1 Monday, 27th October 1997
2 (10.00 am)
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
4 Can we kindly have the appearances, please.
5 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour pleases, my name is Grant Niemann
6 and I appear with my colleague Mr. Khan for the
8 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Appearances for the Defence.
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: Good morning, your Honours. I am Edina
10 Residovic, appearing on behalf of Mr. Zejnil Delalic
11 together with my colleague Eugene O'Sullivan, professor
12 from Canada.
13 MR. OLUJIC: Good morning. I am Zeljko Olujic appearing on
14 behalf of Mr. Zdravko Mucic together with my co-counsel
15 Michael Greaves, attorney from the United Kingdom of
16 Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
17 MR. KARABDIC: Good morning, your Honour. I am Salih
18 Karabdic, attorney from Sarajevo, appearing on behalf of
19 Mr. Hazim Delic, together with Mr. Thomas Moran, attorney
20 from Houston Texas.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Good morning. I am John Ackerman and along
22 with Cynthia McMurrey we appear on behalf of Mr. Esad
24 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Can we now have the witness?
25 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour. Perhaps before the witness
1 comes in, your Honours, it is our intention after this
2 witness to call a witness in relation to records,
3 custodian of records from Sarajevo. If this witness is
4 not completed by tomorrow morning I will make an
5 application to interpose General Divjak on this witness
6 because General Divjak has some commitments which he is
7 unable to move commencing on Thursday morning first
8 thing. So if your Honours please, I just wish to
9 indicate that will be an application I will make should
10 it become necessary. It may not become necessary. I do
11 not expect the custodian of records will take that long,
12 certainly not in chief anyway.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, it was our understanding that
14 Mr. Economides would be here on Tuesday and that was the
15 only day he could appear; has that changed?
16 MR. NIEMANN: It has your Honour, Professor Economides is
17 available on Thursday which gives us better time to
18 accommodate General Divjak, so he will be available on
19 Thursday. I am also able to announce to the Chamber
20 that we have secured some articles written by
21 Professor Economides which are being copied and will be
22 made available to the Defence as soon as possible this
24 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Mr. Ackerman, does that satisfy you?
25 MR. ACKERMAN: (Nods).
1 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Let us have the witness.
2 (Witness enters court)
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Good morning, General. You are still
4 under cross-examination. Please remind him he is still
5 on his oath.
6 THE REGISTRAR: I am reminding you, sir, that you are still
7 under oath.
8 GENERAL ARIF PASALIC (continued)
9 Cross-examination by MS. RESIDOVIC (continued)
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you, your Honours.
11 Good morning, General. At the beginning of my
12 cross-examination on Thursday I drew your attention to
13 the problems of communication and I think we functioned
14 very well, because you waited for the interpretation of
15 my questions into English. Will you please bear that in
16 mind today as well.
17 Secondly, I should like to ask you, General, in
18 the interest of expediency with respect to this part of
19 the cross-examination, will you please answer my
20 questions as concisely as possible, if possible with yes
21 and no, when that is possible, of course. If brief
22 explanation is necessary of course feel free to make
23 them, but for any lengthier explanations we may come
24 back to that at the end of the cross-examination.
25 Also, for your benefit I should like to add that
1 I noticed on Thursday that you wanted to ask some
2 questions; according to the rules of this Tribunal it is
3 the attorney who asks the questions and the witness who
4 answers. We are not in a position to change those
5 rules. I think we have now explained some additional
6 procedural matters.
7 Have I made myself clear?
8 A. Yes, I have understood.
9 Q. General, we broke off on Thursday when we were
10 discussing the criminal charges which you or somebody on
11 your behalf issued on 22nd December, 1992, against
12 Zejnil Delalic and Zdravko Mucic. Do you remember that
13 is where we interrupted our conversation?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. The witness' microphone is not switched on, or something
16 is wrong.
17 I should like to suggest that we discuss further
18 the investigation that you instructed the commission to
19 carry out when you became Corps Commander at the end of
20 1992, and when you heard about various irregularities in
21 Konjic. You have already said quite a bit about that in
22 answer to the question of the Prosecutor, as well as in
23 answer to mine; but I should like to ask you for us to
24 focus on a few matters still further. To that end,
25 I would like to ask a representative of the Registry to
1 show the General, once again, document D141, fully
2 respecting the limitations indicated by the Prosecutor
3 in connection with this document.
4 General, we were discussing this document only to
5 a limited extent. We will be speaking only about the
6 names that appear or do not appear in this document,
7 regarding the positions and responsibilities held by the
8 names indicated in that document. Is that clear?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. The Prosecutor showed you this document on Wednesday or
11 Thursday, do you remember that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. It is criminal charges dated 22nd December, 1992, is
14 that not so?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. General, can you tell the court whether it is true that
17 these are the only charges which you or anybody else
18 submitted on your behalf against Zejnil Delalic?
19 A. As far as I am concerned as Corps Commander, and my
20 command, I think that these were the only criminal
21 charges pressed.
22 Q. Though on Thursday, at my request, as well as at the
23 request of my learned colleague the Prosecutor, you read
24 the text, I should like to ask you to read very
25 carefully the text of these charges, not to mention
1 anything regarding the contents, just to read it for
2 yourself, and to pay attention to the limited scope of
3 the questions I am going to ask you, that is the names
4 of the persons, their positions, and their
5 responsibilities. (Pause).
6 A. I have read it.
7 Q. Thank you. Is it true, General, that in this document,
8 the criminal charges, the following names appear: Zejnil
9 Delalic and Zdravko Mucic, against whom the criminal
10 charges have been brought, and in connection with which
11 your commission elucidated certain irregularities, is
12 that true?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. I do not wish to mention any names; but will you please
15 tell me, General, is it true that in this document not a
16 single name is indicated of a member of Serbian
17 ethnicity, of a person of Serbian ethnicity?
18 A. I do not know what they are of ethnicity, but judging by
19 their names and surnames I think not.
20 Q. Is it also true, General, that you have indicated -- you
21 have not indicated in this document anywhere the words
22 "Serbian prisoner"?
23 A. No, those words are not mentioned.
24 Q. General, to eliminate any possible misunderstanding or
25 confusion, will you confirm the following: neither you
1 nor your commission, since these were the only charges,
2 ever pressed charges against Zejnil Delalic in
3 connection with any criminal offences against prisoners
4 of Serb ethnicity, is that correct?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. General, do you recall that you said before this Trial
7 Chamber, that at the end of 1992 there were reports in
8 the media that you had allegedly claimed that Zejnil
9 Delalic, at the end of November 1992, had fled to the
10 Serb side, and, as reported in the press at the time, he
11 fled by means of a Serb helicopter; is that not what you
12 said in answer to a question by the Prosecutor?
13 A. Yes, I said that there were various reports; among
14 others, there was one to that effect.
15 Q. However, even though this was an article, and there were
16 such articles, particularly in the Croatian press, you
17 can assert before this Trial Chamber that you never said
18 anything of the like and that that is either slander or
20 A. I could not have said where Zejnil Delalic went until
21 I received specific information about it. I do not know
22 where the information came from that appeared in the
24 Q. Though, as far as you remember, there were various media
25 reporting on this, mostly the Croatian media. What they
1 had in common was that Delalic and Mucic had fled over
2 to the Serb side?
3 A. I cannot exactly remember which media carried such
5 Q. But they said that they had fled to the Serb side, did
6 they not?
7 A. I cannot remember exactly what they said. There were
8 various assumptions and various reports in the press,
9 either to the Serbian territory or Croatian territory.
10 I had no opportunity to follow those reports in view of
11 what was happening down there at the time.
12 Q. Thank you, General. To avoid spending too much time on
13 media reports in wartime, but I would like us to go back
14 to some more specific issues now. In answer to a
15 question of the Prosecution you said that by pressing
16 charges you did not wish to prejudge the outcome?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Is it true, General, that in our country criminal
19 proceedings are conducted by courts?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Is it true, General, that criminal proceedings are
22 conducted upon the request of an authorised prosecutor's
24 A. I am not very knowledgeable regarding legal procedure.
25 I know that it was my duty to bring criminal charges for
1 the persons that I felt this was warranted. What the
2 further proceedings of the prosecution and the court
3 are, I do not know.
4 Q. Thank you. Is it true that in answer to a question put
5 to you in this Trial Chamber you said that at the time
6 when you came to Konjic there was no court or
7 prosecutor's office which could prosecute such persons?
8 A. I was ordered and given the suggestion that I should
9 issue those charges and submit them to the district
10 military prosecutor's office in Mostar.
11 Q. The district military prosecutor's office in Mostar, and
12 the district military tribunal in Mostar were
13 institutions that were operational at the time, were
14 they not?
15 A. My orders were to submit them to the prosecution.
16 Whether they were operational, I do not know.
17 Q. General, even though perhaps you are no expert in legal
18 matters, just as I am no expert in military matters,
19 still there are some things that you know as a citizen.
20 You must know that when proceedings are instituted
21 against a person the upshot may be either the release,
22 acquittal of that person, or his sentencing?
23 A. Probably so.
24 Q. Acquittal may be achieved if the prosecutor withdraws
25 charges, or the court passes such a decision. But in
1 any event, it is the court that decides to interrupt
2 proceedings or acquit somebody of the charges?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. I should now like to ask the witness to be shown a
5 document that the Prosecutor has a copy of; and could a
6 copy be given to the Trial Chamber, and the Prosecution,
7 so I may put some additional questions? Can you,
8 please, tell me the number of this document?
9 THE REGISTRAR: Defence document D82/1.
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: General, will you please read this document
11 carefully, and bear in mind the limitations that
12 I referred to earlier on.
13 A. I have read it.
14 Q. General, in the case of this document too we shall only
15 be referring to the names appearing in it and the
16 positions and responsibilities of the persons listed in
17 that document.
18 In order to identify the document, will you please
19 tell me whether, in the top corner of the document, you
20 find the name of the body that is the district military
21 court in Mostar, the number of the document, K1/93, the
22 place and date, that is Mostar, 21st February, 1994. Is
23 that correct?
24 A. It is.
25 Q. Is it correct that in the signature you find the name,
1 investigating magistrate, Drago Bevanda?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Is it true, General, that with this document the
4 tribunal is terminating proceedings against Zejnil
5 Delalic and Zdravko Mucic?
6 A. Yes, that is a decision to that effect.
7 Q. Please can the document be returned to the Registry?
8 General, the names Zejnil Delalic and Zdravko Mucic are
9 names of persons that your commission investigated in
10 connection with irregularities that you referred to in
11 your interview in Jablanica?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. I should now like to ask you, General, to look at
14 another document. The Prosecutor has a copy and I have
15 sufficient copies for their Honours, the Prosecution and
16 the Registry. Could the document be marked, please, and
17 shown to the witness?
18 THE REGISTRAR: Defence Exhibit D83/1.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: Will you please read this document too,
20 bearing in mind the limitations that we have discussed.
21 A. I have read it.
22 Q. In order to identify the document, is it true that in
23 the left corner of this document is the name of the
24 body, military prosecutor's office, Mostar, number
25 KT123/92, Mostar, 18th February 1994? Is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Is this document signed by the public prosecutor Mladen
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Does this document whereby the prosecutor is proposing
6 the charges, do you find the names Zejnil Delalic and
7 Zdravko Mucic?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. In this document their positions or responsibilities are
10 not indicated, are they?
11 A. No, they are not.
12 Q. Those are the same persons that your commission
13 investigated in connection with certain irregularities
14 that you referred to in your interview in Jablanica, did
15 you not?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Can the document be returned to the Registry, please?
18 General, are you aware that in our country persons
19 may ask the appropriate court for information as to
20 whether any criminal proceedings are being conducted
21 against them?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Do you know that the security services in our country
24 keep records of any punishment pronounced against any
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Counsel, I should like to show you some documents to
3 examine. I have sufficient number of copies for you,
4 the Trial Chamber and the Prosecution, so could the
5 usher show the documents to the witness?
6 THE REGISTRAR: Defence Exhibit D84/1.
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: I apologise. I think we have not provided
8 the English translation as well, so could those be given
9 to the Trial Chamber as well, please?
10 General, will you please look at the document
11 dated 7th April, 1994?
12 A. I have looked at it.
13 Q. On this piece of paper you have two certificates, do you
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. The top certificate has an indication in the left-hand
17 corner, the name of the body that issue it, Republic of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, basic court in Konjic, the number of
19 the document, the time and place when it was issued,
20 Konjic, 7th April, 1994. Is that true?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. At the bottom of this certificate, you see the stamp of
23 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina of the basic court in
24 Konjic, is that not so?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. The document was signed on behalf of the President of
2 the court, by Sajin Aida -- at the bottom you see
3 another certificate issued by the district military
4 court in Mostar, department Konjic?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. This document too was issued in Konjic on 7th April,
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And at the bottom you see the stamp of the Republic of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the district military tribunal in
11 Mostar, department Konjic?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. This certificate has also been signed by the head of the
14 department, has it not? The signature is for, on behalf
15 of the head of the department?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. In view of the fact that you have read both these
18 certificates, is it true to say, General, that these
19 courts indicated in the heading of the certificate
20 confirmed that on 7th April, 1994 no criminal
21 proceedings were conducted before these courts against
22 Zejnil Delalic?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Will you, please, General, now look at the document
25 dated 4th April, 1995? This document has been copied in
1 two ways, twice actually by mistake, so you can now have
2 a look at whichever one is more legible.
3 A. I have looked at the documents.
4 Q. Is it true, General, that in the top left corner of this
5 certificate there is the name of the organ and that is
6 the district military court in Mostar, Konjic
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Is it true that there is also the number of the
10 certificate, the place and the date of the issuance,
11 Konjic, 4th April, 1995?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Is it true that in the left -- in the right corner of
14 this certificate there is the name of the organ, the
15 basic court in Konjic, and the number under which this
16 certificate has been registered?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Is it true that below the certificate there are stamps
19 of the district military tribunal in Mostar, Konjic
20 department, and the stamp of the basic court in Konjic?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Is it true that this certificate has been signed by the
23 head of the department, Sulejman Bajric, and the
24 President of the Basic Court, Halil Gagula?
25 A. Yes, that is correct.
1 Q. Is it true that by this certificate these courts confirm
2 that on 4th April, 1995 no criminal proceedings were
3 conducted against Zejnil Delalic before those courts, is
4 that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you. Could these documents please be returned to
7 the Registry.
