1 Thursday, 17 February 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.24 p.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. Court Deputy -- Madam
7 Court Deputy. I'm sorry.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Case number
9 IT-01-48-T, the Prosecutor versus Sefer Halilovic.
10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
11 Well, any re-examination, Mr. Weiner?
12 MR. WEINER: Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
14 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
15 WITNESS: NEDZAD MEHANOVIC [Resumed]
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 Re-examined by Mr. Weiner:
18 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Mehanovic.
19 A. Good afternoon.
20 Q. Now, yesterday you were asked by Defence counsel about the visit
21 of Sefer Halilovic, Zuka Alispago, and Vehbija Karic to Grabovica on
22 September 9th. Do you recall that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, do you recall -- prior to testifying yesterday, do you
25 recall ever being asked questions or ever telling other people during
1 questions about that visit?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, yesterday you were also questioned, questions on several
4 occasions, concerning your interview with the cantonal court on the 12th
5 of January, 1999. Do you recall that, sir?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And do you recall - and I'm reading from page 3 in the English-
8 do you recall telling the cantonal court: "During the time we spent in
9 Grabovica, some of the members of the Supreme Command came for a visit,
10 among them Vehbija Karic, Zuka, and Sefer." Do you recall that, sir?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And when you say said "Sefer"" or used the name "Sefer," who were
13 you referring to?
14 A. To Mr. Halilovic.
15 Q. And do you recall giving a statement to OTP investigator Nikolai
16 Mikhailov on the 11th of November, 1999? Do you recall that, sir?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And on page 4 in the English, do you recall saying: "When
19 Vehbija uttered those words, three commanders were present too, including
20 Sefer Halilovic and Zuka"? Do you recall that?
21 A. As I said here, Vehbija Karic was there, Zuka, and Mr. Halilovic,
22 of the senior officers.
23 Q. Thank you. And you also recall in the year 2004 on the 20th of
24 October giving a statement to the Office of the Prosecutor investigator
25 Bernard Brun and attorney Manoj Sachdeva and do you recall saying on page
1 2, which would be paragraph 11 in the English version --
2 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, I'd object to this. That statement
3 wasn't cross-examined on. The other ones were.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
5 MR. WEINER: How --
6 JUDGE LIU: Unless -- unless you establish some connections with
7 the cross-examination, this question is not allowed.
8 MR. WEINER: However, Your Honour, yesterday he questioned the
9 witness and said, "You" -- and he said, "You never said anything about
10 Sefer Halilovic being at this location prior," I think, "to 1999. "
11 Although this is in 2004, it shows that he made the statement, number one,
12 to at least one investigator -- this is the third investigator he's made
13 the statement to. And in addition, he also questioned him about some sort
14 of recent conspiracy with Mr. -- with another witness, since we're not in
15 closed session, and I want to also show that prior to yesterday or prior
16 to their recent meeting, he also gave that same information, as he had
17 given since 1999.
18 JUDGE LIU: But the form of your question is not proper. You may
19 put it another way.
20 MR. WEINER:
21 Q. Sir, do you recall speaking with investigator Bernard Brun of the
22 Office of the Prosecutor in the year 2000?
23 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, the objection remains the same. He wasn't
24 questioned about this statement. And if my friend persists with it, I'll
25 respond to the justification that he gave a minute ago.
1 Your Honour, what was put to the witness in substance was that
2 he's discussed the evidence, he's associated with the other people that
3 were raised in closed session yesterday. The news about the recent
4 discussion, as Your Honours saw, was very recent news and he was
5 cross-examined about that before that actually came out, as you'll recall.
6 So it's not being put that there was a conspiracy invented only
7 the other night. That's not the case. So that this is not evidence that
8 rebuts that in any way.
9 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Weiner, you may quote what the Defence counsel
10 said in his cross-examination and then ask this witness to say whether
11 it's true or not and later on you could follow up your questions.
12 MR. WEINER: One moment, please.
13 [Prosecution counsel confer]
14 MR. WEINER: I'll go into that in a few moments, Your Honour.
15 Sir, let us move on.
16 [Prosecution counsel confer]
17 MR. WEINER:
18 Q. Now, yesterday, sir,-- actually, let us continue with the
19 situation that you discussed where Sefer Halilovic, Zuka Alispago, Vehbija
20 Karic visited Grabovica. Do you recall being asked by Defence counsel
21 about an older Croat man who was standing on the balcony while those
22 commanders were visiting?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And he asked you if they asked that Croat man to leave or go
25 inside the house.
1 A. Did they ask?
2 Q. That's -- and do you recall counsel saying, "Did they ask that
3 old man to go inside the house or leave"? Do you recall that yesterday?
4 A. I don't know. I don't know if it was like that. As far as I can
5 remember, I was asked whether anybody would speak in front of the enemy
6 side, something like that.
7 Q. That's correct.
8 Now, when you were asked, you -- the counsel asked you would
9 anyone discuss military operations in front of -- I'll actually give you
10 the exact quote -- discuss an upcoming operation in front of the -- a
11 civilian from the opposite side.
12 Sir, were any details of the military operation discussed by
13 Sefer Halilovic, Zuka Alispago, or Vehbija Karic in that old man's
15 A. No.
16 Q. Were any strategies of that operation mentioned in that man's
18 A. No.
19 Q. Did Sefer Halilovic, Zuka Alispago, or Vehbija Karic display any
20 maps of the operation in that old man's presence?
21 A. I don't think so, but I cannot remember specifically.
22 Q. Now, we're talking about whether it would be odd for senior
23 commanders to address troops about operations in the presence of civilians
24 tied to the other side, and you were asked on how many occasions you were
25 aware that that occurred. Let me ask you this, sir: On how many
1 occasions have you noticed a senior commander discuss plans of an upcoming
2 operation with a member of the press being present?
3 A. Not once.
4 Q. On how many occasions have you noticed any senior commander issue
5 orders on upcoming operations in the presence of a member of the press?
6 A. Not once.
7 Q. And finally, on how many occasions have you noticed senior
8 commanders displaying maps of upcoming operations to members of the press?
9 A. Not once.
10 Q. Now, let's get back to the earlier issue. Yesterday you were
11 asked two questions: (redacted)
16 First, what is your answer to both of those questions?
17 A. That it's just a silly thing to say. I have no response to that.
18 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, could I just raise a matter here.
19 I'm not sure what the status of the -- the projected alleged desire of a
20 particular person for protective measures is, but if it's being persisted
21 with, then at least perhaps the Prosecutor ought to go through the form of
22 going to private session now.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think, you know, the purpose of the
24 protective measures is a measure not to disclose the status of that person
25 who would be a witness in this courtroom.
1 MR. MORRISSEY: Well --
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe that if the -- the request was raised
3 by the Prosecution yesterday, and if they believe there's no problem at
4 all, we'll not take care of it.
5 You may proceed.
6 MR. WEINER: Could the name be redacted, Your Honour. My -- my
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, if you request it.
9 MR. WEINER:
10 Q. Now, sir, do you recall giving a statement -- you recalled giving
11 these other statements where you talked about Sefer Halilovic, Zuka
12 Alispago, and Vehbija Karic visiting Grabovica. Do you recall giving a
13 statement last year to investigator Bernard Brun and attorney Manoj
14 Sachdeva on the 20th of October, 2004?
15 A. Yes.
16 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, we seem to be back to the same
17 position we were. And I'd object to references to that unless it arises
18 out of cross-examination.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes. But the witness has answered the question.
20 We'll let it go.
21 MR. WEINER:
22 Q. And do you recall saying to the investigator and the attorney,
23 "After Halilovic" --
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, it depends on the contents of the question. Let
25 him finish the question.
1 MR. WEINER:
2 Q. Actually, you start in paragraph 10: "Karic did not ask such
3 things. After Halilovic and Zuka asked such questions, the soldiers
4 started to complain about the bad food and accommodations." Do you recall
5 that, sir?
6 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, now I do object to it for the reasons I've
7 already indicated and nothing new has been led to justify that being put.
8 The objection remains.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, if this matter was not raised in
10 cross-examination, I believe that in the redirect the question is not
11 allowed, Mr. Weiner.
12 MR. WEINER: As the Court pleases.
13 Q. Now, sir, yesterday you testified as to your disagreements with
14 information contained in certain statements. You said your statement to
15 the MUP, the one to the cantonal court, the one to Nikolai Mikhailov. Do
16 you recall that yesterday?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. In fact, do you recall meeting or being interviewed by
19 investigator Bernard Brun in the year 2004?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And do you recall at that time making some corrections to the
22 various statements?
23 MR. MORRISSEY: Once again, I object. This wasn't cross-examined
24 upon, and it's just an attempt to get in what the Prosecution might hope
25 to lead as a prior consistent statement. That in itself is not permitted.
1 In the circumstance of this case, it would be completely irrelevant.
2 I want to point out something else to the Court, if I might,
3 arising out of this: At the start of this re-examination by Mr. Weiner --
4 Mr. Weiner, I'm sorry, what occurred was that Mr. Weiner himself took the
5 witness to specific parts of those very statements and asked him to agree,
6 which he did. And you'll recall that was the very first questions he
8 Now, the Prosecutor simply can't be heard to rely on those
9 statements and what was said in them at the start of re-examination and
10 then at the end of it or at whatever point we are at now to seek to impugn
11 them in order to buttress the position taken by the witness yesterday.
12 You can't ride two horses, especially when they're going in different
13 directions. And I object to this current line of questioning on that
14 basis as well as the first one that I raised.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, thank you very much. But as for this specific
16 question, I believe that it's related to the answer the witness gave
17 yesterday in answering your questions, so that particular question is
19 MR. WEINER: Thank you. The cites are pages 41 and 95 to the
20 disagreements with the various statements.
21 Q. Now, sir, do you recall making some corrections as to the Nikolai
22 Mikhailov statement when you spoke with investigator Bernard Brun?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. And, sir, let us look at that statement.
25 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, I object before that question goes any
1 further. There's just no basis for it. This statement wasn't raised in
2 cross-examination at all. The witness took a particular position when
3 cross-examined. If there's something about that that needs to be
4 clarified, then let it be clarified. I won't object. But going to this
5 statement is just plainly wrong. I object.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, Mr. Weiner. Yes, you want to say
8 MR. WEINER: Yes, Your Honour. On two occasions yesterday the
9 witness made remarks about problems he had with regard to that particular
10 statement. What I want to bring him through and talk -- and bring him
11 through the statement and show him that -- or have him explain that
12 although he has differences as to the vernacular, there is no difference
13 as to the facts, other than one -- one statement -- one particular
14 statement in there. There is no difference as to the facts in that
16 JUDGE LIU: I'm not sure whether that statement was mentioned or
17 not yesterday.
18 MR. WEINER: It --
19 JUDGE LIU: Can you point it out in a specific line --
20 MR. WEINER: Page 41, Your Honour. "And the event I'm putting to
21 you is that you didn't sign something unless you knew it's true; is that
22 correct?" That's starting on page -- line 16. "What I say, I expect them
23 to also note down. But it happened that the investigator Nikolai, there
24 is 90 per cent of untruths there. I don't speak in that way, but it's
25 recorded in that statement. There's at least 90 per cent of untruths in
1 that statement."
2 And then he says: "I'm not asking about Nikolai right now." And
3 then they get back to that at another time. And I just want to use that
4 information that there is a consistency in that statement. And if you
5 looked at it, there is no significant gap or problem in that. Although
6 there's a difference of vernacular, the statement -- the information
7 contained therein is true or valid.
8 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Morrissey.
9 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honour, first, there's two major
10 problems with what's being submitted there. The first thing is -- is the
11 statement that he now wants to take the witness to, the 2004 statement, is
12 just plainly not referred to at that passage at all. What we're talking
13 about there is a completely different statement. Your Honour will see
14 from -- I don't know if Your Honour has in front of you that transcript of
15 page 41, but what you can see -- and I'd ask the Court just to take the
16 moment to look at it because what's being put here is just -- not
17 deliberately, I'm sure, but it's just plainly misleading.
18 He was being asked questions about a statement to the MUP, the
19 police, the civilian police. That's what the questioning was about. The
20 witness then of his own motion decided to mention the statement to a man
21 he described as Nikolai. And counsel then put to him that we weren't
22 talking about that statement; we're talking about the -- the statement to
23 the police. And we went back on to that statement.
24 But in any event, the statement to which this witness referred is
25 the Nikolai statement, the -- the earlier statement, not the one that
1 Mr. Weiner is now trying to get before the Court. It had nothing
2 whatsoever to do with that. Perhaps Mr. Weiner would take you to the next
3 page he says is of importance, but I'd submit that one there not only
4 doesn't justify the question but what you were told then was just, well,
5 unintentionally misleading. Perhaps the next page will do better.
