1 Wednesday, 9 March 2005
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Registrar, could you call the case,
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Case number
8 IT-03-68-T, the Prosecutor versus Naser Oric.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, and good afternoon to you.
10 Mr. Oric, can you follow the proceedings in your own language?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours, ladies
12 and gentlemen. Yes, I can.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Good afternoon to you, too. You may
14 be seated.
15 Appearances for the Prosecution.
16 MR. WUBBEN: Good afternoon, Your Honours. My name is Jan Wubben,
17 lead counsel for the Prosecution. Also, go to the Defence team. I'm here
18 with co-counsel, Ms. Patricia Sellers, and our case manager, Ms. Donnica
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Wubben, and good afternoon to you
21 and your team.
22 Appearances for Naser Oric.
23 MR. JONES: Yes, may it please Your Honour, my name is John Jones,
24 and I appear on behalf of Naser Oric, with Jasmina Cosic, our legal
25 assistant, and Geoff Roberts, our case manager. Good afternoon to
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good afternoon to you and your team.
3 I hear you've been exchanging bouquets of flowers before the sitting, the
4 Prosecution and Defence. So what's the problem, Mr. Jones?
5 MR. JONES: Yes, I was going to raise this by way of preliminary.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I anticipated that.
7 MR. JONES: Yes. Well, as Your Honour is aware, obviously, there
8 was an adjournment yesterday, and my understanding was that was because
9 there were new documents or new matters which had come to light during the
10 proofing of today's witness, and the purpose of the adjournment was to
11 give the Prosecution time and to give us time, having been provided with
12 these new documents or this new material, to be prepared for today. And
13 my understanding is that a member of your staff in fact told the
14 Prosecution to provide us as soon as possible with any new documents.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Those were my instructions.
16 MR. JONES: Yes. It goes without saying that B/C/S versions of
17 the document are following as well because my -- our legal assistant
18 speaks B/C/S and, of course, Ms. Vidovic is at the end of a fax and she
19 can see documents in B/C/S, so I think it was abundantly clear to everyone
20 that if there was any problem with translation, then we should receive the
21 B/C/S versions immediately, and then English as soon as that's available.
22 As it turned out, we waited all day yesterday, all of this
23 morning, and received no new proofing notes, no new documents. We
24 actually phoned the Prosecution, we phoned their case manager, and said,
25 Are there going to be new proving notes, are there going to be new
1 documents? And the first we heard was around 1.45 today, as the whole
2 team was pretty much on their way to court, that some documents had been
3 left in our locker. Our legal assistant checked the locker at ten past
4 1.00 and the documents weren't there. So sometime after 1.10, perhaps at
5 1.30, they were delivered there.
6 So not only is it less than one hour before today's sitting, but
7 in fact it deprives us of any realistic opportunity of considering those
8 document. As I say, we're just arriving at court with 10 or 20 minutes
9 before today's hearing, and it's simply not possible for us to consider a
10 series of documents which are going to be used with this witness in that
11 space of time.
12 Now, the difficulty now is that we've lost yesterday already. I'm
13 really minded to apply for an adjournment to give us time to consider
14 these documents seriously. One possibility, one possible solution, just
15 because I don't think any of us want to lose any more time, is the
16 solution which was adopted when I used a video exhibit of the Telering
17 programme, which is that the Prosecution not deal with those documents
18 today, and that gives us an opportunity at the first break, or even
19 between now and the first break, to fax the documents to Sarajevo so my
20 lead counsel can consider it, because the fact is I've taken this witness
21 over from my lead counsel and I think we should have an opportunity for
22 her to see the documents, which was also the point of having all of
23 yesterday to deal with any of these matters. And then the Prosecution can
24 deal with those documents tomorrow.
25 There's also an added difficulty in that today we have an
1 afternoon sitting and we're sitting in the morning tomorrow, and I would
2 submit that that's all the more reason why the Prosecution should've have
3 made every effort to get these documents to us as soon as possible, and
4 that one hour before the hearing is unacceptable.
5 That's what I'd have to say on that matter. I understand, and I
6 raise it not because there's any linkage at all. On the contrary. In my
7 submission, there's absolutely no linkage whatsoever between the two
8 issues. But the Prosecution have been asking for the exhibits we intend
9 to use with this witness. Now, the practice since October, since this
10 trial started, has not been that we are under an obligation to provide
11 physical copies of documents. It's been that we file an exhibit list for
12 the witness. If it's the case of a video recording, then the practice has
13 been that we provide a copy beforehand. On a number of occasions, or very
14 few occasions, in fact, as a matter of courtesy, when the Prosecution have
15 asked, we've provided copies of the documents. But in our submission,
16 we're under no obligation to do so, and certainly not before
17 examination-in-chief starts. It's one thing before cross-examination, and
18 we're perfectly happy with providing documents before cross-examination,
19 but there's -- there's a very important reason why we don't provide
20 documents before examination-in-chief, and that is that the witness may
21 give an account which is substantially different, as we've seen in this
22 case, in some respects, from what they've said in prior statements.
23 Our cross-examination, and the documents we intend to use, are
24 based on our first assessment of what the witness is going to testify
25 about. If that changes, then our use of exhibits can change dramatically.
1 And if we're obliged to provide documents to the Prosecution before the
2 witness even begins testifying, in the end, we'll end up disclosing
3 documents which we don't even use, and in my submission, we're under no
4 obligation under the Rules to disclose documents to the Prosecution,
5 particularly when we -- as I say, we may not use them. In my submission,
6 that's an entirely different issue, and my main point is really to express
7 my deep dissatisfaction, given that yesterday was adjourned, that we're
8 now facing possibly more delays due to this very, very late disclosure.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Jones. Of course, there's no doubt
10 about it that you are in a different position than -- than the
11 Prosecution, and that there are certainly two types of documents that one
12 could envisage in relation to the role of the Defence during the
13 examination of -- and cross-examination of a witness, and that's documents
14 that you obviously know that you would be needing before the
15 examination-in-chief starts, and documents that become necessary as the
16 examination-in-chief progresses. It's obvious. I mean, you definitely
17 have the Trial Chamber's understanding. But as far as the
18 examination-in-chief is concerned, however, the Trial Chamber will
19 certainly appreciate if any documents that you certainly intend to make
20 use of, and you know that you will be making use of even before the
21 examination-in-chief starts, you will make known and possibly give copies
22 of -- to the Prosecution.
23 I also understand that most of the documents that you have been
24 supplied to you by the Prosecution itself, so at that point in time I
25 don't think it's a case of supplying copies, but it will be -- to suffice
1 if you just make a reference to the numbers.
2 But let's leave it at that for the time being and see what Mr.
3 Wubben has to say on this issue.
4 MR. JONES: Yes. May I just say on that matter, Your Honour, we
5 would need further clarification of precisely what obligations we have
6 before that's sort of set in stone, because there are issues of whether --
7 well, firstly, we wouldn't want any documents which we provide to the
8 Prosecution to be used in proofing the witness, because then we're giving
9 advance notice of points we're going to raise to the witness. It's one
10 thing for the Prosecution to be prepared --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: That's why I said you are in a different position --
12 MR. JONES: Yes.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: -- from the Prosecution, definitely.
14 MR. JONES: But perhaps we can discuss that issue separately from
15 this issue problem.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I think I will leave that issue aside, and we'll
17 concentrate on whether the sitting should proceed or not in the first
18 place. And if it does, on what basis, and how.
19 Yes, Mr. Wubben.
20 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, Ms. Patricia Sellers will address you.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Oh, I see.
22 Ms. Sellers.
23 MS. SELLERS: Good afternoon, Your Honours, Defence counsel.
24 We have certainly taken Defence counsel's pleading with great
25 seriousness, and we would like to say that he is in a position where the
1 documents would have been much more beneficial had he received them last
2 night. I will say that we continued to choose these documents and
3 discover these documents until after closing hours, and then wanted to
4 have them translated for our benefit to find out whether we would use
5 them. That is by way of explanation, that is not by way of any excuse.
6 I understand that these documents would have been delivered a bit
7 earlier. Our translations completed at 12.00, and then we proceeded to
8 get documents with translations to the Defence.
9 Understanding that this might but the Defence in what is
10 considered or termed an unreasonable position, the Prosecution would
11 suggest that the new documents that now you have copies of both the
12 original and the English translation for people like myself and I believe
13 Mr. Jones who are not completely fluent in Bosnian, that they would not be
14 used in today's part of the examination. Certainly, they were documents
15 that I intended to use towards the latter part of the examination. That
16 way Defence counsel certainly could look at the documents, convey any of
17 their contents to lead counsel who, unfortunately, is not here, and there
18 would be no prejudice on their behalf.
19 Your Honours, if I just might say one thing concerning the second
20 part of Defence counsel's argument that concerns documents that Defence
21 provides to the Prosecution, I completely agree that there might be
22 different circumstances. But I would like to underscore that the
23 Prosecution's point of view is that documents that the Defence is more or
24 less certain, they should be able to provide it. We have nine documents
25 that are on your list that do not have ERN numbers that are basically
1 letters from the prosecution courts -- different prosecution courts of
2 Bosnia, which I would assume that you are going to use and that you do
3 have in your possession. I would state in the very least, as a matter of
4 courtesy, we would like to show these documents to our witness prior to
5 taking the stand. In terms of obligation, I think we can look at the
6 Trial Chamber's ruling when the trial began and just talk about the
7 ability not in any manner to ambush either the Defence nor Prosecution
8 witnesses. And certainly it's in that spirit that the Prosecution would
9 like to convey that one possible, we would readily appreciate and accept
10 Defence documents prior to the witness taking the stand.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Ms. Sellers.
12 Two things to wind this discussion up. As regards the practice
13 that should be adopted, I think we will come to that at some later point
14 in time, when it is relevant and important and appropriate to discuss it.
15 But I think the guiding principles ought to be more or less what has been
16 stated. First, that those documents that you are more or less certain you
17 would be making use of should be indicated, and other documents that the
18 Prosecution may not be in possession of, in particular, as a minimum, out
19 of courtesy, ought to be disclosed or made available to the Prosecution.
20 That's as a matter of principle, but we'll come to that part of the
21 discussion at some later point in time.
22 As regards today, I think more or less the two positions have now
23 converged. I take it that you will not be making use of these seven
24 documents today, which basically meets you not halfway, it's more or less
25 what you stated you would be happy with as a matter of last resort.
1 MR. JONES: Yes, that's certainly fine with us.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: On the other hand, we are discussing in a sort of a
3 vacuum, because I would like to see these seven documents to see what is
4 involved, because if we're talking of seven documents, each containing 40
5 pages, that's one thing; if we're talking of seven documents, each
6 containing one page or a page and a half, it's another.
7 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, it's more a case of the latter, each
8 containing a page and a half, a couple contain one or two pages. I
9 believe Defence counsel does have the documents now. And basically we had
10 put in our prior submission that would be entering -- submitting into
11 evidence the attachment to the witness statement, and in that attachment
12 were several documents that related to the Prosecutor in Srebrenica.
13 We're now in possession of some other documents that relate to her, so in
14 order to chronologically fill ut that submission that would have come
15 through the attachments.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: In addition, may I ask you whether you have provided
17 the Defence with the proofing notes?
18 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, we provided the Defence with the
19 proofing notes on, I believe, Monday. There were very few proofing notes
20 because this witness certainly has indicated to us that there were very
21 few changes to the statement, and I clearly expressed to Defence counsel
22 in our e-mail the changes that the witness told us, including names,
23 places or times. I would just like to state, if I could, in terms of
24 proofing notes, the position of the Prosecutor is that the practice is
25 certainly a practice that does vary, and anything that we believe is
1 relevant to the Defence, that in any way would come in the way of
2 ambushing them, we would convey to them. There are many things that a
3 witness says that might be in addition but are not material or relevant,
4 or merely expand upon what has been conveyed to the Defence.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Last but not least, could we have an
6 indication of how long this witness will be in the witness box?
7 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, I believe the witness will take today,
8 and because of the nature we've been discussing, the documents, the
9 witness should be finished within the first hour of tomorrow morning's
11 JUDGE AGIUS: And cross-examination? Of course, on the proviso
12 that you still haven't familiarised yourself with these seven documents.
13 MR. JONES: Yes. I thought two and a half hours, probably
14 maximum, two to two and a half hours.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: So the anticipation is that we should finish with
16 this witness tomorrow? Because if it's one hour, plus two and a half,
17 it's three and a half hours, which is within the schedule.
18 MR. JONES: Yes, certainly.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. That will bring us to Friday. Friday, what's
20 the position? Friday, the position is this: For the time being, there is
21 an Extraordinary Plenary of the Judges scheduled for 1.30, which would
22 mean that we would have to stop at about 1.00, 1.15, at the latest.
