1 Thursday, 17 March 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. Court Deputy.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case
8 number IT-01-48-T, the Prosecutor versus Sefer Halilovic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
10 Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.
11 Good afternoon, Witness.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
13 JUDGE LIU: Are you ready to start?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I'm ready.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
16 Mr. Morrissey, your cross-examination, please.
17 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
18 WITNESS: EMIN ZEBIC [Resumed]
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 Cross-examined by Mr. Morrissey:
21 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Zebic.
22 Mr. Zebic, the first questions I have for you concern the
23 structure of the civilian police services in Jablanica and Mostar. So
24 these are going to be general questions that I have.
25 First of all, the civilian police, of which you were a member,
1 was administered under the Ministry of the Interior, the MUP; is that
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And your position was as the head of civilian police at the
5 Jablanica police station; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, Mr. Zebic, because in this court we have to deal with a
8 number of acronyms for various departments of the government and the
9 military, I'm going to ask you to explain a couple of the acronyms that
10 are relevant to your part of the police force.
11 Is the acronym for the Jablanica police station the SJB?
12 A. The literal translation of "SJB" would be "Stanica Javne
13 Bezbjednosti," public security station. It includes the police station,
14 as well as the police administration.
15 Q. Yes, I understand. And that police station has a local
16 jurisdiction. And could you explain what that local jurisdiction was and
17 what the limits of that jurisdiction were in area terms, please.
18 A. Local jurisdiction implies that the law establishes that the
19 public security station is territorially responsible for public security
20 affairs within the confines of the municipality in which it was formed,
21 meaning that all police matters and all administrative matters, such as
22 the issuance of personal identity cards, driver's licences, and so on, is
23 something that they would deal with.
24 Q. Okay. Now, in peacetime and under normal circumstances, where
25 did the responsibility for the Jablanica SJB end? If you were travelling
1 down the highway to Mostar, the M17, how far did your jurisdiction reach
2 and where did it stop?
3 A. The direction towards Mostar is to the south. It's some eight to
4 nine kilometres. Topographically there is a bridge across the
5 Neretva River at a place called Aleksin Han.
6 Q. And was it at that bridge that in normal circumstances the
7 jurisdiction of your police station came to an end?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. On the other side of that bridge and proceeding southwards
10 towards Dreznica and ultimately towards Mostar, in peacetime which police
11 station normally had jurisdiction over that area?
12 A. The Mostar Public Security Station.
13 Q. Very well. Now, I'm going to ask you in a moment about that --
14 that security station and how it fits into the hierarchy. But as a matter
15 of realities, that M17 highway down to Mostar had been interrupted and cut
16 off by HVO forces in August -- at least during the time of August and
17 September of 1993. Is that accurate?
18 A. Perhaps you're mistaken about the year. I think this was in
20 Q. Well, no, I'm sorry, it may be that my question was misleading.
21 The time period that I'm interested by is August and September of the year
22 1993. And what I wanted to ask you is not when the HVO first cut that
23 road but as at August and September of 1993, was that road in fact cut?
24 Had it already been cut by the HVO?
25 A. Yes, to the south of Dreznica.
1 Q. Yes. Thank you. I understand. And as a result of that, was it
2 your practice at the Jablanica SJB to assist with civilian police matters
3 in Grabovica and the villages to the south of it, even though they were
4 outside of your jurisdiction, simply because the Mostar police station was
5 cut off from that area by the HVO?
6 A. That was not the practice, no.
7 Q. Okay. I've already asked you about what the SJB was, and now I
8 have a question concerning the next level up the scale. Was there in
9 Mostar a -- an institution called the Mostar CSB?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Very well. Could you just explain to the Tribunal here what is a
12 CSB and how does it relate in the hierarchy to the SJB, and in particular
13 how did the Mostar CSB relate to the Jablanica SJB.
14 A. "CSB" means "Centar Sluzbi Bezbjednosti," public security centre,
15 or security services centre. And it was part of the Ministry of the
16 Internal Affairs, and it would unify a territory where there were several
17 public security stations. The Mostar one would cover the public security
18 stations in Jablanica, Konjic, and so on.
19 Q. Very well. Now, just to clarify that a little bit further, was
20 the Mostar CSB an institution that also contained the local police force
21 centre for Mostar itself, as well as having these higher-level functions
22 that you've mentioned?
23 A. The question is not quite clear to me, but basically yes, the
24 Security Services Centre would include all the public security stations in
25 Mostar. At that point in time, unfortunately, Mostar was divided, so this
1 Security Services Centre covered only the territory that was under the
2 control of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
3 Q. Yes, I understand. Very well. So in the administrative
4 hierarchy of things, you, as the -- as the head of the SJB in Jablanica,
5 in theory were under the jurisdiction higher up the chain of the Mostar
6 CSB, and the Mostar CSB in turn was under the administration of the
7 Ministry of the Interior, the MUP; is that correct?
8 A. That is correct.
9 Q. Yes, thank you. I'm grateful to you for clarifying these
11 The minister in charge of the Ministry of the Interior at that
12 time was a man named Bakir Alispahic; is that correct?
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. Very well. Now, I now want to turn in some more detail to the
15 situation at Jablanica itself. At the Jablanica police station, you were
16 the head of that police station and your deputy was Mr. Salihamidzic; is
17 that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, I might -- just excuse me one
20 moment, please, Mr. Zebic.
21 Your Honours, just as a matter of caution, I think I should
22 mention something now that that -- that name escaped my lips. The
23 Prosecutors mentioned --
24 Yes, Your Honour, could we go to the private session, please.
25 I'm sorry.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go to the private session, please.
2 [Private session]
7 [Open session]
8 JUDGE LIU: Now we are in the open session.
9 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you.
10 Q. Pardon me, Mr. Zebic, for that interruption.
11 Your deputy was named Mr. Salihamidzic; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And his nickname at the time was Cicko; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, in August and September of 1993, there was another person
16 present at the Jablanica SJB about whom I wish to ask you. Were you
17 familiar with the -- an officer who was attached to the Mostar CSB named
18 Sead Brankovic?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, was he an officer who was effectively employed by the
21 Ministry of the Interior, rather than by the -- by the army or the
22 Ministry of Defence? Is that accurate?
23 A. According to the information I had at the time, he was a member
24 of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, a member of the public security.
25 Q. Yes. To your knowledge, did he report to persons at Mostar named
1 Alica Bilic and Ramo Maslesa?
2 A. I'm sorry, it's not quite clear to me now. You are mentioning
3 two names now. Alica Bilic and Ramo Maslesa.
4 Q. Yes, I'm sorry. Well, perhaps I should just ask you about that,
5 bearing in mind that it's 11 years ago.
6 Do you recall the name Ramo Maslesa?
7 A. Yes, of course.
8 Q. Ask do you recall that he was a senior officer at the Mostar CSB?
9 A. He was my immediate superior.
10 Q. Yes. And do you also recall Alica Bilic?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And he was an officer of state security at -- at the Mostar CSB;
13 is that correct?
14 A. It's possible. I'm not sure about that though. I cannot confirm
16 Q. That's okay. I have to ask you the questions, but if you don't
17 recall, then that's -- then that's your answer.
18 May I come back to my original question: Was it your
19 understanding that Sead Brankovic reported to these two individuals whilst
20 he was placed at your police station in August and September of 1993?
21 A. Yes, I think so. Yes.
22 Q. Very well. At all events, Sead Brankovic was not directly
23 responsible or accountable to you; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And to your understanding, part of the reason why or a large part
1 of the reason why Sead Brankovic was present at your police station is
2 because of the disruption to communications between Mostar and the CSB in
3 Mostar, on the one hand, and your police station in Jablanica, on the
4 other hand; is that correct?
5 A. It's true that the roads were not clear. They were not passable.
6 Q. Yes. Thank you. Very well. Now, I have some questions for you
7 now about the military units that were in Jablanica. I bear in mind that
8 you were -- you were employed by the Ministry of the Interior. But you
9 may be able to answer these questions from personal knowledge.
10 First of all, I've got some questions for you about the
11 44th Mountain Brigade. Now, was there a unit based at Jablanica which was
12 a regular unit of the Bosnian army called the 44th Mountain Brigade?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Was it commanded by Enes Kovacevic?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And at the time in August and September of 1993, was his deputy a
17 man named Senad Dzino?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Did he have a military security officer named Zajko Sihirlic at
20 that time?
21 A. I think so, yes.
22 Q. Now, you being a member of the -- of the civilian police, Zajko
23 Sihirlic had no duty to report to you; is that correct?
24 A. No.
25 Q. And, in fact, as you understood the procedures, his duties were,
1 on the one hand, to his own commander, and, on the other hand, to report
2 along the professional line up the scale of the SVB; is that correct?
3 A. No, he did not report to the public security station, in any
5 Q. I understand. Now, I just have another question about the
6 44th Mountain Brigade. You -- you gave evidence yesterday, no doubt in
7 completely good faith, that your recollection was that the 44th Brigade
8 was in the zone of responsibility militarily speaking of the 4th Corps.
9 Now, I have some questions for you about that.
10 Were you aware that in July -- sorry, in June, actually, of -- of
11 1993 a new corps was brought into being, namely the 6th Corps, which
12 assumed responsibility for some parts of the old 4th Corps's units?
13 A. I heard that the 6th Corps had been formed, but the local brigade
14 remained our local brigade, and I was -- continued to cooperate with them
15 most frequently.
16 Q. I understand that. In terms of your responsibilities, you -- you
17 dealt with the 44th Brigade both before and after the creation of the
18 6th Corps; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And, in fact, the 44th Mountain Brigade had a -- very much a
21 local character and had in its ranks very many local people; is that
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Very well. Well, we've heard some sworn evidence in this court
25 from other witnesses that the 44th Brigade came to be under the control
1 directly of the 6th Corps. I take it you don't dispute that that is what
2 happened after the 6th Corps was created in June of 1993.
3 A. These are military matters, and I don't really have much interest
4 for them.
5 Q. No. Well, I understand that it was not a matter that impacted on
6 your operations to any significant extent. Is that correct?
7 A. Yes. Yes.
8 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... All right. Now, you've
9 indicated that there were daily meetings held at your police station at
10 which various policemen attended. Was it the practice that you would
11 invite a representative from the 44th Brigade to be present at those
12 meetings in order to liaise properly and in order not to cause trouble for
13 the military and for them not to cause trouble with you?
14 A. We did have such meetings, not on a daily basis though.
15 Sometimes it happened at the public security station, and sometimes they
16 were held at the 44th Brigade command.
17 Q. Thank you. And who was the 44th Brigade person whom you dealt
18 with most frequently in terms of that liaison?
19 A. Mostly the commander of the military police company and this
20 person whom you mentioned who was in charge of security, Mr. Sihirlic.
21 Q. Yes. And just so that the record reflects this, you've indicated
22 the commander of the military police. By that do you mean Mr. Sead Kurt?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Very well. All right. Now -- and thank you once again for
25 clarifying these -- these organisational matters. There's one other
1 matter I want to clarify with you again, and that was the -- just the
2 structure of the War Presidency. The War Presidency was a -- a civil
3 authority headed by Dr. Safet Cibo, C-i-b-o; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And it had responsibility for logistics and -- and for
6 effectively civil administration in the Jablanica area at that time?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You as civilian chief -- sorry, civilian police chief were an
9 ex officio member of that War Presidency; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Okay. Thank you.
12 Yes, I think that's the institutional questions.
13 Now, could I just ask you some questions about early September
14 1993 and the situation that existed in Jablanica at that time. First of
15 all, Jablanica was a -- a small town -- well, perhaps could you tell us
16 what was the normal peacetime population of Jablanica before hostilities
17 broke out?
18 A. There were around 12.600 people living in the entire territory of
19 the municipality of Jablanica. Over 70 per cent were Bosniak. Around 20
20 per cent were Croats. And the rest were Serbs and others, such as
21 gypsies, et cetera.
22 Q. So predominantly -- predominantly Bosniak but with significant
23 populations of -- with a significant population of Croats and -- and also
24 other populations present; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. The township of Jablanica itself, what was the population of that
2 township before hostilities began? Approximately.
3 A. Three, four thousand. Three and a half, four thousand.
4 Q. Very well. After hostilities commenced between the HVO and the
5 Bosnian government army, did Jablanica come under fire on any occasions?
6 A. Before the outbreak of the conflict between the army and the HVO,
7 Jablanica was never under attack.
8 Q. I'm sorry, well, perhaps my question wasn't clear. I'm really
9 asking about the time after that -- that conflict broke out. Once it
10 broke out, did Jablanica then come to be under fire?
11 A. Beginning with April 1992 until then, there were frequent
12 shellings of the population centre of Jablanica itself.
