1 Wednesday, 16 February 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.26 p.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. Court Deputy.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case
7 number IT-01-48-T, the Prosecutor versus Sefer Halilovic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
9 Anything to raise?
10 Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
11 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, Your Honour, just one brief matter.
12 Mr. Mehanovic is already commenced and we doubtless we'll finish today.
13 We're going to reach, therefore, Mr. Sakrak today. When I mentioned that I
14 wanted this matter raised, we haven't received it but we've been told that
15 briefing notes -- proofing notes, I should say, are now available online
16 and will be made available at some stage soon. We don't have them for
17 Mr. Husic, and he may -- well, in any event, that's the only notes that we
18 have at this point.
19 Now, we really need to get these proofing notes quicker than we
20 are, Your Honour, because it places us in a difficult position. We don't
21 want to delay the hearing and we want to go on as quickly as we can.
22 There may be good reasons why we're getting them late, but whatever those
23 reasons are, good or not, they place the Defence in an invidious position,
24 because the fact is there's a likelihood of Mr. Sakrak being ready now.
25 So I don't know how to resolve that problem, but I raise it with you now
1 because I'm aware of it now and he's going to come on today.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
3 Any response?
4 [Prosecution counsel confer].
5 MR. WEINER: Yes, Your Honour. With regard to Mr. Sakrak, the
6 notes have been provided by e-mail to Defence counsel.
8 (redacted) However, due to that snowstorm or blizzard
9 that they had in the former Yugoslavia, he didn't arrive until late last
10 night. We've only met him for the first time today, and the notes are
11 actually being -- could we redact the second name, please.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
13 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
15 MR. WEINER: Sorry, Your Honour.
16 And they just -- they just met him this morning and the notes
17 are being prepared as we speak. The notes will be provided either by the
18 end of today, or if we meet with him in the morning to confirm what --
19 what is in the notes, it will be provided tomorrow morning.
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
21 MR. WEINER: Which is a day in advance.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. But I hope you could do it as early as
23 possible so that -- to facilitate the proceedings.
24 By the way, Mr. Weiner.
25 MR. WEINER: Yes.
1 JUDGE LIU: I think the Bench has already instructed you to meet
2 with the Defence team to prepare a kind of report on the agreed facts. I
3 also want to know what's the progress of that report.
4 MR. WEINER: I know Mr. Morrissey had met with attorney David Re
5 on the matter. I'm not aware of the results, but I know they had been
6 working together. It might be easier for him to respond to that one.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
8 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, Your Honour, we haven't -- that's true. I
9 did meet with Mr. Re, as instructed. We agreed on a number of facts.
10 There are a number more to be discussed, but we have some, it's fair to
11 say, uncontroversial background facts agreed. We just haven't had time; I
12 particularly have not unfortunately had the ability to reduce that into a
13 report sort of a form. They chiefly relate to the sort of uncontroversial
14 matters that Your Honour referred to at the time the discussion took
16 I apologise for the delay in providing that report. As Your
17 Honour has probably seen, things are moving fairly quickly on the witness
18 front, although on a minute-to-minute basis they might seem to be moving a
19 bit slowly. In reality things are moving, and that's being the reason we
20 haven't got around to this.
21 So I can indicate that as soon as we have a moment, we will do
22 that, but I would ask the Court's indulgence in relation to it.
23 Mr. Jasarevic is coming. He's a witness -- he's a document
24 witness, and he's -- it's fair to say a high-volume preparation witness.
25 In order to make things move as quickly as we can, we want to have those
1 documents ready to proceed through the e-court system, and it may be that
2 in the following week we would be in a position to assist.
3 I do apologise for it. Your Honour, I understand that Your Honour
4 made that request and gave us an indulgence on a couple of times before.
5 There's nothing that's agreed that will change the nature of the case, if
6 I can put it in those terms.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
8 And the purpose for this agreed-facts report is to facilitate the
9 proceedings. If the parties submit it too late, it will be useless. But
10 I take the promise from the parties that there might be a report next
11 week. Thank you.
12 And could we have the witness, please.
13 [The witness entered court]
14 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, witness.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
16 JUDGE LIU: Did you have a good rest yesterday?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did. Thank you.
18 JUDGE LIU: Are you ready to start?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am.
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
21 Mr. Weiner.
22 MR. WEINER: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 WITNESS: NEDZAD MEHANOVIC [Resumed]
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 Examined by Mr. Weiner: [Continued]
1 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Mehanovic.
2 A. Good afternoon.
3 Q. Yesterday you testified about leaving Sarajevo, about
4 September 7th, arriving the following day, on the 8th, in Grabovica, and
5 that evening, on the 8th, going to Jablanica for the night, and returning
6 the next day, which would be the 9th at lunchtime. Let's go to that date,
7 September 9th.
8 What did you do when you returned?
9 A. It was lunchtime.
10 Q. Where did you have your lunch or where did you get your food?
11 A. Outside a house. In the yard of that house was our assembly
12 point. They brought the food. The troops gathered. And the soldiers
13 would pick up their ration and take it wherever they were staying.
14 Q. Now, did you receive any instructions when you obtained your
15 food or your lunch?
16 A. They told us that somebody from the Supreme Command would come,
17 that some officers would come from the Supreme Command, and that we should
18 get together after lunch, that we should assemble after lunch.
19 Q. Did you then have your lunch?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. I want to step back for a second and ask you a question outside
22 of September 9th. Did -- were there any -- were there any Muslim refugees
23 staying in Grabovica during that time that you were there?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Where were they staying?
1 A. On the other side of the Neretva in some sort of wooden cabins.
2 Q. Now, did you have any contact -- did you or the other soldiers
3 have any contact with the Muslim refugees?
4 A. I personally did not, but others did. I heard from them that
5 they did.
6 Q. Excuse me. Let us -- excuse me. Let us return to
7 September 9th. During lunch, was there any discussion in relation to the
8 Muslim refugees?
9 A. Well, stories were going around that some men had come looking
10 for food because they had been starving and they had been in Stolac
11 detained, somewhere near Capljina, where they were captured. That man was
12 saying that they were all mistreated, that all Muslim girls from age 13
13 to 18 had been raped, that they urinated in their cups of tea and then
14 forced them to drink the tea, and all kinds of stories.
15 Q. All right. Let's take it step by step. You said "some man."
16 Are you referring to a refugee or a Muslim refugee? This man who was
17 telling these stories.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And you said that he had been detained. Did you learn when he
20 had been released?
21 A. I'm not sure how I came to hear about it, but I seem to remember
22 that they were released seven days after they found accommodation with us
23 or near us.
24 Q. Seven days after or seven days before?
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Before. Before.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Seven days before we arrived.
2 MR. WEINER:
3 Q. Thank you. Now, you talked about the mistreatment and you said
4 women between the ages of 13 and 18 had been raped and these were Muslim
5 women. What about the women older than 18? Was there any discussion of
6 how they were treated?
7 A. 13 to 70. All Muslim women from 13 to 70 years of age.
8 Q. Had been raped?
9 A. Yes. That's what the man was saying.
10 Q. Then you said that the man also said that "they would urinate in
11 the cups and then forced them to drink the tea." Who would urinate in the
13 A. Croats, I suppose. Who else?
14 Q. And who would be forced to drink the tea and urine?
15 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, we're not receiving any translation.
16 A. The men.
17 THE INTERPRETER: The witness said: "The men."
18 MR. WEINER:
19 Q. Are you referring to the refugees?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And these Muslim refugees, who was detaining them in Stolac or
23 A. They were not refugees. They were captives, people who had been
25 Q. Who was detaining these people?
1 A. Herceg-Bosna. What do I know?
2 Q. Well, people from what ethnic group were detaining these people?
3 A. Croats. Croats kept them locked up.
4 Q. Now, when you and the other soldiers heard these stories about
5 this mistreatment to the Muslim men and women, how did you feel?
6 A. Of course it was hard to hear. How are you supposed to feel?
7 Only who would do such a thing? How do you think it affected us?
8 Q. Were you and the other soldiers upset?
9 A. Well, we discussed it. Of course it wasn't a simple thing to
10 deal with. What do I know?
11 Q. Now, after hearing these stories, did you and the other soldiers
12 gather in the courtyard?
13 A. No.
14 Q. What happened next?
15 A. Well, at lunch the people who had brought food -- who usually
16 brought food told us that we should assemble later in the courtyard
17 around 2.30 or 3.00 - I'm not sure anymore - because some people from the
18 Supreme Command would come for a visit.
19 Q. And did you assemble in that courtyard?
20 A. Yes, we did.
21 Q. And did any senior members of the command arrive?
22 A. I don't know who you mean.
23 Q. Who arrived after you assembled in the courtyard?
24 A. Mr. Halilovic, Mr. Karic, and Mr. Zuka, Alispago.
25 Q. What were Halilovic, Alispago, and Karic doing after you
2 A. Well, they didn't do anything. They came to inform us about the
3 operation, to ask how we had travelled, if we were happy with the
4 accommodation, if we had any complaints.
5 Q. How did the soldiers respond
6 A. They complained that the Croats who were around would not let us
7 stay in their houses. Things like that.
8 Q. Did they say anything else about the Croats, the local Croats
9 from Grabovica?
10 A. Well, upon further inquiries or in response to their questions
11 regarding accommodation and food, the soldiers complained more about the
12 fact that the Croats would let -- would not let them inside their houses.
13 Q. Now, while this conversation or the complaining was occurring,
14 were there any local residents from Grabovica present?
15 A. Yes. There was a man standing on the balcony of that house.
16 Q. Where was the house located in relation to the soldiers and
17 the -- and the meadow there or the -- actually, the courtyard, sir?
19 A. If you can show me a photograph, I will explain it to you.
20 Q. Well, why don't you just try and explain now and then we'll get
21 to a photograph a little later, if you can.
22 A. It was almost at the end of the village -- well, not at the end
23 of the village. To the right. There was one house behind that house, and
24 then behind that house there was a courtyard in front of that house. I
25 can't really explain it to you. It's not possible for me to explain
1 unless I see it.
2 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, may the witness please be shown
3 photograph 01494612, which is Exhibit P7, please.
4 Q. Do you see the photograph in front of you, sir?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Would that help you explain what was happening?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Could you use one of the marking pencils. The usher will assist
9 you. And please point to the areas.
10 Please show us first where you recall that you were standing.
11 A. Right here. That was the courtyard.
12 Q. Now, where -- all right. If you could put a "1" next to the
13 circle where the -- which is the area where you were standing, please. If
14 you could put the number "1".
15 A. Yes. I -- I didn't understand the question.
16 Q. Sorry. Sorry, sir. Mr. Mehanovic, could you put a number "1"
17 to the right of that circle which indicates where you and the troops were
19 A. I'm sorry, but I don't quite understand the question. What
20 should I write?
21 Q. You drew a circle on that photograph of the area where you and
22 the other troops were standing.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Could you just put the number "1" next to that so that later
25 when we look at the picture we know what that refers to. A "1" is where
1 you were standing with the troops. Could you put a number "1" there, the
2 figure 1.