23 That's number 1. If there is no Plenary session -- if there is no Plenary
24 session, I will have an initial appearance at 2.15, which means that we
25 could go on until quarter to 2.00, as per the usual time schedule.
1 The next witness after this one, would you be able to finish with
2 him in one day, or is he going to stay here the weekend?
3 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I have got the information from the register -- from
5 my legal officer that explains everything. All right. Shall we proceed
6 with this witness and not waste more time, or lose more time, because we
7 haven't certainly wasted it.
8 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Just to make it clear, because -- I was not aware of
10 this, as you may have guessed, but I am put on notice by my legal
11 secretary -- legal officer, that -- to make sure that you are aware that
12 the Prosecution is not in a position to bring a witness on Friday.
13 MR. JONES: Yes, I wasn't sure of the position, but that's --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: But that is the position.
15 MR. JONES: That's fine.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: There are no protective measures in place for this
18 witness. I just need a confirmation of that.
19 MS. SELLERS: No, Your Honour, there are no protective measures.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
21 So good afternoon to you, Mr. Tankic.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Before I proceed further, any further, although I
24 already have an indication of this, I want to make sure that you are
25 receiving interpretation of what I am saying in your own language.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I am, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I also want to make sure that the sound level
3 is comfortable. If it's not adequate or if it's too loud, too high,
4 please tell us and we'll make the necessary adjustments.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's fine.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: From now onwards, until you finish your testimony,
7 if at any time there are problems with interpretation, particularly if
8 interpretation is not reaching you, please draw our attention straight
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Fine.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: So you are about to start giving evidence, and so it
12 is my duty, as the Presiding Judge in this trial, to welcome you. I
13 welcome you on behalf of the Tribunal, but also on behalf of Judge
14 Brydensholt, who comes from Denmark, who is sitting to my right, and Judge
15 Albin Eser, who comes from Germany, sitting to my left. My name is Carmel
16 Agius, and I come from Malta.
17 This is the trial against Naser Oric, and you are one of the
18 witnesses that the Prosecution has summoned.
19 Our Rules require that before you start giving evidence, and I
20 will be very brief on this because of your background, our Rules require
21 that you enter a solemn declaration; that, in the course of your
22 testimony, you will be speaking the truth, the whole truth, and nothing
23 but the truth. The text is contained on a piece of paper which is being
24 handed to you now by Madam Usher. Please read that statement out loud,
25 and that will be your solemn undertaking with us.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
2 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3 WITNESS: IZO TANKIC
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, sir. Please take a chair.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: The procedure you know. It's a very simple one.
8 Ms. Sellers, for the Office of the Prosecutor and for the Prosecution, of
9 course, will go first with her examination-in-chief, and she will then be
10 followed by Mr. Jones who is co-counsel appearing for Naser Oric.
11 Ms. Sellers.
12 Examined by Ms. Sellers:
13 Q. Good afternoon. Would you please state your record -- state your
14 name for the record.
15 A. Izo Tankic.
16 Q. Mr. Tankic, is your ethnic origin Bosnian Muslim?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Are you a graduate in law from the university of Sarajevo?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And did you graduate in 1980?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. In 1987, were you appointed as a judge to the High Court in Tuzla?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And did you remain at the High Court in Tuzla until 1996?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did you have functions during that time period of investigating
2 judge as well as judge?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. During the years of the armed conflict in the former Yugoslavia,
5 specifically 1992 until 1996, did you serve in the armed forces in any
7 A. No.
8 Q. Were you, therefore, a civilian in your work capacity at the High
9 Court in Tuzla?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Would you please explain to the Trial Chamber, what is the
12 jurisdiction of the High Court in Tuzla, in 1992 and up until 1996?
13 A. The Tuzla High Court had jurisdiction over what was at the time
14 the Tuzla district, which was established after the war had broken out.
15 It had both first instance jurisdiction and the jurisdiction of a higher
16 court. It applied all the criminal laws that were adopted from the former
17 Yugoslavia in the area of its own district. The Criminal Code of the
18 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was adopted, its general, special
19 provisions, as well as the criminal code of the former socialist Republic
20 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The law on criminal procedure was adopted too
21 which was applied throughout the former Yugoslavia. All of these laws and
22 codes were adopted pursuant to a decision of the presidency of the
23 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
24 In addition to criminal jurisdiction, it had jurisdiction over
25 litigations, jurisdiction as that of a high court. Its first instance
1 jurisdiction was something that was a result of the existing laws, but it
2 also prosecuted criminal matters in which sentences were passed of up to
3 10 years' imprisonment. I'm talking about first instance decisions. It
4 handled appeals also, whenever decisions of the basic courts within the
5 district were appealed. Needless to say, it had other tasks too, such as
6 administrative litigation and that sort of thing.
7 Q. Mr. Tankic, prior to the outbreak of the armed conflict in the
8 former Yugoslavia, what was the geographical territory that the High Court
9 in Tuzla covered in terms of how many municipalities?
10 A. It was a large area in the north-east of Bosnia, Orasac, Brcko,
11 Bijeljina, Zvornik, Srebrenica, Bratunac, Vlasenica, Kladanj, Lukavac,
12 Gracanica, Tuzla, Kalesija, Srebrenik, Banovici, Zivinice, and so on.
13 Q. In terms of the subject matter jurisdiction of the High Court in
14 Tuzla in 1992, prior to the autumn of 1992, did it try the cases in the
15 Penal Code that were considered the most serious cases?
16 A. Yes, if, when you say, serious cases, you mean cases where
17 sentences passed might be over 10 years.
18 Q. And the jurisdiction of lower courts or municipal courts, what
19 types of crimes could they try?
20 A. They tried crimes with sentences less than 10 years.
21 Q. Now, you testified that the Criminal Code originated from that of
22 the former Yugoslavia.
23 MS. SELLERS: I would like Mr. Tankic to be shown the
24 Prosecution's first exhibit.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Sellers, do we need the entire code --
1 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, I'm only going to go to certain
2 segments of the code, to be honest.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
4 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, I also have the code now on Sanction,
5 and we'll be highlighting certain sections.
6 Q. Mr. Tankic, I would ask you to look at the first page of the code.
7 Is this the Criminal Code that you've testified about in terms of the
8 jurisdiction of the High Court in Tuzla?
9 A. Yes. This is the Criminal Code that was adopted at the republican
10 level by decree.
11 Q. I would now ask you to turn to page, in the English version, 43,
12 and look at Article 113.
13 Mr. Tankic, under Article 113, subparagraph 5, do you see that the
14 code makes reference to military persons?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Is it your understanding that under this Criminal Code, military
17 persons, meaning soldiers in the military service, cadets at the military
18 academy, junior officers on active duty, officers on active duty or
19 military employees, reservists on military duty as servicemen, and a
20 civilian person executing a certain military duty, came under the in
21 personam jurisdiction of the High Tuzla Court in 1992?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And did it mean that under the criminal law in the former
24 socialist Yugoslavia, that military personnel could be tried for criminal
25 matters in civilian courts?
1 A. Yes, at the time.
2 Q. I would now ask us to turn to Article 142, on page 52 in the
3 English version.
4 Mr. Tankic, did the Criminal Code in the former Yugoslavia contain
5 provisions that related to what we would call international crimes, such
6 as crimes against humanity, genocide, or war crimes?
7 A. The Criminal Code contained so-called special provisions which,
8 among other things, contained crimes against humanity and international
10 Q. Could I please draw your attention to Article 142 of the code. Is
11 it your understanding that a war crime, a war crime against a civilian
12 population that included, and I would ask you to look further down in that
13 paragraph, a little more than midway, included acts of property
14 confiscation, pillaging, illegal and self-will destruction, and stealing
15 on a large scale.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment before the witness answers this question.
17 I think you're trying to transform the witness into someone giving us
18 legal advice or giving us a legal opinion. Article 142, once you're going
19 to tender this code in evidence, Article 142 is there, we can read it, and
20 it says what it says.
21 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, I would --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: So I can assure you that nothing that is not
23 included there is included, and nothing that is excluded is included.
24 MS. SELLERS: That would certainly assist me, because I believe
25 that we could go through --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: But don't ask the witness to confirm to us what is
2 the correct -- what interpretation, not even the word "interpretation,"
3 what is the correct interpretation of Article 142, what is included under
4 142. It's not for him to say.
5 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, what I intend to ask the witness is
6 whether this crime was incorporated under the jurisdiction of the court --
7 the High Court in Tuzla.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: But then ask him that question. Ask him to look at
9 Article 142, ask him to confirm that Article 142, as we have it here in
10 front of us, is the Article 142 that he is familiar with, and then proceed
11 with the question as to whether that fell under the jurisdiction of his --
12 that particular court or not.
13 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, I would like to highlight that under
14 that Article 142, that there are specific acts that are certainly relevant
15 to the matter before us.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: But, again, we don't need the witness to confirm
17 that to us.
18 MS. SELLERS: Okay.
19 Q. Mr. Tankic, you've heard Judge Agius's question. Could you
20 confirm that Article 142, as incorporated in the Criminal Code, was within
21 the jurisdiction of the High Court in Tuzla?
22 A. Yes, it was.
23 Q. I would now ask you to turn to page 53 and ask you a similar
24 question as it pertains to Article 144 of the code, war crimes against
25 prisoners of war. Was this also under the jurisdiction of the High Court
1 in Tuzla prior to the autumn of 1992?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And as a general matter, the entire Criminal Code was part of the
4 subject matter jurisdiction of the High Court in Tuzla. Will you confirm
5 that for us, please?
6 A. Yes. These are serious crimes where the sentences envisaged there
7 is over 10 years, and that's why the High Court has jurisdiction over
8 these crimes, that's if you have in mind crimes against humanity or
9 international law.
10 Q. And when you say these were serious crimes, could you please tell
11 us what were the penalties for these types of international crimes, or the
12 potential penalty for these crimes, under the code?
13 A. For the most part, the minimum was five years, as the maximum
14 sentence, even a death penalty was envisaged, as well as alternatives.
15 Q. Now, Mr. Tankic, was this Criminal Code applicable after the
16 Republic of Bosnia declared its independence on the 8th of April, 1992?
17 A. Yes. This code was adopted by decree as a republican code.
18 MS. SELLERS: Your Honours, I would ask that the Prosecution
19 exhibit be given a P number and moved into evidence.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Sellers.
21 What's the next -- the progressive number?
22 THE REGISTRAR: P496, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: So this will be Prosecution Exhibit P496. Thank
25 MS. SELLERS:
1 Q. Now, Mr. Tankic, between 1992 and 1996, did the jurisdiction of
2 the High Court in Tuzla change in any manner? Was it modified?
3 A. It changed after the district military courts had been set up, to
4 try military personnel. There were no other changes in relation to any
5 other types of crime.
6 Q. Was there any change in the geographical reach of the Tuzla court
7 between 1992 and 1996?
8 A. After the war broke out, districts were set up, or rather, free
9 territory. The High Court in Tuzla had jurisdiction over that area, and
10 that area was substantially smaller than before the war.
11 If you like, I can name the municipalities which existed between
12 1992 and 1996, which were included in the area over which the High Court
13 had jurisdiction.
14 Q. Yes, please, would you inform the Trial Chamber --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. In the meantime, while -- before you start
16 doing this, which I submit is a very important exercise, you can also tell
17 us, perhaps, where these military courts were set up.
18 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, I will be getting to that.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, all right. Thank you.
20 A. The municipalities comprised by the Tuzla district were as
21 follows: Kladanj, Banovici, Zivinice, Lukavac, Gracanica, Gradaca, parts
22 of the Brcko municipality, Kalesija, Tuzla. Later on, municipalities were
23 set up in Celici, Sapna, and Srebrenik. That was during the war. I
24 believe I've listed all of them.
25 Q. Thank you. Now, I would like --
1 A. My apologies. I forgot Srebrenica.
2 Q. Thank you. Now, I would like you to explain to the Trial Chamber,
3 what was the purpose of the creation of what you have called the district
4 military court?
5 A. Still during the peace period, our tradition was to have these
6 special courts which tried only the cases against military persons, and we
7 heard a short while ago what was the definition of military persons. So
8 only when perpetrators of criminal offences were military persons, these
9 military courts had jurisdiction over such cases.
10 Due to that tradition, and due to the fact that the war broke out
11 and there were many soldiers, we established this court. I believe it was
12 towards the end of August when the law was adopted, and the courts started
13 to operate in September 1992.
14 Q. Which persons could be brought before a district military court?
15 A. Only military persons and exceptionally civilians in certain cases
16 prescribed by the law.
17 Q. Did that mean that military members and the certain civilians
18 could be subjected to investigations, prosecutions, and judgements in the
19 district military courts and no longer in the municipal or high courts
20 that you spoke about earlier?