6 MR. WEINER: Your Honour the issue was raised -- the issue was
7 raised twice with regard to Nikolai. Once the witness mentioned it and
8 once he was questioned about it. And since the issue is an open issue and
9 since there is an issue as to statements, I think we should be allowed to
10 state at least that he agrees to the information in the statement.
11 JUDGE LIU: [Microphone not activated] Well, I believe that -- I
12 believe that the -- the name "Nikolai" was mentioned yesterday. There's
13 no problem about that. But I am not sure whether that is the 2004
14 statement or not.
15 MR. WEINER: No, that's the 1999 statement. The 2004 statement
16 is the Bernard Brun and Manoj Sachdeva statement.
17 JUDGE LIU: But if the 2004 statement was not mentioned at all,
18 what's the reason for you to use it?
19 MR. WEINER: I just use that as an opening question and got right
20 off of that that, he did in fact make corrections to the other statements
21 in the 2004 statement. And then I was going to finish off with the
22 Nikolai statement.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well --
24 MR. WEINER: So it was just one brief -- sorry.
25 JUDGE LIU: I think this witness has answered this question
1 already. So your point has been made, that is, the witness made the
2 corrections in the 2004 statement.
3 MR. WEINER: But I'd also like to take him through the 1999
4 statement and have him agree to --
5 JUDGE LIU: So come to the -- the Nikolai statement.
6 MR. WEINER: Thank you. The other reference is page 96, where
7 they discuss the Nikolai statement. Thank you.
8 Q. All right, sir, I would like to show you a copy of your 1999
9 statement. It's only a few pages long.
10 Sir, if you look at the first paragraph, it concerns background
11 information. Do you have any disagreement with that information?
12 MR. MORRISSEY: I would object, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 MR. MORRISSEY: He wasn't cross-examined on the first paragraph.
15 Now, if my learned friend wants to do this -- this exercise, he's got to
16 stay strictly within the rules and stay relevant to the cross-examination.
17 He can take him to passages, if he can find any, to which this witness
18 was taken by me and he can be asked to explain what he said, why he said
19 it, if there's anything misleading about it. Of course he would be
20 entitled to say it. He's not entitled to start at the start and go to the
21 end, because I didn't do that in cross-examination.
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, at my hands, I don't have that statement. But
23 as the first question, I believe that the Prosecution is going to
24 familiarise the witness with that statement. So first he will ask a
25 question concerning of the first line. And later on I believe that
1 Mr. Weiner will concentrate on the question you asked yesterday.
2 MR. MORRISSEY: If -- if it's confined to that one introductory
3 question, I withdraw the objection, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
5 MR. WEINER:
6 Q. Just look at the first four paragraphs which concern you. Do you
7 agree to that information? Isn't that correct as to who you are and where
8 you served in?
9 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, I object to that again. What it's
10 attempting now to do is to get him to adopt the truth of statement which I
11 didn't cross-examine him about.
12 Now, Your Honour -- Your Honour's point, with respect, was
13 correct that to familiarise him with the statement he's looking at is
14 legitimate. For him to look at and it say, "Well, yes, this is the
15 statement we're talking about," of course he's entitled told do that.
16 But to try to get him now to adopt as true certain parts of it is going
17 way outside of cross-examination.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Weiner, you may ask a question whether the
19 witness recognises this statement, whether he made this statement or not.
20 MR. WEINER:
21 Q. Sir, first, do you recognise the statement? Is that yours?
22 A. Well, I can recognise it, but there are many things in it that
23 are not correct.
24 Q. Was that -- in what language was that statement taken?
25 A. I was speaking Bosnian.
1 Q. Who were you speaking with?
2 A. There was this Nikolai and an interpreter. It's -- the name of
3 the interpreter is given here as Peter Hewitt.
4 Q. When you were interviewed, who asked the questions? Was it
5 Nikolai or the interpreter or both?
6 A. Nikolai.
7 Q. In what language did he speak to you?
8 A. Well, sometimes he would speak our language but not that well.
9 Q. That was my next question: What was the quality of his speech in
11 A. Poor.
12 Q. Do you recall telling him on page 3 that Sefer Halilovic, Zuka
13 Alispago, and Vehbija Karic visited soldiers in Grabovica?
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
15 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, again, if there are passages on
16 which I cross-examined directly, then the Prosecutor is entitled to
17 identify them. He should do so by nominating that there was
18 cross-examination on that point. And the proper form of question, as
19 Your Honour has seen a hundred times, as -- more than I have, I'm sure, at
20 this Tribunal and all events, is to say, "You were asked questions in
21 these terms," and proceed on from there. And then that would be proper
22 for Mr. Weiner to do that, to clear up anything misleading I may have put
23 or that I may have upset the witness intentionally or unintentionally, but
24 not to ask general questions like this. This really sounds like evidence
25 in chief, frankly, at the moment, and I object to it.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes.
2 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, I missed your decision on that, on his
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, I mean that, you know, you have to ask a
5 question first, saying that "Yesterday you were asked a question," the
6 question is as follows --
7 MR. WEINER: I'm trying to move it along.
8 Q. Yesterday, sir, you were asked about the meeting where Sefer
9 Halilovic, Zuka Alispago, and Vehbija Karic met with the soldiers at
10 Grabovica. Do you see that in -- is that information contained in that
11 report that you gave to the OTP investigator Mr. Mihajlovic [sic].
12 A. Mihajlovic?
13 Q. Mihajlovic.
14 JUDGE LIU: Witness, I believe that you have to answer that
16 MR. WEINER:
17 Q. Is that information contained in the report?
18 A. You mentioned a person named Mihajlovic. I never gave a
19 statement to a person with such a name.
20 Q. I'm talking about the Nikolai statement in 1999 that you have in
21 front of you. Is that information there about the three commanders coming
22 and visiting in Grabovica?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Yesterday you were questioned about arriving at Zuka's base in
25 Donja Jablanica and Zuka's soldiers escorting you to Grabovica and
1 eventually bringing you to a vacant house. Is that information contained
2 in that report?
3 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, I object again. This is the same thing
4 that my learned friend has been trying to do since the beginning. He's
5 trying to get the witness to adopt things that are in the statement. What
6 he has to do -- in order to take the witness to this statement in
7 redirect, what he needs to do is say, "You were cross-examined about a
8 part of this statement," and then if there's something about -- something
9 uncertain or something that needs to be cleared up, well, then that can be
10 put to him. But to simply ask him -- to put to him, "You were questioned
11 about a large topic in the case. Does it now appear in this document," is
12 not a proper part of redirect. Because what's in here is only at issue so
13 far as it was raised in cross-examination. And as I've said, I don't
14 object to him taking him to specific parts of this that were put in
15 cross-examination if my friend identifies them, but not the general
16 questions like that.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I believe that in the redirect examinations,
18 all the questions should be within the scope of the questions put in the
20 MR. WEINER: Yes, Your Honour. However --
21 JUDGE LIU: And -- and we don't have to go into that statement
22 paragraph by paragraph. Yesterday the witness claimed that some of the
23 contents in that statement is not accurate. You may find certain places
24 to ask this witness for the explanation.
25 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, all I'm trying to do is in -- first in
1 redirect examination, you are allowed to further explain, to get a witness
2 to confirm, to get a witness to change a false impression if one is left.
3 And it is my intention not to have him adopt the statement; however, to
4 basically rectify what I believe to be a false impression that was left
5 from yesterday's testimony. And that's all I'm trying to do, to show that
6 the major topics that he spoke about yesterday are all contained in that
7 statement. Spending approximately five minutes. And that he agrees with
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, whether his statement is contained in that
10 statement or not is not important. The most important thing is his
11 testimony now in the courtroom. That's the most important evidence before
12 this Court.
13 MR. WEINER: All right.
14 Q. The statements that you gave to Nikolai in 1999, are your words
15 all contained in quotations within that statement?
16 A. I'm telling you again there is a lot of untruth here. There are
17 many things that I didn't say in the statement. There are certain words,
18 as I said yesterday, that do not form part of my vocabulary. I don't even
19 know how to pronounce them, and they are written here. It says, for
20 instance, here that I became commander of an assault unit. That is not
21 true. Malicev [phoen] was the commander of the assault unit. There are
22 quite a few such things.
23 Q. And, sir, now, while you gave that statement -- once again, I'm
24 sorry, let's take it a step back. Is your statement, that statement in
25 front of you, is that all in quotations or is that the language that
1 Nikolai used after interviewing you?
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
3 MR. MORRISSEY: I object to that. I haven't objected to the
4 questions about -- the last series of questions, but the last part of that
5 question there seemed to be -- well, frankly, it's flatly leading and
6 suggests an answer to him, and it just raises another issue which I'll --
7 I'll raise at the end of redirect. But I do object to it. But there's
8 a -- it's an objection of form, I think, rather than content, I must say,
9 that if the question concerns what the witness has said 17 or 18 times
10 already, that there's misrepresentations of what he said there, well, I
11 don't object to him --
12 JUDGE LIU: Well --
13 MR. MORRISSEY: -- asking that, if that's what the question is
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, but this question is a general question, you
16 know, concerning of the form of the statement, and the witness claimed
17 that, you know, something is not true in that statement. So I believe
18 that the Prosecution is entitled to clarify this matter with the witness.
19 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, Your Honour.
20 MR. WEINER:
21 Q. Sir, the form of that statement in front of you, is that in a
22 family room of quotations from you?
23 A. Well, I think this was written the way it was easier for them,
24 because there are many words there that I do not tend to use. Maybe they
25 wrote it up the way they found easier for them. In any case, I find here
1 a lot of things that I certainly didn't say, this way.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. WEINER: No further questions.
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, may I raise a matter before any
6 questions that may happen to come from the Bench in relation to that.
7 There's now been an attack made both by the witness and through
8 questioning by my learned friend, Mr. Weiner, concerning this statement
9 that was provided to the Defence and presumably to the Court.
10 Now, it's a difficult situation for the Defence in preparing for
11 this trial and conducting it if we've been provided with suspect materials
12 and materials that just don't reflect what the witnesses say. Of course
13 that's not what the Defence position about this document is.
14 But if you look on the final page of this document, you'll see
15 that there is what's called an interpreter certification. And we would
16 ask the Prosecutor now in good conscience and bearing in mind that they
17 themselves have now launched an attack effectively on their own statement
18 to call Peter Hewitt, the interpreter, to give evidence on this topic or
19 to indicate whether or not the Prosecutors stand by the certification
20 which was provided to the Defence and on which we and presumably the Court
21 rely in preparing and running the case.
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, as I said, that that statement is not
23 essentially important. It may be important in the cross-examination, but
24 this statement will certainly not be admitted into the evidence. What we
25 relied upon is the testimony of this witness in this courtroom. And at a
1 later stage, if there's great disputes concerning of the translation, as
2 we had with the document 108 for the last witness, we'll consult the CLSS
3 or the interpreters on that very issue. But on this particular document,
4 I don't see it's necessary to call the interpreters to testify to that
6 MR. MORRISSEY: Now, Your Honour, the reason why I raise it now
7 rather than at a later time is because frankly the witness is here and I
8 don't want to be accused of launching an attack after the witness has
9 vanished. But what the witness says about the interpreting process is
10 capable of impacting directly on his credit, on his credibility, and he is
11 making grave allegations, really, and the Prosecutor are leading that
12 evidence from him in redirect; quite grave, quite significant allegations
13 are being made here. Now, if they're not true, that's another matter that
14 you, the Tribunal, would be entitled the weigh up in considering whether
15 you believe one word that he says. And for that reason, I want to mark
16 that as an issue that the Defence raises, because these are grave
17 allegations and if Peter Hewitt and the man who has been variously
18 described as Mihajlovic and other things, but whose true name is Nikolai
19 Mikhailov. Having engaged in tat sort of conduct, well, it could be a
20 matter of significance one way, but of course if the answer is the other
21 way, well, it affects this witness.
22 So that's why I raise it now. I agree with Your Honour it's not
23 a question o of the statement going into evidence, but it's a question of
24 this witness's credibility and the way that he explains what's happened.
25 I don't seek that any order be made about it right now, but I raise it now
1 and the Prosecutor will have to consider what position they want to take
2 about it, but I want to put it on the map because it's not going to go
3 away, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, table
5 JUDGE LIU: Well -- I believe that your observations or statement
6 is in the record. And if in the future you believe there is a need for
7 the further action, you may file a motion to that effect.
8 Thank you.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Judge El Madhi.
11 Questioned by the Court:
12 JUDGE EL MAHDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 [Interpretation] Mr. Witness, I wish to seek some verification in
14 order to make sure that I understood you properly. It regards what
15 happened on the 9th of September. You stated that you were together with
16 the troops and that you heard yourself personally something that was said
17 by Mr. Karic.