13 Q. You mentioned the year 1992, Mr. Zebic. It's -- it's -- is it
14 your understanding that the conflict between the HVO and the -- and the
15 Bosnian government army commenced with hostilities at Prozor late in 1992?
16 A. I misspoke. I'm sorry, Your Honours. It should be April 1993.
17 That's when the hostilities began around Jablanica.
18 Q. Okay. Now, you've indicated that after that time, Jablanica did
19 come under shelling. Do you -- are you -- do you mean artillery fire from
20 the HVO side?
21 A. Yes, only.
22 Q. Okay. And did that shelling continue throughout 1993? I'm
23 particularly thinking about August and September of 1993 when I ask
25 A. I can't be certain about these two months, but I believe in that
1 period there was constant fire around Jablanica and on Jablanica.
2 Q. And in terms of the fire on Jablanica, did that cause casualties
3 among the civilian population?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Was there a hospital in Jablanica?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Was it set up to deal with the volume of injuries and wounds and
8 disasters which occurred once the shelling began in Jablanica?
9 A. I'm not a medical professional. All I can say is that many, many
10 wounded people, fighting men and civilians were taken care of by that
12 Q. Do you recall how many doctors they had on the staff there, from
13 your own knowledge?
14 A. I don't remember exactly, but I know some doctors from Mostar had
15 come to help out at the Jablanica hospital.
16 Q. I take it they were pretty busy, from what you were able to
17 observe. Is that correct?
18 A. Yes, every day.
19 Q. Very well. And another effect of the HVO conflict was that
20 transport to Konjic became quite difficult; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And although you've answered this question in another form
23 already, transport to Mostar became quite difficult; is that correct?
24 A. It was almost impossible.
25 Q. Yes. I have some brief questions now, turning away from
1 Jablanica to Mostar, about your understanding of the situation in Mostar.
2 It was well known by August and September of 1993 that the extreme
3 elements of the HVO had declared their intention to make Mostar the
4 capital city of the new Republic of Herceg-Bosna; is that true?
5 A. It's difficult for me to confirm, but facts seem to support what
6 you just said.
7 Q. And you, as police chief, came to know that a large number of
8 persons were arriving on Bosnian government territory from territory owned
9 or held by the HVO; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. In the translations that we have, various terms are used, and I
12 wanted to ask you about those terms. We have the term "refugee" in some
13 papers and also the term "expellee" and a variety of different terms are
14 used. What was your understanding of where these people were coming from,
15 the people who arrived on your territory? Were they coming from villages
16 from which they were expelled, or were they coming from prison camps, or
17 are there other sources as well?
18 A. Among civilians who arrived in the territory of Jablanica, there
19 were many who had been in prison camps in Herzegovina. Some had been
20 expelled from villages in Eastern Herzegovina, Gacko, Nevesinje, Stolac,
21 for example. But in the period that we are discussing now, the summer of
22 1993, people were coming mainly from camps, locals of Capljina, Stolac,
23 Mostar, that area.
24 Q. I understand. Now, is it accurate to say that by the end of --
25 or sorry, perhaps I should ask this: Throughout summer, throughout the
1 summer of 1993, there was a -- a fairly steady stream of refugees and
2 expellees coming onto the territory under the jurisdiction of your police
3 station; is that correct?
4 A. Right.
5 Q. Where did you put them to live, and how did you find places for
6 them to live?
7 A. The people who were directly involved in finding accommodation
8 for those people would be better placed to tell you, such as members of
9 the Civilian Defence Staff, members of the Red Cross. But from what I
10 know, at one point there were many more refugees and people who had been
11 expelled in Jablanica than locals, and it was very difficult - you're
12 right about that - to put them up in the small area of our town, squeezed
13 as it was between two enemy armies. They were put up in schoolhouses, in
14 cinema halls, in museums even, in private family houses, in office space
15 of various enterprises, some prefab buildings that had been left over on
16 various construction sites. The problem was really severe in a small
17 township like Jablanica.
18 Q. Is it accurate to say that the problem spilled over into other
19 villages in the area? I'm thinking now of Grabovica, Buturovic Polje as
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. I'll come to the Grabovica situation in detail soon. But apart
23 from Buturovic Polje, can you comment on any other places that you now
24 recall refugees being sent in order to accommodate them?
25 A. Let me tell you one thing. You're probably not very familiar
1 with the situation there. Konjic was under fire. You couldn't send them
2 to Mostar. In the west, there was the HVO, which wouldn't allow any
3 communication. So we couldn't send them on anywhere. We had to let them
4 stay where they were, in our town, and find a place for them.
5 Q. Yes, I understand. And I take it from what you say that at the
6 end of -- at the end of August and early in September the problem didn't
7 stop but, rather, it got worse and more refugees just kept coming. Is
8 that the case?
9 A. [No interpretation]
10 Q. I just had a couple of specific questions about places where
11 refugees were -- were housed. First of all, I take it it was not the job
12 of you or your police force directly to -- to house these people but it
13 was the job of other civilian authorities. Is that correct?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. At that time, was there still in existence the old -- an old
16 quasi-military organisation called the TO?
17 A. At that time you mean? In 1993?
18 Q. Yes. And I mean specifically end of -- end of September and --
19 sorry. Pardon me. I take that back. I mean specifically end of August
20 and early September 1993. Did the TO still exist at that time or had it
21 been abolished already?
22 A. I can't be sure about this. If it existed, it was just the local
23 command in charge of dealing with local problems of Jablanica --
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. -- only.
1 Q. I understand. And in terms of providing security at various
2 important civil institutions, was that the role of the TO, to provide, for
3 example, guards at the hydroelectric plant and so on?
4 A. I don't know that. The police didn't do this.
5 Q. No, I understand. I've got some questions about one particular
6 institution; that's the museum in Jablanica. Now, to your knowledge, was
7 the museum a public building which had to be used because there was
8 nowhere else to put certain refugees?
9 A. [No audible response]
10 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear the answer. Could
11 the witness be asked to speak up a little.
12 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes.
13 Q. Mr. Zebic, the interpreter just had difficulty hearing your
14 answer. Then although -- actually, I heard it. But would you mind just
15 repeating it, please, for the transcript.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you. Sometimes we need to speak a little bit clearly for
18 the interpreter's benefit here.
19 Very well. Now, can you just explain how big that museum was --
20 sorry, that's a meaningless question. I'll take that back. I'll deal
21 with it another way.
22 At the end of August of 1993, to the best of your recollection,
23 how many -- how many of the Bosniak refugees were to be found at the
25 A. Certainly above 100. I can't be sure about the number.
1 Q. Very well. Thank you. Now, Mr. Zebic, I take it that -- I'll
2 put this in very general terms first and I'll come to specifics in a
3 minute. These were very challenging and difficult times for a policeman
4 to be doing his work; is that correct?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. It was a time of some social dislocation with tensions between
7 parts of the community that lived in Jablanica.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And those tensions were magnified and complicated by the arrival
10 of traumatised, hungry, and unhappy Bosniaks from the HVO territories or
11 HVO-held territories; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And it was also a time during which local criminals found it
14 easier than usual to procure guns and weapons; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And the police therefore had a full-time job in preserving public
17 order in Jablanica; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And furthermore, I take it that you were not able to double
20 your -- sorry, I'll ask the question another way.
21 Resources, as far as manpower goes, were quite scarce for the
22 police because the army was making demands on the young men in the
23 territory; is that correct?
24 A. It is a fact that the army had priority. However, the police was
25 also assisted by a number of reserve policemen.
1 Q. I understand. How many regular police were stationed at the --
2 at the Jablanica police station?
3 A. In wartime conditions, everybody is in regular service. I
4 mentioned the reserve only because at the beginning of the conflict a
5 number of those reservists were deployed in the police station of
6 Jablanica, because that's where they had their wartime assignment.
7 Q. Yes, I understand that. So what were the numbers of -- of
8 participating police at the Jablanica police station?
9 A. It varied from 150 to 200.
10 Q. And those 150 to 200 had the tasks of doing all police work
11 within your -- within your municipality; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. I understand. The military police in Jablanica, to your
14 knowledge, were commanded by Sead Kurt; is that correct?
15 A. Only the military police of the 44th Mountain Brigade.
16 Q. I understand. Now, as far -- I understand you weren't in command
17 of them, but I just want you to assist the Tribunal to know what sort of
18 tasks they had to perform. Was one task that you knew the military police
19 to perform to protect the command post of the 44th Mountain Brigade and
20 provide security for that important institution?
21 A. It is not up to me to judge really. I think you should ask a
22 military expert.
23 Q. We're going to, but we'd value what you saw as well because you
24 were there. I appreciate that you -- you weren't in command of these
1 Are you able to comment on this: At the museum facility, so far
2 as you understood, was the security there provided by the military police
3 from the 44th Brigade?
4 A. As far as I know, at that museum the military police had its
5 offices, its own space, and it's possible that military police would
6 normally be seen around and in that building at that time, but I don't
7 believe they were serving as guards at the museum where displaced and
8 other persons who had come because they had been expelled were put up
10 Q. Very well. Thank you. Now, I want to turn to the village of
11 Grabovica and your knowledge of that, even though it was outside of your
12 jurisdictional area, on your evidence.
13 You knew that the village of Grabovica had ethnic Croats in it on
14 both sides of the river; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You knew that as time went by refugees were located with those
17 villagers to a large extent on the left bank but also on the right bank to
18 some degree; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. You knew that a unit called Cedo's Wolves or sometimes, I think,
21 called the Igman Wolves were billeted in -- in some business offices of
22 the hydroelectric plant amongst the houses on the left bank; is that
24 A. On the left bank, yes, but there were no houses around, I must
25 say. The houses of local people were slightly further below the offices
1 that you mention.
2 Q. Very well. You knew that a unit called the Handzar Division, a
3 small unit called the Handzar Division, came to be located in the village
4 of Grabovica; is that correct?
5 A. I don't know that.
6 Q. Okay. Did you ever meet a man -- an Albanian man, the commander
7 of a unit called Handzar, who went by the name of Dzeki, D-z-e-k-i?
8 A. I heard about him. For a while, they were in the town of
10 Q. I understand. You knew that Zuka's unit, under the direction of
11 Zulfikar Alispago, was based at Donja Jablanica; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. I'll come back to some of these questions in a moment. I've just
14 got some general questions about that. To your understanding, the policy
15 of the Bosnian government during the war was to fight to preserve a
16 multi-ethnic community; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And, in fact, as far as you're concerned, the killings that
19 happened in Grabovica caused you major difficulties with the civilian
20 population at a later time; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. As far as you could see, the killings that took place in
23 Grabovica were totally contrary to the aims of the Bosnian state; is that
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, returning to the relations between the army and the citizens
2 of Grabovica before the killings took place. You were aware that the army
3 had attempted to establish good relations with those citizens; is that
4 correct? Providing medical facilities and so on.
5 A. Yes. For the most part, it was provided all from Jablanica.
6 Q. Yes. In fact, it was just -- maybe you can clarify this, but --
7 I think you already have clarified it. Thanks.
8 All right. And did you yourself have occasion to visit the
9 village of Grabovica in the weeks or so before the killing took place?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Okay. Well, then I had a series of questions, but I won't ask
12 you those questions, since you didn't go there.
13 Very well. I want to move forward now to approximately the 6th
14 of -- of September. So now I'm going to ask you some questions about
15 the -- the events that you were involved in.
16 On or about the 6th of September, did Minister Bakir Alispahic
17 pass through the village -- sorry, the town of Jablanica on his way down
18 to Mostar?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And when he -- while he was passing through, did he attend -- to
21 your knowledge, did he attend a meeting of commanders -- or perhaps I
22 shouldn't use the word "commanders." Did he attend a meeting of -- of
23 military leaders in the town of Jablanica? I'm not suggesting that you
24 attended, but to your knowledge, did he attend such a meeting?
25 A. I don't know.
1 Q. On his way down to Mostar, was he accompanied by a unit of the
2 Ministry of the Interior sometimes known -- or known as the Laste Unit?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you told us yesterday that the Laste Unit was en route to
5 help at the Mostar CSB, and that was a truthful and accurate answer,
6 wasn't it, that you gave yesterday?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And did that Laste Unit stop in Jablanica for a night, or did it
9 just pass straight on through to Mostar, as far as you know?
10 A. I don't remember that now. It's possible that they did spend the
11 night, but I'm not sure.
12 Q. Very well. Okay. Now, you indicated yesterday to my learned
13 friend Mr. Sachdeva that you knew because of your contacts at the
14 44th Mountain Brigade that Sarajevo units were being billeted in the
15 village of Grabovica. And my question for you is: Did you know on the
16 night of the 8th and the 9th - that's the night beginning -- the end of
17 the 8th and the morning of the 9th, that night - did you know that a new
18 group of refugees from the Dretelj camp came up the road from Dreznica,
19 coming to Grabovica, and some of them ultimately coming to -- to
20 Jablanica? Was that something within your knowledge?
21 A. I don't remember that at the moment.
22 Q. Very well. Just excuse me one moment, please.
23 [Defence counsel confer]
24 MR. MORRISSEY: Now, Your Honours, the --
25 Excuse me, please, Mr. Zebic.
1 [Defence counsel confer]
2 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, I'm sorry to say that I -- there's
3 a document I wish to show the witness but it's been tendered into evidence
4 but I don't have the number. I have the Defence number. If I provide the
5 Defence 65 ter number, it may be that I can be assisted by the court
6 staff. And I apologise for not having the proper number.
