1 Tuesday, 15 February 2005
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning.
6 Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Case number
8 IT-03-68-T, the Prosecutor versus Naser Oric.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
10 Mr. Oric, are you receiving interpretation in your own language?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours, ladies
12 and gentlemen. Yes, I am.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
14 Appearances for the Prosecution.
15 MR. WUBBEN: Good morning, Your Honours. My name is Jan Wubben,
16 lead counsel for the Prosecution, together with co-counsel,
17 Ms. Patricia Sellers, Mr. Gramsci Di Fazio, and our case manager,
18 Ms. Donnica Henry-Frijlink. And also good morning to the learned friends
19 of the Defence team.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, and good morning to you and your team.
21 Appearances for Naser Oric.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
23 morning to my learned friends. I am Vasvija Vidovic. Together with
24 Mr. John Jones, I appear for Mr. Naser Oric. We have with us our legal
25 assistant, Ms. Jasmina Cosic, and our case manager, Mr. Geoff Roberts.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, and good morning to you and your team.
2 Any preliminaries before we admit the witness?
3 MR. WUBBEN: No, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Usher, Madam Usher, please, could you
5 escort the witness into the courtroom, please.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 WITNESS: NEDRET MUJKANOVIC [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Dr. Mujkanovic, and welcome back.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: We are going to proceed with your
13 Mr. Wubben.
14 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Dr. Mujkanovic, if at any time there is a problem
16 with the interpretation, please draw our attention straightaway, like you
17 did yesterday.
18 Examined by Mr. Wubben: [Continued]
19 Q. Good morning, Dr. Mujkanovic. Yesterday, we addressed the issue
20 of the staff of the Srebrenica armed forces local units, local commanders.
21 My question refers now to communications. My first question is: Did
22 Naser Oric communicate with the commanders of local units in a certain way
23 or manner? Do you know?
24 A. I said yesterday that the commanders occasionally came by for
25 meetings, or to seek assistance, to organise the Defence of their own
1 villages or whichever areas they happened to be living in.
2 Q. And when these offensives, in fact, took place and were
3 implemented, did Naser Oric also communicate with those commanders
5 MR. JONES: I'm sorry, I don't know what offensives my learned
6 friend is referring to. The witness hasn't referred to any offensives.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jones is right. There hasn't been any
8 particular reference to any offensives. There are in the statement, but
9 not in the testimony so far.
10 MR. WUBBEN: You're right, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: It's a case of rephrasing your question, that's all.
12 MR. WUBBEN:
13 Q. When it comes to operations in the field, organising the defence,
14 did Naser Oric contact or communicate in a certain way with his -- with
15 the local commanders?
16 A. I couldn't answer that question. I did not take part in any
17 offensives, nor do I know how communications were organised.
18 Q. Are you aware of any reports between Naser Oric and his commanders
19 when it comes to these kinds of operations?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Which --
21 MR. JONES: I'm sorry, "his commanders," again, the witness hasn't
22 said that Naser Oric had any commanders, and it's --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: And also the word "reports." You need to explain
24 the two things. First of all, who are supposed to be Naser Oric's
1 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Because so far, yesterday, we had information from
3 the witness explaining that within the Srebrenica area, it seemed that,
4 according to him, Naser Oric was at the top, subject only to the War
5 Presidency. That's how I understood it yesterday.
6 MR. JONES: I'm not sure if that's a fair summary of the evidence
7 either. He referred to an Osman Osmanovic whose hierarchial superior was
8 Naser Oric, and he referred to the War Presidency which was the supreme
9 authority. But he didn't suggest at any stage that any particular
10 commanders, or indeed any commanders as such, were under Naser Oric.
11 That's not evidence he's given.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, no he did say specifically that Osmanovic
13 was under Naser Oric.
14 MR. JONES: Exactly. That's the only person, Osmanovic.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: So the question is this: But you are now referring
16 to his commanders.
17 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, you're right.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: And also reports -- also reports. I mean, what kind
19 of -- what do you mean by reports?
20 MR. WUBBEN: I will withdraw the question.
21 Q. My question is: Was there any type of radio communication
22 facility in -- within the Srebrenica armed forces.
23 A. I'm not familiar with any radio communication equipment that the
24 armed forces in Srebrenica had. I only know about one particular radio
25 device that I occasionally used to communicate with my own family in
1 Tuzla. This piece of equipment was also used by other citizens of
2 Srebrenica to communicate with their families outside in Tuzla. This was
3 in the post office building, across the way from the hospital. As for any
4 other means of communication or radio communications, this is really not
5 something that I can talk about. I'm just not familiar with that.
6 Q. What would be the next military level of command in the
7 reporting -- in a reporting procedure beyond the Srebrenica armed forces?
8 A. I'm afraid I don't understand your question. You mean the
9 civilian sector? If you're referring to something that is outside the
10 armed forces or beyond the Srebrenica armed forces, you probably have the
11 civilian authorities in mind, don't you?
12 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, let me ask you the next question in that respect
13 and we'll come to that later.
14 Was the Srebrenica armed forces part of a wider army structure?
15 A. I can't say anything about that either. Yesterday, I said in my
16 testimony that the defence of Srebrenica was structured in such a way as
17 to have local units, people who had a self-organised group. If this was a
18 rather small village, they had a company-sized group; if it was a major
19 village, they had a battalion-sized unit. People appointed some persons
20 with a good reputation as leaders, as unit commanders. And in actual
21 fact, the whole area of the free Srebrenica municipality worked in this
22 way, in terms of how people defended themselves. There was no specific
23 organised military formation or unit in the area. The units bore the
24 names of their commanders.
25 For example, the area commanded by Zulfo Tursunovic, the unit in
1 that area, was simply referred to as Zulfo's unit.
2 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic --
3 MR. JONES: I don't see why this witness is being interrupted.
4 This witness was giving a fairly detailed and I would say important answer
5 about how units were organised, in answer to my learned friend's question.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: No, I think he has stated enough the gist or the
7 substance of the point he wanted to make had already been made, so he
8 didn't need to go into details like Zulfo's unit and all that.
9 Yes, Mr. Wubben.
10 MR. WUBBEN:
11 Q. Let me be more specific. Was the Srebrenica armed forces part of
12 the Bosnian army?
13 A. It's a very difficult question to answer. There was no physical
14 communication between Sarajevo as the seat of the headquarters on the one
15 hand, and Srebrenica on the other. It wasn't possible to communicate, and
16 it wasn't possible to go from Sarajevo to Srebrenica, or vice versa.
17 Therefore, I can say nothing about how the system worked. There were no
18 supplies coming from Sarajevo in terms of materiel and equipment to defend
19 the town of Srebrenica, or medicines for that matter. No supplies.
20 So the question is: Were the Srebrenica armed forces part of the
21 larger framework? It strikes me as possible, but certainly there was no
22 communication going on to confirm that. If, for example, you look at the
23 fact that throughout the existence of the Srebrenica enclave, that means
24 until as late as July 1995, there was not a single official visit to
25 Srebrenica by anyone from the military or political leadership of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Perhaps this should allow you to draw your own
2 conclusions as to what system of subordination, what chain of command, and
3 what hierarchy exactly was in place.
4 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, when you refer to --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, one moment. You told us yesterday that,
6 pretty soon after you arrived in Srebrenica, you were appointed as chief
7 medical commander of armed forces in Srebrenica. Do you remember that?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course I do.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Who appointed you?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Osman Osmanovic.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: And you also stated at one time during your
12 interview with the Office of the Prosecution that, before you proceeded --
13 you ultimately managed -- succeeded in reaching Srebrenica, on one
14 occasion you went to the 4th Tactical Group command. What command was
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This command formed part of the
17 district staff of the Tuzla Territorial Defence.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: And it fell under whose jurisdiction? Did it form
19 part of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was part of the
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina Territorial Defence forces, more specifically Tuzla
22 district staff. It was based in Kalesija municipality, 20 kilometres east
23 of the town of Tuzla, in the direction of the Drina River.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
25 He's back to you, Mr. Wubben. I will not ask further questions on
1 this, because he is your witness, not ours.
2 MR. WUBBEN:
3 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, you referred to Sarajevo. What do you mean by
4 "Sarajevo"? Do you mean a command staff over there?
5 A. I mean the headquarters in Sarajevo. I mean the political
6 leadership, the supreme command or, rather, the War Presidency of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina. That's what I mean.
8 Q. Who was in command of the headquarters of the republic army in
10 A. I don't know who it was at the time. I know that later on Sefer
11 Halilovic became commander. I'm not sure about the time under
12 consideration now.
13 Q. Can it be that in August 1992, Sefer Halilovic was chief of
14 supreme command staff in Sarajevo?
15 A. I said I'm not sure whether, indeed, he was as early as August. I
16 know that he was appointed sometime later on, but I'm sure that should be
17 easy enough for you to verify. There was a quick succession of different
18 commanders in the early days, and it's impossible for me to say exactly
19 when Sefer Halilovic was appointed as chief of staff of the
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina Territorial Defence.
21 Q. Besides this high level of supreme command in Sarajevo, was there
22 also a regional, second level of command?
23 A. There were district staffs. Tuzla, for example, was one such
24 district staff of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Territorial Defence forces.
25 Q. Do you know the name of the corps that was operating in Tuzla?
1 A. I'm talking about the month of August. That was no corps, it was
2 just Tuzla district TO, Territorial Defence. The corps was set up later
3 on. It was called the 2nd Corps, and it was part of the army of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina. It wasn't part of the Territorial Defence structure.
5 Q. Was the 2nd Corps a kind of second level with regard to the armed
6 forces of Srebrenica?
7 A. I can't say exactly whether it was the 2nd Corps that was superior
8 to Srebrenica. I can only say that it was Srebrenica's superior following
9 demilitarisation. Srebrenica then fell under the area of responsibility
10 of the 2nd Corps, but we're talking about after 1993.
11 Q. Who was the commander of the 2nd Corps?
12 A. General Hazim Sadic. In 1994, he was succeeded by
13 Brigadier Sead Delic.
14 Q. And prior to Hazim Sadic, was there any commander of the district
15 or commander of the 2nd Corps? Can you name that commander?
16 A. Zeljko Knez.
17 Q. When you were in -- at the times that you were in Srebrenica,
18 August 1992 till April 1993, are you aware that Naser Oric reported
19 towards Sefer Halilovic?
20 MR. JONES: "Are you -- if," "are you aware that" is asserting a
21 fact and putting -- putting it into this witness' mouth that that
22 communication occurred. It should be whether -- whether there were any
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, objection sustained. You have to rephrase, you
25 need to rephrase your question, Mr. Wubben.
1 MR. WUBBEN:
2 Q. When you were in Srebrenica in your time from August 1992 until
3 April 1993, do you know whether or not Naser Oric reported to Sefer
5 A. I can't say whether he reported to him, but I know that we were
6 all adamant that assistance should be sent to Srebrenica. Both the 2nd
7 Corps, the Tuzla-based 2nd Corps, and the supreme command in Sarajevo, we
8 insisted that they should send assistance in medicines and equipment so
9 that the enclave could be defended and people could survive. I know
10 nothing about reports because I never saw any official reports. There
11 were reports that were conveyed by Mr. Ibrahim Becirevic, using the radio
12 device that I mentioned. He addressed the public through Radio Sarajevo
13 and TV Sarajevo, later to become TV Bosnia-Herzegovina. He addressed the
14 public to inform them about the situation in Srebrenica in terms of the
15 living conditions, in terms of the attacks, in terms of the shelling, and
16 to tell them about the mounting numbers of those who were killed and
17 wounded. They could watch it every night on the news. There was an
18 update on the situation. If that's what you mean when you say "reports,"
19 yes, there were such reports.
