1 Monday, 11 April 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case please, Mr. Court Deputy.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is Case
7 Number IT-01-48-T, the Prosecutor versus Sefer Halilovic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
9 Before we start, there's a matter I would like to announce, that
10 is this case will make a break on the 25th of May for -- of -- 25th of
11 April until the 11th of May. That is about two weeks and a half.
12 This Bench understands that there are some motions filed from
13 both parties. I hope that the parties would file their reply as early as
14 possible. If they file any response in the two weeks' time, this Bench
15 will be in break. So I hope that the parties could file their response,
16 if there's any, as early as possible.
17 Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
18 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, Your Honours, we will do so, and as early as
19 possible means it may be this week to the one that -- we've received one
20 and we think we can respond fairly quickly to that one.
21 Can I just foreshadow that there -- Your Honours, you inquired of
22 both parties concerning our -- effectively asking for some assistance
23 from the parties concerning what should happen with the witness Karic, or
24 with the deposition of Mr. Karic. And I was rather acutely aware that on
25 some matters we were - at least the Defence, I won't speak for the
1 Prosecutor, but certainly the Defence - we were of less assistance that I
2 would like to have been on some matters. What I have in mind is that
3 I've drafted a motion in support of what was put in argument. It
4 shouldn't be -- it shouldn't really expand the terms of things, but I
5 just felt frankly I didn't -- it might not be a question of doing a good
6 job, I didn't put everything that could assist the Tribunal. As soon as
7 that's done, we'll forward that to the Tribunal I think in order to
8 preserve formal continuity we'll just file it as a motion in the normal
9 way, but when the Tribunal receives it will be in the context that you
10 have already heard some argument. It has been cut down. So therefore,
11 it is by way of supplementary argument and perhaps a little more complete
12 in some respects. What it addresses is a number of issues, and the
13 Prosecution will be given a copy as soon as it's filed, but just so they
14 know what is coming and have time to respond as best they can.
15 It deals with a number of scenarios, because Your Honours may
16 make a decision that there should be no further cross-examination. If
17 that's the case, that's the end of the arguments, really. If you say
18 there should be allowed some further cross-examination, other
19 possibilities arise, what topics we can cross-examine on. If so, the
20 Prosecution have asked that they should be allowed to ask some questions
21 on new topics as well as. What I've sought to be is organise the
22 argument dealing with hypotheticals. Frankly, I know that some of them
23 are hypothetical and you may or may not get to those. You may rule
24 against us getting leave to further cross-examine at all and we
25 understand that. That's why it's set out in a way that allows what I
1 hope -- orderly decision-making and orderly argument, and that's why I
2 will provide that extra material.
3 Can I just say I apologise that we didn't have that at the time.
4 Your Honours asked for us an oral argument and I would have liked to have
5 done something more complete and better than I did, frankly. We were
6 busy at the time. So that's why it happened the way it did. That will
7 be filed within the next two days.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for your information and this
9 Bench will regard this filing as supplementary material rather than a new
10 filing. Whether the Prosecution would like to respond, that is their
11 discretion. I believe that it depends on whether there are some new
12 elements involved in that supplementary materials, because we already had
13 our oral argument in the courtroom.
14 MR. MORRISSEY: Certainly, Your Honours. Could I indicate
15 there's one matter that I've addressed which was mentioned but I don't
16 think explored in argument to any great degree in the oral submissions,
17 and that is the question of what should happen to any materials that were
18 sought to be tendered during the course of that deposition. You may
19 recall that there was at one stage an attempt to put the whole statement
20 of is to him and I'm not sure what the Prosecution's intentions are about
21 that, but I'll put our intentions on the map anyway in the draft that I
22 have. The Prosecution will have the opportunity to respond to that.
23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
24 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, could we have the witness, please.
1 [The witness entered court]
2 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, Witness.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
4 JUDGE LIU: Did you have a good rest during the weekend?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, yes.
6 JUDGE LIU: Are you ready to continue?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 JUDGE LIU: It won't be long for today, I promise you. You may
9 sit down, please.
10 Yes, Mr. Morrissey, please continue.
11 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 WITNESS: WITNESS G [Resumed]
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 Cross-examined by Mr. Morrissey: [Continued]
15 Q. Thank you, Witness G. When we stopped last week I had finished
16 asking you some questions about that short glance you took at document on
17 the desk of Commander Buza and I wanted to move on to the events of the
18 13th of September. You have indicated to the Tribunal that on the 13th
19 of September you and the rest of the soldiers were effectively waiting to
20 go into battle. And my question is: Were you waiting at Dobro Polje or
21 were you waiting in that assembly area which you indicated on a
22 photograph behind the village of Here?
23 A. We were waiting at Dobro Polje.
24 Q. Okay. And were the -- were the soldiers also waiting at Dobro
25 Polje or was it just people who had some official function?
1 A. The soldiers were also waiting. They were ready to be committed.
2 We were all waiting there.
3 Q. Yes, I understand. Very well. Now, the soldiers and I suppose
4 the officers as well were all -- had already been told that they were to
5 go into battle at some stage on the 13th. Is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Okay. Now, you indicated last Friday [sic] that you were not
8 present when Sefer Halilovic addressed the troops on the 13th -- sorry.
9 Pardon me. I take that back. On the 12th of September, but you heard
10 about that from the officer in charge of personnel matters. Could I just
11 ask you: Do you remember the name of that officer in charge of personnel
12 matters who told you about that?
13 A. His name is Sead Colak.
14 Q. And Colak is -- yes, thank you. I see it's spelled correctly on
15 the screen.
16 All right. Now, moving to -- moving back to the day, the 13th of
17 September. At what time did you expect you were going into battle? I
18 understand that in fact you didn't go into battle, but at what time did
19 you think you were going to go into battle that day?
20 A. We were supposed to go into battle on the morning of the 13th,
21 early morning.
22 Q. Early morning.
23 A. When -- the same time as all the other units in our northern
24 sector, if I may call it that.
25 Q. Yes. Did Buza -- did Enver Buza provide any explanation to you
1 before Sefer Halilovic arrived as to why you were not going into battle?
2 A. No, he never provided any explanation.
3 Q. I see. Did he have in his employment in the battalion at that
4 time an individual called Erzimana Dogic?
5 A. Yes. She was a lady who worked with him. She was dealing with
6 intelligence-relating mattered. Her name was Erzimana Dogic, and she was
7 a much-trusted colleague.
8 Q. Okay. All right. Thank you. Now, are you able to recall the
9 approximate time at which Sefer Halilovic arrived on the 13th after your
10 unit had not gone into battle?
11 A. I can't remember specifically what time it was. I don't think it
12 could have been before noon, though. It may have been sometime in the
13 early afternoon once it had become clear that we were not going to go
14 into battle.
15 Q. All right. Do you recall whether you came from the direction of
16 Voljevac or whether he was heading towards Voljevac when you saw him?
17 A. I can't be certain where he had come from, but he may have come
18 from the direction of Voljevac. But I can't be certain.
19 Q. Are you able to draw a conclusion about that question from the
20 direction in which his car drove off after he spoke to Buza?
21 A. I can't answer that question with any degree of certainty. I
22 seem to remember that he drove off to Jablanica, but I can't be sure
23 about it.
24 Q. Did you personally speak to Sefer Halilovic on that occasion?
25 A. I wish I had had a chance to speak to him, but I didn't.
1 Q. And you indicated that his speech to the troops on this occasion
2 was a short one. Is it accurate to say that it lasted five minutes or
4 A. Not even five minutes. He only said several sentences; that was
6 Q. Okay. Very well. And in total, how long did he seem to spend at
7 Dobro Polje on that occasion? Was it 15 minutes or half an hour or an
8 hour, doing the best you can to estimate how long?
9 A. My recollection of these events is limited and therefore I can't
10 be very precise in my answer. However, on the 13th I don't think he
11 could possibly have stayed longer than 20 or 30 minutes.
12 Q. Very well. Thank you. Now, sometime after Sefer left the troops
13 received a speech from their own commander, Enver Buza. Now, I wanted to
14 ask you this: Had Buza ever made a speech like that -- well, perhaps I
15 should ask you -- first of all, I'll ask you about the speech itself.
16 You indicated he was very animated and emotional during that
17 speech. Had you ever seen him make an animated, emotional speech before
18 that date?
19 A. I said his speech had been emotional, but he did not seem shaken.
20 It was an emotional speech; he yelled a lot, that sort of thing. I wish
21 I could remember the actual things he said but I can't. I remember the
22 expression on his face. I remember the fact that he was yelling and
23 making a lot of noise. He seldom spoke like that.
24 Q. I was going to say -- well, that really was my question. Had he
25 ever spoken like that when addressing the troops before a combat
1 operation in your experience?
2 A. I think he seldom spoke like that. I do remember him addressing
3 people in that way a couple of times, though. Once he spoke to the local
4 population, civilian population, of a village in much the same manner.
5 So that must more or less have been his style of addressing people.
6 Q. Yes. Okay. Now I want to move to the action itself, the
7 fighting. And I just have a couple of photographs I want you to mark. I
8 understand you've already done a number of these, but there's two I'd
9 like you to deal with very quickly, if possible.
10 MR. MORRISSEY: First of all, could the witness be shown P335,
12 Q. Now, this is a panoramic shot from the village of Cer. Last week
13 you marked a photograph with artillery positions, and this particular
14 photograph -- this particular photograph may allow you to mark some
15 further artillery positions.
16 MR. MORRISSEY: So could the witness please be given the marker.
17 Q. And just using a small blue circle, as you have in the past,
18 could you just mark in whereabouts in that photograph one can see HVO
19 artillery positions.
20 A. Just a small correction, if I may. This isn't Cer; this is Here.
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. And the view opens towards HVO-controlled territory. What I can
23 mark for you here is the artillery positions that were in the area of
24 Kranjcici village.
25 Q. Could you just mark Kranjcici above that circle. And while
1 you're doing that, can you accept my apologies. I don't know why I said
2 Cer. We've been through the village of Here quite a number of times so I
3 apologise for that and thanks for correcting it.
4 A. [Marks]
5 Q. Okay. Those are artillery positions at Kranjcici. Could you
6 just sort of explain to the Tribunal what sort of guns did they have up
7 on Kranjcici. Was there an anti-aircraft gun there?
8 A. Usually there was a tank. There were two or several mortars, we
9 weren't sure, and there was a multiple rocket launcher too in this
11 Q. And --
12 A. There was an anti-aircraft gun here, at this location called
13 Gradac. Do you want me to mark that for you?
14 Q. Please do and mark "Gradac" beside that.
15 A. [Marks]
16 Q. And underneath the word "Gradac" would you mark "AA" to indicate
18 A. [Marks]
19 Q. Are there any other HVO artillery positions that can be seen or
20 the location of which can be seen in that photograph?
21 A. There were artillery positions near the school building around
22 here. It's called Cer. Furthermore, there were lower-calibre mortars,
23 60-millimetre mortars, around here, too, on top of the hill. The hill's
24 name is Borak. The village of Here was within the range of the artillery
25 that was positioned at Prozor, but you can't see it in this photograph.
1 Just to the left from the area that the photograph shows, there's an
2 elevation with a tank and a number of other artillery pieces that were
3 being used to fire both on Here and other positions and villages that at
4 the time were under the control of the BH army. Just to the left of the
5 area the photograph shows.
6 Q. Would you write next to the circle at Cer the word "Cer" and then
7 write "Borak" next to the position of Borak.
8 A. [Marks]
9 Q. Could you draw an arrow on the picture pointing in the direction
10 of where the Prozor artillery was, which can't be seen in this current
12 A. [Marks] This place was also within the range of other artillery
13 positions. We weren't sure where those positions were. There was no way
14 for us to know their precise whereabouts, but it was probably further
15 south of Prozor in the village of Lug. It might have been in this
16 general direction.
17 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, before I tender that document, I just
18 want to ask you some questions about the practices of those guns, those
19 artillery guns, that are on those positions. In the weeks before the
20 fighting in Uzdol on the 14th of September, did those guns fire upon the
21 village of Here?
22 A. I can state with certainty that from the 24th of October, 1992
23 until the date you've referred to they fired on countless times. The
24 village had been destroyed by artillery times by the time we are now
25 considering. The army BH was entirely inferior as far as artillery
1 pieces were concerned. We could not reply in kind, in a manner of
3 Tanks were a special problem for us. There were every now and
4 then two tanks that were positioned at Kranjcici and one at Cer which
5 would drive out of the village and climb to the left, firing at every
6 single house, and there was no way for us to neutralise that tank or
7 jeopardise the tank's position in any way. Sometimes they would fire as
8 many as 500 shells a day on the village and the attacks occurred on a
9 daily basis, varying in intensity, and sometimes there were attacks
10 coming from other directions, but those certainly were daily attacks.
11 Q. Now, the reason for asking these questions really is to ask you:
12 Upon what target those guns were sighted as far as you could observe from
13 their patterns of fire. Did those guns appear to be sighted on the
14 village of Here?
15 A. I think so.
16 Q. And prior --
17 A. They were -- they were also sighted trained specifically on the
1 civilian population and property. The objective of those attacks was
2 certainly to destroy as much property as possible.
3 Q. Okay. During the time before the fighting on the 14th of
4 September, did you ever observe the HVO firing those guns and sighting
5 those guns on the hamlets of Uzdol in which the Croat civilians lived?
6 A. Could you please repeat the question?
7 Q. Did you -- well, I'll put the question in two ways.
8 Did you ever notice those -- before the 14th of September, did
9 you ever notice those guns firing on or being sighted on any of the
10 villages of -- the hamlets within Uzdol, that being the Croat-inhabited
12 A. Yes, now I've understood your question. But the answer is no,
13 never. I was there all the time and I never noticed anything like that.