3 A. Number 1 that we were lined up there? Is that what you want?
4 Q. Yes, just write a number "1" next to the circle.
5 A. [Marks].
6 Q. Few very much. Thank you very much.
7 Now, could you show us with a line where the officers were,
8 Halilovic, Alispago, and Karic.
9 A. We were lined up in this courtyard. It's about 20 metres or
10 maybe more from the house to this road here. We were lined up in one,
11 two, or three rows. I'm not sure. I was, I think, somewhere at the head
12 of the column. Karic was standing next to the corner of the house. And
13 Mr. Halilovic and Mr. Alispago were walking in front of the assembled
14 soldiers and talking to them. This balcony here is where this Croat was
15 standing, from this house.
16 Q. Okay. Could you please circle the balcony where the Croat was
17 standing, the Croat man. And could you put a number "2" next to that
18 circle. Thank you.
19 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, may it reflect that there was a
20 number "1" in the circle where the troop were standing and a number "2"
21 within the circle where the Croat man was standing on the balcony.
22 Now --
23 JUDGE LIU: Let's have it admitted into the evidence. I guess
24 there's no objections from the Defence.
25 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, there's no objections, Your Honour, except
1 that I -- I think my friend might be about to mark some more things on it.
2 So if there's going to be some more marked on, perhaps delay it until
3 then; otherwise, we'll have more than one exhibit.
4 JUDGE LIU: Well --
5 MR. MORRISSEY: I don't oppose it, but --
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think, you know, this is the Prosecution's
7 strategy. You know, whatever they do, we just accept. We cannot, you
8 know, give --
9 MR. MORRISSEY: I understand --
10 JUDGE LIU: Give them some directions in that aspect. But in the
11 future, if you need the photograph, you can ask the witness to do it
13 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
15 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
16 I would offer that.
17 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecution Exhibit P174, Your
19 MR. WEINER:
20 Q. Now, sir, did Mr. Karic say anything in relation to the man on
21 the balcony?
22 A. Mr. Halilovic and Mr. Alispago were walking around and talking to
23 the soldiers about these problems and acquainting them with the operation
24 that would follow. Karic was standing somewhere around here, at the head
25 of the column, near the corner of the house. And when the soldiers were
1 saying that they were -- that the Croats were complaining and not
2 providing accommodation and so on, Karic then noticed that man and said,
3 "Who is that?" And these other guys said it was an Ustasha, and then he
4 said, "Well, you know what you will do and how you will deal with him,"
5 something to that effect.
6 Q. When Karic said, "Who's the man on the balcony," who responded,
7 "He's an Ustasha"?
8 A. Those people from the first column, at the head of the column.
9 Q. You're talking about soldiers that were in the columns of the
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can you tell us how -- what you recall he responded -- Mr. Karic
14 A. When he said -- when they said, "He was an Ustasha," and they
15 said that "He was the one who complained the most," then he said, "Well,
16 then you know what to do with him and how you will deal with him,"
17 something to that effect.
18 Q. How long did the soldiers remain in line?
19 A. About 15 or 20 minutes, I think.
20 Q. Now, you said that you saw Mr. Halilovic there. Do you know a
21 man -- or prior to September of 1993, did you know a man named Sefer
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And how did you first come to know of him?
25 A. The first time I saw him was in the Presidency building, when we
1 were securing that building in the beginning of the war.
2 Q. And when you say "we were securing," who are you referring to?
3 A. My unit.
4 Q. And how many times while you were securing or guarding the
5 Presidency building did you see Sefer Halilovic?
6 A. I'm not sure how many times.
7 Q. Was it just a few or are you talking about something occurring
9 A. Sometimes it would happen that we would have breakfast in the
10 same place. Mr. Halilovic, Mr. Siber, and Mr. Jovan Divjak were in the
11 General Staff at the time, and sometimes we would have breakfast or lunch
12 or dinner at the same time.
13 Q. Now, sir, did you ever see Sefer Halilovic meeting or visiting
14 with Ramiz Delalic, known as Celo, at Celo's base?
15 A. Yes, once in Saburina, when we were the 3rd Mountain Brigade, in
16 September or October. I'm not sure. In 1992.
17 Q. And were you ever present when this same Celo, also known as
18 Ramiz Delalic, met with Sefer Halilovic at Halilovic's office or at one of
19 the government buildings?
20 A. I was never present at such a meeting, but I did go once or twice
21 to the General Staff, but I don't know, I never actually attended the
22 talks or anything like that.
23 Q. When you went to the General Staff meeting, although you didn't
24 go inside and attend the meeting itself, when you went to the building
25 where it was held, was Ramiz Delalic, Celo, with you?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And was Sefer Halilovic on the General Staff at that time?
3 A. As far as I remember, yes.
4 Q. Now, sir, I'd ask you to look around this courtroom, and could
5 you tell me if Sefer Halilovic is in the courtroom at this time.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And could you please identify him. Point him out, please.
8 A. That's the gentleman.
9 Q. Could you tell us where he is in the courtroom or what he's
10 wearing, for the record.
11 A. He's sitting up there.
12 Q. Well, there's -- there's five gentlemen sitting over there.
13 Could you just tell me which one or what -- tell me what type of clothing
14 he's wearing.
15 A. I only see one there; Mr. Sefer Halilovic.
16 Q. Where is he in relation to the wall?
17 A. Well, this seems like a quiz to me.
18 Q. All right. Since there are several -- there are five men sitting
19 there, could you please stand, with the Court's permission, and point him
20 out, because -- could he -- could the witness come in the middle and point
21 him out, please. Or is the Court going to accept --
22 JUDGE LIU: Well --
23 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, could I indicate that -- Mr. Halilovic, I'm
24 sure, would have no difficulty in standing briefly for the purposes of
25 being identified by this witness, if it needs to be done.
1 JUDGE LIU: Well, I don't think he is essentially important in
2 this proceedings to ask a witness to identify somebody, you know, because,
3 you know, it's -- it's not like a line-up in a police station, you know,
4 there. So I think the witness has already done his best. You know,
5 there's no doubts about that.
6 MR. WEINER: Well, may the record reflect that the witness was --
7 the witness has identified the defendant Sefer Halilovic?
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
9 MR. WEINER: Okay. Thank you.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Shall we move on?
11 MR. WEINER: Yes.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
13 MR. WEINER:
14 Q. Now, after this visit by Mr. Karic, Mr. Alispago, and
15 Mr. Halilovic and -- or Sefer Halilovic, what did you do?
16 A. When they finished and when they left, I went to Jablanica, a
17 half an hour or an hour later.
18 Q. And why did you go to Jablanica?
19 A. I went there. I had a lot of friends there. It wasn't very nice
20 in Grabovica. It was dirty and it wasn't really very nice. The
21 accommodation was bad. Like that.
22 Q. And did you stay in Jablanica through the night?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. The -- did you return to Grabovica?
25 A. The next day.
1 Q. And when you returned, did you return in the morning, noontime,
2 or in the afternoon, or evening?
3 A. In the afternoon.
4 Q. When you returned, did you hear something from the other
6 A. I heard that somebody had killed these civilians in Grabovica,
7 and I heard that Ramiz Delalic brought two boys, that he lined up the
8 unit, and brought those two young boys to recognise -- he lined them up to
9 see if they could recognise who had killed their parents. That's what I
10 heard. I didn't -- I wasn't there during this line-up, but this is what I
12 Q. Now, sir, did you see any corpses or dead bodies when you
13 returned to Grabovica?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Did you see anything on the roadway or in the buildings which
16 could have been the remains or -- could have been the remains of any of
17 these corpses or any blood or something that looked like blood?
18 A. In one section of the road, I saw a kind of puddle, like blood or
19 paint, but it was very, very faint. You could hardly notice it.
20 Q. Sir, was there any combat activities occurring in the village of
21 Grabovica during your stay there?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Did you hear of any combat activities in Grabovica during the
24 time that you stayed in Jablanica?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Did you hear or did you see any Croatian soldiers in Grabovica
2 while you were there?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Now, after this date, did you eventually enter some combat
6 A. After which date?
7 Q. I'm sorry, I'll make it easier. Were you eventually sent into
8 combat action?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Okay. Where did they send you?
11 A. To the Vrdi village.
12 Q. Now, you've testified previously that you returned, which would
13 have been on September 10th, and you learnt about some deaths occurring in
14 Grabovica. In relation to that, when in relation to that date were you
15 sent into combat action?
16 A. I think it was on the third night, on the 10th in the evening at
17 around 11.00 p.m. Before midnight. We left Grabovica for Dreznica before
18 midnight, around 11.00, to go to Vrdi.
19 Q. And were you sent into combat action in Vrdi?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And after that -- or actually, how long did the combat action
23 A. We set off at about 11.00 in the evening. We travelled on foot
24 that night. In the morning, we started to go up the mountain, to Vrdi,
25 and we returned in the evening when it was dark. And we stayed -- okay.
1 Q. Let me just ask you a couple quick questions: Did you return to
2 Grabovica after Vrdi?
3 A. No. No.
4 Q. Where did you go next? You said you went someplace in the
6 A. We returned from that operation to some village above Dreznica.
7 I don't remember any more what the name of the village was, but it was a
8 small one with just a few houses, a couple of houses. We spent the night
9 there, and the next day we went to Medved Mountain to another operation.
10 Q. And did you eventually return to Sarajevo?
11 A. When we returned from Mount Medved, yes, we did.
12 Q. Thank you very much, sir.
13 MR. WEINER: No further questions, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
15 Any cross?
16 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, there is. Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Morrissey:
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Mehanovic.
19 MR. MORRISSEY: Could the witness please be shown Exhibit P7.
20 Q. Very well. Mr. Mehanovic, I'm going to ask you to mark this
21 picture as well.
22 Mr. Mehanovic, you indicated that when Mr. Karic was present,
23 that the soldiers were in three columns. Could you please draw with lines
24 the three columns that you say the soldiers were in.
25 A. I'm not sure if it was two, three, or four, but in any case -- I
1 don't know how many soldiers there were, but the space from the house to
2 the road here was filled. So it would be something like that, from here
3 to here. Like this.
4 Q. Very well. Well, that single line -- were the three -- two,
5 three, or four columns -- could you draw a second column in relation to
6 that first one, please.
7 A. One column was behind the other. I can't really tell you
8 exactly, but this is approximately what it looked like.
9 Q. That's okay. Very well. Now, could you just write the number
10 "1" underneath those lines to indicate that those lines are the soldiers.
11 Just write the numeral "1".
12 A. [Marks]
13 Q. And put a circle around that numeral "1", please.
14 A. [Marks]
15 Q. Thank you.
16 Now, to indicate where you say the Croatian civilian was
17 standing, could you draw a circle and put the number "2" inside that.
18 A. [Marks]
19 Q. Could you please draw a cross to show where Mr. Karic was
21 A. [Marks]
22 Q. Could you please draw -- and could you write the number "3" next
23 to that cross, on the left-hand side, inside a circle.
24 A. [Marks]
25 Q. Could you please draw a number "4" to indicate approximately
1 where you say Sefer Halilovic was at the time Karic made the comment.
2 A. [Marks]
3 Q. Could you please draw a circle with a number "5" to indicate
4 where you say Zuka, Zulfikar Alispago, was at the time that that comment
5 was made.
6 A. More or less they were next to each other.
7 Q. Yes. Now, at the time when Mr. Karic made the comment that
8 you've related to the Court, Halilovic and Alispago were both engaged in
9 speaking to the troops; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And according to you, the comment made by Karic was made in a
12 normal conversational voice and not shouting; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And, in fact, Karic was engaged in speaking to an individual
15 soldier who had made a complaint; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And is it now too many years ago for you to remember the name of
18 that particular soldier who made the complaint?