18 Here's my question: Did you know this individual before you met
19 him, before that meeting?
20 A. Yes, I did. I did know him. And I can tell you again: Karic
21 did say that, and I have to say again that I doubt very much that
22 Mr. Halilovic and Zuka were able to hear it, because it wasn't shouted or
23 said very loudly or anything. They were about 10 metres away from Karic
24 when he said it. I can't say with any certainty, but I would be very
25 surprised if they heard it, because they were quite a long way away and he
1 wasn't shouting. He wasn't yelling.
2 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes. But you have no doubt as
3 to him saying the sentence that you heard. It was Mr. Karic who said so?
4 You're sure about this?
5 A. Yes.
6 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Did you know him -- had known
7 him for a long time?
8 A. No.
9 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] How did you get to know him?
10 A. Well, we had known each other from the beginning of the war. In
11 fact, I didn't meet him at the beginning of the war. I just heard of him.
12 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes. But how did you manage to
13 identify him? Had you met him before, before the 9th September? I mean
15 A. I would see him on and off from the outbreak of the war. I said
16 this before.
17 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] But then what was -- what were
18 the clothes that he was wearing?
19 A. He was in uniform.
20 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Did he have any indication of
22 A. I don't know. Some indication that he belonged to the Supreme
23 Command on the left arm, on the left side. I think they used to wear that
24 sort of thing at the time.
25 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] And did he come across to you as
1 being the highest ranking officer among the people present there?
2 A. No.
3 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you, witness.
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, Judge El Mahdi.
5 Any questions out of Judge's questions?
6 MR. WEINER: One, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
8 Further examination by Mr. Weiner:
9 Q. Sir, you said that Mr. Karic did not appear to be the highest
10 ranking officer there. Who was the highest ranking officer of those
12 A. Well, I don't know about ranks. I don't think we had ranks at
13 that time. I know that Karic was somewhere in the General Staff and --
14 and the -- somebody else was head of the General Staff, Chief of the
15 General Staff.
16 Q. Who was the Chief of the General Staff?
17 A. Mr. Halilovic was Chief of the General Staff, as far as I know.
18 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
19 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Morrissey.
20 MR. MORRISSEY: Just one arising. But I make it clear that it's
21 from what my friend asked and not what from Judge El Mahdi asked, but it
22 would be one question.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Let me see whether it's related to Judge El
24 Mahdi's question or not.
25 Further cross-examination by Mr. Morrissey:
1 Q. Yes. Well, the question is going to be: Mr. Halilovic being
2 Chief of the General Staff, was Rasim Delic the commander of the General
3 Staff at that time?
4 A. I think he was. At any rate, Rasim Delic was commander of the
5 army, and I'm not really sure about the hierarchy. I think Rasim Delic
6 was army commander.
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, at this stage, are there any documents to
8 tender besides what we have already admitted into the evidence?
9 Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
10 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Yes, there are two. There's MFI176, which was a -- a list of the
12 dates of persons enrolled in the 9th Brigade, or its predecessor, the 3rd
13 Brigade. And there's MFI178, which is the -- the indictment which the
14 Court will recall had on it the two names, Nedzad Mehanovic with all the
15 relevant personal details of this witness, and also the future Prosecution
16 witness who was at the top -- mentioned at the top of that indictment,
17 subject to any measures he might seek.
18 With respect to that last one, I'd submit that that should be
19 tendered as an exhibit now because it's an official document even though
20 the witness didn't agree that he'd actually viewed that document, it's
21 plainly the official document upon which the proceedings against him
22 commenced and he acknowledged speaking to a lawyer about it and he
23 acknowledged that there was such an incident involving the three hand
24 grenades. For that reason, I'd submit that that order be tendered through
25 this witness.
1 MFI176 has got a weaker basis for tendering. It seems
2 uncontroversial to tender it but it's a matter whether the Prosecution
3 will take an objection or not. This witness did not acknowledge seeing
4 that document. So that has to be acknowledged at first. However, he
5 acknowledged the information that was contained in it as being accurate.
6 It is -- purports to be on its face anyway military information. I have
7 to acknowledge that if the Prosecution took an objection to that, I think
8 technically I would have to agree that it ought not to be tendered. But
9 the Prosecution may choose not to object to it. I'm not sure. But
10 it's -- I acknowledge he didn't see it.
11 So those are the two documents I'm seeking to tender.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
13 Any objections, Mr. Weiner?
14 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, number 176, it's a military document
15 and we would not have an objection to a military document -- --
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. This document MFI176 is admitted into the
18 MR. WEINER: With regard to document number 178, we do have an
19 objection. The same basis as yesterday: Number one, this is not relevant
20 to this matter; number two, this is just an indictment. There was no
21 conviction. There's no certified copy of any conviction here. It's an
22 irrelevant matter, and it should not be admitted. If at some future time
23 they can tie the relevance of this to some evidence or to some issue in
24 the case, then we would not have an objection. But at this time, it's not
25 relevant and it should remain a -- a matter for identification at this
1 time, Your Honour.
2 MR. MORRISSEY: Might I respond briefly to that.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, very -- very briefly.
4 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. It's -- my friend's objections missed the
5 target because it's not being put directly as the at credit of the witness
6 in the sense of him being convicted. My learned friend says there's no
7 certified copy here. I can assure this Court that there isn't going to be
8 one and that he wasn't convicted, and I attempted to tender that, as
9 you'll recall. So it's not being suggested that a Court has determined
10 his guilt. The issue was the conjunction of the names on that document.
11 And that's the reason why we submit -- so it's highly relevant, we say,
12 but as to the other objection, it's a matter for the Court to deal with.
13 But I submit that it's -- it is relevant from the point of view that I
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
16 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, it is not highly relevant. There's no
17 question that this man served in three different units under the -- under
18 Celo, who's Ramiz Delalic. His name -- he's testified about his -- his
19 serving with Ramiz Delalic.
20 There is no -- at this point, there is no relevancy to that
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, after hearing the two parties and after
24 consultation with my colleagues, we believe that the practice in this
25 Tribunal is in favour of the admissibility as a rule and we also would
1 like to mention that the mere admission of a document into the evidence
2 does not in itself signify that the statements contained within should
3 naturally be deemed as the true accurate portrayal of the facts. So long
4 as this document is relevant and has some probative value as well as
5 certain reliability, we believe that it could be admitted into the
7 So the document 178 is admitted into the evidence.
8 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, I've been reminded by Madam Court Deputy that
10 this document should be admitted under seal. It is so decided.
11 Well, witness, thank you very much for giving your evidence.
12 Madam Usher will show you out of the room. You may go now.
13 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
14 [The witness withdrew]
15 THE REGISTRAR: The two documents just admitted will be D176 and
16 D178, under seal.
17 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, could I just indicate for the
18 assistance of -- of the e-court procedures that both of those documents
19 have been uploaded into the system as Your Honour instructed.
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
21 We have a few minutes left in this sitting. There's two matters
22 I would like to mention. The first one is about the document MFI108. I
23 would like to hear the positions from the Prosecution on this document, as
24 I indicated before.
25 [Prosecution counsel confer]
1 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, that document as well as the issue of
2 protective measures for the witness following the next one are both
3 matters that attorney Chana's -- is handling, and could those be
4 considered after the break?
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, yeah, that's the second issue, that is, about
6 your latest filings concerning of the protective measures.
7 Maybe we should go into the private session and we'll hear the
8 views from the Defence.
9 Yes, we'll go to the private session.
10 [Private session]
11 Page 30 redacted. Private session.
11 Page 31 redacted. Private session.
7 [Open session]
8 JUDGE LIU: And the hearing is adjourned and we will resume at
10 --- Recess taken at 3.26 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 4.01 p.m.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, 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: Would you please make the solemn declaration in
17 accordance with the paper Madam Usher is showing to you.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
19 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
21 WITNESS: ENES SAKRAK
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Re, did you have a chance to talk to this witness
24 about his rights? If not, would you please read Rule 90(E) to this
1 MR. RE: If Your Honour can bear with me while I collect it from
2 my folder on the floor.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
4 Examined by Mr. Re:
5 Q. Is your name Enes Sakrak?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You were born in 1973?
8 A. Not on the 19th but the 13th.
9 Q. I'm sorry, I said May 1973. That was a -- it was misheard.
10 Are you currently a prisoner in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. His Honour the Presiding Judge has asked me to read to you Rule
13 90 of the Tribunal's Rules of Evidence and -- sorry, Procedure and
14 Evidence, which is as follows: "A witness may object to making any
15 statement which might tend to incriminate the witness. The Chamber may,
16 however, compel the witness to answer the question. Testimony compelled
17 in this way shall not be used as evidence in a subsequent prosecution
18 against the witness for any offence other than false testimony."
19 JUDGE LIU: Witness, do you understand that?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
22 Mr. Re, you may proceed.
23 MR. RE:
24 Q. All right. You've told -- just to clarify, you were born in
25 May -- May 1973, and in September 1993 you would have been 20 years old;
1 is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. In September 1993, were you a member of the 9th Motorised Brigade
4 of the 1st Corps of the ABiH and stationed in Sarajevo?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. In October 2003, did you plead guilty at the Sarajevo Cantonal
7 Court to the murder of Ljubica Zadro, then aged -- and her four-year-old
8 daughter, Mladenka Zadro, the murder of them on the 9th of September, 1993
9 in Grabovica?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And on the 4th of November, 2003, did the cantonal court in
12 Sarajevo sentence you to a period of imprisonment of 10 years, from the
13 22nd of August, 2003?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Are you serving that sentence of imprisonment now?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Mr. Sakrak, were you in fact guilty of those two murders? In
18 other words, did you murder Ljubica Zadro and her four-year-old daughter,
19 Mladenka Zadro on the 9th of September, 1993 in Grabovica?
20 A. Yes, and I repent that act.
21 Q. When were you first questioned by anyone about the murders of
22 these two people in Grabovica in September 1993?
23 A. I don't remember the exact date. I think it was The Hague
24 investigators, but that doesn't mean the other soldiers were not
25 questioned before that.
1 Q. Did you speak to a Hague investigator - Karl Konig, a lawyer -
2 Nikolai Mikhailov in February 2000 in Sarajevo?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And was that the first time that you had ever been questioned by
5 anyone in authority about the murders?
6 A. Yes, I personally was, yes.
7 Q. When they questioned you, did you admit to the murders and tell
8 the truth in that record of interview they conducted?
9 A. No.
10 Q. And why was that?
11 A. I don't know myself why, but nothing that I said at the time is
12 true. I didn't wish to admit my guilt.
13 Q. Why did you finally admit your guilt in late 2003?
14 A. Because I felt very bad about what I did.
15 Q. Going back to -- sorry, going back to the war in Bosnia and
16 Herzegovina. Were you a reserve police officer from April 1992 until
17 about April 1993 in Sarajevo?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Did you then join the LARD-PVO? It's an acronym for the Light
20 Artillery and Rocket Detachment of the Sarajevo Anti-Aircraft Defence?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And after that, did you join the 9th Motorised Brigade in
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Approximately when did you join the 9th?
1 A. In early September, something like that.
2 Q. Did you know someone called Sead Karagic in September 1993?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Who was he?
5 A. A friend, an acquaintance.
6 Q. Was he also in the 9th Motorised Brigade?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you know someone called Haris Rajkic?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Who was he?
11 A. The same as Sead.
12 Q. What about Nihad Vlahovljak?
13 A. I knew him.
14 Q. Who was he? Who was his role?
15 A. I don't understand what you mean when you say "what was his
17 Q. You knew him. How did you know him?
18 A. I knew him quite well.
19 Q. Was he in the 9th Motorised Brigade?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. What was his position in the brigade?
22 A. Company commander, the last one.
23 Q. Were you in his company?
24 A. Yes, the one that I belonged to.
25 Q. What was the name of your company?
1 A. It didn't have a special name. I really couldn't recall the
2 exact name of it right now.
3 Q. In September 1993, did you know or know of a person called Ramiz
4 Delalic, whose nickname was Celo?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. How did you know him?
7 A. He was a good fighter, a great fighter. That's how I knew him.
8 Q. Was he also in the 9th Motorised Brigade?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What was his position within that unit?
11 A. I don't know whether he was a commander or deputy commander of
12 that unit.
13 Q. Did you know who Vahid Karavelic was?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Who was he?
16 A. 1st Corps commander.
17 Q. What happened on the 7th of September, 1993?
18 A. I think that we set off for Herzegovina then from Sarajevo.
19 Q. Who's "we"?
20 A. My brigade, the 9th.
21 Q. How did you receive your orders to set off for Herzegovina?
22 A. I don't understand. How we got the order? I don't -- I don't
23 quite understand the question.