14 Q. Okay. But to your observation, during the morning of the 14th of
15 September, once the action began, at least some HVO artillery began to
16 shoot in exactly that direction, namely the direction of the
17 Croat-inhabited hamlets. Is that correct?
18 A. Yes, that's right.
19 Q. And it appeared to you at least that that shelling was very heavy
20 during the time when you were in the area. Is that correct?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. And at least some of the -- of that artillery - and I'm thinking
23 in particular of the anti-aircraft gun - commenced firing very early on
24 in the action that morning. Is that correct?
25 A. Well, not only in the morning, not straight away, but soon
1 afterwards. After the fighting had started, soon after that. And I
2 think that it was the mortars and Howitzers that were fired rather than
3 anti-aircraft guns.
4 Q. Yes. Well, feel free to correct any mistakes that I put, because
5 I certainly wasn't there.
6 Could you give an estimate the best -- and I understand it will
7 only be a rough estimate. But could you give an estimate as to how long
8 between the starting of the fighting and the starting of the
9 artillery fire that you've indicated?
10 A. Perhaps 20 or 30 minutes.
11 Q. Very well. Now, I want to ask you some questions about smoke and
12 the presence of smoke. Is it the fact that the explosion of the shells
13 combined with the burning of certain buildings in the hamlets produced a
14 significant amount of smoke in the area of Uzdol? Is that true?
15 A. Mostly, yes. You can use smoke mines or -- but without that,
16 yes, there would be smoke.
17 Q. Yes. And does that accord with your memory looking out -- when
18 you did have the chance to look out over the area of Uzdol at any stage
19 during the combat, did you notice yourself a significant amount of smoke
20 to be present?
21 A. Yes, I did. There was a lot of smoke and a lot of fire.
22 Q. Okay. Well, now you've indicated that there was artillery fire
23 and smoke. I want to ask you: As far as you could see and hear in the
24 places that you were, did that state of affairs continue throughout the
25 battle at Uzdol, namely that there was a lot of artillery fire and a lot
1 of smoke in the area of the battle?
2 A. I know that at around 12.00 there was a counter-attack by the HVO
3 and that there was a withdrawal after that of the units of the army from
4 the village. And after that, perhaps an hour or so later, there was
5 artillery fire towards the village of Here and it went on for almost the
6 whole day.
7 Q. Yes. Okay. But I think I'm really asking you the question about
8 conditions in the hamlets of Uzdol between about 5.30 a.m. and about
9 10.00 a.m. in the morning, in that time period. Would you agree with
10 this that: During that time, there was a great deal of smoke, a great
11 deal of burning fire on buildings, and a great many artillery shells
12 falling during that time period?
13 A. Yes, that's exactly how it was.
14 Q. Now, you've given clear evidence that you yourself did not
15 personally enter any of the hamlets where deceased --
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. -- persons had been found. But were you in a position to hear
18 from where you were the fact that there was small arms fire, in other
19 words hand-held guns, gunfire coming from those villages and also --
20 sorry and including among those villages, the village of Cer where the
21 school was?
22 A. You could hear the sounds of fighting all over; it resounded and
23 you could clearly hear it. There was artillery fire that resounded and
24 infantry weapons fire as well. And you could smell the smell of burning
25 and gunpowder.
1 Q. So to the best of your observation, what you were watching or
2 what you saw and what you took part in was a battle. Is that right?
3 A. Yes, correct.
4 Q. Okay.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Morrissey, are you going to tender this
6 document, I mean the photo?
7 MR. MORRISSEY: I am, Your Honour, I am. And would you just
8 allow me to see if I eve finished the question. Yes, I offer that
9 document for tender now.
10 JUDGE LIU: There's no objection.
11 MS. CHANA: No objection.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, it's admitted into the evidence.
13 THE REGISTRAR: It will be Exhibit D451.
14 MR. MORRISSEY: And I understand the time has come to move on
15 from that question. I'm move on from that one.
16 Q. I've want to ask you some questions about the action. Before you
17 went into the action, were some of the soldiers -- and including
18 yourself, concerned at the danger that you might be fired upon out of
19 those houses in the hamlets?
20 A. We knew on the basis of our reconnoitring that we had done
21 regularly from the hill, Kostajnica which you have on the image in front
22 of you if you're looking at the same village. So you could see the whole
23 of the village of Uzdol and you could also see that there was some
24 soldiers in the inhabited houses, they were put up there. They weren't
25 all in the school. But how many soldiers exactly was never established.
1 So of course we expected a battle amongst and around the houses.
2 Q. And indeed you foresaw a danger of house-to-house fighting when
3 you went in there -- sorry, not when you went into the villages. I'll
4 put the question again. You foresaw a danger of house-to-house fighting
5 for those soldiers when they went into the villages. Is that correct?
6 A. Something like that, yes.
7 Q. Okay. Now, I just want to return to -- go to the topic of first
8 of all the question of uniforms. It was not the practice of the Prozor
9 Independent Battalion to wear a green uniform with a green beret on top,
10 was it?
11 A. No. The members of the Independent Prozor Battalion didn't wear
12 that. What they wore were camouflage uniforms for the most part, like
13 the rest of the soldiers.
14 Q. Just in terms of green berets, to your knowledge there was a
15 famous unit back in Sarajevo in 1992 which was called the Green Berets.
16 Is that correct?
17 A. Yes, yes. Correct.
18 Q. And that was quite famous on the television. In fact, it had
19 featured in news broadcasts and so on very early on in the war. Is that
21 A. Yes, it is correct.
22 Q. But yourself you yourself did not see any soldiers wearing green
23 uniforms with green berets going into battle in Uzdol on the 14th of
24 September, 1993. Is that correct?
25 A. No, we were all dressed the same way. We all had camouflage
1 uniforms, the patterned type of uniform, without berets.
2 Q. Yes. Okay.
3 A. We didn't have any berets.
4 Q. Okay. I just want to move to the question of some police. I'm
5 going to give you a list of names. Are you familiar with an individual
6 called Dzevad Korbadzic -- Corbadzic, sorry, pardon my pronunciation.
7 A. Dzevad Corbadzic, yes, the name seems familiar.
8 Q. Aziz Bobar?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Sabahudin Motika?
11 A. Yes, I know those people.
12 Q. And another person, Kasim Hujdur.
13 A. I know a man like that, but I don't know if that's the one.
14 Q. Yes, I'm specifically not referring to Enes Hujdur but a Hujdur
15 who was a member of the police, the civilian police. Do you know such a
17 A. Yes, I do, I know the man.
18 Q. Okay. And to your understanding what is his first name? I've
19 put it as Kasim here. But is that your understanding of his first name?
20 A. I'm not quite sure about Kasim because there is a Kasim Hujdur
21 but I don't know if he was deployed in the police then at the time, so
22 I'm not quite sure.
23 Q. Okay. To clarify -- my questions sometimes cause the trouble.
24 As far as you remember there was a person called Hujdur in the civilian
25 police at that time. Is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Okay. And also was there a person called Sabitovic - I don't
3 have a first name for that person - in the police force, the civilian
4 police force at that time?
5 A. I'm not quite sure whether he was in the police at the time.
6 Q. Do you know the person to which I'm referring, Mr. Sabitovic?
7 A. Yes, I do. It's familiar, but as I say I can't remember his
8 first name at present.
9 Q. Okay. Now, of those people, you've indicated that you're not
10 sure if Mr. Sabitovic was deployed in the police, but the other four,
11 Corbadzic, Bobar, Motika, and Hujdur, were in the civilian police at the
12 time of the fighting in Uzdol on the 14th of September. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes, it is correct. I think they were members of the Ministry of
14 the Interior. They were members of the Ministry of the Interior.
15 Q. Yes. And those individuals fought in the battle or took part in
16 the action at Uzdol on the morning of the 14th of September. Isn't that
18 A. All I can say is that the army and the police took part together
19 in this operation, so I assume they were there.
20 Q. Yes. Okay. Now, of the names that I've given you the senior
21 figure among them was Aziz Bobar. Is that correct?
22 A. Of the ones you enumerated, yes.
23 Q. Yes, I see. Who was the senior -- yes, perhaps I should have
24 been clearer about that. To your understanding, who was the senior
25 person from the MUP police who took part in this battle? Was it Aziz
1 Bobar or somebody higher up than him?
2 A. Well, in the police, as in the army, there was the chief of MUP,
3 for example, who planned their deployment but did not take part like our
4 commander who plans and orders but does not himself take part. So that's
6 Q. I understand. Are you able to recall now who was the chief of
7 MUP who planned the police's deployment on this occasion?
8 A. Truth to tell, this is a simple question and answer. The use of
9 the police or the deployment of the police was planned by our commander,
10 Enver Buza, because he gave permission to the policemen how they were to
11 move around, when they were to go, when they were to return, and so on.
12 Q. Yes. But who was the person -- who was the senior police MUP
13 operative in the area at that time, if you know the answer to that
15 A. I know that for a long time the chief of the police was Midhat
16 Cadic [phoen]; however, I'm not sure whether he was there then, whether
17 he was the chief then. I'm not sure and I can't confirm that.
18 Q. Did you see any written documentation that passed between the
19 Prozor Independent Battalion and the MUP at the time permitting civilian
20 police to be used in the action?
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note that there is
22 interference on the channel.
23 MR. MORRISSEY: The Defence notes as well that I'm receiving a
24 horrendous mixture of my voice and other voices through the headphones at
25 the moment. Would it help if I asked the question again? Your Honour,
1 I'm still getting my own golden tones --
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note there is interference.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So I can answer and tell you that I
4 never saw anything like that.
5 THE INTERPRETER: B/C/S on English channel.
6 MR. MORRISSEY: We have some mix-ups in the headphones now.
7 Your Honours, I'm now on another channel all together it seems. Maybe
8 things have righted themselves. I'll try to continue. We'll see what
10 Q. Very well. My apologies, Witness G. These things do happen.
11 Okay. So as to the basis upon which the civilian police took
12 part in this action, as far as you could see those -- sorry, not as far
13 as you could see. Let me ask you a preliminary question. Were you
14 personally with any civilian police yourself during your part in this
16 A. No, I was not.
17 Q. Okay. And did Commander Buza break his rule or break his usual
18 practice and discuss with you in any detail on what basis he was allowed
19 to use the civilian police or not?
20 A. What I could say is this: It was common knowledge that the
21 Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Defence frequently and in
22 other places used forces for operations. Now, I don't know exactly. All
23 I can say is that our commander very often complained to our
24 functionaries in the Ministry of the Interior and said that they weren't
25 in fact fighting. He would criticise them and say they were being used
1 away from the front lines. So he would criticise them for being in a
2 safe area and they weren't exposed to danger sufficiently if they had
3 been involved, and that this emanating from the nature of their job, that
4 is being policemen, that they were to introduce law and order and to
5 provide law and order on the territory of the municipality.
6 So I'm not sure whether there was any official agreement between
7 the two ministries or not or if it was decided at some local level. I
8 really can't say.
9 Q. Well, if you can't say I won't -- have I -- have I really
10 exhausted your knowledge about that topic with these questions now? If
11 so, I won't ask you any more about it.
12 A. Well, I don't know what questions you have in mind, what's
13 coming. I'm ready to answer any question of course.
21 Q. And you were fairly busy because you had a number of dead,
22 wounded, and possibly missing as well. Is that correct?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. Okay.
25 A. It did --
1 Q. Yes, I'm sorry. Pardon me.
2 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I was saying, we did have
4 several missing persons, and the situation during those first days wasn't
5 settled. We knew about four or five people or soldiers who had gone
6 missing. There was several wounded persons. And immediately after the
7 operation, I travelled to Zenica to visit some wounded there. And I
8 remember one soldier in particular who was from the Sutjeska Battalion.
9 I don't know his name. He was a fair, blond person. He was wounded
10 somewhere around his shoulder, and there was some other people there like
11 that, too. They were in Zenica in the hospital there, and I went to
12 visit hem.
13 MR. MORRISSEY:
14 Q. Okay. So were you movements in the battle effectively this: In
15 the afternoon of the battle when the shelling was going on in the village
16 of Here, you went about your business of finding out who was dead,
17 wounded, and missing. Is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And was it the following day that you went to Zenica or did you
20 perform those functions on the following day as well, namely chasing up
21 the dead, wounded, and missing, and speaking to them and their families?
22 A. The next day I went back to the battalion headquarters in Dobro
23 Polje, the command there. And we were dealing with the situation there
24 because we expected to pull out. We expected some soldiers to pull out
25 the following day. And we could establish our casualties with any
1 exactitude only one or two days later. So that in situations of that
2 kind the most important thing is to contact the family of the persons
3 killed and to organise assistance to the wounded. That's what we did or
4 that's what my service did.
5 Q. Thank you. Okay. Just to get an idea of when it was that you
6 went to Zenica, was that on the third day that you went up to Zenica?
7 A. I can't remember exactly whether it was the third day. We had to
8 go from Prozor to Jablanica, difficult terrain, to get some logistics. I
9 was waiting for a helicopter to take me there and I went there by
10 helicopter. So I can't say if it was three or four days when the first
11 flight started.
12 Q. I see. And just to clarify the Zenica situation, is there a
13 hospital at Zenica?
14 A. Yes, yes, right.
15 Q. Okay. Thanks for that. All right. In those three or four days
16 immediately following the battle I take it you had no dealings with the
17 local civilian police who had been involved in the battle. Is that
18 correct? Or were some of them wounded?
19 A. I'm not aware that some of them were wounded, but I didn't
20 contact them much either. I was too taken up with my own affairs.
21 Q. Yes. And I take it you didn't have any authority or competence
22 to deal with the civilian police.