8 I would now like to ask you, General, to have a
9 look at the following document. I have sufficient
10 number of copies in Bosnian and English for the Trial
11 Chamber, and I would like the original of the
12 certificate to be shown to the witness.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Defence document 85/1.
14 Have you read the document?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Is it true, General, that this certificate was issued by
17 the district military tribunal in Mostar, and the number
18 and the date is the 16th May, 1996, indicated at the top
19 left corner of this document?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Is it true, General, that at the bottom of the
22 certificate there is the stamp of the republic of
23 Bosnian Herzegovina district military tribunal, Mostar?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Is it true that this certificate was signed by the
1 President of the tribunal, Asim Suta?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Is it true that the certificate confirms that Zejnil
4 Delalic is not subject to any criminal proceedings and
5 that he has not been entered in the criminal records of
6 the court, of the Tribunal?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Please, I would like this document to be returned to the
10 I would like to show you another document,
11 General. I have a sufficient number of copies for the
12 Trial Chamber and for the Prosecution, and the
13 Prosecutor is in possession of this document. I would
14 like this document to be numbered.
15 THE REGISTRAR: This is the Exhibit D86/1.
16 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, may I raise a matter?
17 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, you may.
18 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, there has been a succession of
19 these documents shown to the witness and in many
20 respects this witness is not a terribly appropriate
21 witness to be dealing with them. I have not objected,
22 but I do question the relevance of it, in view of the
23 basis on which the Prosecution at least has sought to
24 tender the original exhibits which dealt with these
25 proceedings. We have seen a -- I mean, I have raised no
1 objection because I assumed counsel wanted to make it
2 clear that proceedings did not go ahead. I have no
3 problem with that. How much more are we to receive of
4 these sorts of documents on what is ultimately an
5 irrelevant issue?
6 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, have you any answers to that?
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honour, I showed the original of the
8 document to the witness this time. We do not expect the
9 witness to verify these documents at all, and as you can
10 see I did not tender them as evidence. This is the last
11 document in this series, and I have limited myself with
12 regard to all these documents only to the name of Zejnil
13 Delalic, which appears in these documents.
14 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Actually the observation is as to the
15 relevance of them. If they are relevant to the question
16 you are asking then there might be some point. What is
17 your intention? What are you trying to show that they
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: They represent an answer to some of the
20 questions, some of the issues raised by the Prosecutor
21 when he discussed with this witness the commission and
22 the interview shown before this Trial Chamber, since all
23 of these documents contain the name of Zejnil Delalic,
24 and it may have some relation to the evidence presented
25 by the Prosecutor before this Trial Chamber. This is
1 where we see the relevance of the documents we have
2 shown here.
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Well, of course. It depends on the way
4 you consider your own case. If all the earlier
5 documents you are showing was that a person of that name
6 and title -- that might be relevant, and you might have
7 been able to show that this is an equation of that same
8 name and title. It does not go further than that. I do
9 not think they show anything more than that.
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honour, on Wednesday and Thursday we
11 saw that in relation to the contents of the documents we
12 have limited our examination to the -- only to the name
13 of Zejnil Delalic and this witness has been shown a
14 large number of documents and since this witness has
15 confirmed that these issues were -- documents were
16 issued by the bodies named on these documents. He can
17 just confirm to us that these are the documents which
18 are usually issued by such bodies at that time, and that
19 these documents contain the name of Zejnil Delalic; and
20 this is precisely what you suggested to us when we
21 raised certain objections to some documents being shown
22 to this witness while he was being questioned.
23 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: As I said, I do not think one really
24 minds but it is merely confirming what the
25 Prosecution said.
1 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you.
2 General, have you looked at this document; and of
3 course, as I have already explained to you on Thursday,
4 I do not want you to confirm the validity of any of
5 these documents because you were not the person who
6 issued them. Can you please tell me whether this
7 document was issued by the Ministry of the Interior
8 security services centre, Mostar, Konjic public security
10 A. This is what it says in the heading.
11 Q. Is it true that this document was signed by the chief
12 Amir Begic as indicated at the bottom of the document?
13 A. Yes, this is what it says.
14 Q. Is it true that this document mentions the name of
15 Zejnil Delalic?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And according to this document he does not have a
18 criminal record of previous convictions?
19 A. This is what it says in the text.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 I would like this document to be returned to the
23 General, I would like to ask you now to go back to
24 some other issues that you have discussed in part before
25 this Trial Chamber. Is it true that you said that you
1 had been to Konjic on several occasions and that you had
2 discussed some issues with Rusmir Hadzihuseinovic, the
3 chairman of the municipality, is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. In that period you also talked to Jasmin Guska, who was
6 the acting chief of the Ministry of the Interior in
8 A. I think I only met him once and it was a very brief
10 Q. That is what you said when the Prosecutor asked you
11 that, but I would like you to be more specific and to
12 agree with me, if possible; is it true that MUP,
13 Ministry of the Interior, had its own chain of command
14 and that at that time it did not accept to be placed
15 under the overall command of the military armed forces?
16 A. It is not true that they did not place itself under the
17 command of the armed forces. MUP, Ministry of the
18 Interior, is a constituent part of the armed forces.
19 The securities services centre in Mostar and the public
20 security station in Konjic was part of that -- according
21 to the Armed Forces Act of Bosnian Herzegovina was a
22 part of the armed forces.
23 Q. I am referring to that period in time, that is the
24 beginning and mid 1992, when that Act was not in force
25 at the time. Is it true that the Ministry of the
1 Interior had its own chain of command and it was
2 subordinated to the Ministry of the Interior?
3 A. It probably had its own chain of command, but I cannot
4 tell you anything about that.
5 Q. When you passed through Konjic, you probably talked to
6 Dinko Zebic, the HVO commander, and Ivica Azinovic, his
7 deputy, and President of the HVO, which was equivalent
8 to the War Presidency in Konjic. Did you talk to them?
9 A. I do not remember having talked to them. I only visited
10 the municipal headquarters in Konjic once with Jasmin
11 Jaganjac. We did not find anyone there except for some
12 soldiers who were on guard duty. I did not talk to the
13 representatives of the HVO in Konjic at all in 1992.
14 Q. General, you can confirm that you know the commanders of
15 the Territorial Defence headquarters, Mirsad Catic and
16 Esad Ramic?
17 A. Yes, I met them during the war.
18 Q. You can confirm, surely, that Zejnil Delalic was not a
19 commander of the municipal headquarters of the
20 Territorial Defence in Konjic, is that correct?
21 A. I do not know whether he was a commander or not. I know
22 that Esad Ramic was a commander and later on it was
23 Mirsad Catic.
24 Q. I would like now to ask you to look at a document. I
25 have a sufficient number of copies -- number of copies
1 both in Bosnian and in English. The Prosecution is in
2 possession of this document.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D87/1.
4 A. I have read the document.
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: General, you know Commander Mustafa
7 A. Yes, I do know him.
8 Q. You know that in 1996 he was the Commander of the
9 4th Corps of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Is it true, General, that this document was issued by
12 the command of the 4th Corps, headquartered in Jablanica
13 on 22nd May, 1992, as it is indicated in the top left
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Is it true that at the bottom of this document there is
17 a stamp of the 4th Corps command and the signature of the
18 Commander, Mustafa Polutak?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Is it true that in this document the name of Zejnil
21 Delalic is mentioned and that on the basis of the
22 existing documents it is indicated that he has not been
23 named as the Commander of the TO in 1992?
24 A. Yes.
25 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. I would like the document now
1 to be returned to the Registry.
2 Your Honours, bearing in mind the time and the
3 fact that I am about to start a new line of questioning,
4 maybe it would be advisable to have a break now?
5 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You still have 20 minutes to continue.
6 MS. RESIDOVIC: I apologise.
7 General, the Prosecutor showed you a document
8 yesterday, it was a document by General Blaskic
9 regarding the situation in central Bosnia. It is the
10 Prosecution Exhibit number 78, and I would like you to
11 have a look at it?
12 A. It was on Thursday.
13 MR. NIEMANN: Excuse me, your Honour, it does not appear to
14 be exhibit 78.
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: 188. Well, it seems that there is a
16 problem with the interpretation, but I think that the
17 Registry understands me well and that they have
18 presented the witness with the right document.
19 This document, according to what is stated in the
20 document, was signed by Colonel Tihomir Blaskic, was it
22 A. Yes, that is what it says.
23 Q. This report also has to do for the period between 5th
24 and 10th August 1992, as indicated under point 1?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You have spoken about that, and will you please confirm
2 that it was precisely in this period of time that heavy
3 fighting was going on in order to lift the blockade of
4 Sarajevo in the area of Igman, Pazaric and Ormanja --
5 that is in the area belonging to the area of
6 responsibility of Zejnil Delalic as Commander of
7 Tactical Group 1, is that not so?
8 A. Yes, precisely in that period in August.
9 Q. Is it also true, General, that this area of
10 responsibility physically and territorially, if I may
11 say so, bordered on the area of responsibility of
12 Kiseljak, which was under the command of General
14 A. The areas of responsibility of the operative zone,
15 operative groups of the HVO and our own, that is of the
16 BiH army and the Tactical Groups, overlapped, and this
17 also applied to this area of responsibility.
18 Q. Also on Thursday you referred to certain disputes and
19 obstructions put up at the time by the HVO?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You are surely aware that at that time in the area of
22 Igman and Trnovo, the Commander of Tactical Group 2 was
23 Mirsad Catic?
24 A. I cannot confirm that he was the commander, but I know
25 that there were struggles to lift the blockade of
1 Sarajevo. Who was in charge of the Tactical Group, this
2 can surely be checked in documents.
3 Q. Can you confirm that at the heat of those battles our
4 units were obstructed from passing from Visoko and
5 Fojnica towards the battle front within the area of
6 responsibility of Tactical Group 1?
7 A. Regarding such obstructions of the movement of BiH army
8 units, I heard about them, but I am not familiar with
9 the details.
10 Q. Did you also hear that between the 4th and the 8th
11 August, in Kiseljak, the Commander of the TO
12 headquarters, Sead Sinanbasic, members of the staff,
13 were arrested and the public security station and the TO
14 headquarters were seized?
15 A. Yes, I heard about those arrests, but I am not familiar
16 with the details concerning those arrested.
17 Q. Is it true, General, that all those activities and
18 obstructive efforts were a hindrance and obstructed the
19 efforts of our fighters to lift the blockade of
21 A. Certainly they did.
22 Q. Do you know Semsudin Hasic?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Is it true that he was Chief of Staff of the 1st Mostar
1 A. He was for a time.
2 Q. Will you please look at the next document, of which we
3 have sufficient copies in English and Bosnian, so could
4 they be identified and marked and shown to the witness?
5 THE REGISTRAR: The document is D88/1.
6 A. I have read it.
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: Before I ask you any questions about this
8 document, I want to ask you something which may be quite
9 clear, but as a layman not quite. Is it true, General,
10 that a superior military officer addressing a
11 subordinate officer or any other subordinate uses
12 orders, requests and commands?
13 A. Will you please repeat that question?
14 Q. A commander or a senior officer in the military, when
15 addressing any subordinate, an officer, a senior officer
16 or a soldier, does he do so by issuing orders or
18 A. Yes, generally speaking, yes.
19 Q. General, at the top of this document you see the
20 heading, "the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina army of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina 1st Mostar Brigade", is that not so?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. That is the Brigade that you headed from the middle of
24 July, when it was formed, until you became Corps
25 Commander, is that not so?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. As you have already indicated, at the time your Chief of
3 Staff was Semsudin Hasic, was he not?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. In answer to a question from the Prosecution on Thursday
6 -- Wednesday and Thursday, you said that when passing
7 through Konjic you most frequently discussed with
8 persons you met the needs regarding defence and any
9 possible exchange of those resources or needs?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. This document, which was addressed by the 1st Mostar
12 Brigade to Mr. Zejnil Delalic in person, is it one of
13 those documents whereby you are asking a certain amount
14 of ammunition to be provided to you?
15 A. Yes, we did ask for ammunition.
16 Q. Do you, General, know Major Sefkija Kevric, assistant
17 for logistics of the municipal TO staff in Konjic at the
19 A. I met him later.
20 Q. Is it true, General, that the signature of this
21 hand-written text, Delalic, Zejnil, is asking this person
22 to meet, asking Sefkija Kevric to meet your requirement?
23 A. Yes, that is what it says.
24 Q. Does it follow from the contents of this request,
25 General, that Zejnil Delalic, in this period too, that
1 is 10th November 1992, was in a certain sense engaged
2 with logistical issues?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you. General, I apologise, I seem to be losing my
6 In the course of your examination-in-chief, the
7 Prosecutor showed you a number of documents that were
8 hand-written. Is it true, General, that you do not know
9 who, when or on what occasion compiled and wrote those
10 documents? There were several documents that were
11 hand-written by somebody?
12 A. I do not know which documents you are referring to you.
13 There were such documents that were shown to me that the
14 signature is not legible, nor the stamp, nor is it
16 Q. So when those documents were shown to you, you did not
17 in any sense identify or authenticate those documents?
18 MR. NIEMANN: I object to the question and that broad a way
19 of putting it. I have no objection to a question, "you
20 did not authenticate the writing"; certainly I did not
21 ask this witness to identify the writing. I asked
22 certain questions about the documents. I object to the
23 question on the basis of its width. I do not object to
24 a question about whether or not he was asked or whether
25 he can authenticate. It was never suggested he could.