19 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not understand if the
20 witness said yes or no.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not just one. Practically all of
22 them were complaining.
23 MR. MORRISSEY:
24 Q. Yes. But I'm talking about the specific conversation that was
25 going on between Karic and the individual soldier that I've just spoken to
1 you about. Can you remember the name of that soldier that Karic was
2 speaking to?
3 A. That soldier you mean?
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. No.
6 Q. Could you now -- we've got up to number 5. Would you now mark
7 approximately with a number "6" whereabouts you were when Mr. Karic made
8 the comment.
9 A. [Marks]. At the beginning. More or less at the beginning.
10 Q. I understand. Doing the best you can, can you put a number "7",
11 please, at where Mr. Elvedin Husic was.
12 A. I really cannot do that because I don't know where he was.
13 Q. Was he between you and Mr. Karic or not?
14 A. I don't know.
15 Q. Very well. Thank you.
16 MR. MORRISSEY: I offer that document for tender.
17 JUDGE LIU: I guess there's no objections from the Prosecution?
18 MR. WEINER: No objections, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. It's admitted into evidence.
20 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you.
21 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Defence Exhibit D175.
22 MR. MORRISSEY: Very well.
23 Q. Now, Mr. Mehanovic, I have some preliminary questions relating to
24 the time before the Grabovica incident.
25 [Defence counsel confer]
1 MR. MORRISSEY:
2 Q. Is it the fact that you joined a -- sorry, I'll start this
3 question again.
4 The 9th Brigade evolved out of pre-existing army units in
5 Sarajevo; is that correct?
6 A. Yes, from the 3rd and 7th Mountain.
7 Q. Yes. Very well. Did you join the 7th Mountain Brigade on the
8 22nd of July, 1992 at the same time as Elvedin Husic and four other
9 individuals whose names I'll give to you if you need them? But really I'm
10 interested in the date. So did you join the brigade on the 22nd of the --
11 of July, 1992 with Elvedin Husic?
12 A. Which brigade?
13 Q. Well, the 3rd Mountain Brigade.
14 A. Yes. Well, I don't know exactly the date, but it was July or
15 August. I'm not sure.
16 Q. Well, I'm just going to show you a document now, if I could,
18 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, this document has only just been
19 translated. It's not in the system. This is another act against the
20 e-court. It's just been done now. We'll provide copies in all relevant
21 languages and, of course, provide it for the e-court to be ...
22 THE REGISTRAR: That will be marked for identification 176.
23 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. I'm grateful for the court staff to remind
24 me. That's marked for identification 176 at this stage.
25 Q. Just -- you can take your time to read that, but I'll ask you
1 some questions while you're looking at it and perhaps you can answer them
2 as we go along. Would you look first of all at the signature on this
3 document. It's at the bottom of the second page. Do you see that
4 signature there? The bottom right of the second page.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. All right. Is that, as far as you know, the signature of
7 Tomislav Juric, who ultimately became the chief of military security in
8 the 9th Brigade in 1993?
9 A. I don't know if that is his signature.
10 Q. I'm not asking you for an expert opinion on his signature, but --
11 well, perhaps I should ask you this: You know Tomislav -- or you knew
12 Tomislav Juric at the time?
13 A. [No interpretation].
14 Q. And he held the position I just indicated, chief of security --
15 of military security in the 9th Brigade; correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Okay. Would you mind now just going back to the -- to the first
18 page. And I just want to -- to note a couple of details of that.
19 First of all, six names from the -- or five names from the
20 bottom, do you see the name Nedzad Mehanovic?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you can see the address there, 22nd -- sorry, the date there,
23 22nd of July, 1992.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Okay. And do you acknowledge that that's correct, that in fact
1 you did join that unit, that being the predecessor to the 9th Brigade, the
2 3rd Mountain Brigade, on that date?
3 A. I can't, because I don't know for sure.
4 Q. No. Would you turn over the page, please. And do you see where
5 the list of names comes to an end over the page? Six names from the
6 bottom there, the name Husic Elvedin?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you join on the same day as Husic Elvedin?
9 A. I think I did.
10 Q. Yes.
11 MR. MORRISSEY: Very well. Well, I offer that document.
12 JUDGE LIU: Any objections?
13 MR. WEINER: For whatever it's worth, Your Honour, he can -- he
14 can't authenticate it and -- for whatever weight the Court wants to give
16 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, it's -- the matter can be debated at
17 the end of the evidence.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
19 MR. MORRISSEY: I simply offer it at this stage.
20 MR. WEINER: I'm not objecting to it, but for whatever little
21 weight it's worth. What it's worth.
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, of course, you know, if you want to tender this
23 document, you have to lay some foundations.
24 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE LIU: If you could do it at a later stage.
1 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. Very well.
2 Q. Perhaps just to conclude, then, in respect to this document here,
3 you're familiar with many of the names on that document, including Hukelic
4 Ertan, Kajevic Fikret? You know those names?
5 A. I know Fikret Kajevic.
6 Q. Yes. Do you know Erdin Arnautovic?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Yes. Ertan Hukelic?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Kemo Kapur?
11 A. I do.
12 Q. Yes. Mustafa Hota?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Very well. Do you notice there the date next to the name of the
15 Mustafa Hota? It says 15/9/93. Do you see that?
16 A. I see.
17 Q. Very well. To your knowledge, Mustafa Hota arrived in the 9th
18 Brigade in July of 1993. In other words, only a month or so before the
19 action in Herzegovina. Is that correct?
20 A. No.
21 Q. What I'm putting to you is that he arrived in the -- in the 9th
22 Brigade on the 15th of July of 1993 and was only formally accepted into
23 the brigade on the 15th of September, 1993. Do you agree with that?
24 A. I don't know when he was formally accepted, but I believe that
25 in 1993, maybe it was April or May when he joined us, but it was certainly
1 before June.
2 Q. It was after your trip to Jablanica in the springtime, wasn't it?
3 A. I'm not sure. Maybe.
4 Q. Okay. Very well. Have you ever seen this document before?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Very well. Now, I'm going to move on to some questions about
7 what occurred in Sarajevo. You, like the other troops, lined up at the
8 9th Brigade headquarters when Vahid Karavelic, commander of the 1st Corps,
9 came and spoke to you; is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And after receiving orders from Karavelic and after a short
12 delay, you set off through the tunnel to meet some trucks; is that
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And on your way down to Jablanica, present with you was your
16 commander, Ramiz Delalic; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And you were on the truck with Mr. Elvedin Husic; is that
20 A. I don't know. I'm not sure.
21 Q. Well, it's the fact, isn't it, that you were at that time friends
22 with Elvedin Husic; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And even since the war stopped, you remained friends with Elvedin
25 Husic; is that --
1 MR. WEINER: Objection, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
3 MR. WEINER: May we go into private session, please?
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go to private session, please.
5 [Private session]
11 Page 29 redacted. Private session.
11 Page 30 redacted. Private session.
10 [Open session]
11 [Defence counsel confer]
12 MR. MORRISSEY:
13 Q. Yes. Sorry, Mr. Mehanovic. The question I asked you was:
14 You've remained friends with Elvedin Husic since the war ended; is that
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Very well. Upon arrival at Jablanica, your commander, Ramiz
18 Delalic, was still present with the unit for at least some time of your
19 stop in Jablanica; is that correct?
20 A. In Donja Jablanica. He stayed in Donja Jablanica in Zuka's base,
21 as far as I know.
22 Q. Yes. Well, you're correct to correct me. It was in fact --
23 well, it's the fact that your unit arrived with Ramiz Delalic at
24 Donja Jablanica and stopped there for a period of time; is that correct?
25 A. 15, 20 minutes approximately.
1 Q. During that 15 to 20 minutes, you saw personally Zulfikar
2 Alispago, the commander of the unit that was called Zuka's Unit; correct?
3 A. At that moment when we arrived you mean?
4 Q. Well, within that period of time, that 15, 20 minutes.
5 A. I don't know. I'm not sure.
6 Q. Well, did you see Zuka in that time or not?
7 A. I'm not sure. I can't say one way or another with any certainty.
8 Q. Did you see Zuka's -- I'm sorry, I've slipped into using of
9 nicknames there. Did you see Zulfikar Alispago's commander of logistics,
10 a man who went by the name of Spaga?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Is Spaga a man aged between 30 and 40 with brown hair? Sorry,
13 I'll ask that question again: Was at that time Spaga a man aged between
14 30 and 40 with brown-coloured hair?
15 A. Well, I don't know. I think he was older than 40, I would say.
16 I -- as far as I know, his name is Nedzad.
17 Q. Was the name Spaga that I mentioned to you, was that a nickname
18 or a real name?
19 A. It was a nickname, Spago.
20 Q. I see. Do you know the full name of Nedzad, who had the nickname
22 A. I used to know, but it eludes me now.
23 Q. Yes. Is it a long time since you saw that person?
24 A. Yes, it is.
25 Q. Very well. Now, as you indicated to the Prosecutor, you had
1 personally been in Jablanica before in approximately May of 1993; is that
3 A. April.
4 Q. In April.
5 Just excuse me one moment.
6 [Defence counsel confer]
7 MR. MORRISSEY:
8 Q. In that time, you indicated to my learned friend Mr. Weiner, the
9 Prosecutor, that you became involved in some fighting down there at an
10 early stage in the fighting between the Bosnian army and the HVO. And
11 what I want to ask you is: Were there any other 9th Brigade soldiers who
12 helped in that fighting in April of 1993?
13 A. Well, when we came out to get those weapons and uniforms, Fikret
14 Fajovic [phoen], Fadil Kurgas, and I believe Sato Koca were with me. I'm
15 not sure. Safet Koca.
16 Q. So to your recollection, a small detachment of the 9th Brigade
17 fought in Herzegovina in April of 1993 already; is that true?
18 A. It was not a small detachment. It was just the four of us. In
19 fact, even Fikret was not there. He left two or three days later. I was
20 left with Fadil and Safet.
21 Q. Now, during that time, did you come to be arrested by the local
22 military police for being in possession of 19 bottles of good-quality
23 Bacardi rum?
24 A. They did not arrest me.
25 Q. Well, did they take you in for questioning concerning the
1 possession of 19 bottles of Bacardi rum at that time?
2 A. They did not take me into custody. They just invited me for an
4 Q. Okay. And did you oblige them by attending for that interview?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. Very well. And was the substance of the allegation -- and
7 Mr. Mehanovic, I'm not going to put every detail of it, but in general
8 terms was the substance of the allegation this, that found in your hotel
9 room --
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, Mr. Weiner.
11 MR. WEINER: Objection, Your Honour. These charges did not
12 result in an arrest, do not result in a conviction, and are irrelevant to
13 the charges against this defendant. You could impeach him with a prior
14 conviction, a prior -- which would constitute a prior bad act. But when a
15 person is questioned about something, it's irrelevant and not worthy of
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe that in the cross-examination the
18 Defence team could ask any questions which might challenge the credibility
19 of a particular witness. Am I right, Mr. Morrissey?
20 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour --
21 JUDGE LIU: Or you mean -- you mean that incident has something
22 to do with --
23 MR. MORRISSEY: It's got something to do with the case.
24 JUDGE LIU: With the case?
25 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes.