20 Q. From what time do you know what Mr. Becirevic gave those updates
21 through these radio communications?
22 A. I heard such reports even before I arrived in Srebrenica. On the
23 menus of Radio Sarajevo, to become Radio Bosnia-Herzegovina, and on TV
24 Sarajevo, later to become TV Bosnia-Herzegovina. As I say, this was on
25 the news for the general public. He described the situation and the
1 conditions of life in the territory of the Srebrenica enclave. This
2 started maybe in April 1992 or May 1992, and all throughout the
3 demilitarisation of Srebrenica, these reports could be heard.
4 Q. And these were regular reports on a daily, weekly, or a month
5 basis? Can you confirm?
6 A. No, not every day, from time to time. However, if something
7 important happened, for example, the offensive on Srebrenica in April
8 1993 -- actually, from February 1993 up to the 17th of April, 1993, every
9 day the general public was informed about what was going on in Srebrenica.
10 Prior to that, there were regular reports once or twice a week, depending
11 on the events which took place in Srebrenica. Such reports were sent from
12 other parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina, from other towns. Everybody could
13 listen in the evening and hear what was happening in Travnik, Sarajevo,
14 Tuzla, and so on and so forth.
15 Q. Thank you. Next is the documents I would like to show you,
16 Dr. Mujkanovic.
17 MR. WUBBEN: Please, usher. And Your Honours, I have an English
18 translation available. I would like to tender that as well, and I would
19 like to ask to the usher to put one English translation on the ELMO
20 because we don't -- we are not able to present it on Sanction. The
21 exhibit number is P69 -- sorry, 269, translation -- and the ERN number is
22 01801592. It's a -- I can hardly read it, Your Honour. We have to be
23 specific and careful with this ERN number because it's hard to read.
24 Sorry, 01 -- I'll start over again. ERN number 01801582. That's it.
25 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, will you please take a look at this document.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Do you recognise the signature? Whose signature is this?
3 A. I do not recognise this signature.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Can we see it on the ELMO, please?
5 MR. WUBBEN: The signature?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please. Because we have been given the
7 translation so we don't have the original.
8 A. This signature differs from the signatures that I saw previously.
9 MR. WUBBEN:
10 Q. Next question is --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, one moment, because this is interesting.
12 In what way does it differ, Dr. Mujkanovic?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It contains both the first name and
14 the last name -- actually, the last name and the first name, unlike the
15 signatures that I saw before.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. And if you look at the first part of
17 that signature --
18 MR. JONES: Your Honour, may I -- if the witness doesn't find this
19 signature familiar, then he's then invited to look at strokes and all the
20 rest of it, isn't he being treated as an expert -- handwriting expert --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, I'm not treating him as an expert, Mr.
22 Jones. Please let me finish my question.
23 MR. JONES: I just don't want him to be induced to --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: He is not being induced, Mr. Jones. I take
25 objection at the way you are reacting, Mr. Jones. That is why I precisely
1 asked him where -- why does he think that this is different from the
2 other -- from the other signatures he has been shown, and he explains that
3 the difference lies in that there is the first and the second. So now I'm
4 going to ask him about the first part of that signature.
5 Look at the first signature and forget that there is a second
6 part, for the time being.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you recognise that signature?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It reminds me of Naser Oric's
10 signature, but this is not what I saw in the past. If you look at some
11 other signatures and compare them to this one, you'll see it yourself.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. That's enough. That's exactly what I wanted
13 to know from you.
14 Yes, Mr. Wubben.
15 MR. WUBBEN:
16 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, do you know whether or not someone signed or used
17 to sign on behalf of Mr. Naser Oric?
18 A. I wouldn't know. I can't be sure of that.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: And one further question: If anyone signed for
20 someone else in your country, it would put it "za," wouldn't he?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Otherwise it would be forging the signature of that
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you put "za" and then you
25 signed your own name.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Wubben.
2 MR. WUBBEN:
3 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, let me address to the text of this document. It's
4 dated the 23rd of June 1992, so before your arrival, as I may conclude.
5 It's addressed to the republican staff, Sarajevo, and I quote only -- I
6 will quote only the first sentence:
7 "After the action of 21 April 1992 carried out in Potocari, 14
8 members of Arkan's unit were killed," and there's something illegible in
9 my translation, "himself was wounded and later succumbed to his wounds."
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, are you familiar -- do you know this kind of
13 A. Let's be more specific. Are you asking me whether I am familiar
14 with the report or whether I am familiar with the event? What is it that
15 you're asking me?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, I'm going to stop your questioning for
17 the time being and I'm going to ask the witness to leave the courtroom for
18 a while so that we discuss something in relation to this document. It
19 cannot be discussed in the presence of the witness. I'll explain to you
20 later, Mr. -- Dr. Mujkanovic.
21 [The witness stands down]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, correct me if I'm wrong, I may have absolutely
23 the wrong impression, but this document we have seen already in the
24 beginning of the trial when we had the expert, the handwriting expert,
25 testifying here. And I am under the impression, but again this is
1 something that can be verified, that this was one of the few documents
2 which he considered as unreliable as far as signature is concerned. I
3 think his report, I think we need to find out, because if this is a
4 document that, according to the handwriting expert, contains a forged
5 signature, then we have a problem with to what extent you should, as
6 Prosecutor, be able to use this document.
7 MR. WUBBEN: May I check, Your Honours?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I think we need to check. But I'm not in a
9 position here and now to remember what the expert had said. If I remember
10 well, the handwriting expert had clearly said that this is one of the
11 documents where definitely the signature does not tally. But it features
12 in the report. There was a comparison made between specimen signatures
13 that the expert was told definitely belonged to Naser Oric and signatures
14 as they appear on various documents that the Prosecution intended to file.
15 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, according to my information, there was
16 no opinion from the forensic analysis, and it was document Q11, so
17 questioned document number 11. But I will further check that out to
18 confirm to you.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I doubt it. Do you have a record, Mr. Jones?
20 MR. JONES: I remember it was a bit more complex than that. He
21 recognised that the -- that it was different from the others in that it
22 had the full name and --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: That was one part. But there was also something
24 about the first part of the --
25 MR. JONES: Yes. The quality was too poor to actually enable
1 examination to be carried out, and we're just checking if there was
2 further testimony on this point.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. If we can verify this before we proceed,
4 I think it's very important, because I will not allow the Prosecution to
5 make use documents that are definitely forged, except insofar as they may
6 be relevant to prove that they are forged.
7 MR. JONES: Yes, indeed, Your Honour. I'm obliged, Your Honour.
8 Yes, Mr. Roberts, have you discovered anything -- except I'm not
9 asking you to give me --
10 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, may we please have five minutes' break
11 and that will enable --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's have a five-minute break. I think it's
13 very important.
14 --- Break taken at 9.45 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 9.59 a.m.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We checked -- I checked, together with
17 my staff as well, and it seems that the handwriting expert was not
18 prepared to say that the signature constituted a forgery, and he left it
19 at that. So we are back to square one.
20 Mr. Wubben, I don't think I need confirmation of what I have said.
21 You may proceed with the questions as soon as we get the witness in.
22 Yes, Madam Usher. Thank you for your patience and your
23 cooperation, both of you.
24 MR. JONES: Thank you. May I just add to the record that it was
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Q6, yes, yes, yes.
2 MR. JONES: And it was one signature where no opinion could be
3 expressed. And I think for the stamp also, there was insufficient --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: There was a difference consisting in the extra and
5 also the two lines inside the O --
6 MR. JONES: Yes.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: -- which were commented upon by the expert.
8 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour, from my side I can also confirm
9 that that leaves authentication open.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Wubben, if I could invite you to cut down a
11 little bit and try to speed up, because we are moving very, very slowly.
12 I mean, believe me, I have enough experience to know that I think it's
13 difficult to see you finishing the examination-in-chief by Thursday, the
14 way we are going.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 MR. WUBBEN: I'll try to speed up, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Try to concentrate on -- there's so much information
18 that this witness mentions or gives in his statements that we have barely
19 started, we've barely started.
20 Yes. Dr. Mujkanovic, let me explain. We needed to discuss a
21 little bit a procedural matter relating to the document that you were
22 shown before, before you could be asked further questions on it. We have
23 come to our conclusion, and Mr. Wubben may proceed with his questions.
24 Mr. Wubben.
25 MR. WUBBEN:
1 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, referring now to the first part of the report, the
2 first sentence, as read by you, can you confirm that you were aware, when
3 you were in Srebrenica, of information like that?
4 MR. JONES: I'm sorry, I don't know what information Mr. Wubben is
5 referring to or what the questions means. This is months before the
6 witness arrived. It's really unclear to me what -- what's being sought.
7 MR. WUBBEN: I read out -- I read out the sentence, didn't I?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I suppose you need to read it out again.
9 MR. WUBBEN: Okay.
10 Q. I will read it, Dr. Mujkanovic. "After the action of 21 April
11 1992 carried out in Potocari, 14 members of the Arkan unit were killed
12 and," illegible in my translation, the English, "himself was wounded and
13 later succumbed to his wounds."
14 Dr. Mujkanovic, are you aware of any such information at your time
15 in Srebrenica?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: At your time? What do you mean? Because he wasn't
17 in Srebrenica, so you can't tell him at your time.
18 MR. WUBBEN: At your time in Srebrenica, meaning from August 1992.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Did you come to know about this event
20 that is reported in the first paragraph of this document?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. After my arrival, I learned
22 about this because people said that a group of Arkan's men had been
23 intercepted on their way from Bratunac to Srebrenica. They said that 14
24 of Arkan's men were killed in combat, allegedly including Arkan himself,
25 who was, people said, first wounded and then died. And then for one year
1 after that, people believed that Arkan was dead. But a year later, he
2 appeared in public for the first time after this incident, and then
3 everyone realised that he had not been killed. But this is definitely
4 something that people talked about at the time, and everyone was aware of
6 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you. Next document, usher, P111, ERN number
7 026 --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: This document, are you tendering it?
9 MR. WUBBEN: It has already been tendered.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: What number is it?
11 MR. WUBBEN: Meaning the prior --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, the one we've just finished.
13 MR. WUBBEN: 269.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: P269.
15 MR. WUBBEN: E269.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. E, E, thank you.
17 MR. WUBBEN: For the next document, Your Honour, the English
18 version will be on Sanction --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
20 MR. WUBBEN: For the next document, Your Honour, the English
21 version is on Sanction. The document is P111. The ERN number is
23 Q. Please, Dr. Mujkanovic, take a look at this -- take a look at this
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. It's dated the 13th of June, 1992. Do you recognise the
3 A. The signature in my document is covered by a stamp. I think you
4 probably share my impression. It's impossible to recognise this
5 signature, plus it's a bad copy too.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's give a chance to the public to see the
7 signature on the ELMO. Yes, okay, you can hand back the document to the
8 witness, Madam Usher. Thank you.
9 MR. WUBBEN: The next document, P270.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: In other words, the purpose of showing the witness
11 the document was only to see if he could recognise the signature? That's
13 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right, thank you.