21 A. As far as I remember, there was much discussion regarding these
22 jurisdictions, especially if you have as a core perpetrators, a civilian
23 and a military person. There were specific rules applied to decide when a
24 civilian court would have jurisdiction in these cases or when,
25 alternatively, it would be under the jurisdiction only of the military
2 Q. Now, are you familiar with the August 13th, 1992 statutory order
3 on district military courts?
4 A. I am generally familiar with the law, yes.
5 Q. And is it your understanding that the district military court was
6 established because of the situation of armed conflict in the former
8 A. Yes.
9 MS. SELLERS: I would like to show Prosecution Exhibit -- it has
10 an ERN number of 00609188.
11 Q. Mr. Tankic, I would like to ask you to look at Article 1. Does
12 this cover the temporal jurisdiction of the court or a time period when
13 the court -- district military court is established?
14 A. Yes, only during the state of war or armed conflict.
15 Q. I would like to draw your attention now to Article 5, and the last
16 square in Article 5. And is it your understanding that a district
17 military court was established in Tuzla for the territory or district of
19 A. Exactly.
20 Q. Could I please draw your attention now to Article 6 of the
21 document. Mr. Tankic, is the fact that the district military court has
22 jurisdiction over the criminal acts of military persons and of other
23 civilians, did that mean that the High Court in Tuzla no longer exercised
24 jurisdiction over the acts of military persons?
25 A. Yes. It was now only under the jurisdiction of military courts if
1 the perpetrators were military persons.
2 Q. Mr. Tankic, could you now please look at Article 11 of the
3 document before you. Did the jurisdiction of the district military court
4 also include jurisdiction over prisoners of war for criminal acts that
5 those prisoners might be accused of having committed?
6 A. Yes. District military courts had jurisdiction over war prisoners
7 if they committed criminal acts as war prisoners, and also they had
8 jurisdiction over criminal acts against humanity and international law.
9 Q. Thank you. I would now ask you to look at Article 12, please, of
10 the document. Was the district military court able to incorporate
11 regulations that come from the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the
12 protocols that are annexed to the conventions?
13 A. Yes. This provision says so.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I believe we are falling back to what I tried to
16 MS. SELLERS: Yes, I understand, Your Honour. There's a very thin
17 line. I just have one or two other questions because I'm going toward the
18 jurisdiction of the district military court, and so that can be more fully
20 JUDGE AGIUS: There's always the risk of the witness either not
21 understanding the question or having a different interpretation of a legal
22 provision. What if he answers no? Then all of a sudden we have a
23 problem. We've got a legal expert, because he's being asked to provide a
24 legal opinion, giving an opinion which is the exact opposite of what is
25 contained in the text that we are reading. I mean, please try to avoid
1 that possibility, that eventuality.
2 MS. SELLERS: Yes, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: This is why I'm asking you not to ask him to give
4 opinion, unless it's the case of asking him for an opinion.
5 MS. SELLERS: But, Your Honour, I believe it's his understanding,
6 as having sat on one court, that he now no longer had jurisdiction when it
7 came to certain matters.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: But he can say that.
9 MS. SELLERS: I'm asking for his knowledge.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's proceed.
11 MS. SELLERS:
12 Q. Mr. Tankic, in addition to jurisdiction over the regulations to
13 the Geneva Conventions, did the district military court also incorporate
14 the Criminal Code from the former Yugoslavia that had come into --
15 promulgated in the Republic of Bosnia after the declaration of its
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. I would like you to now look at Article 23 and tell me whether
19 that reflects the incorporation of the Bosnian Criminal Code within the
20 subject matter jurisdiction of the district military court.
21 A. Here the law on regular courts was accepted, which also regulates
22 special issues regarding the operating of the court.
23 Q. Could the articles that we've previously looked at in the Criminal
24 Code, specifically Articles 141 through 143, could they be applied as part
25 of the subject matter jurisdiction of the district military courts?
1 A. If perpetrators were military persons, then the courts of first
2 instance who had jurisdiction over such crimes were only military courts.
3 Q. I would now like to draw your attention to Article 27. And would
4 it be your evidence that commanders of military units and military
5 institutions had certain obligations in order to detain persons who
6 committed criminal acts that came under the jurisdiction of the district
7 military court.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think we need him to confirm what we can
9 read in the text.
10 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, can I just move the text into evidence.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm expecting you to.
12 MS. SELLERS: I certainly wanted to. I wanted to highlight two
13 other parts.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm sort of interrupting you from time to time on
15 the assumption that you will be tendering this in evidence. In fact, I
16 have already given it a number myself in anticipation of the registrar
17 telling me 497.
18 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, I just want to make certain points on
19 the record.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
21 MS. SELLERS: All right.
22 Q. And then very lastly, Article 29, does that concern also
23 commanders, military commanders in the post of commander of the guard have
24 certain obligations under the district military court, Mr. Tankic?
25 A. Yes.
1 MS. SELLERS: Your Honours, I would now ask for a P number and ask
2 that this be moved into evidence.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. P497.
4 THE REGISTRAR: P497, yes.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: So this document, being the statutory order on
6 district military courts is being tendered and marked and accepted as
7 Prosecution Exhibit P497. Thank you.
8 MS. SELLERS:
9 Q. Mr. Tankic, how were the penalties determined for the crimes that
10 came under the jurisdiction of the district military courts?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Did he ever sit in the district
12 military court?
13 MS. SELLERS: He has knowledge of this, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's ask him that first, whether he has
15 knowledge of how the district military courts worked out or reached its
17 MS. SELLERS:
18 Q. Mr. Tankic, could you respond to that question, please.
19 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: If he knows.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: If he knows, obviously. I suppose that as an
21 ex-judge in the civil courts, you know exactly how -- what the process or
22 the procedure was in deciding what the penalty, what the punishment is, in
23 each case. Are you aware or are you in a position to give us information
24 as to how the district military courts did that, arrived at the quantum of
25 the penalty or the punishment?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The civilian court and the military
2 court applied the same laws. The only difference was who the perpetrator
3 was. So my knowledge derives from the civilian court.
4 MS. SELLERS:
5 Q. And would it be within your knowledge to say that the war crimes
6 that we looked at previously concerning prisoners of war and concerning
7 war crimes on civilians remained serious crimes in terms of penalty under
8 the district military courts as they had when they were tried in the high
9 courts of Tuzla?
10 A. Yes. These are the most serious crimes recognised by the Penal
12 Q. Mr. Tankic, when did the district court in Tuzla come into being?
13 A. The military court?
14 Q. The district military court, excuse me.
15 A. In September of 1992.
16 Q. Now I would like to ask you some questions, if you know, of how
17 the district military court functioned. To your knowledge, did the
18 district military court have a prosecutor?
19 A. Yes, they had a district military prosecutor who acted at the
20 district military court.
21 Q. Did the district military court, to your knowledge, also have
22 investigating judges?
23 A. Yes, according to the law, they had to have investigating judges.
24 That was the system at the time.
25 Q. Did the district military court also have a manner in which
1 complaints could be taken or lodged?
2 A. The procedure was identical. I already said that both the
3 civilian court and the military court applied the same procedure. The
4 only difference were the perpetrators, whether they were military or
6 Q. So could persons contact the district military prosecutor if they
7 knew of someone committing a crime that came under that jurisdiction?
8 A. The law provided the possibility to all individuals and to all
9 institutions or bodies that were mentioned, stipulated, by the law to
10 report various criminal offences. So this was not a possibility, this was
11 also a duty.
12 Q. Just for sake of clarity, does that mean that the military police
13 could report incidents to the district military prosecutor?
14 A. Exactly. The military police were linked to the military
15 prosecutor, just as the civilian police was linked to the civilian
16 prosecutor. And the prosecutor exerted control over military police,
17 according to our act on criminal procedure.
18 Q. Could military commanders of units or battalions, or at any level,
19 also report crimes directly to the military prosecutor?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Would the same -- could the same be said for a soldier, any
22 military soldier? Could he or she report crimes to the district military
24 A. I already said that any individual could report crimes, including
25 military persons.
1 Q. For the sake of clarity, I'd like to ask, in terms of
2 institutions, could there be referrals from other types of military courts
3 to a district military prosecutor?
4 A. Various state bodies, military bodies, institutions such as
5 hospitals, civilian defence, any institution or body was entitled and also
6 obliged, according to the Criminal Procedure Act.
7 Q. Mr. Tankic, did you assist the Office of the Prosecutor in the
8 past two days to make a diagram illustrating what you have just testified
9 about, the functioning of the district military court system?
10 A. Yes.
11 MS. SELLERS: I would like to have this exhibit handed up, and I
12 believe that there was a manner of attaching it so that the cameras could
13 look at it closely.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: This is not going to be easy.
15 MS. SELLERS: No. Your Honours, if I might explain, I understand
16 that there is a technical problem with the computer programmes.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I can see that.
18 MS. SELLERS: And we were unable to place this in Sanction due to
19 the computer programme one makes --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: What I suggest we do, Ms. Sellers, and, Usher,
21 please follow me carefully, I think we need to start referring to this
22 chart bit by bit as we go along, and the usher will try and do her best to
23 follow us. The witness can try to follow on the monitor. The usher will
24 try to follow what we are being shown by -- or what Ms. Sellers wants us
25 to see in this chart, and you try to focus the ELMO on that part. And
1 then we'll move up and down and sideways on the ELMO, according to the
2 indications of Ms. Sellers, and the witness will simply not bother about
3 the ELMO and try to follow on the screen, on the monitor. That's the only
4 way I can see it happening. Otherwise, it's difficult. All right?
5 MS. SELLERS: Thank you, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: It may take some time, because it's -- for the usher
7 and us to go straight to the point where you would like us to, it may not
8 be easy. But anyway, let's start.
9 MS. SELLERS: Okay.
10 Q. Mr. Tankic, I would ask you to look at your screen. Is it up on
11 there now? I believe this is --
12 MS. SELLERS: Could I have your indulgence for one minute, Your
14 [Prosecution counsel confer]
15 MS. SELLERS: Fine.
16 Q. On your screen, could you please describe for the Trial Chamber
17 the diagram we're seeing on the screen in terms of the composition and
18 functioning of the district military court. What does what we're seeing
19 now represent?
20 A. According to the Criminal Procedure Act, there were pre-trial
21 phases of the procedure, when we had investigation carried out by the
22 investigating judge. Following that, there are trial judges who tried in
23 councils or in chambers, consisting of one judge and two jurors, or two
24 professional judges and three jurors for more serious criminal offences.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MS. SELLERS: I would like to ask the usher to now move the
2 diagram -- yes, that's fine.
3 Q. Now, Mr. Tankic, the part of the diagram you're looking at now has
4 several lines that appear to link it between this diagram and the one we
5 saw previously. Could you please explain to the Trial Chamber the
6 functioning between the district military prosecutor's office and the
7 prior diagram that included the judges, investigating judge?
8 A. According to the Criminal Procedure Act that was done, in effect,
9 the criminal procedure had to be launched by a prosecutor. The charges
10 were done -- sent to the prosecutor. He would then make an application to
11 the investigating judge to undertake the investigation.
12 Following this, the case was sent back to the prosecutor to
13 determine whether he would launch an indictment or drop the charges. If
14 the indictment was met, then the indictment would be sent to the court for
15 the trial. So this is the procedure in brief.
16 Q. And is that the reason why we see lines that go backward and
17 forward between the district military prosecutor's office and the
18 investigating judge?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, I think what I would like to show, we'll just leave it right
21 there, and could you please look to the right of the screen. I believe we
22 have to -- I'm sorry, the other way. You've just taken it off. All
23 right. The square to my right of the district military prosecutor's
24 office, what does that represent, Mr. Tankic?
25 A. This is what I spoke about a short while ago, that the information
1 concerning a criminal act could come from these institutions mentioned
2 here, so from civilian police, various institutions, government bodies,
3 and so on.
4 Q. Could we now move the diagram in the other direction and bring it
5 down, please. I'd like to show the relationship between --
6 MS. SELLERS: Your Honours, might I assist the usher for a second?
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, certainly. Usher, why don't you approach Ms.
9 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, we will try in the future to have a
10 much more --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't blame you for this, Ms. Sellers. It's not
12 easy. I can tell you from past experience that this is not easy. But
13 this is the only way of doing it. The only other way is to have it even
14 blown up further and have it on a board, and then someone will point to
15 it. But, again, we don't have that here. And it's also the -- the
16 process is being made easier because I take it the witness does understand
17 a little bit of English.
18 MS. SELLERS: Yes, quite a bit.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: So that makes things easier, because otherwise we
20 would have had further problems.
21 MS. SELLERS:
22 Q. Mr. Tankic, could you please explain, looking now to the left-hand
23 side of the diagram where the military prosecutor is, and explain what
24 those lines and that part of the diagram indicates.