23 A. That's right, quite. Exactly.
24 Q. Very well. Thank you. Now, I just want to turn now to some of
25 the things that you heard after the battle from the soldiers in the
1 Independent Prozor Battalion. Once the soldiers of the Bosnian army had
2 retreated, is it the fact that not one of those soldiers told you that
3 there had been murders of any innocent civilians? Is that correct?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. Some of the soldiers, though, did report having to fight with
6 armed civilians. Is that correct?
7 A. There were cases like that. There was a case over there like
8 that, and I think it involved an elderly person who had a gun and shot,
9 something like that. Just one case. I know about this one case.
10 Q. Yes, okay. Are you able now -- and I understand it's 11 years
11 later, but just do the best you can. Can you recall which village --
12 which hamlet that particular case of the old man shooting with the gun
13 occurred in? Understanding that you were just going on what you were
14 told, of course.
15 A. I think it was the hamlet of Kriz, which is where the two wounded
16 army members were who were pulled out.
17 Q. Okay. Can you just tell us a little bit about that. You I've
18 indicated two wounded army members were pulled out from Kriz. Was --
19 first of all, how bad -- what was the wounds that those individuals
20 suffered to the best of your memory?
21 A. One was wounded in the area of the shoulder; I've already said
22 that. And the other had an entrance/exit wound through both his legs.
23 Q. I understand.
24 A. I think the shooting was lateral if it managed to hit both legs.
25 Q. Yes. Very well. And just -- because we weren't there, we don't
1 have the same information. It appeared to you that they were bullet
2 wounds. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes, yes. Correct. Without a doubt.
4 Q. All right. I understand. All right. Now, apart from those --
5 now, apart from those two wounded who were pulled out of the village of
6 Kriz, how many other wounded were taken up to the hospital at Zenica, to
7 the best of your memory?
8 A. Another person. Only those who were seriously wounded were taken
9 to Zenica and the others remained. One person had sustained face
10 injuries. There was an entry-and-exit wound through the lower part of
11 his jaw. Those people would be taken to the hospital, and those who were
12 less seriously wounded would stay behind at the war hospital in
14 Q. The man who had the injury to his jaw, do you know which part of
15 Uzdol he was in when he received that injury?
16 A. I don't know exactly. He wasn't able to speak. Even today he
17 has trouble speaking.
18 Q. And as to those who were wounded in a less serious way, are you
19 now able to recall whereabouts in Uzdol they were when they got injured?
20 I appreciate this may be a difficult one to remember, but there may be a
21 detail that you recall and if you do would you please tell us.
22 A. All I can say is that those who were slightly wounded, those who
23 had suffered grazes or scratches, were less important at the time. We
24 didn't pay much attention to that. They weren't sufficiently important
25 to use the few medical supplies that we had for them. Those were people
1 who were just slightly wounded, and this was not actually something that
2 we kept track of. As for serious wounds, entry-and-entrance wounds, and
3 deep cuts, the people who suffered those types of wounds had to be sent
4 to a hospital and away from the village.
5 Q. Okay. All right. Thank you very much for that.
6 Now, I just want to ask you a question very quickly about the
7 reliability of the news broadcasts that you received. You've already
8 answered questions about this, so I just want to limit it to this: Back
9 in those days, September of 1993 and the adjoining months, was it the
10 practice of the extreme elements of the HVO to release claims on a very
11 frequent basis of disgusting war crimes by the Bosnian army?
12 A. I must say -- I must be absolutely open and truthful. This was
13 never broadcast on the local radio station, Rama, the radio station in
14 Prozor. Once we come to other areas, I'm sure there was a veritable
15 flood of both information and misinformation to the effect that the
16 Bosniaks were attacking the Croat civilian population, committing crimes,
17 especially in the area of Konjic; and we knew this to be a lie.
18 The Croatian television went as far as to actually fabricate
19 reports by a journalist called Smiljko Sagolj about a Bosnian village
20 like Glognica having been burned. He had his picture taken right there,
21 claiming that he was in fact in Kostanjica, whereas he was in a different
23 Misinformation was spread in this way, and as a result the public
24 was misinformed. This had a lot of negative effects and let further
25 clashes. There was a veritable flood of misinformation concerning such
1 crimes; that much is certain. However, this was not possible in the
2 case of Prozor. To this very day we don't know about any crimes that
3 were committed against the Croatian population in our area.
4 Q. And which media outlet was it on which you first heard any news
5 of these claims that civilians, innocent civilians, had been massacred by
6 the Bosnian army during the battle at Prozor?
7 A. You mean this action or in a more general sense?
8 Q. I mean this particular action.
9 A. The local radio station called Rama -- this was actually
10 announced two or three days later. All I can say about these reports is
11 that this radio station was also used for spreading propaganda, in my
12 opinion. The same radio station spread a lot of other reports from areas
13 further off. It was very difficult to believe everything they were
20 Q. And indeed you were a person who could have had no such
21 information because you didn't go to those villages, Kriz, Rajici,
22 Zelenike, and the other smaller ones nearby. Is that correct?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. And of course the soldiers who you were with must have known very
25 well exactly what your part was, namely to fight in the front line for a
1 little while and then become involved in helping wounded soldiers get
2 back to safety. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes. They knew that my involvement had to do with morale and not
4 so much with combat. Everyone was aware of it, or most of them were.
5 Q. In fact, all you had was a pistol?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Okay. So then finally on that topic, it's the fact -- there was
8 no use for anyone to ask you about the killings of those civilians, and
9 no one did ask you about them in that period of time. Is that correct?
10 A. I don't know what the reason was, but the truth is no one asked.
11 Q. Okay. Very well. Thank you for that.
12 MR. MORRISSEY: Now I just ask that the witness be shown a
14 Q. What's going to be shown to you now is --
15 MR. MORRISSEY: It's D149, Your Honours.
16 Q. This document I'm about to show you is a combat report, a report
17 from -- by Enver Buza who was the commander of the Independent Prozor
18 Battalion to the command of the 6th Corps. And I would just like you to
19 -- just look at the screen and you'll see this all to come up.
20 Okay. I would just ask you to read that document, please. I've
21 got some questions for you about it, but just read over it, noting who
22 it's sent by, who it's sent to, and noting also its contents, and then
23 I'm going to ask you some questions about it.
24 Now, just as you read through it one of the questions I will ask
25 you is: Have you ever seen this document before? I'm not presuming that
1 you have, but just as you look and assimilate the material in it, you may
2 be able to comment whether you have or you haven't.
3 When you need the screen to be adjusted, please say so and the
4 court staff will help you with that.
5 A. I've never seen this document before, but it's nothing
6 unexpected. The commander wrote whatever he pleased and requested
7 whatever he pleased.
8 Q. Well -- yes, of course. And there was no need for Commander Buza
9 to show you this document even if he had have been in a good relationship
10 with you. Is that correct?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. Okay. I've got the English version in front of me. Do you
13 have --
14 Sorry, just excuse me one moment, please.
15 [Defence counsel confer]
16 MR. MORRISSEY:
17 Q. I'm sorry. Do you have the whole document in front of you on one
18 sheet of paper? The reason I ask is I'm working from an English
19 translation, which goes into two pages.
20 A. I don't have the whole document on the screen, but I can see
21 sections of it at a time.
22 Q. Okay. Have you had the chance to read the first part? And if
23 you have, we'll move the screen down to the next part.
24 A. I'm about to finish.
25 Q. Very well. Witness G, I'm not looking at what you're looking at.
1 I've got an English version and you've got a Bosnian version there. Do
2 you need the screen to be scrolled down so that you can see more, or have
3 you now read the whole thing?
4 A. It's all right. I've read through it.
5 Q. All right. Thanks. Well, you've never seen that document
6 before. Is that correct?
7 A. Correct.
11 Q. Okay. Now, nevertheless on the face of it --
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Morrissey, just be careful. You may
14 MR. MORRISSEY: I'm sorry. I've mentioned --
15 JUDGE LIU: You may proceed.
16 MR. MORRISSEY: Okay. Thank you for the warning, Your Honour.
17 Yes, sorry about that. Could that just be redacted, please. Thank you
18 for the warning.
19 Q. Now -- now I've got some questions about that.
20 First of all, as a matter of substance, do you notice that
21 towards the end of the document there is a reference to -- as follows:
22 "The armed soldiers and civilians in the surrounding villages even held
23 armed women in front of themselves and started to put up resistance.
24 Fire was returned. The entire Uzdol, Here, Kute, and Scipe sector was
25 under heavy artillery fire." Now, I understand you didn't tell
1 Commander Buza that. What I'm asking you is: As far as you know, who
2 did Commander Buza speak to before he wrote this report? I'm not asking
3 you to comment on the accuracy of it; I'll come to that in a minute.
4 But first of all, who were the people to your knowledge that Buza did
5 speak to?
6 A. One thing I know is he didn't speak to me. I left the area soon
7 afterwards. He must have spoken to the commanders of those combat
8 groups, and he makes reference here to the units that were involved. He
9 must have spoken to their commanders and received reports from them.
10 What I can say, based on what people were saying at the time, basically
11 it was being said at the time that this report might as well be quite
12 accurate. There is reference here to 65 soldiers and 13 civilians. What
13 I can say is that people were saying there were more casualties on the
14 Croatian side; I'm not sure if that's accurate or not because people were
15 also saying that in Uzdol there had been members of the regular Croatian
16 military forces. I'm not sure if that's true or not. If they'd had --
17 if they'd suffered any casualties, those certainly were not entered in
18 regular HVO reports for the simple reason that those people were members
19 of an altogether different army.
20 As for civilians, armed or not, it's a relative question. It's
21 very difficult to discuss it on these terms, if you have in mind the
22 conditions that prevailed at the time. It was difficult under such
23 heavy artillery fire to ascertain who the civilians were and who the
24 soldiers were. It was difficult to even establish if people were
25 carrying any firearms or not. There was a lot of smoke and a whole lot
1 of shooting going on. It was very hard to distinguish.
2 Q. Yes. Okay. Well, thank you for that. Now, I've got -- I've
3 asked you some questions about the substance of that document; now I've
4 got a couple of questions about the form of the document.
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Can the document please be scrolled up to the top
6 so Witness G can see the addressing and so on. Okay.
7 Q. Now, you observed that that document appears to be addressed by
8 Enver Buza.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And does it appear to you to be addressed to the 6th Corps?
11 A. I see that in the up right corner. No doubt about that, it was
12 addressed to the command of the 6th Corps. The document clearly reflects
14 Q. And although at the bottom of the document there's -- well,
15 perhaps I'll come to what's at the bottom of the document in a second.
16 Let's stay with that.
17 It's addressed to the 6th Corps, and to your knowledge the 6th
18 Corps was the corps in which the Independent Prozor Battalion was
19 subordinated. Is that correct?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. Okay. Now, I just want you to look at the first line of the text
22 where it says: "Pursuant to attack order operative order 01/1500-27 of
23 11 September 1993."
24 Do you see that sentence there?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, as you understand the position, when a commander writes an
2 order like this he indicates, as Commander Buza has done here, what was
3 the source of his power, of his authority, to commit offensive
4 operations. And -- well, perhaps that was a speech-like question and
5 I'll just withdraw that question. I'm sorry. I'll ask a better one.
6 Do you see the numbers there, the operative number of the order. It's
7 01/1500-27. Do you see that?
8 A. Yes, I see that. That is the first line, and that indeed is the
9 order that he appears to be referring to.
10 Q. Yes, okay. And that order number should allow the identification
11 of the actual order which Commander Buza was obeying when he sent the
12 Prozor Battalion into battle on the 14th. Is that correct?
13 MS. CHANA: Your Honour.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
15 MS. CHANA: I think my learned friend's counsel has taken this
16 witness as far as he can in respect of some of the questions with respect
17 to this document. I don't think the witness is in a position to answer
18 about this particular reference number, where it comes from. He simply
19 hasn't seen the document before. I can see where learned counsel is
20 going, but in this respect, as I said, I think he has taken it as far as
21 he can and I will object to that last question, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, it's a very difficult for this witness to
23 answer, unless you lay down some foundations for this question.
24 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, Your Honour. Well, I will lay down a
1 Q. But certainly in your proofing session with the learned
2 Prosecutor you weren't shown this document, were you, or given a chance
3 to comment on it. Is that correct?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. Okay. Very well. But nevertheless, you're familiar with the
6 system of giving numbers to orders so that those orders can be
7 subsequently identified. Is that correct? That's a system you've seen
8 -- well, perhaps I'll ask that question first and then I'll ask another.
9 A. Yes, correct.
10 Q. And you've seen other combat reports in on other occasions
11 unrelated to this of a similar nature which identify the authorising
12 order by number. Is that correct?
13 A. Correct. I have seen plenty of them.
14 Q. I understand. And so, according to the system of -- to the
15 military system and the system of numbering on orders, if we go and look
16 at operative number 01/1500-27, we'll find the order that Buza was
17 obeying when he sent the troops into battle. Is that how you understand
18 the system to work?
19 A. That's what this report appears to indicate. You have the
20 protocol number, the date, the date in relation to this document dated
21 the 11th of September, and that's when this order should be dated.
22 Q. Yes. Very well. Thank you.
23 MR. MORRISSEY: Could the witness please be shown another
24 document now --
25 JUDGE LIU: Before that, could we have a break?
1 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, Your Honour. Could I just indicate for the
2 assistance of everyone --
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
4 MR. MORRISSEY: -- we are perhaps two documents and a ten-minute
5 burst away from the finish of this cross-examination. So we have very
6 nearly finished, but it's probably got another 15, 20 minutes to go.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Maybe we'll have a break now and we'll resume
8 at 10 minutes past 4.00.
9 --- Recess taken at 3.38 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 4.10 p.m.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
12 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. Thank you again, Mr. Witness.