24 Q. How was the order that you were to go transmitted to you as a
1 A. It was conveyed to us personally by the platoon commander.
2 Actually, I don't know whether it was a company or a platoon exactly. I'm
3 not very versed in these things.
4 Q. How did you get to Herzegovina?
5 A. In trucks.
6 Q. How many soldiers went with you to Herzegovina?
7 A. Approximately 60 or 70, according to my estimate.
8 Q. How many trucks transported these soldiers to Herzegovina?
9 A. Two.
10 Q. Did Celo, Ramiz Delalic, accompany you to Herzegovina?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Did you travel by day or night?
13 A. We left Sarajevo at night and we travelled that night and arrived
14 in Herzegovina around noon the next day.
15 Q. Did you change trucks on the way at any point?
16 A. Yes, at Bradina.
17 Q. What did you change -- what sort of -- what sort of transport did
18 you change and take from there at that point?
19 A. Half were trucks and half buses. It was a little bit
20 complicated, but that's how it was.
21 Q. How many trucks and how many buses did you take from Bradina?
22 A. Also two, as far as I can remember.
23 Q. By that last answer, do you mean that one was a truck and the
24 other one was a bus?
25 A. No. No. No. I think that woodcutters used that in Bosnia
1 before. It was a truck that had been turned into a bus.
2 Q. You mean a truck that looked like a bus?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Were both vehicles trucks that looked like buses?
5 A. Yes. Yes.
6 Q. Where did you stop in Herzegovina?
7 A. The first time?
8 Q. In the morning -- you said you travelled overnight. Where did
9 you stop in the morning in Herzegovina?
10 A. In Jablanica, as far as I can remember.
11 Q. At about what time did you stop in Jablanica, approximately?
12 A. I don't know exactly what time it was.
13 Q. In relation to dawn, was it daylight? And if so, how -- how
14 long, doing your best, after daylight do you think it was?
15 A. The best I can tell you is that it was around 10.00, 10.30 at
17 Q. Where in Jablanica did you stop?
18 A. I think there was a unit, as I later heard from Mr. Zuka. I
19 didn't know Zuka personally.
20 Q. Are you referring to a military -- temporary military
21 establishment known as Zuka's base, as the place where you stopped?
22 A. I don't know whether it was temporary or not, but I think that
23 was it.
24 Q. How long did you stop at Zuka's -- at this place for, Zuka's
1 A. Not long. I couldn't say exactly now. Maybe 15 to 20 minutes.
2 Maybe half an hour. I wasn't paying attention to the time, so I couldn't
3 tell you exactly.
4 Q. What was discussed between the people who came with you and the
5 people at Zuka's base when you got there?
6 A. We didn't come into contact at all. We didn't mingle. We didn't
7 talk with Zuka's people. The only conversation there was was within the
8 men of the 9th.
9 Q. When you got to Zuka's base, did you see Celo, Ramiz Delalic?
10 Did he get out of the truck buses?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And what did he do?
13 A. He went inside. I don't know who he talked to, but he was
14 looking for accommodation for us, because the first thing for anyone to
15 secure was food and accommodation and he was taking care of his men.
16 Q. Did he inform you, as the men, of the results of his inquiries of
18 A. We were only told later that we were going to Grabovica.
19 Q. When you say "later," do you mean before you set off for
21 A. Yes, after that conversation he had. When he came back, when
22 Celo came back, we were told that we were going to Grabovica.
23 Q. What about Nihad Vlahovljak? Was he -- was he there at the time?
24 A. I don't think so.
25 Q. Were you aware of the existence of Grabovica before you were told
1 you were going -- going there?
2 A. Only before the war, when I was going to the coast. There was a
3 place you passed through.
4 Q. Were you aware on the day that you went there in 1993 of the
5 ethnicity or nationality of the inhabitants of the village of Grabovica?
6 A. No.
7 Q. What time -- I withdraw that.
8 You said you arrived at midday before. Were you referring to
9 arriving in Grabovica at midday, around midday?
10 A. Thereabouts.
11 Q. Do you remember if Celo accompanied you to Grabovica on the 8th
12 of September?
13 A. He did, but he returned immediately.
14 Q. What about Nihad Vlahovljak?
15 A. He was with us.
16 Q. Who did you regard as the commander of the group of soldiers you
17 travelled with to -- from Sarajevo to Jablanica and then Grabovica?
18 A. Commander? You mean the whole brigade or just the platoon?
19 Q. Just the platoon that you -- or the soldiers you travelled with
20 from Sarajevo to Grabovica.
21 A. Out of the eight men that were with me, we regarded Nihad as
22 platoon commander.
23 Q. Were there any checkpoints between Jablanica and Grabovica?
24 A. Yes. There was a checkpoint at the destroyed bridge between
25 Jablanica and Grabovica.
1 Q. Was it an ABiH checkpoint?
2 A. I think it was.
3 Q. Where in Grabovica did your trucks that looked like buses stop?
4 A. At the end of the road in Grabovica, outside a house.
5 Q. Were there any other soldiers there at the time that you arrived?
6 I mean soldiers who were already there.
7 A. The Solakovs [phoen] had already been put up there.
8 Q. Can you just clarify that last answer.
9 A. What do you mean clarify? Solakov's unit or Solakovic's unit was
10 already put up there. I don't know exactly the name of that unit.
11 Q. How did you know it was them?
12 A. I knew a fellow from that unit. I knew that he was a member of
13 that unit. And in addition, I believe it was said that those were
14 Solakov's men
15 Q. Where did you see them?
16 A. Outside a house.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Solak's men. Solak
18 seems to be the name.
19 MR. RE:
20 Q. What were they doing?
21 A. They were sitting around.
22 Q. You said earlier that Celo went back to Grabovica. What did he
23 do -- sorry, went back to Jablanica. I apologise. What did he do before
24 he went back to Jablanica?
25 A. We got out of the bus and then he told us that there were two
1 empty houses that we should occupy, and then he returned to Jablanica.
2 Q. By "occupy," do you mean seek accommodation in, to sleep in for
3 the night?
4 A. Yes. We should stay there during the time that we spent there.
5 Q. Did you go looking for these two empty houses?
6 A. Yes. We all left and we went into those two empty houses.
7 Q. When you say "all," are you referring to the entire group of
8 soldiers who came with you from Sarajevo?
9 A. I mean the members of the 9th.
10 Q. All right. And just to refresh my memory, did you say it was
11 about 50 or 60 soldiers? Am I correct in that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Was it possible -- I withdraw that.
14 Were those houses big enough to accommodate all 50 or 60
16 A. Well, maybe yes, maybe not. They were not equal in size. One
17 could take in more men than the other.
18 Q. So what did you do?
19 A. We went up, and since this place was not fit to accommodate us
20 because it wasn't large enough, somebody - I don't know exactly who -
21 passed the message to us, to our platoon, to go to the other house. But I
22 underline here that nobody from my platoon just got up and went to the
23 other house of their own accord.
24 Q. What do you mean "passed a message"? Do you mean someone sent --
25 gave you an order or just suggested that you should do it?
1 A. I don't understand the question.
2 Q. In the transcript, it says -- a moment ago: "Someone - I don't
3 know exactly who - passed the message to us, to our platoon, to go to the
4 other house." What I'm trying to clarify is your understanding. Do you
5 mean that someone passed on an order to you or someone suggested something
6 to you? Could I just ask you not to look -- not to look at --
7 A. It was more of an order than a suggestion.
8 Q. Who conveyed the order to you?
9 Mr. Sakrak, just stop. Can I just please ask you to close
10 whatever you have in front of you there. Just put it -- put it to one
11 side, please.
12 Okay. The question is: Who conveyed the order to you, if you
14 A. Nihad was the one who told our platoon, my platoon.
15 Q. When you refer to Nihad, are you always referring to Nihad
17 A. Yes. Yes, yes.
18 Q. So did you in fact go to the other houses looking for
20 A. Yes, we did.
21 Q. Were these other houses empty or inhabited?
22 A. They were inhabited.
23 Q. Did you go to a particular house yourself?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Who were the people living or appearing to inhabit that house?
1 A. Two elderly people.
2 Q. About how old were they?
3 A. In my rough estimate, 70 to 80 years of age.
4 Q. Were they a couple?
5 A. I suppose so.
6 Q. When I say "couple," I meant man and wife -- sorry, husband and
8 A. Yes, they were.
9 Q. Did you learn what their names were?
10 A. I did.
11 Q. What was that?
12 A. Pero and I believe the woman was Marica.
13 Q. Did you learn what their family name was?
14 A. Yes. We had quite a normal conversation with the people, and the
15 man told me their last name was Maric.
16 Q. What was their reaction when you -- firstly - I withdraw that -
17 how many of you went to Mr. Maric's -- Mr. And Mrs. Maric's place looking
18 for accommodation?
19 A. Eight of us.
20 Q. Can you please give the Trial Chamber the names of the people who
21 went with you to the Maric's house.
22 A. Nihad, Pedja, Klos, Hajre, Mesad, whom we also refer to as Musa,
23 Rajkic, Karagic, and myself.
24 Q. And what was the reaction of Mr. And Mrs. Maric to the eight of
25 you appearing at their house looking for accommodation?
1 A. At first, they were taken aback. But after a brief discussion,
2 they agreed to let us use two rooms.
3 Q. Were the eight of you in uniform?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Were you armed?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What were you armed with?
8 A. Side arms. In fact, an automatic rifle and 150 rounds.
9 Q. And did the two -- sorry, did the eight of you divide yourselves
10 amongst the two rooms?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Was it four each to a room?
13 A. Myself, Rajkic, and Karagic used one room; whereas, the rest took
14 the other room.
15 Q. You said earlier you had quite a normal conversation with the
16 people. How long did that last for, the quiet, normal conversation?
17 A. For quite a while. It went on without any problems.
18 Q. When did problems occur?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. When was that?
21 A. I think it started when his son's photograph was found on which
22 the son was wearing an HVO uniform.
23 Q. Who found it?
24 A. I can't say exactly.
25 Q. And were you told what his son's name was?
1 A. I don't remember. I really don't remember whether it was
2 mentioned or not.
3 Q. And what was the reaction of the soldiers to finding this
4 photograph of the son wearing an HVO uniform? What did they do?
5 A. All I know was that nobody hit him. Nobody did anything physical
6 to him. There was verbal abuse, cursing, without physical violence.
7 Q. Where did this occur? Inside or outside the house?
8 A. Inside the house.
9 Q. When you said "him" a Home -- moment ago, were you referring to
10 the elderly -- Mr. Pero Maric?
11 A. Right.
12 Q. What time of day or night was this approximately?
13 A. 3.00, half past 3.00 maybe. But I can't say for sure.
14 Q. What happened after the -- the verbal abuse and the cursing of
15 Mr. Maric?
16 A. Nothing. Things calmed down and then we sat with him outside the
17 house again and continued talking normally.
18 Q. How long did the continuing talking normally last for this second
20 A. I don't know exactly. I really don't remember, but it was quite
21 a long time.
22 Q. What happened after that?
23 A. Then the man was killed.
24 Q. At about what time was the man killed? Was it light or dark?
25 A. Just before dark. It was already dusk.
1 Q. And where was the man - that's Pero Maric - when he was killed?
2 A. He was sitting together with us at a table.
3 Q. Who is "us"? You mentioned eight people going to the house
4 before. Was it those same eight or was it a different group of people?
5 A. The same people mostly and some other people were coming and
6 going, so the number and the composition of the group changed constantly.
7 Q. The other people coming and going, were they soldiers from the
8 9th Motorised Brigade?
9 A. For the most part. And I have to say I didn't know all the
10 members of the 9th personally, so I wouldn't be able to say exactly that
11 somebody was a member of the 9th Brigade or not.
12 Q. Do you know a person called Mustafa Hota?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. Was he in your unit?
15 A. He was a member of the 9th, but he did not belong to my platoon.
16 Q. Which platoon or company did he belong to?
17 A. I don't know exactly, but it's the same brigade. I just don't
18 know which platoon or company exactly.
19 Q. Was he one of these other soldiers who came to visit you when you
20 were sitting talking to Mr. Maric at the table?
21 A. Yes, he was sitting with us too.
22 Q. And what did he do?
23 A. He was sitting there talking, just as the rest of us.
24 Q. Was he armed?
25 A. He was.
1 Q. What was he armed with?
2 A. If I remember correctly, he also had an automatic rifle.
3 Q. What did he do with his rifle when he was at the table with you?
4 A. What do you mean what he did?
5 Q. He was armed with a rifle. What did he do with it, when he had
6 it with him at the table?