7 The Defence document is D623A. It was tendered, I believe,
8 through the witness Salko Gusic, and it's a document from Mr. Sihirlic
9 addressed to the 6th Corps command and it concerns the movement of those
10 people up the road and other things.
11 Q. What I'm going to show you now, Mr. Zebic, is an order. You may
12 not have seen it. And I wouldn't have naturally come to you. But it's
13 now in evidence in this case, and I just want you to look at it and tell
14 me if you have seen it and then I'll ask you some questions in any event
15 about it.
16 MR. MORRISSEY: I believe it to be 623A.
17 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honour, may I --
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
19 MR. SACHDEVA: -- just inquire from my learned friend, does he
20 mean 623B?
21 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, I -- the Defence counsel is happy to say
22 that I'm not sure which one I'm referring to. I believe I'm referring to
23 623. I apologise for this. It's a -- it's a record-keeping glitch, and I
24 rely very heavily on Mr. Cengic in these situations, and he's -- he's not
25 able to be here.
1 I think I can deal with the matter a different way. Perhaps if I
2 can just --
3 [Defence counsel confer]
4 MR. SACHDEVA: If I may be of assistance, I think it is 623B.
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, I think 623B just appeared on the
6 screen, and that certainly is the one that we want.
7 THE REGISTRAR: That's Defence Exhibit D153.
8 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you. I'm grateful to the court staff,
10 Q. Thank you. Now, I'm grateful to the Prosecutor for assisting on
11 that occasion.
12 This is -- what I'm showing you now is a military document, and
13 I'm not sure whether you've seen it before, but I would just ask you to
14 briefly look at it and see whether you have seen it before and ...
15 A. No.
16 Q. Well, I don't think it's fair to leave it in front of the
18 MR. MORRISSEY: In those circumstances, I've had ask that that be
19 withdrawn from in front of him.
20 Q. Yes. Okay, Mr. Zebic. I won't ask you about that document.
21 Did you become aware on the morning of the 9th, that is to say,
22 before you were told of the killings or any of the trouble that happened,
23 did you become aware that a new group of refugees had come up the highway
24 via Grabovica, some of whom arrived in -- in Jablanica that night or early
25 in the morning of the 9th?
1 A. I cannot remember. Unless there was some security problems, I
2 didn't even have to know that that morning.
3 Q. No. Okay. All right. Now, finally, before we get to the -- the
4 episode of the -- of your involvement in these sad events: You've
5 indicated that you came to know that there was a -- a forward command
6 post, also called an IKM, in Jablanica via your contacts in the
7 44th Brigade; is that correct?
8 A. Amongst other things, with the 44th Brigade and also the command.
9 I think a lot of the citizens in Jablanica knew that.
10 Q. Yes. The fact is Mr. Halilovic was a very famous person in -- in
11 Bosnia at that time; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And to your knowledge, he was the -- the person who had founded
14 the army and -- or at least presided over the -- the creation of the
15 Bosnian army as a viable fighting force; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. At one stage, did his picture hang in the -- in the Jablanica
18 police station?
19 A. I think so, yes.
20 Q. Did an order come to take it down?
21 A. There was no order to put the photograph up or to take it down.
22 Q. Did you know that there was an inspection team of the Supreme
23 Command Staff in the area of Herzegovina and specifically in Jablanica
24 headed by Sefer Halilovic and also including other well-known generals:
25 Vehbija Karic, Zicro Suljevic, and Rifat Bilajac?
1 A. I heard that these names that you just mentioned were talked
2 about, but I'm not aware of the context in which the names were mentioned
3 because these names were that well known to me that I knew that we were
4 talk about senior-ranking officers of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia
5 and Herzegovina.
6 Q. Yes, I understand. And just -- I want to ask you this: In -- in
7 late August and early September of 1993, did you personally meet Sefer
8 Halilovic in that time?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Did you speak to him on the telephone?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Did you have any other form of communication with him directly in
13 that time?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Very well. All right. Now, I want to turn to the morning of
16 the 9th -- sorry, well, the day of the 9th of September, when your
17 involvement in this matter effectively commenced. You indicated that you
18 spoke to Mr. Salihamidzic and that you had a discussion with him about
19 what to do when you received the bad news, or the first rumours of bad
21 Now, you were shown yesterday a document by my learned friend the
22 Prosecutor Mr. Sachdeva, which was a note by -- by Mr. Salihamidzic
23 concerning his activities. And I just wanted to ask you this: He says in
24 that note that at 1500 hours he set off to go out onto the terrain to have
25 a look to see what had happened. And what I want to put to you is this:
1 That document was written at the time and that accurately reflects the
2 time which he set off; is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. All right. Now, I just want to ask you a little bit about what
5 happened before he left and about the news that you had available to you
6 in that time.
7 You've already indicated how it was that you spoke to
8 Mr. Salihamidzic. You had a discussion with him about your jurisdiction
9 and your powers to act; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And that was a real issue because in theory your powers ended at
12 the Aleksin Han bridge; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And, again, this is purely in theory: In theory, it should have
15 been the Mostar police station that looked after any crimes, and of course
16 leaving aside the issue of whether the military join in. But in terms of
17 jurisdiction, from your point of view, if it was a police matter, in
18 theory it should have been a Mostar police matter; is that accurate?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And as well as that jurisdictional issue, from the news you had,
21 there was the possibility that military personnel might have been involved
22 in the crimes; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Very well. And it was for that reason essentially that you
25 called Sead Kurt to have a discussion with him.
1 A. That and the other reason is that the military component did have
2 the option of going to that area legally and then we could go with them in
3 order to assist them.
4 Q. Yes. And when you say they could go there legally, that's
5 because that village was, from a military point of view, within the zone
6 of operations of the 44th Brigade; correct?
7 A. Probably.
8 Q. Yes. But that was your thinking at the time; is that correct?
9 A. Yes. Yes.
10 Q. I understand. And you'd been dealing with the 44th Brigade in
11 detail for many months, and indeed you kept dealing with them after that
12 for -- for months as well; is that true?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Just in terms of that issue of -- of the 44th Brigade, did you
15 ever meet with the commander of the 6th Corps, Salko Gusic?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Did you ever meet with the head of military security of the
18 6th Corps, a man named Nermin Eminovic?
19 A. Perhaps we saw each other, but I didn't record that meeting
21 Q. Do you recall any such meeting yourself, regardless of notes?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Very well. And finally, did you yourself have any -- I'm jumping
24 forward a little bit now, but -- well, I may be jumping forward. I'll ask
25 you the question, and then you can tell me if I am or not.
1 In -- in September of 1993, did you have any personal contact
2 yourself with Jusuf Jasarevic, who was the head of military security
3 within the Bosnian army?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Did you send any reports or communications to Jusuf Jasarevic
6 yourself during that time?
7 A. No.
8 Q. And indeed, you had no obligation to send any such reports to
9 Mr. Jasarevic, because he was head of military security and you were in
10 the -- in the MUP; is that correct?
11 A. That is correct.
12 Q. Thanks. And just one other background matter which I forgot to
13 ask you earlier: You personally were not included in any way in any
14 discussions about military operations that were to take place early in the
15 September 1993; is that correct?
16 A. That is correct, yes.
17 Q. Okay. Thanks. Very well. Now, I want to turn to -- we'll come
18 back to your investigations here. You've indicated that you -- you made
19 contact with Mr. Kurt, and then at 1500 hours it's the fact that
20 Salihamidzic left. Could I ask you the question: What vehicle did
21 Salihamidzic and Kurt leave in? Was it a military vehicle or a -- a MUP
23 A. I don't know.
24 Q. You've indicated that to the best of your recollection that they
25 returned two to three hours later. But can I suggest to you that they
1 returned at approximately 6.00, maybe a tiny bit before 6.00? Do you
2 agree with that?
3 A. It's possible.
4 Q. Do you recall whether it was dark or getting dark at the time
5 when they returned?
6 A. It was still visible.
7 Q. Very well. It may be stretching your memory. I'm just asking
8 you to extend your memory the best you can. Had it started to get dark at
9 that point, or was it still fully daylight, or can you simply not remember
10 that much detail?
11 A. I can't remember everything, but since it was still September,
12 it's possible that it was still visible at around 1800 hours.
13 Q. Do you recall whether or not when Mr. Salihamidzic and Mr. Kurt
14 came back they had with them any elderly people who they'd picked up on
15 the road?
16 A. My deputy came to see me, so I don't know who they came back
18 Q. Well, I take it you didn't see them arrive back. Is that the
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Okay. Now, --
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, is it the appropriate time for us to take a
24 MR. MORRISSEY: Certainly, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll have a break and we'll resume at 4.00.
1 --- Recess taken at 3.35 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 4.00 p.m.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
4 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Thank you again, Mr. Zebic.
6 Before we broke, I was asking you questions about what happened
7 before Mr. Salihamidzic left, and now I want to turn to what happened when
8 he came back. He came back, and you had a discussion with him. And could
9 I ask you, did -- I'm not suggesting that you should have done this, but
10 can I just ask: Did you in fact take any notes of the conversation that
11 you had with him on that occasion, when he arrived back?
12 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, I'm sorry, both Mr. Halilovic and I
13 couldn't hear the answers there.
14 I apologise, Mr. Zebic.
15 I should indicate, if it's a technological problem, I can hear my
16 own voice as barristers can. I'll attempt to proceed.
17 Q. Are you able to hear me, Mr. Zebic?
18 A. I can hear you now, but I couldn't hear you before.
19 Q. Okay. Okay. I'll just ask you the question again that I had.
20 Did you -- did you take any notes of that discussion that you had with
21 Mr. Salihamidzic when he first arrived back or not?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Okay. Anyway, you've read the report that Mr. Salihamidzic
24 ultimately wrote. And I take it what he told you when he came back was
25 essentially the information that he had up to that point; is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So he told you about going to the village and meeting with
3 Mr. Solakovic; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And he told you about the rumours that he heard? Is that
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And he told you about going to look to see if he could see a body
9 down by the Neretva River which was rumoured to be there but that he
10 hadn't been able to see any such body; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. He told you that while he was doing that, Sead Kurt had been
13 approached - and this is all on the afternoon of the 9th of September -
14 Sead Kurt had been approached by Ramiz Delalic, Celo, and spoken to while
15 up on the bridge; is that correct?
16 A. Next to the bridge, yes.
17 Q. Yes. Pardon me. I accept the correction.
18 And did he tell you whether or not he had encountered any
19 civilians on the way back to Jablanica and given any such civilians a ride
20 or any assistance?
21 A. No.
22 Q. All right. Well, now, I just want to ask you some questions
23 about your state of knowledge at that stage. Once you've spoken to
24 Salihamidzic, you knew that there had probably -- very probably been
25 murders committed in -- in Grabovica; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And you knew it was necessary to take measures to evacuate some
3 civilians; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You knew that a local commander there -- well, sorry, I shouldn't
6 say "local" because he was from Sarajevo -- but a particular commander in
7 Grabovica, namely, Adnan Solakovic, was expressing fears for the safety of
8 his own troops; is that correct?
9 A. Yes, that's what my deputy told me.
10 Q. Oh, yes, I understand you -- you're going on what you were told
11 here by your deputy. Correct?
12 A. Yes. Yes.
13 Q. Okay. But your information was also that Ramiz Delalic, Celo,
14 was present in Grabovica and that he was not cooperative or friendly to
15 the police when he met -- to the military police when he met them next to
16 the bridge; is that correct?
17 A. Judging by his reactions, that was my conclusion.
18 Q. I understand. And it was your opinion at that stage that it
19 would be dangerous to go onto the terrain in Grabovica; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. But even so, you realised that there still had to be an effort
22 made to -- to evacuate civilians, and you began to take steps to do that;
23 is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And in -- in doing that, you made contact with the leader of the
1 Zulfikar unit, Zulfikar Alispago; is that correct?
2 A. I informed the War Presidency first.
3 Q. Yes, I understand. I'll come to the War Presidency discussion in
4 a minute. I just want to deal with the -- the contacts with -- with
5 Zulfikar Alispago. Because he's called "Zuka" in many people's language,
6 that's how I -- did you know him as "Zuka"?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Very well. And if I refer to him as "Zuka," you'll know who
9 we're talking about?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Okay. Was it you personally who contacted Zuka in order to help
12 evacuate the civilians, or did you -- was that done by Salihamidzic or --
13 or another person?