25 A. This is the military structure that I'm familiar with from the
1 former JNA, when I served. I'm familiar with the laws and the respective
2 bodies used by the prosecutor in his work, as well as by the investigating
3 judge. You have the military police, the security organ, that is,
4 different levels depending, from a unit level to a staff level. I don't
5 see the disciplinary prosecutor on the screen, and what I can see down
6 here are the special courts that try exceptional cases.
7 Q. Now, the lines that connect the institutions that you've just
8 testified about, the military police, the security police, the military --
9 special military court and disciplinary court, what do those lines
10 indicate that run to the district military prosecutor's box in the
12 A. These lines were drawn under the law. All these bodies are
13 authorised to report a crime to the military prosecutor with jurisdiction
14 over that particular criminal offence. And then, of course, the
15 prosecutor's charges, reports, or approvals are sent to the relevant
16 judge, and this works the other way around too.
17 Q. I would now ask you to look at the other part of the diagram. We
18 won't be able to fit it all on, but the other side of the diagram.
19 Mr. Tankic, I want to draw your attention to what is listed here
20 as brigade commander, the little man in green, and ask you, was someone in
21 that position also able to contact the military district prosecutor, and
22 does the chart indicate such?
23 MR. JONES: Your Honour, may I. I hate to interrupt, but I'm
24 getting increasingly uncomfortable with this exercise for a number of
25 reasons. Firstly, we've just seen the chart for the first time, so we're
1 trying to get to grips with it as well. It would have been useful to have
2 this as well before the hearing. But the problem, it goes back to what
3 Your Honour was dealing with earlier, that this witness, first of all,
4 isn't an expert witness. If he's confirming provisions of law, then
5 that's one thing; if he's confirming something within his experience,
6 that's another thing, but then we need to be precise about whether it's
7 his experience in the JNA in the former Yugoslavia or experience in this,
8 or -- these may be matters for cross-examination.
9 But my concern is that there are things here, for example, this
10 special military court, where we don't see what the law is which governs
11 the special military court. It hasn't been mentioned in evidence and it's
12 not -- this witness hasn't mentioned in any way how his experience
13 qualifies him to speak about it. I'm also not clear whether he drew up
14 this chart or whether the Prosecution drew it up and he assisted with it.
15 I may be anticipating objections to this chart as an exhibit,
16 matters which I can cross-examine upon. But I do want to state now that
17 we're not happy with this exercise without at least it being clear what
18 laws we're talking about, for example, for this special military court.
19 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, I would like to --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Jones. Incidentally, apart from
21 that, which calls for some kind of explanation from you, or at least it
22 could also be in the form of questions to the witness, there is also
23 another matter that I notice as regards -- in relation to these district
24 military courts. There is underlined there "not functional."
25 MS. SELLERS: Are you talking about the special military court,
1 Your Honour?
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, precisely, the special military court.
3 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: On the extreme left, there is a district military
5 court, "not functional."
6 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, this witness will not be testifying
7 about the special district military court nor about the disciplinary
8 military court. They are there. We intend to use this exhibit with this
9 witness for the knowledge that he has been able to assist us with in terms
10 of the complaint procedure, the structure of the district military court.
11 He has knowledge that one can send complaints from these entities, but the
12 reason that they have not been further described and attention is not
13 drawn to that is that this witness is not, in our opinion, brought forward
14 to give evidence concerning those two institutions.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Anyway, you have heard what Mr. Jones said. We are
16 not much wiser or informed on this matter than Mr. Jones is. We only know
17 what we can see on this chart here. So it's -- obviously, it's the case
18 of asking the witness to explain some of these movements to and from one
19 section to the other, because that requires some kind of explanation.
20 MS. SELLERS: Yes, certainly, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: And try to restrict it to what -- I assume that if
22 this was drawn up on the basis of the information that he gave you, then
23 he is in a position to assist us and explain each and every movement that
24 we have here on this chart.
25 MS. SELLERS: Yes. Your Honour, he's testified, but he's assisted
1 us in drawing this up. I would say that there was a preliminary diagram,
2 and he has corrected and assisted us in confirming it. We can certainly
3 direct those questions to him.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: We're not going to say anything further. You are
5 familiar now, you have heard what Mr. Jones' concerns are, and they seem
6 to be, on the face of it, concerns that carry considerable weight.
7 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, if I just might clarify. I don't
8 understand whether Mr. Jones' concerns are a question of weight of the
9 exhibit that he is not objecting when we will be submitting it into
10 evidence, or whether that objection goes to the submission of the exhibit.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones.
12 MR. JONES: Yes, well, I'm certainly planning to object to the
13 admission of the exhibit for the reason that there are matters here which
14 this witness isn't in a position to help us with, and therefore, if it was
15 admitted as proof of the truth of its contents, that would be wrong
16 because that would be going beyond the scope of what he's testified about.
17 And it's also an objection, really, to the inherently -- inherent
18 suggestiveness or leading nature of questions being put by putting a chart
19 before him which he's only been partially involved in drawing up, and
20 saying, Does it work like this, and the witness saying yes. The evidence
21 is being obtained by suggestion. I would object to the admission of the
22 exhibit, and I will come back to these points in cross-examination.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I think it's pretty clear what his
24 concerns are.
25 MS. SELLERS: Yes, I certainly understand. Let me clarify some of
1 that with questioning to the witness.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Especially this last part he raised, because
3 actually what you are doing is you are presenting -- you are presenting
4 the witness with a nice cake and on the top it's written "nice chocolate
5 cake, baked by," et cetera, and you're asking him to confirm that this is
7 MS. SELLERS:
8 Q. Mr. Tankic, did you, when you discussed with the Office of the
9 Prosecutor, look at a chart and therefore -- and then make corrections,
10 changes, any modifications according to your knowledge of how the district
11 military court functioned?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm sorry again to interrupt. But please do
13 remember that I come from the defence in my career. I would first want to
14 know what you showed him.
15 MS. SELLERS: Certainly.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: And then what he corrected.
17 MS. SELLERS: Certainly.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: In order to be able to come to the conclusion that
19 this is a correct representation of what the witness believes to be the
20 setup or the organisational and procedural setup as regards military
21 justice is concerned.
22 MS. SELLERS: Certainly.
23 Q. Mr. Tankic, when you were -- were you presented, during your
24 proofing, with a chart similar to this by the Office of the Prosecutor?
25 A. Yes. If I may be allowed to explain. This chart shows a solution
1 under the law on criminal procedure, a solution on how procedures should
2 be conducted before the district military prosecutor. I have very little
3 knowledge about military structures and military issues. This chart only
4 shows legal solutions, and that's all I know about. Nothing else apart
5 from that.
6 Q. When you saw this chart in its initial form, did you inform the
7 Office of the Prosecutor where, according to your knowledge of legal
8 issues, that parts of the chart should be modified or changed?
9 A. Yes. Substantial changes, in fact, have been made.
10 Q. Did those changes include the relationship between the district
11 military prosecutor and the investigating judge?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did those changes therefore place the investigating judge within
14 the part of the diagram where we see the military court and the judges?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did those changes include the relationship between the civilian
17 sector and the district military prosecutor?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Did you inform the Office of the Prosecutor that both civilian
20 police, civilian citizens, and civilian institutions may bring complaints
21 directly to the district military prosecutor's office?
22 A. Yes. I insisted that a correction be entered.
23 Q. Did you also make modifications as they relate to the part of the
24 chart that talks about the military security service and the military
25 police, MP?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Would you say that the changes on the chart that you have made,
3 according to your legal knowledge, render this a chart that describes how
4 the district military court functioned in terms of receiving complaints
5 and conducting investigations in cases?
6 A. That's the only thing the chart actually shows, isn't it?
7 Q. Yes.
8 MS. SELLERS: Now, Your Honour, I understand that we're close to
9 our break time. I can stop here and will continue afterwards.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. We'll have a 25-minute break, starting from
11 now. Thank you.
12 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 4.20 p.m.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Sellers.
15 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, as a preliminary matter, during the
16 break I --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Filed all documents?
18 MS. SELLERS: Thank goodness, no, for this witness. But I just
19 realised in the use of the documents that we did find yesterday, I had
20 anticipated to go a bit longer today to discuss certain legal aspects, as
21 I'm sure Your Honours might have noticed within the statutes, and so I
22 believe that this afternoon's session will be curtailed, will be a bit
23 shorter, unless we start the section with the documents. So since we've
24 already conveyed to Defence counsel that is something we'll do tomorrow --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not a problem. If we -- if it's necessary to
1 overflow on to Friday, we can do that without any problems.
2 MS. SELLERS: Certainly. I just wanted to inform Your Honours.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Also, because I have just been told that the Plenary
4 that was planned for Friday is not going to take place.
5 MS. SELLERS: Okay.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones.
7 MR. JONES: Well, may I just say that we have, during the break,
8 had an opportunity to look at the documents, and I wouldn't want to stop
9 the Prosecution from moving on to the documents later today. Having
10 looked at them, you know, that's not something which actually has to take
11 place tomorrow. And so certainly for our part, if we could conclude by
12 Thursday, that would be --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thursday.
14 Mr. Jones and Ms. Sellers, as always, we are at your disposal. So
15 now that you've heard Mr. Jones, perhaps you can proceed and continue
17 MS. SELLERS: Certainly.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: And then we'll try and finish with the witness
20 MS. SELLERS: Okay, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
22 Thank you, Mr. Jones.
23 MS. SELLERS: I believe that we were still asking Mr. Tankic
24 certain questions about the chart.
25 Q. I would like to draw Mr. Tankic's attention to this part of the
1 chart. [Indicates].
2 Mr. Tankic, would you please look at the indication of a small
3 person in green that says "Commander" under it. Would it be your
4 testimony that the lines, the dotted lines that go from the commander to
5 the other side of the chart, back to the military prosecutor, indicates a
6 means of being able to bring a complaint to the district military
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And would this chart also represent that all levels of commanders
10 could bring charges to the district military prosecutor via the military
11 security service or the military police or directly themselves?
12 A. Usually this would go through the military police or the security
13 body, but it could go straight to the prosecutor as well?
14 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, these are the only questions that I
15 wanted to ask this witness concerning the chart. I would now ask if the
16 chart could be given a P number and moved into evidence.
17 MR. JONES: My objection remains, really, just to this chart being
18 -- having any independent probative value. If it's merely as an aid to
19 understanding this witness's testimony, then that's one thing, but we
20 would object to it being -- being considered as having any independent
21 probative value.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Usher, please try to position the chart -- let me
24 explain to you, following this route here, this, from the commander on to
25 the district military prosecutor, halfway, there is MP where the journey
1 seems to be interrupted. There is MP and pre-trial duties. You have to
2 look further down. The red -- red dotted line, the red dotted line.
3 There is, at a certain point it goes up and then goes down and continues
4 and that is a chain of connection between the commander, who initiates
5 proceedings and the district military prosecuting officer. Somewhere
6 along the way, there seems to be a stop at the MP. Could the witness
7 please explain to us what MP stands for and, also, I see below that the
8 words "pre-trial duties", what are those pre-trial duties. Let's start
9 from there. What does MP stand for?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Military police.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Military police, yes. And did the military police
12 have pre-trial duties?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: So if a commander -- a commander, as I see it, had
15 these options: First of all, he had to report to the -- to the SVK or to
16 the district military prosecutor. He could suspend the procedure. He
17 could pronounce a disciplinary order, he could decide that he was not
18 authorised to decide and then he would pass it on to his superior, or else
19 he would initiate proceedings and start going down this road to the
20 district military prosecutor.
21 Now, why would he have to stop at the military police? In other
22 words, it seems that, to me, that once he has decided to initiate
23 proceedings, it seems to me, if I try to follow this route, that the first
24 time this journey ends up at the military police office it says: Criminal
25 charge against the armed forces.
1 This is, I assume, in the case of civilians allegedly committing
2 crimes against the armed forces; correct?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct, in part. The usual
4 procedure to file a criminal report was to file civilian reports with the
5 civilian police and military reports with the military police. They would
6 process the report, gather information and then eventually forward this
7 report to the prosecutor.
8 By way of example, an arrest can only be carried out by the
9 military police in a case like this. However, that does not preclude, as
10 I said at the outset, a complaint from being filed directly with the
11 prosecutor, but they would send it back to the military police for
12 verification before it is eventually decided whether it would be passed on
13 to the military prosecutor, or not.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Because I see a further note here which
15 says that for criminal offences against the armed forces, the authorised
16 member of the military police shall file criminal charges to the military
17 prosecutor through his superior officer holding the post of a brigade or
18 division commander or of an equal or higher position, so that you confirm
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, would there be any further reason why the
22 decision by the commander, to initiate proceedings, would have to stop at
23 the military police, apart from what we have just discussed or would it go
24 straight to the district military prosecutor?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It could go straight to the military
1 prosecutor -- district military prosecutor. Security organ was a superior
2 body to the military police. Normally, that would be the case. In some
3 way, they have legal jurisdiction over the military police, I mean the
4 district military prosecutor.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Judge Eser.