1 JUDGE LIU: Which happened in --
2 MR. MORRISSEY: Which I haven't got to yet.
3 MR. WEINER: That's fair, Your Honour. I withdraw it. That's
4 fair. If he can tie it to the case, I withdraw my objection.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes. And maybe it's time for a break.
6 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour --
7 JUDGE LIU: Or maybe you could finish that part.
8 MR. MORRISSEY: I could just finish that part. It's not very
10 JUDGE LIU: In five minutes?
11 MR. MORRISSEY: Oh, easily. Easily.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please move on.
13 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes.
14 Q. Sorry, Mr. Mehanovic. Just so as to be fair with you, the fact
15 is you were never charged with this -- this incident once the police
16 questioning had taken place; is that right?
17 A. Well, there was no reason for charges to be pressed, because it
18 wasn't I who did it.
19 Q. No. But what happened was that 19 bottles of Bacardi rum were
20 found in your hotel room; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay. But -- yes, very well.
23 MR. MORRISSEY: In fact, Your Honour, that's as far as that part
24 of the questioning has to go, and I'm ready for a break.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll take 30 minutes' break, and we'll resume
1 at ten minutes past 4.00.
2 --- Recess taken at 3.40 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 4.12 p.m.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 [Microphone not activated].
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
8 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you.
9 Q. Mr. Mehanovic, having arrived at Jablanica, according to you
10 Ramiz Delalic did not go on to the village of Grabovica. Is that correct?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. And neither did Malco Rovcanin go on to Grabovica; is that
13 correct too?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. So I take it from that that as the troops arrived in -- in
16 Grabovica, there was effectively no one in command; is that right?
17 A. I don't know about that. All I know is that two, three, or maybe
18 even four men out of Zuka's logistics unit came with us to show us where
19 we would be staying, et cetera.
20 Q. Yes. But it's not the tradition to follow the orders of
21 logistics men, is it, Mr. Mehanovic?
22 A. Right. But we were under Zulfikar Alispago's command.
23 Q. I understand that. But Zulfikar Alispago was not with you, was
25 A. Right.
1 Q. And I just want to be clear about this. There was a -- an
2 occasion in 1999, on the 11th of November, 1999, when you made a statement
3 to investigators from this Tribunal. And at page 3 there, you said this-
4 and I'll ask you to confirm whether it's accurate or not once I've read it
5 out to you. Okay? Now I'm quoting: "I cannot give a description of
6 Zuka's men" -- well, in fairness to you, Mr. Mehanovic. I'm just going to
7 read the bit before. It will make more sense.
8 "Zuka's men told us that we would have a rest in that courtyard
9 and would then be sent to houses in which we were to stay. I cannot give
10 a description of Zuka's men. We stayed in that courtyard for about 30
11 minutes. I'm sure that I remember them showing our soldiers the houses in
12 the village in which they were to stay. One of them showed us the house
13 which was situated in the middle of the village. The house was vacant.
14 There were about four or five of us who entered that house, including
15 Haris Salihovic, a man called Crni, Regan, Suljo, and one other person.
16 Haris was from my platoon and the others were from the engineer platoon.
17 As far as I remember, no commander was appointed to be in charge of the
18 soldiers of the 9th Brigade during our stay in Grabovica."
19 Now, Mr. Mehanovic, I know that that was quite a lengthy quote to
20 read out but I just wanted to give you the full context. Do you agree
21 with that, that that's true, that -- as far as you remember, no commander
22 was appointed to be in charge of the soldiers of the 9th Brigade during
23 your stay in Grabovica?
24 A. Well, it's something like that.
25 Q. Okay.
1 A. I'm not sure.
2 Q. Okay. All right. Now, I want to take you to the journey from
3 Jablanica down to Grabovica. On that journey, you were escorted by the
4 approximately four of Zuka's logistics soldiers; is that correct?
5 A. Something like that.
6 Q. Once again, the individual Spaga was present.
7 A. I'm not sure if he went.
8 Q. Upon arrival at Grabovica, you were accommodated in houses
9 without any trouble at all; is that correct?
10 A. In the house where I was staying, there was first Crni, Regan,
11 and Suljo. Myself and Haris came to that house in the evening just before
12 dark, or maybe it was late afternoon. We stayed for 30, maybe 60 minutes,
13 and then we went on to Jablanica.
14 Q. Very well. Well, I'm going to read to you a passage from a
15 record of a witness hearing compiled on the 12th of January, 1999 at the
16 cantonal court in front of the investigative judge Ibrahim Hadzic. Okay?
17 MR. MORRISSEY: And this, Your Honours is at page 3, at the top
18 of page 3.
19 Q. And you said this: "Together with three other soldiers,
20 engineers from our company, Crni, Regan, and one more person whose name I
21 can't remember now, got accommodation in an abandoned house. We had no
22 trouble with the accommodation. Other soldiers from our company were
23 accommodated in surrounding houses."
24 Now, having said that to the cantonal court judge -- well,
25 perhaps I should ask you this: Did you say that to the cantonal court
1 judge and is that the truth?
2 A. I still say when Haris and I came to that house, Crni, Regan, and
3 Suljo were already there and they told us there were no civilians inside
4 or around, and I didn't see any civilians.
5 Q. Yes. Out of those -- but just -- I understand you say that, and
6 what I'm really asking you is to confirm what you said to the judge at the
7 cantonal court that there was no trouble with accommodation; in other
8 words, "We had no trouble with the accommodation." Is that the truth?
9 A. Not in that house, because there was nobody there. It was empty.
10 Well, I don't know what he wrote and how he explained it, but I'm telling
11 you just as I would be -- as if -- if I were talking to him.
12 Q. Yes, okay. Now, is your position this: That you didn't see any
13 civilians during your stay in the -- in the village of Grabovica? Is that
15 A. No. I saw civilians, but I didn't see any in that house where I
16 was billeted.
17 Q. Yes. All right. I want to put something to you from the very
18 same statement to the cantonal court. Okay? You just have to excuse me
19 one moment, please.
20 This is in the middle of page 3, Your Honour.
21 And you said this: "After the second or the third night, I have
22 heard about the killing of some civilians in Grabovica. This was heard
23 from the soldiers who started talking. I heard about the killing of these
24 civilians when we were getting food rations from Zuka's Unit. At the
25 place we were meeting to get the food and take it back to where we were
1 staying there were soldiers from whom I heard that some civilians were
2 killed. I cannot remember exactly who told me that, but the soldiers were
3 talking about it among themselves. For the time I spent in the village, I
4 did not see or contact any civilians and I did not see the murdered
5 civilians about whose murder was talked about."
6 Now, is that true that for the time you spent in the village, you
7 did not see or contact any civilians and did not see the murdered
8 civilians whose murder was discussed?
9 A. That is all so, except for seeing that man on the balcony when we
10 were lined up. I saw that man on the balcony. I didn't see any of the
11 others or the -- didn't have any contact with them. And I didn't see them
12 being killed either, and I don't know anything about it.
13 Q. Yes.
14 You just have to excuse me one moment, please, Mr. Mehanovic.
15 Q. Mr. Mehanovic, I'm going to put something to you from -- a
16 statement given by you and provided to us by the Prosecutor. This
17 statement is dated the 23rd of March, 1998. And in this statement, at the
18 bottom of page 1, if it pleases the Court, did you say this: "Of the
19 people who were accommodated together with me in the same house, I can
20 remember a certain Crni and Regan, members of the engineer's battalion.
21 Now, was that true?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. "I noticed that a large number of civilians were in the village
24 and I found out that they were of Croatian nationality." Now, is that
1 A. I don't know who wrote that. Listen, a large number of
2 civilians? There were only a few -- a couple of houses there. They were
3 of Croat ethnicity, but I don't believe that I said that it was a large
4 number, no.
5 Q. Very well. Well, did you sign this statement following reading
6 the words at the end of it, saying: "Statement given by Nedzad Mehanovic,
7 statement taken by Zlatko Prndelj and countersigned by Fadil Zolota on the
8 23rd of the third, 1998? Did you sign that statement or not?
9 A. This is at the MUP; right?
10 Q. Yes, correct.
11 A. Yes, I did sign it. But I didn't write what I signed, because I
12 never need to read it back. I know what I say. It's the same as what
13 they put there, that I was drinking alcohol. These are just games of
15 Q. Now, just a moment, Mr. -- Mr. Mehanovic. You've been in police
16 stations on a number of occasions in your career, haven't you?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. For example, when you were in the police station -- or the
19 military police station in Jablanica back in 1993 in April, you had
20 suggestions and questions put to you by the police on that occasion and
21 you felt free to deny them in accordance with the truth; correct?
22 A. I wasn't with the military police but at the MUP, the Ministry of
23 Internal Affairs.
24 Q. In any event, what I'm putting to you is that you don't sign
25 something unless you know it's true; is that correct?
1 A. What I say, I expect them to also note down. But it happened
2 that the investigator Nikolai -- there is 90 per cent of untruths there.
3 I don't speak in the way that it's recorded in that statement. There's at
4 least 90 per cent of untruths in that statement.
5 Q. But I'm not asking you about Nikolai right now, Mr. Mehanovic,
6 but about your trip to the MUP and the statement which you signed at the
7 MUP. Now, when you signed that statement at the MUP, there was no
8 question of that being translated into the English language, was there?
9 It was all done in Bosnian; correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And you can read and write, can't you?
12 A. That is correct.
13 Q. Yes. And you know that sometimes the police might try to slip in
14 an occasional extra fact into a statement; correct?
15 A. Yes, if it suits them.
16 Q. Yes, that's right. So you read this statement very carefully
17 before you signed it, didn't you?
18 A. I don't know. It's possible.
19 Q. Well, can I suggest to you it's a certainty because you are very
20 careful about what you sign in police stations. Is that correct?
21 A. It's not that I'm careful. I sign it. But I don't understand
22 what I read back, because I know what I was saying, for today and even in
23 a hundred year's time if necessary.
24 Q. But, Mr. Mehanovic, I don't want to fight with you unnecessarily
25 over this, but it's a matter I'm going to press you about. I'll give you
1 an example. You recall being questioned in relation to a rape in the year
2 1997? Do you remember that?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And on that occasion, you knew that there was an allegation being
5 made against you that you'd taken a girl in your employment and driven her
6 to a dark back street in Bembasa Street, and you'd attempted to rape her
7 in your car; correct?
8 MR. WEINER: I'd object, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
10 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, unless there is an arrest, unless there
11 is a conviction, a certified copy of a conviction, such evidence is not
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, and this allegation also related to the privacy
14 of the matters, not only to this witness but also to others.
15 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, to deal with the second point that Your
16 Honour has just raised there, I wasn't proposing to name the individual,
17 if the name looks like coming up, we can go into the private session.
18 Is -- was that Your Honour's concern on that matter?
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, this is just one part.
20 I just want to know whether it's absolutely necessary for you to
21 use this incident to impeach this witness.
22 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, it's really about, Your Honour --
23 JUDGE LIU: I -- I understand that, but it seems to me that you
24 have already made your point there.
25 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes.
1 JUDGE LIU: And I believe that's enough.
2 MR. MORRISSEY: As the Court pleases.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
4 We may move on.
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, Your Honour. Thanks.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Excuse me, but I have one question.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I explain about this girl that
9 the gentleman is talking about?
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, witness, I think the Defence team has agreed
11 that we skip that part and we'll move on.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it shouldn't end just on that
13 because -- all right.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for your cooperation.