1 JUDGE JAN: Perhaps you could ask whether he is acquainted
2 with this handwriting.
3 MR. NIEMANN: I did not ask that. She is certainly entitled
4 to ask it. I would not object to that, your Honours.
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, I have no further questions
6 regarding those documents. I just wanted to make it
7 clear precisely what my learned colleague the Prosecutor
8 has just said. I accept the objection this time.
9 General, the Prosecutor showed you a document
10 marked D189, so could it be shown to the General once
11 again, please?
12 THE REGISTRAR: It is Prosecution document 189.
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: In connection with the questions put to you
14 regarding this document by the Prosecution, could you
15 please answer a number of other questions?
16 You said, General, that from the second half of
17 1992 the HVO used various Croatian media, the
18 television, to spread some misinformation, slanders and
19 abuses regarding both the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
20 the Bosniak people?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Since at the time you were in the hottest, if I might
23 call it that, area, you certainly watched those
24 programmes and read those reports?
25 A. I did follow as much as I could.
1 Q. You certainly are familiar with the name Smiljko Sagolj?
2 A. Yes, a journalist of Bosnia-Herzegovina television, if
3 he is the one you are referring to.
4 Q. Yes. You know that in his propaganda programmes he
5 often used falsified data and information, false data
6 and information?
7 A. I do not know what he used, but I know that some of his
8 information was not true.
9 Q. At the time, we ordinary citizens and I am sure you too
10 were able to see this, were shown a document, an alleged
11 leaflet in which the Muslims are called upon to
12 slaughter and at the end a gross error is made in
13 respect of Allahu Ekber -- a gross error was made?
14 A. I do not recall that.
15 Q. Thank you. You know who Slobodan Praljak was, General?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You also know who Bozo Rajic was?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You also know Zonko Siljak?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. All these people were officials in the HVO of the
22 Croatian community of Herceg Bosna, so-called?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And their stamps figure on the documents. General, you
25 told the Trial Chamber about the conflict in Prozor?
1 A. I spoke of an aggression against Prozor, not a conflict.
2 Q. Yes, I had wanted you to repeat what you said on
3 Thursday in answer to a question by my learned friend.
4 You certainly know that at the time the Chief of Staff
5 of the BiH army in Prozor was Muharem Sabic?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Could I now ask the technical services to show a
8 videotape, cassette number 3, clip 1 and 2, so that the
9 witness could identify the person in the video and that
10 I may ask him some questions regarding it? The
11 Prosecutor has this video. Could we ask the technical
12 services to show clip 1 and 2, cassette number 2,
13 Muharem Sabic. Could the text be translated as the
14 witness has already commented on these facts?
15 The interpreters do not have a text.
16 THE INTERPRETER: (translating videotape).
17 "... forty kilometres of march. My departure
18 from the municipality of Prozor when Prozor fell after
19 the HVO units captured the area -- after a 40 kilometre
20 march, as I have said, and after passing the mountains
21 and creeks, I reached free territory to inform the
22 domestic and world public opinion of the truth as
23 regards what happened in Prozor.
24 "The attack by HVO units against the town of
25 Prozor started on 23rd October 1992 about 5 pm. Before
1 that we had a meeting of the War Presidency when we were
2 to discuss current problems in the municipality. Until
3 the mentioned day we had jointly dealt with combat tasks
4 on the battle front. We fought together against the
5 Chetniks. All areas, parts of the Prozor municipality
6 were liberated from the Chetniks so the aggressor's boot
7 never entered our municipality.
8 "During the last ten days problems arose between
9 the HVO and the TO of Prozor, or rather the army of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina. What the causes were I do not know,
11 but I know the consequences. As I have already said,
12 the town itself was seized by the HVO, but not the whole
13 municipality. Before a column of refugees old men,
14 women and children left as their agreements were reached
15 at the War Presidency how to overcome current problems,
16 the stay of a Brigade and a special unit that was to
17 pass through our municipality to go to Novi Travnik.
18 "What its mission was, I do not know. I was told
19 at the time that it was agreed that the main staff of
20 the armed forces, that that unit should pass through the
21 territory of our municipality to reach Novi Travnik. In
22 that connection I sent a telegram to the main staff and
23 the answer was that no such agreement was reached, that
24 that unit was not to have passed for Novi Travnik.
25 "This unit and group, who behaved in an unruly
1 manner, raised tension in the town. They captured
2 certain strategic points in the town such as the old
3 courthouse and some other facilities and they set up new
4 checkpoints which had not existed before. Earlier the
5 checkpoints were held by mixed military police of the
6 HVO and the BiH army and there were no major problems
7 and there are records to show this, that this was just
8 an excuse or a pretext for a general attack on Prozor.
9 "The attack started from all weapons, artillery
10 pieces and equipment that the HVO had in its
11 possession. At the beginning some important strategic
12 points in the town were captured, so as to prevent our
13 fresh reinforcements from coming in and to prevent the
14 evacuation of the population and the military in any
15 direction so that we were absolutely surrounded when the
16 attack began. When the shooting started from all
17 possible weapons and guns, we responded and I alerted
18 all units fully."
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: The second part, please.
20 THE INTERPRETER: (Translating videotape).
21 "Since I was informed that I was being looked for
22 I took two men as an escort to try to break into free
23 territory to inform the domestic and world public
24 opinion as to what was happening. As I had already been
25 informed that there were various misinformation going
1 around, that is at 9 o'clock the Commander of the
2 district court of Zenica, when I realised that our
3 defences had failed and I tried to address the public
4 through the media, and I told them what I saw with my
5 own eyes; that is that children, women, were shot at.
6 I heard cries of mother's children, et cetera."
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, I have several
8 questions in connection with this tape. Shall I begin
10 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: No, I think we might rise and come back
11 at 12 o'clock.
12 (11.27 am)
13 (Short break)
14 (12.00 pm)
15 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: The witness is still on his oath, so
16 tell him.
17 THE REGISTRAR: I remind you, sir, that you are still under
19 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, you may proceed.
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you, your Honour.
21 General, just before we broke off we watched a
22 videotape. Do you recognise the person who spoke on
23 that videotape?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Is that the Commander of the Territorial Defence staff
1 in Prozor, Mr. Muharem Sabic?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did Mr. Sabic speak about the events that followed after
4 the attack on Prozor in this video clip?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. I would first of all like to ask the Registrar to tell
7 me, what is the number of this clip?
8 THE REGISTRAR: The video cassette is marked D89/1.
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: And I would also like to tender this video
10 clip as evidence, since the witness has recognised the
11 person and the contents of the speech made by the person
12 in this videotape.
13 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: It is submitted.
14 MS. RESIDOVIC: It is submitted.
15 General, from what we have heard from Mr. Sabic we
16 can see that on 23rd October the HVO and parts of the
17 Croatian army launched an attack or, as you said,
18 aggression against Prozor, is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. In this assault tank units led by Ante Smidt also
21 participated, is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. At that time the assistance -- the BiH army units from
24 Jablanica and Konjic could not provide assistance to
1 A. I know that that assistance never reached that area.
2 Q. Your Brigade, which was located very far away in Mostar,
3 and which had a very complicated situation in involving
4 HVO, was not able to go there, is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Is it correct that at that time the TV of the Croatian
7 community Herceg Bosna, and I am referring now to
8 persons you already mentioned, reporters whom we already
9 mentioned, launched reports that Muslims attacked Croats
10 in Prozor and that Zejnil and Halilovic were behind
11 that; are you aware of such information?
12 A. Yes, they did carry such reports.
13 Q. General, you know that this is absolutely untrue?
14 A. Yes, I was in Prozor on the 26th.
15 Q. Two or three days after those events, negotiations
16 started in Prozor, and you also spoke about that in your
17 interview in Jablanica, is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. At that time you were not the Commander of the 4th Corps?
20 A. I was not the Commander of the 4th Corps.
21 Q. You were still the Commander of the 1st Mostar Brigade?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. On our side Vehbija Karic, member of the Supreme Staff
24 Command, you and Zejnil Delalic participated in the
25 negotiations, is that correct?
1 A. Yes, I also participated.
2 Q. The Croatian side was represented by Slobodan Praljak,
3 Bozo Rajic, local HVO commanders and Zvonko Zovko on
4 behalf of the Konjic HVO, is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And HVO dictated the conditions of the negotiations?
7 A. Yes, it was in a position to do so.
8 Q. Commander Sabic said that in this video clip, but
9 I would also like you to confirm that the -- whether you
10 know that the majority of the Muslim population fled and
11 was expelled and had to seek refuge in Jablanica?
12 A. Yes, they were expelled, and I already stated that.
13 Q. As a member of the commission you received reports about
14 damage caused to the population of Prozor?
15 A. Yes, we tried to determine what the damage was.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: I apologise, your Honours, I have not been
17 able to have some documents translated, because I did
18 not know that we would be tendering this or that the
19 Prosecution will be tendering this, so I would just like
20 to give some information to the witness in order to be
21 able to ask some questions. So, I would like to have
22 this report, which is in Bosnian, to be presented to the
23 witness. I will not be tendering it into evidence, just
24 as a reminder.
25 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, this makes it very difficult. We
1 have no idea what the witness is being shown and we are
2 just left in the dark as to what it is that the witness
3 is being questioned about. I object to a document that
4 has not been identified in any way being shown to a
5 witness when we do not have any translation of it.
6 I mean, it is very difficult for your Honours, but it
7 makes it impossible for the Prosecution because we have
8 no idea what it is.
9 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Have you no other way of asking him
10 questions which make him remember the contents of those
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: Yes, I would just like him to have a look,
13 to be reminded, and I will be asking questions or I can
14 ask the questions even without the documents, in order
15 not to complicate matters. Thank you.
16 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: There could be a discussion between the
17 two of you.
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: General, would you agree with me if I say
19 that in the reports that your Prozor commission received
20 indicated the lists of property that was taken from the
21 citizens, the lists of buildings that were damaged or
22 ruined, a list of buildings that had been set on fire
23 and the destruction to other property and information
24 that you -- the reports that you received, did they
25 contain this kind of information?
1 A. Yes.
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: If I were to tell you that in the reports
3 dated January 1993, which contain an analysis of the
4 damage, that it indicates that during the attack on
5 Konjic 40 privately-owned businesses were destroyed, 110
6 vehicles stolen, and that 75 houses were burned down in
7 Prozor -- these are houses owned by Bosniaks -- and that
8 an additional nine houses were burnt in the hamlet of
9 Memici; would that be approximately the information you
10 received while you worked in the commission.
11 JUDGE JAN: You mean the attack on Prozor; you said attack
12 on Konjic.
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: Yes.
14 A. Yes, I composed several reports and sent them to the
15 Supreme Command as regards Prozor. In those reports, we
16 determined how many people were killed, wounded and
17 expelled, how many houses were burned, looted, and the
18 seizure of other property, such as vehicles, machinery,
19 et cetera. I cannot remember, at this time, the exact
20 numbers, but I think that the numbers were substantial.
21 Q. If I understood you correctly, the figures that you gave
22 in your reports were substantial?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Thank you. In the interview given by Commander Sabic,
25 have you noticed that Commander Sabic said that after
1 the attack on Prozor he advised his Superior Command --
2 that is the district headquarters in Zenica -- about
4 A. Yes, the municipal TO in Prozor was part of the district
5 Territorial Defence staff in Zenica.
6 Q. So despite the fact that Prozor was in the area of
7 activities of the territorial -- the Tactical Group 1,
8 it was subordinate to the district headquarters in
10 A. The municipal headquarters in Prozor was part of the
11 district Territorial Defence headquarters in Zenica,
12 becoming a part of the Tactical Group 1, and the
13 determination of the area of responsibility -- I cannot
14 specify that. This is contained in certain documents.
15 This Tactical Group had several directions of activity
16 towards Prozor, towards Igman and towards Mostar.
17 Q. Thank you. General, I would like to go back to the
18 document that was shown to you by the Prosecutor on
19 Thursday. Is it true that all our commanders in their
20 documents referred to the "army of Bosnian Herzegovina",
21 the "HVO", and not to "Muslim forces", "Croatian
22 forces", is that correct?
23 A. We never used the term "Muslim forces". There was the
24 Territorial Defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which later
25 became the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and, according to
1 the Defence Act, there was also the HVO, Croatian
2 Defence Council, which was the recognised element of the
3 armed forces.
4 Q. The document that was shown to you by the Prosecutor is
5 dated 28th August, 1992. That means two months before
6 the attack on Prozor, is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. In the introductory part it uses terms which were never
9 used by the -- by our forces; that is, "the
10 Croatian/Muslim conflict", that term is used. Is that
11 what it says there?
12 A. I do not have the document with me, but it is probably
13 what it says.
14 Q. I ask that document to be brought before the witness.
15 That is the Prosecution Exhibit 189. Bearing in mind
16 the terms used by the propaganda of the Croatian
17 Community of Herceg Bosna, and also in view of what the
18 text of this order looks like, is it your opinion,
19 General, that most probably this document is a forgery?
20 MR. NIEMANN: I object to that, your Honour. I mean, if the
21 witness is in a position to authenticate the document
22 which he has never been put into that position, he is
23 not in a position to say whether or not it represents a
24 forgery. I do not see that this witness has in any way
25 been qualified to determine whether or not he can
1 express an opinion of whether or not it represents a
2 forgery or not.
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: It is not a proper question.
4 JUDGE JAN: Perhaps you can ask whether the document uses
5 terms which were never used by the Bosnian army or the
6 TO Defence.
7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Suppose you ask your question on that
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. I have put that question to the
10 witness and he answered that the BiH army never used the
11 term "Croatian/Muslim forces" in incidents by the
12 Territorial Defence and the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
13 Just one more question so there are no
14 misunderstandings: from the contents of this document
15 which was allegedly dated two months before the
16 conflict, or before the attack launched by the HVO, it
17 is completely illogical, is it not, so?