6 JUDGE ESER: Just for clarification. At the last point, MP
7 pre-trial duties, the dotted line which leads to MP and goes on, does it
8 mean that it was a clear interruption? Or what does it mean here? If you
9 -- you told us that can it go directly to the military prosecutor. That
10 means that it must not necessarily go via the MP?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not necessarily, but, Your Honour,
12 there's a problem with the system that was in place at the time. On the
13 one hand we had pre-trial proceedings. We had criminal proceedings and
14 the trial itself. Pre-trial proceedings were carried out in a civilian
15 matter by the civilian police and in a military matter by the military
16 police with their respective jurisdictions, including, for example, an
17 on-site investigation taking photographs of the scene of crime and then
18 gathering potential evidence.
19 This would be the definition of pre-trial proceedings. And then
20 the police might decide to send this on to a prosecutor. However, had
21 they decided straight away that this had to go to the prosecutor, there
22 was nothing standing in their way. And then, if something was still
23 missing, the prosecutor would send the case back to the police, for
24 further processing.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: One further -- one further question. What does the
1 acronym SVK stand for? SVK. It's at the top left, extreme top left.
2 It's a red flag. At the very top. SVK. Is it the commander, or
3 something? Is it the supreme commander, or what?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I should look at the entire chart.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Usher, could you, please.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The immediate superior, the
7 immediate superior. That's what I see. These here are the various
8 military structures which I am not exactly familiar with.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right, okay. Let's leave it at that. Do you
10 have any questions, Judge Brydensholt.
11 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: Yes. You answered the question whether it was
12 part of a commander to send a case directly to the military prosecutor.
13 In saying that, I understood it that you meant that when the case reached
14 the military police or the military security service, they could decide to
15 send it immediately on to the military prosecutor. So that would be a
16 decision for the security service, or would it be a decision made by the
17 commander himself?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe, well, this is a question
19 of military subordination. You have to look at the various competencies
20 but I think a commander is superior to all of the services that are under
21 him further down the chain, and therefore any decision that he makes must
22 be carried out.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Sellers, are you finished with this chart?
24 MS. SELLERS: Yes, Your Honour. I would like to have it given a
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. This will be 498.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour, 498.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: This chart is being tendered and received and marked
4 as Prosecution Exhibit P498. And in the various interests that you will
5 prepare, of course, you will make a note that this is being challenged to
6 an extent by the Defence.
7 MR. JONES: Right.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: You haven't told us, Ms. Sellers, what do you intend
9 this document to prove?
10 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, this document is, on the one hand, an
11 illustration of oral testimony that has been given. It is an aid to the
12 Trial Chamber in that instance. And we would like to inform both Defence
13 and the Trial Chamber that we will be using this chart with other
14 witnesses so that the oral testimony can have some type of physical
15 representation. But I believe that beyond being an aid, that this chart
16 in itself is also indicative of what the law was at the time, so therefore
17 other exhibits that have been entered into evidence do have a bearing upon
18 how this chart has been designed and what it explains.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones, does that satisfy you?
20 MR. JONES: Well, the first purpose is fine, but as a
21 representation of the law, unless and until that's elucidated by
22 witnesses, then we would object to it.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I have asked you the question, obviously, to have
24 that answer so that it goes on record, in other words, we have the
25 specifics of your objection.
1 MR. JONES: Yes, I'm obliged, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
3 So let's proceed, Ms. Sellers.
4 MS. SELLERS:
5 Q. Mr. Tankic, if I could just recall, you testified that the Tuzla
6 district military court started to function in September of 1992. Is that
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Was it at that time period that the High Court in Tuzla then
10 ceased to hear complaints or to try cases concerning the military
11 personnel that were now picked up by the district military courts'
13 A. Yes. All cases were turned over to the district military court,
14 obviously those cases where perpetrators were military persons.
15 Q. Now, I would like to ask you, where were you employed in 1999?
16 A. In that year I was appointed the chief cantonal prosecutor in
18 Q. Is the chief cantonal prosecutor's office in Tuzla a civilian
19 court or a military court?
20 A. Civilian.
21 Q. As a civilian court, does it resume jurisdiction over cases that
22 concern military members, much as the civilian courts did prior to 1992?
23 A. Military courts ceased to operate in 1996, and so immediately
24 after the war, operations ceased and all cases were turned over to
25 relevant courts, either municipal or the cantonal court, depending on
1 where a particular criminal offence was committed.
2 Q. The cantonal court that you worked at, starting in 1999, did it
3 receive the materials from the Tuzla district military court upon its
5 A. I know that the prosecutor's office received cases from the
6 military prosecution office, and I assumed that the cantonal court did the
7 same, so that it received cases from the district military court in Tuzla.
8 Q. Were the records from the district military prosecutor then kept
9 in a place at the cantonal prosecutor's office where you worked?
10 A. Some of the cases, some of the files are still kept in the
11 prosecutor's office.
12 Q. And were reports written by persons working in the prosecutor's
13 office concerning the contents of the files turned over by the district
14 military court?
15 A. I believe that what is in these reports are a number of cases, so
16 when that -- when the files were turned over in 1996, we recorded a number
17 of cases.
18 Q. Now, Mr. Tankic, you started working at that court in 1999. Did
19 you have predecessors who occupied your position as a high prosecutor
20 between 1996 up until 1999, or at a slightly earlier period?
21 A. There were two persons who were my predecessors.
22 Q. Will you please tell the Trial Chambers the name of these persons.
23 A. Until 1996, Helic Vildana, and between 1997 and 1999, Cane Dzanic.
24 Q. Have you had the opportunity to read --
25 [Microphone not activated]
1 MS. SELLERS:
2 Q. Have you had the opportunity to read reports made by your
3 predecessors concerning materials transferred from the Tuzla district
4 military court?
5 A. I had to, since some cases were still active at the time when I
6 came, so the trials were underway. Also, in 2002, we had one decision
7 made. This is why I was acquainted with the cases that were turned over
8 to us from the district military prosecution.
9 Q. In order to clarify, for the record, are you still currently
10 employed at the high cantonal court as a prosecutor?
11 A. Since the 1st of March, I have been the judge of the
12 Bosnia-Herzegovinian court.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, have you also had the opportunity to review the
14 archives of the prosecutor's office, in particular to review and see if
15 the materials have arrived from the Tuzla district military court?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. To your knowledge, were there any cases transferred between the
18 district military prosecutor's office and your office that concerned war
19 crimes committed by Muslim soldiers against Serbs, either civilians or
20 prisoners of war, in 1992 and 1993?
21 A. I am not aware of such cases. I don't believe there was any.
22 MS. SELLERS: If Your Honours would allow me, I would like to
23 specifically ask questions as they relate to our indictment, although the
24 answer that Mr. Tankic has given now might appear to have covered some of
25 the relevant time period and incidents.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, let's proceed. Take it slowly, bit by bit,
2 and then we'll see. Because if you are simply asking the witness to
3 confirm what he has just stated, I think it will be a useless journey.
4 You know, it's a --
5 MS. SELLERS: Yes, Your Honour, he would be stating it just in
6 more specific form as related to specific incidents in the indictment.
7 That's why I wanted to ask you.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Any special objection on your part, Mr. Jones?
9 MR. JONES: I don't think I can raise any objection, apart from
10 the observation --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: It can be done, although I personally consider it to
12 be a little bit -- anyway, let's proceed and go through it slowly, or not
13 slowly, as quickly as you can, please.
14 MS. SELLERS: Certainly, Your Honour.
15 Q. Mr. Tankic, to your knowledge, were there any war crimes that
16 would come under Article 142 or 143 or 145 of the code applied to the
17 district military office that were brought by commanders of the Srebrenica
18 army in relation to events that occurred in Jezestica, on August 8th,
20 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment before you answer, because the question
21 is a little bit different. The judge steps in the whole scenario the
22 moment the sort of jurisdiction of the military courts was transferred
23 over, back to the cantonal.
24 MS. SELLERS: No, Your Honour, I'm sorry if I could clarify. I'm
25 asking Mr. Tankic has already testified that he reviewed documents, that
1 he has looked at reports. I'm just asking him to his knowledge within
2 these documents or archival material.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Has he reviewed archival material related to the
4 period of time when the military tribunals, military courts were in
6 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour that's what he has testified to. Maybe
7 I should clarify it.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we better clarify it, be more clear about
10 MS. SELLERS:
11 Q. Right. Mr. Tankic, materials that you've testified that were
12 received from the district military prosecutor's office in Tuzla, did they
13 cover the period of 1992 until the court ceased to exist in 1996?
14 A. Yes. The archives referred to that period and obviously we worked
15 on the cases that were not over, where the decision was still not made.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: So in other words, this archive or archives included
17 also decisions -- cases that had been terminated already before the --
18 THE WITNESS: Yes.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: And you went through those as well, in other words,
20 you are in a position to testify also on those cases?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Obviously I have not reviewed the
22 entire archives, but I had reports for each year. I read reports for each
24 JUDGE AGIUS: So your question now, please, which obviously has to
25 be limited by what the witness has just stated.
1 MS. SELLERS: Certainly.
2 Q. To your knowledge, from the reports of the archives, Mr. Tankic,
3 are you aware of any cases or prosecutions brought by commanders of the
4 Srebrenica army concerning crimes under the jurisdiction of the district
5 military court such as 142 and 143, 144, as concerns, Serb victims in
6 Jezestica, in August 8th, 1992?
7 A. I said at the very beginning that there were no cases concerning
8 war crimes. There were several ordinary crimes that were perpetrated by
9 commanders and they were tried by military court.
10 Q. Your Honours, then I will cease this line of questioning, but I
11 did want to make the record clear that the war crimes that would pertain
12 to acts within our indictment, the witness did not see any of those cases
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Well if he didn't see any case, I suppose he didn't
15 see any case, which is mentioned in the indictment.
16 MS. SELLERS: Yes. Thank you.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: So it follows as a logical consequence.
18 MS. SELLERS:
19 Q. Right. Mr. Tankic, I would like to show you the Prosecution's
20 following exhibit. It is P number 44. Your Honours, it will come in
21 Sanctions in one minute.
22 Mr. Tankic, I would ask you to look at this document and I would
23 draw your attention to the last sentence in the document. Could you state
24 that the legal institution that's referred to here, military High Court,
25 refers to the jurisdiction that the district military court in Tuzla would
1 have had?
2 MR. JONES: I object to that question. This isn't -- this
3 document is not a document authored by this witness and there's simply a
4 phrase there referring to the military High Court. If this witness is
5 being asked to speculate about what that -- what the author of this
6 document could have meant when he refers to military High Court that
7 would, in my submission, be impermissible and apart from that question I
8 don't see what else he can be asked to help with with this phrase. The
9 document says what it says. Military High Court."
10 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, I would state that the witness has just
11 testified about his knowledge of the district military court in Tuzla. He
12 has testified about the basis of the jurisdiction, the statute. I have
13 asked him to look at the document. Okay. And then to look at the last
14 sentence and to see whether, from his knowledge, what he knows that this
15 could refer to.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly. I mean it's not being put -- the witness
17 was being suggested that he's the author of -- or responsible for what is
18 contained in this document. He's merely being asked a simple question.
19 He's being referred to the last part of that document. And specifically
20 asked whether the -- the military High Court, the jurisdiction of that
21 military High Court basically refers to jurisdiction, that the district
22 military court in Tuzla would have had. I mean, it's -- I think, on the
23 basis of information that he has been providing us, he is perfectly in a
24 position to answer that question.
25 If he is not, he will tell us. I mean --
1 MR. JONES: Well, Your Honour, really the question is, although it
2 says military High Court, could the author have meant to put Tuzla
3 district military court, which I don't see how a witness can be asked --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know.
5 MR. JONES: -- when he is not the author. Secondly, jurisdiction,
6 this document doesn't refer to any jurisdiction, or crimes. So I don't
7 see what jurisdiction he's being -- he's being referred to. We know what
8 the jurisdiction of the Tuzla district military court is. We don't know
9 what the district of the jurisdiction of this military High Court is. And
10 I simply don't see how there's an intelligible question which this witness
11 can be asked about this document.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I basically see nothing objectionable in the
13 question that has been put. He is being asked to explain whether military
14 High Court that is mentioned in this last part of this document is
15 basically tantamount to the Tuzla military district -- Tuzla district
16 military or the jurisdiction that court would have had. I think it's a
17 harmless question and perfectly legitimate. So if you can answer it -- if
18 you can, because if you -- you can't, obviously tell us you can't answer
19 the question.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This document was created by the
21 security body, security service, as far as I can see, and they really used
22 wrong information here.
