territorial Defence Staff.
1 They were even paid through the municipality. However, we could never
2 rely on them. They were not our open enemy in the town of Zenica;
3 however, there was nothing to point to the fact that they were our allies
4 either. Actually, we had a lot of problems with HVO members because all
5 this time they tried to fence off the Croatian territory from the other
6 parts of the town. They did so by setting up checkpoints and by
7 controlling the passage of everybody, both of the members of the army, as
8 well as of civilians. Every day you could see them entering public
9 institutions and companies in the territory of the town of Zenica with the
10 intent to take them, to occupy them and to stay in them.
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I will be using a
12 certain number of documents with this witness, and that's why I would
13 kindly ask the usher to distribute the binders that we have prepared for
14 our learned friends and for the Trial Chamber.
15 Q. Mr. Saric, can you please look at documents after number 25, 26,
16 27, 28, and 29. I'm going to ask you a question based on documents
17 starting with 25, ending with the last document in the binder.
18 A. 25, 26 ...
19 Q. 25, this DH43; DH46, DH44, DH49, and DH50.
20 Mr. Saric, have you seen these documents before? Did you see
21 them at the time when they were drafted?
22 A. Of course I didn't.
23 Q. The documents that are now before you, do they reflect what you
24 knew at the time? Do they reflect the way the HVO behaved in Zenica
25 towards the end of 1992 and 1993?
1 A. I have to say that I had a lot of conversations with the
2 commander of the Jure Francetic Brigade and we discussed the problems in
3 the territory that I have just described. Those problems were the
4 checkpoints, the control of the territory, the fact that the HVO would
5 storm into companies, seize vehicles and other equipment. Whenever I
6 raised that issue, he would tell me that it was the problem of individuals
7 who did not obey orders and some groups who were just passing through and
8 who were not under his control and command. However, these documents show
9 that it was an organised job and a job well synchronised.
10 Q. Mr. Saric, you have told us that your anti-sabotage units
11 provided security for some very important features, such as bridges and
12 crossroads. How did you treat the Lasva junction? Did you consider the
13 Lasva junction a facility of particular significance for that area?
14 A. The Lasva junction at the time was not a significant facility in
15 local terms only. It was a facility of strategic significance for the
16 entire state. Because if the traffic had been interrupted, at that
17 junction the free territory would have been totally fragmented and it
18 would have been practically -- practically impossible to communicate.
19 Q. Mr. Saric, in January 1993 did you have any information about the
20 events in the general region which pointed to the specific military
21 significance of the Lasva junction?
22 A. Yes. At that time, there were several incidents that took place:
23 One in Gornji Vakuf, and some others in some other places. It seemed at
24 the time that these incidents would continue, and having been aware of the
25 fact that the HVO intended to gain control over the most significant
1 facilities and whenever they do control things, that meant trouble for us.
2 That is why we tried everything possible to keep that facility in our
4 Q. Mr. Saric, can you please look at the document number 4, DH1724
5 is the number that that document bears, and also document number 3,
6 bearing number 1717. Both documents are in B/C/S only. That's why I
7 would kindly ask you first to look at document number 4 and tell us who
8 was it who issued that document; what does the document represent; also,
9 whether you recognise this document.
10 A. This document was sent by my command to the Regional Territorial
11 Defence Staff of Zenica, because at that time the chain of command did not
12 go directly to the corps command. In the Regional Staff, there is still a
13 few people left and the whole staff was phasing out, but we had to
14 communicate with them.
15 Q. Can you please read item 1, paragraph 2 and tell us whether this
16 paragraph reflects the positions of your detachment in the period in the
17 territory of Zenica. Can you please read out loud, since we do not have
18 an English translation of this text. Start with: "The Maglaj front
19 line ...."
20 A. "A shift of 85 military recruits has returned from the Maglaj
21 theatre. A second shift consisting of 60 military conscripts has gone
22 there and they're all on the strength of the 2nd PDO," which stands for
23 the "anti-sabotage unit."
24 Q. Where was the 2nd Anti-Sabotage Unit stationed?
25 A. The 2nd Anti-Sabotage Unit was deployed in the western part of
1 the municipality of Zenica.
2 Q. Did they have any previous tasks with regard to the Lasva
4 A. Yes. Its zone comprised from the area from the Lasva junction to
5 the Ovnak -- correction, to the Vjetrenice hill. However, the main
6 facility in that zone for which they provided security was the Lasva
8 Q. This shows that a number of military conscripts were engaged in
9 an entirely different area. Did this diminish or, in other words, did
10 this have an impact on the capabilities of the Municipal Staff to perform
11 the task that it was entrusted with?
12 A. If you look at this figure, the figure being 85 military
13 conscripts, that left the Maglaj theatre and the 60 that have replaced
14 them, the difference may not seem that big. However, this was -- this
15 accounted for 70 per cent of the armed members of the army. So when these
16 men carrying arms left the theatre, the unit was reduced to the level of
17 practically not being usable.
18 Q. Mr. Saric, can you please look at document number 3, bearing
19 number 1717. Again, tell me who the source of the document is; do you
20 recognize this document; and can you please read item 2.
21 A. This document was sent by the assistant commander for
22 intelligence of the Municipal Staff, and it says here: "Based on the work
23 of the intelligence services and the Anti-Sabotage Units, it has been
24 established that on the 12th January 1993 three buses carrying special
25 units of the HVO from Grude arrived and these forces clashed with the
1 units of the BiH army in the Gornji Vakuf sector. The goal of these
2 conflicts was to disturb the population, to take over power, to control
3 the roads in Gornji Vakuf and Travnik, and to reduce the joint defence
4 efforts against the aggressor."
5 Q. This type of intelligence that you had at the time, did it prompt
6 you as commander to ask for some sort of intervention from your superior
8 A. Yes. On several occasions, we asked for assistance because we
9 were aware of the importance of the Lasva junction. Unfortunately, on
10 several occasions these cries for help were to no avail. Finally, as the
11 situation developed and as some units became free, we were reinforced for
12 the performance of this task.
13 Q. Can you explain what -- what it means when you say "we were
14 reinforced"? Were some units resubordinated to you?
15 A. An anti-aircraft defence unit was resubordinated to us, as well
16 as one company of the 7th Muslim Brigade, and the main objective was for
17 them to join our units and to provide security for the Lasva junction.