15 MR. WUBBEN: P270, bearing ERN number -- Your Honour, it is not
16 easy to read it as such. 01 -- 018 - thank you - 01586. Your Honour, I
17 have here the hard copy of the English translation of this document. I
18 will hand it over to the usher for circulating.
19 Q. My first question to the witness is: Do you recognise the
21 A. This signature resembles Naser Oric's signature.
22 MR. WUBBEN: This is document Srebrenica -- in the heading,
23 "Srebrenica municipal Territorial Defence staff," dated, and I quote,
24 "Srebrenica, 2 July 1992, decisions of the Territorial Defence staff."
25 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, I have a question related to the second paragraph,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 starting with a dash. There it is referring to a new-formed War
2 Presidency. Are you aware with that formation as it existed upon your
3 arrival in August 1992, in Srebrenica?
4 A. I can only say that, when I arrived, Hajrudin Avdic was president
5 of the War Presidency, Hamdija Fejzic was president of the executive
6 council, Dzemo Becirevic was the head of the economics department. Becir
7 Bogilovic, I met him as the chief of the public security station in
8 Srebrenica. Jusuf Halilovic was in civilian protection affairs. I don't
9 know this man called Resid Efendic. Haziz Hekic or Mekic, I don't know
10 the person. I don't know Mirsad Urbic. As for Senaid Tabakovic, I met
11 him later. He was one of the local commanders. Sefik Mandzic, no. And
12 it says here that Naser Oric was commander of the TO staff of Srebrenica.
13 That was not his capacity as I knew it. The way I believed at the time,
14 he was the commander of the Srebrenica defence forces. That was his
15 official title, to my knowledge.
16 I have never seen this document -- I hadn't seen this document
17 until a year ago, when it was first shown me.
18 Q. Thank you. I have to stop you here. My question still -- I have
19 another question related to this War Presidency. Was Naser Oric, in your
20 knowledge, part, a member, of the War Presidency?
21 A. Not as far as I know.
22 Q. Did -- Mirsad Halilovic, was he functioning as a commander of the
23 wartime military police, as referred to in the paragraph of the second
25 A. I met him about two months after my arrival in Srebrenica. He was
1 chief of the military police at the time.
2 Q. Thank you. Next document, number 107. That's ERN number
3 01087786. This is document under the heading "Crisis Staff of Srebrenica
4 TO, Srebrenica, 2 July 1992, Report to the Republic Staff Sarajevo and
5 Regional Staff Tuzla."
6 Dr. Mujkanovic, do you recognise the signature? Whose signature
7 is this?
8 A. This signature looks like Naser Oric's signature.
9 Q. Thank you. Next document is P3. P3, ERN number 00926461. My
10 question is: Do you recognise this signature? Whose signature is this?
11 A. The first part of the signature is covered by a stamp. If I look
12 at the second part of the signature, it resembles Naser Oric's signature.
13 Q. This is a document dated the 18th of October. Dr. Mujkanovic, I
14 would like to address you to the second paragraph in which it is referring
15 to constant communications by courier, and communications means from lower
16 units to higher units and superior units -- and superiors by the 25th of
17 October, 1992.
18 MR. JONES: For the record, it doesn't --
19 MR. WUBBEN:
20 Q. My question is --
21 MR. JONES: If I may correct for the record, in order to establish
22 it, it's not stating that it's happening. It's not clear that from the
23 way it was read. In order to establish constant communication, it's not
24 suggested that that's happening.
25 MR. WUBBEN: I'm not suggesting that that's happening. I haven't
1 asked any question. I have only, Your Honour, referred to the paragraph,
2 and I referred to the content. I haven't put any question.
3 MR. JONES: It's for the record --
4 MR. WUBBEN: My learned friend can address something that happens
5 and speculate on that.
6 MR. JONES: I'm not speculating, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please stop, both of you. Mr. Wubben, proceed
8 with your question, please.
9 MR. JONES: Your Honours, I was correcting the record, that's all.
10 MR. WUBBEN:
11 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, are you aware that ever since the 25th of October,
12 1992, or shortly later on, communications by couriers and
13 communications -- or other communications from lower units to higher units
14 and superiors have been implemented, or were functioning, as such?
15 MR. JONES: Or not. It has to be an open question. Are you aware
16 that --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: But you have to make an allowance that the English
18 that Mr. Wubben speaks is not to the same level that you do, Mr. Jones.
19 But I think it's enough for the witness to understand what he's being
21 MR. JONES: Yes, I'm trying to understand it. I'm concerned that
22 there's a continual attempt to put words in this witness' mouth, and
23 that's why I insisted from the start that --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think that's the case. I think it's clear
25 enough. He's being asked whether he was aware of such communications
1 taking place, which basically he's got the two alternatives. They may or
2 may not, and he may or may not have been aware, so it's up to the witness
3 to tell us what the truth is.
4 A. I was not familiar with this order, nor did I know at the time
5 that different units communicated by messengers. I don't know if this was
6 the established practice that they used or if messengers were only used
7 sporadically. I can only say that, for the most part, people communicated
8 by courier. There were no electronic or telephone links. I can't comment
9 on this order specifically because I was simply not familiar with it.
10 Q. Thank you. I will proceed with another issue. Dr. Mujkanovic,
11 did there come a time later on in 1992 that differences of opinions
12 within -- within the members of the operations staff of the armed forces
13 in Srebrenica existed?
14 A. I must say that, in 1992 and 1993, the priority was to defend
15 Srebrenica and try to have some sort of a normal life in the area.
16 Obviously, people had their differences, and these differences were
17 reflected in a number of ways.
18 Q. Also reflecting during meetings in the operations staff?
19 A. I must say that I only rarely attended meetings of the operations
20 staff. Although I was a member, my duties at the hospital were of far
21 greater importance. Very often one of my associates would go to one of
22 those meetings, Dr. Avdo Hasanovic or Dr. Ilijas Pilav, whenever I asked
23 them to go there and attend meetings, in case there was something to be
24 discussed about the medical service and organising the war hospital to
25 enable us to work as efficiently as was possible at the time, and under
1 those conditions.
2 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, you already stated that yesterday, this kind of
3 information, but my question referred to any differences of opinion within
4 the operations staff. Let me be more specific, came that to a kind of
5 climax at the end of 1992?
6 A. Climax? I'm not sure what you mean by climax.
7 Q. Was there such a tension that the difference of opinions within
8 the operations staff led to certain decisions to leave the operations
10 A. What I can say is that there was a faction within the operations
11 staff. They were not happy with their status as members. These people
12 went as far as to resign at one point, regardless of which they continued
13 with their jobs until their eventual appointments to other duties and
14 other jobs, which is something that occurred later on.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I mean, can the witness -- can the witness be more
16 specific, please? What -- who he's referring to, and what was the
17 substance of this difference of opinions. It seems that at -- he's
18 telling us that at some point in time, these divergences that existed
19 there came to a head, and some members opted out, opted to leave the
20 operations staff. I mean, can we know who they were and why they left? I
21 mean, what was the substance of the disagreement with the rest.
22 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, I have a document to confront the
23 witness with, and I would like to show it to him.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: My apologies for not having read your mind,
25 Mr. Wubben.
1 MR. JONES: Can the witness first answer who the people are and
2 what the differences were? Otherwise he gets the document and it's
3 suggested to him.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes. I think you're right.
5 Who were these people who eventually decided to leave the
6 operations? Can you name them, Dr. Mujkanovic?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Ramiz Becirevic, Nijaz Masic. I
8 think there was another member or two of the operations staff who were
9 unhappy about their own status within the staff.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. What was the substance of the complaint or of
11 the disagreement?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Roughly speaking, they did not have
13 the vehicles they needed to go around and tour the different locations.
14 That was what they complained about, roughly speaking. I was not part of
15 that group myself, which makes it very difficult for me to say why they
16 made the moves that they did, and eventually resigned.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Wubben, you can -- you may now show the
18 witness whatever document you want.
19 MR. WUBBEN: I have one question first.
20 Q. There was a referring in the questions to you, Dr. Mujkanovic, to
21 leaving the staff. Was it first -- at least first a move of a resignation
22 to leave -- a resignation from the operational staff?
23 A. Mr. Wubben, I said those people resigned, submitted their
24 resignations. But I also told you that they carried on with their jobs
25 after their resignations until they were eventually assigned to other
1 tasks. For example, Mr. Wubben, Ramiz Becirevic, in February 1992,
2 received his appointment as chief of the operations staff. Up until then,
3 he had been with the training and education section. He had resigned, but
4 he had not stopped working. And this applies also to all the others who
5 handed in their resignations.
6 MR. WUBBEN: Usher, may I have your assistance, please. Document
7 P255. That's ERN 01839515.
8 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, would you please read this document, and
9 specifically the heading within the statements of reasons, under paragraph
10 1, the second part of it.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. In that second part of paragraph 1, starting with "The decision
13 said that we were responsible," et cetera, referred further in this part
14 of paragraph 1, "we are afraid of the truth that the War Presidency does
15 not know the most basic competencies and hierarchy in the armed forces."
16 Can you comment on that? Are you familiar with that information, this
17 kind of opinion-sharing within the operations staff, if so?
18 A. This was not the opinion of the operations staff, as such. This
19 was an opinion expressed by the individuals who signed this.
20 Secondly, this document shows precisely what I've been trying to
21 tell the Trial Chamber all along; namely, during the Srebrenica disaster,
22 or the downfall of Srebrenica, in 1992 and 1993, neither the civilian
23 bodies nor the military bodies were ever organised in a way that was
24 prescribed by law. You did not know who was superior or who was
25 subordinate to whom, or what fell under the jurisdiction of the civilian
1 bodies and of the army respectively. This was a scene of total chaos,
2 where no one knew who they were responsible to and for what. It was
3 unclear who was making the appointments, or who was being appointed, for
4 that matter. If one of these people believed that mistakes had been made
5 about certain appointments, then this merely expresses the opinion of the
6 individuals who signed this document. They may as well have been right.
7 But that was not the point. There was no one there who would help us and
8 clarify the procedure to appoint persons to certain positions.
9 All the people left in the area were illiterate, the general level
10 of education being very low. The highest level usually encountered was
11 secondary school education. There was simply no one that was in a
12 position to provide any clarification regarding these regulations.
13 If I may be allowed to complete my clarification, because this may
14 be of help for my testimony. I had more than enough reasons to hand in my
15 resignation, I had more than enough reasons to leave, because there was no
16 one that could make it possible for me to continue to work at the hospital
17 under normal and satisfactory conditions. But I had to carry on. It was
18 very simple: I had to carry on for the sake of my patients and because of
19 everything that was going on.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We need to have a break now. We will
21 resume at 11.00. Thank you.
22 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
23 --- On resuming at 11.04 a.m.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Wubben.
25 MR. WUBBEN:
1 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, may I address you to the document on the ELMO,
2 P255. And you have the originals in front of you, so the ELMO is in
3 English, I presume. At the end, there is the naming of five persons, and
4 above that --
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And above that it says, "The Staff members hereby sign their
7 resignation." Are you familiar with these persons?
8 A. Yes, I'm familiar with these people.
9 Q. Is this consistent with your experience, that the persons named
10 under 1, 3, and 5 also resigned?