15 Yes, you may move on, Mr. Morrissey.
16 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Thank you. Now, what do you say about this? You've signed a
18 statement where you've said, "I noticed a large number of civilians," but
19 your account to this Court now is quite different. You're saying that you
20 didn't see any, except of course for the lonely Croat on the balcony.
21 So --
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. What's the -- the need for the change, Mr. Mehanovic?
24 A. What change?
25 Q. The change from no -- from many civilians to no civilians.
1 A. I don't believe that I said that about many civilians, because
2 that is not true.
3 MR. MORRISSEY: Could the witness please be shown photograph
4 number 79, P79.
5 Q. Mr. Mehanovic, while this is done, I'm going to ask you some --
6 to mark another photograph, a large panoramic photograph.
7 Do you have in front of you now a photograph which has got a
8 large number of yellow arrows on it?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Thanks. Mr. Mehanovic, just go to the left-hand side of the
11 photograph and notice there on the left-hand end the meadow where you say
12 the line-up took place where Mr. Karic said the words that you've ascribed
13 to him. Do you see that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Very well. Do you see there the white house without a roof which
16 was shown in the previous photograph that you looked at earlier on?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And can you also see in the trees there the house on which you
19 say the -- the lonely Croat was standing at the time of Mr. Karic's words?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Very well. I'm going to ask you now to locate certain
22 individuals within the village. First of all, would you please mark with
23 a circle and a number "1" the house in which you, Crni, and Regan found
25 A. [Marks].
1 Q. Thank you. Was Crni's real name Mr. Turkovic?
2 A. Last name, yes.
3 Q. Yes, thank you. Would you now, please, mark with a number "2"
4 the house where Nihad Vlahovljak and his soldiers were located.
5 A. I'm sorry, but I don't know. I don't know that.
6 Q. Can I ask you to look at that blue woodsmoke which can be seen in
7 the middle left of the photograph. Do you see that blue woodsmoke?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. To your recollection, was Vlahovljak and his team located in a
10 farmhouse somewhere in that area?
11 A. I don't know.
12 Q. Did you ever visit Mr. Vlahovljak and his team during your stay
13 in Grabovica?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Could you please mark the house at which Erdin Arnautovic, the
16 logistics man from the 9th Brigade, took up his residence in the village,
17 with a number "2".
18 A. I don't know where he was, in which house. All I know that -- is
19 that Adnan Solakovic was in this one down here, actually his soldiers, in
20 this first one down there.
21 Q. Would you --
22 A. About the rest, I don't know where.
23 Q. All right. We'll take it step by step.
24 Please mark with a number "2" now the house where the Solakovic
25 soldiers were.
1 A. [Marks].
2 Q. Now, let me ask you a question: As you come into the village
3 from Jablanica, the house where the Solakovic soldiers are, according to
4 you, is almost the last house in the village; is that correct?
5 A. Something like that. There's another one up there. What do I
7 Q. But you would deny any suggestion that the Solakovic soldiers
8 were in fact billeted in the house that you've marked as yours, house
9 number 1; is that correct?
10 A. I was in this house which I circled and marked with the
11 number "1", and I know that they were over there. There's nothing for me
12 to deny. I don't know what you're talking about.
13 Q. Would you please mark with a number "3" the house where your
14 friend, Elvedin Husic, was accommodated.
15 A. Sir, I have no idea who was staying where. I know where I was
16 billeted, and I happen to know where Solakovic's soldiers were because
17 they arrived at Grabovica before us. I don't know anything else.
18 Q. But Mr. Mehanovic, Mr. Husic was your friend. Surely you must
19 have visited him during your stay in the village.
20 A. What does that have to do with anything? He wasn't my wife or
21 anything like that. I didn't have to know where he was.
22 Q. Well, you may not have had to have known where he was, but what
23 I'm putting to you fair and square is you did know where he was and I'm
24 asking you now to exercise your memory and to tell us. Can you do that?
25 A. And I'm telling you that I don't know.
1 Q. Was there a checkpoint set up when you arrived on the 8th
2 anywhere in the village?
3 A. Not when we arrived, no.
4 Q. When did the first checkpoint appear in the village, to your
6 A. I heard that it was set up after the killings.
7 Q. And whereabouts -- did you ever see that checkpoint yourself with
8 your own eyes?
9 A. No.
10 Q. When you came back to the village after Ramiz Delalic performed
11 the line-up, did you notice a checkpoint?
12 A. I wasn't there for the line-up, and as I said, I didn't notice
13 the checkpoint. Actually, I didn't see it.
14 Q. Well, checkpoints being checkpoints, Mr. Mehanovic, I suppose
15 what you're saying is you didn't get stopped at a checkpoint when you came
16 back; is that correct?
17 A. That is correct. I didn't see it when I came. When I returned,
18 it was approximately on the 9th or the 10th in the afternoon. That's when
19 I came back. And it wasn't there then, as far as I know.
20 Q. Very well. The final question about that is: I want you to
21 indicate on that map with a "3" the location of the house where Musa Hota
22 was accommodated.
23 A. I don't know that either.
24 Q. Did you know anyone in the 9th Brigade with the nickname Tiki,
25 Grga, or Kralj - I'll spell those as they appeared. Tiki is T-i-k-i;
1 Grga, G-r-g-a; and Kralj, K-r-a-l-j.
2 A. No, I'm hearing those nicknames for the first time.
3 Q. As far as you're concerned, no people with those nicknames were
4 part of the 9th Brigade during your time in Grabovica or indeed at any
5 other time?
6 A. That is correct. I am hearing those nicknames for the first
8 MR. MORRISSEY: I offer that diagram.
9 JUDGE LIU: I guess there's no objections? Thank you.
10 MR. WEINER: No objection.
11 JUDGE LIU: It's admitted into evidence.
12 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 THE REGISTRAR: The photograph will be marked Defence
14 Exhibit D177.
15 MR. MORRISSEY: I'm grateful for that.
16 Thank you. I'm grateful for that indication.
17 Q. All right. I've now got some questions for you concerning the
18 visit of Mr. Karic which you've described taking place. On that occasion,
19 did you see a man called Huso Alic, with the nickname Soko, who was an
20 officer from Zuka's Unit?
21 A. I didn't know him. I don't know him.
22 Q. Did you see on that occasion when you saw the lonely Croat and
23 Karic speaking, a man called Rifat Bilajac.
24 A. I heard of him. But I think I don't know him. I don't know what
25 he looks like.
1 Q. Did you see on that occasion a man called Zicro Suljevic?
2 A. I don't know. I don't know those people.
3 Q. What about a security officer on that occasion named Namik
4 Dzankovic? Did you see him?
5 A. I don't know him either.
6 Q. I've got some questions for you about what you saw. I'm not
7 going to ask you again about the words that you ascribed to Mr. Karic.
8 But I do want to ask you about this man on the balcony. How long was he
9 on the balcony?
10 A. He was present all the time.
11 Q. On how many other occasions have you noticed senior commanders to
12 address their troops about an upcoming operation in the presence of a
13 civilian whose ethnicity is connected to the other team?
14 A. Not once.
15 Q. You don't suggest that Karic told that Croatian man to go inside
16 or go away, do you?
17 A. He didn't say anything to him in that sense. Or at least I
18 didn't hear it. I don't know.
19 Q. Well, you were right there, according to you; correct? Merely
20 two or three metres away.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay. I just want to ask you -- I'm going to ask you a number of
23 questions about this, but I just want to ask you one: Is it possible that
24 you have become confused in your memory that Sefer Halilovic was there at
25 all on this occasion? Is that possible?
1 A. I don't understand what you mean to say there.
2 Q. Well, in court now many years later, you say you remember
3 Halilovic being present and talking to soldiers at the other end of the
4 line when Mr. Karic made these comments. But I want to ask you: Is it
5 possible that you've made a mistake and that Sefer Halilovic just wasn't
6 there on that day at all? Is that possible?
7 A. No, I didn't make a mistake.
8 Q. Let me read to you from the statement that I've already put to
9 you dated the 23rd of the 3rd, 1998, which you've acknowledged signing,
10 and this is on page 2 of that statement: "I think we had already spent
11 two days in Grabovica when Vehbija Karic arrived in the village with his
12 associates. I was there when -- while Vehbija Karic and our commanders
13 were making a plan about reconnaissance of the enemy positions. Somebody
14 amongst the persons present complained about some of the civilians of
15 Croatian nationality making problems with regard to accommodation of
16 soldiers in the houses of Grabovica. Vehbija Karic went mad and said
17 loudly, 'you know what to do with them. Make it short and swift.' I spent
18 that evening at home, where I drank alcoholic drinks with my room-mates."
19 Now, do you agree with me the --
20 A. No. No.
21 Q. Wait for a moment, please. The Prosecutor can correct me if
22 there's any difficulties with what I put. Do you agree with me that
23 nowhere in that statement did you mention once the name Sefer Halilovic?
24 A. As far as I know, in each statement I said the same thing, just
25 as I stated it now. As for who wrote down what, that is something that
1 I'm not interested in.
2 Q. That's okay. Well, there's three matters I want to put to you
3 from this statement just to see whether you -- whether you accept them as
4 true or say that they're false: Firstly, it says here, "I think we've
5 already spent two days in Grabovica when Vehbija Karic arrived." Now, is
6 that true or is that false?
7 A. Not only Vehbija Karic arrived.
8 Q. The next thing that I want to ask you about is that there's no
9 mention in this statement at all of you returning to Jablanica. Do you
10 agree with that?
11 A. After half an hour or an hour when that meeting ended, I went to
13 Q. What's the reason you didn't say that when speaking to the police
14 and signing the statement that we now are putting to you?
15 A. I know that I said that for sure, but as far as what they wrote
16 down, I'm not interested in that. I was never interested in that.
17 Q. And why did you say, "I spent that evening at home where I drank
18 alcoholic drinks with my room-mates"?
19 A. That is not true.
20 Q. Why did you say it though?
21 A. I didn't say it like that, because I wasn't drinking. There is
22 no alcohol there. How could there be any alcohol in Grabovica? As far as
23 the things that they wrote down, I had nothing to do with that.
24 Q. All right. And is there a reason therefore why you signed this
25 document here, relatively short document, written in Bosnian, which
1 contained these things which you now say are false?
2 A. I don't know what you're driving at.
3 Q. I'm driving at -- just so that you're not under any
4 misapprehension, I'm driving that you've changed your story on a number of
5 occasions which I'm going to put to you. Do you fully understand that?
6 A. I am telling you that I said the same thing then as I'm saying
8 Q. All right. Well --
9 MR. MORRISSEY: In fact, Your Honours, given that the witness has
10 accepted signing that document, I seek to tender that document into
12 JUDGE LIU: Any objections?
13 MR. WEINER: Yes, I would object, Your Honour, unless we're going
14 to tender all prior documents in of prior inconsistent statements. As the
15 Court knows, in this jurisdiction -- or I'm sorry, before this Court,
16 prior inconsistent statements come in orally through testimony. The
17 documents themselves are not admissible. If you want to see the Strugar
18 decision, I believe it's number 3 on the admissibility of evidence 2004,
19 it indicates that such evidence based on the policy of this Tribunal is
20 not admissible at trial.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes. I think on that point, I agree with the
23 MR. MORRISSEY: As the Court pleases.
24 JUDGE LIU: And we also noticed that you used very extensively
25 the part of that document already and everything you said is registered in
1 the record.