14 MR. MORRISSEY: Now could the witness please be shown the Exhibit
16 Q. What's going to come up on the screen now is an order which has
17 got the same number on it as the one referred to in -- in the Buza
18 report. Now, the questions I have for you about this document may be
19 quite limited, and in fact they may be limited to one question only,
20 frankly. And the first question is going to be: Have you ever seen this
21 document before? Would you just take a moment to read it over and
22 indicate whether you've ever seen it before.
23 A. No, I haven't.
24 Q. Yes, very well. Well, I think under those circumstances that
25 will be the end of the questions on that document. Very well. Thanks.
1 Just excuse me.
2 There's one other document I would just like you to have a look
3 at, please. Yes, perhaps -- sorry, there was one thing I wanted to ask
4 you about.
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Could please -- I apologise to the court staff
6 for this. Could we go back to the previous document, and that was D149.
7 Q. I'm just going to go back to the Buza combat report for a moment,
8 Witness G, and just going to ask you to comment on one part of it. While
9 it's up on the screen, I want to ask you: When Sefer Halilovic came
10 along and was angry with Buza for not departing, did Sefer leave behind
11 when he left a person from the inspection teams -- oh, you don't know
12 about inspection teams, sorry -- called Zicro Suljevic?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And was that person, Zicro Suljevic, a person who you met the
15 following day in a cellar in a bombed house in Here?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Okay. Now, I just -- before I come back to that document, too,
18 I'll just ask you a question about -- about Buza and Suljevic. Was it
19 your understanding that during the fighting operation undertaken by the
20 Bosnian army that morning that Buza and Suljevic took up position in an
21 observation post up on the hill of Krstiste? I'm sorry, my pronunciation
22 of that is terrible, I know, but Krstiste.
23 A. I don't know exactly where they were, but I assume that they
24 might have been around Krstiste hill. But I can't say exactly.
25 Q. Okay. Now, I've just got a question for you, too, about the
1 communications equipment available to the attacking soldiers from the
2 Bosnian army. Firstly, did you visit this or any command post or
3 observation post on the hill of Krstiste?
4 A. The hill of Krstiste was no command post. It was the outmost
5 position controlled by the BH army. I had been there countless times,
6 that's for sure. During the operation, however, I assume it may have
7 been selected to serve that purpose because it gives a good view of the
8 area. I can't be certain, however, if the commander was there or
10 Q. Okay. When you saw Mr. Suljevic in that cellar, was that cellar
11 serving as some sort of command headquarters or was that cellar serving
12 as a place to hide from the bombs and the shells?
13 A. Only Zicro Suljevic was there. I didn't see the commander there.
14 I mean Buza. It was just a regular cellar where you could take cover
15 from the shells. It was just a regular cellar in a house where there was
16 nothing much.
17 Q. Okay. Well, that puts an end to one part of my questions about
18 the communication equipment. How many radios did -- if any, did the
19 Bosnian troops have when they set off earlier in the morning to go and
20 perform their duties and attack?
21 A. I have not seen a single piece myself, but I do believe they had
22 several, two or three at most. Secondly, the problem with those
23 hand-held radios was that they were entirely unprotected in terms of
24 communication. They were all too easy to locate and listen into. It's
25 the least secure means of communication. And those were short-range
1 devices and they couldn't be operated for very long because the batteries
2 used were very poor.
3 Q. Okay. And with respect to those two or three radios, do you know
4 which persons had those radios? Was it combat leaders or platoon
5 leaders, company leaders? Are you able to tell us?
6 A. I don't know exactly. I assume it must have been the combat
7 group commanders. I'm not sure that these radios were distributed
8 establishment-wise. It was only for that occasion that they were
9 assigned to combat group commanders. I guess it might have been only
10 them who might have been in possession of those two or three radios that
11 we had to go around.
12 Q. Okay. But what you can say with your certain knowledge is that
13 normal soldiers of the line or the basic fighting soldiers did not have
15 A. By no means, no. No way. It would have been impossible. I'm
16 not even sure about all of the commanders, but it's possible. There
17 weren't that many radios to go around for everyone.
18 Q. Okay. Thank you for that. Now, on the screen -- on that screen
19 on the very end of that document --
20 MR. MORRISSEY: In the English version could we have page 2 and
21 could the witness please be given the chance to look at the bottom end of
22 the document.
23 Q. We're just going to look at the end of the document. Okay. Now,
24 it's apparent, isn't it, that this document here concludes with a piece
25 of information that this report and the overall data have been made
1 available to SVK chief, Sefer Halilovic, Colonel Vehbija Karic, and
2 Colonel Zicro Suljevic who monitored the whole operation from the
3 observation post."
4 Do you see that passage there? It's the last thing said
5 before the signature of Buza.
6 A. I see that, yes.
7 Q. Just to be clear about what that all actually means. The fact of
8 the matter is to your knowledge, it was Zicro Suljevic, not Halilovic or
9 Karic, who were actually present. Is that correct?
10 A. That's right. In our part, yes. Where I was.
11 Q. Yes. And it's apparent there although this is a combat report to
12 the 6th Corps and made pursuant to a particular order with a particular
13 order number, that the information was also made available to Halilovic,
14 Karic, and Suljevic. Is that correct?
15 A. Well, that's what it would appear from this document. Now,
16 whether they actually received it or not, I don't know.
17 Q. Well, yes, look I'm going along with elephant-like steps, but my
18 last question on that topic is: You had nothing to do with communicating
19 the contents of this document to Halilovic, Suljevic, or Karic yourself.
20 Is that correct?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, you indicated on Friday that your
23 knowledge about the role of Halilovic stemmed from a couple of factors
24 which you described at the time, one of which was the explanation given
25 by Commander Buza after the Dobro Polje meeting on the 5th of September.
1 And do you recall that evidence that you gave?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Yes. Okay. But to your knowledge the Independent Prozor
4 Battalion was never resubordinated out of the organic structure of the
5 6th Corps of the Bosnian army. Is that correct as well?
6 A. Generally speaking, when it comes to the 6th Corps or units of
7 the BH army in the territory of our municipality, I can say this: At the
8 beginning of 1992 there was a sort of mixed pattern. But when the 6th
9 Corps was established until the corps itself was disbanded, it was -- I
10 don't know that we were resubordinated to anyone, but during a period of
11 time during 1992 we did have two superior commands of some sort at the
12 same time.
13 Q. Yes. But I'm really talking about 1993. In the time -- sorry --
14 well, perhaps I should ask you this: In the days before the 6th Corps
15 was formed, were you part of the 4th Corps at that time?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Okay. And after that, when the 6th Corps was formed you were
18 part of the 6th Corps -- by "you" I mean the Independent Prozor
19 Battalion. Is that correct?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. Okay. And that's where the Independent Prozor Battalion stayed
22 until the 6th Corps was dissolved at some time in 1994. Is that correct?
23 A. Organisationally speaking, yes.
24 Q. Yes. That's what I'm asking you about, formally speaking. Yes,
25 very well.
1 Now, I think I've nearly finished the questions. Just excuse me
2 one moment, I just want to check a couple of things and then I think I
3 have finished.
6 MR. MORRISSEY: Could that please be redacted.
7 Your Honours, I apologise for that. It's a refined version of
8 the problem that I encounter.
9 Q. Anyway, in the position that you held at the time, Witness G, was
10 it part of your responsibility to send combat reports or any other kind
11 of reports from the Independent Prozor Battalion to the 6th Corps, or was
12 that the job of some other official within the army?
13 A. It was not my job to send combat reports, and I could not prepare
14 combat reports. All I could perhaps do is to prepare some other kind of
15 report if there was another problem that arose. But never combat
16 reports, no.
17 Q. Very well. In that event I won't show you the combat reports
18 log. Okay.
19 After the action was finished and during the time in the days
20 after the 14th of September, did you personally go to the village of
21 Voljevac at any time?
22 A. I went there a number of times privately because my family or
23 part of my family was accommodated there for a time. So I would go there
25 Q. Very well. In those trips did you become aware of the anger
1 towards Commander Buza that was -- that was held by fighters in the 45th
2 Brigade who had lost comrades in the battle of Crni Vrh on the 13th of
4 A. I know about that anger, yes, and the disillusionment. I
5 encountered that more on another territory rather than Voljevac because
6 the brigade very frequently moved to its own area. So I would go there
7 frequently. It's the area of -- what's it called? The municipality of
8 Buturovic Polje. So it was at the command there of the 45th that I met
9 the commander and other people from the brigade. And I do know about
10 that, yes.
11 Q. Were you aware of whether or not Sefer Halilovic and also Vehbija
12 Karic proposed in the wake of the Uzdol attack that from that time on
13 Enver Zejnilagic should have a commanding role, not just over his own
14 317th Brigade, but also over neighbouring brigades including the
15 Independent Prozor Battalion? Did you become aware of any such proposal?
16 A. I was even shown a document I think here by the Prosecution that
17 speaks about that. I think it was -- I thinks the date was the 15th of
18 September, so I know about that. But yes, there were thoughts along
19 those lines earlier on, too, that from the Independent Prozor Battalion
20 and another battalion from Gornji Vakuf that a separate brigade should be
21 formed. However, that was just the idea. It was never put into
22 practice. There was always this idea of making it a separate operational
24 Q. Yes. Okay.
25 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, could I just ask that the witness please be
1 shown -- excuse me one moment. Sorry. Pardon me.
2 [Defence counsel confer]
3 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, could the witness please be shown a document
4 -- before -- sorry. Sorry, just excuse me. I'm sorry about that.
5 [Defence counsel confer]
6 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, okay. Could the witness please be shown
8 Q. The document that you're going to be shown now is a document
9 under the hand of Sefer Halilovic, it's an order, and it's dated 15th
10 September 1993. And I just want you to clarify whether this is the
11 document you were shown by the Prosecutor or not.
12 A. Yes, that's it.
13 Q. Okay. Very well. And you notice that that document bears the
14 date 15th September. How many times does it say "15th September" on that
15 piece of paper?
16 A. I can see it only once.
17 Q. Okay. Now --
18 MR. MORRISSEY: But could the witness please now be shown D158,
19 and could this document please be shown to all of the court in its
20 original in Bosnian.
21 Q. Okay. And just looking at that document there, were you shown
22 this document by the Prosecution when you were being proofed here in The
24 A. I'm not quite sure whether this is the same document that I was
25 shown a moment ago. If it isn't -- if it's not the same, then I wasn't
1 shown it.
2 Q. Okay. Well, I appreciate there are some similarities in the
3 text, which we know about. But just looking at it now, would you look at
4 the signature part. Do you see that it says "Sefer Halilovic" in the
5 typewritten copy on the bottom right? Yeah. Do you see it says "for" --
6 A. Yes, I can see that.
7 Q. Does it appear to you to say "for Sefer Halilovic" and the
8 handwritten signature appears to be Karic. Do you see that?
9 A. Yes, I can see that, but of course I can't confirm whether Karic
10 signed this. But I do see the fact that Halilovic didn't sign this
11 document; somebody signed it for him.
12 Q. Yes. Now, would you look up to the top left, please, where the
13 dates are to be seen. And do you notice up there that the date of the
14 15th of the ninth occurs?
15 A. Yes, I can see that.
16 Q. And how many times does it appear to occur on this document?
17 A. I can only see it once here, too.
18 Q. Do you see there are -- in the top left there's a -- it says
19 "Voljevac 15/9/93." Do you see that?
20 A. I see that, yes, and that's all I can see.
21 Q. Do you see the handwritten section just immediately below it?
22 A. Ah, yes, I can see that. Yes.
23 Q. There you have, once again in handwriting, "15/9/93." Correct?
24 A. Yes, that's right. But I was looking for the date further down
25 the text.
1 Q. Yes, that's okay. All right. Thank you very much for that.
2 Now, after the battle was over and while you were doing your duties, it
3 was the expectation of you and I suggest also some of your fellow
4 fighters that the HVO was very likely to counter-attack in that area as
5 soon as they could. Is that correct?
6 A. We could assume that, yes, and that is correct. That's what we
8 Q. Okay. But although there was shelling of the village and
9 sporadic action, in that particular area there was no further full-scale
10 fighting in the week following the battle on the 14th of September, 1993.
11 Is that correct?
12 A. Not there but during my previous testimony I said that the HVO
13 had tried several times to take control of the village of Here, and one
14 of those attempts was on the 22nd of January, 1993. And afterwards,
15 after that, I can't tell you exactly how many times the infantry started
16 -- tried to attack and take control, but there was some sort of ludicrous
17 reports by our commander, company commander, to the effect that a strong
18 artillery attack supported by the infantry was carried out, which is a
19 little strange, that the infantry should support the artillery. But
20 anyway, there was several attempts after the 15th of September until the
21 end of the year. There weren't any such attempts anymore. They were
22 mostly attacks from a distance, artillery attacks.
23 Q. All right. Well, that was my last question, but I've just
24 another one. You mentioned the 22nd of January, 1993. I take it you
25 meant really the 22nd of January, 1994. Is that correct?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Oh, I'm sorry.
3 A. I meant the 22nd --
4 Q. Did you mean 1993? In other words, did you -- I just -- I'm
5 sorry. It may be that my questions have caused trouble here. The attack
6 that you've referred to that took place on the 22nd of January, is that
7 before or after the Uzdol battle that we've been talking about here at
8 The Hague?
9 A. That was before the battle, so it was the 22nd of January, 1993.
10 Q. Okay.
11 A. However, the village of Here fell on the 24th of January, 1994.
12 Q. That's my mistake.
13 A. So that's another attack.
14 Q. My apologies for that self-righteous correction. And I have now
15 finished my cross-examination. Thank you for your patience.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
17 Any redirect examination?
18 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honours, just a few clarifications.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
20 Re-examined by Ms. Chana:
21 Q. Good afternoon, Witness. You were down D149.
22 MS. CHANA: Could that please be brought on to the screen, court
24 Q. Do you remember that document? Well, you remember being shown
25 this particular document when --
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 MS. CHANA: I would like, please, if the Bosnian version could be
3 shown on for the Judges to see.