14 A. I think it was Salihamidzic with the son-in-law of one of the
15 civilians from Grabovica.
16 Q. Yes. And again, jumping forward slightly, is it your
17 understanding that that son-in-law ultimately drove to Grabovica with Zuka
18 and rescued two Croat civilians from the right bank a bit later that
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Yes. Very well. Now, was an operation -- I shouldn't -- well,
22 I've used the term "operation." Perhaps I shouldn't in the context of
23 this case. I'll -- were arrangements then made to get vehicles to drive
24 down to -- to Grabovica and bring away elderly Croat civilians who were
1 A. Yes. But this was done because the War Presidency organised it
2 as well as other civilian bodies in Grabovica.
3 Q. But it still was the fact, wasn't it, that Zulfikar Alispago
4 cooperated in that venture and assisted with the removal of elderly Croats
5 from Grabovica?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Thank you. Now, as a policeman who's been in -- in action for a
8 number of years, would you agree with this proposition: That any
9 investigation of a crime starts off with acquiring information about that
10 crime? Is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And the fact is at this stage you had some information but not
13 enough for you to be comfortable about what had happened in Grabovica; is
14 that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. But you also knew that it may well happen that the SVB, the
17 military security service, would be involved in investigating this --
18 these killings because it could be that military persons were among the
19 killers, and that was your state of mind even from the very beginning; is
20 that correct?
21 A. Yes, it was in their jurisdiction.
22 Q. Yes. Now, we've -- did you ever encounter -- would you just
23 excuse me a moment, Mr. Zebic.
24 MR. MORRISSEY: Would Your Honours just excuse me.
25 [Defence counsel confer]
1 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, I just want to put something from a
2 couple of witnesses whose names I think -- identities may have been
3 suppressed. Could we go into the private session, please.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go to the private session, please.
5 [Private session] [Confidentiality partially lifted by order of Chamber]
8 Q. Sorry, just -- the reason we've done that: I just want to put a
9 couple of persons' names to you. Do you know a woman from the left bank
10 of -- of Grabovica called Katica Miletic?
11 A. No.
6 [Open session]
7 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you -- sorry.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
9 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honour, perhaps Ms. Miletic -- was not
10 actually protected. Perhaps this part can be placed into open session.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll lift that part.
12 You may proceed, Mr. Morrissey.
13 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you.
14 Q. Very well. Mr. Zebic, and I suppose -- at that time, you were
15 aware of the potential bad feeling of newly arrived refugees towards the
16 local Croat population in the municipality of -- of Jablanica generally
17 speaking; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And with respect to the killings that -- that you were now
20 hearing about for the first time, you had to deal with the operative
21 possibility that some of these refugees might have played a part in the
22 killings; is that correct?
23 A. No. No, I didn't think any of the refugees could have done it.
24 It didn't occur to me at that time.
25 Q. Did it occur to you at a later time that perhaps some such
1 refugees may have been involved in the killings?
2 A. I had absolutely no indications to suggest that.
3 Q. No. But -- no, I understand your position is that it was a
4 military police investigation in any event, but although you didn't have
5 any specific indications, wasn't it something that you turned your mind to
6 as an experienced policeman, bearing in mind the possible ill will between
7 the new arrivals and the existing Croat population?
8 A. I thought it could be among the population. There was a certain
9 degree of ill will when those civilians arrived in Jablanica.
10 Q. Yes. But I take it from your answers that -- well, you tell me
11 if I'm right about this, but your -- your previous experience of Grabovica
12 was that it was pretty peaceful; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. In fact, the situation in Grabovica was significantly more
15 peaceful than the situation in Jablanica, as far as relations between
16 Croats and Muslims went; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Very well. Now, did you have any personal involvement in finding
19 a place for these -- for the rescued Croatians at Jablanica, or did that
20 job fall to somebody else to arrange?
21 A. It was the job to -- of the Red Cross in Jablanica and the Civil
22 Defence Staff.
23 Q. I understand, therefore, that it fell outside of your direct
24 function. Could you just exercise your memory and see whether you
25 remember actually seeing any of these people arriving in -- in Jablanica
1 around that time.
2 A. I can't.
3 Q. Okay. Very well. Now, I'd moved ahead of something there, but
4 you mentioned that you -- that you went to the War Presidency. I take it
5 the order of things was this: That you arrived -- that Salihamidzic came
6 back somewhere approaching 1800 hours; that you then spoke to him for a
7 period of time; and that you then went to the War Presidency. And what I
8 want to ask you is: How long did you speak to Mr. Salihamidzic? Was it
9 an hour? Was it three-quarters of an hour? Was it half an hour? Or what
10 figure, to the best of your memory, did you spend speaking to him?
11 A. It was a brief conversation. He just told me about what had
12 happened, from what he had heard, and he said that in agreement with
13 Mr. Solakovic the civilians should be pulled out of Grabovica. It took no
14 more than ten minutes, and after that I went to the Presidency with my
15 deputy to inform them.
16 Q. Okay. And how long did it take you to get over to the
17 Presidency? Was that a one-minute walk or a ten-minute walk?
18 A. Three minutes' walk.
19 Q. And I take it you had the opportunity to speak fairly swiftly to
20 Dr. Cibo; is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you spent some time explaining to him what had happened; is
23 that correct? Or perhaps you could tell us, how long did you spend
24 telling him what happened?
25 A. Maybe the same time it took me to discuss it with my own deputy.
1 Q. Yes. Look, I understand these are estimates, but -- now, as soon
2 as Mr. Salihamidzic came back, you knew that it was a matter of
3 significant urgency to deal with the -- with the refugee situation. Was a
4 contact made with Zulfikar Alispago before you spoke to Dr. Cibo or
5 afterwards? Or both?
6 A. I failed to mention that it was my deputy who contacted
7 Mr. Alispago.
8 Q. Yes, okay. Well, thank you for clarifying that. But just in
9 terms of the visit to Dr. Cibo, did -- was contact made with Zulfikar
10 before you went -- before you spoke to Cibo or after you spoke to Cibo or
11 both before and after?
12 A. I never had any contact with Mr. Alispago.
13 Q. No, no, but when your deputy Salihamidzic made contact with Zuka,
14 did he do that before your meeting with Cibo or after it or both, before
15 and after?
16 A. I think it happened this way: I'm not speaking with absolute
17 certainty, but Mr. Salihamidzic contacted the brother-in-law -- the
18 son-in-law of those two elderly people from Grabovica, and then he asked
19 Mr. Alispago to save, to rescue the parents of his wife from Grabovica.
20 Maybe it wasn't even my deputy who talked to Alispago. Maybe it was the
21 son-in-law of those civilians in Grabovica.
22 Q. Well, it may be that you're correct about that, and obviously
23 there was a contact between this civilian and Zulfikar Alispago. But I
24 take it that there -- I mean, there must have been - and I put to you
25 there that is there was a contact directly between yourself, either you or
1 your deputy, on the one hand, and Alispago, on the other hand, with the
2 purpose of arranging the -- the evacuation. Do you agree with that?
3 A. Yes. So I take it -- I've been -- I've been showering you with
4 questions on this topic, I know. But is the position this: You really
5 can't recall precisely when it was that contact occurred between the
6 police, on the one hand, and Zulfikar Alispago, on the other hand,
7 relative to the meeting with Dr. Cibo? Is that a fair comment? You just
8 can't quite remember what the order of it was?
9 A. I can't recall. That's true.
10 Q. Okay. Putting all these things together, if the -- if the -- if
11 Salihamidzic came back at around 6.00 and if the time periods are as
12 you've described, what you'd say is, I take it, that contact was made by
13 Dr. Cibo at the War Presidency in that phone call you described to the IKM
14 at approximately half past 6.00 or maybe a bit before that time. Is that
16 A. It's possible.
17 Q. Yes. Just in terms of the phone call made by Dr. Cibo, can you
18 recall - tell us if you can recall - whether it was dark or light outside
19 at the time when that call was made.
20 A. I can't remember that.
21 Q. Okay. Very well. Now, the next thing you gave evidence about
22 happening was the arrival of -- of the Minister of the Interior, Mr. Bakir
23 Alispahic. And I just want to ask you that -- about this. In the time
24 after you spoke to Dr. Cibo and after he spoke to the IKM, as you've
25 described, you, I take it, were then concerned with matters arising out of
1 this bad news that you'd received; namely, helping the civilians who had
2 to be rescued. Is that correct?
3 A. It was not only my concern. That's why I went to the War
4 Presidency, to inform them about this entire event.
5 Q. No, I understand, it had to be a joint effort. But that was
6 the -- I mean, that was the thing you were working on in that hour after
7 you'd been to see Dr. Cibo; is that right?
8 A. I was summoned by the War Presidency. More precisely, and I was
9 told that a minister had come to my office to see me.
10 Q. Where were you when you got that summons?
11 A. At the War Presidency.
12 Q. I understand. So the situation is that you were at the War
13 Presidency involving yourself in -- in helping those who had to be
14 evacuated and someone from the War Presidency then gave you the news that
15 a minister had arrived; is that correct?
16 A. [No interpretation]
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, I did not get interpretation.
18 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, can I indicate I didn't hear any
19 translation of that --
20 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter's apology. I didn't turn on
21 the microphone.
22 Could -- I can repeat the whole answer.
23 The minister was on his way and the passage was very difficult
24 through the mountains.
25 MR. MORRISSEY:
1 Q. What time were you told that the minister was on his way? What
2 time did that piece of news reach you?
3 A. It could have been around 7.00 p.m., maybe past 7.00.
4 Q. Very well. And who was it who told you that piece of news?
5 A. The clerk on duty at the police station.
6 Q. Very well. And did that clerk on duty telephone you while you
7 were at the War Presidency to give you that information?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Very well. And did the intended route of Minister Alispahic take
10 him through the village of Grabovica or not?
11 A. No. He was not able to go through Grabovica. In order to reach
12 Jablanica, he had to cross the mountain around Jablanica. He had to go
13 through Glogosnica and from there, there was transportation available to
14 go to Jablanica.
15 Q. I understand. And where was it proposed that you would meet the
17 A. At the public security station.
18 Q. Was it expressed to you that the minister was already aware of
19 the killings at Grabovica or not?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Why was he coming to see you?
22 A. He decided so. He's senior in rank. It was up to him to decide.
23 Q. Well, I understand he had the competence to make that decision,
24 but my question is: To your knowledge, why did he make that decision?
25 Why did he come to Jablanica?
1 A. He had to go through Jablanica in order to return to Sarajevo.
2 He was on his way back to Mostar, so he had to pass through Jablanica
3 anyway to go to Sarajevo.
4 Q. Was he accompanied by any of the Laste Unit on this occasion?
5 A. I don't know.
6 Q. Did he tell you at that time whether or not Sefer Halilovic was
7 under surveillance by members of the MUP?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Did he tell you whether Sefer Halilovic's telephone calls were
10 being intercepted by the MUP?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Did he tell you whether there were operative measures of any sort
13 in place by the MUP against Sefer Halilovic?
14 A. No.
15 Q. When you spoke to him, did he have any familiarity with these
16 killings, as far as you could see, or was it you who broke the news to him
17 about what had happened?
18 A. I think I was the first to tell him.
19 Q. Very well. And how long did it take you to explain what you
21 A. Perhaps ten minutes.
22 Q. Very well. And after that, you've indicated that -- that you
23 arranged a telephone call to be placed from your institution over to
24 the -- to the IKM; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. So did this call take place from the War Presidency or from the
2 police station to the IKM?
3 A. From the public security station.
4 Q. And I just have to ask you this question, Mr. Zebic: You
5 indicated in evidence here that you'd -- you hadn't yourself spoken to
6 Halilovic or had any contact with Halilovic, and my question is: Have you
7 ever told anyone that you did speak to Sefer Halilovic in this time?
8 A. Not that I remember.
9 Q. Now, this telephone conversation that you've given evidence about
10 you've indicated lasted no more than two to three minutes; is that
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And that phone call, according to your recollection, commenced
14 with Mr. Alispahic saying the word "Sefer"; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And most of the rest of the telephone call, the rest of that two-
17 to three-minute period consisted of Mr. Alispahic relaying down the
18 telephone the news that you'd already told him; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. You did not hear the voice on the other end yourself in any way;
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. And apart from saying the word "Sefer" when he commenced the
24 phone call, this -- Mr. Alispahic didn't use the word "Sefer" again during
25 that telephone call, did he?
1 A. No.
2 Q. And after the telephone call, he didn't mention Sefer again by
3 name but he just told you, I suggest, "You help the military security out
4 when they investigate"; is that correct?
5 A. Sounds about right.
6 Q. Very well. And after that telephone call, did you tell any other
7 person about this telephone call? Did you mention it to any other person?
8 A. I wrote that down in a document that I drafted and sent to the
9 ministry several days later.