7 A. After a while, he lifted the rifle and killed the man.
8 Q. Are you saying that he shot Mr. Pero Maric?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Just describe briefly to the Trial Chamber where the two of them
11 were at the table in relation to each other. Were they on the said side,
12 opposite sides?
13 A. What do you mean "where they were"? Pero or Hota?
14 Q. In relation to each other.
15 A. They were facing each other.
16 Q. What, if anything, did Hota say when he shot Mr. Maric?
17 A. That "Our charity will be our undoing."
18 Q. What did you understand that to mean?
19 A. Because everybody treated us as doormats all the time. When I
20 say "everybody," I mean all the other armies who passed through.
21 Q. When you say "us," are you referring to your -- to your
23 A. First of all, I have to say that I'm not a nationalist, but
24 that's the way it looked like. That's the way it turned out all of the
1 Q. All right. Are you a Bosniak?
2 A. Yes, I am.
3 Q. And Mustafa Hota, is he likewise a Bosniak?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And when he made that comment, did you understand that he was
6 referring to your position as Bosniaks in Bosnian society?
7 A. The word "Merhamet" is very difficult to translate. When you say
8 that, you mean a person who is -- who always gives in, who is charitable,
9 who is nice to others. A lot of things are comprised in the word.
10 Q. What was your reaction and the reaction of the soldiers with you
11 to Hota shooting dead Mr. Maric in front of you?
12 A. As for me, I was shocked. I suppose the others were too.
13 Q. Did anyone say anything to Hota to indicate displeasure at what
14 he'd done?
15 A. I don't remember.
16 Q. Did Mr. Maric die immediately?
17 A. I think he did. Yes, he did.
18 Q. What happened to his body just at that point?
19 A. I don't know whether we got up spontaneously or Nihad told us to
20 get up. I think it was spontaneously that we got up and moved the body to
21 the side.
22 Q. When you say "the side," do you mean away from the table where
23 you were sitting?
24 A. That's what I mean.
25 Q. And to your knowledge, did his body remain there for some time,
1 that is, where you left it -- I'm sorry, where you moved it to?
2 A. Yes, covered with a blanket.
3 Q. Did you and the other soldiers you named before stay in
4 Mr. Maric's house that night?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What about the other soldiers that you referred to coming and
7 going? Did you see any other soldiers after Mr. Maric had been killed
8 coming to the house?
9 A. There were other soldiers, but I can't remember the names.
10 That's one. And second, I didn't even know all of them.
11 Q. Were they aware or did they become aware, to your knowledge, that
12 Mr. Maric had been murdered?
13 A. I don't know whether they found out or not. I don't know what
14 happened at all.
15 Q. Did you have -- hear any conversation indicating that other
16 soldiers had some knowledge about the killing that night?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Did any commanders initiate an investigation, to your knowledge,
19 into the murder of Mr. Maric on that night?
20 A. I don't know. It's possible that nobody even knew what had
22 Q. Did any military police or military security personnel or
23 commanders come to the house looking to investigate the murder of this old
24 man that night?
25 A. I didn't see anyone, which doesn't mean that nobody came while I
1 was sleeping. I can't say with 100 per cent certainty that they either
2 did or didn't come.
3 Q. Where was Mrs. Maric when her husband was being murdered?
4 A. Inside the house.
5 Q. How many shots did Hota fire, to your recollection, at Mr. Maric?
6 A. I don't know. Not many shots. Two or three rounds. Not more.
7 Q. What about shooting during the night? You said you heard him
8 shoot Mr. Maric. Did you hear any other shooting during the night when
9 you were staying in that house?
10 A. We heard shots when the woman was killed, but if you're going to
11 ask me who killed her, I can't tell you. I can't tell you that either
12 Hota or anybody else killed her for sure, because I don't know.
13 Q. Where were you when you heard the shots that you understand
14 killed Mrs. Maric?
15 A. I was in my room sleeping.
16 Q. Was that during the night?
17 A. Yes. I don't know what time it was though. I was tired from the
18 trip and we probably went to sleep early, but I don't know what time it
20 Q. Did you hear any voices at the time that you heard the shots in
21 the night?
22 A. There were some voices.
23 Q. Whose voices were they?
24 A. I don't know whose voices, but these two young men who were with
25 me and I recognised only Hota's voice from the voices we knew from before.
1 But that doesn't mean that Hota killed that woman.
2 Q. Where did the voices appear to be coming from? Inside or outside
3 the house?
4 A. From inside the house, I think. From the hall.
5 Q. How do you know that Mrs. Maric was killed?
6 A. We saw that in the morning.
7 Q. Did you see her body?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Where was her body?
10 A. In the bed.
11 Q. Her bed in her bedroom?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Was there blood?
14 A. I didn't notice that there was blood. Perhaps I wasn't paying
15 attention to that.
16 Q. How did you know she was dead?
17 A. She was lying and she wasn't moving. I didn't go up to her to
18 touch her, but I could see that she wasn't moving. I didn't pay attention
19 to the surroundings to see if there was any blood on the wall or anywhere,
20 but I knew she was dead.
21 Q. Apart from the shooting you said you heard during the night, did
22 you hear any other gunfire -- I'm sorry, the shooting -- and you heard the
23 voice of Hota Mustafa, did you hear any other shooting during the night,
24 that is, before dawn?
25 A. When I woke up. Around the village.
1 Q. About what time did you get up?
2 A. Perhaps at about 9.00 or 9.30 in the morning.
3 Q. And did you go outside?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Who did you go outside with?
6 A. With Karagic and Rajkic.
7 Q. Was the shooting going on when you went outside?
8 A. Not so much. There was some shooting, but not very much.
9 Q. Where was Nihad Vlahovljak when you went outside?
10 A. In front of the house.
11 Q. Did you speak to him?
12 A. Yes. Not anything in particular, but just the usual. It wasn't
13 any particular kind of talk.
14 Q. Do you know someone called Habib Alic?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Was he around when you went outside?
17 A. I think that he was, but I'm not 100 per cent sure.
18 Q. You told us earlier that Nihad was your company or platoon
19 commander. What orders, if any, did he give you on the morning of the 9th
20 of September; that's the morning after the killing of Mr. Maric.
21 A. He conveyed the message to us. Knowing Nihad, I know that he
22 wouldn't order something like that himself but that an order had come
23 saying that the villagers were to be killed.
24 Q. Were your two colleagues -- comrades, Karagic and Rajkic, there
25 with you when he told you that?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. What was your response to his conveying that order to you? What
3 did you do?
4 A. We took our side arms and set off in the direction of the
6 Q. Did you have to go back into the house to collect your side arms
7 to do that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Were there other soldiers in the village when you set off in the
10 direction of the village?
11 A. As far as I can recall, perhaps they were there by the railway --
12 railroad. Perhaps one or two soldiers.
13 Q. Do you remember seeing members of Solakovic's unit when you were
14 with your two colleagues going through the village?
15 A. I can't say whether they were members of Solak's or my brigade.
16 There weren't any special markings or insignia. But I would like to
17 emphasise that I didn't know everybody by name. I didn't know who
18 belonged to which unit.
19 Q. Did you go into the village?
20 A. Yes. I was already in the village, because the house where we
21 were staying was in the village.
22 Q. Where did you go to?
23 A. We went along the railroad and then we turned left down some
24 small path.
25 Q. Before you turned left down some small path, did you have any
1 conversations with other 9th Mountain Brigade -- sorry, Motorised Brigade
2 soldiers who were in the village? Did you meet any and speak to them on
3 the way?
4 A. We met some soldiers. I don't know whether they were from the
5 9th or not, but they said that everything was clear down there, something
6 like that.
7 Q. What did you understand them to mean to you when they said that
8 everything was "clear down there"?
9 A. I don't understand.
10 Q. The soldiers said to you that everything was clear down there.
11 Where were they referring to? What was down there?
12 A. The village of Grabovica, also. It was actually the village of
13 Grabovica. There is an upper part and a lower part, near the railroad and
14 below the railroad.
15 Q. You testified that you -- that Nihad conveyed an order to you
16 that all the villagers were to be killed. Did you understand when they
17 told you that the -- that everything down there was clear that it meant
18 that the Croat villagers were no longer there, that they had been killed?
19 A. You could say that.
20 Q. As a result of hearing that, did you not go to the village but go
21 somewhere else?
22 A. We didn't leave the village at any point. We just went along the
23 road and then we branched off onto a small path on the left side.
24 Q. Did you see any -- the bodies of any civilians as you walked up
25 to that path?
1 A. A couple of people near the railway tracks, near the railroad
3 Q. All right. You said "a couple." Can you be more specific as to
4 numbers? Do you mean two or a greater number?
5 A. I don't know exactly. I wasn't paying attention. Perhaps two or
6 three. Maybe more. I don't know.
7 MR. RE: Could Your Honour just excuse me for one moment.
8 [Prosecution counsel confer]
9 MR. RE:
10 Q. Mr. Sakrak, these two or three body, did you notice whether they
11 were men or women or the ages of them, or children?
12 A. I didn't notice, but mostly they were elderly people. I don't
13 know whether these were men or women. I'm not sure. I don't know.
14 Q. Why did you turn left onto this path leading up the hill?
15 A. I don't know why. Perhaps out of curiosity. No particular
17 Q. And who did you go up the hill with?
18 A. With Karagic and Rajkic.
19 Q. What was up the hill?
20 A. A house.
21 Q. And who was the leader of your small team of three?
22 A. As far as I can remember, it was Karagic. I cannot state 100 per
23 cent for sure that it was him. It was a small group. It was only the
24 three of us.
25 Q. What other buildings were up the hill, apart from the house?
1 A. Next to the house -- I don't know. The house was on the right
2 side. On the left side there was a -- a barn, a shed, and something like
3 a summer kitchen.
4 Q. Were there any people around this house and that barn and shed?
5 A. They were sitting in front of the house.
6 Q. How many people were there?
7 A. An elderly couple, a younger couple, and three children.
8 Q. By "couple," you meant a man and a woman?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. How old did they appear to be, the older couple?
11 A. In their 70s or 80s. The younger couple was in -- they were in
12 their 40s. And there were three children. I don't know the ages exactly,
13 but that's more or less that age.
14 Q. The children, were they boys or girls?
15 A. Two boys and a girl.
16 Q. What was the approximate age of the boys? Under 10? Over 10?
17 A. About 10.
18 Q. What about the girl? Under five? Over five?
19 A. She was younger. She was younger than they were.
20 Q. Did she appear to be under five or over five?
21 A. I don't know exactly.
22 Q. Did you speak to them, this older and younger couple?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. What was said?
25 A. We were talking, and then we took the younger man towards the
1 stable to give us the cow. Actually, we told him to come with us so we
2 can take the cow.
3 Q. By "we," do you mean the three of you?
4 A. Yes. Yes, the three of us.
5 Q. You told us earlier that you were armed. What were you doing
6 with your arms, that is, your weapons, when you went with the man towards
7 the -- the stable?
8 A. It was hanging. The weapons were hanging by -- at our side.
9 Q. And did you go into the shed with him?
10 A. I went inside. The elderly couple also came with us. And since
11 this younger man told them to come, I went inside with them -- actually, I
12 went with him inside and the elderly pair remained outside with Karagic
13 and Rajkic.
14 Q. And what did you hear when you were inside the shed?
15 A. Shooting.
16 Q. What was your reaction and the reaction of the younger man?
17 A. The younger man started to shout and wail and he ran outside and
18 I ran outside after him, and then I saw these two bodies lying there.
19 Q. Whose two bodies were they?
20 A. The bodies of the elderly couple, the man and the woman.
21 Q. Were they dead?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did the shooting continue?
24 A. When we went outside, then the two of them started to fire at the
25 man who was beside me.
1 Q. How close were you to this man?
2 A. Very close.
3 Q. How did you avoid getting shot yourself?
4 A. I stepped to the side.
5 Q. Did they hit him?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What happened to him?
8 A. He fell.
9 Q. Was he likewise shot dead?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. What did the three of you do then?
12 Sorry, can I just -- I'll come to that in a moment. When they
13 shot him, what was the distance between them and him? How close were
15 A. It wasn't too far away. Perhaps maybe 2 or 3 metres at the most,
16 as far as I can remember.
17 Q. All right. After shooting the young man dead, where did the
18 three of you go or what did you do?
19 A. We went back to the house.
20 Q. And where was the younger woman, the mother?
21 A. She wasn't in front of the house at that point in time. We
22 looked for her when we were in the house, and I don't remember whether the
23 two others found her or whether she came by herself.
24 Q. What about her small daughter? Where was she?
25 A. She was in her arms.
1 Q. Where did you take her?
2 A. Towards the barn.
3 Q. Was she still carrying her child?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did she have any jewellery or items of value on her or in the
7 A. I can't really remember. Maybe she had a ring on her finger.
8 Q. Did you or the other soldiers take the ring?
9 A. As far as I can recall, I think that Rajkic asked for it and the
10 woman gave the ring to him.