18 A. I would have to analyse this document and compare it to
19 the situation in the field at that time in order to be
20 able to speak about its -- whether it is logical or
21 not. As an officer of the army of Bosnian Herzegovina
22 or the army for the federation, this document is not
24 Q. Thank you. We will not dwell on this document any
1 Your Honours, I once again find myself in a
2 situation, since we have been supplied by the Prosecutor
3 with a certain number of documents originating from the
4 Croatian Community of Herceg Bosna, and they also asked
5 several questions relating to that area, I have been
6 unable to translate these documents supplied to us by
7 the Prosecutor, nor have we received a translation. So
8 I will have to adjust my questions to the decision you
9 have reached a couple of minutes ago when I wanted to
10 introduce a document without a translation. So you will
11 have to excuse me if I am not completely precise.
12 General, the documents of the Croatian Defence
13 Council and the Croatian Community of Herceg Bosna in
14 the heading have the Croatian chequer-board symbol at
15 that time?
16 A. There was a number of documents, some of them had a
17 letter-head that contained the chequer-board, some of
18 them did not. I do not know what document you are
19 referring to.
20 Q. The Konjic military police as early as in October 1992,
21 and probably even before that, adopted a chequer-board as
22 its symbol. Are you aware of that?
23 A. No, I do not know about that.
24 Q. Are you aware that they did not use the symbols, the
25 emblems of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
1 A. You mean the Konjic military police?
2 Q. The Croatian Defence Council of the Croatian Community
3 of Herceg Bosna?
4 A. A couple of minutes ago, since I am not allowed to say
5 things, you present to me a document originating from
6 the Croatian Community of Herceg Bosna which I , as an
7 officer of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, do not
8 recognise. It is a self-styled entity. I do not know
9 of any examples that HVO units had emblems or stamps of
10 using the emblems of the Republic of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina. That would be the fleur-de-lis.
12 They only use the chequer-board.
13 Q. General, I will now read a passage from a document from
14 the Herceg Stjepan brigade. I would like you to answer
15 whether such decisions and orders of the HVO did appear
16 another that time. 15th October, 1992; this was a memo
17 sent to the Konjic military police, saying that:
18 "We advise you that on 17th October 1992 all
19 people in the territory of Konjic and Jablanica who have
20 approval for movement in the territory of Herceg Bosna
21 and the Republic of Croatia must have that certificate
22 certified with the stamp of the Brigade. Persons who
23 have the approval certified with some other stamp shall
24 be considered invalid."
25 Do you know that HVO issued such orders, and
1 prevented our people from moving -- restricted the
2 freedom of movement of our people in the so-called
3 Herceg Bosna? I share your view of its legitimacy.
4 A. I encountered such instances, even in the 1st Mostar
5 Brigade area responsibility, and it is true that we were
6 unable to leave the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
7 to go over to the neighbouring state of Croatia unless
8 we had the approval from the Croatian Defence Council to
9 do so.
10 Q. Thank you. General, from your experience, you testified
11 before this court that the freedom of movement for our
12 convoys was restricted, that they were obstructed?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Were there such orders in the field, orders of the HVO?
15 I will read the contents, this one is dated 10th October
16 1992. It says:
17 "Notification from the Konjic military police that
18 a convoy, a Red Cross convoy, from Konjic was moving
19 from Split to Konjic. It contained eight to ten
20 trucks. It is suspected that arms for the BiH
21 Territorial Defence are in the trucks. Please intercept
22 the convoy. The convoy is due to reach Konjic tonight
23 or the next day. Please report."
24 This is signed by the commander of military
25 police, Zeljko Brekalo. My question to you is: from
1 your experience, are you aware that there were such or
2 similar orders issued by the HVO for the interception of
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. General, you said that at the time for which you have
6 information in Konjic, that is from November on, that
7 you had information about events that we discussed. But
8 are you aware that without the approval of the HVO it
9 was impossible to travel from Konjic through the
10 territory controlled by the HVO, also in the initial
11 part of the conflict, I mean the initial period of the
12 war in Bosnian Herzegovina?
13 A. Mostly through the territory controlled by the HVO it
14 was impossible to travel without the laissez passé, or
15 the approval of the Croatian Defence Council.
16 Q. I would now like the witness to be shown an
17 authorisation that is in possession of the Prosecutor
18 that is dated 2nd May 1992 so that the witness can have
19 a look at it so I can ask some questions. I have a
20 sufficient number of copies both for the Trial Chamber
21 and for the Prosecution, both in Bosnian and in
23 THE REGISTRAR: Defence Exhibit 91/1.
24 A. I have looked at it.
25 MS. RESIDOVIC: Is it the -- a permission of the HVO, dated
1 2nd May, 1992?
2 A. Yes, signed by the staff Commander of Konjic.
3 Q. The signature, does it indicate the Commander of the
4 municipal staff, Dinko Zebic, but signed on his behalf
5 by Ivan Azinovic?
6 A. Yes, that is what it says.
7 Q. Is it a permission allowing Mr. Zejnil Delalic to travel
8 through the territory under the control of the HVO?
9 A. It does not indicate what area. It is an authorisation
10 to take over the resources and when it is coming and
11 when it is going, the convoy.
12 Q. By its content, is it a similar authorisation that all
13 of you had to have to cross territory under the control
14 of the Croatian Defence Council, the HVO?
15 A. The authorisations did not have a uniform format. They
16 were made arbitrarily, and this is one example.
17 Q. Thank you. Could the exhibit be returned to the
18 Registry, please?
19 General, I should now like to ask you some
20 questions about a different topic. You can surely
21 confirm for the court that the road M17, that is the
22 road going from Sarajevo to Konjic, is of strategic
23 military importance?
24 A. Yes, it was of operational strategic importance for the
25 state of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1 Q. Is it true, General, that you are aware that there was a
2 plan for strong JNA forces to make a break through at
3 the beginning of May 1992, forces that were stationed in
4 Hadzici via Prozor and Bradina to link up with the
5 Herzegovina Corps at Borci?
6 A. Yes, we had a report that there were such plans to link
7 up those forces.
8 Q. Had that happened, General, would Sarajevo have been
9 surrounded by a wall of more than 60 kilometres and
10 Konjic have been entirely surrounded?
11 A. I cannot forecast what could have happened, but the
12 situation in Sarajevo would have been a difficult one.
13 Q. General, I know that you spent much of the war period,
14 that is the whole of 1992 and 1993, engaged in the area
15 of Herzegovina and that you are very well aware of the
16 conditions there. That is why I am asking you whether,
17 as early as 1991, Herceg Bosna was first proclaimed as a
18 cultural community of the Croatian people and shortly
19 after that it developed as a state entity, under the
20 name of the Croatian Community of Herceg Bosna?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. I should like to ask the witness to be shown the
23 Sluzbeni List, the official gazette of Herceg Bosna, of
24 which I have one copy here in English and Bosnian. The
25 English can be shown to the Prosecutor, which he has
1 anyway. It was disclosed in the Blaskic case. If it
2 could be identified and shown to the witness.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Defence Exhibit 92/1.
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: General, is that a document which you
5 recognise as being headed by the words, Sluzbeni List of
6 the Croatian Community of Herceg Bosna"?
7 A. Yes.
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: Is it true that all decisions regarding the
9 structure of the Croatian Community of Herceg Bosna as a
10 state entity contained in that official gazette were
11 proclaimed by the constitutional court of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina as being unconstitutional.
13 JUDGE JAN: But has not Dr. Calic spoken about it? So why
14 repeat that? I think Dr. Calic has covered that field.
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: Yes, your Honours. Dr. Calic did refer to
16 these matters. It did not submit the whole document,
17 but the witness has certain knowledge about events which
18 were the product of these and similar documents of
19 Herceg Bosna. May I proceed? Thank you.
20 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I do not know if you really want to
21 proceed because you are taking up questions which you
22 need not. You need not bother this witness because I do
23 not see the effect. Even if he said it was, it would
24 not make any difference to it.
25 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, I am not going to ask this
1 witness about legal documents, but he knows from his own
2 personal experience the consequences of these documents.
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: That is what your question amounts to,
4 so it does not really matter.
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: General, are you aware that in Graz,
6 Austria, Mate Boban and Radovan Karadzic met in June
8 A. I was informed about that by the media, but I am not
9 familiar with the details.
10 Q. After that period, disagreements and later conflicts
11 with the HVO were intensified, were they not?
12 A. You are talking about "conflicts" again. I said that it
13 was aggression against the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina by
14 the extremist wing of the HVO and the Croatian army.
15 I cannot talk about a conflict.
16 Q. General, I am not in a position to agree or disagree
17 with you. You have testified before this Trial Chamber
18 about the beginnings of the misunderstandings and
19 conflicts, which were then followed by an outspoken
20 aggression; at least, that is my understanding of your
21 description of your mutual relationships?
22 A. I spoke about questions which were not agreed upon
23 between us and on the basis of those uncoordinated
24 points, certain disagreements arose.
25 Q. And later on this led up to their open aggression?
1 A. Yes, it did.
2 Q. According to that concept of the Croatian Community of
3 Herceg Bosna, the town of Konjic as well as the town of
4 Mostar belonged to that para-state, did they not?
5 A. They should have belonged to the so-called Croatian
6 Community of Herceg Bosna.
7 Q. You know, General, that in Konjic, before the war, the
8 majority population -- that is more than 50 per cent of
9 the population -- were Bosniaks?
10 A. Yes, according to the 1992 census.
11 Q. But that other ethnicities lived there in agreement and
12 harmony until the aggression on Bosnia-Herzegovina?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And our country before the war, nor during the war,
15 never considered Bosnia-Herzegovina not to be a common
16 state of all nationalities inhabiting it?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. However, those who attacked Bosnia on the Serbian side
19 also felt that the Neretva River valley should belong to
20 them and that they could separate it from this state,
21 did they not?
22 A. I was told that an agreement had been reached on the
23 division of the Neretva River valley between a Serbian
24 section and a Croatian section, that it would be
25 controlled by Herceg Bosna.
1 Q. You also know, General, personally, that the town of
2 Konjic was at that time exposed to heavy and continuous
3 shelling from Serb-held positions?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You are also aware that at the beginning of 1992, and at
6 the beginning of the aggression on Bosnia-Herzegovina,
7 the Croatian Defence Council was far better organised,
8 structured and equipped?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. This fact, coupled with the fact that the troops may
11 have received some kind of salary, explained why a
12 section of the Muslim population took an active part in
13 units of the HVO?
14 A. The reasons for the participation of each individual in
15 the HVO is the business of that individual. But it is a
16 fact that in some units within my area of responsibility
17 more than 60 per cent were Bosniaks in the HVO.
18 Q. Is it true that after the first liberation of Mostar the
19 Croatian Defence Council in Mostar did not take an
20 active part in the fighting against the Chetniks?
21 A. Yes, somewhere after June 17th in 1992.
22 Q. Do you know that at that same time the Konjic HVO
23 refused to participate in the battles for the liberation
24 of other parts of the municipality, and in the battle
25 for lifting the blockade of Sarajevo?
1 A. Yes, I am aware of that.
2 Q. During the blockade of the route M17, is it true that
3 the area from Tarcin to Konjic, which under normal
4 circumstances can be covered in half an hour, that it
5 took more than 15 hours to cover this same distance by a
6 roundabout Macadem route through Kresevo, Fojnica?
7 A. Yes, 12 to 15 hours. I covered that route.
8 Q. General, you also spoke about the situation in the armed
9 forces of our country at the time of the aggression. Is
10 it true that in April our state, confronted with the
11 aggression, quickly passed regulations to ensure the
12 defence of the country?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Could you, General, please look at the official gazette
15 of Bosnia-Herzegovina number 1, in 1992. We have
16 sufficient copies for the Trial Chamber and the
17 Prosecution, so that I may ask you a few questions.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Defence Exhibit D93/1.
19 A. I have looked at it.
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. Do you recognise the official
21 gazette of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Is it true that this is issue number 1, dated 9th April,
25 A. Yes, that is what it says.
1 Q. Is it true that in this official gazette, under point 2,
2 we see the decree abolishing the Republican TO staff and
3 the formation of a TO staff of the Republic of
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Is it true that that decree was passed on April 8th,
8 A. That is what it says in the heading.
9 Q. Is it true that in Article 2 of this decree it was
10 established, in paragraph 2, that:
11 "The Ministry of People's Defence of the Republic
12 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, through the staff of Territorial
13 Defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina, will command and control
14 the units of the Territorial Defence."
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Is it correct that under number 3 under the same date,
17 8th April, 1992, a decision was passed on the
18 proclamation of an immediate threat of war?
19 A. Yes.
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: I should like to tender this official
21 gazette as Defence exhibit, as the witness has
22 recognised it both in form and content.
23 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, I admit it.
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. General, is it true that by
25 this decree the Territorial Defence was established as
1 the armed force of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
2 A. Yes, as a component, as the basic component of the armed
3 forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
4 Q. Yes. Later on in May a law on defence and the armed
5 forces will be adopted, is that not so?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Yes, General, but we are now talking about the beginning
8 of April. Can you confirm, General, that at that time
9 Serb members of the Presidency obstructed the work of
10 the presidency and refused to participate in the defence
11 of the country?
12 A. I am not competent to answer that question, but
13 I learned from the mass media that representatives of
14 the Serbian people walked out of the Presidency.
15 Q. Was that, among others, the reason that by the decree
16 that we have just seen, the Ministry of National Defence
17 should be at the head of the TO units during that
18 initial period?
19 A. I can express my opinion. With the change of name from
20 the Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina into the
21 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, these decrees were
22 passed and the Defence Ministry was -- assumed the
23 responsibility of command and leadership, whereas in the
24 function of leadership -- whereas the actual command was
25 done through the staff of the Territorial Defence.