18 Q. Can you please look at document number 5, bearing number P310.
19 Tell me whether you recognise this document and whether this document
20 confirms the fact that the unit that was resubordinated to you is the one
21 that you have just mentioned.
22 A. Yes, this is a document informing the corps command that these
23 units had arrived and that they had been sent to perform their tasks.
24 Q. Mr. Saric, the -- the events that followed in the territory
25 around the Lasva junction, did they call for some other defence
1 activities? If that was the case, can you please tell me what was going
2 on in the immediate vicinity of the Lasva junction that prompted you to
4 A. At that time, our assumptions that the situation would become
5 more complicated came true. The road towards Busovaca was no longer
6 passable. And due to the HVO checkpoints in the territory, the roads were
7 off limits to us.
8 Q. Did you receive any other additional orders? With this regard,
9 can you please look at documents number 6 and number 7.
10 A. Probably because of all these events.
11 Q. Just for the transcript - I apologise - the document number 6
12 bears number P210 and document number 7 bears the number 1726.
13 A. The corps command realised the danger for this part of the
14 territory as the situation developed. It realised that the junction was
15 at risk as well as some roads in the territory. And that is why it issued
16 an order to provide security for the road Zenica-Lasva-Dusina-Sudine and
17 that this road should be kept passable for our units.
18 Q. What about document P1726, number 7?
19 A. This document is me issuing an order to the command of the 2nd
20 Anti-Sabotage Unit. In other words, I conveyed the order of the corps
21 command for this task to be carried out, and the task was to provide
22 security for the road and make it passable for our units.
23 Q. What kind of orders are these? In other words, the command of
24 the 3rd Corps or you yourself, did you ever issue an order for the -- for
25 your units to be used in combat or did you ever issue an order for attack?
1 A. Looking at the general -- the overall situation, one could say
2 that our army was in a very difficult position and that for us every
3 bullet and every litre of fuel was very important. We had a number of
4 unpleasant situations with the HVO, but the express order that we received
5 was always that we should grin and bear it because the situation would be
6 resolved at a higher political level and that we shouldn't use force. And
7 this is just one of the orders from the set of orders which were issued in
8 order to prevent what we refer to as "incidents."
9 Q. Mr. Saric, can you please look at document number 9, bearing
10 number 1727. Look at item 3 of this document. Before that, tell me
11 whether you recognise this document.
12 A. Yes. This is an order on full combat readiness of the units.
13 Q. Have a look at item 3. Does item 3 reflect what you have just
14 been testifying about, that units must not be engaged unless attacked?
15 A. Yes, absolutely. You can see that this item shows that I issued
16 an order that authorisation must previously be given if units are to be
17 engaged. No one ever gave such authorisation.
18 Q. Thank you. Mr. Saric, could you now tell me whether -- could you
19 tell me what sort of news you started receiving in the Municipal Staff
20 over the following days and in particular on the 26th of January.
21 A. Since this unit was sent up there to make sure that the road
22 remained open and a detachment of ours was sent there with the same task,
23 we were expecting this road to remain open. However, I received
24 information according to which there had been some sort of incident up
25 there between the two sides and that people had been killed and wounded in
1 the incident on both sides.
2 Q. Please have a look at documents under number 10, 11, and tell
3 me -- and have a look at P251. I apologise. I don't have the number P251
4 in your series of documents. I don't have that document included in the
5 bundle, so I'll ask for this document to be provided to the witness.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you show
7 the witness P251.
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. I asked you to have a look at document number 10, DH1735, and
10 then document number 11, number 1737, and document P251 that has just been
11 given to you. Could you tell me whether this is the information you had
12 on the situation that developed on the 25th and 26th of January in the
13 territory of the Lasva junction?
14 A. This is a report from the corps command to the Supreme Command
15 Staff. Naturally, I haven't seen this before. And the other two
16 documents, P251 is an interim report which I sent to the Regional Defence
17 Staff. It's a report on the information I had about the events in Dusina
18 and at the Lasva junction. This last document is an order to cease all
19 combat activities but that monitoring should be continued in accordance
20 with the previously issued task.
21 Q. Mr. Saric, at that time what sort of relations did the Municipal
22 Territorial Defence Staff with have this area and with its subordinate
23 units, with the anti-sabotage unit that was subordinated to it?
24 A. The main problem in the course of the war was equipment. Any
25 equipment that was in good condition was sent to the battlefields, to the
1 Maglaj battlefield and north-west of Zenica. Since we didn't -- we also
2 used alternative means of communication, such as the telephone, and we
3 could use the telephone if there was electricity and often there was no
4 electricity. And since the combat was not dynamic, well, we expected that
5 a courier would satisfy our needs. So one could say that we had very poor
6 communications with them at the time, almost non-existent.
7 Q. In addition to the information on the incidents and combat in
8 that area -- or rather, in addition to the information that people had
9 been killed and wounded on both sides, did you begin to ask yourselves
10 whether in that territory some sort of crime had been committed too?
11 A. At the time, there were no such reports that arrived through the
12 regular channels. But, however, on the following day, I think, the corps
13 command requested that these events be verified. They said that they had
14 information according to which a crime had been committed in the Lasva
15 Valley -- or rather, in the vicinity of the Lasva junction.
16 Q. Since you have just said that the Municipal Staff did not have a
17 military police force of its own, did you take any action when you found
18 out that there was suspicion that some such incident had occurred?
19 A. Well, I contacted the Security Service and instructed them to try
20 and find out what had happened. However, they said that the military
21 police and the military judicial organs had already initiated a serious
22 investigation and all we could do was follow what was being done.
23 Q. Could you first tell me what the name of your security organ was
24 and where was it located -- or rather, who was present at the scene where
25 this investigation was being conducted as you said?
1 A. Well, naturally, after they had performed the duties they were
2 supposed to perform and joined the team that was investigating the
3 matter - and the name of this person is Zulfikar - after he had done this,
4 he returned and said that they had examined the bodies in the morgue. He
5 said that the military prosecutor was up there, the military judge,
6 military police organs, forensic experts, and other organs from the
7 Security Services Centre, and I was very glad to hear that HVO
8 representatives were also present. I thought that that was very
9 revealing. I thought that if such a team was present at the scene, that
10 they would be able to determine what had actually happened.