4 Q. You will be shown the document in the Bosnian version.
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, I just want to indicate that I was
6 stopped in cross-examining on this document because of the witness's
7 ability to know about it and to see it. And there's no question asked
8 yet, but if there's going to be expert commentary sought, then I would
9 object to it because the Prosecutor stopped me effectively on that very
10 basis. So if that's what's coming, it's going to be objected to.
11 JUDGE LIU: We haven't heard the question yet.
12 MS. CHANA: Thank you, Your Honour. And for the record, I
13 stopped that or I objected to it at a stage after a lot of questions had
14 been asked. But nevertheless, I think this needs some clarification,
15 Your Honours.
16 Q. Could you look at that document and then at the very front, you
17 see there are a lot of things being crossed out. Do you see that?
18 A. I see that, yes.
19 Q. Now, from your own knowledge, what would that -- all those things
20 which have been crossed out mean?
21 A. Where it says "A/A" means that the document was placed in the
22 archives of the Prozor Independent Battalion. This other portion, I
23 don't know what that is, these slanty lines. And I don't know what these
24 numbers are here either. On one part in the upper left-hand corner it
25 says the sector for military security, which means it was sent separate
1 to that sector, the sector for military security. I assume it was the
2 sector in the command of the 6th Corps, the sector for military security.
3 Q. Where it says "commander," which is on the right-hand side, that
4 has also be crossed out, commander of the 6th Corps.
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honours, is my friend giving evidence
6 about this, making a statement that that's been crossed out? There's no
7 evidence at all about those lines or their meaning or their provenance.
8 But if my friend wants to ask the witness about how those lines got to be
9 there, I have no objection. If he knows.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, yes -- I think it's also helpful for you to
11 know the reason on that.
12 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honours, I agree entirely, but I don't
13 want the witness to be put in a position of answering about questions he
14 doesn't know about it. So it's got to be established he does know about
15 it and if he does, he can answer.
16 JUDGE LIU: We'll see.
17 MS. CHANA: Yes, I think the witness is an extremely intelligent
18 one and he can tell us whether he knows or not.
19 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, the objection is not to the witness or his
20 intelligence, it's to the question of my learned friend. My friend could
21 perhaps ask the appropriate question and then perhaps I won't object.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
23 MS. CHANA:
24 Q. Yes. Where it says, Witness G, "commander of the 6th Corps,"
25 there's some lines through that. Do you know what that means?
1 A. I don't know what that means. It says "the command of the 6th
2 Corps." Somebody might have -- somebody could have crossed it out before
3 it was sent or after it was sent. So I really can't say. I don't know
4 what it means.
5 Q. Neither can you assist the Chamber, can you, with whether the
6 command of the 6th Corps actually got this particular document?
7 A. I don't know whether they received it or not, and I can't say on
8 the basis of this whether the document was stored or not.
9 Q. Yes. That's fine. Thank you. That's all from this particular
11 Now, the other question you were asked by learned counsel for the
12 Defence was -- was whether the Prozor Independent Battalion was
13 subordinated during this operation, during this offensive in Neretva.
14 MR. MORRISSEY: I think that wasn't the question at all. There
15 was a question asked effectively -- and in fact it was a trio of
16 questions. When did you go into the 6th Corps, when did you leave the
17 6th Corps; and did you stay in the 6th Corps in the meantime. Those
18 were the questions. I remember them pretty well. I haven't got it on
19 the screen in front of me now. If those matters need to be clarified,
20 the answers did look rather clear, but that might be just my view rather
21 than my friend's. If she wishes to clarify any specific of those,
22 there's no objection. But to phrase it the way she did doesn't truly
23 state what I asked.
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, there must be some summarisation of the
25 questions you asked.
1 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, Your Honours, I agree. I don't want to
2 cause a war over this topic. I agree there has to be some summarisation,
3 and maybe my friend knows better than me what I meant, but I don't think
4 so. Anyway, Your Honour, if you're minded to accept the question --
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
6 MS. CHANA: Perhaps it will help counsel if I quote directly what
7 he did ask.
8 Q. "The Prozor Independent Battalion was never resubordinated out of
9 the organic structure of the 6th Corps."
10 Do you remember being asked that particular question?
11 A. Yes, I do. I said that since its establishment, the 6th Corps
12 was always within the composition of that corps, that it wasn't
13 resubordinated to anything else.
14 Q. Were you aware at that time that whether any other -- whether any
15 units were subordinated for the purposes of this offensive in Neretva?
16 A. No. All I knew was that along our direction and axis, that there
17 would be a slight change and that the 45th Brigade would come to our
18 assistance. Now, which units would be resubordinated or subordinated, I
19 didn't know about that.
20 Q. So you did not have all the information?
21 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, I object.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I agree with the Defence.
23 MS. CHANA:
24 Q. Were you given information about subordination of units during
25 this time?
1 A. No, I wasn't -- or let me explain. I worked -- I did a quite
2 different job. This is the operative part of the business, if a unit is
3 subordinated and taken from one area of responsibility to another. That
4 wasn't within the realm of my work. It wasn't the duty of the commander
5 to inform me about that. He was my immediate superior officer from whom
6 I received the most important information.
7 Q. Yes, thank you, Witness G. Now, I'll go -- I'll ask some other
8 clarifications and I'll start from the very beginning, and I'll try to
9 follow the chronology as was done by counsel for the Defence. You were
10 asked whether you yourself had feelings of revenge against the local
11 Croats. Do you remember that question?
12 A. I do.
13 Q. And I believe you answered: "No, never."
14 But the question now is: To your knowledge, could the same be
15 said of other soldiers who, as we have heard, suffered at the hands of
16 the HVO which were in the Prozor Independent Battalion?
17 A. It's very difficult for me to say what other people felt.
18 Sometimes it's difficult to say what even my closest friends feel. It's
19 a difficult call. I know that until September 1993 the Bosniak
20 population had been subjected to measures of military force that were
21 unheard of in our area. If you ask me about the feelings of the families
22 of those who were the victims of this situation, all I can say is I can't
23 talk about that. Perhaps you should ask them. But one thing I can say
24 is that there was a heated situation in that area, and it was precisely
25 on account of the crimes that had occurred up to that point.
1 Q. Thank you, Witness G. Now, the other question you were asked was
2 about what the official position was about atrocities against civilians
3 by the army. And you said that it was quite clear within the BiH army no
4 atrocities against civilians were to be committed. Do you remember now?
5 And I am paraphrasing here.
6 A. Yes, I do. That's true.
7 Q. Now, did you hear this being said to the soldiers at any time,
8 that this is our official position and we do not wish to have any
9 atrocities against the civilians?
10 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, the witness I think gave evidence
11 that he said it himself to the soldiers. Now, you've got to be a bit
12 careful about re-examination to clarify. I don't object to
13 clarification. This appears to me to be a second go, so I object to it.
14 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, it's not my memory that the witness
15 himself said it. Perhaps we can ask the witness.
16 JUDGE LIU: You may ask the witness on it.
17 MS. CHANA:
18 Q. Will you please answer that, Witness G, whether such a thing was
19 relayed to the soldiers.
20 A. Not only were the soldiers told, not only was this relayed to
21 them, what's more we had specific examples. I remember the attempted
22 rape of a Croatian lady in our municipality. The soldier responsible was
23 punished severely. Word got around throughout the Independent Battalion.
24 Later, we introduced special measures to protect the civilian
25 population throughout the territory controlled by the Prozor Independent
1 Battalion. I spoke about this police checkpoint that was manned around
2 the clock protecting the population of the village of Ivanica from any
3 further incidents of this nature happening. That was after this incident
5 Not only did people talk about this. I spoke to my soldiers
6 about it personally on a number of occasions, and we set an example.
7 Q. Before the soldiers -- I'm talking at a more specific time, which
8 is the 13th of September, when the Prozor Independent Battalion had been
9 given some talks in -- when we were addressed by both Sefer Halilovic and
10 Enver Buza. Was this ever mentioned, about the civilian population and
11 how they are to be treated?
12 A. Not much was said about the civilian population, and few thoughts
13 were spared them generally speaking. In order for my testimony to be
14 entirely truthful and accurate, I must admit that the most important
15 thing for all of us was to carry out the tasks that we had been assigned,
16 and I mean military tasks.
17 Q. Thank you, Witness G. Now, the other question was -- and I'm
18 sure I'm not going to pronounce this correctly. This is about these two
19 Bosnian words and you said: I was not informed about the role of the
20 inspection team or General Halilovic. And "lead the action" is the word
21 used. And you said "rukovodjenje" was not used and you distinguished the
22 word "rukovoditi" and "voditi." Do you remember that?
23 A. I don't remember that, but I believe I spoke about a different
24 thing. When an order is written down, then the phrasing is very
25 important. If you just write the general term "order," that's one thing.
1 If you write: "I hereby order," that is far more serious and far more
3 Q. And was this in the context of the order that you saw on Enver
4 Buza's desk?
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, that would be -- I object to it.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
7 MR. MORRISSEY: For a number of reasons.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, I think that's a very leading question.
9 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, we can bring that document up and see
10 what exactly the word was used.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, the witness certified that he only had a glance
12 over that order. I believe that you have to ask to this witness whether
13 the witness remembered which word on that document.
14 MS. CHANA: Yes. Yes, Your Honour, I will ask -- I'm grateful
15 for your guidance on that.
16 Q. Witness G, did you notice which word had been used, if you recall
17 of course, when you saw that document on Enver Buza's desk that you have
18 seen? Do you remember that document?
19 A. What I said is that I don't remember the entire document; that's
20 what I said. It's very difficult to use that particular document to test
21 my recollection now. I spoke about the document that was shown me here,
22 and what it states in no uncertain terms is the term order. And it
23 doesn't say "I hereby order." It's a document that I think was signed by
24 General Halilovic. It says "order," generically, and not "I hereby
25 order." Whereas I can't really recall what the document that I saw at
1 the time, that I glanced over in Enver Buza's office indicated.
2 Q. Now, is it normal to give orders -- I'll take that back. Can I
3 begin again. What, in your view, is the difference between an order,
4 direction, and guidance?
5 A. I don't have a military background myself. The only way to
6 answer your question is to use my own educational background and
7 training, such background as I had studying those matters in passing, in
8 a manner of speaking. An order is very specific. Direction and guidance
9 would be a different thing altogether, but I'm not sure I can really
10 answer your question.
11 Q. Yes, Witness G, in reply to Defence counsel's question you stated
12 that you were not clear whether it was an order or a proposal. Do you
13 remember that?
14 A. I'm not sure what you're speaking about now. Which document are
15 you referring to specifically?
16 Q. This same document that you saw on Enver Buza's desk.
17 A. No. As for the document that I saw on Enver Buza's table, I only
18 spoke about the section that indicated where the Prozor Independent
19 Battalion was supposed to go. There's nothing else that I can say about
20 it. I'm telling you what's lodged in my memory based on a fleeting
21 glance, and that was the only section that I ever focused on.
22 Q. And in your experience as to where a battalion was supposed to
23 go, would that be contained in a proposal or an order?
24 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, there's three objections to that. The
25 first one is that it need not be that you have to choose. It might be
1 that what's being put in a leading form is that -- and I'll use the terms
2 my learned friend did. "Would that be contained in a proposal or an
3 order" is a dichotomy that need not be acceptable. It might be that it
4 be contained in one, both, or neither. And my learned friend is not
5 entitled in re-examination to put a cross-examining question.
6 However, there is another objection. The objection is now that
7 my friend is now seeking to get expert evidence from this witness, having
8 effectively preventing me from doing that, I would submit that it's
9 objectionable to do that and I object on both of those bases.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, it's very difficult for me to say anything on
11 this occasion.
12 Maybe you could put your question another way taking into
13 consideration the objections from Mr. Morrissey, Ms. Chana.
14 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour, but I would like to state that I
15 don't think I'm asking the witness for an expert opinion. And I'm asking
16 the similar kind of questions that Mr. Morrissey put to this witness in
17 regard to his general experience as a military man.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we noticed that that is -- you just ask this
19 witness himself as a military man's opinion on that.
20 MS. CHANA:
21 Q. Yes, Witness G, can you tell us when military troops are to move
22 for combat and there's a document, what kind of a document would it be
23 before military units would move into battle? What would be the normal
24 format used for such movement?
25 A. For a unit to be committed, for a unit to commence activity,
1 there would need to be an order for that.
2 Q. Thank you, Witness G. Now, moving on to another area. You were
3 asked my learned counsel for the Defence about the information Enver Buza
4 would give you, and you have said it was not very much. Now, you stated
5 to a question that normally information from Enver Buza was superficial,
6 not thorough, and incomplete. Is that the correct position?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. Now, Witness G, was it your experience that Enver Buza, although
9 reticent, would give you wrong information?
10 A. I believe that Enver Buza is a liar. He did that countless
11 times. He lied.
12 Q. And would he lie about information about where troops had to go
13 to battle and when the combat was supposed to begin?
14 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, I don't know how that question
15 could be asked or answered, and I object to it. It just is not a
16 question that can elicit a meaningful answer, frankly, and I object to
17 that question.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, I see no problem about this question because
19 the witness's answered triggered this question. In this situation, this
20 kind of question is allowed.
21 MR. MORRISSEY: As the Court pleases.
22 JUDGE LIU: Ms. Chana, you may proceed.
23 Q. Witness G, would he lie to you about combat and whether the
24 troops would be going into combat? Would he lie about those kinds of
1 A. There was a document that I was shown here. It's a combat report
2 by our commander, and I spotted a lie in an official document like that.