1 Q. As at the time you were on duty in Mostar, you certainly
2 know that the Ministry of National Defence of the
3 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina on the basis of these --
4 this legislation passed the decree instructing the
5 subordination of district TO staffs to the Republican
6 staff of the Territorial Defence, are you aware of that?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. A moment ago you told me that at the end of May the
9 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina passed a law on defence
10 and the armed forces, so my next question is whether in
11 accordance with that decree the armed forces consisted
12 of armed units of the Territorial Defence, the HVO and
13 the MUP, the Ministry of Interior?
14 A. I do not have that decree in front of me.
15 Q. Yes, I did not show you that. It is decree number 4.
16 I am asking you whether you are aware that the armed
17 forces consisted of the Territorial Defence, the HVO and
18 the MUP, in accordance with that decision. If you know
19 that please answer my question. If not, it does not
21 A. Yes, I am aware of that.
22 Q. In answer to a question from the Prosecution, you said
23 that the process of formation of the 4th Corps takes some
24 time in wartime conditions, "we did our best to make
25 that process as short as possible"?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. That is probably the reason why this decree on the armed
3 forces established deadlines within which the army was
4 to have been restructured in accordance with the
5 provisions of that decree?
6 A. I do not have that document, so it is difficult for me
7 to answer about deadlines.
8 Q. Thank you. That is the most sincere answer you can give
9 at this point. However, do you know that the HVO never
10 placed itself under the command of the armed forces of
12 A. That is in practice true.
13 Q. Its system of subordination went up to the main staff in
14 Grude, Posusje, for a time in Mostar; it does not matter
15 where the headquarters were but in any case it was the
16 staff, the Supreme Command of Herceg Bosna?
17 A. Yes, the Supreme Command of the HVO had the
18 responsibility of commanding all units of the Croatian
19 Defence Council.
20 Q. General, you left Sarajevo at the end of March or the
21 beginning of April, did you not?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Either directly or from the mass media, you knew what
24 was happening in Sarajevo on the 6th April?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. I am referring to April 6th, 1992, of course?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. I should like to show the witness a short video, but in
4 view of the time perhaps we could leave that until after
5 the break, if that is convenient to your Honours.
6 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I think it should be. It is 1 o'clock
7 now. It is 1 o'clock now. For how much longer would
8 you be on this issue, then we will know what to do at
9 that time?
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: I will finish today, your Honours.
11 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: That is a good answer, but ... We will
12 break now for lunch. So you will start with your video
13 after lunch.
14 (1.00 pm)
15 (Luncheon adjournment)
1 (2.30 pm)
2 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Would you kindly invite the witness
3 please? Please inform the witness that he is still on
4 his oath.
5 THE REGISTRAR: I am reminding you, sir, that you are still
6 testifying under oath.
7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You may proceed, Ms. Residovic.
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you, your Honours. I would like to
9 ask the technical support to play the video number 2.
10 It is a videotape number 1, excerpt number 2.
11 THE INTERPRETER: (Translating videotape).
12 "This is the bare-armed people. This not the ones
13 who are armed up to their teeth up there. This is the
14 unarmed people. This is impossible."
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you.
16 General, did you recognise the city where this
17 event took place?
18 A. Yes, in Sarajevo.
19 Q. Did you recognise the location where this took place?
20 MR. NIEMANN: Objection, your Honour, as to relevance. I do
21 not understand what the relevance of Sarajevo has to
22 these proceedings and I object on that basis.
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, my defendant has a direct --
24 has been directly implicated with -- in the indictment
25 with the Supreme Command in Sarajevo and I would like to
1 draw attention to this witness and the questions that
2 I am asking of this witness are directly connected to
3 that situation.
4 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, you can proceed.
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: General, would you please repeat, do you
6 recognise the location within the city of Sarajevo where
7 these events took place?
8 A. I think this was the space between the Parliament
9 building and the Holiday Inn Hotel, the museum.
10 Q. General, was this 6th April when for all intents and
11 purposes the war in Bosnia started?
12 A. I remember this tape. I think it could be the 6th.
13 I do not know.
14 Q. Is it true that the city of Sarajevo was continuously
15 attacked following this day?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Is it correct that on May 2nd Sarajevo was completely
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Is it true that on that day the post office in Sarajevo
21 burned down, housing more than 100,000 telephone numbers
22 and all the installations that were there?
23 A. Yes, the post office building was destroyed.
24 Q. Is it true that only a month later a satellite
25 connection was established in Sarajevo, which provided a
1 possibility that Sarajevo would be connected, maintain
2 communications with the rest of the country and with
3 other countries and that this connection was established
4 via satellite through other countries and some other
5 places in Bosnia?
6 A. I do not know how many places were involved, but I know
7 that for a while their basic communication line was the
8 satellite one.
9 Q. And the Mostar and Konjic, neither had such type of
10 communication, is that correct?
11 A. I did not have such communication lines in Mostar.
12 Q. Is it true, General, that the orders, appointments and
13 other orders from the Supreme Command were travelling
14 under very difficult conditions and for a very long time
15 from the person who was issuing an order and the
16 recipient of that same order?
17 A. Yes, that is correct.
18 Q. General, would it happen in the field that some later
19 subsequent orders would arrive before the initial order?
20 A. In practice we would be -- receive communication or were
21 basic orders through radio and then a messenger would be
22 sent, if it was possible.
23 Q. Until the end of 1993, when under the airport the tunnel
24 was dug one could only leave Sarajevo under a direct
25 threat for one's life, when they had to run over the
2 A. Yes, I was both a witness and a participant of this type
3 of crossing.
4 Q. Since the witness recognised the videotape, I would like
5 to tender it in evidence, and I would like to get the
6 appropriate number.
7 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, we object to it on the grounds of
8 relevance, your Honour.
9 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I do not see why you really want to
10 tender it. What does it go to? Terms of the indictment
11 you are facing?
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: It is for the purpose --
13 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Of telling the story about the war.
14 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, this is just one story about
15 the war and it is relevant to the appointment of my
16 client, the conditions, the circumstances under which
17 this appointment came about, so it goes directly to the
18 responsibilities that are cited in the indictment from
19 this excerpt and from the testimony of this witness you
20 just heard how things were happening. Without this no
21 proper evaluation is possible, with respect to the
22 testimony that we heard on last Wednesday and Thursday
23 here before this Trial Chamber.
24 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: A person was appointed in such
25 conditions, how does it help your case?
1 MS. RESIDOVIC: This is the knowledge of the person about
2 the appointment. But I am not going to insist; if the
3 Trial Chamber is not leaning towards accepting this as
4 evidence, I am not going to push the matter.
5 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you. You can carry on.
6 MS. RESIDOVIC: General, when asked by the Prosecutor you
7 explained that until the end of 1992 following your
8 appointment you proceeded to do everything necessary
9 towards the establishment of the 4th Corps?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. The seat of the 4th Corps was in Mostar?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Until then you also had your headquarters in Mostar,
14 first as the Battalion Commander and then after the
15 Commander of the 1st Mostar Brigade, is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Until mid June Mostar was also besieged by the Serb
19 A. It was still under the siege.
20 Q. However, in the latter part of June, it became easier
21 for you to leave Mostar towards other free parts of the
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Before the Trial Chamber you said that you went to
25 Bugojno, Zenica, Jablanica, Gornji Vakuf, occasionally
1 Konjic, always with the plan to discuss logistical help
2 and support, exchange of material and so on, is that
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. From the latter part of June you work intensively for --
6 towards establishment of the Mostar Brigade, which was
7 the HVO support?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You visited Konjic at least 10 times before you became
10 the Commander of the 4th Corps, is that correct?
11 A. I do not know the exact number.
12 Q. For the most part you passed through and you could not
13 have been an eyewitness or direct witness of the actual
14 events in Konjic at that time, is that correct?
15 A. I could not testify to the details.
16 Q. You said that you met Mr. Delalic about three times, as
17 far as you recall, is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And that you met with Dr. Rusmir Hadzihuseinovic, the
20 President of the Municipal Assembly, the MUP chief,
21 Jasmin Guska and representatives of the HVO et cetera,
22 is that correct?
23 A. I did not say that I was meeting with the
24 representatives of the HVO. I said I went to the
25 headquarters and we did not find anyone and as far as
1 the other persons, when I was passing through I was
2 meeting these persons as well as some others.
3 Q. Thank you. Do you know Enver Redzepovic?
4 A. Enver who? I do not know which one you have in mind.
5 Q. The first TO commander in Konjic who was on his duty
6 from mid April 1992?
7 A. Maybe by sight, but I did not have any contact with him.
8 Q. Do you know that in mid May Omer Boric was appointed a
9 commander of the TO?
10 A. I know that he was the commander of the TO at the
11 municipal headquarters. I do not know when he was
12 appointed and what time-frame it was.
13 Q. Do you know that he was replaced by Esad Ramic in this
15 A. I meant Esad Ramic as the Commander, or the chief, at
16 the TO. I do not know if there was anyone between him
17 and Boric.
18 Q. You know that in the middle of October 1992 Mirsad
19 Catic, whom you met in this position, became the
20 Commander of the TO headquarters; when you became the
21 Commander of the 4th Corps he was on in that, in that
22 post, is that correct?
23 A. Yes, we were offering him in post. He did not want to
24 move to the Corps, he wanted to stay in the TO in Konjic.
25 Q. Can you confirm before this Trial Chamber that at the
1 end of September, and especially in October, in 1992,
2 the Brigades were being established very intensively and
3 the two Brigades that were in Konjic became part of the
4 4th Corps?
5 A. Yes, at that time a large number of units were
6 established and the Suad Alic Brigade from Konjic
7 becomes part of the 4th Corps.
8 Q. All these Brigades have their own headquarters and
9 commands, even if they were reduced in size in that
10 period, is that correct?
11 A. Yes, they had Commanders.
12 Q. You know that the -- the Commander of the Supreme
13 Command decided to pull out of Sarajevo and in September
14 and October in 1992 they wanted to establish a forward
15 post of the Supreme Commander outside of Sarajevo in the
16 free territory?
17 A. I found that out only in November when I met the members
18 of this headquarters.
19 Q. And these members of the Supreme Command were coming to
20 Konjic and to Mount Igman in many different ways and
21 under very difficult circumstances?
22 A. Yes, they had to run across the runway.
23 Q. You know that Konjic, Jablanica and Mount Igman were the
24 locations where they got together?
25 A. I was meeting some of the members of the Supreme Command
1 on Mount Igman and some in Konjic, like, for instance,
2 Vehbija Karic.
3 Q. You can confirm that at that time in October and early
4 November Delalic was engaged in trying to communicate
5 with particular members of the Supreme Command because
6 they were leading no operations at that time?
7 A. I really do not know what specific tasks Mr. Delalic had
8 at that time. It is possible that he had such tasks as
9 well. I do not know any details about that.
10 Q. General, do you know that the temporary headquarters of
11 this forward command post of the Supreme Command was
12 going to be on the premises of the former JNA?
13 A. I only found that out later when I personally met Sefer
14 Halilovic in February 1993.
15 Q. This is the period when Konjic was still being shelled
16 from the direction of Borci, is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Just to conclude this series of questions, is it,
19 General, that in October, November and December 1992 was
20 the period of intensive work on establishing the army
21 structures in this territory?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. It was in this period too that the major acting of
24 diversion and sabotage were carried out by the HVO which
25 we had referred to before the break. This was happening
1 around Prozor, but they had their repercussions in
2 Konjic too?
3 A. I am familiar with those machinations that I spoke of.
4 Q. You know that the -- that a bomb was planted in the
5 house of Dr. Rusmir Hadzihuseinovic, the President of the
6 War Presidency at the time?
7 A. I was told that a bomb went off in his house or his
8 weekend home. An explosive device, I am not sure which.
9 Q. When you took over duty, or just before that, and came
10 to Konjic, you found the army structured as follows: a
11 group of members of the staff of the Supreme Command
12 trying to form the forward command group with General
13 Divjak, Vehbija Karic and others, is that not so?
14 A. Yes, at the time we met with General Divjak and the
15 other members of the Supreme Command staff I had seen in
16 Konjic before that, but I did not see them then.
17 Q. But you encountered the municipal staff of the BiH army,
18 the Commander of which was Mirsad Catic, is that not so?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. As you already said, there was a Brigade called Suad
21 Alic with its staff officers, a Commander?
22 A. Yes, they existed.
23 Q. There was the Neretva Brigade with the same command
25 A. Yes, I have already said that.
1 Q. There was the MUP with the reserve police force and its
2 own separate structure?
3 A. The public security station of the Mostar public
4 security centre.
5 Q. Then there was the HVO with its military section,
6 command and military commander, and its civilian
7 section, which was formed as a parallel body to the
8 civilian authorities in Konjic?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Then there were the remnants of the Group 1 with Zejnil
11 Delalic as its -- at its head, which at that moment was
12 not engaged in specific combat operations in the
13 vicinity of Sarajevo?
14 A. I am afraid I do not understand the question.
15 Q. You also encountered Zejnil Delalic in Konjic?
16 A. I did not. He had already left when I came to Konjic.
17 Q. My question, General, referred to the period when you
18 were taking over your duties and just before that, and
19 that period is the time of the events in Prozor --
20 actually all these bodies, from November 1st until you
21 took over duties, were there at the time?
22 A. I received a document on the formation of the 4th Corps
23 on 17th November. At that time, I was in Zenica. I was
24 told to go urgently to Mostar where orders were
1 Q. Thank you.
2 A. I did not physically find Mr. Delalic after my
3 appointment, no.
4 Q. After your appointment, I see, thank you. In addition
5 to the shelling, there was a serious crisis in Konjic
6 and a shortage of all supplies, was there not?
7 A. That applied in general to all the places in the Neretva
8 River valley at the time.
9 Q. Before taking over your duties in the 4th Corps, you knew
10 that Zejnil Delalic was a person without any military
11 training, and a businessman from abroad, did you not?
12 A. I knew that he had no military education and that he was
13 engaged in business activities abroad. I know no
14 additional details.