11 Q. Mr. Saric, tell me, you as the Municipal Staff commander, did you
12 have any information about the person in charge of the investigation when
13 the court went to the site and who would issue tasks to other organs?
14 A. Well, as a former officer, I knew that when the court takes
15 things into its own hands, we shouldn't meddle in this. When any
16 representatives of the judiciary go to the scene, the military can only
17 assist. The investigative organs and the court do everything else, and
18 then finally the prosecutor arrives on the scene and decides whether to
19 take up the case or not. So when I was told about the identity of those
20 who were present at the scene, that concluded the matter for me. I didn't
21 want to and couldn't meddle in the affair.
22 Q. Mr. Saric, did the investigative judge ask you or your security
23 organs -- or rather, did the military prosecutor ask you to carry out any
24 investigations into this event?
25 A. No, and it wouldn't have been logical for us to carry out such
1 investigations, since we didn't have any professional organs at our
2 disposal who could have conducted such an investigation.
3 Q. Did you or your security organ know anything about the results of
4 the investigations conducted, the investigations that had been ordered by
5 the court after they had visited the scene at which the dead bodies were
6 present is this?
7 A. It's not the court's duty to provide me with any information, not
8 officially at least. But unofficially, after a certain period of time had
9 elapsed, the soldiers and officers heard that a crime had not been
10 committed up there and we were content with that information.
11 Q. You earlier mentioned the name of a commander of the HVO brigade.
12 What was his name?
13 A. His name was Zivko Totic.
14 Q. Tell me, what sort of terms were you on with Zivko Totic?
15 A. We were neighbours, and that's why we had very good and correct
16 personal relationship, and we would often sit together especially in the
17 evening and we would discuss all sorts of topics.
18 Q. How long did your good personal relationship last?
19 A. Well, they were never formally interrupted.
20 Q. You told -- you've told us that your person in charge of security
21 informed you that members of the HVO were also involved in the
22 investigation. Tell me whether Zivko Totic ever expressed his
23 dissatisfaction with the investigation that had been carried out.
24 A. We very often spoke about the so-called incidents. More often
25 than not we would realise that problems were caused by some outsiders,
1 that they were not caused by our units. We never spoke in any great
2 detail about this particular event. He never mentioned any problems that
3 might have occurred with that regard. The only thing he mentioned was
4 that he was disappointed that something like that had happened, and it was
5 our mutual desire for this incident to just -- to be just a misfortunate
6 concurrence of events.
7 Q. Although you have already told us something about that, but can
8 you please repeat. In all these discussions with the -- the HVO
9 commander, did he ever express his suspicion that the deaths did not
10 result as the result of combat but that they should have been the result
11 of a crime?
12 A. My impression was that both of us were very sorry that something
13 like that had happened, but not for a single moment did he insinuate that
14 this was a crime. All he said was that this was the result of fire being
15 opened on both sides.
16 Q. This joint position of your, was it identical to or different
17 from the results of the investigation that had been carried out by the
19 A. This position was identical to what I heard were the results of
20 the investigation, and I believe that Zivko agreed. It was an unpleasant
21 topic which was not discussed at great length, but it seems to me that our
22 position was more or less the same. At least, that's the impression that
23 I gained in our contacts.
24 Q. Mr. Saric, do you know what happened to Zivko Totic in April
1 A. I know. I was unpleasantly surprised when his escorts were
2 killed. And I knew these people very well. They were all my neighbours.
3 And on that occasion Zivko Totic was kidnapped. In the Defence Staff we
4 received this news in sheer disbelief. We were shocked.
5 Q. Did the 3rd Corps do anything? Did the Municipal Staff
6 participate in any way in those activities?
7 A. I would say that at this stage, when the corps command was being
8 established, the corps command found this news equally shocking. An order
9 was issued for a commission to be established, and it was the primary task
10 of this commission to find Zivko Totic. And I believe that a set of
11 orders was issued to that effect. My suggestion was that a representative
12 of the staff should be involved in that team, or maybe even an order was
13 issued to that effect. I can't remember. This person was very familiar
14 with all the units on the ground, and he was a very respectable man.
15 Q. Can you please look at document number 17. This is a press
16 statement from the command of the 3rd Corps. It bears number 0859. When
17 you look at paragraph 3 in this press statement, would you say that it
18 reflects your information about the reaction of the 3rd Corps to the
19 kidnapping of Zivko Totic?
20 A. Absolutely, yes. I have just said that the corps command was
21 utterly shocked. We tried as best as we could to keep that relationship
22 going, to keep it normal, and the least we wanted at the time was for an
23 incident of this kind to happen. That is why the corps command and all
24 members of the army were very keen on this problem being solved as soon as
25 possible. At that time, my interest was personal because I considered
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Zivko Totic to be a very good colleague.
2 Q. Your Chief of Staff, did he inform you about the results of this
3 investigation and search for Zivko Totic?
4 A. I remember when he returned from the inspection. Wherever there
5 was a telephone connection, he would contact me prior to that from various
6 points. But especially when he returned, he said that he visited the
7 places that he had never visited before and that they had looked wherever
8 they could, both him and civilian and military police, the military police
9 of the 3rd Corps. However, everything was to no avail; Zivko Totic was
10 not found.
11 Q. Mr. Saric, did you find out later on who was it who had kidnapped
12 Zivko Totic?
13 A. All I know about the event is that a few days later a group of
14 Arabs contacted the European monitors who were staying in the hotel in
15 Zenica and they wanted to negotiate with them. They wanted to negotiate
16 about Zivko Totic.
17 Q. I would just like to ask you a few questions about another topic.
18 Were you familiar with the policy of the 3rd Corps? What was the policy
19 of the Municipal Territorial Defence Staff of Zenica when it came to
20 observing law?
21 A. We were in an unpleasant situation, all of us. We were between a
22 rock and a hard place. We didn't know what to do. However, the overall
23 policy of the command of the 3rd Corps, once he assumed this position, was
24 that if crimes were happening to us, we should not retaliate by committing
25 crimes in turn. He also said that we had clear laws that prescribed the
1 way we were supposed to behave in the times of war and that we should
2 observe those -- those laws to the letter. If we had officially allowed
3 our troops not to obey those basic laws, very soon we would have ended up
4 with a chaos on our territory, and there wouldn't have been a way out of
5 that. I know that our men were hungry. There were lots of refugees.