23 The military law encompassed military court and military
24 prosecution and here they should have mentioned military prosecution, that
25 was the only institution that existed at the time. There were no other
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you happy with that answer, Ms. Sellers.
3 MS. SELLERS: Yes, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Can we move --
5 MS. SELLERS: I just want to stay with the document again.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
7 MS. SELLERS:
8 Q. And Mr. Tankic, in looking at the document, would the types of
9 criminal responsibility, as referred to in the third paragraph of this
10 document, come under the jurisdiction of the Tuzla military district
12 A. It should have been estimated at the time by the district military
14 Q. Was the district military prosecutor functioning at the date that
15 this document has in its letterhead?
16 MR. JONES: Sorry, is that the Tuzla district?
17 MS. SELLERS: I'm sorry. Excuse me.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you, Mr. Jones.
19 MS. SELLERS: Thank you.
20 Q. Yes, you might answer the question now.
21 A. Yes. It existed since September 1992.
22 Q. And would persons who -- excuse me, I'll just with draw that
24 Do you have any knowledge, Mr. Tankic, of what is written at the
25 top of the document, "The Summary Court Martial of Srebrenica"?
1 A. I heard that from films, from movies, "summary court martial".
2 But according to our law, we did not have that.
3 Q. And, Mr. Tankic, are you familiar with what is written underneath
4 that, "The Commission for Mediation with the Enemy"?
5 A. The BH Presidency established a commission for exchange of
6 prisoners. That is the commission that I am familiar with. Maybe this is
7 meant to be the same one, I really don't know. But certainly this
8 formulation is very awkward.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MS. SELLERS: Your Honours, this is already into evidence. I
11 would just --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you.
13 MS. SELLERS: I would like to show the witness the next exhibit,
14 which is P46.
15 Q. Mr. Tankic, I would ask you to look at the last paragraph of this
16 document, please. And would this be the type of incidents that would come
17 under the jurisdiction of the Tuzla military district court?
18 A. Various allegations are described here and it was up to the
19 prosecutor to determine whether he wanted to continue with the procedure,
20 or not. If the person was only arrested, then, no. But there are also
21 certain suspicions here which can be further investigated by the
22 prosecution, by the district military prosecution.
23 MS. SELLERS: Thank you. I would like the witness to see the
24 following exhibit. It is P486. And I'm only referring to the first page
25 of that document.
1 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Ms. Sellers, my attention is being drawn that
3 this document is under seal, incidentally.
4 MS. SELLERS: Yes, as a matter of fact, there has been no
5 indication to the witness concerning some things in the document and names
6 are not to be mentioned.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you intend to use the first page, you said?
8 MS. SELLERS: Yes, but I would just like to ask the witness
9 whether --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but the pages are not in sequence. In other
11 words, if you see the last three digits, one has 195, the other one is
12 613, the other one is 145. So perhaps you could tell me -- could tell us
13 straight away, first and foremost, which is the first page of the three.
14 MS. SELLERS: That would be 195.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: 195. One moment. Let me read it and try to
16 remember why it is ...
17 Can anyone remind me why it was put under seal?
18 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, this was a protected witness.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Oh, I see. I see. I see. That's why. So how do
20 -- now I think you've lost your chance --
21 MS. SELLERS: Yes.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: -- Ms. Sellers.
23 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, I would ask you to withdraw your
24 question before I answer it next time.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I think we can, because it's partly my fault I
1 led you into this blind alley, we could photocopy this first page now and
2 then cancel, all right, the first line or the first -- well, what -- what
3 is the purpose -- what do you want to prove?
4 MS. SELLERS: The purpose of this, Your Honour, would be the
5 contrast with the previous documents that we've sent -- that we've shown
6 the witness, in terms of choices to be made.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: But do you need the witness to show us the contrast?
8 MS. SELLERS: We can ask him directly.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I mean, you can actually make reference later on at
10 the right moment when it comes to submissions --
11 MS. SELLERS: Yes, I understand.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: -- to this document, and the contrast, if there is
13 one at all, will emerge.
14 MS. SELLERS: Certainly.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I think that's the way to proceed at this point.
16 And my apologies to you if I actually tricked you into being unable to put
17 the question, but please do remember that I come from the defence.
18 MS. SELLERS:
19 Q. Mr. Tankic, with the preceding documents that we have seen that
20 made reference to a high court, I would like to ask you: Have you, in
21 looking through the archives and the reports of the prosecutor's office in
22 Tuzla, high cantonal office, as of 1999, did you see any of these cases
23 related to these individuals come within the archives?
24 A. Nothing whatsoever in the documents that I went through, but as
25 I've told you, I didn't go through all the individual cases in detail.
1 Q. Did you ever see anything in the reports related to the cases that
2 ever included information of prosecutions or initiations concerning the
3 individuals or the types of individuals in the documents I've just shown
5 A. Nothing that I could see based on the Srebrenica prosecutor's
6 reports, or the Tuzla prosecutor's reports for that matter.
7 Q. Thank you. I would like to move to a different area now. After
8 September 1992 and until the spring of 1993, to your knowledge were there
9 any civilian prosecutors in Srebrenica?
10 A. I know about civilian judicial bodies in Srebrenica based on the
11 prosecutors' and court presidents' reports. I know it was sent up in
12 Srebrenica on the 1st of June, 1993.
13 Q. Could you please inform us whether the prosecutor's office set up
14 in June 1993 handled cases that were first instant cases or cases that
15 were cases that were major cases?
16 A. This was a basic prosecutor's office and a basic court, first
17 instance court in Srebrenica. They could handle cases with a sentence of
18 up to 10 years, from the moment they were established. Furthermore, the
19 law that had been adopted from the former Yugoslavia provided for a
20 possibility that in certain cases they carry out investigations on account
21 of urgency and then hand the case over to the higher court or prosecutor.
22 Under the law then in force, all they could handle were crimes with a
23 sentence of up to 10 years.
24 Q. Did you know the name of the person who was the civilian
25 prosecutor as of June of 1993 in Srebrenica?
1 A. I didn't know her personally, but her name was familiar from
2 reports. The name was Dzuzida Akagic.
3 Q. And have you read reports that have either spoken about her and
4 her work or that she herself has authored?
5 A. I read reports that she produced. I also read reports drawn up by
6 the higher prosecutor. This was produced back in 1995 when the lady
7 prosecutor fled Srebrenica, which was in July 1995.
8 Q. Could you please tell the Trial Chamber the name of the person
9 that Ms. Akagic reported to? Who was her superior?
10 A. Who was Akagic's superior, you mean?
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. At this time, High Prosecutor Vildana Helic.
13 Q. And is that the same person who was one of your predecessors that
14 you currently -- that you held up until March 1999?
15 A. Yes. This person remained in her position throughout the war
16 until 1997.
17 Q. Now, in reading over the reports concerning the civilian
18 prosecutor's office in Srebrenica, would you be able to state whether
19 criminal activity was pursued, charges raised, and trials conducted?
20 A. Reports were produced in a highly professional manner. You can
21 draw conclusions based on that and realise what the judiciary was like in
22 Srebrenica at that time. Prosecutor Akagic submitted reports on her own
23 work back in 1994 -- 1993, 1994, and as for the first six months of 1995,
24 she gave an oral presentation to the higher prosecutor in person, having
25 been expelled from Srebrenica. If you look at these reports, you realise
1 that she took steps to prosecute crimes.
2 You can clearly discern the sort of criminal offences that she
3 dealt with. For example, in a 1993 report, there is reference to about 40
4 cases, that's between the first of June 1993 and the end of that year,
5 there were murders, aggravated theft, theft, infanticide, as far as I
6 remember, crimes of a more general nature, if I can call it that.
7 Once she submitted this report, she asked the high prosecutor to
8 tell her what to do about the cases which she had no jurisdiction over,
9 namely serious crimes requiring a sentence of over 10 years. The
10 Tuzla-based high prosecutor took steps in cooperation with the president
11 of the High Court and submitted a report to the Ministry of Justice in
13 Subsequently, the minister himself decided to grant authority to
14 the Srebrenica prosecutor as of the 1st of April -- as of first of January
15 1994 to prosecute cases that would normally have fallen under the
16 jurisdiction of the higher prosecutor in Tuzla. This decision was
17 submitted to the Srebrenica prosecutor in January 1994.
18 If you look at her reports, about her activities in 1994, you can
19 clearly see that she acted accordingly. What she emphasised in that
20 particular report was that cases would usually go as far as pressing
21 charges and publishing indictments and hardly ever tried. Most of the
22 cases that were eventually tried were misappropriation of land and crimes
23 dealing with forestry related offences.
24 The next problem that came up had to do with members of the army.
25 She did not have authority over these matters, except where urgent
1 investigations were required. Nevertheless, she was under an obligation
2 to refer all of these cases to the higher district military prosecutor in
3 Tuzla. Srebrenica was besieged at the time. There were no roads that one
4 could use to travel outside Srebrenica, so many cases were stuck in
5 Srebrenica and no further steps were taken.
6 As far as I remember, by 1995, as few as six cases involving
7 murder had been referred to the district military prosecutor. I also know
8 that in 1993 another case was referred to the district military prosecutor
9 and the suspect was handed over. This was a case of triple murder.
10 This case was tried and completed before a military court in Tuzla
11 in 1994. Now, one thing I really don't know is how this case was
12 referred, which method was used to turn the case over. And how the
13 suspect was actually handed over. I have no knowledge or information
14 concerning that. As for all of these reports, from 1993 and 1994, the
15 prosecutor sent these by radio communication and that's how the -- all the
16 replies from the higher prosecutor arrived.
17 Q. Right. Mr. Tankic, thank you. I want to go back to some of the
18 points that you have brought up.
19 You testified that the prosecutor in Srebrenica actually asked to
20 have her jurisdiction expanded. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes. When she submitted the 1993 report, she sent a query to the
22 higher prosecutor asking what to do with those cases that she had no
23 jurisdiction over.
24 Q. And was her jurisdiction eventually expanded?
25 A. The Ministry of Justice in Sarajevo took a decision in January
1 1994 to expand her jurisdiction thereby authorising her to take steps that
2 would normally fall under the jurisdiction of a higher military
4 Q. Did the expansion of her jurisdiction, in any way, affect military
5 members or civilians related to the military?
6 A. She had no jurisdiction over those matters. Her jurisdiction was
7 never expanded to those areas. This would have fallen under the sole
8 jurisdiction of the military prosecutor. She could only initiate urgent
9 investigations. That was as far as it went. Investigations. That was as
10 far as it went, where there was a danger that something would fall under a
11 statute of limitations.
12 Q. Now, would you please explain to the Trial Chamber who had the
13 ability to refer cases to the civilian prosecutor in Srebrenica.
14 A. By way of an example, back in 1993 most criminal reports were
15 filed by the public security station in Srebrenica. The total number was
16 144. 142 of these were filed by the Srebrenica public securities station
17 and the remaining two by civilians who had sustained damage. Needless to
18 say, criminal reports could have been filed by other bodies too. For
19 example, if there had been a military police presence in Srebrenica, they
20 would have been authorised to file a criminal complaint too; someone
21 associated with their security, the commander himself. What I'm telling
22 you now is exactly what the law says on the matter.
23 If you look at her report, you can see who specifically filed
24 these criminal charges.
25 Q. Right. Mr. Tankic, could you also explain that you testified that
1 communications was difficult, but that the Srebrenica prosecutor did send
2 reports in cases to her superior. Would you explain to the Trial Chamber
3 how that was done.
4 A. It's not that communication was difficult. There was no
5 communication. Everything was blocked. Reports were usually sent by
6 radio or telegram using the military -- using the assistance of military
7 bodies, usually.
8 Q. Now when you state that reports were sent by radio, was that
9 dependent upon electricity or any other type of physical device that
10 communicated directly between Srebrenica and let's say for example Tuzla?
11 A. I'm not very good with equipment and the technical aspects of
12 communication. I only know that reports were received by radio. In
13 Tuzla, they sometimes had electricity, on and off. The military, in fact,
14 had it from time to time but the civilians had none whatsoever. I'm not
15 sure what the situation was in Srebrenica though.
16 Q. In terms of telegrams, how were telegrams able to be sent from
18 A. By radio -- radio devices were used. This would normally be
20 MS. SELLERS: Your Honours, I would like to show the witness a
21 further exhibit.
22 Q. I would like the witness to look at the exhibit with ERN number
23 03648866. Mr. Tankic, are you familiar with this type of apparatus?
24 A. From the JNA.
25 Q. Would you, please, explain to the Trial Chamber why -- what it is
1 and why you're familiar with it.
2 A. I served in the JNA. I was in a reconnaissance unit and we had a
3 radio communications officer who carried a device like this on his back.