15 Q. You also knew at the time that he had participated in
16 the defence, and that he had placed at the disposal of
17 the defence, a significant amount of funds, his own
18 house and his sister's farm in Ovcari?
19 A. I saw Mr. Delalic in positions of defence in Konjic and
20 there is absolutely no doubt he participated in the
21 defence against aggression. What he specifically
22 contributed in terms of material resources, I am not
23 familiar with that.
24 Q. Thank you. Since we were talking about the structures
25 in Konjic, it is obvious that all of them had certain
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. On Thursday, in answer to a question of the Prosecutor,
4 you said that there were military police bodies in both
5 the TO and the HVO, did you not?
6 A. I said that I did not have any police force in the
7 Battalion, that I formed the military police in the 1st
8 Mostar Brigade, and that when the 4th Corps was formed
9 I undertook to set up the military police of the Corps.
10 Q. Therefore at the beginning of the war, attached to the
11 Territorial Defence, there were no military police
12 units. The function of discovery, persecution, arrest
13 and detention at first, until the formation of the
14 military police attached to the army, were carried out
15 by the MUP, that is the public security stations and the
16 public security centres, or the police, was that not so?
17 A. In Mostar as Battalion Commander I did not have any
18 military police, nor any investigation or persecution
19 bodies. As for the other units in municipal staffs and
20 regional staffs, I do not know, or with regard to the
21 Republican staff.
22 Q. Did you know, General, that the HVO from the beginning
23 had its own military police?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. I should first like to ask you whether you know that in
1 the initial period of the defence of Konjic, in order to
2 resolve certain dilemmas and to co-ordinate joint action,
3 a staff or a joint command was formed?
4 A. I heard about that, but I do not know how they dealt
5 with the problems. I know how I dealt with them in
7 Q. I should like to ask you, General, to see some documents
8 of the joint command, not in order to authenticate them
9 but simply to be able to ask you some questions, linked
10 to the standard form and content of those documents. I
11 have several such documents, so I should like them all
12 to be marked under one number, so that the General may
13 say -- therefore under one number, and there will be
14 attachments, A, B and C of those documents, and I will
15 be asking the General some general questions relative to
16 this group of documents.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Defence Exhibit 95/1.
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: All these documents were disclosed to the
19 Prosecutor early on.
20 THE REGISTRAR: As these are different documents, I have to
21 mark each one separately.
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: General, will you please look first at the
23 authorisation dated 20th May, 1992, and the order on
24 appointment of the 10th June, 1992? Is it true,
25 General, that the authorisation dated 20th May, 1992,
1 whereby Mr. Goran Lokas is authorised to be in charge of
2 the area of military security and that it was signed by
3 Commander of the HVO, Dinko Zebic, and Commander of the
4 TO staff, Omer Boric?
5 A. I must tell you that May and June, up to the 14th June
6 when we liberated the city of Mostar, I never went to
7 Konjic. It was only later that I passed through Konjic,
8 when the forces of the former JNA had blocked the road.
9 So I can only give you my opinion as a military man
10 about these documents, whether we had issued anything
11 like them. If that is -- if you want me to indicate
12 what is said here, to read what is said here, I can do
14 Q. General, I think that I told you I am very grateful to
15 you. You are of great assistance both to the Trial
16 Chamber and ourselves with your professional knowledge
17 and personal experience. I do not wish you to identify
18 any one of these documents. I am simply asking you, as
19 a military man, to look at them and to answer my
20 question; is it true that this document was signed by
21 these two persons, as you see it on this document?
22 MR. NIEMANN: I object to that, your Honour. I mean, just
23 after what the General has said the very next question
24 is: did they sign it? He said he was not there and he
25 cannot assist; the very next question he is presented
1 with is: did they sign it? I object to that, your
3 MS. RESIDOVIC: Let me re-phrase the question. Is it true
4 that one can see from this document that it was signed
5 by two different entities?
6 A. Yes, that can be seen in the document.
7 Q. It can be seen that they signed the document separately?
8 A. Yes, it can.
9 Q. Will you please look at the document dated 8th June,
10 1992, a command to the communications chief? Is it true
11 that this document too was signed separately by the TO
12 commander and the HVO commander?
13 A. That is what it says in the signature.
14 Q. If there was a joint command, can you, as a military
15 man, tell us that a document would have to be separately
16 signed by the TO commander and the HVO commander?
17 A. I can tell you, as a person who is a professional
18 soldier. Documents differed in form. There were those
19 that were not done properly, and if there was a joint
20 command then it would have to be indicated in the
21 preamble that there was a joint command; but it is a
22 fact that there were such documents in cases when the
23 HVO and the TO, that is the HVO command and the
24 municipal TO staff, came to some joint agreement.
25 Q. Do you interpret similarly the document dated 20th May,
1 1992, which was also signed by the Commander of the
2 municipal staff, Omer Boric and the Commander Zebic
3 Dinko? Do you recognise in these document too,
4 customary documents for that period, as documents in
5 which these two entities sought to engage in certain
6 joint activities together?
7 A. Yes, according to this document that is what it says.
8 Q. Since this authorisation dated 20th May, 1992, also
9 includes an appointment, is it true that those
10 appointments too, according to this document, were
11 carried out in such a way that both these entities did
12 them, that is both the TO and the HVO?
13 A. If we are talking about appointments for a unit which
14 was assigned to a joint task, and if at the head of that
15 mission, or the Commander was a person either from the
16 HVO or from the BiH army or the TO, in that case for
17 this level of units there had to be the approval and the
18 stamp of both structures, both entities.
19 Q. So practical reasons required that at that time this
20 kind of document had to be issued, the kind of document
21 that you have just examined?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Could these documents please be returned to the
25 I should now like to show you another group of
1 documents, of which we also have sufficient copies for
2 the Trial Chamber and the Prosecution.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Defence Exhibit D99/1. Defence Exhibit
4 100/1. Defence Exhibit 101/1. Defence Exhibit 102/1.
5 Defence Exhibit 103/1.
6 MS. RESIDOVIC: General, is it true that you have before
7 you a number of documents of the municipal staff of
8 Konjic of the BiH army?
9 A. Yes, it is. I have two copies of the same document.
10 Q. So please could you delete 99/1, or rather it is a copy
11 of an existing document. All these documents dated
12 August and September 1992 are documents issued as
13 indicated in the documents by the Commander Esad Ramic,
14 is that not so?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. All the documents by their content are appointments of
17 persons to various positions in the staff, in the
18 Battalion or other military assignments, is that not so?
19 A. Except for one, which is a document relieving somebody
20 of duty, but it is not indicated who, there is no name.
21 Q. If one -- if you look at these documents can you please
22 tell us, General, if these are documents typical of that
23 time appointing or relieving from duty certain persons
24 to certain posts?
25 A. The Commander of the municipal staff of the Konjic
1 municipality or the Territorial Defence was authorised
2 to do so, and this is one manner in which persons were
3 appointed to certain posts or relieved of their duty.
4 Q. Persons appointed by the Commander of the municipal
5 staff are responsible to the Commander of the municipal
6 staff, is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. This is the usual format for appointments, typical of
9 that time?
10 A. Yes, I have already answered and said that this was the
11 typical procedure.
12 Q. Thank you. I would now like to have these documents
13 returned to the Registry.
14 General, when you took up the post of the Corps
15 Commander, the municipal staff of the BiH army came
16 under your command, is that correct?
17 A. The units were placed under my command, and the function
18 of the municipal staff ceased to exist.
19 Q. As you explained when you answered the questions to the
20 Prosecutor, from that moment on, as the Superior
21 Commander, you were responsible for the situation, for
22 the status and all the actions undertaken by the units
23 and soldiers subordinate to you?
24 A. Yes, as of 17th May 19 -- 17th November, 1992.
25 Q. Are you aware that after Zejnil Delalic left Konjic that
1 his property was stolen from his house and from his
2 sister's house in Ocvari?
3 A. Yes, I was notified that in those few days when the
4 commission became operational that his property was
6 Q. You also know that Commander Catic formed a commission
7 that was supposed to find out who stole the property and
8 to undertake appropriate measures?
9 A. Since he was the Commander of the municipal headquarters
10 in Konjic, it was his task to do so.
11 Q. General, I have another line of questioning that I would
12 like to explore with you. I would now like to go back
13 to the time when you took up the post of the Commander
14 of the 4th Corps.
15 You testified before this Tribunal that when you
16 came to Konjic you learned from soldiers and from other
17 persons that in the Celebici barracks in addition to the
18 warehouses there was a prison where Serbian, or mostly
19 Serbian, prisoners were placed who had been captured in
20 the fighting around Bradina and Donje Selo, is that
22 A. No, I said that the commission informed me that they had
23 found some people in the Celebici warehouse who had been
24 put in isolation. I did not say whether they were Serbs
25 or Muslims. It only transpired afterwards who these
1 people were.
2 Q. Did you learn that in the sports hall in Musala there
3 was a prison and that there was a number of prisoners
4 placed there?
5 A. I cannot give you a precise answer.
6 Q. Is it true that you ordered that the Celebici prison be
7 closed and that all the other -- all the persons be
8 transferred to the Musala hall?
9 A. I asked from the Supreme Command staff to allow me to
10 clear up the situation in Celebici, to have these
11 prisoners transferred, since I had been informed that
12 they are mostly civilians, that they be transferred to
13 other prisons outside of my jurisdiction, because it was
14 not my jurisdiction. They may have been physically
15 transferred from Celebici to Musala and then further on,
16 but this was just a procedure.
17 Q. Your intention, among other things, was to be able to
18 use the Celebici barracks for logistics and for other
19 purely military purposes?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. I would like to show you a document dated 21st November,
22 1992. Before that, I would like to ask you, these
23 orders were carried out by the municipal staff of the
24 army in Konjic, pursuant to your orders, is that
1 A. Some actions were undertaken by the commission for
2 investigative actions, some were received by Catic and
3 by the municipal staff and some actions were taken by
4 the units. It depended on the nature of specific tasks.
5 Q. Did you have a look at the document?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Can I have the number of the exhibit?
8 THE REGISTRAR: Defence Exhibit D107/1.
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. In the heading of this
10 document, is the body which issued this document, is
11 this the municipal staff in Konjic and the date is the
12 21st November, 1992?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Do you see that this document is signed by a person on
15 behalf of the Commander Mirsad Catic?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Is this a document on the appointment of the operative
18 officer in the security sector of the staff?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Is this a document that is a typical document within the
21 jurisdiction of the municipal staff concerning
22 appointments of persons to certain tasks and posts?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. I would like this document to be returned. I would now
25 like to show another document to you.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Defence Exhibit 108/1.
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: Did you read the document?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Is this a document from the Konjic municipal staff,
5 dated 20th December, 1992, in which a certain person on
6 behalf of Commander Mirsad Catic orders that a new list
7 of property be made and that the determination be made
8 of all the properties stolen from the house of Zejnil
9 Delalic, and that is what you discussed a moment ago?
10 A. Yes.
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. Since this document has been
12 authenticated by the witness, the contents has been
13 authenticated, I tender this as evidence.
14 MR. NIEMANN: No objection, your Honours.
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you.
16 General, I will show you some other documents from
17 the period in which you were already on your post of the
18 4th Corps Commander and of which you probably have
20 THE REGISTRAR: This is Defence Exhibit 109/1.
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: General, this document, according to its
22 heading, was headed by Suad Alic Brigade in Konjic on
23 19th December, 1992, is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. It is signed by Commander Midhat Cerovac?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. According to its content this document would refer to
3 the confiscation, requisition of the motor vehicle from
4 Sefko Rizvanovic's garage and that would mean that your
5 commission was meant to investigate why the property of
6 Zejnil Delalic and his family was taken?
7 A. The Brigade Commander had the right to mobilise or to
8 requisition the vehicle, but he had to have appropriate
9 documented records and to notify the TO staff.
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: I will show you some other documents of
11 similar contents.
12 Can I please have this document shown to the
14 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: What are all these documents directed
15 at? What are you trying to show?
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: By these documents the jurisdiction of the
17 municipal staff can be shown in relation to military
18 police and so forth, and the Prosecutor has pointed our
19 attention to that during the examination-in-chief.
20 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You think it concerns your case, is
21 it? It has any relevance to your case?
22 JUDGE JAN: None whatsoever.
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, my client is not charged with
24 any specific acts. He is not charged with torture, or
25 arrest or anything else. He is charged with things that
1 are a normal part of his responsibilities and
2 jurisdiction. This witness can, by looking at certain
3 documents, prove who had what kind of responsibilities
4 and jurisdiction in Konjic. In this regard, we are
5 trying to show these documents to the witness, grouping
6 the documents together in certain ways, so that the
7 Tribunal may then have a good idea about the authorities
8 in Konjic and the possible responsibility of my client.
9 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Is that so?
10 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, if I may just make an observation
11 on that point; if that is what these documents are
12 sought to prove then I object, because they are dated
13 6th December, 1992, and are past the time when the
14 accused Mr. Delalic was in the area, so I cannot see how
15 they can be relevant to prove that point.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: The witness has just presented his view of
17 the documents that were shown to him. I show him
18 documents dating from May, June and August and the
19 documents that follow which indicate the continuity of
21 JUDGE JAN: It is an order for the requisition of the
22 premises belonging to Zejnil Delalic. Most military
23 commanders in times of war have that part, so how is it
24 really relevant for the purpose of inquiry into the
25 allegations made in respect of the Celebici camp. Let
1 us be a little more relevant than that.
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: This portion of documents was only relevant
3 to the work of the commission and the manner of its work
4 at the time when Zejnil Delalic had gone. This has
5 already been admitted by the court. I am now -- I want
6 to the present to the witness the last group of the
7 documents which are related to the Celebici prison.
8 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I suppose you could do that, but I do
9 not think you should have to organise the case with the
10 other things.
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: I would now like the witness to be shown a
12 group of documents, and each of the documents should be
13 marked individually, so that I can ask a few questions
14 of the witness.