6 Their houses had been destroyed. And there was a lot of pressure on the
7 civilian authorities to deal with those problems. However, any form of
8 plunder, any form of breaking law was prevented.
9 Q. Mr. Saric, can you look at document number 18 and also document
10 number 22, and please tell me -- number 18 bears number 0874, and document
11 number 22 bears number 1775.
12 Mr. Saric, tell me whether this order, i.e., this information or
13 this report, rather, speak in favour of what you have just told us about
14 the strict observance of the international humanitarian law.
15 A. There was a standing order at the time that this should accompany
16 every order that was issued. A little while ago you did not allow me to
17 complete my sentence. At the time of war, we prosecuted thousands upon
18 thousands of our men who were reported for certain crimes.
19 Q. Just for the transcript, since the document number 22 has not
20 been translated into English, I would kindly ask you to tell us who issued
21 the document; what is the document number; what does it represent; and
22 whether you recognise this document as being one of yours.
23 A. The document was issued by the Municipal Defence Staff of Zenica.
24 The number of this document is 14/02-29/14. The date of the document is
25 16 April 1993. I signed the document. This is just an overview of combat
1 reports for a certain period of time or a summary of combat reports.
2 Q. Mr. Saric, while you were the commander of the Municipal
3 Territorial Defence Staff, you not only issued orders but also prosecuted
4 a number of your men. Tell me, please, whether anybody could be exempted
5 from prosecution if it was established that he had violated the law. So
6 were there any exceptions to the prosecution rules?
7 A. There were no exception when crimes were committed. Nobody was
8 allowed to disobey law. We even had cases of brigade commanders who were
9 prosecuted. I don't know whether this was in this -- during this
10 particular period of time or later, but I can say that there were even
11 brigade commanders who were prosecuted. Everybody without any exceptions
12 were -- was prosecuted who had to be prosecuted.
13 Q. As a young officer, you were the commander of the Municipal
14 Territorial Staff in a big town in a situation that was the way you
15 described it. When you look at that situation as you sit here today,
16 could you have done more in order to investigate and find out what
17 happened in Dusina; and, secondly, to implement such measures that could
18 have prevented crimes from being committed in the territory of the
19 municipality of Zenica?
20 A. As I sit here today, I had left the JNA with the rank of captain.
21 I had been a teacher in the military school. I had very minimum military
22 experience. And even despite all that, I was amongst the best-educated
23 soldiers at that time. If the corps command had not been established, I
24 wouldn't have known what to do. I couldn't have done what I did. And I
25 believe that at that time, when it comes to the investigation of this
1 incident, everything was done in the same way it would be done today.
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have no more
3 questions for this witness.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. Before the
5 break, the other Defence team, do you have any questions for this witness?
6 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Mr. President, we don't
7 have any questions for this witness.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. It is 25 to
9 6.00. We will make a break and we will resume at around five to 6.00.
10 --- Recess taken at 5.33 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 5.58 p.m.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It's 6.00, and we
13 have to finish by 7.00.
14 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. I think there will be no
15 problem in that respect.
16 Cross-examined by Mr. Mundis:
17 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Saric. My name is Daryl Mundis, and along
18 with my colleagues here, we represent the Prosecution in this case.
19 I have just a few questions for you, sir, that relate to the
20 questions that my learned colleague Madam Residovic asked you. Before I
21 do so, however, sir, I would simply like to inform you that it's not my
22 intention in any way to confuse you, and I would ask you that if you don't
23 understand any of the questions that I ask you, just tell me and I will
24 rephrase the question so that we're both clear and everyone is clear as to
25 what exactly it is that we're talking about.
1 Sir, you were asked some questions this afternoon about the time
2 period in which the accused General Hadzihasanovic arrived in Zenica and
3 began forming the 3rd Corps, and my question to you, sir, is: At what
4 point in time did the Zenica Municipal TO Staff and its subordinate units
5 become part of the 3rd Corps?
6 A. The Municipal Staff became part of the 3rd Corps by order on the
7 formation of the 3rd Corps. However, those relations -- that structure
8 wasn't put into effect immediately because there was a certain temporary
9 period given the complicated situation on the battlefield and it was
10 necessary to form a corps in the field. I'm not quite sure when the
11 Municipal Staff terminated all relations with the War Presidency and
12 Zenica municipality.
13 Q. Can you give us, sir, an approximate time period when you began
14 receiving orders from the commander of the 3rd Corps and reporting to the
15 commander of the 3rd Corps, an approximate time period? Would it be the
16 1st of January, 1993?
17 A. I'm not sure. In any event, I received those orders from the 3rd
18 Corps, regardless of whether they came via the Regional Staff or directly,
19 and naturally I carried them out.
20 Q. So at any point in time when you received orders from the 3rd
21 Corps, you carried out those orders, irrespective of the date of a written
22 order; would that be right?
23 A. I assume so. I don't see why that shouldn't have been the case.
24 Q. And, of course, it would seem, sir, that if you were receiving
25 orders and carrying out orders of the 3rd Corps, you would also be
1 reporting to the 3rd Corps during the same time period.
2 A. As I have just said, orders arrived from the 3rd Corps, either
3 directly or indirectly. It was of no importance to me. The documents
4 probably arrived in the 3rd Corps eventually.
5 Q. Let me ask you, sir: In the time period at the beginning of
6 1993, January, February 1993, did the Zenica District Territorial Defence
7 Staff still exist?
8 A. As I have said -- or as I said when I was answering questions put
9 to me by the Defence, when the order was issued to form the 3rd Corps, the
10 3rd Corps was formed and its structure was established, but the District
11 Staff remained as a temporary institution until certain elements within
12 the 3rd Corps command had been established and men from the District Staff
13 gradually went to the 3rd Corps command, and then a detachment for
14 area-based units were formed and we mostly contacted the detachment that
15 was area-based. Officers gradually changed, depending on how they were
16 appointed posts within the corps command. So I don't see why the point
17 when this changed is so important. I think that at that time I didn't
18 think that that was very important.
19 Q. Do you recall who was the commander of the Zenica District
20 Defence Staff or Territorial Defence Staff in January, February 1993?
21 A. I can tell you about the identity of the commanders. I said that
22 some left their positions. But as it was the only institution in
23 existence, there was Mr. Dzemal Merdan who was the commander. At one
24 point in time, he left and he was replaced by Mr. Ramiz Dugalic. And I
25 know for sure that the last person who was in the District Staff and was
1 then the chief of the sector for area-based units was Mr. --
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch the name.