3 That's where it says that our right flank neighbour remained inactive and
4 there were no sounds of fighting going on to our right; that just wasn't
5 true and yet the combat report stated precisely that. It's very
6 difficult for me to speak about what he could have said and what he would
7 not have said.
8 Q. Yes. Now, Witness G, that -- another question you were asked by
9 learned counsel for the Defence was whether you drew the conclusion that
10 Sefer Halilovic was the commander of the operation because of what Buza
11 told you. And you answered: "On the whole, yes." Can you explain what
12 you meant by: "On the whole, yes."
13 A. You see, over ten years have gone by. It's been 12 years since
14 those events took place. Over these 11 years, a lot of thoughts have
15 crossed my mind. It's very difficult for me to say now -- it's very
16 difficult for me to go back to that day and place and recall the exact
17 words used by our commander. But roughly speaking, that was our only
18 source of information, what our commander told us on that occasion.
19 Please try to understand that so much time has gone by and it's
20 very hard for me, if not impossible, to quote his exact words.
21 I prefer to say that having in mind General Halilovic's previous
22 position, it was more a case of inertia, as something being tacitly
23 Realtime transcript read in error: "taskedly"] understood.
24 Q. You said inertia, as something tacitly understood -- it says
25 taskedly in the script.
1 And who was this tacitly understood by?
2 A. It was me.
3 Q. Now, irrespective of what Enver Buza told you, from your own
4 observation what was your perception as to who was in charge of this
5 offensive in Neretva?
6 MR. MORRISSEY: I object to that, Your Honour. The witness has
7 indicated that there was no irrespective of what Enver Buza told him. He
8 says he had that perception because of what Mr. Buza told him. And it's
9 unfair and in my submission misleading -- not improperly so, but it's a
10 question that has that effect -- to put that to the witness as a
11 hypothetical. To say, forget about the real basis for your
12 understanding, what was your basis for understanding. He said what it
13 was, and in my submission this has gone far enough. And I object to it.
14 JUDGE LIU: You may make sure whether the witness really said
15 that or not.
16 MS. CHANA: From the record it says "and General Halilovic's
17 previous position." So it's not only what Enver Buza said to him, just
18 to correct what learned counsel said to you. But nevertheless I will ask
20 Q. Can you tell us exactly what it is that you did say when you were
21 asked this question by the Defence counsel?
22 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, I object to this. In my submission
23 we're now in a fishing expedition. If my friend has something from my
24 questioning to clarify, then it can be put to the witness. To go asking
25 the witness what he said and to try to ask questions on that is not
1 permissible, to keep it very short, and I object.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you are right.
3 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, I will still ask Witness G this
4 question, with your permission.
5 Q. From your own observation, who did you think was in charge of the
6 offensive in Neretva?
7 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, again, that question has been asked
8 and answered now probably three times. And in my submission, he's said
9 what his perception was, that Halilovic was the commander based on
10 certain bases. And I'm not sure that this is anything other than an
11 attempt to get a slightly better or different version of exactly the same
12 thing, and I object to it.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think if there is no dispute with this
14 answer, we could pass this question.
15 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour, I will then ask this next question.
16 Q. Who was the most senior man in the region during this offensive
17 in your view?
18 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, this has become evidence in-chief
20 MS. CHANA: No, Your Honour --
21 MR. MORRISSEY: -- and I object to it as a result.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, this is evidence in-chief.
23 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, it does arise directly out of. I don't
24 mean to be argumentative in any way, and I will not ask it; but it is
25 something that arose out of cross-examination. And I believe the witness
1 has already stated that in examination-in-chief, so I will leave that
2 question alone.
3 If Your Honours will give me just a moment to collect my
5 Q. Yes, Witness G, you said because of reconnoitring in the area you
6 were area that it was an inhabited area and soldiers were living in
7 houses. Do you remember that in response to a question from learned
8 counsel for the Defence?
9 A. I remember that.
10 Q. And you said that we expected a battle in the village, and that
11 was before this offensive.
12 A. I'm not sure I understand what you mean. You said that a battle
13 was expected before this offensive. Was that what your question was
15 Q. No, no. You said that a battle was expected during the
16 offensive. I'm sorry if my question was not as clear as it ought to have
18 A. During, yes, but not before.
19 Q. Yes, of course -- I mean right. And you knew that soldiers would
20 be possibly fighting in inhabited houses?
21 A. We could merely assume no more than that. Our chief objective
22 was to destroy any military facilities and to crush the HVO at the front
23 end. And at the rear end of the village where they had a communications
24 centre, there was some sort of a headquarters and all their logistics.
25 There were hamlets in between. Those were the two preconditions to
1 successfully complete our task.
2 Q. But the point is: Was this -- was any guidance given to the
3 Prozor Independent Battalion who was about to go into battle and into
4 houses where they may have soldiers? Was any guidance given to them how
5 to treat and how to react in such a situation?
6 A. It was entirely unpredictable that the HVO would resort to using
7 artillery against one of their own villages. It must have come as a
8 great surprise. Secondly, combat operations being as intense as they
9 were, it was impossible to impart clear instructions. The clearest
10 instruction would probably have been: Go out and fend for yourself.
11 Perhaps I have forgotten to say one thing. I heard about this
12 one case. It was due to the lie of the land in the area of the village.
13 Anyway, I heard about a group of civilians running ahead to meet a group
14 of BH army soldiers. I know that no one touched them and they were
15 eventually released. I believe one person in that group was called Cvita
16 Stojanovic a lady. I'm not sure if anyone else was with her. They had
17 come across members of a military police team, and they were released.
18 However, under the conditions of intense fighting that prevailed at the
19 time, I say it would have been impossible to ascertain with any degree of
20 accuracy who was a civilian and who wasn't.
21 Q. Right, Witness G. Now, the other thing the counsel for the
22 Defence asked, you said there would be no need to ask you about the
23 killings of the civilians after it happened and you said nobody asked
24 you. Do you remember that?
25 A. I remember that.
1 Q. Now, in the position that you had, you would talk to most of the
2 soldiers, would you not?
3 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, in fact I don't mind the witness
4 answering this particular question from his own knowledge, but it's
5 another leading question and it can't be done in re-examination. So I
6 waive my objection to this leading question, but I don't want there to be
7 leading questions, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE LIU: But I believe the witness has already answered that
9 question because he said that nobody asked the witness about killings of
10 civilians there.
11 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour, the purpose of the question was
12 whether he had the information. I will ask that question.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think that question is also asked and
15 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour, then I will --
16 JUDGE LIU: The witness heard of some killings later.
17 MS. CHANA:
18 Q. Did you volunteer any information to the authorities about these
20 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, I object to that. That one is vague
21 beyond recognition, but in any event does not arise out of
22 cross-examination. And therefore, I object.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, it's out of the scope of
25 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour.
1 Well, it appears I've run out of questions. That would be my
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
4 Any questions? Yes, Judge El Mahdi, please.
5 Questioned by the Court:
6 JUDGE EL MAHDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 [Interpretation] Witness, I would seek some clarifications from
8 you. The first thing is this: You answered a question by the
9 Prosecution and you said that it would be unthinkable that the Croatian
10 forces would shell or train their fire on their own citizens living in
11 Croatian villages. If I quote you literally you said this:
12 [In English] "It was unpredictable that HVO would result to using
13 artillery against one of these -- of their own villages."
14 [Interpretation] Are you really sure as to this piece of
16 A. You mean that the HVO shelled the area? I'm quite certain of
18 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] You are. So were you there in
19 person to see yourself firing from Croatian positions?
20 A. I don't know if you can imagine the following situation. I was
21 very close. Artillery fire can be heard sometimes at a distance of even
22 tens or dozens of kilometres, and the distance I was from some shells
23 that were falling was only several hundred metres. So yes, I was well
24 able to assess and hear where a shell was being fired from and where it
1 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes, but were there not also
2 ABiH positions beyond the Croatian positions?
3 A. Yes, there were BH army soldiers in settlements -- in those
4 settlements, but what I can say is that they were already mixed up with
5 members of the HVO and the civilian population. So all of that was in
6 one particular area.
7 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] But are you sure that the firing
8 was from Croatian positions and not from ABiH positions?
9 A. Quite certain. I'm quite certain. The BH didn't have 2 per cent
10 of the capacities that were used then in that area. So they couldn't --
11 nobody else could have used that, either the HVO or the BH army.
12 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Which were the weapons used
13 then, according to you?
14 A. As far as I know, mortar weapons, the Howitzer was used, Howitzer
15 artillery. There were attempts at using a tank. There was
16 multiple-barrelled rocket launchers that were used, and so on.
17 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes, and when -- when did the
18 shelling start?
19 A. Perhaps 20 or 30 minutes after the beginning of the operation
21 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] So if I understand you properly,
22 the action started around 5.30 or 6.00 in the morning?
23 A. Roughly thereabouts. At dawn, at daybreak. And then 20 or 30
24 minutes later artillery firing started and it went on for a long time.
25 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] But according to you, if there
1 is a ground engagement can the artillery fire without the danger of
2 hitting their own forces? Their own ground forces, I mean.
3 A. That is true. However, we did not expect this, but that's what
4 happened. And that's a fact. That's for sure.
5 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Well, how long do you think it
6 lasted, this action, until 10.00, 11.00 in the morning?
7 A. I think the action lasted until perhaps 1.00 p.m., perhaps a
8 little longer.
9 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] You mean longer, so until around
10 3.00 or 4.00 in the afternoon?
11 A. Not 3.00 or 4.00, but maybe up to 1.00, 1.30.
12 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] So at 1.00 or 1.30, the ABiH
13 forces withdrew. Is that what they did?
14 A. Yes.
15 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] You stated that you took part in
16 a part of the attack. When did you do so? Where did you do so?
17 A. At the very beginning I participated in a part of the attack on
18 the left flank at a fortified position that was known as Borak and it is
19 indicated on the photographs. After that, my group disbanded and I went
20 back. I returned along an axis, or rather from the direction where there
21 was danger that the HVO forces might cut across our communication lines,
22 across a stream with the territory where our army was located. However,
23 some of the soldiers were wounded and I took part of taking care of them.
24 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Therefore you only went up to
25 Borak; you didn't go to Rajici or to Kriz?
1 A. No.
2 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] You stated that there were large
3 forces stationed in the Cer school amounting to how many people? How
4 many fighters were there?
5 A. I can't give you an exact figure, nobody counted them. But
6 undoubtedly there was the largest number of them there and you can see
7 that in the field with a naked eye. From our positions you could see
9 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] The reason why I'm asking you
10 this is you said that the Croatian forces were spread and spent the
11 nights in houses and not in the main building, which was the school
12 building. So I guess that you meant that they were numerous enough?
13 A. No, no. What I had in mind is something quite different. In the
14 school building the intervention units were accommodated, those who --
15 which could be deployed straight away. The units of the soldiers who
16 were not active were not in the school.
17 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] So they are the ones who would
18 stay overnight in houses. Is that so?
19 A. I assume that those who were not on duty or not doing their
20 shifts were. That is to say, they lived in their homes or at home.
21 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Let me move on to another
22 subject. Regarding a document that was shown to you, it was a document
23 addressed to the commander of the 6th Corps, a document drafted by Buza.
24 It was said in the document that Croatian fighters were hiding and were
25 even using human shields, civilians in other words. Sir, this document
1 was shown to you; do you remember it?
2 A. Yes, I do remember.
3 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] So in the light -- in light of
4 what you confirmed regarding lack of clarifications or -- in what Mr.
5 Buza said to you, does it seem credible to you? Does this information
6 seem credible to you?
7 A. It's absolutely incorrect and unimaginable that the HVO should
8 use its own civilians as a human shield. So I really don't know why he
9 wrote that. The HVO used Bosniak civilians as a human shield.
10 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] So he used -- they used
11 Bosnians. Did they use Bosnians? Were there Bosnians during their
12 attack? Were there Bosnians living in Uzdol?
13 A. No, no, there weren't because Uzdol was an exclusively Croatian
14 settlement; that's the first point. And secondly, the attack was
15 prepared with the aim of having the surprise effect. So prisoners of war
16 or military-abled Bosniaks or civilians could not have prepared
17 beforehand. It was supposed to be a surprise attack, and I think that
18 during the attack they weren't used nor were they there at all.
19 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Very well. Now, to my last
20 question. It has to do with the involvement of the MUP in the attack.
21 You told us that there were a few members of the MUP taking part in the
22 attack. Were they under the orders of the commander, of the battalion
23 commander, of the Prozor Independent Battalion that is?
24 A. I think they were, and I think that it was considered a moral
25 obligation on the part of policemen to take part in actions of this kind,
1 so that as policemen there was a great pressure being exerted on them to
2 take part, to participate.
3 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Do you remember when Mr.
4 Halilovic came he addressed the soldiers. Were the MUP members there,
5 too, when he did?
6 A. I don't remember that. And with respect to the number of
7 soldiers, a number of MUP members -- well, there were very few of them, a
8 negligible amount. I don't think there could have been more than five or
9 six of them in fact.
10 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Do you remember what their
11 mission was? Where were they supposed to intervene, in which area, in
12 which village?
13 A. [No interpretation]
14 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] I thank you, Witness.
15 JUDGE LIU: Any questions out of Judges' questions.
16 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, the transcript didn't record the
17 last answer to Judge El Mahdi's last question as far as I can see.
18 JUDGE LIU: Would you please repeat your question.
19 MR. MORRISSEY: I'm sorry about that.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Judge El Mahdi.
22 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes. I was asking you where, in
23 what area, village, the members of the MUP were taking part. Can you
24 tell us that?
25 A. I don't know. I don't remember that at all.
1 May I just add something? Within that entire action, more than
2 150 people took part, so I can't say where some four or five individuals
3 were. I can't reconstruct it all now.