15 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, I just at this stage wish to
16 foreshadow an objection. If the relevance of these
17 documents is to show the position of who was in command
18 of what during the period of the indictment when --
19 JUDGE JAN: We do not have the documents yet, Mr. Niemann.
20 We have not seen them. To appreciate your argument it
21 is better if we have a look at them.
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, I did not hear your remark,
23 I did not get that interpretation.
24 JUDGE JAN: Before Mr. Niemann takes his objection let us
25 have a look at the documents first. We have not got
1 these documents yet. We do not know what these
2 documents are about.
3 JUDGE JAN: These orders were made between 5th and 11th
4 December, 1992.
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: Yes, but since they refer to the existence
6 of the prison at that time, I also had in mind the
7 testimony of this witness, I thought that I had reasons
8 to ask some questions. Since we are nearing the time
9 for our break I have just a few questions and I will end
10 after that my cross-examination. I think that it may be
11 good that I continue with my questions after the break,
12 after we have all had an opportunity to look through the
13 documents. If you wish me to continue now, I can do
15 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I think we should have a break.
16 I think we should have a break and come back at 4.30, so
17 that you should be able to relate any of these papers to
18 your cross-examination.
19 (4.00 pm)
20 (Short break)
21 (4.30 pm)
22 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, while the witness is being
23 brought in, I just wish to renew the objection which is
24 based on the fact that if these documents of December
25 are -- if the relevance is predicated on the basis that
1 they tend to show the state of command during the period
2 of the indictment when it is accused the accused Zejnil
3 Delalic was in command then in our submission that is
4 not established, because documents after the time of the
5 event cannot possibly go to establish that and is not
6 seen to be so on the basis of the documents.
7 I should also indicate we were not given any
8 copies of the documents. It is the first time we have
9 seen them. I am instructed that they were not made
10 available to us.
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, regarding the second part of
12 the objection, my learned friend is right. In view of
13 the questions put to the witness lately my investigators
14 sent me these documents a day or two ago. I had them
15 translated over the weekend, and these are the only
16 documents among dozens which the Defence has submitted
17 to the Prosecution -- has not submitted to the
18 Prosecution, and even though this omission has been
19 made, that is they were given to the Prosecution today
20 rather than yesterday, I should be allowed to use them
21 as it is the only omission we have made. The document
22 of the 9th December contains a list of the 32 last
23 remaining prisoners in Celebici, and about 10 of them
24 have testified here in court as witnesses. So I think
25 that this is directly related to all the events alleged
1 in the indictment and particularly they are related to
2 the position of my client in this case, and they also
3 refer to the conditions in Celebici prison, which are
4 referred to in the release papers.
5 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I suppose if you are so concerned you
6 can tender them, but I do not see much of a relevance it
7 has to your case, seriously speaking. I think you can
8 put them.
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you.
10 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I think they can be admitted. I do not
11 see much relevance.
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you.
13 (Witness enters court)
14 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You may remind the witness that he is
15 still on his oath.
16 THE REGISTRAR: I should like to remind you, sir, that you
17 are still under oath.
18 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You can now proceed.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you.
20 General, will you please look at the document
21 dated 9th December, 1992?
22 A. Yes, I can see it.
23 Q. It is a document which, according to the heading, is
24 issued by the military police of Konjic on the date
1 A. Yes, that is so.
2 Q. This is a report on the transfer of 32 prisoners of Serb
3 ethnicity from Celebici to Musala in accordance with
4 your orders that the prison should be closed down?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. It is evident from this document that your orders were
7 carried out by the municipal staff because in the
8 preamble it is stated that:
9 "... these persons shall be transferred on the
10 basis of the orders of the municipal staff of the army
11 in Konjic"; is that not so?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. On page 2 of this document, it can be seen that on
14 behalf of the Celebici camp the prisoners were handed
15 over by Kemal Mr.ndjic and they were received in Musala
16 by a person whose name is signed as H. Ismet?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. It can also be seen that this take-over was attended by
19 another four persons?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. General, you can confirm that these were the last
22 remaining prisoners that were transferred from Celebici?
23 A. I think they were the last. I cannot tell by their
25 Q. Thank you. Will you now look at the document dated 10th
1 December, 1992?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. This document is the orders of the municipal staff of
4 Konjic, dated 10th December, 1992, is it not?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. These orders were issued and signed by the Commander
7 Mirsad Catic?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. In substance, it is an order on the unhindered entry and
10 inspection to the Musala prison, or rather the sports
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Will you please now look at the next document, dated
14 11th December, 1992, two days after the prisoners were
15 transferred from Celebici? Is it true to say that this
16 document was also issued by the Konjic municipal staff,
17 dated 11th December, 1992?
18 A. That is what it says.
19 Q. And that as stated in the document the signature bears
20 the name of the document Mirsad Catic?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. In substance, it is an appointment of the prison warden
23 Mustafic Sead?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. It is stated in this document that the order takes
1 effect immediately?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Does that mean that it follows from this document that
4 even after the transfer of prisoners from Celebici a
5 prison remained in Celebici and that a person has been
6 appointed to the post of prison warden, the person whose
7 name is indicated in the document?
8 A. That is something I cannot confirm. It is my duty to
9 give you a short explanation. On 17th November there
10 was the order to form a Corps. From that date on the
11 units were formed which were going to become part of the
12 4th Corps, which means a military unit is formed with
13 operative tasks. The TO staff remained as a territorial
14 entity. It still existed. You could see from the
15 previous orders that they actually reflect the confusion
16 of the situation in Konjic. One Commander requisitions
17 a vehicle, another Commander lists property, a third
18 does something else. So that one can see from all this
19 the justification of the commission, of the
20 investigating commission, which is still working. It
21 had still not completed its assignment, so that all
22 these documents, in my opinion, reflect the situation on
23 the ground, but there were periods when some tasks were
24 being implemented and the order for that same task was
25 written later, a day or several days later. So the
1 dates may be confusing.
2 Q. Thank you for the explanation. General, do you know
3 that 13 persons whom you asked to be detained up to 30
4 days were accommodated in the school in Parsovcici but
5 that the majority of those people were put up in the
6 prison of the Celebici barracks?
7 A. I know that in the school in the village of Parasovici
8 we interrogated the people who were taken into custody.
9 By way of example, Jovan Divjak, as a member of the
10 staff of the Supreme Command, was detained in a village
11 house where conditions were quite normal in order to
12 protect him from irresponsible individuals of Serb
13 ethnicity who might liquidate him because he was of Serb
15 Q. So what you are trying to tell me is that you are not
16 familiar with the details of the investigations?
17 A. No, that is not what I am trying to say. I had a global
18 idea but exactly where someone was being held -- was it
19 in the Celebici, in the school or in a house -- that is
20 something I cannot tell you exactly, so some people had
21 to be separated from others in the course of the
23 Q. Yes, but General, you probably took care that all those
24 persons who were detained should have some basic
25 conditions to be held in detention, favourable
1 conditions if one may call them that, under conditions
2 of war?
3 A. There was a war and we paid as much attention to those
4 things as we could.
5 Q. Though it was wintertime, and if it is true that some
6 persons, like Zejnil Delalic's brother, Mira Busalic,
7 and some others were detained in the Celebici prison,
8 you were sure that in that prison at least the basic
9 requirements existed for them being detained there?
10 A. I think that they were the minimum conditions we were
11 able to provide.
12 Q. Thank you, General. You also said that you instructed
13 the continuation of the investigations regarding persons
14 found in the Celebici prison, that is to establish
15 whether they were to blame and that criminal proceedings
16 should be instituted against them, if not that they
17 should be released. Is that not what you said?
18 A. I received a report and a proposal from the assistant
19 for legal affairs that proceedings should be instituted
20 for the persons for whom I did institute such
21 proceedings, because allegedly they had the facts
22 regarding the death of Bubalo, as far as I can recall.
23 For the others a certain period was allowed for further
24 investigations; but since the prisoners were not members
25 of any military formations, as I was informed, I asked
1 that this should be transferred to the jurisdiction of
2 the civilian courts who should continue the
3 investigations. What happened after that, I cannot tell
4 you with precision.
5 Q. Thank you. Finally I shall show you another document,
6 to be able to put to you one or two additional
7 questions, with which I will complete this
8 cross-examination, expressing my gratitude for your
9 patience. This document refers to June 1992. It was
10 disclosed to the Prosecution early on.
11 THE REGISTRAR: The exhibit D115/1.
12 A. Yes, I have looked at it.
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: This is obviously a document compiled at a
14 time when that joint co-operation existed between the
15 municipal TO and the HVO, because both staffs are to be
16 found in the heading of this document. Is that not
18 A. Yes, that is what it says.
19 Q. This document was signed by the Commander of the
20 municipal TO and the Commander of the HVO?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. This document establishes some element for interrogating
23 persons who had been detained in connection with the
24 military operation Bradina?
25 A. At that time I was engaged in fierce fighting against
1 the aggressor in Mostar on the 14th, 15th, 16th and
2 17th. That is what is stated in the document, but I do
3 not know any details.
4 Q. And my last question, General, this document states
5 explicitly that the interrogation should be carried out
6 showing full respect for the dignity of the interrogated
7 people, and you know that the army of the BiH sought in
8 every respect to respect the dignity of individuals?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Thank you very much, General.
11 A. Thank you.
12 JUDGE JAN: General, I wish to ask a question. I wish to
13 ask a question. HVO never regarded itself right at the
14 beginning as part of the BiH army, is that so?
15 A. Unfortunately, that is not correct.
16 JUDGE JAN: The HVO regarded itself part of the BiH army?
17 A. It is a rather tricky question, your Honours, and it is
18 very difficult to provide a specific answer. They kept
19 saying that they were a part of the armed forces of
20 Bosnian Herzegovina, but they never recognised the
21 Republican staff, nor the Supreme Command staff.
22 JUDGE JAN: The HVO had its headquarters in Konjic town?
23 A. The municipal headquarters was there. This was the
24 headquarters in command of HVO units within the
25 territory of Konjic municipality, whereas the main
1 headquarters of the HVO was in Grude.
2 JUDGE JAN: Did HVO shift its headquarters from Konjic
3 municipality to another place, and, if so, when?
4 A. I think that until the aggression against the BiH army
5 the municipal staff of Konjic of the HVO was in Konjic,
6 and after the aggression it retreated from the territory
7 of the Konjic municipality. The same applied to the
8 municipal staff of Jablanica of the HVO.
9 JUDGE JAN: When was about that time, June, July, August,
10 when HVO --
11 A. I do not recall the exact date, sir, but I think it was
12 some time in September or October of 1992, when they had
13 already started the aggression against Konjic. In any
14 event, after the aggression on Prozor.
15 JUDGE JAN: Thank you.
16 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Mr. Ackerman, you can continue.
17 JUDGE JAN: I ask these questions because these orders were
18 signed both by -- so many orders produced today -- by
19 the Commander of the TO and the Commander of the HVO; if
20 that was one force only one Commander would be
21 sufficient to sign it. That is why I asked you these
23 A. Unfortunately, throughout this trial and other trials
24 you will have a series of dilemmas regarding documents
25 jointly signed, but that were never implemented.
1 Cross-examination by MR. ACKERMAN
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, your Honour.
3 Good afternoon, General.
4 A. Good afternoon.
5 Q. Had you forgotten there was one lawyer left to ask
7 A. No, I had not.
8 Q. Well, the good news is that this is not going to take
9 very long. I do not have much left to ask you. I want
10 to direct your attention back to the spring of 1991, and
11 some time immediately preceding that when you were still
12 a serving officer with the JNA, okay?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, it is true, is it not, that through most of your
15 career with the JNA the JNA was specifically designed to
16 be and promoted the concept of brotherhood and unity, a
17 united Yugoslavia, that basic concept?
18 A. I think that the Yugoslav People's Army respected
19 brotherhood and unity under the specific conditions in
20 the army, but it was the policies of the SFRY that
21 promoted it.
22 Q. Yes, I understand that. I am really going back for
23 several years, back to Tito times even. Tito was
24 interested in the Yugoslav People's Army as being a
25 force for promoting and maintaining his concept of
1 brotherhood and unity, is that a fair statement?
2 A. Yes, in a certain sense.
3 Q. By the time we get to March of 1991, it is true, is it
4 not, that that thinking and that concept within the
5 Yugoslav People's Army had almost totally disintegrated?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And I think you told us that it was in fact in March of
8 1991 that you left the Yugoslav People's Army and went
9 to Mostar, am I right about that?
10 A. No. In 1992.
11 Q. It was March of 1992 that you went to Mostar?
12 A. End of March I left the JNA, at the end of March 1992.
13 Q. Okay. When you first formed a Brigade in Mostar, can
14 you tell us what that date was?
15 A. The date of the formation of the Brigade was the 15th
16 July, after the liberation of Mostar and the
17 proclamation of a general mobilisation in
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I formed the 1st Mostar Brigade.
19 Q. And at that point in time it would be correct to refer
20 to you as a former JNA officer, correct?
21 A. For all of us who left the former JNA and joined the
22 Territorial Defence, and the HVO, they referred to us as
23 "former officers", that is a fact.
24 Q. Yes. In this Brigade you first formed, I assume that
25 there were officers of lesser rank as well as soldiers
1 who had also previously served in the JNA?
2 A. There were several officers with me of the former JNA.
3 I think four or five of them, not more. And all the
4 soldiers who had served who were of military age went
5 through the JNA, except for the young ones who had not
6 served in the JNA and joined in the defence against
8 Q. So would you say that the majority of the personnel in
9 that 1st Brigade you formed were former JNA associated
10 in some way?
11 A. I did not say most of them. I said that the command
12 officers, that the majority of the command officers were
13 not officers of the former JNA. There was me as the
14 Brigade Commander, there was my Chief of Staff for a
15 time, who was an operative officer, an operative
16 officer, and one of the Battalion Commanders. All the
17 others were people who were not officers. As for the
18 troops, those who were over 25 years of age who had
19 served in the former JNA, they had been ordinary rank
20 and file soldiers in the JNA.