3 MR. MUNDIS:
4 Q. Sir, can you repeat the name? The interpreter apparently
5 didn't -- didn't hear what you said, the name of the person who was chief
6 of the sector.
7 A. Rubo [as interpreted] Hajrudin.
8 Q. Sir, was there a time period, then, in early 1993 where Mr.
9 Merdan was the commander of the Zenica District Territorial Defence Staff
10 while at the same time he was the deputy corps commander of the 3rd Corps?
11 A. For a very brief period of time I think so, but I'm not sure.
12 Q. Now, sir, on page 66, line 23, again I think there may have been
13 a problem with the interpreters hearing the answer. The person's name was
14 Hubo Hajrudin; scene of an accident?-- Is that correct?
15 A. Age 66 -- page 66, line 3?
16 Q. Line 23, the name has been recorded as "Rubo Hajrudin."
17 A. Yes, "H," Hubo.
18 Q. Thank you. Let me ask you, sir, now a few questions about the
19 events in Dusina, and I would like to ask you specifically about the
20 investigation that you've told us concerning events in Dusina.
21 It's a bit unclear to me, sir, from the English transcript, but
22 it appears that you said that there were representatives of the HVO
23 present or involved in this investigation. And let me ask you first of
24 all if that's what you remember.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Do you recall who these representatives were from the HVO?
2 A. There were two representatives from the Jure Francetic Brigade,
3 but I can't remember their names.
4 Q. Now, sir, do you know at what point in the investigation these
5 HVO representatives were involved? Did they go to the scene? Did they go
6 to the morgue? Can you tell us about what you know about their
7 involvement in this respect.
8 A. I have to say that all the questions you are putting to me that
9 have to do with the investigation have no purpose. They're pointless,
10 because I was not interested and that would have been meddling in the
11 investigation. If I had tried to obtain more information or to do
12 anything with regard to the investigation, that would have been meddling,
13 since according to the laws that I had studied as a soldier, when
14 investigative organs take over an affair, soldiers can only do what they
15 are ordered to do and perhaps they might secure the scene or they might
16 participate if they're ordered to participate. Nothing was ordered. I
17 wasn't issued any orders. And I know nothing about the details of the
18 investigation. All I could do is engage in guesswork, and I don't want to
19 do that.
20 Q. Well, sir, I -- I completely accept what you've told us, but at
21 the same time you have testified about HVO representatives being involved
22 in the investigation. And my only questions to you are concerning what
23 information you have about the involvement of HVO representatives in the
24 investigation into the incidents in Dusina on the 26th of January, 1993.
25 At what stage in the investigation were these HVO representatives present?
1 Where did they go? What did do? Because you've told us they were
2 involved, and I simply want to ask you what you know about that
4 A. I obtained information on the investigation from my security
5 officer. He told me that an investigation had been launched into the
6 alleged crimes. I've told you how we obtained the information. He told
7 me he was participating -- he told me about the identity of those involved
8 in the investigation. I said I was very glad that HVO representatives --
9 HVO members were participating in the investigation because together with
10 other authorised individuals, they would be in a position to determine the
11 truth. As to where they went, what they did, as to how they conducted the
12 investigation, I wasn't very interested in that and I didn't try to find
13 out much about that.
14 Q. And, sir, what was the name of your security officer who told you
15 this information?
16 A. Zulfikar Bojcic.
17 Q. Do you know if Mr. Bojcic or do you remember if Mr. Bojcic told
18 you about any aspects of the investigation that was conducted in Dusina
19 and at what point in time, if in fact he did tell you that the
20 investigation occurred in Dusina itself?
21 A. No. We could speak about how the commander functions, how the
22 commander operates, how he takes decisions. At the time, we were in a
23 very difficult and a very particular situation. It was very important to
24 determine the fields that a commander would be involved in. It was
25 important to rationalise the way in which time was used. From my organ of
1 security, from my security officer, I received information that an
2 investigation was being conducted, and after it had been conducted, I was
3 informed that that was the case and that it wasn't necessary for us to do
4 anything in relation to that investigation. But that was information
5 provided by a subordinate to a superior. According to the chain of
6 command -- or from the chain of command, from my superior command, I
7 received no information about the investigation.
8 Q. Do you recall when you had this discussion with Mr. Bojcic?
9 A. I can't remember.
10 Q. And just so we're clear, sir, you don't recall or you don't know
11 if the investigation in Dusina took place while any of the bodies were
12 still in Dusina.
13 A. I'm not sure. I know that the bodies were transferred to the
14 town morgue within the framework of an operation that was conducted by the
15 town's civilian protection. I'm not sure. I don't even know whether they
16 were transported there on the same day, on the day that they were killed.
17 But -- well, I don't know when all this took place, nor do I know in what
18 way the investigation was conducted. I don't know whether it was
19 initiated up in Dusina when the individuals were there at the site. I
20 don't know whether -- when -- I don't know whether it started in the
21 morgue. I don't know whether -- whether anyone went to Dusina to look
22 into the matter. I really don't know.
23 Q. Now, sir, in the context of the events that took place in Dusina
24 at the end of January 1993 and in response to a question put to you by the
25 Defence, you mentioned a discussion or discussions that you had with Zivko
1 Totic concerning the events in Dusina. And in broad terms, you said that
2 your discussions with Colonel Totic often centred on problems caused by
3 outsiders. And my question, sir, is: By informing us about this
4 discussion in the context of Dusina, were you suggesting in any way that
5 the events in Dusina were caused by outsiders?
6 A. I'd like to tell you about the conversations we had, and I'd like
7 to tell you that at the time I had the impression that they were quite
8 friendly. As the Chamber probably knows, at one point in time the HVO
9 introduced certificates which were issued by the local HVO organs
10 throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it was not possible to pass through
11 HVO checkpoints if you didn't have such a certificate. Naturally, there
12 were private and there were official reasons to accelerate the issuing of
13 those certificates. It was a very laborious procedure that had to be
14 followed if such certificates were to be obtained. On a number of
15 occasions, I appealed -- I contacted Zivko Totic and asked him to issue
16 certificates for certain individuals. I asked him to come and see me to
17 issue some certificates for some individuals or for a convoy that had to
18 leave urgently, and he was very helpful. I also helped him when it was
19 necessary to repair some of his equipment, because when we entered the JNA
20 barracks, there was a workshop that was well-equipped. So on the whole,
21 the conversations we had were friendly. Since we are both born in
22 Zenica - we are in fact neighbours - I think that the two of us tried to
23 persuade each other that we were very sorry about what was happening
24 there. And when certain incidents occurred at the Cajdras checkpoint that
25 his unit controlled, he would say, "Come to" -- he would say that "people
1 from Herzegovina appear and as soon as they appear, we have problems."