11 A. There are five people mentioned here, and there are four
12 signatures. I've said that these people continued performing their
13 functions to which they were appointed in the operations staff. The mere
14 fact that they resigned didn't mean that they stopped working in the
15 operations staff of Srebrenica.
16 Q. And what does that mean --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
18 MR. WUBBEN: Sorry.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Basically, I mean, I don't want anyone to be misled,
21 even though there's a simple explanation to it. In your question, line 5,
22 you told the witness, "and you have the originals in front of you." What
23 he has in front of you, I'm informed, is not the originals but the
24 document that we have in our record, that the Trial Chamber has in its
25 record. So perhaps for -- just to be precise --
1 MR. WUBBEN: Yes.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: -- you have got all -- these alternatives: Either
3 you tell him that that is a copy of what you contend is the original, or
4 that -- or you show him the original straightaway. And let's see it on
5 the ELMO as well so that we can verify what he has just testified in
6 particular, because we --
7 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, thank you for pointing this out. I rely
8 on the copy.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. You rely on the copy. And you agree
10 that, although there are five names, there are four signatures?
11 MR. WUBBEN: In the English translation, Your Honour --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: No, in the original. What I mean to say is that in
13 the original that you have in your records, you agree that there are five
14 names mentioned?
15 MR. WUBBEN: And four signatures.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: And four signatures.
17 MR. WUBBEN: And I -- my question related to the five names, and
18 the witness, in my opinion, answered that question.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. But in the English translation that is put on
20 the ELMO, it purports to indicate that there are not only five names but
21 that there are also five signatures. In actual fact, there are only --
22 that is a mistake that shows up in the English version of this document,
23 and for the record, it's not correct that behind Mr. Adil Muhic's name,
24 there is also his signature, because indeed there isn't; correct?
25 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour, I can confirm that.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. We can proceed, because, for the record,
2 that was essential to register.
3 Yes, Mr. Wubben.
4 MR. WUBBEN:
5 Q. I will move now to another issue. Dr. Mujkanovic, are you aware,
6 if so, that there were any military operations done by the Srebrenica
7 armed forces during the time of your stay in Srebrenica from August 1992?
8 A. Yes, I am.
9 Q. Were these military operations offensives, or do you refer to
10 those as combat attacks or another name?
11 A. Within the whole situation, there were such military operations
12 that constituted the defence of Srebrenica from the attack of the
13 aggressor. There were also attacks by the armed forces of Srebrenica on
14 the territories that were held by the Serbs. I wouldn't call those either
15 offensives or any other particular military terms. Those were operations
16 that were carried out in the direction of some territories that had been
17 occupied by the Serbs.
18 Q. Can you please -- can you please list the dates and areas of
19 military operations by the armed forces of Srebrenica, at your time of
20 your stay in Srebrenica?
21 A. Are you referring to the attack operations or the defence
22 operations which were undertaken by the armed forces of Srebrenica against
23 the territories held by the Serbs? I can't remember the dates, but I can
24 refer you to the period or the month when this happened.
25 The first one was in the second half of September, in the place
1 called Podravanje.
2 MR. JONES: Perhaps it's a matter of interpretation. I understand
3 the witness is saying "akcija," which is being translated as "operations."
4 Perhaps it's something the booth can help us with. We would have thought
5 that "akcija" should be interpreted as "actions." It may matter because
6 operations may imply a degree of planing which the word "action"
7 doesn't -- doesn't have. But I understand the witness is saying "akcija"
8 rather than "operations."
9 MR. WUBBEN: I disagree with counsel. Also an action can be
10 planned and prepared.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Definitely and action can. But -- anyway, I'm
12 asking the witness: Would you make a distinction between an operation and
13 an akcija, or do they mean the same thing to you?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is not the same for me. An
15 operation implies a well-planned activity which means that all the levels
16 are well articulated, all the levels of command and control. And there is
17 a very well-known reason why some communications are established, why some
18 territories are linked up. An operation involves actions, military
19 actions, at a wide scale. In this particular case, I'm talking about
20 certain actions, the goal of which was to try and get food, primarily
21 food, medicines, as well as weapons which, after such an action, might be
22 seized and placed at the disposal of those individuals who did not have
23 any arms.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: But the question that was put to you by Mr. Wubben
25 specifically referred to operations. How was the word "operations"
1 translated from English into the B/C/S? Perhaps the operators behind --
2 in the booths can tell me. I think it would be --
3 THE INTERPRETER: The witness did say "actions."
4 JUDGE AGIUS: But how did you translate the word "operations"?
5 Which word did you use in B/C/S?
6 THE INTERPRETER: We used "operacija" for operations, and for
7 actions we used "akcija."
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I think we need to put some order here. And
9 before I move to explain what I expect from you, Witness, or the way to
10 approach this particular chapter of your testimony, I also need to -- need
11 you to answer a question.
12 You've just heard me ask the interpreters how they translated to
13 you, how they interpreted to you, the word "operations," which was the
14 word asked by Mr. Wubben in his question. And they told me that they used
15 the word "operacija," which basically shouldn't have left any doubts in
16 your mind as to what Mr. Wubben was referring to. You have obviously made
17 a distinction in your mind between operacija and akcija, and in your
18 answer you referred to what you described as akcija.
19 Now, are you telling us that the military activity that you were a
20 witness of during your stay in Srebrenica, there were no such thing as
21 military operations but only military akcija? Is this what you are
22 hinting to the Trial Chamber?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely so. I can illustrate this
24 with another example which might clarify things even further.
25 If we are to talk about operations, an operation would imply, for
1 example, linking up the free territory of Srebrenica with the free
2 territory of Tuzla. In this specific case, such an operation would
3 involve two units or two formations or two parts of the armed forces, and
4 they would join forces on a joint project and they would advance from two
5 different directions. The goal of that would be to establish a corridor
6 between the Srebrenica territory and the Tuzla territory. This would be a
7 well-coordinated military operation.
8 When it comes to the armed forces of Srebrenica, I believe that it
9 is pointless to talk about operations. Those were actions taking place in
10 the course of one day. People would break through the enemy lines in
11 order to get food. They would break those lines and primarily take food.
12 Later on, they would also take some other things that they required. They
13 would leave those territories without anybody subsequently controlling
15 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So basically, there are no military
16 operations that you are prepared to talk about, but only military actions.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was clear, and I explained what an
18 operation is and what an action is.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: So my next point is, of course, I cannot take over,
20 I direct myself again to you, rephrase your question, and there is no
21 point in asking the witness to tell us about military operations, you can
22 only ask him about military actions.
23 The way I suggest we go about this is this: We'll give the
24 witness as much space is possible. What I suggest, rather than doing it
25 by question and answer, I would give you the floor, Dr. Mujkanovic, and I
1 would ask you to try and remember as many of these military akcija as you
2 can. Take them one by one. If it is possible to take them in a
3 chronological fashion, manner, that's better; if you cannot, it's not a
4 problem. Take them in which ever manner you like. But concentrate on one
5 action at a time. And when you're doing so, please tell us whether, in
6 your opinion, it was of an offensive or of a defensive nature. And of
7 course, Mr. Wubben, if you, at any time, would like to interrupt the
8 witness, please draw our attention, but try not to interrupt him unless we
9 give you the go-ahead. Then of course you are free to put all the
10 questions at the end, or if you prefer, at the end of each akcija.
11 MR. WUBBEN: I prefer first to have him recall the various actions
12 on dates and areas.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: The akcijas, yes.
14 Yes, Dr. Mujkanovic, you've got as much time as you like, or as
15 you need, to tell us about these military actions, that you are aware of,
16 obviously, I mean. Please give us all the details that you know.
17 MR. WUBBEN: But, Your Honour, before Dr. Mujkanovic proceeds,
18 what I mentioned with my last remark is that he first give us an overview
19 of --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes.
21 MR. WUBBEN: -- and then further on, the details of -- so first a
22 list, and then working through the --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right, let's take a list and see what you can
24 remember, Dr. Mujkanovic.
25 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, he already started with -- referring to
1 an action in the Podravanje, as I recall it, the second half of --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: But don't testify for him. Let him testify. He
3 knows, I suppose, where he left before I spoke.
4 A. Sometime towards the end of September, there was an action in
5 Podravanje, between the free territory of Srebrenica and the free
6 territory of Zepa, that is, a village between those two villages.
7 Sometime in October, there was another action in the area of
8 Fakovici, which is a village on the Drina River.
9 I believe that sometime in December there was another action in
10 the area of the villages of Voljevica, Zaluzje, Bjelovac, and Loznica,
11 Rijeka. Those are Muslim villages which had been occupied by the Serbs in
12 1992, at the beginning of the aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina.
13 At the beginning of January, there was another action in the area
14 of Kravica, and sometime in mid-January there was an action in the area of
15 Skelani, in the south-east part of the municipality of Srebrenica.
16 Those were the offensive actions.
17 The Defence actions took place as soon as I arrived in the area.
18 There was a general attack on the defence lines in the Suceska area.
19 There were daily attacks by the aggressor on the defence lines of the
20 Srebrenica enclave.
21 In mid-February 1993, an attack started and lasted until the 17th
22 of April, 1993. There was a general attack on Srebrenica from various
23 directions, and this attack involved the forces of the JNA, the air force,
24 the long-range artillery from the territory of Serbia.
25 Those were the actions that took place in the territory of the
1 Srebrenica enclave. As far as I can remember, and I remember these
2 actions not because I participated in them but because I received wounded
3 from those localities when these actions were taking place. And as the
4 medical corps, we had to organise the receipt of the wounded from the
5 place where they were wounded to their arrival in the Srebrenica hospital.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Shall we take them one by one? Is it
7 important for the Prosecution to take them one by one? I would imagine
8 that it is. Also for the Trial Chamber.
9 MR. WUBBEN: It is important.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's take the offensive ones, the ones you have
11 described as offensive. The first one, September, Podravanje, what can
12 you tell us about that action.
13 A. I can say that this action lasted just one day. The man reason
14 why this action took place was to get hold of the bare necessities, which
15 was food and medical supplies for the hospital, and also to get hold of
16 some weapons that -- and ammunition that was required for the quality
17 defence of the Srebrenica enclave.
18 This was the first time ever that I visited the place where an
19 action took place. Two or three days later, after the action was
20 completed and the locality was taken, I joined members of the Hakija
21 Meholjic unit in Srebrenica. I arrived in Podravanje. Why I went there
22 was to try and get information about the possible existence of an
23 out-patient clinic with drugs and medical supplies. And the unit went
24 there in order to mop up the area, to inspect the area and see whether
25 there were any left-over enemy groups in the area. They also wanted to
1 see whether there were any places where weapons were stored. They wanted
2 to see whether there were any wounded members of the Serbian army there.
3 The overall goal was to look after the wounded and take the food and
4 medical supplies which were to be -- which were to be used in the
5 territory of the enclave, which were to be used by the civilians and the
7 While I was in that locality, from the morning of that day until
8 late afternoon, I managed to see a lot of people who were there. There
9 were lots of civilians, women, children, elderly. They were searching the
10 houses, looking for food. Some were also taking some other things, such
11 as TV sets and refrigerators. They loaded those things on horse carts. I
12 saw people digging through yards and gardens. I asked them what they were
13 looking for. They told me that they were looking for ammunition or food
14 or some other things that may have been buried in the ground. I also saw
15 people poking the surface of the soil with iron rods. They told me that
16 they were looking for boxes or similar things that might have been buried
17 in the ground. I also saw people who were digging in the ground that had
18 already been dug out. They were looking for something, I don't know what.