21 Q. What I am looking for is, would you say that, taking
22 into consideration all the people, the officers and the
23 troops that were part of that 1st Brigade, that the
24 majority of them had had a JNA connection of some form?
25 A. I do not know what you mean when you say "majority".
1 JUDGE JAN: Mr. Ackerman --
2 A. There were fewer officers than the troops.
3 JUDGE JAN: All young men had to serve through national
4 service in the JNA, so they all had some connection.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: That is what I am trying to show. I am not
6 sure the General is understanding what I am saying. It
7 may be where we are having trouble is maybe there were a
8 lot of young troops who had not done their military
9 service in the JNA at the time that Brigade was formed,
10 would that be the case?
11 A. Yes, there were quite a few of them.
12 Q. The last question I want to ask you, and it is just
13 whether or not you would know this: do you know that
14 based upon your order to take certain people into
15 custody for investigation following the commission
16 investigation that you had ordered and authorised, were
17 you aware that there was a 10 day period where two of
18 those people, namely Mr. Delic and Mr. Landzo, were
19 imprisoned in manholes at Celebici; were you aware of
21 A. No. If I had known that, I would have punished those
23 Q. I would expect that is true. Thank you very much. That
24 is all I have.
25 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Any re-examination?
1 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour.
2 Re-examination by MR. NIEMANN
3 MR. NIEMANN: General, I just have one question for you and
4 that is: if a Territorial Defence unit was subordinated
5 to and placed under a Tactical Group, would the
6 Commander of that Territorial Defence unit be
7 subordinate to the Tactical Group Commander?
8 A. The notion of subordination and of any shift in
9 subordination is quite clear. If you subordinate a unit
10 from your command to another unit, to another command,
11 then you do not have anything to do with that unit until
12 that unit returns to your command pursuant to another
13 order. But other elements may be stipulated, actually
14 there may be parts of that unit that are not subordinate
15 to that other command. It all depends on the
16 assignment, on the task, and the time period for which
17 that unit is being subordinated.
18 Let me give you an example. One of the Defence
19 counsel mentioned the salary of soldiers. We did not
20 have salaries, so you cannot stipulate that he will --
21 that such a soldier will receive the salary from this
22 other unit; if there is no such thing as salary, if he
23 does not get any salary. I do not know if I am being
25 MR. NIEMANN: Yes. You have answered my question. Thank
1 you, General.
2 That is all the questions I have, your Honour.
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: General, can you kindly assist me? How
4 do you relate the Tactical Groups which you have created
5 in your command structure? I hope I have made the
6 question clear. How did they come into the command
7 structure of the military units?
8 A. I have already explained that Tactical Groups are units
9 of varied structure. They are of provisional
10 character. In this previous war we formed several
11 tactical units, Tactical Groups, to carry out certain
12 tasks. The Supreme Command staff could stipulate that
13 certain units from certain territory form a provisional
14 unit which will then be labelled a Tactical Group, and
15 assign a certain task to that group, either a defensive
16 task or an offensive task, or to control a certain
18 These units, these Tactical Groups, at the very
19 beginning of the war until the Corps were formed, were
20 mostly under the command of the Supreme Command staff.
21 When Corps were formed, the territory of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina controlled by the BiH army, they
23 formed their areas of responsibility and they were
24 covered by Corps, and then Corps commands were able to
25 form smaller Tactical Groups to carry out certain tasks
1 in certain directions within their areas of
2 responsibility. Commanders and other senior officers
3 had all the competencies that other commanders and
4 leaders at the same level had in other units, although
5 they did not belong to the Tactical Groups. This is all
6 I have to say.
7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Is it your proposition that every head
8 of a Tactical Group in your command structure is
9 independent of the other related commands, and is
10 directly responsible to the Supreme Commander?
11 A. A commander of the Tactical Group cannot be responsible
12 to two or more commands. He can only be responsible to
13 one command, and that would be a Superior Command. If
14 the Supreme Command staff, as the command of the army,
15 formed a Tactical Group, then it is superior to it,
16 unless it is stipulated otherwise in the document that
17 this Tactical Group is subordinated to another command.
18 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: So in effect it is the command
19 structure known to your military, it is known to your
20 military, it has its own direct structure within its
21 own, within the military?
22 A. Yes, it existed before. It does not exist any more, but
23 during the war it existed.
24 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you. That is all I wanted to
1 A. You are welcome.
2 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I suppose this is all you have for this
4 MR. NIEMANN: Yes.
5 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I do not know how -- I am thanking you
6 very sincerely for your co-operation and for sacrificing
7 your custom, because you made it very clear you had a 40
8 day custom within which you have to mourn your brother.
9 We sincerely appreciate your sacrifice for that. We
10 thank you very much. In addition, you have been of very
11 great assistance in the evidence you have given and the
12 patience you have exercised, so we thank you very much.
13 As a soldier and a gentlemen you have actually upheld
14 the dignity of your profession. Thank you very much.
15 So I think this is all we have. You are discharged.
16 A. I would like to thank you too.
17 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, I had indicated this morning that
18 the next witness that we had envisaged calling today was
19 to be a custodian of records in relation to some
20 documents that we wish to produce. I also said that
21 because of pressing commitments by General Divjak that
22 if this witness started and could not be completed today
23 that we would be seeking to interpose General Divjak so
24 that he may complete his evidence and get on with the
25 other commitments he has to attend to.
1 Your Honours, in view of the time, it seems to us
2 there is not much point in starting the custodian of
3 records, that we should start now with General Divjak
4 with the next 15 minutes. If your Honours permit me to
5 do that, then Ms. McHenry will take General Divjak's
7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I think it suits us as long as it fills
8 in the programme, to finish tomorrow.
9 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you, your Honour.
10 MS. McHENRY: Good afternoon, your Honours.
11 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Good afternoon, Ms. McHenry.
12 MS. McHENRY: The Prosecution would now be calling General
13 Jovan Divjak.
14 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes. So let us have him.
15 MS. McHENRY: Your Honours, while the witness is being
16 brought in I would like to advise your Honours of an
17 issue concerning General Divjak's subpoena which is
18 similar to an issue raised with another witness who just
19 testified. The Prosecution had understood that
20 Mr. Divjak had stated that he was willing to testify but
21 he wanted the timing of his return trip after testifying
22 arranged in conjunction with another trip he had
23 planned. There were certain logistical problems with
24 this, including some possible visa issues raised by the
25 Victims and Witnesses Unit. While we were trying to
1 work those out and we were not sure of the outcome of
2 those issues the Prosecution requested a subpoena for
3 General Divjak.
4 General Divjak is dissatisfied with the issuance
5 of a subpoena and has stated he is not willing to
6 testify unless he can first articulate his feelings on
7 the matter to the Chamber, on the record. As has been
8 explained to him, and has been agreed upon by General
9 Divjak, after he has articulated his concerns the
10 Prosecution would plan immediately to go into the
11 questioning of Mr. Divjak as normal, without raising any
12 further issues concerning the subpoena.
13 JUDGE JAN: We can understand that because it is a stigma to
14 get a subpoena, so maybe that is why the General wants
15 to explain his position.
16 MS. McHENRY: I think that is right. I think certainly the
17 Prosecution attorneys were not aware that the witnesses
18 would view it as a stigma to receive a subpoena.
19 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Would you kindly swear the witness?
20 GENERAL JOVAN DIVJAK (sworn)
21 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much.
22 MS. McHENRY: Good afternoon, sir?
23 A. Good afternoon.
24 MS. McHENRY: Sir, I have just indicated to the Trial
25 Chamber that you wish to, on the record, publicly
1 articulate your feelings about the subpoena, and as
2 I understand your Honours they are willing to permit you
3 to do that. If you would like to address the Chamber
4 about that issue, you may do so before we start the
6 A. Thank you for presenting this problem. Your Honours, by
7 the fact that the Tribunal has served a subpoena on me I
8 have to state that I have been offended by that. I am
9 offended as an inhabitant of Europe, of the world, of
10 this planet; as a Bosniak, as a citizen of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, as a citizen of Sarajevo, and as an
12 inhabitant of Lugavina number 6 in Sarajevo. My friends
13 and my family have been offended by that, and the
14 subpoena has made my enemies very happy. I have come
15 here of my own free will and that is why I state that
16 this Tribunal, instead of protecting human rights, in a
17 very perfidious manner in my case, and as far as I am
18 concerned it has violated my human rights.
19 My question is, how am I to trust this Tribunal
20 when it plays such games with people and with their
21 fate. I ask that the subpoena be withdrawn so that I am
22 able to appear before this Tribunal as the Prosecution
23 witness without this pressure. Thank you.
24 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much for your
25 forthrightness. I think I will start with the question
1 of not being able to trust the Tribunal. Before you
2 came in, the Prosecutor had made a statement indicating
3 what transpired before the subpoena was issued. It is
4 most unfortunate that it might have been a misjudgement
5 of the situation, because from what she says you are
6 quite willing to have attended but your programme was in
7 conflict with another one of returning. So it appeared
8 while this was being sorted out the subpoena was
9 issued. I suppose occasionally these mistakes do
10 occur. I am sure you will have been assured that it
11 should not affect you in any way and the Trial Chamber
12 is very grateful for your forthrightness and your
13 willingness to assist in this case. I think we will do
14 everything to make sure it does not occur again, and at
15 the conclusion of the evidence that is all you need to
16 do, the subpoena will expire normally, normally. Thank
17 you very much.
18 MS. McHENRY: Thank you, your Honours.
19 Thank you, sir. Sir, will you please state your
20 full name?
21 A. My name is Jovan Divjak. My father's name is Dusan, my
22 mother's name was Emilija.
23 Q. How old are you, sir?
24 A. I was born on 11th March, I am Pisces, and it was in
1 Q. Sir, where are you from and what is your nationality?
2 A. I happened to be born in Belgrade because my father was
3 a teacher. He was originally from Bosanska Krajina.
4 I am a Serb, but I have felt always to be a Yugoslav
5 citizen and now I feel I am a citizen of Bosnian
6 Herzegovina and I have never felt this feeling of
7 national affiliation but of citizenship, so I am above
8 all a citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina of Serbian descent.
9 I am a Bosnian.
10 Q. Sir, what is your profession?
11 A. I am retired and until 1st March I was in the military,
12 Bosnian army. I had the rank of a General, and in this,
13 the previous six months I have been engaged in the
14 dealing with children who have lost their parents in the
15 war and I am the Chairman of the Foundation.
16 Q. Sir, for how many years did you serve in the Bosnian
17 military, and did you have any military position before
18 that time?
19 A. I graduated from the military academy in the former
20 Yugoslav army in 1959 and until 1984 I was in the
21 Yugoslav People's Army. From 1984 until 1992 I was in
22 the Territorial Defence of the Republic of Bosnian
23 Herzegovina. From the 8th April, 1992, until the 1st
24 March, 1997, I served in the army of Bosnian
1 Q. What was your position, sir, when you first joined the
2 Bosnian army, the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina in April
4 A. In April 1992, at first in the Territorial Defence and
5 later in the army of Bosnian Herzegovina, I joined those
6 entities as the Commander of the Territorial Defence of
7 the Sarajevo district, which was a part of the
8 Republican Territorial Defence staff; and I was waiting
9 for the implementation of a court decision, because
10 I was to be sent to the military prison in Nis because
11 I had, at the time when the Yugoslav People's Army
12 launched an aggression against Croatia, I had made a
13 decision that a part of the weapons from the warehouses
14 of the Yugoslav People's Army be given to the police in
15 Kiseljak, because the government of Bosnian Herzegovina
16 had issued a decision that the security alert level be
17 upgraded, and they asked me, as the Commander of the
18 Sarajevo district Territorial Defence, to assist them
19 with this provision of weapons. So at the time when
20 Sarajevo came under attack, I was waiting for the
21 Yugoslav People's Army to send me to prison.
22 Fortunately for me and for the others at the very
23 beginning of the attack on Sarajevo, I was offered to
24 join the Territorial Defence of Bosnian Herzegovina and
25 I accepted that offer gladly.
1 Q. And when you first became a member of the army of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, who was your Commander?
3 A. The first Commander of the Territorial Defence of
4 Bosnian Herzegovina at the time was Colonel Hasan
5 Efendic. The idea of the Presidency of Bosnian
6 Herzegovina was that the Territorial Defence of Bosnian
7 Herzegovina in its personnel and in the command
8 structure represent the percentage of the nationalities
9 that existed in Bosnian Herzegovina. It was their
10 assessment that for the Defence of Bosnian Herzegovina
11 it would be very important that at the very top there
12 are representatives of all the three nations. The
13 Commander of the Territorial Defence, Mr. Efendic is of
14 Bosniak origin, he is a Muslim. His deputy was
15 Mr. Sebar. Mr. Sebar was appointed as his deputy, he was
16 a Croat, and I was offered and now it was up to me to
17 decide whether I want to do so or not, to join the staff
18 of the Territorial Defence as the other deputy.
19 When we talk about the national or the ethnic
20 structure, I am very pleased that I can tell you that in
21 the Territorial Defence staff the percentage of the
22 representatives of all the ethnic groups, that they were
23 representatives from all the ethnic groups. These were
24 the people who wanted to defend Bosnia-Herzegovina
25 within its historical borders. The main staff of the
1 Territorial Defence, there was 12 per cent of Serbs, 18
2 per cent of Croats, and the rest were Bosniaks. And
3 thereby the decision of the Presidency of Bosnian
4 Herzegovina was in fact implemented, that the
5 Territorial Defence should respect the interests of all
6 the three constitutional peoples.
7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I suppose you will stop here and
8 continue tomorrow morning. The Trial Chamber will now
9 rise and continue tomorrow at 10 o'clock.
10 MS. McHENRY: Thank you.
11 (5.30 pm)
12 (Adjourned until 10.00 am
13 on Tuesday 28th October 1997)