10 Q. Did you tell -- the question was though not whether you wrote it
11 down, but did you tell somebody? And I suppose I'll focus the question
12 this way: Did you tell Mr. Salihamidzic either that night or the
13 following morning that you had been present at that telephone call?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. I understand. All right. Can you remember where it was that you
16 told that to Mr. Salihamidzic? Can you remember where that conversation
17 took place?
18 A. I can't remember that specific time, but every day and most of
19 the time we talked in my office.
20 Q. Very well. Now, I just want to put a couple of propositions
21 about Mr. Alispahic's movements.
22 I put it to you that at that time when he came to Jablanica he
23 expressed to you that he was on his way to Konjic because he had a meeting
24 concerning munitions and -- and in particular a munitions factory the
25 following day with another minister, named Rusmir Mahmutcehajic.
1 A. Maybe he did continue his trip.
2 Q. Yes. But what I'm asking you is did -- well, I didn't ask you
3 this before. I'll now ask you it. Did he tell you that, that he was
4 going on to see Rusmir Mahmutcehajic, Sefer Halilovic, Vehbija Karic, and
5 others in order to discussion munitions and in particular a particular
6 munitions plant at Konjic? Did he give you that information?
7 A. I don't remember. I really don't remember.
8 Q. That's okay. Perhaps I could ask you this question. This might
9 assist. Did he tell you he was going to meet Sefer Halilovic the
10 following day in Konjic?
11 A. I can't recall.
12 Q. Very well. All right. Thank you for that.
13 Now, I want to take you to the following day. We've now finished
14 with the 9th, the activities on the 9th of September, and we'll move to
15 the 10th of September. Now, on that day, you believed that everyone who
16 needed to be evacuated had already been evacuated. Is that accurate?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And your state of mind was that the army, and in particular the
19 SVB, was going to investigate what had happened in Grabovica; is that
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And I use that term very generally, the term "what had happened,"
23 because at that stage it just wasn't known the full magnitude of what had
24 happened; is that correct?
25 A. It is.
1 Q. Yes. And you knew, because -- well, for a number of reasons --
2 I'll put a couple of propositions to you. You knew you were obliged to
3 offer assistance to the army -- to the SVB, the army security, in their
4 investigation because your minister, Bakir Alispahic, had told you so the
5 night before; is that correct?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. And you also knew that taking a purely theoretical view of this,
8 a purely legal and theoretical view, you were obliged in any event to take
9 steps because civilians were among the victims; is that correct?
10 A. It is.
11 Q. Can you tell us where Mr. Alispahic slept on the night of the
12 9th of September, incidentally, after his telephone call that you've told
13 us about?
14 A. I don't know.
15 Q. There was only one hotel really operating in Jablanica at that
16 time, wasn't there? Is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Was that -- what was the name of that particular hotel?
19 A. The Jablanica Hotel.
20 Q. And at that time, a number of rooms were made available for army
21 and government persons; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. But also some refugees and expelled people were staying there
24 too; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Okay. Now, I've just -- I'll return to what I was asking about,
2 and that was that you had acknowledged that you -- you knew that your
3 organisation was obliged to offer help, and I put to you two bases for
4 that, namely, the instructions of Alispahic, and your legal obligation,
5 viewed from a strictly legal point of view.
6 On the 10th of September, Namik Dzankovic came to your police
7 station, didn't he?
8 A. He did.
9 Q. And he was an operative of the SVB, the military security service
10 of the Bosnian army; correct?
11 A. I think he was.
12 Q. Yes. And if there's one thing that's as plain as possible in --
13 in this case, the SVB of the army was fully competent and indeed fully
14 obliged to investigate crimes by army personnel and, in particular, the
15 crimes at Grabovica. That's correct, isn't it?
16 A. I think that's right, but I think you should consult military
18 Q. We have and we will, but I'm just asking for your comment because
19 you were there.
20 All right. Now, when Mr. Dzankovic came along, he asked for
21 information concerning what had happened in Grabovica and -- and your
22 police station -- or sorry, perhaps I take that back. He asked for
23 information and your police gave him information, as far as you were able
24 to help; is that correct?
25 A. I did.
1 Q. Now, I just want to ask you a question about this. You've been
2 involved in a lot of investigations over time of criminal matters; is that
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. I take it up until -- up until that time though you hadn't been
6 involved in any way in an investigation of a senseless killing of many
7 defenceless and elderly Croatian people; is that also correct?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. So that -- all right. I'll take a step back from that now.
10 As far as the criminal process -- as far as the investigative
11 process goes, when you start an investigation, the first thing you do is
12 to collect as much information as you can; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And every investigation is different and unique because of the
15 facts of each case. Is that your experience?
16 A. Certainly.
17 Q. And each investigation has got to take account of the realities
18 that apply on the terrain; is that correct?
19 A. Of course.
20 Q. The textbook and theoretical way to conduct an investigation is
21 that you identify the perpetrators; you arrest those perpetrators; you
22 take statements from the perpetrators, from the witnesses; you gather
23 evidence from the terrain; and you place it all in the hands of military
24 prosecutors -- well, sorry, not necessarily military prosecutors but
25 prosecuting authorities, and you let the criminal procedure take its
1 proper course. That's how it should be in theory; correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. But it's not so easy when you've got members of the 9th Brigade
4 heavily armed and about to go into combat in a major and important
5 operation on the terrain where the crimes took place; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. But, however, there was one part of the pre-criminal phase that
8 you could help with, and that was the providing of information. And you
9 did help with that part, didn't you? Because you gave Dzankovic
10 information as and when he asked for it. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And there's another part of the -- and an important part of the
13 pre-criminal phase of the investigation, and that is the taking of
14 statements from witnesses.
15 Now, I just want to ask you about this. To your knowledge, did
16 your deputy, Mr. Salihamidzic, take a statement from an eyewitness, Ivan
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And that was a perfectly proper and sensible thing for him to do
20 as an experienced police officer; correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. To your knowledge, did Mr. Salihamidzic also take a statement
23 from a hydroelectric worker named Alija Turkic?
24 A. Yes. I just want to clarify this.
25 Q. Certainly.
1 A. He conducted an interview with them, a talk, and he tried to get
2 as many facts as possible about what happened, what they heard, what they
3 knew. And then he put all that into a report, an official note, which you
4 have. This is in the case of both of the civilians. Just the basic
5 things were done. They were not on the site. They didn't see the
6 killings. But their information came from different sources.
7 Q. I understand. But even though they were not on the site and
8 didn't witness the killings, it was still very important for
9 Mr. Salihamidzic, as a professional police officer, to approach them
10 and -- and get such information as they were able to give; is that
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. To your knowledge, did the police also speak to a -- an
14 individual named Osman Kovacevic, another person who had an association
15 with the hydroelectric plant?
16 A. I don't know.
17 Q. Were you aware of -- just excuse me a moment. Sorry. I've
18 got -- I've got some other activities that I want to put to you, but I'll
19 come to those in a moment. I'll just try to keep this as chronological as
20 I can.
21 To the best of your recollection, were these statements taken by
22 Salihamidzic on the 10th of September?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Very well. Now, I asked you earlier on about the visit of Namik
25 Dzankovic on the 10th of September. He visited the police station on
1 several occasions over the following fortnight; is that correct?
2 A. I don't know how many times he came. It's possible. If you say
3 that it was several occasions, then it's possible.
4 Q. Very well. And did the police - Mr. Salihamidzic in particular,
5 but you can tell us if any other police did anything also - did they make
6 contact with an officer named Semsudin Halebic to assist with the
8 A. Semsudin Halebic was not a police officer. He was in the
9 military, in the 44th Brigade. I don't know if he held any rank. I don't
10 think that he did. He wasn't a security officer. He worked in the
11 command on some duties, in some service there. Yes, he did conduct an
12 interview with him, yes.
13 Q. Okay. And it was really so -- sorry, just to be -- I understand
14 what you say about that. It was really for that reason I asked you
15 earlier on about the TO Staff. And does that -- did Mr. Halebic have any
16 association with the TO, to the best of your recollection?
17 A. I don't know at that point in time whether he was in the
18 44th Brigade or if he was in the staff headquarters. I don't know.
19 Q. Okay. At all events, what you confirm is that Mr. Salihamidzic
20 spoke to him and interviewed him with respect to this matter; is that
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Okay. Now, remaining on the 10th of September. I'm going to
24 come to some other interviews or attempted interviews a bit later on. But
25 on the 10th of September, did Zuka, Zulfikar Alispago, and Edib Saric
1 arrive at the police station and provide certain information to you?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Okay. And included in that information that Zulfikar had to
4 disclose was that he had at some stage earlier observed some bodies during
5 his time on the terrain in and near Grabovica; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. He also provided you with numbers of persons evacuated from the
8 village of Grabovica; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And finally, he provided you with another piece of information,
11 that is, that one of his own soldiers had been murdered.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And he was very angry and upset about the murder of one of his
14 own soldiers who was, in fact, an ethnic Croat; is that correct?
15 A. Yes, and angry.
16 Q. Yes. And did he tell you that the name of that soldier was Ivica
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Did he tell you whether Ivica Karlovic was a good soldier or not?
20 A. I don't remember. I don't remember.
21 Q. Okay. And Zulfikar also told you that he himself had compiled a
22 report to be sent to the General Staff in Sarajevo; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did he ever go so far as to show you that report?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Have you ever seen the report?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Incidentally, during the day of the 10th of September, did you
4 hear -- have any communication back from Minister Alispahic concerning any
5 decision or any news at all - I withdraw the term "decision" - I'll ask
6 you the question again.
7 Did Minister Alispahic contact you during the day of the 10th and
8 advise you of the outcome of any discussion that he had with Sefer
9 Halilovic back in Konjic?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Okay. We're moving slowly through the day of the 10th of
12 September, and I'm grateful to you for keeping concentrating on these
14 Late -- later in the evening on the 10th of September, did you
15 become aware that Zulfikar Alispago had invited Mr. Salihamidzic,
16 Mr. Dzankovic, and Mr. Brankovic to his flat to discuss events in
18 A. Mr. Dzankovic and Mr. Salihamidzic and Mr. Brankovic were at my
19 office first, and we called him first, and then he invited them to come to
20 him for a talk.
21 Q. I understand. And you didn't -- you personally were not at that
22 meeting; is that correct?
23 A. No.
24 Q. You've seen though the accounts given of that meeting by -- in
25 reports by Mr. Brankovic and by Mr. Salihamidzic; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. In this court we've seen also an account from Namik Dzankovic,
3 but at the time did you see that Dzankovic report as well or not?
4 A. No.
5 Q. As to those two reports, the report compiled by -- by
6 Salihamidzic was a report to go to you, as chief of the station; is that
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. The report compiled by Brankovic was a report to go back to the
10 CSB at Mostar and also to the institution at Konjic; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Okay. Now, I won't trouble you with their accounts of what
13 happened there, but at all events they told you pretty much straight away
14 what had occurred, because it was quite troubling news, wasn't it?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. The news that you had from that meeting was that Ramiz Delalic
17 was claiming to have shot one of his own soldiers; is that correct?
18 A. I don't remember that.
19 Q. Yes. Okay. Well, if it's in the report by -- by Salihamidzic,
20 you'd accept that that was the account given to you on the night; is that
22 A. If it's in the report, then I would accept it, yes.
23 Q. All right. Look, I won't march you through every point that's in
24 that report, but you came to know that there was a real danger that Ramiz
25 Delalic would take his troops and go back to Sarajevo; is that correct?
1 A. That's correct. But these are military matters that were of no
2 interest to me at that point.
3 Q. Well, I understand that you -- that it was outside of your
4 responsibility. But as a Bosniak, you did have a -- as a member of -- as
5 a Bosnian citizen, I should say, not as a Bosniak -- as a Bosnian citizen
6 generally, you were hoping for a good outcome for the military operation
7 because of the sufferings of the civilians in Mostar; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. But I hear what you say, that you weren't directly involved in
10 the -- in the planning of the combat activities.
11 Very well. I now move to the -- to the 11th of September. Now,
12 I suggest to you that the same process that you'd been engaged in before
13 continued; namely, that you gathered information through whatever sources
14 you could about this incident, and you shared that information with the
15 military security people that you understood were -- were involved in
16 investigating it. Is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did you come to know that there was a rumour or a fear that there
19 was a sniper posted somewhere near the village of Grabovica who posed a
20 possible threat to any investigators?
21 A. I don't remember that.
22 Q. Do you recall that on or about on this date that the news came
23 that troops from Grabovica and also some troops from Jablanica were
24 departing for the battlefield down south near to Dreznica and Vrdi?
25 A. These were military matters, and I really have no information
1 about that.
2 Q. No, no, I understand you can't give us any -- any expert or
3 in-depth comment. But as far as the investigation into these crimes goes,
4 you came to know that the troops on the ground from Grabovica were in the
5 process of moving down to Dreznica; is that correct?