4 I think the name of this piece of equipment was RUP20. But I can't be
6 Q. Is this the type of radio equipment that could have been used by
7 the Srebrenica prosecutor to send information out of Srebrenica?
8 MR. JONES: Again, if he knows.
9 MS. SELLERS: If he knows. If he knows.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we are in the realm of pure speculation
11 here. I mean, how would he know in the first place?
12 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, only because he will have seen the
13 incoming messages and reports that would come from certain types of
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. But they would be received coded and then they
16 have to be decoded and that's what he will see. He won't see anything
17 else. I mean it's ... anyway, I mean I won't obstruct you.
18 MS. SELLERS:
19 Q. Mr. Tankic, are you familiar with the apparatus in ERN number
21 A. I said that I was, but I'm not sure how it works. When I said
22 that reports were coded, that was just my conclusion. There was a code
23 and a telegram number in the heading, so that was an assumption I made,
24 that these had been coded.
25 I know, however, that these are the sort of radio devices used in
1 the former JNA, but that's about all I know. I can't tell you anything
2 about the way they are operated, or their range or how the actual code is
3 used. I really have no idea.
4 Q. No. Mr. Tankic, are these wireless devices?
5 A. Well, if they were using radio waves, then I suppose they should
6 be wireless, shouldn't they?
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I hope so, otherwise you would have taken us back
8 to, I don't know, how many years ago. Ms. Sellers, do you intend to
9 tender these two documents?
10 MS. SELLERS: Yes, Your Honour I do.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Together or separately?
12 MS. SELLERS: They can be tendered maybe separately, I believe.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: So the first one that we saw, the one ending with
14 the ERN 866, will be P499, and the one with PR -- with -- not PRN, sorry,
15 with ERN 865 will be P500.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: The only question I would ask the witness on these
18 two pieces of equipment that you saw here: Are you aware if, during the
19 war, this type of equipment was in use? If you are aware, tell us, Yes, I
20 know they were still in use; no, I don't know. Because, after all, these
21 are old JNA equipment. They may have been superseded by more modern
22 equipment at the time. So if you know the answer, give it to us. If you
23 don't, just say you don't know.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really don't know what type of
25 equipment was used. I didn't see it during the war, not once did I see
1 the actual system that was being used.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Sellers.
3 MS. SELLERS:
4 Q. Your Honour, I'm going to move to a different area, given the time
5 period we have to start the second -- the subsequent section after the
6 break, if you don't mind?
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly. Absolutely no problem. We'll have a
8 25-minute break, and then you take it up from there and we'll finish at
10 MS. SELLERS: Yes.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Or at whatever time is convenient for you,
12 considering obviously the areas you will be touching upon. All right.
13 Thank you.
14 --- Recess taken at 5.30 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 6.10 p.m.
16 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, this next part I would like to ask
17 Mr. Tankic several questions about documents, and we would like to hand
18 those documents up. I just want to explain beforehand that the documents
19 that were related to the attachments to the statement are in one pile that
20 we will indicate which ERN number to look at, and any the other documents,
21 which were the documents relating to yesterday 's adjournment, are
22 separated out. But we would like to hand them up together so that people
23 will be able to look at both sets when appropriate.
24 Furthermore, I've been informed that we will be using a
25 combination of ELMO and Sanction. We were not able to place everything in
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I appreciate all your efforts today to make things
3 easy, Ms. Sellers. And incidentally, I switched off my -- I must have hit
4 something here. Okay, leave it, I can follow from here. This is gone
5 completely, the transcript.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know, I just saw it saving. I didn't touch
8 anything, but...
9 Yours too. Oh, I see, so it's not just me, all right.
10 MS. SELLERS: I would like to have the witness see the document
11 with ERN number 03648896. I would like to hand these up to the usher,
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly. I don't see 0364 in the bundle that I
15 MS. SELLERS:
16 Q. I would like to ask Mr. Tankic, are you familiar with this
17 document that is before you?
18 A. Yes, I am.
19 Q. Would you explain to the Trial Chamber, where did you see this
20 document prior -- let me rephrase that. Did you see this document in your
21 capacity of work as a high prosecutor, in the cantonal court?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. All right.
24 MS. SELLERS: Might I ask the usher, have we placed that on the
25 ELMO, please?
1 Q. Mr. Tankic, can you tell us, who is the author of this document?
2 A. Basic public prosecutor from Srebrenica, Mrs. Dzuzida Akagic.
3 Q. And are you familiar with the contents, the reason that this
4 document was written?
5 A. This is a usual annual report on the work that is submitted
6 directly to the higher prosecutor.
7 Q. And would the higher prosecutor be Ms. Helic, who you mentioned
8 before, you testified about before?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, looking at the heading on the document, would you please
11 confirm, if you know, how this document was transferred between Srebrenica
12 to Ms. Helic in Tuzla.
13 A. It arrived by radio connection or by telegram through the military
15 Q. Drawing your attention to the first paragraph of this document,
16 would it be your understanding that from around April 1992, the beginning
17 of the war, until the end of December 1993, that it recounts that 35
18 criminal reports and four other reports concerned the Srebrenica
20 A. Yes. This is how much she had between the 1st of June, 1993, and
21 the end of that year.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: One question. I don't know who is going to answer
23 that, but this document in its original form, in the B/C/S form, contains
24 four pages, three of which are handwritten.
25 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Is that part of the first page or are they separate
3 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, I was going to ask the witness. Those
4 are the pages, the back pages, that I will ask the witness is he familiar
5 with, what is written on those separate pages you're referring to.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, because you have asked the witness whether this
7 document -- how was this document transmitted, and I can understand the
8 first page being transmitted by telegram, but I can't understand -- or by
9 radio, but I can't understand the second page and the third page and the
10 fourth page being transmitted by radio and therefore only handwriting, or
11 by telegram.
12 I mean, the first one is self-explanatory because there is
13 "Telegram" on the right-hand corner, top right-hand corner, but the other
14 three couldn't have been transmitted by telegram or by radio in the form
15 that they are.
16 MS. SELLERS:
17 Q. Mr. Tankic, did you have the original of this document within your
18 possession or in the archives of the cantonal court?
19 A. I found it in the archives of the prosecution office.
20 Q. And if you would look at the subsequent pages that appear to have
21 handwriting on them, could you inform the Trial Chamber whose handwriting
22 that is.
23 A. The first one is mine. This is to certify that the copy is the
24 same as the original.
25 Q. And was a copy then made of your original?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And is what Your Honours and the defence and Prosecution are
3 looking at now, a copy of your original document and attached is your
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. For sake of clarity, were the pages that included your handwriting
7 part of this original telegram?
8 A. No.
9 Q. I would turn your attention back to the document and,
10 particularly, in the last paragraph of the document, would it be your
11 testimony that the prosecutor from Srebrenica, due to war circumstances,
12 had to be flexible at times in the exercise of her duty as it pertained to
14 A. Earlier in my testimony, I described exactly this what I derived
15 from this report, that the circumstances of work were very difficult, just
16 as the prosecutor described in this report. And criminal cases, mostly
17 seized with pressing of charges or publishing of indictment due to the
18 lack of expert witnesses and so on.
19 Q. Does it appear, from looking at this document, that the prosecutor
20 in Srebrenica nevertheless tried to perform her duties as competently as
22 A. Yes, under the given circumstances.
23 Q. Your Honour, I would ask that the document be given a P number and
24 be submitted into evidence.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: So this will be given P501.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: P501.
3 MS. SELLERS:
4 Q. Okay, the next document has ERN number 03648900. I believe it's
5 in Sanctions -- English version. I would ask Mr. Tankic to look at the
6 document and tell the Trial Chamber, did he possess -- whether he
7 possessed the original of this document and that he handed it over to the
8 Office of the Prosecutor during the proofing session.
9 A. Yes. I had it in my possession and I gave it over.
10 Q. And this document represents a copy of the original document that
11 you handed over?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. I would now ask you to look at the first page with the writing on
14 it, the typed writing. Mr. Tankic when you look at this page, would you
15 please confirm whether this document was transferred between the
16 Srebrenica prosecutor's office to the senior prosecutor's office in Tuzla.
17 A. Exactly. This is the request that I explained earlier where the
18 prosecutor asked the higher prosecutor for instructions on what to do with
19 the cases that do not fall under her jurisdiction. This is an example of
20 a murder that a higher court had jurisdiction over.
21 Q. Would you be able to state whether, as a prosecutor, that this was
22 certainly a professional attitude to take, to see what you should do with
23 cases that didn't completely fall under your jurisdiction.
24 A. Yes. She was faced with this legal problem of the lack of
25 jurisdiction over such a case, and she had to ask the higher prosecutor
1 what to do with cases of this kind.
2 Q. And does the document indicate the manner in which it was
3 transferred between Srebrenica and the senior prosecutor's office in
5 A. In the same way which -- as the previous document, by radio or
6 telegram means.
7 Q. Mr. Tankic, do you know where in Srebrenica the prosecutor's
8 office was?
9 A. From the prosecutor's reports coming out of Srebrenica, I realise
10 that from the 1st of June, the office of the prosecutor was based in the
11 municipality building of Srebrenica and then, in 1995, it was moved into
12 just one room of the former court house.
13 Q. Your Honours, I would ask for a number for this document and to
14 move it into evidence.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. So this will be 502.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
17 MS. SELLERS:
18 Q. The next document I understand will be placed on the ELMO. It is
19 ERN number 03648886.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Are these the documents that were in dispute, or
21 not? Or not yet?
22 MS. SELLERS: I don't believe there's any dispute about the
23 documents Your Honour.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Oh, no.
25 MS. SELLERS: These were certainly the documents that were the
1 subject of our earlier discussions.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: That were in dispute. So these are the ones?
3 MR. JONES: Yes.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Proceed now. Thank you. Let's move.
5 MS. SELLERS:
6 Q. Right. Mr. Tankic, I would ask you to look at the document before
7 you and could you once again confirm to the Trial Chamber that the
8 handwriting on the back of the typed pages are your handwriting; that
9 would be -- I don't believe he can see that from the ELMO. I think you
10 would have to show that.
11 A. Yes. This is my signature and the dates written by me.
12 Q. And once again, it's because you gave these originals to the
13 Office of the Prosecutor and they made copies from the originals?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Right. Now, Mr. Tankic, you testified earlier that the Srebrenica
16 prosecutor asked that her jurisdiction be expanded precisely to be able to
17 take on some duties due to the difficulty of wartime.
18 If you look at this document, would you please tell me whether
19 this document is related, in any way, to that request.
20 A. This is a response to her request, so this is a response by the
21 higher prosecutor, informing the prosecutor in Srebrenica that the
22 measures were undertaken to extend the jurisdiction of the basic
23 prosecution office in Srebrenica so that they could also handle the cases
24 falling under higher jurisdiction.
25 Q. I would ask you to look at the second page of the document, the
1 one that has ERN number that ends with 888. Now, to your knowledge, was
2 the reason that the increased jurisdiction was requested was because of
3 the physical separation between the senior prosecutor's office and the
4 higher court in Tuzla, and the communication breakdown?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Would it be your understanding that the Srebrenica prosecutor's
7 reaction to the difficulties of the war situation, was to, in essence,
8 increase her ability to function well, as opposed to release or to remove
9 herself from her function?
10 A. Yes. Obviously she made a very professional move.
11 Q. Your Honours, I would ask that this document be given a P number
12 and submitted into evidence.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: So this will be 503, P503.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
15 MS. SELLERS: The next document will be in Sanctions. It is ERN
16 number 03648868.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
18 MS. SELLERS:
19 Q. Mr. Tankic, I will ask, for the sake of the record, the same
20 question: Is that your handwriting on the back of page with ERN number
22 A. Yes. These are numbers written by me and my signature.
23 Q. And does that indicate that you possessed an original copy of this
24 document and that the prosecutor subsequently made a copy from that?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Thank you. Would you turn your attention now back to the front of
2 the document. I would ask you to look at the lower part of the document
3 that begins with the title "Decision". It had taken an official decision
4 for the jurisdiction of the Srebrenica prosecutor to be expanded.
5 A. Yes. This is the decision by the minister of justice and public
6 administration in Sarajevo, and this decision was published also in the
7 Official Gazette of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
8 Q. Are those the proper legal steps to take when a jurisdiction is
9 ultimately modified, including expanded, of a municipal court?
10 A. Yes. At the time they were.
11 MS. SELLERS: Your Honours, I would ask that this also be given a
12 P number and ask that it be submitted into evidence?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: This will be P504.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: So, in other words, if I may add something to the
16 last question and answer. Do I take it that, in those circumstances, as
17 they pertained in January of 1994, it was the executive that had the power
18 to expand, or define actually, the jurisdiction of a public prosecutor's
19 office, a particular public prosecutor's office?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. At the time executive powers,
21 especially the Ministry of Justice, were in contact with the prosecution
22 office. Nowadays the prosecution office has total independence.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Sellers.