19 As I was passing by the Gunjaci bauxite mine - I believe this is
20 the name of the mine - I saw a depot or a warehouse which was fenced off.
21 And in that depot, there were barrels of motor oil. I saw people taking
22 those barrels and loading them onto horse carts. I also saw people
23 pushing wheelbarrows and loading stuff onto those wheelbarrows.
24 I also saw, as I was passing by, an excavator or which was used in
25 the mine. I saw that people had torched this excavator.
1 Before that, as we were passing by, I saw two men running across a
2 hill slope. Since they were some 6 or 700 metres away from me as the crow
3 flies, I asked Hakija to look through his binoculars and see who these
4 people were. I thought that they might be soldiers of the Serbian army.
5 And when I looked through the binoculars, I saw two men in civilian
6 clothes. They were not armed. They ran up to a haystack, and maybe two
7 or three minutes later, I could see smoke coming from the top of that
8 haystack. Hakija cried out towards them and told them not to torch the
9 hay, and they replied that it was Cica who ordered them to do that. Cica
10 was Zulfo Tursunovic.
11 All these people who were there, they continued searching the
12 houses, collecting the stuff that they needed. Some were even taking off
13 window frames from the houses because they needed those frames. In
14 Srebrenica, I've already told you that there was constant shelling in
15 Srebrenica, that window-panes and window glass had been shattered by the
16 shell shrapnel. That's why people were taking off window frames from
17 those houses in order to take them back home and to use them on their
18 houses. I also saw a few houses that started burning at the time.
19 I have to say that except for the unit of Hakija Meholjic, there
20 were no other members of the army, there were only women, children, and
21 elderly, and they were all collecting stuff and taking it away.
22 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, may I.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, of course, I mean, he's your witness.
24 MR. WUBBEN:
25 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, you mentioned the name of Zulfo. Did you --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: He mentioned the nickname of Zulfo, not the name.
2 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, and then referring to the linkage with the name.
3 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, are you aware, what units did participate in that
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Can you please confirm to the Trial Chamber the units and their
7 commanders, if so?
8 A. I can't say. I didn't have the information. I don't know which
9 units exactly participated, but I know that wounded persons kept coming
10 in, mostly -- I can tell you according to the respective localities of the
11 wounded. Most of them were coming in from the Suceska area.
12 Q. And who is linked as a unit to the Suceska area, if so?
13 A. Zulfo's unit.
14 Q. And what's the full name of Zulfo?
15 A. Zulfo Tursunovic.
16 Q. Have you also knowledge about any participation in this attack by
17 Naser Oric?
18 A. No, I have no knowledge of his participation or his role in this
19 action in the Podravanje area. Podravanje is a localisation that is
20 adjacent to Suceska. The wounded persons that I received, whenever a
21 wounded person came in, their names, first, last names, and years of
22 birth, would be registered in our medical files. A person would be marked
23 as an army member or a civilian. Wounded in such and such localisation or
24 during an attack against a certain area or defence of a certain area.
25 That was the kind of medical files that we had, and this is how
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 information was registered. So we always knew where a certain wounded
2 person had come from, and we would always know whether this person was a
3 civilian or an army member, whether the person was wounded during an act
4 of defence or attack.
5 Q. So after this offence action in the Podravanje area, you did not
6 treat any wounded in the hospital, or am I incorrect?
7 A. Yes, of course, in the hospital. All those who were wounded were
8 brought into the hospital, all of them. I said that, two or three days
9 after the action was over, that I visited the area. Once my work at the
10 hospital was done, once we had provided adequate treatment to all the
11 persons who were wounded, I went out and reached the area in order to see
12 if I could get any more medical supplies and medicines. I'd been told
13 that there was a mine over there in the area, and this led me to believe
14 that there was some sort of a medical institution, a health centre or
15 something like that, a place where I would be able to possibly obtain
16 medical supplies.
17 Q. My next question, Dr. Mujkanovic: When you treated those patients
18 in the hospital after this action, offence action, did you find out about
19 their background, from what unit they were, if so?
20 A. I've already said, most of them were from Zulfo Tursunovic's unit.
21 Q. And did you also -- did you speak with those patients?
22 A. We always spoke to our patients, but they were a rather unreliable
23 source of information. You must know that those people were wounded or
24 injured. Their perception of what's going on was rather different from
25 what was actually happening. They suffered an enormous amount of stress.
1 They were prone to exaggerate or disfigure certain events.
2 Q. When it comes to an offence action like this, did you prepare,
3 together with the staff, prepare such an action with a view to the wounded
4 who might be projected [sic]?
5 A. I've already said that, as the medical corps, we always prepared
6 to receive men who were wounded in a certain action. We had our outposts
7 in a number of different localities in the enclave. Those were wartime
8 surgical outposts, mostly manned by nurses and medical technicians.
9 Whenever there was an armed conflict, we would always cover the area by
10 sending off an extra doctor to be on stand-by in the area so that the
11 wounded might be taken care of and helped as swiftly as possible, and to
12 make sure they survived the transport to Srebrenica, so that they could
13 then be given further medical assistance once they reached the hospital.
14 The transport sometimes took as long as several hours, since the distances
15 were rather great. Some people didn't make it to the hospital.
16 Sometimes, if a particular transport took three or four hours, people
17 would die on the way.
18 Q. So can I take it that --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
20 MR. WUBBEN:
21 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, so can I take it as a conclusion that you used to
22 be warned prior to such an -- such a military action?
23 A. I must say that we, the medical corps, were not involved in
24 organising or planning any action. We would only be told to prepare, to
25 prepare our operating theatres and to set up outposts for certain actions.
1 The medical corps had nothing to do with planning or, in any other way,
2 being involved in any of the actions.
3 Q. And who updated you, then, of such a planned action?
4 A. It would usually be the hospital manager, Avdo Hasanovic. He was
5 the one who was called. Once back, he would tell us to start getting
6 ready to prepare the medical corps, to prepare the facilities, because an
7 action would soon be under way.
8 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, I would like to move to the following
9 attack on the list.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
11 MR. WUBBEN: I used the word "attack," but I must use the word, to
12 be correct, military action.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I have a question of the witness on Podravanje. I'm
14 looking at the statement you gave to the Prosecution in the year 2000, and
15 at a certain point you were asked, and you listed these offensives,
16 akcija, as you put it, and you said: "Let me speak about the actual
17 offensives. First, I will list them." And you start listing them, you
18 start with September, Podravanje; October, Fakovici; November, Kamenica,
19 December, Muslim villages occupied by the Serbs, Voljevica, Bjelovac,
20 Kunarac, Loznica, Rijeka and Sase; January, Kravica area, and again
21 towards the end of -- mid, end of January, Skelani, Jezero. And then you
22 make a very categoric statement to the Prosecutor. And then you say:
23 "Naser was physically at each and every one of these offensives, directing
25 MR. JONES: Your Honour, may I. This witness hasn't adopted this
1 statement, he hasn't been asked --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, I'm going to ask him whether to accept this
3 or to deny it.
4 MR. JONES: Yes, may I also -- there's a matter, if his priority
5 statements -- if he's going to be cross-examined on his prior statements,
6 there's a matter I would like to discuss in the absence of the witness.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Later. At the moment he's being confronted with a
8 statement which runs counter to what he has testified contrary so far. So
9 I'm going to confront him with it and I need an answer from the witness.
10 And then we'll discuss what you need to discuss later, Mr. Jones.
11 Yes, I'm putting it to you that, in your statement of 2000, you
12 said or you stated that Naser was physically at each and every one of
13 these offensives, directing them. Today you told us that you do not
14 recall Naser, or you excluded categorically, Naser ever being present
15 during the attack or the offensive, the Podravanje offensive. Which is
16 the correct version of these two?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't say that he was there or
18 that he wasn't. What I said is that I did not personally see him there.
19 As for my statement, and the way it was drawn up, that's a different thing
20 altogether. Maybe we can discuss that on another occasion. The crux of
21 the matter is I never said that Naser was physically present in each of
22 these offensives, or indeed that he led the actions. I did say yesterday
23 that, after every action, he would come to the hospital to talk to the
24 wounded. And it was possible to draw the conclusion, based on the
25 conversations that he had with the patients and with me, that he had been
1 physically present in these actions. But I can't say that I saw him being
2 there. I can't say that. And you must know, I'm under oath here. I am
3 only entitled to say what I saw with my own eyes and not talk about
4 hearsay, about things that I merely heard from someone else.
5 When I talked about Podravanje, I talked about what I saw with my
6 own eyes. As concerns all the other actions, I was never there, I wasn't
7 even in the area. Therefore, the only thing I can talk about is the
8 wounded that kept coming in, the way these people were treated. I can
9 also tell you what the conclusions were that I drew based on my
10 conversations with the patients, if that's of any importance.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
12 Yes, Mr. Wubben, we'll move to the next offensive, Fakovici,
14 MR. WUBBEN: Yes. Before we address to that issue, I would like
15 to have a private session, Your Honour - it won't take long - without the
16 witness. It does not refer to the witness, it refers to Defence counsel.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. In the meantime, you can raise the other
18 matter that you mentioned too.
19 Witness, could you please -- you're going to be escorted out of
20 the courtroom for a while. We need to discuss a few things.
21 [The witness stands down]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Do you want to go into private session?
23 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's go into private session.
25 [Private session]
11 Pages 5110-5115 redacted. Private session.
12 [Open session]
13 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
14 Mr. Jones, you said you wanted to raise a matter relating to his
15 statement not in the presence of the witness. The witness is not here.
16 Perhaps you can refer to it now.
17 MR. JONES: Yes. I just --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Would the speakers please slow down and make a
19 short break between each other because we can't follow it.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: We ought to practice what we preach.
21 MR. JONES: It might be premature, so I won't embark on it now.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
23 MR. JONES: It's really a question of if the witness was going to
24 be, as I say, cross-examined on his prior statements, there were
25 submissions we would want to make in that regard, but we haven't got there
1 yet, so it's now -- it's premature at this stage.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
3 Usher, could you bring in the witness again, please.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Sorry about that, Dr. Mujkanovic, but we
7 needed again to discuss a procedural matter. And Mr. Wubben will be
8 proceeding with his direct, with his examination-in-chief, and I think we
9 had come to the stage where we were about to start discussing the Fakovici
11 MR. WUBBEN: That's correct.
12 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, I would like to move to that offensive action
13 related to Fakovici. Will you please tell the Court, in the same way as
14 you did on the prior action, what your knowledge is about that military
16 A. This was at the beginning of October 1992. An action was carried
17 out in the village of Fakovici, which is on the Drina River. This is the
18 eastern part of the Srebrenica enclave. I know that I received up to 15
19 wounded after that action, among whom was also Zulfo Tursunovic, who was
20 also wounded and who was brought to the hospital. The action also took
21 one day. And what I found interesting at the time is that after that
22 action, we received some medicines and medical supplies at the hospital.
23 Q. Have you been updated prior to the attack? I will rephrase that.
24 Have you been, as a medical doctor organising the war hospital, updated
25 prior to this action?
1 A. We were given a signal that there would be an action. We were not
2 given any detail. We were just told to prepare ourselves. And the day
3 before the action itself, before the action took place, we reinforced our
4 surgical outposts in the south-eastern part of the Srebrenica enclave.