6 A. You're asking me about military matters again, which were not of
7 much interest to me then, because I was a police officer.
8 Q. Well, is that your account, that you just had to interest in the
9 movements of troops from Grabovica, because your role was different?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Very well. Now, although you were not directly involved in
12 military matters at all, you knew that the troops that were stationed in
13 Grabovica were heavily armed and prepared for combat in the area of
14 Dreznica and Vrdi; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And according to your limited knowledge of these matters, you
17 knew that they were good fighters; is that correct?
18 A. I didn't know what kind of fighters they were.
19 Q. In any event, it was obvious to you and it was a matter of
20 significant concern to you that any attempt to arrest -- well, I withdraw
21 that. Perhaps I should -- I'll take a step back from that.
22 Did you have the name - and I'm talking now about on the 11th of
23 the 9th, or indeed in the days before - did you have the name of a single
25 A. No.
1 Q. Just for interest's sake, do you have the name of a single
2 perpetrator now?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Did you have the name of a person who was said to be a soldier
5 who was standing nearby when any such thing happened?
6 A. No.
7 Q. You didn't have any person that you could lawfully arrest at that
8 point. That's true, isn't it?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. I'm going to come to the realities of barging into the
11 9th Brigade and seeking to arrest people. But at this stage in the
12 proceedings, without any identified suspects and without any identified
13 eyewitnesses, to your knowledge, you would not have been entitled to go in
14 and arrest anyone; isn't that accurate?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. And leaving aside that question of -- of identified suspects and
17 so on, the fact is it was apparent to you at the time that any attempt to
18 forcibly intervene in the village of Grabovica presented a genuine danger
19 of an armed conflict erupting right there and then; is that correct?
20 A. Could you please simplify your question.
21 Q. I'll do my best. As you sat in your police station in Jablanica,
22 it was apparent to you that if military police or civilian police were
23 sent in to Grabovica to forcibly deal with the situation there, there was
24 a genuine and real prospect of an armed conflict with the units already
25 there; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And in terms of the realities of sending an armed force into
3 Grabovica, as some might be attempting to suggest elsewhere, how did you
4 get into -- just from your own knowledge, how does one get into the right
5 bank of Grabovica? What's the way in?
6 A. Are you thinking of the geographical aspect --
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. -- or the security aspect?
9 Q. I'm thinking of the geographical aspect.
10 A. At the entrance to Grabovica, there is a bridge over the
11 Neretva River which larger vehicles could also use to cross, so access was
12 possible to the right bank without any problems, up until the place where
13 there was some military limitations.
14 Q. Yes, okay. But although I understand you're not a military man,
15 that iron bridge would have been relatively easy to defend against an
16 attack to cross it, if anyone wanted to defend that iron bridge; is that
18 A. These are, again, some military matters. I would not really like
19 to go into that.
20 Q. Very well. Well, look, you've told me a number of times. I'll
21 stop pestering you about it. Thank you, Mr. -- Mr. Zebic.
22 Okay. Well, apart from those matters that I've put to you, I've
23 got another one to ask you about, in terms of investigation. The -- the
24 peacetime situation concerning pathological examination of -- of deceased
25 people, when you were running the civilian police station in peacetime,
1 whereabouts did you used to send a -- a body for a pathologist's
3 A. In peacetimes, this was done at hospital facilities.
4 Q. At this stage, was there a pathologist at the hospital in
5 Jablanica? And I mean now in September of 1993.
6 A. I think that there was no specialist for pathology amongst the
7 doctors at that time.
8 Q. Do you know where the nearest pathologist was?
9 A. In Sarajevo, I think.
10 Q. Would you just explain to the Tribunal how you would have gone
11 about organising the transport of 30 deceased bodies to Sarajevo at that
12 time, if it was up to you to do that. What would you have done and how
13 would you have got them there? Or is there a very short answer to that
14 question, and that is, it wasn't feasible?
15 A. You've given the right answer. It wasn't feasible. It wasn't
16 possible at that time.
17 Q. Thanks very much. I want to take you on to the 12th of -- of
18 September now. You indicated that you were told by an officer, Senad
19 Dzino, that he -- sorry, pardon me. I'll take a step back.
20 On the 12th of -- on the 12th of September, the War Presidency
21 was concerned to find out what was happening, in terms of the
22 investigation; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And speaking from the military side, Senad Dzino, who was the
25 deputy commander of the 44th Brigade, the local Jablanica brigade, gave
1 you some news about that; is that correct?
2 A. Not to me but to the War Presidency.
3 Q. Yes, I understand. Very well. And then you indicated yesterday
4 that -- that the news he gave was that he understood that Sefer Halilovic
5 and -- and Vehbija Karic had indicated that the army was going to
6 investigate this matter; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Senad Dzino, he wasn't an SVB operative, was he? He wasn't from
9 the military security. He was an actual combat commander in the normal
10 line of military commander. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes, he was the deputy commander of the 44th Brigade.
12 Q. Yes. Very well. In the following days -- sorry, pardon me. But
13 the -- but the SVB commander from that -- sorry, the SVB operative from
14 the 44th Brigade was, in fact, a man called Sihirlic Zajko; is that
16 A. Yes. Yes.
17 Q. Okay. In this trial, we've had tendered into evidence a document
18 emanating from Mr. Eminovic of the 6th Corps SVB which asks -- which is
19 directed to Zajko and to Dzankovic, and I wanted to ask you this question:
20 To your knowledge, Zajko Sihirlic did continue to help Mr. Dzankovic in
21 his tasks in the following week; is that correct?
22 A. I really don't know. I assume so, because the colleagues from
23 the service were there.
24 Q. I understand. We also have -- have heard evidence from
25 Mr. Eminovic, and he says that he gave certain tasks to the military
1 police in the days following the killings of -- the killings at Grabovica.
2 Are you able to comment on whether that happened or not, whether --
3 whether you know about what tasks Eminovic gave to the military police in
4 that time?
5 A. I don't know. He did not forward a copy of that order to the
6 police station, no request for cooperation or anything like that.
7 Q. I understand that. And was -- and just in terms of the normal
8 practice, there was no need for Eminovic to send copies of letters to you,
9 was there?
10 A. No.
11 Q. No, I understand. Okay. Well, I won't -- I take it this is the
12 case -- I'll ask you a general question. It might cut short a long list
13 of other questions. But you can't comment really on what correspondence
14 passed between Eminovic and the local military police or local SVB bodies;
15 is that correct?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. I won't ask you about them.
18 But there is one other matter I want to ask you about concerning
19 that, and that is Mr. Brankovic. Now, to your knowledge, Mr. Brankovic
20 was very often in the company of Mr. Dzankovic and was helping him during
21 the fortnight, the two weeks, following the killings at Grabovica; is that
23 A. I think so.
24 Q. Those two seemed to have -- I just ask for your comment about
25 this, actually. But as far as you could see, those two seemed to have
1 quite a good working relationship?
2 A. I think they did.
3 Q. Yes. And to your knowledge, Brankovic was a professional and
4 very thorough officer; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Okay. Did Brankovic have access to a vehicle at that time?
7 Let me ask the question another way: Did Brankovic sometimes
8 have access to a vehicle at that time?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What was the petrol situation applying to the use of petrol for
11 police vehicles?
12 A. Petrol was in short supply, but whenever we had petrol, we helped
13 him out so that he should be able to go out on his missions.
14 Q. Yes, I understand that. And was it a -- was it a day-to-day
15 question whether there was any petrol available to go out on the terrain
16 at that time?
17 A. I can't remember that it was that dire.
18 Q. No. When was it that you would -- can you just explain how --
19 how the petrol situation operated. Did you have your own petrol dump at
20 the police station?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Where did you go to get the fuel when you needed it?
23 A. Our main supply was the petrol station.
24 Q. I see. And did you have any -- did you, as the police force,
25 have any priority over normal civilians, in terms of access to petrol?
1 A. We had priority over civilians. However, the army had priority
2 over us.
3 Q. Yes. That was my next question, but -- very well. I understand
5 And did there have to be a special requisition form to get
6 petrol, or did you just go there and take your chance?
7 A. The supply of petrol that the War Presidency was in charge would
8 be distributed among the three components: According to needs, according
9 to availability, so that everybody would get their share at the petrol
10 station as it was allocated.
11 Q. Yes. I think perhaps my questions there were coming from a
12 background of someone from a market economy completely.
13 Was the distribution of petrol regulated from a high level, or
14 was it just market forces at work at the petrol station?
15 A. I said the War Presidency decided, because the War Presidency was
16 in charge of all the supplies of everything.
17 Q. Okay. Thank you. I do understand your answer.
18 Okay. We have heard evidence in this court -- or perhaps I
19 should ask you this: Throughout this time, when you were making -- when
20 you were doing what you could to help the investigation, to your knowledge
21 did the -- the shells continue to fall on Jablanica from time to time?
22 A. It's difficult to remember from this distance, but it is a fact
23 that Jablanica was constantly under fire.
24 Q. Okay. Very well. Now, doing the best you can -- I understand
25 what you've said about the military, your -- that you weren't connected to
1 the military operations in any way. We've heard evidence in this court
2 from a previous witness that the combat operations commenced on or about
3 the 13th of September and that there was combat activity pretty much
4 straight through until about the 20th of September, when some of the
5 Sarajevo units or all of the Sarajevo units were pulled out and went home.
6 I want to ask you, first of all: Did you become aware that there was
7 combat after the 13th of -- of September on a wide front from Crni Vrh, up
8 in the north, right down to Vrdi, in the south?
9 A. I couldn't obtain that information officially. I heard it from
10 the news, from the radio, and television and -- and newspapers, ask the
11 news travelled fast among people.
12 Q. Yes. Okay. And apart from that combat activity that you heard
13 about in the way you've just described, did you -- did it come to your
14 attention that the Sarajevo units were passing through Jablanica on their
15 way back to -- back to Sarajevo on or about the 20th of -- of September?
16 A. Nobody drew my attention to that in particular. I just knew that
17 they were on their way to Sarajevo, pulling out.
18 Q. I understand. And did you actually see any of the trucks driving
19 through Jablanica on their way?
20 A. Could be. But I didn't pay attention.
21 Q. Okay. Now, you've given some information about activities
22 undertaken by police officers and in particular about Mr. Salihamidzic and
23 statements that he took from people. I just want to ask you now about
24 some operative information that may have come your way and see whether you
25 became aware of these steps.
1 You knew an individual named Dzelmo who you said was from the
2 military -- I think you said the military police. But I'll just clarify
3 that. You knew Mr. Dzelmo; is that right?
4 A. There are several of them.
5 Q. Dzenaid Dzelmo is the one I'm talking about. Do you know him?
6 A. I do.
7 Q. Did you become aware -- now, he's not a -- he's not a civilian
8 policeman, is he?
9 A. You're right. That's correct.
10 Q. But nevertheless, in the exchange of information that you had
11 with -- with Namik Dzankovic from time to time and indeed Sead Brankovic,
12 did it come to your knowledge that Delmo -- Dzelmo, I'm sorry, had been to
13 Grabovica and attempted to speak to the citizens and refugees there on the
14 left bank of Grabovica but they had been too scared to give him -- to talk
15 to him or to give any statements?
16 A. Could be.
17 Q. Yes. I understand -- this is sort of -- this is 11 years
18 distance now and some of these details may be hard to recall, but that was
19 certainly part of your knowledge at the time that attempts had been made
20 to speak to the -- the refugees who were living in Grabovica but that
21 those refugees had not cooperated, whatever the reason may be. Is that
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And I suggest to you that similar information -- similar
25 operative information came to you that Nusret Sahic -- could you please
1 just explain to the Court who Nusret Sahic is? Or was, more accurately.
2 A. I don't know.
3 Q. Did you know -- did you know the man Nusret Sahic who had an
4 association with military police in Jablanica?
5 A. I didn't understand you at first the way you pronounced the name.
6 You mean Nusret Sahic? I know him. He was a Military Police Battalion
8 Q. You must forgive the Australian mispronunciation, Mr. Zebic. I
9 apologise for it. That is the individual I'm talking about.
10 Did you come to know that he, too, had tried to speak to refugees
11 and, in fact, that he had succeeded in speaking to one individual called
12 Muharem, a man called Muharem, who was a Muslim refugee?
13 A. It's possible that he told me, but I'd forgotten.
14 Q. Does it ring a bell now -- or does it assist your memory for me
15 to say this name, Muharem? Do you recall being told about that
16 individual? Who was said to be a -- a Muslim refugee on the -- living on
17 the left bank after the evacuation of the Croat civilians?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Yes. Very well.