4 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes, but did not -- I think that
5 every unit had its own mission or each group had their own mission.
6 Isn't it so?
7 A. Yes, but I don't think they had a separate group, that they made
8 up a separate group. I think they were attached to some other groups.
9 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] No, no, of course. I suppose
10 that you remember in which group they were, where they operated. Do you
11 remember that? You do, don't you?
12 A. I really can't remember that.
13 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Witness.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, Judge El Mahdi.
15 At this stage are there any documents to tender? Mr. Morrissey?
16 MR. MORRISSEY: No, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
18 And Ms. Chana?
19 MS. CHANA: No, I think they've already been tendered, Your
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, thank you.
22 Well, Witness, thank you very much indeed for coming to The Hague
23 to give your evidence. When we are adjourned, Madam Usher will pull down
24 the blinds and she will show you out of this courtroom. We all wish you
25 a pleasant journey back home.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
2 JUDGE LIU: We'll take a break and we'll resume at 6.00.
3 [The witness withdrew]
4 --- Recess taken at 5.39 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 6.02 p.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Morrissey, you have something to raise?
7 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, thank you, Your Honour. It's just a couple
8 of brief matters before the next witness starts. Your Honours, there's
9 been some correspondence between the Prosecution and the Defence, in
10 particular the Defence has sought answers to some questions. We received
11 a reply to that from my learned friend Mr. Re, and we're considering the
12 aspects of some of that so we're not going to raise the whole thing in
13 front of the court. But there are a couple of matters that have to now
14 be raised in court.
15 The first one concerns a statement made by Sefer Halilovic to OTP
16 investigators in 2001, which is an exhibit the Prosecution have on their
17 65 ter list and apparently intend to rely upon it and the Defence intend
18 to challenge it if it's going to be relied upon. Your Honours, what we
19 want to know now from the Prosecutor is through which witness is that
20 document proposed to be tendered. We need an answer to that because
21 there is no witness apparently left on the list who could conceivably be
22 a relevant witness. So I invite the Prosecutor to tell us who it's going
23 to come through.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Re.
25 MR. RE: That's very easy. It's a recorded interview, a
1 statement taken by Prosecution lawyer and Prosecution investigators in
2 the presence of Halilovic's lawyers. In accordance with Rule 42 and
3 47 -- if I've got the correct Rules it's an admissible document and the
4 Prosecution doesn't intend to call any witnesses to have the interview
5 placed before the Trial Chamber because it's one which is -- there is a
6 transcript. Everything that happened is recorded and it's a prime facie
7 admissible. If the Trial Chamber wishes us to, we could call someone who
8 was there at the time of the interview, but it's in our view a waste of
10 JUDGE LIU: The question is whether you are going to tender this
11 document into the evidence or not; or if so, through which way.
12 MR. RE: I've just answered that. Yes, we are going to tender
13 it; and we don't intend call a witness because it's -- that's Mr.
14 Morrissey's question -- because it's an admissible statement of the
15 accused taken in accordance with the rules.
16 In my experience, the Prosecution doesn't normally call witnesses
17 when tendering records of interview or statements made by an accused
18 which are taken in accordance with the Rules before the Trial Chamber.
19 The statement of itself is admissible if it's taken in accordance with
20 the Rules. And there's nothing -- there's nothing on the face of it
21 which would suggest it isn't. Why would we waste the Court's time by
22 calling witnesses.
23 JUDGE LIU: I'm not encouraging you to call any witnesses. I
24 just want to know -- you know, there are several ways to tender a
25 document. For instance, the 92 bis, the live witnesses, and some other
1 ways. So there must be a channel that you could use which is listed in
2 our Rules.
3 MR. RE: We intend to tender it from the bar table as a -- the
4 same as we would tender open source or legal documents. We would just
5 tender it as a record of interview or statement made by the accused. We
6 would tender it from the bar table.
7 JUDGE LIU: I see.
8 Any comments or objections?
9 MR. MORRISSEY: We're going to object to that being tendered in
10 any way, whether through a witness or through some other unusual
11 practice. We certainly would object to it being tendered from the bar
12 table, but we'll object to it whatever way it comes about.
13 Your Honours, there are some nasty questions that the Defence
14 would want to raise about this record of interview and how it was
15 procured from Mr. Halilovic. So it's up to the Prosecutors how they want
16 to proceed. But they've given us that information.
17 The next question I have is: When is it proposed that they want
18 to do that? Because we don't want to drop a -- we're going to move a
19 motion that it not happen and we don't want to do that in a way that
20 embarrasses the Chamber or is unfair to the Prosecutors. So if they tell
21 us when they were proposing to do that, we'll advise of the schedule as
22 to when we will allow you, the Tribunal, to rule on that matter. So that
23 is the next question: When is it proposed to tender it?
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Re.
25 MR. RE: During an appropriate break in the proceedings between
1 witnesses. When we run out of witnesses, in my submission, is an
2 appropriate time to do it. It will obviously take some argument, and it
3 is when people are coming and going. We understand the Defence's
4 position that they want to challenge it.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, frankly speaking, it is my first time to hear
6 that there are going to be some documents introduced from the bar table.
7 Would you please elaborate on these procedures so I could have some
8 better understanding of this procedure, Mr. Re.
9 MR. RE: Yes. It's an admissible document in the Prosecution's
10 submission; it's a taped interview between the accused and -- with his
11 lawyer present and a Prosecution lawyer and a Prosecution investigator.
12 It's an admissible document because it's a version the accused has given
13 of what happened. It's a very lengthy document. There's -- it's been
14 videotaped, audiotaped, and there's a very lengthy transcript of the
15 statement. It's of itself admissible because it's a --
16 I mean, documents don't have to be tendered through witnesses.
17 They can be tendered by consent. If it's a legal document from another
18 country, for example, or something the Trial Chamber could take judicial
19 notice of it, that would be tendered. Or a record of interview or
20 statement falls into another category. That is, if it's prime facie
21 within the Rules; taped; the accused has been cautioned, advised of his
22 rights; has his lawyer present; and complies with the Rules, it is
23 admissible under Rule 85 before the Trial Chamber.
24 Now, if the Trial Chamber wants us to call someone who
25 participated it to say, Yes, I was there, just like I am in the video,
1 just like I am in the transcript, we could probably arrange to have
2 someone come to court and say, Yes, we're all there and these are the
3 questions that were asked and they appear in the video and the
4 transcript. But our submission is that it is certainly something that
5 complies with the Rules and on its face, in our submission it does, it is
6 admissible as a document -- or the document being the transcript, the
7 video and the audio is certainly admissible as a Prosecution exhibit to
8 be tendered from the bar table.
9 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Morrissey, do you have anything to say about this
10 document tendered through the bar table?
11 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, I do.
12 JUDGE LIU: I believe that's a common-law practice.
13 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, it's absolutely never been the
14 common-law practice. The common-law practice is if someone interviews a
15 suspect on video or on audio or any other form, they come along and
16 attest to the accuracy of it and answer questions of how they procured it
17 or how it was procured. And if there is an issue to be raised, it is
18 raised through them.
19 Your Honours haven't got an answer to the question you asked, and
20 I haven't got an answer to the question that I asked. Your Honours,
21 first of all, I want to know when the Prosecutor proposes to do it. It's
22 not good enough to say between witnesses. This is an argument that'll
23 take time and organising. The Prosecutor had better say when they it is
24 that they propose to tender it. And then we'll see whether we're happy
25 to do it then and the Chamber can indicate whether you're happy to do it
1 then and we'll take it from there. So I'll ask for an answer to that
2 question a second time.
3 As to the issue Your Honour raised, as to the process, it's not
4 the process here, from what I understand. My learned friend refers to
5 foreign legal documents. They're irrelevant to this issue. Refers to
6 matters that are by consent; that certainly isn't the case here. So
7 there's no basis for doing it on the current face of things.
8 However, the Prosecutors are entitled to consider that and they
9 might think of a way in which it can be justified and put it in a motion
10 and respond to our motion. And of course at that time they might have an
11 argument to put, but I doubt it's going to be this one.
12 Secondly, in the common-law system it would never happen and
13 could never happen. I could indicate -- well, my experience doesn't
14 matter. If the Court could benefit from research and learning on that, I
15 will provide it to you. Because you've got to call a witness who
16 procured the interview. All sorts of things happen in interviews and all
17 sorts of things happen before they start. That's why a witness is
18 called, to make sure that it's all bona fide and what you see is what you
20 In this case, I don't want to make a speech about it now. We
21 have a basis for challenging this and we're going to put it. It really
22 is an important issue as to how the Prosecution proposes to proceed. We
23 don't want them saying to the Tribunal, If you would like someone to be
24 called. It's not up to you to decide these things; it's up to the
25 Prosecutors. If the Prosecutors wish to amend their list of witnesses,
1 then that's what they should do. Frankly, there was never a witness on
2 the list that this Tribunal's had in front of it who could possibly have
3 been the appropriate person for that interview. And it's not a question
4 of things changing and them wanting to add someone now. It's just
5 another one of the disasters facing the Prosecutor which we will point
6 out when we come to do the motion.
7 But Your Honours, it's not the time to do it now. I'm not
8 seeking to run that argument now. We'll do it in the due course. What
9 we want to know is when. And we think we're entitled to an answer on
10 that topic, Your Honour. I would seek that the Prosecutor give us an
11 answer now.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, it seems to me that the time for our case is
13 running out. We could not save this matter until the last minute. So I
14 hope the Prosecution could make up their minds during this week and
15 inform us about their intention and what kind of procedure they may apply
16 in tendering those documents. You may make it as an oral submission or
17 may file a written submission. Of course the Defence has the full right
18 to make a response, but as I said before it should be done as early as
19 possible, better before the 25th of April.
20 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you, Your Honour. Well, that's a
21 sufficient indication for us. The Prosecution can tell us sometime this
22 week and that will be fine.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
24 MR. MORRISSEY: Very well, Your Honours, I've got other matters
25 to raise. I notice there's a witness there and I can deal with this
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
3 MR. MORRISSEY: Could I just ask one thing. My learned friend
4 Mr. Weiner indicated the likelihood or possibility of some Rule 89 (F)
5 procedures to shorten things. As I have indicated before, we're happy to
6 cooperate with that if they tell us they've got people in that category.
7 We haven't been told of any yet. But Mr. Weiner, I have been told, has
8 been tied up, and that's understandable. We're open to being approached
9 by the Prosecutors to tell us who they want to use that procedure with,
10 and we can talk to them about it. But we just need to know in advance.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, of course. It is our position that we will
12 encourage both parties to apply the Rule 89 (F), and if so I believe the
13 other party should be informed as early as possible.
14 Yes, could we have the next witness, please, since he has been
15 waiting here at least for the whole afternoon and we only have 45 minutes
16 to go for today.
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, Witness. Can you hear me?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration in
21 accordance with the paper Madam Usher is showing to you.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
23 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
24 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
25 Yes, Mr. Re.
1 WITNESS: JANJKO STOJANOVIC
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 Examined by Mr. Re:
4 Q. Good evening, Mr. Stojanovic. Your name is Janjko Stojanovic and
5 you were born on 8 November 1970. Is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You were born in Uzdol and your occupation is deputy foreman of
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Your mother is Ivka Stojanovic, who testified here last week?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You lived in Uzdol until April 1994?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And in September 1993 you were a serving member of the HVO. Is
15 that also correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. When did you join the HVO?
18 A. I'm not certain, but I think in 1991.
19 Q. Was your service in the HVO mainly in the area you lived, that is
20 in Uzdol?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. We've heard evidence that the HVO had a base in the school in
23 Cer. What was in that -- what was in that base?
24 A. Nothing special. People.
25 Q. What about communications?
1 A. The main communications centre was somewhere around there.
2 Q. Weaponry?
3 A. I think personal weapons. Each man had a weapon.
4 Q. Were there facilities to feed soldiers?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What about the to accommodate them?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Do you know how many it could accommodate in September 1993?
9 A. I'm not sure how many. Up to 20 or thereabouts.
10 Q. How many, to your knowledge, HVO soldiers were there stationed in
11 the Uzdol area as of September 1993?
12 A. I can't give you the exact number.
13 Q. An approximate number?
14 A. Between 80 and 100.
15 Q. And how many positions did the HVO have around Uzdol?
16 A. About ten.
17 Q. How were they manned?
18 A. You mean each of the positions, or the total of the ten
20 Q. The ten positions.
21 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honours, I think the witness is
22 entitled to have that one clarified. When my friend -- the witness asked
23 to know whether or not he's being asked about each of the positions or
24 the total, and my learned friend then said "the ten positions," which
25 leaves him in the same position he was in before. So it ought to be
1 clarified which of the two alternatives put by the witness he's being
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, to me it's clear. But for the sake of the
4 record, Mr. Re, would you please repeat your question.
5 MR. RE:
6 Q. Mr. Stojanovic, what I want you to tell the Trial Chamber is:
7 How were those positioned manned? What did the HVO do to ensure that
8 there were soldiers in them? How did it work? Were there shifts, for
10 A. Yes, shifts.
11 Q. How did that work?
12 A. Three shifts. Some walked and some used the lorry.
13 Q. Did each of those positions have a similar number of soldiers in
14 them on those three shifts or did it vary?
15 A. It varied.
16 Q. What about the positions you occupied? Which ones were they?
17 A. There were just two of us.
18 Q. Where were your positions? Which ones did you go to?
19 A. Borak and Komin.
20 Q. Are you saying there were only two soldiers in each of these
22 A. No.
23 Q. How many soldiers did you go into these positions with, firstly
24 in Borak?