24 MS. SELLERS: I would now like to move to a document that is
25 within the annex. 03615766 is the ERN number.
1 Q. Mr. Tankic, I ask you to look at this document. Does this
2 document confirm that the prosecutor in Srebrenica was informed by her
3 superior of the expansion of her jurisdiction in accordance with the law?
4 A. Yes. This decision was sent to the prosecution in Srebrenica, and
5 this is the decision on the expansion of her jurisdiction.
6 Q. If you would look at the document in the upper right-hand side,
7 does it convey the manner in which it was communicated to the Srebrenica
8 prosecutor from Tuzla?
9 A. According to this number, I understand that this was also
10 communicated by radio.
11 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, I would ask that this be given a P
12 number and submitted into evidence?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: The entire bundle, or just this page?
14 MS. SELLERS: The annex, Your Honour, I think we'll wait until
15 we're finished, although, yes, we'll have the entire annex -- we'll ask
16 for the entire annex to be given a P number.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: So this will be P505.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: And, for the record, the previous question -- one
20 moment, because now I've lost it. Yes. The previous question related to
21 the document which is -- the English version is found on page 14.
22 MS. SELLERS: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
24 MS. SELLERS:
25 Q. I would now like you to look at the document with ERN number
1 03615767. This is also in the annex. Page 15.
2 Mr. Tankic, could you please look at this document and inform the
3 Trial Chamber, who is the person, and the function that the person who
4 signed this document holds.
5 A. This document was signed by the Minister of Justice and
6 Administration in Sarajevo, Mr. Kasim Trnka.
7 Q. And does this document refer to the expansion of the jurisdiction
8 of the public prosecutor's office in Srebrenica?
9 A. Yes. For the area of Srebrenica and Bratunac.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, because I think there is something
11 wrong, somewhere. I heard you say, Ms. Sellers, that the document you
12 were -- you wanted to address to the witness or wanted the witness to
13 address to --
14 MS. SELLERS: Yes Your Honour.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: -- was ERN 02615767.
16 MS. SELLERS: Right. Could you permit me one minute. I
17 understand now what --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: And your assistant actually mentioned page 15, which
19 is correct. That's page 15, the corresponding page in the English text.
20 But the document that we have on page 15 and the corresponding document in
21 the B/C/S with that number are not the same. The one which is in B/C/S,
22 indeed, you have a decision dated the 12th of January, 1994, by the
23 minister, Professor Kasim Trnka. This is what I have.
24 MS. SELLERS: Yes.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: And the English version, if you look at the bottom
1 of page -- oh, I see it's page 14, all right, page 14. That explains it.
2 The mistake was directing us to page 15. All right.
3 MS. SELLERS: So if we look at page 14 and 15, because I am --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, okay.
5 MS. SELLERS: -- I unfortunately don't have the annex.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: That explains it, because the one on page 15 was
7 different, yes.
8 MS. SELLERS: Certainly. Your Honour, could you just give me one
9 second so I can exactly see what you have?
10 [Prosecution counsel confer]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
12 MS. SELLERS: Your Honours, in the English version, I would now
13 draw your attention to the top of page 15.
14 Q. I would ask Mr. Tankic to look at the document and ask him whether
15 this decision, from the appearance of the document, was it circulated to
16 the district military prosecutor's office in Tuzla, the command of the
17 28th Division of the Bosnian army in the military security department?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't want to interrupt, Ms. Sellers, but that's
19 -- if you look at the B/C/S, what you've just mentioned does not appear on
20 the document which is at page 5767, but it appears on a completely
21 different document, supposedly signed by Alis Sarihodzic.
22 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, might I just withdraw this document for
23 the moment?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. It's up to you. I mean, I will not
25 involve myself in that, but ...
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: It's a different document, definitely. But this is
3 not the decision of the minister. The question was, is it right that this
4 ministerial decision was communicated to, et cetera.
5 What you were referring to is a different ...
6 MS. SELLERS: I understand that. I would like to withdraw this
7 document, possibly to raise it at a different time.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right, okay. You can leave it there and raise
9 it at a different time in any case.
10 MS. SELLERS: Fine. Then can I ask for a P number for it, for the
12 JUDGE AGIUS: The document, I think we have already given this
13 document, the entire bundle, a number, 505.
14 MS. SELLERS: Fine. Thank you, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Later on, if you want to make use of several -- of
16 different parts of this document, you will refer to the ERN number --
17 MS. SELLERS: Yes.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: -- or ...
19 MS. SELLERS: That's fine.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: And the document number for the entire bundle.
21 MS. SELLERS: Right. I would then just like to withdraw my last
23 JUDGE AGIUS: That's up to you. I will not interfere with that.
24 Thank you.
25 MS. SELLERS:
1 Q. I would now like to move to document with the ERN number 03648880.
2 Mr. Tankic, I would ask you to look at this document and ask you, are you
3 familiar with it?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Does this refer to one of the reports that you testified about
7 A. This is a document where the 1994 report of the Srebrenica
8 prosecutor was submitted or forwarded to the public prosecutor in
10 Q. Now, do you know whether this document was submitted while the
11 public prosecutor was in Srebrenica, or was she in a different location at
12 this time?
13 A. While she was still in Srebrenica.
14 Q. Do you know how this document was forwarded?
15 A. This fist document was sent to Sarajevo by the higher military
16 prosecutor in Tuzla.
17 MS. SELLERS: Your Honours, I understand that the record has
18 reflected the ERN number incorrectly and I would just like to state that
19 the ERN number should be 03648880.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Sellers.
21 MS. SELLERS:
22 Q. I would like to ask you, did you read the report that was -- from
23 1994 that was sent to the senior public prosecutor?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can I now ask that this be moved into evidence with a P number.
1 THE REGISTRAR: P506.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. This will be P506.
3 MS. SELLERS: I would now like to go to document ERN number
4 03648882. It's P506.
5 Q. Mr. Tankic, could you please look at this document. Is this
6 document the report from 1994 that our previous exhibit referred to?
7 A. Yes, that's the one.
8 Q. Would you look at the first paragraph of the document and I draw
9 your attention to the last sentence in the first paragraph. Did that
10 indicate that cases were submitted to a military prosecutor's office?
11 A. Am I supposed to answer this?
12 Q. Yes, sir.
13 A. Yes, there is reference to the six cases that were submitted to
14 the Tuzla military prosecutor.
15 Q. Would that be the district military prosecutor's office in Tuzla
16 that you testified about earlier?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did the Srebrenica prosecutor, within her function, at times refer
19 cases to the district military prosecutor's office?
20 A. This report indicates that she only managed to refer these six
21 cases and not any others although they, too, were under the jurisdiction
22 of the district military prosecutor.
23 Q. And was that within keeping of her function to refer cases to the
24 district military prosecutor's office?
25 A. It was within keeping of her legal obligations. The military
1 court or prosecutor had sole jurisdiction over military persons.
2 Q. In referring cases to the district military court, would it be,
3 from your reading, your knowledge of the documents, concerning crimes
4 committed by military members who were geographically in Srebrenica town
5 or municipality? Or Bratunac municipality?
6 A. Yes. This is about crimes committed in that area and about
7 serious crimes and I see that's why the prosecutor did these because these
8 were cases of detention.
9 Q. Thank you, Your Honour I would ask that this document also be
10 given a P number?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: It has already been given a number. It is 506.
12 MS. SELLERS: I am at a deficit because I don't know the
13 difference between the documents in the annex and the others. Excuse me
14 for being repetitious.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: One question to the witness on this particular page
16 that you were being referred to. Just below the six names that were
17 referred to the military court, there are two lines, it starts with
18 "ostale predmete" and next line ends with the words "iz objektivnih
19 razloga", in other words, because of objective reasons.
20 What do you understand by objective reasons? I mean it says that
21 "we have been unable to submit the other cases from 1994 and 1993 to the
22 county military prosecutor's office because of the objective reasons."
23 What would be the objective reasons?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Communication break down.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: So that we have it clear.
1 MS. SELLERS: Certainly, Your Honour. Might I just continue where
2 Your Honour's question -- when you look at the crimes that were reported
3 in 1994 or that pertained to the military, do you see any crimes that
4 would be considered war crimes, such as those that we discussed earlier
5 under the Criminal Code?
6 A. Here where the crimes are described, there is nothing that
7 indicates the existence of any war crimes.
8 Q. Mr. Tankic, was there a statute of limitation on the war crimes
9 that came under Article 141 through 145 within the penal code?
10 A. There is no statute of limitations for war crimes and this is
11 under the law.
12 Q. Could war crimes that were committed in 1992 therefore have been
13 prosecuted in 1993, 1994, 1995 or 1996 by the Tuzla military district
15 A. Yes. In 1996, by the district military court and nowadays by the
16 cantonal court.
17 Q. Fine. Thank you, Your Honour. Your Honour, I do not know whether
18 you want to break at this time, or --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: You're asking me. It's up to you. I said before we
20 are here at your disposal and you choose the time when you would like to
22 MS. SELLERS: I was thinking in terms of the interpreters or --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: It's our time lapse at 7 o'clock, but if you prefer
24 to stop here and then start with something new tomorrow.
25 MS. SELLERS: I realise now this will go into tomorrow a bit.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: So then we'll will stop now provided we try to keep
2 to the schedule -- time schedule that we agreed upon or seem to have
3 agreed upon making it possible for Mr. Jones to conclude tomorrow.
4 MS. SELLERS: I hope to go no longer than possibly a half hour
6 JUDGE AGIUS: So would that be practical for you, to -- for you?
7 MR. JONES: Absolutely, I will certainly be able to finish by
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. So we will finish here.
10 MR. JONES: There is one matter, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, sir, in the absence of --
12 MR. JONES: Yes, preferably.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. So I apologise to you for not having addressed
14 you as judge in the beginning, but to my knowledge you are still chief
15 prosecutor. So I address you as judge now. You are going to be escorted
16 out of the courtroom by Madam Usher. We will see you again tomorrow
17 morning when we hope to continue and finish with your testimony.
18 [The witness withdrew]
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones.
21 MR. JONES: One matter that doesn't concern this witness and in
22 fact to a certain extent it is addressed to the registry but I wanted to
23 mention it in court. I understand my client is actually having to spend a
24 very lengthy period of time here at the Tribunal after the end of the
25 sitting. And if there is any way that that problem could be solved
1 because I understand it is even a matter of hours that he's kept here
2 waiting at the end of the day.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Hours.
4 MR. JONES: Yes.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: But does it happen when it is an afternoon sitting
6 or does it happen when it is a morning sitting, because from my experience
7 it happens when it is a morning sitting, not when it is a afternoon
9 MR. JONES: I understand it certainly happened on Monday and we
10 had an afternoon sitting. Let me just take instructions here.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please do.
12 MR. JONES: Yes. I understand it is a general problem related to
13 the quantity of accused here at the Tribunal, that they're all kept
14 waiting together.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I know of the existence of that problem, which
16 however makes it obvious that it's not just your client's problem. It's
17 everybody else's problem. One is made to wait for the other.
18 I can't promise you anything, Mr. Jones. What I can promise is
19 you, as I did in other cases, and as I do in other cases, I will do my
20 level best to see whether there could be a solution to this. I can tell
21 you that on previous occasions, when I intervened, I could understand the
22 -- that there is a problem, a logistical problem also because the
23 transportation has been -- has to be coordinated between this Tribunal and
24 the Dutch authorities. It's not just this Tribunal.
25 So I will do my best. I will do my best, but I can't promise you
1 anything, because you understand that the exigencies of the Dutch
2 authorities, this Tribunal, and those of security in general have to be
3 observed. And as the number of cases being heard simultaneously
4 increases, it becomes so --
5 MR. JONES: Yes. I'm grateful to Your Honour for any assistance
6 and --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I'll definitely do my best.
8 MR. JONES: -- and I raise it as a matter for the Chamber because
9 I suppose, really, it's important for us also, apart from the general
10 well-being of our client, for him to be well rested and in a fair state of
11 mind --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, yes, I fully agree. I fully agree,
13 especially if it's like today and tomorrow where we have sitting in the
14 afternoon today and a sitting in the morning tomorrow, and he will be
15 rushed to dinner, and so on and so forth. So I can assure you, I know of
16 the problem. It's not easy to solve, but I can also tell you that the
17 authorities do their level best, that much I can assure you of. Sometimes
18 it doesn't work. I mean, it's just ...
19 MR. JONES: Indeed. I'm very much obliged.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
21 So we'll adjourn until tomorrow at 9.00. Thank you.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m., to
23 be reconvened on Thursday, the 10th day of March,
24 2005, at 9.00 a.m.