20 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, I'm just about to move to another
21 topic now. I'm in the Court's hands. I, from my own point of view, would
22 be happy if there was a short break, because of pains in the legs, quite
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes. And could you tell me how long do you still
1 MR. MORRISSEY: 20 minutes.
2 JUDGE LIU: 20 minutes. Yes.
3 Let us take a break, you know. We'll resume at 6.00.
4 --- Recess taken at 5.30 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 6.00 p.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Morrissey. Try to finish your
7 cross-examination in 20 minutes.
8 MR. MORRISSEY: I will.
9 Could the witness please be shown MFI277.
10 Your Honours, I'm hearing the Bosnian. Just a moment. I know
11 the problem.
12 Your Honours, it was my problem. Not anyone else's. It's now
13 fixed. Thank you.
14 Q. Pardon me, Mr. Zebic. I apologise for all that.
15 Do you have in front of you that order that you gave? Sorry,
16 when I say "that order," that note that you sent. I withdraw that.
17 A. I do.
18 Q. Very well. Okay. Now, the second paragraph is the one I wanted
19 to ask you about here. In particular, there's a sentence there where --
20 where you say: "We feel it is necessary that you secure conditions for
21 carrying out complete clearing up of the terrain and performing complete
22 on-site investigation."
23 You then go on to clarify that by saying: "Or, in other words,
24 establishing necessary facts about the event in which people whose bodies
25 were being buried had been killed."
1 Now, can I just ask you this: What did you mean by
2 saying "securing the conditions for carrying out complete clearing up of
3 the terrain and performing complete on-site investigation"?
4 A. This document was written on the 29th September, that is, 20 days
5 after the event we discussed. You see it was written - and you see that
6 from the first paragraph - based on information that the public security
7 station received from citizens and troops. We had been informed that
8 there were still corpses there that hadn't been buried and that the stench
9 was pervasive, and I thought, therefore, that it was my duty to initiate
10 through the command of the 44th Mountain Brigade some sort of action to
11 try to clarify the incident, at least based on the remaining clues.
12 Q. Yes. Well, who were you contemplating would do that inspection
13 once the conditions were secured for doing it?
14 A. That would be the task of a technical service, such as on the
15 level of the ministry in Sarajevo or the Security Services Centre in
16 Sarajevo, down to our level, such as providing a pathologist to perform
17 post-mortems, et cetera.
18 Q. So, first of all, in -- in general terms, the persons who were to
19 do the on-site inspection that's mentioned in that report, did you
20 envisage those persons to come from the MUP, from the Ministry of the
21 Interior, or from the military?
22 A. My letter, as I said, was a repeated urging. Everything else was
23 pure operative work.
24 Q. Well, I understand that, and I understand also that you're not
25 giving orders, but I just need to clarify -- I just need to clarify this
1 issue -- sorry, pardon me, Mr. Zebic. I'm just trying to change what I
2 can see on the screen.
3 I need to clarify from you -- I understand what you say about the
4 letter, but I press you for an answer about this. You were talking about
5 an on-site investigation by the Ministry of the Interior, whether at the
6 Sarajevo level or at -- or including -- no, that question just got mired
7 down. I withdraw it. I'm sorry.
8 You had in mind Ministry of the Interior investigators there,
9 didn't you?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, you indicated yesterday that your centre had certain
12 technical resources. You mentioned cameras and certain testing kits and
13 so on. But it still remains the fact, doesn't it, that in order to deal
14 with the massacre of a whole village, as it began to appear and as it now
15 begins to appear, you needed more resources than what the relatively small
16 Jablanica police station had available; isn't that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. For this to be -- for a proper on-site investigation to take
19 place, what was needed was support at the highest level from the MUP in
20 Sarajevo to provide pathologists and other crime scene staff and
21 resources; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And quite frankly, Mr. Zebic, you had plenty of other work for
24 your crime scene people to do in the Jablanica municipality at that time;
25 is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. I understand.
3 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. The last document I want to show you now
4 is MFI222.
5 Q. I'm going to show you now, Mr. Zebic - and this is the last of
6 the documents that you're to be shown by me in all events - this is the
7 Brankovic letter which you referred to earlier on that you'd seen and
8 which you understood he was submitting to superiors in Mostar.
9 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, would it be possible, please, to go
10 to the second page of the English version of that document, so the
11 following page.
12 Q. Would you just take the opportunity to look at that document
13 again and -- and just reassure yourself that that is the Brankovic report
14 which --
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Okay. Now, let me -- I have to ask you the questions formally,
17 first of all.
18 Is that the Brankovic report that you referred to in evidence
19 earlier on that was directed to Alica Bilic and to another person called
20 Nedzad Surkovic in Konjic?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay. Now, I -- I understand that in some respects you know what
23 you were told here, but I'm just going to take you through some aspects of
24 this document, if you don't mind.
25 First of all, Brankovic says in the first paragraph that: "The
1 attitude of the civilian authorities of Jablanica municipality and the
2 Bosnian army's conduct towards the inhabitants was correct. They were
3 given humanitarian aid. They received medical air. And except for some
4 sporadic attacks on Croatian property, no incidents took place which could
5 have related in the persecution of the inhabitants or which could have
6 caused them to leave. As far as we knew, 33 Croatians lived in the
8 Now, as far as you knew, that information was perfectly accurate;
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Sorry, just excuse me for one moment, please. I'm sorry,
12 Mr. Zebic.
13 [Defence counsel confer]
14 MR. MORRISSEY:
15 Q. Okay. I just want to be sure that we've got the right document
16 in front of you there. Could I just ask you, Mr. Zebic: The document in
17 front of you, does it end with a paragraph saying that: "On the 11th of
18 September, 1993, the Sefer Halilovic, the Chief of Staff, appealed to me
19 and to Namik Dzankovic."
20 I just want to make sure that you haven't been given the
21 Salihamidzic report by mistake.
22 MR. MORRISSEY: And there's no criticism of the court staff, but
23 I just know that when we provided this document we did so in a way that
24 was just a little bit difficult to navigate.
25 Q. Would you mind -- do you have in front of you the last page of
1 that document? You'll have to -- if you need it to be scrolled, just say
2 so, and the court staff will do that for you.
3 A. I have the first page in front of me.
4 I still have the first page.
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Could it be possible for the witness to have the
6 second page of the document, please.
7 A. You're right. This is the report -- or rather, the official note
8 by Mr. Salihamidzic.
9 Q. Okay.
10 [Defence counsel confer]
11 A. It's all right now. That's fine.
12 Q. Okay. Do you now have the -- the Brankovic report in front of
14 A. Yes, the first page.
15 Q. Okay. Thank you. Yes. Excellent.
16 Very well. Okay. I'll just continue with that now. Does it --
17 does the document -- well, sorry, the document goes on to say that -- the
18 document goes on to give certain details of the visit of your deputy,
19 Salihamidzic. And then it gives the account that "When the deputy chief
20 of the Jablanica police station and leader" -- I'm reading now from the
21 bottom of the -- the second paragraph.
22 "When the deputy chief of the Jablanica police station and leader
23 of the Jablanica military police company arrived at the spot where Marinko
24 Maric's body was to be -- was supposed to be, Ramiz Delalic, also known as
25 Celo, approached them, and then asked 'Have you found anything? While
1 you're busy searching for them, look what they're doing to us.' Probably
2 referring to the detainees of the Dretelj camp who were in the village of
3 Grabovica on the left bank of the River Neretva."
4 Now, does that account given by Brankovic in this letter, is that
5 the same account that you were given by Salihamidzic when he came back on
6 the actual day that he made that village -- visit to the village?
7 A. Yes, that's the same description.
8 Q. And finally, did this report contain a reference to "the Karic
9 story," namely --
10 MR. MORRISSEY: Now, could the witness be shown the second page,
11 please. And I'm also on the second page now.
12 Q. You may find this a little difficult to -- to see, and we may
13 have to focus in some way. I'm -- I just want to take you to a part here
14 though about Karic.
15 This report says that "Ramiz Delalic" -- this is the Brankovic
16 report, it says: "Ramiz Delalic, also known as Celo, came in. He was
17 obviously excited. He was accompanied by his deputy whose name was Malco.
18 He said that he had just executed one of his soldiers and threatened to
19 withdraw his units back to Sarajevo and said that he did not care about
20 Mostar. He cursed Minister Bakir Alispahic and his Laste Unit and said
21 that the MUP members were masquerading like dummies, that they were no
22 good at fighters and that they should be sent to Mostar. He said that he
23 had asked Vehbija Karic what he should do if the Croats refused to let
24 them move into the houses, to which Vehbija Karic allegedly
25 responded, 'Kill them and throw them into the lake," and that his men had
1 understood this literally and that as a result the crime had been
3 Now, is that account that we find in Brankovic's report here the
4 same thing that you were told by Salihamidzic when he came back from the
5 meeting -- let me just ask that question again. I've got two people
7 Is that report that I've just read out to you there from
8 Brankovic, is that the same thing that Brankovic told you when they came
9 back from the flat having supposedly seen Ramiz Delalic, Celo, and had
10 that conversation?
11 A. My deputy told me that when they came back. You were asking
12 whether Mr. Brankovic told me. My deputy told me that.
13 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Okay. I understand. When
14 your deputy told you that, was Mr. Brankovic present or not?
15 A. Mr. Brankovic was together with my deputy at Mr. Alispago's when
16 this happened and when this was said.
17 Q. Yes. Okay. Very well. And Brankovic finally says that: "On
18 the 11th of September, 1993 Sefer Halilovic, the Chief of Staff, appealed
19 to me and Namik Dzankovic. He insisted that an investigation be conducted
20 to establish the facts. He said that he never had nor ever would condone
21 the crimes committed."
22 Now, this is what Brankovic put in the report that you saw. Did
23 Brankovic tell you about that before you saw this report? Did he tell you
24 what Sefer Halilovic's position was before you saw this report?
25 A. Yes, he did. What's written here confirms what he actually told
2 Q. Yes. Okay. All right. Are you able to recall -- although the
3 date here says the 11th of September, 1993, I'd ask you to just exercise
4 an independent memory, if you can, about that. Are you able to recall,
5 when it was that Brankovic passed this information on to you, or is it too
6 long ago to remember?
7 A. I really cannot remember.
8 Q. Can you remember where you were when he passed that information
9 on to you?
10 A. In my office in the public security station.
11 Q. I understand. Okay. And -- well, you've already indicated your
12 view of his professionalism.
13 Okay. There's just --
14 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honours, I -- this document has been
15 tendered, but you'll recall there was some discussion about it because I
16 showed it to witnesses who hadn't seen it before. They'd heard of it, but
17 they hadn't seen it. In order to make sure of it, I now seek to complete,
18 so to say, the tendering of this exhibit, MFI222.
19 I apologise, too, to the Prosecution and the Court because we --
20 by an error, we mixed the two documents in together. Now they've both
21 been fully acknowledged, I just seek to tender it as one exhibit. We can
22 divide it if we have to, but I'll be guided by the Prosecutors, actually,
23 about that. If they wish to divide it, actually we can.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Sachdeva.
25 MR. SACHDEVA: There's no objection, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe that document was used by you first.
3 MR. SACHDEVA: For this witness, yes.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
5 MR. SACHDEVA: But I understand it was used by the Defence
6 earlier on.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
8 MR. SACHDEVA: Through another witness, yes.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes. But anyway, we have it admitted into the
10 evidence, and it doesn't matter whose document it is.
11 MR. MORRISSEY: No, Your Honours. And -- I must acknowledge that
12 the confusion that arose about it was mine entirely. I apologise for it.
13 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
14 MR. MORRISSEY: All right -- I'm sorry.
15 Q. Mr. Zebic, I promised 20 minutes. I've gone two minutes over.
16 But I'm just going to ask two minutes of questions now, with -- with the
17 Court's leave, and then I'm finished now.
18 The last series of questions is this, and they concern
19 Mr. Alispahic's arrival in Jablanica. I have asked you questions about
20 this before, and you've given some answers.
21 When Alispahic arrived, in whose -- who was he in the company of?
22 A. I said that I talked to him in my office, but I don't know who
23 came with him to Jablanica.
24 Q. Who was providing security for the Minister of the Interior when
25 he arrived in Jablanica?
1 A. I don't know. Probably somebody from Sarajevo.
2 Q. Do you know who provided him with a vehicle to get from -- to get
3 down the hill into Jablanica?
4 A. I don't know that either, but it was the practice for us to send
5 a vehicle from our station to Glogosnica, where we had a reserve station,
6 and that's where we would bring our associates back from, those who were
7 coming back from Mostar to Jablanica.
8 Q. You've given evidence that you don't know where he stayed. What
9 were the options, in terms of accommodation, in Jablanica at that time for
10 a minister -- in fact, for a minister of the high importance and standing
11 of Minister Bakir Alispahic?
12 A. You yourself said that the hotel was the only place where people
13 could be accommodated, so it's possible that he slept at the hotel.
14 Q. Was there anyone else apart from yourself at the police station
15 who you'd expect to be notified of where the Minister of the Interior was
16 staying when he came to your town?