25 A. Five, six.
1 Q. How long did the shifts go for?
2 A. 12 hours.
3 Q. What was in -- what comprised the position at Borak?
4 A. I'm not sure I understand the question.
5 Q. Describe the position. What was there?
6 A. Soldiers, trenches, and a wooden hut in the woods.
7 Q. What weaponry did you have to defend the position?
8 A. Kalashnikov rifles.
9 Q. Were those -- were Kalashnikovs issued to all the HVO soldiers in
11 A. No.
12 Q. Just go back to the -- we'll just stay with the position at the
13 moment. Were there any fixed weaponry in that particular position at
15 A. Yes, but not always.
16 Q. What was that?
17 A. PKT, a weapon called Zbrojovka.
18 Q. Can you explain what kind of weapon that is in lay terms for the
19 Tribunal, what sort of weapon it is.
20 A. It's very much like a machine-gun.
21 Q. Did you have any heavier weapons at that position such as
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. What sort of mortars were they and how many did you have?
25 A. 160-millimetre, but it wasn't always there.
1 Q. Just go back to the Kalashnikov rifles. You said a moment ago
2 that they weren't issued to all the HVO soldiers in Uzdol. Who were the
3 HVO soldiers in Uzdol armed with?
4 A. Some had semi-automatic rifles, some had snipers.
5 Q. What was your weapon?
6 A. I had a Kalashnikov.
7 Q. Were you issued with hand grenades? That's you personally.
8 A. Not me.
9 Q. What about the soldiers in your position, in Borak, did they
10 have hand grenades?
11 A. I don't think so, at least none were visible.
12 Q. What about the rocket-propelled grenades, did you, that is the
13 soldiers in Uzdol, have rocket-propelled grenades?
14 A. Can you please try to be more specific. You mean heavy ones or
15 light ones?
16 Q. The light ones, the shoulder-fire ones.
17 A. The light ones, yes.
18 Q. The heavier ones?
19 A. Not to my knowledge.
20 Q. What about the multiple-rocket launchers, did you have any of
22 A. Not to my knowledge, not that I know of.
23 Q. Did the HVO have a Howitzer in Uzdol?
24 A. No.
25 Q. What about the armoured personnel carriers, did they have any of
2 A. No, not to my knowledge.
3 Q. Tanks?
4 A. I think there was one from time to time near the base, but I
5 never heard it firing.
6 Q. Do you remember whether it was there on the 14th of September?
7 That was when the attack occurred.
8 A. I can't remember.
9 Q. You said that the tank was there from time to time. Do you know
10 where it went when it wasn't there?
11 A. I think it went to Prozor, but I'm not sure.
12 Q. How often was it there? What percentage of the time was it
13 there? If you could cast your mind back.
14 A. Not much of the time. Over a year, can I use that as a
15 yardstick, or do you want some sort of a monthly average?
16 Q. It doesn't matter, but whichever you can.
17 A. It was only ever around when there was the danger of an attack.
18 Q. And how often was that?
19 A. Several days. Three to five, say.
20 Q. Did you have any rank when you were in the HVO in 1993?
21 A. No.
22 Q. What about the other soldiers who were with you in the trench
23 on Borak?
24 A. Not with me.
25 Q. Did you have a shift commander when you were on duty in Borak?
1 A. Not really.
2 Q. What were the communications -- I'm sorry. What form of
3 communication did you use between your position on Borak and the base at
4 the school?
5 A. The field telephone, it had a wire.
6 Q. Did you have a radio?
7 A. Not at the beginning. But later, yes, we had one.
8 Q. What was the preference, radio or field telephone?
9 A. Field telephone.
10 Q. Did you have a uniform?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Describe your uniform.
13 A. It was the patterned kind.
14 Q. Patterned, does that mean camouflage?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. What about the headgear?
17 A. Nothing for the most part. A bandanna here and there.
18 Q. Did all the soldiers -- sorry, the HVO soldiers in Uzdol wear the
19 same uniform?
20 A. I think most did, but some had their own uniforms.
21 Q. Did you wear any badges or insignia of the HVO?
22 A. I didn't.
23 Q. Did others?
24 A. I can't remember, but I don't think so.
25 Q. Was the HVO uniform in Uzdol different to that of the ABiH?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. How did it differ?
3 A. It was more the colour of sand and the chequers were a bit
5 Q. On which one?
6 A. I'm not sure I understand your question.
7 Q. Which was more the colour of sand with smaller chequers, the ABiH
8 or the HVO uniform?
9 A. The Muslim uniform, the BH army.
10 Q. Were you living in Uzdol in 1993?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Where were you staying?
13 A. In my home.
14 Q. Were you a full-time soldier?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Were you going between your shifts and home?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. What about your mother, Ivka? Was she coming to stay with you
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And why was that?
22 A. Well, just to see how I was doing. She would do some washing.
23 She would cook something for me, that sort of thing.
24 Q. Did you have a grandmother who also lived in the area?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. What was her name and where did she live?
2 A. Lucija Zelenika, and she resided in Zelenike.
3 Q. I'm going to ask you now about the days just before the attack on
4 Uzdol by the ABiH. Were your mother and grandmother in the village in
5 the days before the attack?
6 A. Can you please specify, because my grandmother was in a different
8 Q. When I say "village," I meant the Uzdol -- the hamlets comprising
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Where were they and how did they get there?
12 A. I drove them over from the village of Rumboc in a car. I took my
13 grandmother to Zelenike and I took my mother back to her house.
14 Q. Why did you take your grandmother to Zelenike?
15 A. She insisted.
16 Q. Did you take her to her house in Zelenike?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. How long was that before the attack?
19 A. Three to five days.
20 Q. Did you want your mother to come with you to your house?
21 A. Certainly not.
22 Q. And why not?
23 A. Because she would have been alone while I was away on shift.
24 Q. And what was wrong with that?
25 A. I was afraid that someone would attack her while I was not
2 Q. Who was the someone you were afraid might attack her?
3 A. The Muslim forces. There was danger nearby.
4 Q. Where were you in the two days before the attack?
5 A. I'm not sure I understand. What do you mean two days?
6 Q. The day before and the day before that. Were you the front line,
7 in your position, at your home, or somewhere else?
8 A. Yes. I was working my shift, as usual.
9 Q. Where did you spend the nights?
10 A. At home.
11 Q. Did any other soldiers spend those nights at home with you, or
12 was it just you and your mother?
13 A. Alone with my mother.
14 Q. And on the day before the attack were you -- I withdraw that.
15 About what time did you come back?
16 A. You mean on that day or ...
17 Q. The 13th.
18 A. I was free on the 13th, on leave.
19 Q. What did you and your mother do that night? That's the night of
20 the 13th.
21 A. The night of the 13th, you're talking about the day before the
22 attack, aren't you?
23 Q. That's right. What did you do that night before you went to bed?
24 A. On the 13th I was on the day shift, daytime shift. The night of
25 the 13th I spent sleeping, as usual. And my next shift was supposed to
1 be the night of the 14th.
2 Q. Before we come to what happened on the 14th, I want to show you
3 some photographs and to have you assist the Trial Chamber by marking some
4 things on, specifically HVO and ABiH positions.
5 MR. RE: Could the witness please -- could we please have on the
6 screen photograph number 0299-2289.
7 THE REGISTRAR: That will be MFI 342.
8 MR. RE:
9 Q. Now, Mr. Stojanovic, can you recognise that as a photo -- an
10 overhead photograph taken from behind the village of Here?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can you see the hill called Borak there?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And can you see the village of Kriz where your parents' house was
15 or is?
16 A. Yes, a little.
17 Q. If you could assist us by -- can you circle the village -- can
18 you circle Kriz for us.
19 A. [Marks]
20 Q. Can you just write "Kriz" above it, please.
21 A. [Marks]
22 Q. All right. Now, can you see your -- where your position on Borak
23 is? That's the HVO position. Can you see that in that photograph?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you mark it with a straight line.
1 A. [Marks]
2 Q. Can you just write "HVO Borak" above that.
3 A. [Marks]
4 Q. Can you see to the -- just to the right above where you've
5 written Kriz there's a hill there. What's that hill called?
6 A. I don't know.
7 Q. Were there any ABiH positions on that hill?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Would you be able to mark those in with a line, please.
10 A. [Marks]
11 Q. And just write "ABiH" above that, please.
12 A. [Marks]
13 Q. Were there any ABiH positions underneath where you have written
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Can you mark those in, please.
17 A. It's not quite clear, but it should be around about here.
18 Q. Do you know what that area was called?
19 A. I don't know exactly, but it was between the village of Here and
21 Q. Would you also please write "ABiH" under that so it's clear to us
22 that's an ABiH position.
23 A. [Marks]
24 Q. What's the -- thank you. And what is the distance between -- the
25 approximate distance between your position on Borak and the ABiH position
1 just below Here in metres?
2 A. About 500 metres.
3 Q. From where your position was, could you see the ABiH position?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Could you see it with the naked eye or did you need binoculars or
6 some other assistance?
7 A. With the naked eye.
8 Q. What about the from the village of Kriz? Could you see the ABiH
9 position in Here from there?
10 A. Not from everywhere.
11 Q. All right.
12 MR. RE: May that be received into evidence.
13 MR. MORRISSEY: No objection, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Thank you. It's admitted into the evidence.
15 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecution Exhibit P343.
16 MR. RE: Could the witness be shown 0299-2300.
17 Q. Do you recognise the hill at the bottom middle of the photograph?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Is that Borak?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can you see there where your positions, that's the HVO positions,
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Can you please mark those in. Draw them in with a line.
25 A. [Marks]
1 Q. And please just put HVO above that.
2 A. [Marks]
3 Q. From your position there, which appears to be on the other side
4 of Kriz, could you see Kriz?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Was the position you've just indicated facing the ABiH positions?
7 A. It was turned towards -- they were turned towards Here.
8 MR. RE: May that also be received into evidence.
9 MR. MORRISSEY: There's no objection, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE LIU: It's admitted into the evidence.
11 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecution Exhibit P345, and the
12 original Prosecution Exhibit P344.
13 MR. RE: Could the witness also be shown Exhibit P333.
14 Q. Now, that's a photo pointing towards Here at the top -- over the
15 top of Kriz. On that photo can you see where your position was, that is
16 the HVO position which you just marked on the previous photograph?
17 A. No.
18 Q. From this photograph can you see where any of the ABiH positions
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can you please mark in any ABiH positions you can see on that
23 A. [Marks]
24 Q. You've marked in four lines. Is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And just so it -- to be clear, can you write "ABiH" just at the
2 top somewhere.
3 A. On each of them?
4 Q. No, just in the sky in the middle at the top.
5 A. [Marks]
6 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, I'm sorry to interrupt, but I can
7 see five lines there. I just want to know whether one of them's a
8 mistake or whether there's really five.
9 MR. RE:
10 Q. Mr. Stojanovic, there appears to be a red line underneath the
11 numbers 0299-2306. Is that an ABiH position or a mistake?
12 A. No, no. It's a mistake.
13 Q. Could we perhaps rub that out, erase it.
14 A. No, it's not a mistake; it's correct.
15 Q. All right. Well, leave it there then. Now, can you see any --
16 you've told us you couldn't see the HVO position at Borak. Could you see
17 any other positions which the HVO occupied on that particular photograph?
18 A. No.
19 MR. RE: May that be received into evidence too, please.
20 MR. MORRISSEY: No objection.
21 JUDGE LIU: It will be admitted into the evidence.
22 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecution Exhibit P346.
23 MR. RE:
24 Q. Now, on the night of the 13th of September and the morning of the
25 14th of September, 1993, you've told us that you stayed in your house
1 with your mother. Where did you sleep?
2 A. In the room on the floor above.
3 Q. What were you wearing?
4 A. A uniform.
5 Q. Was that the camouflage uniform you described before?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did you have your Kalashnikov with you?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Where was that, relative to your bed?
10 A. Right by the bed.
11 Q. Why was it there?
12 A. For safety.
13 Q. Why were you wearing your uniform?
14 A. I had come in from doing my shift and I went to sleep.
15 Q. But why were you wearing your uniform as opposed to something
17 A. I had come from doing my shift. I just took off my boots, lay
18 down, and went to sleep.
19 Q. How were you awoken?
20 A. Shooting.
21 Q. Describe the shooting.
22 A. The shooting was - how shall I describe this? - from all sides.
23 Lots of shooting, not from one weapon but from many in numerical terms.
24 Q. Did the shooting appear to be close or from far away?
25 A. Absolutely from close.
1 Q. Why do you say that?
2 A. Because before when there was shooting from time to time the
3 sound was quite different. I'm a soldier and I knew what distance the
4 shooting came from, and this was closer.
5 Q. What time were you awoken by that shooting?
6 A. About 5.30, 6.00.
7 Q. What did you do?
8 A. I went outside.
9 Q. What were you wearing when you went outside? Did you have shoes
11 A. No, trainers.
12 Q. What were you wearing -- I mean what clothes were you wearing?
13 A. My uniform.
14 Q. Did you take your rifle, your Kalashnikov, with you?
15 A. Yes, of course.
16 Q. How far out did you go?
17 A. To the corner of the house, not further.
18 Q. How far was that?
19 A. 10 metres at the most.
20 Q. Was it light or dark?
21 A. No, no, it was light.
22 Q. And what did you see and hear?
23 A. At the beginning, very strong shooting from heavy weapons, apart
24 from Kalashnikovs.
25 Q. Where was that coming from -- or did you see who was shooting?
1 A. Not at that time. I just saw the direction from which the
2 bullets were flying in.
3 Q. And how long were you outside for?
4 A. Several minutes. Three to five minutes.
5 MR. RE: Would that be an appropriate time?
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. It's time our break.
7 Witness, I have to warn you that you are under oath, so please do
8 not talk to anybody and do not let anybody talk to you about your
9 testimony. Can you hear me?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
12 We'll resume tomorrow afternoon at 2.15.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 12th day of
15 April, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.