11 Q. Did he ask her for anything else, such as money or valuables?
12 A. I cannot remember those things at this very moment because I
13 can't really remember all of those things any more, so I couldn't really
14 tell you exactly. It's possible, but it's also possible that we didn't
15 ask for anything.
16 Q. Did you take her into the barn with her young daughter?
17 A. We didn't. We just asked her to tie up the cow.
18 Q. What did she do?
19 A. She tied up the cow and handed it over to us.
20 Q. Was that inside the barn?
21 A. The cow was inside and she handed it over to us outside.
22 Q. What happened to her?
23 A. With the woman?
24 Q. Yes, and the girl.
25 A. And then I killed them.
1 Q. How did you do that?
2 A. From the automatic rifle.
3 Q. How many shots did you fire at her?
4 A. I don't know exactly.
5 Q. Was she still holding her child when you shot her?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did you kill them both instantly?
8 A. I think so, yes.
9 Q. From what distance did you shoot this woman and her child?
10 A. We were not too far apart. There wasn't that much of a distance
11 between us.
12 Q. Are you talking metres?
13 A. A couple of metres, perhaps two or three metres apart. Not more
14 than that.
15 Q. Why did you do this? Why did you shoot dead this mother and the
17 A. I don't know. I don't know. I don't know why I did that. And I
18 repent this act, and if I could, I would bring her back, the woman and the
19 child, but I cannot.
20 Q. Did the other two say anything to you before you shot this woman
21 and her child?
22 A. I really don't remember any longer whether any one of them told
23 me to kill them or anything like that, but for me that's not important.
24 What's more important for me is that I was the one who did that.
25 Q. What was the name -- or did you learn the name of this family of
1 people who were murdered on that day?
2 A. I didn't know it then. I found out about it a long time after
3 that. I know that their last name is Zadro.
4 Q. At about what time of day did these murders occur?
5 A. Perhaps from noon till about 1.00 or 1.30, but I'm not sure 100
6 per cent.
7 Q. And what did you do with the five bodies?
8 A. When I killed the woman and the child, I turned around and then
9 we dropped down immediately. I didn't really pay attention to anything.
10 This is not something that is easy to do. I couldn't bear to watch.
11 Q. What do you mean "we dropped down immediately"? Are you saying
12 to the ground or are you saying that you left the area?
13 A. What I am saying is that we went back along the same path that we
15 Q. Leaving the bodies there?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Why didn't you kill the two young boys as well?
18 A. I don't know why.
19 Q. Do you know where they were when you -- or what happened to them
20 when the three of you were killing the rest of the family?
21 A. I didn't see them after that. Which doesn't mean that any of the
22 three of us would have actually killed any of those two boys.
23 Q. And the four adults you killed were all civilians, weren't they?
24 A. You could say that. Although, it's not ruled out that the person
25 who was in their 40s, the man who was in his 40s, was not a member of some
1 military or some army. He could have been, but maybe he wasn't.
2 Q. Well, he wasn't -- sorry, I withdraw that.
3 Was he wearing a uniform or armed when you shot him -- I'm sorry,
4 when your -- your colleague shot him?
5 A. He wasn't wearing a uniform, but many people in Bosnia didn't
6 have uniforms but they were not civilians. They were soldiers.
7 Q. He didn't have a weapon, did he, when he was shot? He wasn't
9 A. No, he didn't.
10 Q. Where did you go when you went back down the hill, the three of
12 A. I think we went back towards the house, crossing the railroad.
13 Q. Did you see any other bodies, apart from the two or three you saw
14 near the railway earlier, when you went back into the village?
15 A. No.
16 Q. You told us earlier that Nihad conveyed the order that the
17 Croats -- or the -- sorry, the villagers had to be killed. Having gone
18 and killed some Croats in the village, did you go back and tell him what
19 you'd done?
20 A. I think that we did, yes.
21 Q. Do you remember what you said to him?
22 A. I can't recall the exact words right now, but something to the
23 effect that, "We killed them," to put it mildly. I don't want to
24 complicate things by trying to say exactly what it was that we said, which
25 words we used, but the gist of it was that we had killed them.
1 Q. Were there other soldiers, apart from the three of you, there
2 when you told him this?
3 A. I think that there were, but I'm not absolutely sure. These
4 things do not remain in my memory, other than the things that I described,
5 the things that I did.
6 Q. Where were you when you reported back to Nihad about what you'd
8 A. I cannot say that it was a report. We just told him. A report
9 is something else. We were in front of the house, and it was just
10 conveyed that it was what we did.
11 Q. You're referring to the house you stayed in? That's Mr. Maric's
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. What was his reaction and the reaction of any other soldiers who
15 were there when you told him of what you'd just done?
16 A. I cannot remember.
17 MR. RE: What time do Your Honours want to take the -- the break?
18 JUDGE LIU: How long are you going to be for your direct?
19 MR. RE: Maybe another 15, 20 minutes.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, I'm afraid we have to take a break, and we'll
21 resume at ten minutes to 6.00.
22 --- Recess taken at 5.21 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 5.51 p.m.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Re. Please continue.
25 MR. RE:
1 Q. Just before the break, Mr. Sakrak, you were telling us about when
2 you told Nihad what you had done. Just to clarify something from earlier,
3 you told the Trial Chamber earlier that he had given you or conveyed an
4 order to you that all the Croat villagers were to be killed and that the
5 order came from someone higher up. Did he ever tell -- did he tell you at
6 the time who the order came from or who gave him the order?
7 A. He didn't tell me about the order for killing, but he told me who
8 gave the order to bury the bodies.
9 Q. Who gave -- who gave the order to bury the bodies?
10 A. Vehbija Karic.
11 Q. And who was Vehbija Karic, to your understanding?
12 A. A high rank. A high rank in the chain of command.
13 Q. In which corps or unit or group or command do you understand that
14 he was of a high rank?
15 A. I don't know exactly where.
16 Q. And just to go back also briefly to something from your earlier
17 testimony. You told the Trial Chamber about Mustafa Hota. Which unit was
18 he a member of, to your knowledge?
19 A. The 9th.
20 Q. You mean the 9th Motorised Brigade?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you know which sub-unit, company, or platoon he was a member
24 A. I don't know.
25 Q. I asked you earlier about a person called Habib Alic, who was
1 also a soldier from the 9th Motorised Brigade, who you said you saw on the
2 9th of September. That's day that the Zadro family was killed. Where did
3 you see him that day?
4 A. Outside the house.
5 Q. Was that the house you were staying in, Pero Maric's house?
6 A. Yes. Yes. Yes.
7 Q. What did he tell you about what he had been doing that day?
8 A. That he had killed a woman.
9 Q. Where did he tell her and in what circumstances?
10 A. Inside a house. But under what circumstances, I don't know. In
11 fact, I don't know what you mean.
12 Q. What did he tell you about how and why he'd killed her?
13 A. Allegedly he tried to rape her and then he killed her.
14 Q. Was it by shooting?
15 A. Probably. He didn't go into detail.
16 Q. And if I showed you a photograph, would you be able to point out
17 to the Trial Chamber which house it was he told you he had killed her in?
18 A. I hope so.
19 Q. We'll come to that a little bit later.
20 Now, you said you saw Celo on the 8th of September and he went to
21 Jablanica. Did you see Celo again - that's Ramiz Delalic - in Grabovica
22 between when he went to Jablanica and when Nihad gave you the order to
23 kill all the villagers?
24 A. No.
25 Q. When did you next see Celo?
1 A. When the two boys were found.
2 Q. Where were the two -- are they the two boys who were the brothers
3 of the little girl who you -- you shot?
4 A. Possibly.
5 Q. Were they the same two boys that you saw at the Zadro family's
6 house, up on the hill.
7 A. Possibly.
8 Q. When did you hear that Celo had found the two boys?
9 A. I don't know when exactly I heard about that.
10 Q. How did you come to hear about it?
11 A. I don't know. Somebody said that two boys had been found and
12 that Celo was beside himself with anger that something like that had
14 Q. What was your reaction? What did you do?
15 A. It was my personal reaction.
16 Q. Yes. What did you do when you found out that -- that Celo was
17 beside himself with anger about what had happened?
18 A. He stayed inside the house.
19 Q. You said, "He stayed."
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: I stayed inside the
21 house. The witness is not very easy to understand.
22 A. I. I, not he.
23 MR. RE:
24 Q. Thank you. What about the two men you were with who also shot
25 members of the Zadro family? Where were they when -- I withdraw that.
1 Were you -- did you stay in the house with them?
2 A. Yes. Yes.
3 Q. Did you hear that a line-up was being conducted of some soldiers
4 in the village?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Why did you stay inside the house?
7 A. Because if the boys had identified us, then Celo would have
8 probably meted out an appropriate sentence.
9 Q. What did you think he would have done to you?
10 A. He would have probably turned us over to the military police and
11 charges would have been pressed against us.
12 Q. Were there any line-ups, apart from that one that you didn't go
13 in, did you ever go in any line-ups in Grabovica when you were there?
14 A. Just before we left for Dreznica.
15 Q. Was that a line-up to select soldiers to go to Dreznica?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. A little earlier you told the Trial Chamber that there was an
18 order to hide the bodies. When were you given that order?
19 A. Well, I don't know exactly the date, but it could have been the
20 9th that the order arrived.
21 Q. How was the order conveyed to you? Who told you?
22 A. Nihad passed it on to us, and as I said earlier, the order came
23 from Vehbija Karic to bury those bodies.
24 Q. Doing your best, can you try as hard as you can to tell the Trial
25 Chamber what Nihad said or words to the effect of.
1 A. Well, if I can put it this way: He said that an UNPROFOR check
2 was coming and that the bodies need to be buried.
3 Q. Who did he tell this to?
4 A. I don't know to whom exactly he said this, but it was conveyed.
5 It was passed on to us.
6 Q. Maybe my question was unclear. I -- I'm referring to Nihad, not
7 Karic. Did Nihad personally tell you and other soldiers that the bodies
8 needed to be buried?
9 A. Yes, he did.
10 Q. As a result of that, did you and the other soldiers look for
11 bodies to bury?
12 A. I only took part in the burial of the bodies of Pero and his
14 Q. Were their bodies still respectively in the bed, that's
15 Mrs. Maric, and outside, near the table, that's Mr. Maric?
16 A. I think both bodies were lying covered outside the house. I
17 believe the woman's body had been carried out by that time. Either it was
18 just before the burial or earlier. I'm -- I can't remember any more.
19 Q. Where did you bury them?
20 A. A place overlooking the house, near the shed.
21 Q. In the ground?
22 A. Yes, in the ground. Nobody mutilated the bodies, as some stories
23 would have it.
24 Q. And who helped you bury these two bodies?
25 A. What do you mean who helped us? Who helped me personally or --
1 Q. I meant you, singular.
2 A. I can't remember those people, but they were all from the group
3 that were staying in the same house with me.
4 Q. Are you referring to soldiers from the 9th Motorised Brigade?
5 A. Yes, I mean the members of my company.
6 Q. Do you know who disposed of or buried the bodies of the five
7 members of the Zadro family that were murdered on the 9th of September?
8 A. I don't know.
9 Q. What about the bodies of the civilians, the two or three
10 civilians lying near the railway that you saw on your way up to the
11 Zadros' house? Do you know where -- where or how they were buried?
12 A. I don't know, but I suppose they too were buried in the ground.
13 Q. Were there any Croat villagers remaining in that -- in the
14 village of Grabovica by the night of the 9th of September, 1993? That's
15 the day that the Zadro family was murdered.
16 A. I don't know. Maybe I did not understand your question very
18 Q. As far as you know, were there any Croat villagers left in
19 Grabovica by the 9th -- by the night of the 9th?
20 A. I know nothing about that.
21 Q. Well, did you see any live Croat villagers after you returned
22 from the killing of the Zadro family? Were there any Croat villagers
23 still alive in that village that you saw?
24 A. I didn't see anyone, which doesn't mean that there were no live
25 Croats left.
1 Q. Did you as a soldier before you went to Grabovica ever receive
2 any training on the treatment of civilians or prisoners of war and the
3 treatment of them?
4 A. I did not, but I suppose I should have received such training
5 while I was on the police force, so I can't really blame the army for not
6 training me, because I joined the army only in 1993 sometime after the war
7 broke out.
8 Q. Did you ever receive any training on the Geneva Conventions and
9 their applicability in warfare?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Did you ever see anything -- did you see anything in Grabovica
12 after the Croat villagers were murdered on the 8th and 9th of September
13 that indicated to you that there was an investigation into their deaths?