2 MR. MORRISSEY: As the Court pleases. Yes, I won't seek to press
3 it further than I have.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Mehanovic.
7 Now, your claim here in court is that the Karic incident happens
8 the day after you arrive; that's correct, isn't it? Or do you say it's on
9 the day that you arrive?
10 A. The next day.
11 Q. So where did you stay the first night that you were present in
12 the village? In Jablanica or in Grabovica?
13 A. In Jablanica.
14 Q. So is your position this: That you arrived with the troops on
15 the 8th; that you then went to Jablanica for the night of the 8th; that
16 you came back on the next day, and that's when the Karic village -- visit
17 took place to the village?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. So -- and you're not making this up as you go along, are you,
20 Mr. Mehanovic? That's what you remember; correct?
21 MR. WEINER: I'd object, Your Honour. Argumentative.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, it is very argumentative.
23 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, actually, Your Honour, it was meant to be
24 positively fawning and agreeing, as Your Honour will see from the
25 question. I put to him he's not making it up, that he's giving proper
1 evidence about this, and that that's the case. But if my friend has a
2 difficulty with it, it's icing on the cake twice, Your Honour. I withdraw
3 the question.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yeah. I believe that the witness has already
5 answered that question.
6 MR. MORRISSEY: He has. He has.
7 Q. So what that means anyway, to be quite clear, is that you arrive
8 on the 8th and Mr. Karic arrives on the 9th; correct?
9 A. That is so.
10 Q. And your meeting with Mr. Karic took place -- I think you've
11 indicated that is it was sometime in the afternoon. Do you mean around
12 the end of the afternoon, say 5.30 in the evening, or do you mean
13 mid-afternoon, around 3.00, or perhaps at about 3.30 or 4.00, or do you
14 mean very early afternoon?
15 A. I did not quite understand the question.
16 Q. That's okay. I'll try it another way. You've indicated that you
17 heard that Mr. Karic was coming at lunchtime. You recall that? When you
18 were given your lunch packets.
19 A. Right. It was not only Karic. I repeat again: It was that
20 officers from the General Staff were supposed to come.
21 Q. Yes. Okay. Well, what I'm getting at here is the timing factor
22 now. You got that news at lunchtime and then a couple of hours passed
23 before they came. Is that accurate or wrong?
24 A. They came around 2.00, 2.30, maybe 3.00. I'm not sure.
25 Q. Okay. Well, I won't try to lock you to a specific time, but what
1 you're saying is mid-afternoon, around the 2.30 to 3.00 mark; is that
3 A. Something like that.
4 Q. Did you hear any shooting going on while the soldiers were lined
6 A. No.
7 Q. Did you see any livestock being driven around by soldiers at that
9 A. No.
10 Q. Did you glance to the left bank of the village and see elderly
11 Croatian civilians fleeing the village on foot along the road to
13 A. No.
14 Q. Did you see any police vehicles attending on the right bank and
15 stopping near to the house which you say you were accommodated in?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Did you hear the screams of any frightened civilians?
18 A. No.
19 Q. How did you get into -- well, I'm going to go back to the 8th
20 now, the day of your arrival, okay? And I think you've indicated there
21 that you ultimately came to the house that you occupied at about 5.00
22 approximately; is that right?
23 A. Well, late afternoon.
24 Q. Okay.
25 A. Evening.
1 Q. Between the time you arrived at the village and entering the
2 house that you entered, did you hear any shooting or guns going off?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Did you hear the distressed screams of any civilians?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Well, I think, Mr. Mehanovic, you understand what I'm asking, and
7 what I'm asking you is this: Are you up to your neck in the killing of
8 these civilians yourself?
9 A. No. In fact, I don't quite understand what you mean.
10 Q. And you left about half an hour after arriving at your house.
11 And I want to ask you: Was it light or dark when you left to go to
12 Jablanica on the night of the 8th?
13 A. Yes, it was light. It was summertime.
14 Q. How did you get into Jablanica? Did you have a vehicle or a
15 bicycle or did you go on foot?
16 A. No. We stopped some kind of jeep or van or something.
17 Q. What do you mean you stopped some kind of jeep or van? Do you
18 mean a jeep or van that just happened to be passing by, or a jeep or van
19 owned and operated by the soldiers in the village?
20 A. No, it was not from the village. It just came by.
21 Q. It came by on the main road, according to you; is that right?
22 A. Yes, it was on the main road. This jeep or van was just passing
23 by on the main road from Mostar to Jablanica. It was not from the
25 Q. And as -- therefore, as you left the right bank village, you had
1 to walk out along that track and cross over the iron bridge to get to the
2 main road; correct?
3 A. Which railroad? There is no railroad.
4 Q. No, it's okay. My words have led you astray. I mean the path -
5 the road, not the railroad, but the road - which leaves the village and
6 rejoins the main highway. What I'm putting to you is: In order to get to
7 the highway, you had to go along that road and cross over an iron bridge.
8 Do you agree with that?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. Who were you with when you crossed over that iron bridge?
11 A. Haris, this friend of mine, and I.
12 Q. You didn't get on a bicycle with a man named Mr. Turkovic, Crni,
13 did you?
14 A. No. Where would we get a bicycle there? We certainly didn't
15 take one from Sarajevo.
16 Q. Did any of the Croatian civilians while they were alive own
18 A. That I don't know.
19 Q. Let me put another question to you: Did you go into Jablanica
20 and buy some alcohol for the troops?
21 A. No.
22 Q. You know, don't you, that Ramiz Delalic when he was present would
23 not tolerate the drinking of alcohol by the troops; is that correct?
24 A. That's so.
25 Q. But Ramiz Delalic wasn't present, was he, on the night of the 8th
1 in Grabovica?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. And you had been and your unit had been stuck in Sarajevo in
4 siege conditions for -- I withdraw that. I'll put another question.
5 You had been fighting hard battles in Sarajevo and on Igman for
6 weeks, if not months, before this trip to Herzegovina; is that true?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. And whilst I'm not suggesting that it was in the least a holiday
9 to go to Herzegovina to fight in a war, you and the other soldiers did
10 look forward to getting out of Sarajevo for a while; is that true?
11 A. Well, something like that.
12 Q. And when you arrived at Grabovica, the commander was missing;
14 A. No.
15 Q. Well, he was off in Jablanica; is that correct?
16 A. As far as I know, Zuka was our commander. That's how the
17 Karavelic read the order to us. As soon as we cross the runway, Zuka was
18 supposed to take over command. That's how I understood it.
19 Q. And in fairness to you, that is what you said earlier. But my
20 question is a bit different. What I'm putting to you is here you were in
21 Herzegovina with no one supervising you in the village. Is that accurate?
22 A. That is something I don't know. That's a question you'd better
23 ask the people from the Supreme Command. It's not my level.
24 Q. What I'm asking you about is how alcohol got to that village.
25 Can you answer that question? How did alcohol come to be in that village?
1 A. I don't know. It's the first time now that I hear from you that
2 there were any vehicles there -- there was -- sorry, there was alcohol.
3 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter misunderstood. That there was
4 any alcohol there at all.
5 MR. MORRISSEY:
6 Q. You certainly knew where to find alcohol in Jablanica, didn't
7 you, Mr. Mehanovic?
8 A. What alcohol are you talking about? Are you trying to make out
9 that I was an alcoholic or something?
10 Q. I'm trying to put to you that you went -- well, I'm not putting
11 it to you but I'm querying with you whether you went and collected alcohol
12 from Jablanica, given your contacts at Jablanica.
13 A. No, I didn't -- I didn't go and get alcohol.
14 Q. All right. Well, what you'd say is according to you, on the 8th
15 of -- on the 8th of September, you heard no guns, no screams, and in short
16 nothing to cause you to think that anything was wrong at all whilst you
17 were in Grabovica?
18 MR. WEINER: I'd object, Your Honour. That's argumentative and
19 it's also asked and answered previously.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I believe this question has been raised and
21 answered already.
22 MR. MORRISSEY: As the Court pleases.
23 Q. Well, when you got to Jablanica, where did you go on the night of
24 the 8th?
25 A. I was in Jablanica. Where could I go?
1 Q. Well, that's what I'm asking you. Did you go to a friend's
3 A. Well, we did go around town, cafes.
4 Q. And where did you end up, in terms of sleeping?
5 A. At the hotel.
6 Q. Which hotel?
7 A. The Jablanica Hotel. There's only one hotel, as far as I know.
8 Maybe they've built some more since then, but at that time there was only
10 Q. Do you know whether members of the Security Services were
11 billeted in that hotel at that time?
12 A. I don't know.
13 Q. What about a man called Brankovic? Was he billeted in that
14 hotel at that time?
15 A. I don't know that either.
16 Q. What about Namik Dzankovic?
17 A. I don't know.
18 Q. How big a hotel is the Jablanica Hotel?
19 A. I think it's a two-storey, maybe a three-storey building.
20 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... the book?
21 A. I don't think so.
22 Q. Did you see any of Mr. Suljevic, Bilajac, or Karic at the hotel
23 that night when you went to stay there?
24 A. No.
25 Q. What time did you leave to go back to Grabovica the next morning?
1 A. Around 11.00, 12.00.
2 Q. So did you arrive back in Grabovica at about 11.30, say half
3 past 11.00 to 12.00, late in the morning on the 9th of September?
4 A. Well, around 11.00, 12.00. I'm not sure. It was before lunch,
5 in any case.
6 Q. Did you pass by a man called Marinko Dreznjak as he fled from the
7 village down that road?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Did you run into a refugee -- a Muslim refugee woman called
10 Munevera Repesa present on the right bank with her daughter?
11 A. No.
12 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, I'd ask that we go into the private
13 session for the reasons indicated earlier on.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go to the private session, please.
15 [Private session]
11 Pages 63-66 redacted. Private session.
1 [Open session]
2 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Mehanovic. Did you tell the cantonal court in --
4 I'll give row the date of it -- on the 12th of January -- just excuse me a
5 moment. I just want to make sure that the date has been correctly put
7 Yes, did you tell the cantonal court in a record of the hearing
8 of the witness compiled on the 12th of the January, 1999, which has been
9 provided by the Prosecution to the Defence and is to be found at page 3,
10 Your Honours, about ten lines from the top -- did you tell the cantonal
11 court this: "I would like to emphasise that I came to an abandoned house
12 where there were no civilians, and I would also like to point out that I
13 did not notice any civilians at all. I know that we spent the first night
14 there as well as the second night. However, after the second or third
15 night, I have heard about the killing of some civilians in Grabovica."
16 Now, is that what you told the cantonal court in Sarajevo and is
17 it true?
18 A. I didn't say that and it's not true.
19 Q. Is the story of your trip to Jablanica a relatively recent
20 invention invented sometime after the evidence that you gave to the
21 cantonal court?
22 MR. WEINER: I'd object, Your Honour. That's an argument.
23 That's not a question.
24 JUDGE LIU: I believe that you have raised this question already,
25 Mr. Morrissey.
1 MR. MORRISSEY: I'm not sure that I raised that specific one, but
2 I think I have to in fairness put it to the witness. I don't want to be
3 criticised at a later time for failing to give the witness an opportunity
4 to comment on the grave allegations that we're going to make and are
5 making now. If the Prosecution says that they won't make that point, then
6 that's the end of that question. If they don't say that and if they don't
7 agree with Your Honour's summary, then I'd seem to persist with the
8 question. And could we ask Mr. Weiner what his position is about it.