17 A. I don't think so. Perhaps he told me. I don't remember. Maybe
18 at the moment I just cannot remember where that was.
19 Q. Yes. And finally, in the event that a minister had to go from
20 Jablanica to Konjic the following day, where would that minister procure a
21 vehicle in Jablanica in order to get from Jablanica to Konjic? And I've
22 used the word "minister." What I really mean is: Where would Bakir
23 Alispahic get a vehicle?
24 A. It would be the best that it's a vehicle from the public security
25 station, but it's possible that also the army would provide a vehicle for
1 him to Konjic.
2 Q. Did you know how relations were between Bakir Alispahic and the
3 army at that time or not?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Mr. Zebic, thank you for your patience in answering my questions.
6 MR. MORRISSEY: That's the end of the cross-examination.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
8 Any redirect?
9 MR. SACHDEVA: Yes, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Sachdeva.
11 Re-examined by Mr. Sachdeva:
12 Q. Mr. Zebic, in response to a question by my learned friend - and
13 this is, for my learned friend's benefit, on page 47, line 12 - the
14 question was, and I quote: "And apart from saying the word 'Sefer' when
15 he commenced the phone call, this -- Mr. Alispahic didn't use the
16 word 'Sefer' again during that conversation, during that telephone call."
17 And then he goes on to say: "After the telephone call, he didn't
18 mention Sefer again by name, but he just told you, I suggest, you help the
19 military security out when they investigate." And he asked you if that's
20 correct. And your answer was: "Sounds about right."
21 Do you recall that?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, yesterday I asked you with respect to that conversation:
24 "When the conversation ended, what did Mr. Alispahic say?" And you
25 answered to me: "He said that he had spoken to Mr. Halilovic, that they
1 had agreed -- or rather, they had received a promise that the case would
2 be investigated. He gave me oral orders that if any assistance was
3 required from the Jablanica Public Security Station and the police
4 service, that we should provide any such assistance to the military
5 security services."
6 Do you recall that answer?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. If you can, can you please, for the Court's benefit, explain or
9 clarify your answer or explain the inconsistency.
10 A. I think that, in my opinion, there were no inconsistencies.
11 Perhaps the question by the Defence counsel was a little long so I had
12 lost my thread. I think that's the only thing here.
13 After the conversation was finished, Mr. Bakir told me that he
14 had spoken with Mr. Sefer and that he promised him what I said in my
15 statement, that steps would be taken for the case to be investigated, and
16 after that, if required, we should provide assistance. This is what I
17 said, so I stand by that part of the statement.
18 Q. Just to be clear, Mr. Zebic, your answer to me yesterday was, "He
19 had spoken to Mr. Halilovic," and now you say "Sefer." If you can, can
20 you clarify that, please.
21 A. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, there's a name -- the first name and
22 the last name. In this case, the first name is Sefer; the last name is
23 Halilovic. So in this instance, we are talking about Mr. Sefer Halilovic.
24 Q. All right. You were also asked by counsel for the Defence about
25 the availability of a pathologist with respect to any investigation that
1 could have been conducted in Grabovica. Do you know whether a pathologist
2 would have been available to come up from Sarajevo to conduct an
3 investigation at that time?
4 A. Many people left Sarajevo, even in the most difficult
5 circumstances. And had anyone requested it and organised it and felt it
6 was necessary, a pathologist would be able to leave Sarajevo too.
7 Q. Are you aware whether the ABiH, that is, the Army of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, had any pathologists available to investigate the
9 murder of civilians at that time? And if you do know that, where would
10 they be located?
11 A. I don't know if there were any or not.
12 Q. You were also asked by counsel for the Defence whether you were
13 aware of -- whether Sefer Halilovic was the subject of surveillance by the
14 Ministry of the Interior or the Ministry of -- by the security service in
15 Sarajevo. Do you recall that?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Would there be any reason for Mr. Alispahic to let you know,
18 chief of police, civilian police in Jablanica, whether there was any
19 surveillance on Mr. Halilovic?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Mr. Morrissey also asked you about the resources you had with
22 respect to any investigation. Are you aware whether the ABiH had inferior
23 or superior resources compared to your police station to do any
24 investigation of civilian killings?
25 MR. MORRISSEY: Sorry, I'll just have to intervene. I didn't ask
1 that question. The comparative merits of one as against another doesn't
2 arise out of cross-examining, so it's, in my submission, not something
3 that can arise in re-examination.
4 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honour --
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
6 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. Morrissey has asked this witness plenty of
7 questions with respect to the resources or not of the -- of the police
8 station to conduct an investigation in Grabovica.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, you may ask a direct question without
10 comparison with the army.
11 MR. SACHDEVA:
12 Q. Do you know whether the ABiH had a -- had resources or not to do
13 any investigation?
14 A. I don't know.
15 Q. Mr. Morrissey also asked you about whether you would have been
16 entitled to go into Grabovica and arrest anyone there. Do you recall
17 being asked that?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Did you as a civilian police officer have the authority to go
20 into Grabovica and arrest military personnel for crimes committed against
22 A. No.
23 Q. Lastly, Mr. Zebic, you recall being asked about a photograph of
24 Mr. Sefer at the police station in Jablanica; do you recall that?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Who put that photograph up there?
2 A. I don't know.
3 Q. Do you know who took it down?
4 A. I don't know that either.
5 Q. Do you know why the photograph was there?
6 A. At the start of the aggression on Bosnia and Herzegovina, the
7 name of Mr. Sefer Halilovic was well known to all citizens, especially
8 those who had joined in the defence of the Republic of Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina. He appeared in the media and especially you could hear a lot
10 about him through the military structures as one of the highest military
11 authorities at the time, and many accepted him and understood him to be a
12 commander right from the beginning and that is why some of these
13 photographs appeared. You could see them not only in offices but also in
14 public places too.
15 So as far as I'm concerned, it was nothing unusual to find such a
16 photograph on the premises of the public security station in Jablanica.
17 Why it was taken down, what the reasons for that were, probably that came
18 about because of the replacing of Mr. Sefer Halilovic from the post that
19 he had held to date.
20 Q. How long was the photograph up there?
21 A. I don't know.
22 MR. SACHDEVA: That's the examination -- re-examination, Your
24 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
25 Judge El Mahdi.
1 JUDGE EL MAHDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Questioned by the Court:
3 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Witness, I have a question to
4 put to you. It relates to your testimony when you said that two women
5 came to see you, two Muslim women. And these two women told you about the
6 events that had taken place in Grabovica. Could you confirm the date of
7 this, please.
8 A. This happened in the morning, on the 9th of September, 1993.
9 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] So it is on the 9th.
10 And you also said that on the same day and following this
11 complaint, what did you do?
12 A. I still didn't do anything until the information was confirmed by
13 military personnel. This happened on the same day. Maybe an hour or two
14 after the visit by these young women.
15 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes. So you had the feeling
16 that these people must have been from the army, that these people must
17 have been military, and these were responsible for this. It didn't cross
18 your mind that it could have been just anybody. It could have been
19 civilians, for instance.
20 A. No. Because the young women who originally told us this
21 information said that the original firing was heard in the part where the
22 military units were billeted.
23 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you waited until
24 noon approximately, when the commander of the unit called the Igman Wolves
25 came to see you. I believe they were called the Igman Wolves. And it's
1 after that, once he had told you about what had happened, that you started
2 to do something about it.
3 A. Yes, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] So why did this person turn to
5 you? He could have turned to the military authorities or the military.
6 A. It is not clear to me to this day why he came to the police
7 instead of going to the higher military command.
8 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Because they thought that you
9 were the people vested with that kind of power.
10 A. Probably.
11 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Just something else I would like
12 to clarify, please: In the night of the 9th, you saw Mr. Alispahic, who
13 came to see you. Where did this meeting take place? Was it at the police
15 A. Yes, in my office.
16 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] But did this -- before this
17 person came to see you, you were in a building where Mr. Cibo had his
18 office; is that right?
19 A. Yes.
20 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Therefore, you went to the
21 police station to -- to receive Mr. Alispahic so that you could meet him
23 A. [No audible response]
24 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] My last question: On reading
25 the report by Mr. Brankovic, which contains the following information --
1 it is stated that he was in charge, as well as Mr. Dzankovic, in charge of
2 conducting the investigations. Mr. Halilovic had given instructions to
3 that effect. And they realised that Mr. Alispahic told you that the
4 police, if necessary, had to take part in these investigations. Now,
5 don't you think -- or do you think that you were the right person to be
6 conducting these investigations?
7 A. None of us asked that a -- an investigation be conducted.
8 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 [In English] Thank you, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Any questions out of Judge's questions?
11 I see none.
12 At this stage, are there any documents to tender? Yes.
13 MR. SACHDEVA: Yes, Your Honour. It's MFI277.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
15 MR. SACHDEVA: The Prosecution seeks admission of that document.
16 JUDGE LIU: I believe that's -- the Defence used it; right? Any
18 MR. MORRISSEY: None whatsoever.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. It's admitted into the evidence.
20 On the part of Defence, are there documents to tender at this
22 MR. MORRISSEY: Nothing in addition to what was already done,
23 Your Honour.
24 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
25 Well, Witness, thank you very much for coming to The Hague to
1 give your evidence. Madam Usher will show you out of the room, and we
2 wish you a pleasant journey back home.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
4 [The witness withdrew]
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Re. Any submissions concerning with the
6 next witness?
7 MR. RE: Yes. I have an application I wish to make. Could we
8 move into private session, please.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go into the private session, please.
10 [Private session]
11 Page 91 redacted. Private session.
11 Page 92 redacted. Private session.
18 [Open session]
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, good afternoon -- good evening, Witness.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good evening.
22 JUDGE LIU: I'm sorry to keep you waiting for so long. We only
23 have about ten minutes to go for this evening. But anyway, would you
24 please make the solemn declaration in accordance with the paper Madam
25 Usher is showing to you.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
2 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 WITNESS: AHMED SALIHAMIDZIC
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Re.
8 MR. RE: Yes. Could we just move into private session for one
9 moment, please, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I believe that you have to ask some questions
11 about his name to be on the record in open session first. Then we'll go
12 into the private session.
13 MR. RE: I'll do that.
14 Examined by Mr. Re:
15 Q. Your name is Ahmed Salihamidzic? And you were born on the 24th
16 of July, 1946, and your present occupation is a retired deputy police
17 chief. You're a pensioner. Is that correct?
18 A. Yes., correct.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go into the private session.
20 [Private session]
13 [Open session]
14 MR. RE:
15 Q. I just want to lead you through some background information,
16 which is probably about as far as we'll get today.
17 From 1974 to 1981, were you a member of the police force in
18 Jablanica and its commander from 1978 to 1981, when you left police work
19 until returning to the Jablanica police station in January 1993?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did you hold the post of deposit chief and the chief's assistant
22 when you returned in 1993?
23 A. My position was deputy head.
24 Q. And the head, of course, was Mr. Zebic, who has just completed
25 his testimony here; correct?
1 A. Yes, correct.
2 Q. And you, in fact, retired from that position in April 1998.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Well, let's go straight to the 9th of September, 1993. Were you
5 working at the Jablanica police station on that day?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Was Mr. Zebic also working on that day?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did Mr. Zebic speak to you about something that had happened, or
10 did you speak to him about something that had happened?
11 A. Mr. Zebic called me into his office and Saric Edib was there at
12 the time with this deputy. We exchanged some information on that occasion
13 regarding events in Grabovica.
14 Q. Do you know someone called Edib Saric?
15 A. I didn't know him until then. He had come then to the police
16 station to see the chief. The chief summoned me, and that's when I met
17 him for the first time, him and his deputy.
18 Q. You said you exchanged some information on that occasion
19 regarding events in Grabovica. What was the information about the events
20 in Grabovica?
21 A. Right. The chief stated that on that day, the 9th, two girls had
22 come to the police station to report that on the right bank of the Neretva
23 in the settlement of Grabovica there was shooting which was upsetting the
24 civilians, Croat civilians, who inhabited Grabovica. He suggested that we
25 go to Grabovica to check that information. Mr. Edib Saric confirmed that.
1 I insisted, in view of the fact that they had said army troops had arrived
2 in Sarajevo, I insisted that somebody from the military come along,
3 specifically the military police commander of the 44th Brigade, and
4 Mr. Saric agreed, and we went together to inspect or to investigate on
5 site in a police vehicle.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Salihamidzic.
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, now is the time for the break.
8 Witness, as I did to other witnesses in this Tribunal, I have to
9 warn you that now you are under the oath, so do not talk to anybody about
10 your testimony and do not let anybody talk to you about it. Do you
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. I hope you have a good rest,
14 and I'll see you tomorrow morning at 9.00 in the same courtroom.
15 The hearing for today is adjourned.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Friday, the 18th day of
18 March, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.