5 At the beginning of the action, a doctor was sent to reinforce
6 this outpost that was closest to the area and which received the wounded
7 from the area. You have to know that these actions that were organised
8 were organised in secrecy. Nobody could know about these actions because
9 there was always a risk that the civilians learned about the action in the
10 area and they placed themselves on the border of that area which gave them
11 an opportunity to get into the village as soon as possible and find food.
12 I received many more civilian casualties than military casualties,
13 and that is why we were never told in advance when and where the action
14 would take place. It was only at the beginning of the very action, once
15 all the preparations had been over, that a doctor would be called to a
16 certain outpost to treat the wounded there. And this is how the things
17 functioned at the time.
18 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, when you speak about --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
20 MR. WUBBEN: Sorry.
21 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, when you tell the Judges it was organised in
22 secrecy, who did organise this?
23 A. If I've said that it was done in secrecy, that means that I was
24 not privy to the information. I'm not a witness who could tell you who
25 the organisers were. Sometimes those actions were organised by the units
1 closest to the particular areas. I was not involved in the organisation
2 of any military actions or anything of the sort.
3 Q. And who updated you --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
5 MR. WUBBEN:
6 Q. And who updated you prior to that action? Who gave you the
8 A. It could have been Dr. Avdo Hasanovic, who was the director of the
9 hospital. It could have also been the chief of the operations staff,
10 Mr. Osman Osmanovic. It could have been somebody from the War Presidency.
11 It was not always one and the same person who was in charge of the
12 correspondence between the war hospital and the rest of the War
13 Presidency, or the rest of the army, for that matter.
14 Q. Did Naser Oric, after this military offensive action, also visit
15 the hospital?
16 A. He always came to the hospital after all the actions, regardless
17 of the nature of the action. That was just his habit. He would come,
18 visit the wounded, have a chat with them.
19 Q. And did you speak to Naser Oric on that occasion?
20 A. I spoke to him very often. Whenever he came to the hospital, we
21 would talk, obviously.
22 Q. And what did you learn from Mr. Naser Oric or from the soldiers
23 who participated in that action?
24 A. These people were not a reliable source of information on the
25 action that had taken place. They were too subjective and they provided
1 us with incorrect information. Sometimes they would say that there were
2 dozens of dead soldiers, or they would say that the line had been broken
3 and that they entered the village, whereas the truth was completely
4 different. It was only later on, when things calmed down and when we
5 started talking to them, we could tell that those actions were always
6 dangerous, that there were a lot of casualties, a lot of dead and wounded.
7 When Naser came, we usually discussed the weapons that had been
8 seized. His main interest was to have enough ammunition and weapons for
9 the army. I've already told you that civilians who went there would storm
10 into the villages during the action to get hold of the food. And then
11 when such civilians would be brought to the hospital wounded, I would ask
12 them what they were looking for there, and they said to us that they
13 wanted to get hold of the food.
14 Naser would inquire after some people, especially about those who
15 were seriously wounded. He wanted to know whether these people would
16 survive, whether they would be handicapped after that. And this is more
17 or less what my conversations with him boiled down to.
18 If a village was taken, and if certain quantities of ammunition,
19 weapons, and food were taken from the village, then everything was really
20 euphoric and happy, because this was the only means of survival. There
21 were no logistical supplies. Nobody brought as much as a kilo of flour or
22 litre of oil into Srebrenica, and still people had to live. These actions
23 were all undertaken in order to enable people to survive, not to take
24 territories. Those territories were not needed by anybody. When the
25 actions were over, nobody remained living in the territory. Nobody wanted
1 or could stay there. We could not hold such a huge territory. When the
2 action was over, the army withdrew, the civilians lingered on for a few
3 days. They searched the houses, they got hold of the necessities which
4 then they either used or exchanged or sold on the black market.
5 The area of Srebrenica was not fit for any organised life. There
6 was no judge, there was no teacher, there were no lawyers, there was
7 nobody there. There was just people, poor people, who had already been
8 expelled two or three times before they reached Srebrenica. And there was
9 nothing there to offer to them. There was no ammunition, there was no
10 weapons, no clothes, no accommodation, so people organised themselves as
11 best as they could.
12 Srebrenica is more a sociological issue than an issue which could
13 serve for an analysis of organisation. Srebrenica did not have any means
14 of functioning the way one would want it to function. All the military
15 developments and the military authorities were just part of the
16 organisation put together by individuals in certain villages, and the
17 only -- the objective of these individuals was to protect themselves
18 against any further persecution.
19 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, I would like to ask you, when you start by
20 explaining what the patients might have said to you, or shared information
21 with you afterwards, my next question is: What did you learn after this
22 military action from Naser Oric, upon his visit to the hospital? And
23 meaning, what did you learn regarding the participation of units and
24 commanders in this attack, in this military action?
25 A. Your Honours, first of all, let me say this: Today we're talking
1 about the events which took place 12 or 13 years ago, and the fact that a
2 person forgets is part of his physiological process. Sometimes people
3 can't remember two or three years ago, let alone things that happened 12
4 or 13 years ago. And Srebrenica is not the only thing that happened in my
5 life, and I do not have a photographic memory. There is no way for me to
6 remember everything that happened there. I'm trying to reconstruct some
7 things, I'm trying to recall some things. And if I'm certain about things
8 the way I remember them, I will say so. If I'm not sure or I cannot
9 remember, then I believe that this Trial Chamber does not want me to talk
10 about those things.
11 What happened 12 or 13 years ago, what Naser told me at the time,
12 I don't think that I can be a credible witness to that. I cannot remember
13 certain events. If I told you that I spoke about girls with Naser, he was
14 a normal young man who had other needs. It was not his only need to
15 defend the people in the area. We may have spoken about girls as well.
16 Q. Sorry to interrupt you. My question was only related to what you
17 really might know, so if you don't know, please be confident to express
18 that as such. And what I'm interested in is, indeed, what you can recall.
19 A. I can't remember these conversations that I had with Naser after
20 these actions. Despite all my efforts, and despite my wish to help the
21 Trial Chamber, I really cannot say that this was -- this was precisely so.
22 Q. My next question is, Dr. Mujkanovic: You recall that Zulfo was
23 wounded. Can I take it that he was wounded due to this military action?
24 A. Yes, he was wounded during that military action, and this is what
25 I can remember. He came to me as a patient, and he told me that he had
1 taken part in the attack on Fakovici together with other members of his
2 unit, the part of the unit that was involved in this action on Fakovici.
3 This is something that I cannot deny. He was wounded; this is a fact. He
4 was wounded in Fakovici, and this is part of his medical record. If you
5 have those medical records, I believe that you can easily check that this
6 was, indeed, the case.
7 Q. And, Dr. Mujkanovic, did Zulfo Tursunovic also share with you
8 information of other units involved?
9 A. I can't remember.
10 MR. WUBBEN: I'd like to have the assistance of the usher, please.
11 I would like to show Dr. Mujkanovic a document numbered P2. P2,
12 Your Honours, with ERN number 00926396.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 MR. WUBBEN:
15 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, do you recognise this signature? Whose signature
16 is this?
17 A. It looks like Naser Oric's signature.
18 Q. This, and I quote, is an order "Subregional Armed Forces Staff,"
19 and the date, 11th of December, 1992. May I draw your attention to the
20 first sentence?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. There it is referring to carry out a frontal attack on an axis.
23 And are you familiar with that frontal attack as mentioned there?
24 A. No.
25 Q. In the second paragraph there is an appointment of Semso
1 Salihovic. Do you know that person?
2 A. I know this person.
3 Q. Who is this? Is this a commander or not?
4 A. As far as I know, he was the commander of Cerska.
5 Q. And this is referring to an attack on a certain date, in the first
6 paragraph, the 14th of December. Is it possible that this refers to one
7 of the military actions you yourself referred to in December 1992?
8 A. The places that are mentioned here, they are not part of the area
9 which -- are in reference to the actions that I spoke about as having
10 taken place in 1992. This is the area of Cerska. This is not part of
11 Srebrenica, this is separate from Srebrenica, in the direction of Zvornik.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's make this clear. In other words, Voljevica,
13 Bjelovac, Kunarac, Loznica, Rijeka, and Sase would not fall within this
14 geographical area?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
17 Yes, Mr. Wubben.
18 MR. WUBBEN: One moment, please.
19 Q. May I draw your attention, Dr. Mujkanovic, on the fourth
21 A. Very well.
22 Q. And I quote: "On 14 December 1992, carried out a frontal attack
23 on the village of Zeljkovici. Does that frontal attack refer to any
24 military action you referred to in December of 1992?
25 A. No.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. WUBBEN: May have I the assistance of the usher for the next
2 document. It's document number P13.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 Q. It's an -- will you please, Dr. Mujkanovic, take a look at the
5 signature. Whose signature is this?
6 A. Yes. This signature looks like Naser Oric's signature.
7 Q. This is an -- this is an order, and I quote, "Srebrenica Armed
8 Forces," dated 11th of December, 1992. There is an order, and I
9 quote "for all members of the armed forces of Srebrenica," with the naming
10 of places, "are to be transferred from their home units to the unit
11 commanded by Dzenanovic Hazim."
12 Are you familiar with the implementation of that order, if so?
13 A. I don't know. I even don't know who this Hazim Dzenanovic.
14 Q. Is it possible that this order is related to a military action, as
15 referred to you in your prior statement, in December 1992?
16 MR. JONES: It seems to me the question was inviting him to
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And I also don't understand correctly what --
19 what do you mean, your prior statement, in December --
20 MR. WUBBEN: No, I mean prior statement, testimony before the
21 Court, he referred to a military action, offensive action, in December --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
23 MR. WUBBEN: -- and mentioned several places.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: That were Serb territory at the time --
25 Serb-occupied territory at the time.
1 MR. WUBBEN: So that's what -- and if the witness doesn't know, he
2 doesn't know.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: It's a very clear question now.
4 In looking at this document that you have in front of you, do you
5 think that this document refers to the offensive that you mentioned
6 earlier on in your testimony, namely, the December one, which concentrated
7 on Voljevica, Bjelovac, Kunarac, Loznica, Rijeka, and Sase? Or is it
8 something different? Because here we see that Voljevica is there.
9 Bjelovac is there. Zaluzje, you mentioned it as well, yes? Biljaca, you
10 had not mentioned before. So the only one you did not mention is Biljaca.
11 Before, when I went down my notes, you mentioned Voljevica, Zaluzje,
12 Bjelovac, Kunarac, Loznica, and Rijeka. So does this document really, in
13 your opinion, without speculating, refer to the offensive that you
14 testified about earlier on, or not? Or could it be something different?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really wouldn't be able to say
16 what this document is about. I'm not familiar with the document, I'm not
17 familiar with this order. And since you've told me not to speculate, my
18 answer would be I don't know.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Wubben.
20 MR. WUBBEN: I will now move, indeed, to that issue of the
21 military action in December, as referred earlier by you.
22 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, would you please tell the Court, inform the Court,
23 what you know about that military action in December 1992? And please
24 concentrate in that respect on the military action, as far as you know, in
25 the village of Bjelovac.