9 MR. WEINER: The question -- I mean, he can -- he can question in
10 that area, but the form of the question itself is argumentative. It's a
11 summary. It's not a question that's admissible.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Morrissey, you may show some, you know,
13 documents or previous statement to this witness before that, in that in
14 the past you didn't mention this issue but now suddenly we hear --
15 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes.
16 JUDGE LIU: -- you know, you are talking about your trip to
17 Jablanica. Why is that?
18 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. Your Honour, that's what the thrust of the
19 question was. I agree to ask it that way.
20 Q. Mr. Mehanovic, can you point to any document where you make the
21 claim of going to Jablanica on the first night prior to the year of 1999?
22 A. Can you show me that I did not go to Jablanica? Can you
23 demonstrate that?
24 Q. Let me ask you another question: You've been around the criminal
25 justice system a while, haven't you, Mr. Mehanovic?
1 JUDGE LIU: Well, that's not a proper comment, Mr. Morrissey.
2 MR. MORRISSEY: I withdraw it, Your Honour.
3 Q. Very well. I'll press on with something that concerns us with
4 the case.
5 Let me just ask you another question: Are you concerned in your
6 evidence here to protect any person from exposure to criminal prosecutions
7 in the new war crimes Chamber in Sarajevo?
8 A. I don't know what you mean. I'm telling you what I know and what
9 I saw. Whether I will protect anybody or inflict damage on anyone with
10 that, I don't know. I'm just saying what I saw and what I know.
11 Q. Mr. Mehanovic, I've got to ask you about a police case in 1997.
12 It's not the one we referred to earlier. It's a different one.
13 Mr. Mehanovic, were you indicted in 1997 for an event involving a
14 display of force in a restaurant in Bembasa Street following the finding
15 of three hand grenades at your apartment? Were you indicted by that?
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
17 MR. WEINER: Once again, Your Honour, I object. How is any of
18 this admissible? If they have a certified copy of a conviction or if they
19 have some sort of conviction, that you can question a person about. But
20 we're just talking about a charge, an interview, an investigation, an
21 indictment. Without a conviction, questioning should not be allowed.
22 It's irrelevant.
23 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, it's directly relevant to relationship
24 evidence, Your Honour. It's got nothing to do with impugning his credit.
25 And in fact, I'm going to lead from him that he was never convicted of
1 this. But it's got to do with other matters and I would seek to persist.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I believe that this question is allowed. You
3 may proceed.
4 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes.
5 Q. Okay. Well, you recall being indicted for that incident in 1997?
6 Mr. Mehanovic, would it assist if I showed you a copy of the
8 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, could I -- this is another matter
9 that's only just been translated, and I would seek that -- I'm sorry to do
10 this, but I'm running against the clock.
11 JUDGE LIU: We are waiting for the answer from this witness. If
12 there's no doubts about that, why should we have this indictment?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There is an answer.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, what is it, witness?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the first time that I'm
16 hearing of anything like this.
17 First of all, no bombs were thrown at my apartment, and I am
18 hearing for the first time that I am being charged for something like
19 that. Could you please show us that.
20 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. Could the witness please be shown the
21 indictment that is about to be shown.
22 Would Your Honour just excuse me a moment.
23 [Defence counsel confer]
24 MR. MORRISSEY: Just excuse us a moment, Mr. Mehanovic, and we'll
25 provide everyone in the court with what you need and ...
1 [Defence counsel confer]
2 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, I think Your Honours and,
3 Mr. Prosecutor, I think what you have should be a three-page indictment
4 and then a translation of that following it in English. Okay.
5 Q. Now, do you see there the fourth name on that list is the name --
6 on that indictment is the name Nedzad Mehanovic?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. The nickname of Necko?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And it gives details, including occupation, caterer, and other
11 details which we don't need to go into? Okay? Do you see all that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. I'm not concerned with asking you about your guilt or innocence
14 of that particular matter at this stage. Okay? But do you recall being
15 charged -- being indicted under this indictment now that you're looking
17 A. I have no idea.
18 Q. Wait a minute.
19 A. This is the first time that I'm seeing this.
20 Q. I'm sorry? You've never seen the indictment?
21 A. I do not recall seeing it, no.
22 Q. All right. You recall though -- just bear with me for a moment,
23 please. You recall, don't you, that you were spoken to by police
24 concerning the finding of three M-93 hand grenades in your apartment
25 during a police search? You recall being questioned about that matter?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. Very well.
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. And I don't need to know any details of what you told your lawyer
5 at the time, but you spoke to a lawyer about these allegations against
6 you, didn't you?
7 A. I probably did. I don't know.
8 Oh, these are three -- the three bombs that -- the hand grenades
9 that stayed -- that I had left from the war. I think that's written down
11 Q. Yes. Well, as I said to you, I'm not concerned to try to make
12 you get found guilty of that now. Do you follow that -- in fact, I'll ask
13 you this question: To your knowledge, in 1993 [sic] the prosecution
14 against you was discontinued because it ran out of time; is that correct?
15 MR. WEINER: Objection, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
17 MR. WEINER: This says 1997. He just mentioned 1993.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
19 MR. WEINER: And why is --
20 MR. MORRISSEY: It's an error. 2003. I apologise. The reason
21 it's relevant, could I just indicate, is because I --
22 JUDGE LIU: No. Wait. Wait. Wait.
23 Mr. Weiner.
24 MR. WEINER: Once again, why is this relevant?
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Mr. Morrissey maybe could show us the relevance
1 of this to our present case.
2 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. That last question there has very limited
3 relevance, but it was designed to be fair to the witness so that he
4 doesn't think that it's being suggested that he was guilty. I'm just
5 putting to him at the moment that he was charged, and that's why I was
6 putting that to him, that the charge didn't go any further, so as not to
7 mislead him or the Court into thinking that it was being put to credit.
8 It's not being put to credit.
9 But, Your Honours, I agree -- I won't put the question, and if my
10 friend thinks it's irrelevant, I just won't put it. I agree. I withdraw
11 the question.
12 MR. WEINER: I'm not talking just about the question but this
13 whole line of questioning. How is this relevant?
14 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, the next question.
15 JUDGE LIU: Me too.
16 MR. MORRISSEY: Okay.
17 JUDGE LIU: Maybe you could show us?
18 MR. MORRISSEY: In one question I'll show you.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
20 MR. MORRISSEY:
21 Q. Do you see who's the first named person on that indictment there?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. All right. [Previous translation continues] ... is your
24 co-accused in the 1997 matter Ramiz Delalic?
25 A. I don't know. I really -- it doesn't state here that I was there
1 at all. I don't know how it is that I ended up on that list. As far as I
2 am able to read, it doesn't say here at all that I participated or that I
3 was with him, on the first page. My name is not mentioned at all, that I
4 was with him at all. Whether they were there or not is something that I
5 really don't know and I'm not interested in it either.
6 Q. What I'm putting to you is this: You were a co-accused of Ramiz
7 Delalic in 1997. Do you agree with me? I'm not saying you were guilty or
8 that he was guilty. And, in fact, neither of you got found guilty. But
9 I'm asking you to acknowledge this: That the authorities jointly accused
10 you and Ramiz at the same time on the same indictment. Is that true?
11 A. No. No. I was indicted because of these three hand grenades
12 that were found in my apartment, for unlawful possession of weapons and so
14 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, I offer that document for tender.
15 MR. WEINER: On what basis, Your Honour? To show what?
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
17 MR. MORRISSEY: It's being led to show a relationship between
18 this man and Ramiz Delalic at a time later. It's directly relevant to
19 issues of the construction of the statement. It's directly relevant to
20 matters I'm going to rely on at a later time. I'm going to put it to
21 Mr. -- to another witness who's being referred to elsewhere when he comes.
22 And if this witness -- I'm sorry, I take that back. But if anyone else
23 mentioned in this indictment should chance to appear --
24 Well, could I move into the private session, please?
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, at this stage we would like to hold the
1 admission of this document for a while. If in the future you could show
2 more relevance to this case, we will have it admitted. Otherwise --
3 MR. MORRISSEY: Certainly.
4 JUDGE LIU: But anyway, we should give a number to that document
5 for the future, you know, usage. Yes.
6 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, that will exhaust the questions on
7 that document. So I ask that it be given a number and we'll move on.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
9 THE REGISTRAR: The document will be marked for identification,
11 MR. MORRISSEY: Very well. Thank you.
12 JUDGE LIU: And could I ask how long are you going to finish your
14 MR. MORRISSEY: Would Your Honour excuse me for one moment.
15 I would think more than half an hour and less than an hour.
16 JUDGE LIU: Which means that we could not hear another witness
17 for today, because, you know, if not, we have to send that witness back.
18 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honour, that's -- that is what
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, definitely we'll finish this witness today?
21 MR. MORRISSEY: And I would think with some time to spare. Oh,
22 except that - I forget - is Your Honour proposing to have a break?
23 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. Because we have to have a break at this
24 time and we'll resume at 6.00, so we have an hour to go.
25 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honour --
1 JUDGE LIU: For today.
2 MR. MORRISSEY: The break will have the effect of the questions
3 going quicker.
4 JUDGE LIU: I hope so.
5 Well, we will resume at 6.00.
6 --- Recess taken at 5.35 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 6.00 p.m.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
9 MR. MORRISSEY: Thanks, Your Honour.
10 Q. Before the legal discussions that took place, I was asking
11 questions about the 9th of -- of September, and this is the -- after the
12 first night that you say you spent in Jablanica. How did you get back to
13 Grabovica the -- the morning of the 9th?
14 A. I don't know. A friend brought me there in his car.
15 Q. Who was the friend?
16 A. Some guys from Jablanica.
17 Q. Can you give us any names of those friends from Jablanica or not?
18 A. I can't remember now. It was 11, 12 years ago.
19 Q. Okay. And -- but you're telling the truth, aren't you, that you
20 really did get driven back by these men from Jablanica?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay. And after the Karic meeting, as you've described it, you
23 went back to Jablanica again for a second time; is that right?
24 A. Right.
25 Q. How did you get there this time?
1 A. The same way. I got a lift, hitch-hiked.
2 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... this time?
3 A. I can't remember.
4 Q. Who gave you permission to go in to Jablanica and leave the place
5 where you were billeted with your unit?
6 A. Nobody did.
7 MR. MORRISSEY: And -- well, Your Honour, could we please go into
8 the private session.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go to the private session.
10 [Private session]
11 Pages 78-92 redacted. Private session.
2 [Open session]
3 MR. MORRISSEY:
4 Q. Mr. Mehanovic, you've indicated that on the 9th after the Karic
5 and -- the words that you ascribed to Vehbija Karic that you went back to
6 Jablanica on that occasion hitch-hiking, did you see Ramiz Delalic in
7 Jablanica that night?
8 A. No.
9 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Alispago?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Sefer Halilovic?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Where did you stay on that -- the night of the 9th?
14 A. In Jablanica.
15 Q. Whereabouts in Jablanica?
16 A. [No interpretation].
17 Q. Yes, okay. And that's the same hotel you were referring to
18 earlier; yes? The same hotel?
19 A. That's the only hotel.
20 Q. Very well. Were there any other members of the 9th Brigade with
21 you on that second night?