2 So it was always our intention to maintain to the extent that it
3 was possible normal relations in the town.
4 Q. Let me -- let me return to the question, sir. Are you in any way
5 suggesting that the events in Dusina were caused by outsiders?
6 A. I'm not sure that that is what one could claim. I can't remember
7 what we spoke about at the time, but when we spoke about Dusina, we
8 described it as a stupid incident that should not have occurred. And
9 there were good examples of collaboration between the HVO and the army in
10 Tuzla, Brcko, et cetera, and we said that we could remain on such terms
12 Q. Let me ask you, sir, if you could -- I believe you still have the
13 binder provided to you by the Defence in front of you. Is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Could you please turn -- could you please turn, sir, to tab 5,
16 which is Prosecution Exhibit P310. And my learned colleague asked you
17 some questions about this document, and you told us that you in fact
18 drafted this document; is that correct?
19 A. I said that I signed the document.
20 Q. Sorry. That's correct. I stand corrected. You signed this
21 document and sent it to the 3rd Corps on the 22nd of January, 1993.
22 A. Yes, that's correct.
23 Q. And if you look, sir, in the document in your language on the
24 fourth line, which is also the fourth line in the English translation,
25 there's a reference to the 1st Company of the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade.
1 And my question to you, sir, is: Do you recall if that 1st Company that's
2 referred to in this document was part of the 2nd Battalion of the 7th
3 Muslim Mountain Brigade?
4 A. I didn't pay much attention to that. At the time, we were given
5 a company and the military commanders would examine units. I didn't pay
6 much attention to the battalion it was from. Perhaps it was from that
7 battalion; perhaps not.
8 Q. During the time period, sir, that you were the commander of the
9 District -- or the Municipal Staff, can you tell us on how many occasions
10 other than this one a company of the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade was
11 subordinated to you.
12 A. My unit was a local one. We were a unit that was not often in
13 combat and it was the weakest unit. The 7th Muslim Brigade was one of the
14 operative brigades, and in the course of the entire war it was engaged
15 throughout the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. They wouldn't be
16 subordinated to us very frequently. Sometimes some of our elements would
17 become part of their units. Because it was a strong unit and it was
18 difficult for people to understand that a unit whose structure was poor
19 would be superior to a stronger, better unit.
20 Q. Sir, with respect to this document you're looking at, P310, and
21 the reference to the 1st Company of the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade -
22 excuse me - do you remember the name of the commander of that company, the
23 1st Company of the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade that was resubordinated to
24 your staff at that point in time in January 1993?
25 A. I didn't know the name of the company commander until he was
1 killed, but I know his surname was Camdzic and that he died in the
2 fighting, that in fact he died in Lasva.
3 Q. Do you know who replaced Camdzic as the company commander of that
4 1st Company?
5 A. I think the company commander and the deputy company commander
6 were killed, and that is mentioned here in one of my reports.
7 Q. Do you know if Serif Patkovic was part of this company?
8 A. Serif Patkovic certainly wasn't a member of that company. At the
9 time, he could only have been a battalion commander.
10 Q. Do you know if Serif Patkovic was the commander of the battalion
11 of which this company was part?
12 A. I'm not sure whether he was the commander of that battalion.
13 Q. Let me ask you, sir, a few questions about Mr. Totic and his
14 kidnapping. You told us earlier today that a few days after that
15 kidnapping you learned that a group of Arabs, as you put it, contacted the
16 European monitors in the hotel in Zenica. And my question, sir, is: How
17 did you become aware of this?
18 A. When Totic was kidnapped and his escorts were killed, that was
19 the main subject throughout the area at the time, not only in Zenica
20 because, as I have already said, they believed that Zenica would manage to
21 maintain good relations between the HVO and the army, as was the case in
22 Brcko and Tuzla, and it was believed that they would be able to act
23 together. I have also said that I considered Zivko Totic to be a friend
24 of mine, and he was a colleague who was a commander of a unit in town, so
25 I was also interested in the affair. And I believe that if it could have
1 happened to him, it could have happened to me too. If the -- if at the
2 time I wasn't moving around with an escort, I remained in my command with
3 a lot of security, with very tight security there. I think I received
4 information from someone who worked with members of the European mission,
5 but I'm not sure about that.
6 Q. So you -- you don't recall who told you that a group of Arabs
7 went to the European monitors in Zenica.
8 A. I don't.
9 Q. What did Mr. Totic, if anything -- what did Mr. Totic tell you
10 about the time he was with the people that kidnapped him? Did you ever
11 talk to him about that afterwards?
12 A. Mr. Totic withdrew into the Vitez operation zone after that
13 event. And we never spoke about this incident, not until after the war.
14 He doesn't like to remember this incident, and I myself found it hard to
15 remember. I did ask him on several occasions if he knew where he had
16 been, but he couldn't tell me. Then I was very interested in learning who
17 had done that, and this hasn't changed to this very day. I'm still
18 interested in learning who did it.
19 Q. Just so we're clear then, sir, Mr. Totic, your neighbour, to this
20 day has not told you where he was or told you any of the specifics about
21 what happened to him or told you about the people, described the people,
22 mentioned anything to you about the people who either kidnapped him or
23 controlled him while he was being detained by these people?
24 A. No. I believe that a few years ago we attended a reception in
25 Sarajevo and talked. I started the conversation along these lines and he
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 only told me that this had been done by well-trained and well-equipped
2 people, and he said that the explosion that had taken place in the
3 vicinity was very precise and that his escorts who were killed were killed
4 by direct fire so that nothing happened to him. He wasn't even scratched
5 by any of the bullets. I asked him again whether he knew where he had
6 been detained, and he only told me that there's something else who -- who
7 should know that.