1 A. This action took place in December 1992. The intention was to
2 liberate occupied villages, occupied Muslim villages, along the Drina
3 River. Voljevica, Zaluzje, Bjelovac, Loznica, Rijeka, and so on and so
4 forth. Again, the main reason why the action was organised, why the
5 attack was organised was to get hold of food, materiel, technical
6 supplies, medicines, and everything else that was required for the normal
7 functioning of the free territory of Srebrenica.
8 The action lasted for two or three days, I don't know exactly. I
9 know that I had a lot of wounded after that action. There were a lot of
10 wounded civilians, very many wounded civilians. I know that the air force
11 came from the direction of Serbia and opened fire on the people who were
12 advancing towards these villages. I know that I had a lot of wounded who
13 had been wounded from aeroplane. And once these villages were taken, once
14 they were liberated, there was an attempt to organise life in this area,
15 because people from this area had come as refugees to Srebrenica.
16 However, this attempt failed because it was impossible to live along the
17 River Drina with Serbia across the river. Life could not be organised
18 because there was constant, everyday shelling from Serbia on those
19 villages, on Voljevica and other villages. People stayed there for a very
20 brief period of time, and then they abandoned the area and returned to
22 What I know - I apologise - I know from the stories of Safet
23 Omerovic, who is a native of Voljevica. He told me that they, as a
24 special purpose unit or a sabotage unit, in the course of the night they
25 entered the territories that were occupied and the action started from the
1 inside. The first wave of attack took place in the village itself. I
2 don't know whether it was Biljaca or Bjelovac. That's how the action
3 started, that's how the attack on that territory started. This is what I
4 know, what I can tell you.
5 Q. And from a medical organising point of view, had you been warned
6 in advance?
7 A. Precisely in the same way as earlier. I can only say that, during
8 that action, the first day, because people kept coming in with very
9 unusual wounds, I couldn't tell exactly what had caused them. But then
10 later on I saw aeroplanes, the air force, firing. There were rivers of
11 people, 2.000 people, pushing towards those villages. Some came with
12 horses. It was impossible to describe the scene. Ramiz Becirevic took me
13 to the forward command post to have a clearer view of the area, and I
14 realised that hundreds of thousands of people were moving towards the
15 lines, once the lines had been broken through. On the way to the
16 villages, I saw aeroplanes, fighter plains, come from Serbia firing on
17 those people. I stayed there for up to one hour. I had to go back to the
18 hospital because lots of wounded people kept coming in.
19 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, did you also find out what units took part,
20 participated, in that attack?
21 A. Those were units adjacent to these village areas, units covering
22 the defence line of the eastern section of the Srebrenica enclave,
23 reinforced by units from Suceska and by units from Srebrenica, meaning
24 Akif Ustic's and Hakim Emic's [phoen] unit. I am talking about the
25 wounded that kept coming into my hospital. I am telling you where they
1 had come from.
2 Q. And if you don't know the commander of those units, can you list
3 the units involved that were adjacent to that area?
4 A. The units were Likari, Pirica Brdo, that's what I think the name
5 is, part of Pale, Gornji Potocari, and the ones I've mentioned before.
6 Q. The ones you mentioned before on the attack on Fakovici?
7 A. I wasn't speaking about those units when I spoke about Fakovici.
8 I only said I knew about Zulfo Tursunovic's unit being involved because he
9 was wounded as a result.
10 Q. So my conclusion is correct that, his unit, or part of his unit,
12 A. Yes.
13 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, this is my last question regarding this
14 event. I will move now to the other after the break.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. We will have a break now, resuming at 1.00.
16 Thank you.
17 --- Recess taken at 12.33 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 1.03 p.m.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Wubben.
20 MR. WUBBEN:
21 Q. My next question is another issue of the offensive actions.
22 Dr. Mujkanovic, can you please tell the Court, inform the Court, what you
23 know about the offensive military action in the Kravica area, in January
25 A. At the beginning of January 1993, there was an action on Kravica
1 village. The action lasted approximately one day. During the action, the
2 village was taken. And I know that it was winter, there was a lot of
3 snow. And for days I could see people passing through Srebrenica and
4 carrying or driving certain things that they had taken from the houses in
5 Kravica. There was food, there were some things like TV sets, cookers,
6 refrigerators, so on and so forth.
7 There were not many wounded after that action. It was an action
8 in which some 15 to 20 people were wounded and treated in the hospital on
9 the same day. And this would be more or less what I can tell you about
10 it, what I know.
11 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, were you also prior warned to prepare the hospital
12 for casualties?
13 A. Yes, in the way that I have already described.
14 Q. And who updated you of that?
15 A. I've already said that I can't remember. It was not always the
16 same person who prepared us. We were informed, and we prepared ourselves.
17 I can't tell you exactly who it was who informed us.
18 Q. What did you find out after this offensive? What units did
19 participate in this military action?
20 A. Those were units from the area, from the area of Konjevic Polje
21 which is adjacent to the village of Kravica. They were supported by the
22 units from the area of Srebrenica, from parts of Glogova, a village next
23 to Kravica, as well as some parts of other units from the area of
24 Srebrenica. I will repeat once again, we're talking about the parts of
25 units from Suceska and from the rest of the area leaning on Kravica.
1 Q. Can you please be specific, if you can. Next to the Suceska unit,
2 whether or not you can recall names of other units involved?
3 A. I believe that I've already said that I can't remember the names
4 of units that participated in certain actions. I'm just giving you what I
5 recall. Based on the wounded who arrived at the hospital and based on
6 their stories, more or less those were units from Konjevic Polje, Glogova,
7 reinforced by some other units. Again, the same person who told me about
8 the previous action, Safet Omerovic, told me that he also participated in
9 this action in Kravica, and he told me that, again, the same way parts of
10 the special purpose sabotage unit were infiltrated in the area of Kravica,
11 that is how the action started, from the inside. And it was over in the
12 course of one day. The village was taken. Civilians started scouring the
13 village, they did it for days, and for days they were taking things out of
14 the village.
15 Q. When it comes to the --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
17 MR. WUBBEN:
18 Q. -- issue of taking things, taking properties out of the village
19 after such a military action, did only civilians participate in that? Or
20 is it your knowledge whether or not also units, or parts of it, did the
21 same practice?
22 A. The only thing that the troops took were weapons and ammunition.
23 I've already told you that these actions were always accompanied by the
24 presence of civilians who were waiting on the lines. As soon as the
25 defence line was broken, they were the first ones to enter those villages
1 and to start taking things, primarily food, cigarettes, if they found
2 them. Civilians were not interested either in ammunition or weapons, and
3 the troops needed ammunition and weapons. And the troops really didn't
4 have the time to secure the area and prevent the break-in by civilians.
5 So it was the civilians that demolished the whole area. And it is a
6 well-known fact. Everybody who spent at least a month there can confirm
8 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, one moment. I have a curiosity which
9 maybe you can clear for me, Dr. Mujkanovic. Earlier on, answering a
10 question put to you by Mr. Wubben about these akcija, about these actions,
11 you said, "You have to know that these actions that were organised were
12 organised in secrecy," and you repeated it then later on. Can you explain
13 to me, the presence of all these civilians, more or less at the same time
14 that the attack or the action was taking place, if the organisation of
15 these attacks was prepared in secrecy or was held in secrecy?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nobody in Srebrenica could account
17 for that. This is a problem that the War Presidency also discussed.
18 Everybody was concerned as to how an action could be organised without the
19 civilians learning about that. Soldiers lived in their houses. They did
20 not have a barracks. They lived with their families in their households,
21 and they all wanted to get hold of food. And although the actions were
22 prepared in secrecy, I'm sure that they spoke about these actions in their
23 households. They probably swore their household members to secrecy. But
24 still they told them where to be in order to get food. So I suppose that
25 the most plausible explanation would be that the troops shared the secret
1 with their families.
2 This is something that could not be prevented in Srebrenica.
3 Civilians knew. After some actions, my first wounded to arrive in the
4 hospital were the civilians, and they were only then followed by soldiers.
5 Civilians were sometimes first to enter an area that had been liberated.
6 These are facts. Everybody who was ever there can confirm that. This
7 was, indeed, a problem. It was not so much the problem that people took
8 food, it was -- and it was not premeditated by any ulterior motive. It
9 was the survival instinct that pushed these people to enter those
10 villages. They would light fires sometimes during the night, if it was
11 cold. They were waiting for the army to start the action, for them to
12 follow after the troops.
13 It is a phenomenon that nobody who hasn't experienced it can
14 understand, and it's very hard to explain. Sometimes civilians would
15 enter these villages even before the troops, and sometimes many of them
16 were wounded, many of them were killed, many of them did not accomplish
17 their mission. They didn't get hold of the food, although it was food
18 they came for in the first place.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Dr. Mujkanovic.
20 Mr. Wubben.
21 MR. WUBBEN:
22 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, taking away properties is one thing you addressed
23 and burning haystacks is another you recalled and testified upon. Do you
24 also recall that people spoke about burning other properties, other
25 properties than haystacks?
1 A. Yes, they were burning all sorts of property. They were burning
2 houses, too.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Who was burning houses?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Civilians. First, they would
5 scavenge through a village, they would get whatever they could lay their
6 hands on, and then they would burn houses.
7 MR. WUBBEN:
8 Q. And did you come to know --
9 A. I personally saw this happen in Podravanje, with my own eyes. I
10 saw houses being set fire to by civilians, women, children, elderly people
11 who were there. Hundreds of them would search the area, pick up whatever
12 they could, and the last thing they would do is set fire to a house.
13 Q. And was that a kind of practice also caused by soldiers of local
15 A. Soldiers did not burn any houses. The soldiers never even took
16 any furniture away from the houses, or anything like that. As I said
17 before, once a village was taken, civilians would flood the village before
18 the army ever got there, and they would spend days scouring the area,
19 removing roof tiles, woodwork, whatever they needed back in Srebrenica.
20 They would take what they needed and they would burn the house down.
21 Q. Were these problems, the problem of taking away properties and
22 burning of properties, including houses, had they been discussed during
23 meetings? And I mean meetings between you and other staff or other
24 commanders of the Srebrenica armed forces.
25 A. I can tell you that this was perceived as a public problem in
1 Srebrenica. This was discussed. I was not a member of the War
2 Presidency, nor did I attend any of their meetings. I occasionally
3 attended sessions of the operations staff, whenever time allowed. I know
4 that this was one of the major problems, how to prevent the burning of
5 property. But it simply wasn't possible. This was something that was
6 definitely discussed. No one approved of this, no one approved of the
7 burnings or the theft, but it wasn't possible to put an end to this
8 because there were no instruments that we could use to prevent this from
9 happening. This was definitely a burning problem.
10 There were attempts, efforts, being made to move some of the
11 refugees leaving Srebrenica to some of these villages that were retaken,
12 because the living conditions were much better than the ones in
13 Srebrenica, but they refused to. And one of the reasons why they were
14 burning things might have been precisely that, to avoid being moved to
15 those villages, probably because they did not feel safe. They probably
16 only felt safe in and around Srebrenica, safe from enemy incursions. This
17 is a phenomenon which was real, and there was nothing that could be done
18 to stop this happening.
19 Q. And what did you -- Dr. Mujkanovic, what did you express as your
20 opinion during those meetings regarding this problem? Did you express it
21 in a way like you did to the Judges?