22 A. Haris, I think.
23 Q. Yes. And what time did you go back the -- the following day, on
24 the 10th, to the village of Grabovica?
25 A. About 11.00 or 12.00.
1 Q. I see. And prior to going back there, I take it you knew nothing
2 about any killings in that village. Is that right?
3 A. I didn't get a translation.
4 Q. I'm sorry, well, I'll put the question again.
5 Prior to going back -- well, prior to arriving back in Grabovica
6 on the 10th of September, you had no idea that anything terrible had
7 happened in Grabovica; is that correct?
8 A. No. I heard about it when I got there.
9 Q. I understand. And when you got back, the line-up which Ramiz
10 Delalic had already conducted was well and truly finished; is that
12 A. I wasn't present during the line-up, but I heard from the
13 soldiers that there was a line-up and that he had brought those children.
14 Q. Yes. Okay. And when you got back, did you see any signs of
15 digging or covering up of bodies or massacres or murders of any sort?
16 A. No. I only saw that stain on the road. I don't know what that
17 was. Something like blood or paint. Something like that.
18 Q. I'm just going to put something to you from your evidence to the
19 cantonal court on the 12th of January, 1999, a document I've already
20 referred the witness to on a number of occasions, but this is on the third
21 or fourth, the third page or fourth.
22 Did you say this -- well, perhaps -- I'm going to read it to you
23 and then I'll ask you some questions: "I cannot remember the date, but
24 the day after the night when civilians in Grabovica were murdered Ramiz
25 Delalic and Malco Rovcanin came and ordered us to line up. After we lined
1 up, Delalic came up with two small children and asked them to recognise if
2 some of us who were in the line murdered their parents. After they took a
3 look at us, they said that none of us killed their parents. Later on
4 Ramiz Delalic took them to Jablanica and I did not see them anymore.
5 While I was there, apart from Ramiz Delalic lining us up, nobody else came
6 to Grabovica to investigate the murder of the civilians."
7 Now, is that true?
8 A. No.
9 Q. You gave that evidence, didn't you, to the cantonal court in
11 A. I didn't say it like that. I said what I said now, the same that
12 I said in each statement, and that judge and the secretary who wrote that
13 was practically illiterate. There are some things there -- I don't know.
14 Q. I want to take you to another statement that you made that you
15 already had read to you as well. This was a signed statement dated the
16 23rd of the 3rd, 1998. In that statement -- I just want to read a passage
17 to you: "I spent that evening at home where I drank alcoholic drinks with
18 my room-mates. When I woke up the next morning, I went for a breakfast.
19 That is where we were informed that Ramiz Delalic, brigade deputy
20 commander, ordered us to line up. After the whole assault company had
21 lined up, Ramiz Delalic showed up bringing two children between eight and
22 ten years of age with him. Ramiz told the children to pass by the ranks
23 and see who had killed their parents. Only then did I realise that some
24 ugly things had happened in Grabovica the night before. The two children
25 walked by us, and after that they told Ramiz Delalic that none of the
1 soldiers present had killed their father and mother. Except for the above
2 stated, I am not familiar with any other details regarding the murder of
3 the civilians in Grabovica."
4 Now, Mr. Mehanovic, that's in the statement you signed. Is that
5 true or not?
6 A. No. I am telling you again, I wasn't present when Ramiz Delalic
7 brought those children. I was in Jablanica. Only after that did I come
8 from Jablanica and I heard about these civilians being killed and how he
9 had brought the children. I heard that from the soldiers. This was
10 something that was talked about. This story spread.
11 Q. Well, I understand that you say that the judge at the cantonal
12 court was illiterate, but you're not illiterate, are you? You can read
13 and write; correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And you're not someone who just signs whatever the police put in
16 front of your nose, are you?
17 A. I never read those statements. Whichever one I signed, I never
18 read it back, because I know what I said. Like I said, that statement by
19 Nikolai, about 90 per cent of it are lies. There are words in it that I
20 don't know how to say like that. It's just not written in my vocabulary,
21 for sure. The way they wrote that and translated, it's one word and five
22 people can say it in different ways. And if five different people say it,
23 it would have a different meaning. I can only tell you what I know and
24 what I saw.
25 Q. Yes. But I wasn't asking -- I wasn't asking about Nikolai, but
1 anyway we'll move on from that at this stage, and I will now ask you about
3 Did Nikolai -- that's Nikolai Mikhailov, the ICTY investigator,
4 did he seem to you to be pushing your words in a particular direction?
5 A. I don't know. I can't remember.
6 Q. Did he seem to you to be faithfully recording what you said or
7 was he putting down what he wanted to hear, as far as you could see?
8 A. In Germany, when they gave me that statement to look at, I saw
9 that practically 90 per cent of things in there are untrue, for sure. I
10 didn't even know that there was something like that written. I didn't
11 read it back at the time when I signed it.
12 Q. Okay. Mr. Mehanovic, on the night of the 10th, to the best of
13 your memory, you left and went down to fight in Dreznica; is that correct?
14 A. I think on the 10th, in the evening, at about 11.00. I'm not
15 sure, but I think it was like that.
16 Q. That's okay. And when you got down to Dreznica -- I just want to
17 be clear about how things developed. Was there two -- two battles or two
18 actions that you had to be involved in down there?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Was the first one an action concerned with Vrdi and the second
21 one concerned with a mountain called Mount Medved?
22 A. Yes, correct.
23 Q. Okay. And to the best of your recollection, did the first
24 action, the one near to Vrdi, was it all finished in one day or did it
25 take more than one day?
1 A. I think that it went on the second day when we were on
2 Mount Medved. There were some other people in the hills. The first day
3 when it started, we were up in the hills. Then we returned, spent the
4 night -- spent one night. And the next day we travelled for two days and
5 two nights. We were walking, climbing on foot up the hill. And then when
6 we got there, they were attacking Vrdi from below.
7 Q. Yes. Thanks. So it's really the timing as best you can remember
8 now that I'm asking about, bearing in mind that it's quite a few years
9 ago. You left on approximately the 10th, and would you say that you got
10 into battle on a -- on around the 13th or 14th?
11 A. I think that the first action was carried out around the 11th. We
12 travelled all night, and the next day -- well, not the whole night. We
13 travelled that night. When we reached Vrdi, in the morning then we
14 started climbing. We were climbing during the day. And I think that
15 during the day we attacked Vrdi. I think it was daytime when we were
17 Q. Okay. Look, I won't try to nail down precise dates and times at
18 this length of time, but I just want to ask you about a couple of
19 individuals down there. Did you meet with a couple of soldiers from
20 Zuka's Unit who were good soldiers, actually, called Zuti and Popara?
21 A. I don't believe so.
22 Q. Do you recall whether or not you encountered a journalist by the
23 name of Sevko Hodzic during -- in fact, altogether, during your time in
25 A. No. No, I don't know that man.
1 Q. At the time when you were fighting in these battles, do you
2 recall whether or not those battles were featuring in the media back in
3 Sarajevo? In other words, were you told that they were, or not?
4 A. I don't know that. We weren't there. I don't know.
5 Q. Okay. I've just got a couple of structural questions about --
6 about certain units. There's been some reference here to a unit called
7 the 2nd Independent Battalion commanded by Adnan Solakovic. Now, you're
8 familiar with that -- that unit; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Just so that everyone is clear, that unit was not a 9th Brigade
11 unit, was it?
12 A. [No interpretation].
13 Q. Was there a unit within the 9th Brigade called the 2nd Battalion,
14 a different unit?
15 A. There were four battalions, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th -- or
16 maybe even five. I am not sure, but it was most probably four rather than
18 Q. That's okay. But when we're talking about the battalion -- the
19 2nd Independent Battalion, which is the one that was down in -- in
20 Grabovica, that unit was not connected to the 9th Brigade at all; is that
22 A. Adnan Solakovic, yes.
23 Q. He was the commander of that unit.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thanks for that.
1 And also, I have to ask you about an individual who was referred
2 to in evidence I think by another witness, actually, called Juka Prazina.
3 Do you remember the famous Juka Prazina?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. We obviously don't have time to go into the whole history of Juka
6 Prazina, but to your knowledge, he was not a member of the 9th Brigade,
7 was he?
8 A. No.
9 Q. He had his own unit in 1992 in Sarajevo; is that right?
10 A. Yes. Yes.
11 Q. And for whatever reasons, they don't matter here, he ended up
12 changing sides and fighting for the HVO; is that correct?
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. He had nothing to do with your brigade; correct?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Okay. Thanks.
17 I've just got a couple of final questions now, and this is the
18 last sequence of questions before I finish.
19 There's been some allegations made that units in Sarajevo would
20 sometimes take civilians to dig trenches. Now, I've got some questions
21 about that. First of all, as far as you know, did all the brigades to a
22 greater or lesser degree participate in that activity sometimes?
23 A. I don't know about all of them, but there were such stories.
24 Q. Okay. But as far as you know, the trenches simply had to be dug
25 for military purposes; is that correct?
1 A. I don't know. It depends. There was no trench-digging where we
2 were. There was a tunnel that was dug underground, at Mrkovici.
3 Q. Okay. But were you ever part of grabbing civilians and marching
4 them off to dig trenches or tunnels, or not?
5 A. These were not innocent civilians. These were smugglers in the
6 market. As far as I know, we did not catch any civilians.
7 Q. All right. Were there any smugglers, to your -- to your direct
8 knowledge, I mean - I don't mean speculation - but to your direct
9 knowledge, were there any smugglers among the police -- the civilian
10 police in the area where your unit, the 9th Brigade, was actually fighting
11 against the enemy?
12 A. I didn't understand the question very well.
13 Q. Sorry. Well, it's -- we've both had a long day, Mr. Mehanovic,
14 but I'll try it again.
15 During the time when you were fighting with the 9th Brigade in
16 Sarajevo, did you know of any smugglers amongst the civilian police in
17 your part of Stari Grad, the old town?
18 A. Yes, there were such things. That -- the police officers had
19 their people who sold things for them.
20 Q. From time to time, was there a bit of irritation between the
21 local civilian police, particularly the smuggling ones, and members of the
22 9th Brigade?
23 A. Whether what happened?
24 Q. Sorry. Did you notice any ill feeling between some of your
25 soldiers in the 9th Brigade and some of the smuggling civilian police in
1 your area?
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't understand whether the
3 witness said yes or no.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, I did not.
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Just excuse me one moment, please.
6 [Defence counsel confer]
7 MR. MORRISSEY: Thanks for your patience in answering the
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
10 Well, we still have five minutes left. I don't think that we'll
11 finish the redirect.
12 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, since I might have a lengthy redirect,
13 could we move on till tomorrow?
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes.
15 MR. WEINER: Rather than break it up.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Okay.
17 Well, witness, as I did before, I have to remind you once again
18 you are still under the oath during your stay in The Hague, so do not talk
19 to anybody and do not let anybody talk to you about your testimony. Do
20 you understand that?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I didn't even talk with
22 anybody about the testimony. We were just talking about ordinary things.
23 I am not -- I have nothing to discuss with anybody about the testimony.
24 Why would I do that?
25 JUDGE LIU: I'm not blaming you. I just try to remind you of
1 this fact, as I did to any other witnesses before this Court.
2 Yes. Having said that, I think the hearing is adjourned. We
3 will resume tomorrow afternoon.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.54 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 17th day of
6 February, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.