8 Q. Sir, do you recall on any occasion or on more than one occasion
9 during 1993 in response to any query from Mr. Totic that you referred him
10 to the accused General Hadzihasanovic and gave him
11 General Hadzihasanovic's phone number in order to get more information
12 about any subject whatsoever?
13 A. I'm sorry, I don't understand the question.
14 Q. Let me -- let me try a again. It was a bit confusing. Do you
15 recall any occasion in 1993 where Mr. Totic contacted you about any issue
16 and you referred him to -- to General Hadzihasanovic, even going so far as
17 giving Mr. Totic the 3rd Corps commander's telephone number?
18 A. There's a very interesting thing in Bosnia-Herzegovina. During
19 the war and after the war, everybody always wants to speak to number one,
20 to the person in charge. It is possible that he asked me to give him the
21 number, but I also believe that there were other ways for him to obtain --
22 to obtain this number. In any case, had he asked me for -- for this
23 number, I would have certainly given it -- given it to him. I am now
24 thinking -- now that you've asked me, I'm thinking whether the two of us
25 have ever been together with General Hadzihasanovic, but I'd sooner say
1 that we were never together with General Hadzihasanovic. But there was no
2 reason for us not to be together.
3 Q. Sir, I've neglected to ask you one other question about Dusina in
4 or on the 26th of January, 1993. Do you remember if the person who
5 replaced Camdzic as the commander of the 1st Company of whatever battalion
6 of the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade was a person named Vehid Subotic, who
7 was also known as Geler.
8 A. I'm not sure. I think that the deputy commander of the company
9 was killed together with the commander. And given the course of events, I
10 believe that the complete unit left our area because the situation up
11 there had been pretty much stable by then. And we treated this as nothing
12 but an incident. And I believe that there is some very serious positions
13 above Dusina and those were taken over by another unit. When this
14 happened, the -- there was no longer a security threat for -- for the
16 Q. Sir, do you know -- do you know -- when you say there were some
17 very serious positions above Dusina, do you know what positions or can you
18 be more specific and can you tell us what units of the ABiH, if any, were
19 on those serious positions?
20 A. I didn't say a hard position. I did say "serious position"
21 actually. What I meant was that when a unit arrived there, a unit which
22 was capable of defending the entire sector, I believe that those were
23 units on the strength of the 303rd Brigade.
24 Q. And, sir, do you know the name or number or more precise
25 information about this serious position?
1 A. I said "a serious unit," meaning a unit which was armed and
2 better equipped than this detachment of mine. And as you well know, the
3 hilltop above Dusina was where the line facing the village of Merdani
5 Q. Sir, do you know -- sir, do you know if that unit that you've
6 referred to that was on the strength of the 303rd Brigade was the
7 Ironworks Battalion?
8 A. The Ironworks Battalion? Yes, there was the Ironworks Battalion
9 on the 303rd, but I'm not sure whether it was them. I believe that it was
10 a company from a battalion, but I don't know from which one. It may well
11 be that it was that one.
12 Q. Now, sir, can you tell us to the best of your recollection how
13 many soldiers were in the 3rd Corps in 1993?
14 A. I don't have the faintest idea. I would need time to calculate
15 that. I know that there were a lot of names and a lot of people when
16 assistance was provided, when packages were given to fighters to enable
17 them to survive.
18 Q. That's fine, sir, if -- if you're unaware of the specifics. I
19 asked you that, sir, because earlier you told us spontaneously in response
20 to a question put to you by the Defence that thousands upon thousands of
21 your men were prosecuted. And I'm just wondering if you can give us a
22 rough percentage or -- or be more specific about the thousands and
23 thousands of soldiers who were prosecuted.
24 A. I could speculate, but not within the context of 1993 but of
25 2001, 2, 3, since the prisons in Bosnia are still full of people who have
1 been prosecuted for those grounds and some are still waiting to start
2 serving their sentences.
3 Q. Well, I don't -- I specifically do not need to know about 2001,
4 2002, 2003. I'm talking about in 1993. And let me ask you first: Were
5 you -- when you said "thousands upon thousands of people were prosecuted,"
6 were you talking about 1993?
7 A. In 1993, no. I didn't -- I didn't mean that there were thousands
8 in 1993. I was referring to the overall figure. And the Defence lawyer
9 asked me about the position of the 3rd Corps when it came to respecting
10 the law, and I believe that my answer was provided within that context. I
11 was talking about the policy of the 3rd Corps.
12 Q. And, sir, my final question goes back to Mr. Vehid Subotic. Do
13 you know that person who was also known as Geler? Do you know that
14 person? And if so, what unit was he in in January 1993?
15 A. I don't think I can answer that. I did hear of this nickname,
16 Geler. I never knew that this person's name was Vehid Subotic. There was
17 no such man in any of my units, and if you want me to speculate, I can
19 Q. No, sir. How did you hear of this nickname, Geler? In what
20 context? How did this person with the nickname Geler first come into your
22 A. I don't know. I just wanted to be honest and admit that the
23 nickname does ring a bell; however, I can't put that person in any
25 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. Saric.
1 The Prosecution has no further questions, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Defence.
3 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Re-examined by Ms. Residovic:
5 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Saric, to my learned friend's question you
6 replied that Zulfikar Bojcic was in charge of security. Tell me, please,
7 did he inform you which of the judges were involved in this investigation,
8 be it in the morgue or elsewhere? Can you remember that?
9 A. I'm not sure whether this person was a judge or a prosecutor. In
10 any case, Mr. Vlado Adamovic's name was mentioned together with some other
11 names that I can't remember at this moment.
12 Q. My learned friend also asked you whether you know who the
13 commander of the 1st Company was, the company that was resubordinated to
14 the Municipal Staff, and you said that you only learned that when he was
15 killed. You learned that his name was Camdzic. To your best
16 recollection, was Serif Patkovic ever the commander of a company in the
17 7th Muslim Brigade?
18 A. I know that Serif Patkovic was one of the officers that had
19 graduated from the military academy, and I can say with certainty that he
20 was never a company commander. He was always at higher levels, in much
21 higher positions in the army.
22 Q. To my learned friend's question, you answered that Serif Patkovic
23 may have been a battalion commander. Was Serif Patkovic ever
24 resubordinated to you in the Territorial Defence?
25 A. You mean whether I was ever his commander? Whether I was his
1 superior commander or whether he was attached to my unit for the
2 completion of a task?