22 A. Not only at meetings. There were lots of informal conversations
23 that I had with people that I would run into, people from the War
24 Presidency, members of the army, all sorts of people. I voiced my
25 discontent. I said, "We should find a way to protect property." But
1 there weren't enough soldiers to properly cover the village, to have
2 people guard the houses. People were waiting right there along the
3 defence lines. Once a village was taken, there was no one left there.
4 They would always withdraw back to the lines from which the attack had
5 originally started. This was a physical impossibility. There was no way
6 to have any effective protection. However, some things were needed back
7 in Srebrenica, such as roof tiles and woodwork. And I said, okay, if
8 that's what it takes, they can have those things removed, moved to
9 Srebrenica, have these things stored in Srebrenica, so that we could use
10 these things after a shelling, when houses were damaged. But it didn't
11 work like this.
12 Q. And you discussed this at -- occasionally at sessions of the
13 operations staff, as you told the Judges. Did you also discuss that, or
14 does that include a discussion with Naser Oric on those two problems?
15 A. Yes. Yes.
16 Q. And what was the opinion of Naser Oric in that regard?
17 A. He had the same opinion. He was against people burning houses,
18 but there was simply nothing that he could do. He did not have a way of
19 stopping them. It's not that he simply didn't approve. He fiercely
20 opposed this. But you must know that there were between 80.000 and
21 100.000 people living in the area. You couldn't keep all these people at
22 bay. It's that simple.
23 Q. Is it your testimony, Dr. Mujkanovic, that you could predict in
24 advance that this practice would occur on every offensive action?
25 A. It could be predicted, it could be predicted that this would
1 occur. But I also said that these civilians could simply not be held
2 under control, the women and children who were the first to run to the
3 houses in order to grab whatever they needed. These are simple facts.
4 MR. WUBBEN: One moment, please.
5 Q. Related to the issue of these military actions, you have explained
6 to the Trial Chamber what you know about these actions that occurred in
7 the months of October onwards to -- to January, and also with --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Before you move into this, Mr. Wubben, during
9 these -- it seems that you're telling us that this was quite discussed and
10 debated amongst you, this matter of whether houses should be burnt down or
11 not. Do you recall anyone who used to be in favour of burning down these
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, there were people who
14 believed that this was the proper thing to do.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Such as?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really can't remember any specific
17 names. But there was a feeling among some of the population, they
18 favoured the burnings, and the argument was that if these houses were
19 burned, the Serbs would not be able to go back. It was probably a need
20 for revenge. You must keep in mind the fact that 70 per cent of the
21 people in the Srebrenica area were refugees whose houses had been burned
22 once, twice, three times. There were people who were vengeful. There
23 were other people who believed that this was a way to prevent Serbs from
24 retaking the area, posing a danger. But one thing is certain: There was
25 no one living in those areas. Not Bosniaks, not the returning Serbs.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Dr. Mujkanovic.
3 Yes, Mr. Wubben.
4 MR. WUBBEN:
5 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, when these discussions took place, specific on the
6 meetings of the operations staff in which you attended, as you said,
7 occasionally, when did those discussions start? Was it from the beginning
8 of the new staff as organised and discussed yesterday?
9 A. The discussions started when Podravanje was taken. It was then
10 that it became clear that some houses had been set alight, property, that
11 sort of thing. That's what I know as to when these discussions began.
12 Prior to that, I never witnessed or have taken part in any such
13 conversations. We saw this at the time as a problem that had to be
14 resolved in some way. Unfortunately, it proved impossible.
15 Q. I go back now in time of the day of your arrival in the beginning
16 of August 1992. There you became -- you arrived, and do you also recall
17 that at that time, that's the beginning of August, there had been or there
18 were talks about another offensive or another action that took place, if
19 you recall and as far as you know?
20 A. You see, the first 20 days I spent in Srebrenica at least, I
21 didn't know many people. Maybe a handful, with the exception of the
22 doctors and paramedics that I met when I came there, people I worked with.
23 In the first few days, my task was to set up the hospital, to set up an
24 operating theatre, to examine all the patients in the hospital, to perform
25 what surgery I could, what operations I could. There were people there
1 that had been in the hospital for as long as 40 or 50 days, patients that
2 required operations, that required surgery. Believe me, I had no time.
3 It was only after 20 days that I learned that Srebrenica had a
4 centre, with a -- I thought that the place where they had the post office
5 and the hospital, I thought that was the centre of town. It was only
6 after 20 days that I found out about other streets being there, an
7 extension of the settlement, with a centre proper. And I saw houses that
8 had been burned there.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop. I will put the question myself, because we're
10 never going to end like this.
11 Are you aware of an offensive which took place in the area of
12 Andric at any time in August of 1992?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 6th of August, 1992, meaning not
14 even one day following my arrival. A great number of wounded came in from
15 Suceska because there had been an all-out attack against Suceska. Two
16 days later, lots of wounded came in from another area. I wasn't sure if
17 that had been an attack or an act of defence. But there were a lot of
18 wounded who lost their legs when crossing minefields.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know about this --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Dr. Mujkanovic, stop there for the time being. Do
22 you have any further questions on this offensive, or on this akcija, call
23 it whatever you like?
24 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, I have a question.
25 Q. Had that action any relationship with a village called Suzestica,
1 as far as you know, if so?
2 A. I'm not sure about the interpretation I received, the name of the
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Jazestica. Jazestica.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was not aware of the exact nature
6 of the action. I don't know, therefore, if it was Jazestica or not. I
7 really can't say. I didn't know at the time, nor did I find out later.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Wubben.
9 MR. WUBBEN:
10 Q. And you treated the wounded afterwards in the hospital?
11 A. On the 8th of August, you mean?
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. Yes. There were lots of wounded, as I said, people who had
14 strayed into a minefield. I had three surgical tables on which I
15 performed parallel, leg surgery, amputations, with no anaesthetics, no
16 pain-killers. People's forearms had to be amputated, people who had been
17 fired at by an anti-tank gun. Two or three seriously wounded people were
18 brought in in the late afternoon hours of that day. It was at about 3.00
19 or 4.00 that the wounded started coming in, and this continued until late
20 at night. I remember that all too well, sir.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Wubben.
22 MR. WUBBEN:
23 Q. If you remember that, can you also confirm to the Judges from what
24 units they were, what local units?
25 A. I didn't know any of those people, sir. I didn't even know all
1 the people who worked with me. I can't possibly be expected to remember
2 all the people from those units, and I wasn't even familiar with the
4 Q. I will move to the issue of uniforms, the wearing of uniforms by
5 the local units, by the staff, by the armed forces of the Srebrenica --
6 the Srebrenica armed forces. Let me ask you some questions in that
8 Did the soldiers of the armed forces of Srebrenica, including the
9 soldiers from a local unit, wear any uniforms, or did they wear other
10 clothes, like civilian clothes?
11 A. I'll put it like this: A very small number, maybe 5 per cent of
12 soldiers or people who were soldiers in the Srebrenica area had uniforms
13 made up of a pair of trousers and a camouflage jacket. The rest of the
14 armed forces wore civilian clothes, whatever clothes they had, trousers,
15 pullovers, jackets. Those were no proper uniforms. It was just civilian
16 clothes that people wore. Some of them had, for example, a pair of
17 camouflage trousers over which they wore civilian clothes, or vice versa,
18 a combination of a camouflage jacket with civilian trousers. The same
19 applies to the shoes. Some had sneakers, some had specially woven village
20 shoes. Some wore caps, some wore fur caps. Some wore insignia, the coat
21 of arms of Bosnia at the time, six lilies in six fields.
22 Q. And was there also a use of any distinction between local units,
23 or in another matter, to make these kind of distinctions of what unit it
24 was or what kind of action?
25 A. As for any distinguishing features, you couldn't tell who came
1 from which unit. There was no way you could tell based on any of the
2 insignia that they wore. I saw some soldiers who had been wounded and
3 were then brought into the hospital. During certain actions, some wore
4 armbands, white or a different colour. Sometimes they wore this armband
5 in their lapel or around their arms. This was some sort of a mark or
6 distinguishing feature to set them apart from everyone else and to mean
7 that they belonged to a certain unit. But other than that, there were no
8 distinguishing features. These armbands are pieces of cloth, usually
9 between 35 and 40 centimetres long. It was a distinguishing feature,
10 that's all.
11 Q. Was it general -- excuse me. Was it a general practice to
12 distinguish at least during actions, military actions, through bands or
13 other material, that a certain number of members of the local units did
14 participate in an action, as far as you know?
15 A. This was worn by those units, or parts of units, that were
16 launching an attack against a given village. This was not a mark of
17 recognition between the different units but, rather, between the
18 individuals that were involved in one and the same action, to prevent
19 friendly fire.
20 Q. So far, and I will move to another issue, you --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: It depends on whether you are in a position to
22 conclude within three minutes, the next issue.
23 MR. WUBBEN: It will be short, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
25 MR. WUBBEN:
1 Q. So far, you mentioned the PTT building and the hospital. Can I
2 please show you an aerial photograph of Srebrenica.
3 MR. WUBBEN: Usher, may I have document P300, please.
4 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, can you please indicate what buildings you
5 recognise on this photograph?
6 A. I recognise the centre of town right here. [Indicates].
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Just one. I have to stop this. Do you have another
8 copy of this aerial view, or not? Because this one you have tendered in
9 evidence already. I imagine that once he is being asked to identify
10 places that he knows, he needs to mark the document. And I would suggest
11 a highlighter in a bright colour, like green or something like that, or
12 red. That's orange. I don't think it's going to -- is it? And if we
13 can't finish this in two minutes, let's leave it until tomorrow,
14 Mr. Wubben.
15 MR. WUBBEN: It's very short.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: It's wiser, because I thought you were just going to
17 ask him about the PTT and the hospital, but your question was much wider
18 than that.
19 MR. WUBBEN: I am familiar that it can be very short, Your Honour.
20 Here I have the marker.
21 Q. Will you please, Dr. Mujkanovic, show the main buildings that you
22 know? Only limit it to the main buildings.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Mark them in a sequential order, number 1, and then
24 we'll say what it is. Which is the first building that you identify on
25 that map?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Marks]. This is the centre of
3 JUDGE AGIUS: The witness has put a number 1, indicating what he
4 believes to be the centre of town.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Marks]. This is the Domavija
7 JUDGE AGIUS: The witness has put the number 2 next to what he
8 believes to be the Domavija Hotel.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Marks]. This is the Orthodox
11 JUDGE AGIUS: The witness has put the number 3 next to the
12 location which he believes to be the Orthodox church.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Marks]. This is the Energoinvest
14 building in Srebrenica.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Next to this building the witness has put the number
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Marks]. This is the public
18 security station.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: The witness has put the number 5 against what he
20 according to him is the public security station.
21 MR. WUBBEN:
22 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, I have two questions to you, very short. Can you
23 indicate the PTT building on this map?
24 A. It's not shown on the map, or the hospital for that matter. This
25 is coming from the direction of Bratunac to the centre. The PTT building
1 and the hospital are about 700 metres this away, on the road to Bratunac.
2 Therefore, this map does not show the two buildings, actually.
3 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honour. That finalises it.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. This will be given Prosecution Exhibit --
5 could you sign that map, please, Dr. Mujkanovic.
6 What number should we give it?
7 THE REGISTRAR: Number P493.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. This document is being given Prosecution
9 Exhibit P493.
10 Thank you. We will reconvene tomorrow at 9.00.
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
12 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 16th day of
13 February, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.