14 A. I can't say there was no investigation, because after that I left
15 for Dreznica, so it's possible that there was an investigation.
16 Q. How many days did you remain in Grabovica after you participated
17 in killing members of the Zadro family?
18 A. Not many days, but I can't tell you exactly how many.
19 Q. Two, three, four? One?
20 A. Maybe two. Maybe three days. Certainly not more. Possibly
21 less. I really can't say.
22 Q. In that period, are you telling the Trial Chamber nothing
23 occurred in the village to suggest that there was an active investigation
24 into those murders of Croat villagers?
25 A. I can't say that there was no active investigation, that there
1 were no inquiries made at all. I just know that I wasn't asked any
2 questions, which doesn't mean that other soldiers were not questioned. I
3 can't say one way or another.
4 Q. You said earlier that an order was conveyed to bury the bodies
5 because UNPROFOR wanted to come to the village or was -- or something to
6 that effect. In those -- in those days you remained in Grabovica after
7 the killings, did you see any UNPROFOR soldiers coming to the village?
8 A. I did not.
9 Q. What about members of the foreign press?
10 A. I know nothing about that.
11 Q. Was there --
12 A. This is the first time I hear of it.
13 Q. Was there any physical impediment to UNPROFOR entering the
14 village of Grabovica?
15 A. I don't know. Unless you mean that checkpoint, but that
16 checkpoint would have been unable to stop the UNPROFOR.
17 Q. All right. Were you aware of the -- at the time of the name of
18 the combat operation in Herzegovina that you and your fellow soldiers from
19 the 9th were sent to participate in?
20 A. I wasn't aware, because the name itself did not mean anything to
22 Q. Were you aware of who -- what had you been told about what sort
23 of operation it was?
24 A. We were told that we were supposed to go and help out the men in
25 Herzegovina, the troops in Herzegovina.
1 Q. What did you hear, if anything, about who was in charge of this
3 A. Our assumption was that it was Mr. Sefer, which does not
4 necessarily mean that he was, because nobody told us in so many words that
5 it was him.
6 Q. When you say "Mr. Sefer," do you mean Sefer Halilovic?
7 A. I mean General Sefer Halilovic.
8 Q. What about refugees? Were there refugees in Grabovica when you
9 were there?
10 A. Yes. They were on the other side.
11 Q. Were they civilians?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did you see any of them participate in the killing of the
14 Croatian villagers?
15 A. No. Those people were starving. They occasionally came to us to
16 look for some food.
17 Q. All right. I wish to show you some photographs.
18 MR. RE: Can the witness -- can we please broadcast Exhibit P7.
19 Q. Did you see the photograph on the screen in front of you, Exhibit
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. There are three houses in this photograph. Were any of these the
23 houses that you stayed in?
24 Oh, sorry, firstly, do you recognise this as a photograph of
1 A. Yes, this first house, the largest one.
2 Q. The largest one? Are you referring to the one at the bottom left
3 of the photograph? The white one with a roof?
4 A. Right.
5 Q. Who was staying in that house?
6 A. Solak's men.
7 Q. What about the house above it? Were any 9th Brigade soldiers
8 staying in that?
9 A. Possibly, but I can't say with 100 per cent certainty.
10 Q. What about the house to the right, the white one without a roof?
11 Was that a house occupied by the 9th Motorised Brigade?
12 A. I don't know.
13 Q. All right. In that area shown on the photograph, can you see a
14 place where the trucks -- or trucks that looked like buses stopped, when
15 you arrived in Grabovica?
16 A. This track or road down there lined with trees. You see those
17 trees there is, towards the bottom -- or rather, not trees but logs.
18 Q. Near the logs which are in the bottom right-hand side of the
20 A. Yes.
21 MR. RE: All right. Could Exhibit P3 please be broadcast.
22 Q. Just have a look at this one. This is -- when it comes onto the
23 screen. Now, this is a -- do you recognise this as a -- a wider picture
24 of Grabovica?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. What I want you to do on this, if you can get the pen which the
2 court officer will provide you with, I want you -- can you see on that the
3 house where you stayed? That's Mr. And Mrs. Maric's house.
4 A. I can't see it here, but I can tell you approximately where it
5 was. Because it's not visible in this picture.
6 Q. Okay. Would you be able to mark a -- put a circle over where it
7 is and just put a "1" in that.
8 A. [Marks]
9 Q. Thank you. You also referred earlier to Mr. Habib Alic going to
10 a house and killing a woman. Can you see the house in which he said he
11 killed the woman on this photograph?
12 A. Here approximately.
13 Q. All right. Can you put a "2" in the middle of that, please.
14 A. [Marks]
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. RE: May that be received into evidence, please.
17 JUDGE LIU: Any objections?
18 MR. METTRAUX: No objection. No objection.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes. It's admitted into evidence.
20 THE REGISTRAR: It will be Prosecution Exhibit P179.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
22 MR. RE:
23 Q. And just for the purposes of identification of that house on a
24 different photograph, can the witness please be shown Exhibit P78.
25 [Prosecution counsel confer]
1 MR. RE:
2 Q. Okay. Can you see clearly that photograph? It's got some
3 numbers and markings on it. Just look at the arrows. I just want you to
4 identify -- no?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. I just want you to identify from those arrows with numbers on the
7 top which was the house in which you were staying.
8 A. I think it's number 8.
9 MR. RE: Can the witness now please -- can we please now
10 broadcast P86.
11 Q. I just want you to mark two things on this. Can you see on that
12 photograph the Zadros' house? Can you please just circle that and put a
13 "1" outside the circle, because I think it's a very small house.
14 A. I think that's here. I don't know exactly where, but it's
15 somewhere around here. Possibly here.
16 Q. Is it possible to enlarge that portion of the screen?
17 MR. RE: It's -- we can lose the circle. It doesn't matter.
18 Q. Is that clearer?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can you see it now?
21 A. [Marks]
22 Q. All right. Can you please just put a -- a "1" above that. Not
23 inside. Above.
24 A. [Marks]
25 Q. All right. Is it possible to move the screen to the side
1 without -- without changing the dimensions? Just move it along. No.
2 MR. RE:
3 Q. Okay. I'm sorry to take so much time on this. I'll have to ask
4 you to mark again -- do you think you'll be able to recognise from where
5 you marked that on the large one, if you could do the same -- don't do it
6 now. If you could reduce it -- I want you to mark two things on the map.
7 A. [Marks]
8 Q. So if we now reduce it, could you mark two things on the map?
9 You'll lose that circle.
10 All right. I want you to mark two things on the map: Firstly,
11 where you were when Nihad gave you the order to kill all the civilians;
12 and, secondly, where the Zadro house is. A "1" and a "2".
13 A. Nihad did not issue the order. He just transferred it or
14 conveyed it to us. And that was here. That was the house where Zadro
15 was. This is number 1 and this is number 2.
16 MR. RE: Thank you. May that be received into evidence.
17 JUDGE LIU: Any objections?
18 MR. METTRAUX: No objection, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE LIU: It's admitted into the evidence.
20 THE REGISTRAR: This photograph will be Prosecution Exhibit P180.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
22 MR. RE: Could we please broadcast Exhibit P22.
23 Q. Mr. Sakrak, do you recognise what's in that photograph?
24 A. The Zadro family house.
25 MR. RE: That's my examination-in-chief.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
2 Any re-examination -- any cross-examination?
3 MR. METTRAUX: Yes, Your Honour.
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Mettraux:
5 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Sakrak. My name is Guenael Mettraux and I'm
6 appearing on behalf of Sefer Halilovic.
7 You've indicated during your examination-in-chief that you met a
8 number of times with the Prosecutor investigator; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you also met in late December 2004 with a representative of
11 the Defence, investigator Medina Delalic, and myself; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... to a court order issued by
14 this Tribunal; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Sakrak, you fully
17 cooperated with the Defence and were truthful if your responses to our
18 questions, weren't you?
19 A. I hope so, yes.
20 Q. I would like to take you back a few years, at the start of the
21 war in 1992; more precisely, at the time you were just fresh out of high
22 school. You were 19 also; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you were considering going to university after your high
1 A. Which is quite natural.
2 Q. But instead of going to university, the war caught up with you
3 and you had to choose another career, so to say; you had to enrol in the
4 army. Is that so?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. But it wasn't really a -- a choice for you, Mr. Sakrak. It was
7 more of a duty or a necessity, wasn't it?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. At the time, Sarajevo was encircled.
10 A. Yes, in a tight circle.
11 Q. It was shelled every day, shelled at?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And no one really inside the city was ready for what was going
14 on; is that correct?
15 A. Yes. It's quite natural.
16 Q. And you had no military experience, Mr. Sakrak. You had not done
17 your compulsory military service at the time.
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. And you had no -- I'm sorry. And you had no inclination either
20 for a military career.
21 A. No.
22 Q. You joined because you had to.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. At the time, sir, the Bosnian --
25 A. I apologise. It was more of a duty for the defence, our own
1 defence, the family, the city. It wasn't a question of necessity.
2 Q. It was a matter of survival for your people, Mr. Sakrak, wasn't
3 it that, that all able-bodied Bosniaks or Bosnians of other ethnicities --
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. -- would serve in the army; is that correct?
6 A. Regardless of their ethnicity. Whoever felt as a Bosnian joined
7 the B and H army.
8 Q. And at the time, sir, you didn't have much weapons to fight
9 against the shelling that was landing every day in Sarajevo; is that
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. What you had is your courage and the courage of those who had
13 enrolled in the army.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And life was rather hard at the time in Sarajevo, sir, for you as
16 a soldier but also for civilians.
17 A. Exceptionally hard.
18 Q. Food was rare and life was dangerous, wasn't it?
19 MR. RE: I object. Is this going to be tied to the substance of
20 the witness's examination-in-chief at any point?
21 JUDGE LIU: Well --
22 MR. METTRAUX: Well, Your Honour --
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, in the cross-examination, you know, the
24 questions is not necessary to be tied to the direct examination, so I
25 think that objection is overruled. But, however, it should be relevant.
1 Maybe the question is too extensive, you know.
2 MR. METTRAUX: Well, it is, Your Honour, if I may, relevant to a
3 number of issues. That -- the evidence we've heard is far is very
4 sanitised, if I may say so, version of the events and we think it is
5 relevant to a full understanding of those events to know what the
6 situation was at the time and under what condition the unit which we are
7 talking about were operating, and it may become very relevant to the issue
8 of membership to a particular unit.
9 JUDGE LIU: At this stage, I didn't see that. I hope you could
10 escape this part of question and come to which is really relevant as soon
11 as possible.
12 MR. METTRAUX: I will move on then, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 MR. METTRAUX:
15 Q. You indicated earlier to the Prosecution that you have received
16 no training in the Geneva Conventions; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You neither received any training in relevant humanitarian law
19 treaties, had you.
20 A. That is correct.
21 Q. But you understood very well, Mr. Sakrak, at the time that the
22 killing of civilians would be legal [sic], regardless of the
24 A. You would assume that.
25 Q. And even furthermore, you would understand that this would be
1 regarded as a criminal act.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. You didn't need a reminder of that, sir. You knew it before you
4 left for Herzegovina, didn't you?
5 A. No.
6 MR. RE: I'm sorry, I don't wish to interrupt.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
8 MR. RE: But I think my learned friend actually said "legal," and
9 it was picked up in the transcript, so I don't think it would be picked up
10 in the correction. He said, "You would assume that these killings of
11 civilians would be legal." I heard him say "legal." It may have been
12 interpreted as "illegal," but the answer seems to be directed to
13 "illegal." So maybe we could clarify.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, maybe could --
15 MR. METTRAUX: Absolutely, I'm grateful to the Prosecution for
16 that remark.
17 Q. I will ask you the question again, Mr. Sakrak, if I may: You
18 understood at the time the killing of civilians regardless of the
19 circumstances would be regarded as illegal; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And you also realised, as I asked you before, that this would
22 constitute a criminal act.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. As I pointed out or proposed to you earlier, you didn't need a
25 reminder of that fact; you knew it.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. I would like to ask you a few questions in relation which were
3 also asked during your examination about the timing at which you became a
4 member of the 9th Brigade. You've indicated, if I'm correct, that you
5 joined in early September 1993. Could it have been a few days -- three or
6 four days prior to going to Herzegovina; is that correct?
7 A. It's possible. It's quite possible.
8 Q. Is it also correct that you only formally became a member later
9 on, sometime in November 1993? Is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And the exact date of your formally becoming a member of the 9th
12 Brigade was the 30th of November, 1993; is that correct?
13 A. I cannot remember the exact date, but it's possible.
14 MR. METTRAUX: Well, could I ask that the witness be shown what
15 is D965, DD00.2691. It is an excerpt of the log -- of the logbook, I'm
16 sorry, of the 9th Motorised Brigade of the 1st Corps.