3 Q. In that period, in January 1993, was the battalion of the 7th
4 Muslim Brigade and Serif Patkovic as its commander, was it ever attached
5 to the Municipal Staff?
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear the answer.
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. There was no
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The answer is no.
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. You have also told my learned friend that this company very soon
12 was removed from the strength of the Municipal Territorial Defence Staff.
13 Can you be more specific? How long after the events in Dusina did this
14 company return to its brigade?
15 A. This company stayed for no longer than two or three days after
16 these events.
17 Q. In light of your answer as to what you knew about the
18 investigation based on the information provided to you by your security
19 officer, tell me, please, did the Municipal Staff at the time and later on
20 in 1993 while it still existed, did it have the military police bodies or
21 any other investigative bodies which could have carried out an
22 investigation at the possible request of the military court?
23 A. No.
24 Q. My final question is as follows: Did an investigative judge or a
25 military prosecutor ask from you personally or from somebody else from the
1 staff to carry out any investigation with regard to the events in Dusina?
2 A. No.
3 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
4 Mr. President, I have no further questions.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The other Defence team?
6 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] No questions, Mr. President.
7 Thank you very much.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have just one short question
9 to put to the witness.
10 Questioned by the Court:
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before you took the solemn
12 declaration, you said that you had testified in a national court and you
13 mentioned the name Hakanovic. Could you please give us an indication as
14 to who this Hakanovic was.
15 A. Mr. Hakanovic was charged with having killed a certain number of
16 Croats during the period of time that we are currently discussing here.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Where was that?
18 A. In Dusina.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And what -- during what exact
20 period of time?
21 A. The same period that we are discussing here.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And this person, was he a
23 civilian? Was he a soldier? What was his status?
24 A. At the time, he was a soldier in the military police in Visoko.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And is this procedure finished?
1 Is this trial finished? What do you know about the outcome of this trial?
2 A. I'm not sure. I believe that the trial has either reached the
3 second instance court or it is probably finished. I don't know.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did you know why they called
5 you as a witness? What kind of testimony did you provide in this case?
6 A. This trial is public, and I believe that I read somewhere in
7 newspapers that some people from Dusina confirmed that that person was not
8 there at the time, and I myself was called to testify as the commander of
9 the Municipal Staff because the question put to me was whether he was a
10 member of our unit or not and whether he could have been given a task in
11 the area of Dusina from the Municipal Staff, a task of any kind.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for this
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution, do you have
16 any other questions for this witness arising from any of the questions?
17 MR. MUNDIS: No, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Defence?
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Just one question, Mr. President.
20 Further examination by Ms. Residovic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Saric, did you ever, either as a witness in
22 that trial or from the media, did you learn whether Mr. Zvonko Rajic's
23 wife testified before that court?
24 A. When I was saying a while ago that -- a little while ago that
25 somebody confirmed that Mr. Edin was not there, I believe that it was
1 precisely that lady who confirmed that.
2 Q. Do you know what she said about Serif Patkovic?
3 A. I'm not sure.
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Very well, then. I have no other
6 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] No questions, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On behalf of the Chamber, I
8 would like to thank you for coming to testify here in The Hague. We wish
9 you a happy journey back home.
10 I'm going to ask the usher to accompany you out of the courtroom.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
12 [The witness withdrew]
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have five more minutes. I
14 believe that you wanted to say something very briefly. As you know, we
15 have to stop this session at 7.00 sharp.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, thank you very
18 I believe that it will take less than five minutes. The Defence
19 would like to address the Trial Chamber with an oral request in keeping
20 with Rules 54 and 73 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, requesting
21 the Trial Chamber to reply to the response of the Prosecution with regard
22 to the joint request by the Defence by which we requested from the Trial
23 Chamber to accept legal facts that have already been adjudicated in other
24 cases. This request is a joint request by both Defence teams, and it was
25 submitted on the 20th January 2005.
1 The Prosecutor's response was filed on the 7th February 2005. We
2 are of the opinion that in the Prosecutor's response, there are several
3 legal errors and factual errors, and we primarily believe that in the
4 Prosecutor's response the Prosecutor is making reference to some of the
5 decisions by the Trial Chamber that have been rendered by this Trial
6 Chamber. For that reason, we believe that it would be very useful for the
7 Trial Chamber to allow the Defence to reply to this response in which way
8 the Defence will -- would hold the Trial Chamber to render a decision
9 pursuant to our request. We would like to be given until 18 February --
10 Friday, 18 February to file our reply.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis.
12 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 This is a matter that my -- that my learned colleagues have
14 raised that is clearly a matter between the Chamber and the Defence, and
15 the Prosecution will take no position on that.
16 I did, however, want to alert the Chamber and my learned
17 colleagues that today we did file a correction in -- in that our response
18 contained a few -- I believe two or three typographical-type errors, and
19 so a correction to that has been filed. That correction doesn't affect
20 the substance of what we've -- what we've put before you, but I did want
21 to alert everyone that there is a correction that has been filed today.
22 It's a two-paragraph -- a one-page, two-paragraph correction indicating a
23 couple of places where there were errors, in paragraph 23 of our original
24 filing. I just bring that to everyone's attention so that the Defence can
25 take the correct version into consideration.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This issue will be discussed by
3 the Judges, and we will render our decision on Monday.
4 If I understood your well, tomorrow we will not be sitting
5 because you don't have a witness. On Friday, the Judges have their
6 Plenary Session, which means that we will resume on Monday at quarter past
8 What is the schedule for next week, please?
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please go into private
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, very quickly,
12 Mr. Registrar, let's go into private session.
13 [Private session]
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're in open session,
2 Mr. President.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Looking at the clock, we cannot
4 discuss the issue of documents that you wish to tender. I believe that
5 there are quite a few of them. If we do it now, it will take some time.
6 The list of your documents is very important. And I believe that it can
7 wait until Monday, unless you want to have them admitted en bloc or not
8 admitted at all.
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No, I will want to admit -- have
10 these documents admitted. We can do it on Monday. I don't have that many
11 documents. We can do it within five minutes, but if you think we can do
12 it on Monday, we will do it on Monday.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll do it on Monday.
14 Thank you very much, and I invite you to come back on Monday at
15 quarter past 2.00. Thank you.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.01 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Monday, the 14th day of
18 February, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.