17 Could the court staff please turn to the next page, please.
18 Q. Very well. Mr. Sakrak, can you see the excerpt of that log in
19 front of you?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can you read out the third name on the list with the number "222"
22 in the first left column.
23 A. The last and the first name?
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. Enes Sakrak.
1 Q. And the date of birth in the next column on the right-hand side.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Can you read the date?
4 A. 13th of May, 1973 in Sarajevo.
5 Q. I'm sorry, is that your date and place of birth, Mr. Sakrak?
6 A. Yes.
7 MR. METTRAUX: If I may ask the court staff to move on a bit to
8 the right and perhaps a bit up so that the title of the document can be
10 Q. Can you see the subtitle, Mr. Sakrak, called -- or named "Date of
12 A. The 30th of November, 1993.
13 Q. And it appears in the column marked "Date of enrolment"; is that
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And that's the date, Mr. Sakrak, at which you formally joined in
17 the 9th Brigade, isn't it?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. METTRAUX: Very well. I would like to offer this document at
20 this stage.
21 JUDGE LIU: Are there --
22 MR. METTRAUX: MFI181, I would believe.
23 JUDGE LIU: Are there any English translations of this document?
24 MR. METTRAUX: Yes, it should be uploaded on the system,
25 Your Honour. It is uploaded.
1 JUDGE LIU: Any objections?
2 MR. RE: Well, the Prosecution just has a question about the
3 provenance of this document, which appears to refer throughout to the JNA.
4 We weren't aware that the witness was alleged to be a member of the -- the
5 JNA or the JNA was participating in this particular armed conflict.
6 Perhaps if that could clarify -- be clarified and some evidence be given
7 as to the provenance of this document; its source, and its chain of
8 custody, the Prosecution would be in a much better position to indicate
9 its position.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
11 MR. METTRAUX: Well, as far as the chain of custody is concerned,
12 this document has been obtained from the archives of the army.
13 As far as the reference to the JNA at the top is concerned, it
14 would appear that the Bosnian army continued to use calendars or documents
15 which were used by the previous army.
16 If Mr. Re needs any further information as to the chain of
17 custody of that document, we would be able to provide it perhaps not today
18 but certainly in the -- at a later stage, perhaps tomorrow.
19 MR. RE: The Prosecution position is that the Defence is -- is
20 seeking chain of custody on every single -- or basically every military
21 document that we've produced. Now, if the Defence wishes to produce
22 documents which purport to come from another army altogether, the
23 Prosecution likewise asks them to produce proper evidence to be tendered
24 to the Trial Chamber as to the source of these documents. It can't be
25 okay for one party to stand up in court and say, "Oh, these are from the
1 archive and this is what 'JNA' means," but the other party has to produce
2 evidence as to the source of documents.
3 JUDGE LIU: Do you have any more information to tell us,
4 Mr. Mettraux?
5 MR. METTRAUX: Not at this stage, I would be happy to provide
6 that information. But considering that Mr. Sakrak has given us the
7 evidence which we asked from him, I don't intend to pursue the matter.
8 But in relation to the more fundamental question of the source of document
9 and if required we will definitely provide that information to the
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, we'll hold the admission of this document to a
12 later stage. You may proceed.
13 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you.
14 Q. Mr. Sakrak, you were not the only member of the 9th Brigade that
15 went to Herzegovina to have joined recently; isn't that so?
16 A. It's possible. I don't know for sure, but it's possible.
17 Q. Well, Sead Karagic, for instance, had joined very recently,
18 hadn't he?
19 A. It's possible.
20 Q. And you indicated, I believe, that you had joined that brigade
21 precisely because you had friends and acquaintances within that brigade;
22 is that so?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And when were you enrolled in the 9th Motorised Brigade,
25 Mr. Sakrak, you had no reason to think that criminals were members of that
1 brigade nor had you heard any rumours to that effect, had you?
2 A. I agree with you entirely, and I would like to take this
3 opportunity to say that the 9th Mountain -- Motorised was not considered
4 to be a criminal unit, like it's being said. Everybody had respect for
5 that unit. Its fighters were good.
6 Q. It was in fact regarded as an elite unit, sir; isn't that the
8 A. You can say that, yes, if -- you can use that word, "elite."
9 Q. And it had taken a fundamental part in the defence of Sarajevo;
10 isn't that so?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And by the summer of 1993, the section of front line defended by
13 the 9th Brigade in or around Stari Grad was one of the best defended in
14 the city; isn't that so, sir?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And the 9th Brigade had also performed extremely well in other
17 offensive and dangerous operations, like on Mount Igman; isn't that so,
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. RE: Well, is this by reputation or is this something the
21 witness heard or something the witness saw? Did he participate in it? Is
22 it the reputation of the 9th in Sarajevo? Where is it going to? It's
23 just got to be put -- it's just got to be put more precisely.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes. But I believe that piece of evidence is
25 relevant to this case and --
1 Maybe you could ask a specific question on that effect.
2 MR. METTRAUX: I think the question was sufficiently specific,
3 Your Honour. I'll move on to another one.
4 MR. RE: No. My objection remains, and that is if my learned
5 friend is asking the witness questions about the reputation of the
6 brigade - and that is an issue in this case, and of course he's entitled
7 to ask those questions - the evidence has to be precise. It has to be
8 based upon the witness's knowledge. Is it his personal knowledge? Is it
9 something that he heard, something that he saw for himself? How does he
10 know? Did he read it in the newspaper, see it on the television,
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, if you have a problem on that issue, you have
13 the full opportunity to challenge that piece of the information during
14 your redirect examination.
15 You may proceed, Mr. Mettraux.
16 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you very much. Thank you very much.
17 Q. Just to be clear on that point, Mr. Sakrak, you personally had
18 not heard stories of this 9th Brigade being a criminal one. I'll be more
19 precise perhaps to make the point. You didn't see any crimes being
20 committed by any members of the 9th Brigade before this incident
22 A. I will tell you one thing regarding the 9th Brigade. That unit
23 was not a criminal unit as it's being described. It had very good
24 fighters. It numbered about a couple of thousand people. And the town
25 was proud of it and it was a matter of pride to belong to such a unit
1 precisely because it comprised good fighters and not criminals.
2 Q. And it was also a matter of pride for the city for another
3 reason, sir, which is that it was a multi-ethnic unit or brigade, I should
4 say; isn't that so?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. There were members of the Serbian ethnicity?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Members of the Croatian ethnicity?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And obviously members of the Bosniak ethnicity.
11 A. Yes. Nobody paid attention who was what in that unit. They were
12 judged according to their fighting skill. They were no criminals. I get
13 very upset when the 9th Brigade is described as a -- a criminal brigade.
14 I get very upset because this simply just wasn't true.
15 Q. Just so that we have the right picture in our mind about the size
16 of the brigade, I think you mentioned its size -- was it somewhere between
17 four and five thousand members at the relevant time, in September 1993?
18 A. Yes, it's possible. I don't know the exact number, but the
19 brigade had a large number of soldiers. It covered a wide area, and
20 that's why it numbered so many.
21 Q. It would -- it would have been in that sort of figure, sir, in
22 the thousands, four or five thousand members?
23 A. Yes. Yes, yes.
24 Q. I would like to move on now, sir, if I may to something
25 different; namely, your being sent to Herzegovina. Despite the fact that
1 you had just become a -- a member, although not formally yet a member of
2 the 9th Brigade, you were immediately sent within days to Herzegovina.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you, sir, were selected personally by Nihad Vlahovljak to go
5 to Herzegovina.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. The selection for the individual members who went there was done
8 at the brigade level and, in your case, more precisely at the platoon
9 level; isn't that so, sir?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Sead Karagic and Haris Rajkic were also picked and selected by
12 Nihad; isn't that the case, sir?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you indicated to the Prosecutor today that the order to go to
15 Herzegovina was given by your, and I quote, "platoon commander." That
16 platoon commander, sir, that was Nihad, Nihad Vlahovljak?
17 A. Conveyed, conveyed the order, because to issue and to convey are
18 two different things.
19 Q. And the only thing that you know for sure is that as far as
20 you're concerned, the order came from Nihad. Is that your evidence, sir?
21 A. Yes. Yes.
22 Q. As you travelled with your friends and colleagues at the time,
23 you had no reason, sir, to believe that something terrible would happen in
24 Herzegovina and certainly not something that eventually happened; isn't
25 that so?
1 A. We didn't -- we didn't know anything. No mention had been made
2 of any such possibility.
3 Q. And you, Mr. Sakrak, had no intention to hurt anyone or to hurt
4 any civilian, to be more precise?
5 A. Of course I didn't have any such intention.
6 Q. All you were thinking about as you were driving with your
7 colleagues was the forthcoming fighting.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You indicated earlier that Nihad was -- or was regarded, I should
10 say, as platoon commander; is that so?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. But at the time, sir, he had no official rank and no official
13 position within the brigade or the platoon.
14 A. I don't understand. He had no visible mark of any rank, no
15 visible insignia of -- of ...
16 Q. Yes. Thank you. And he had no official position, no official
17 rank. He was just known or regarded by you as being the platoon
19 A. Something like that. I don't know whether he held a rank
20 officially, but he didn't have anything on his uniform to distinguish him
21 as a commander of platoon or anything else.
22 Q. I'm not asking you to make any -- any guesses, Mr. Sakrak, so
23 that it's clear between us.
24 Within that platoon which was headed, so to say, by Nihad, were
25 the mere foot soldiers, if I may call them that, like yourself?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And there were people who made the link between you, the foot
3 soldiers, and Nihad; isn't that the case, sir?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And in your case, that person was Sead or Sejo Karagic.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Remaining within this brigade, then, the individuals who were
8 sent to Herzegovina, sir, do you know a man by the nickname Zuti?
9 A. I don't know.
10 Q. And you didn't hear that nickname down in Grabovica in September
11 1993 as you were there, did you?
12 A. No, I didn't.
13 Q. Very well. As you arrived in the village, you've indicated that
14 another unit had preceded you in that village and that unit, sir, was the
15 Solakovic unit.
16 A. Right.
17 Q. The official name of that unit was the 2nd Independent Battalion.
18 A. That's possible, but we always called them Solak's men.
19 Q. It's okay.
20 A. We never referred to them by any other name, so it's possible
21 that this 2nd Independent Battalion was in fact what we knew as Solak's
23 Q. Very well. And that unit, sir, was, just like the 9th Motorised
24 Brigade, a 1st Corps unit or, in your case, brigade.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. It was normally based in Sarajevo.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And aside from the 9th Motorised Brigade and the 2nd Independent
4 Battalion, that was the only so-called Sarajevo unit present in Grabovica
5 at the time.
6 A. To the best of my recollection, yes.
7 Q. Did you see any other so-called local units in Grabovica at the
8 time? And I'm referring to the Handzar Division and the Cedo's Wolves.
9 A. I did not.
10 Q. I'd like to ask you now a few questions about your accommodation
11 as you arrived in the village of Grabovica. You've indicated that Ramiz
12 Delalic, Celo, told the soldiers to go and accommodate themselves in two
13 empty houses; is that so?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Are you able to point at those two houses if shown a picture?
16 A. I should hope so. I just hope it's going to be a larger
17 photograph, because on one side of the road there was a small hill.
18 [Defence counsel confer]
19 MR. METTRAUX: Could we see the Prosecution Exhibit 3 -- P3. P3.
20 Q. Can you see the picture of Grabovica on your screen, Mr. Sakrak?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Would you be able from this picture to identify the two houses in
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Could you mark them perhaps, with the assistance of the court
2 A. That's here. The two houses, the two empty houses, were there.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Sakrak.
4 MR. METTRAUX: Could we offer this picture in evidence.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Any objections?
6 MR. RE: No objections.
7 JUDGE LIU: It's admitted into the evidence.
8 THE REGISTRAR: It will be document D182.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
10 Well, Mr. Mettraux, I think it's time.
11 And there's two things I would like to remind both parties: The
12 first one is tomorrow we are going to sit in the morning, 9.00 in the same
13 courtroom, instead of the afternoon, since tomorrow is the Friday.
14 The next issue is a request to the Defence team: Try to dig up
15 some chain of custody of that document tonight. Maybe when we come to the
16 admission of the evidence at a later stage we need your explanations.
17 Well, witness, I'm afraid that you have to stay here for another
18 night at least, so I have to remind you that you are under the oath, so do
19 not talk to anybody and do not let anybody talk to you about your
20 testimony today. Do you understand that?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
23 The hearing for today is adjourned.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,
25 to be reconvened on Friday, the 18th day of
1 February, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.