1 Monday, 10 January 2005
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
6 the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Case Number IT-01-47-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
10 Could we have the appearances for the Prosecution, please.
11 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon, Your
12 Honours, counsel, and everyone in and around the courtroom, and also Happy
13 New Year's to everyone. On behalf of the Prosecution, Stefan Waespi and
14 Daryl Mundis, we will be assisted for the next two weeks by our case
15 manager, Janet Stewart. Thank you.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 Could we have appearances for Defence counsel. They've changed
18 their positions.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. President. Good
20 day, Your Honour. I would like to wish you a Happy New Year. On behalf
21 of General Hadzihasanovic, Edina Residovic, counsel; Stephane Bourgon,
22 co-counsel; and Alexis Demirdjian, our legal assistant. Thank you.
23 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours. I would
24 first like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. On behalf of Mr. Kubura,
25 Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and Nermin Mulalic, our legal
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber thanks both
3 parties for wishing us a Happy New Year. We would like to wish you a
4 Happy New Year, too, and we hope that this will be a very good year for
5 you and that all your desires will be realised. We will be resuming with
6 our hearings, as you know. According to the schedule, we should be
7 working until at least June, since we'll have a number of witnesses who
8 will be appearing in the following months. And it appears that we will be
9 working until June.
10 There are two matters that have to be settled before we call the
11 witness into the courtroom. First of all, there is the issue of the
12 schedule, and I know that the Defence will provide us with information on
13 the schedule and I will then give you the floor so that you can tender
14 documents into evidence, documents that were presented when we were
15 examining General Merdan. So I will now give the floor to the Defence so
16 they can provide us with information on the upcoming schedule.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would first like
18 to inform the Trial Chamber about the witnesses who will be appearing in
19 the following two weeks. So could we please go into private session
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could we go into
22 private session.
23 [Private session]
11 Pages 13840-13844 redacted. Private session.
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are back in open session,
17 Mr. President.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon.
19 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
20 As a result, the final list of documents should be filed as soon
21 as possible. With regard to the cases that we are in control of, we think
22 we'll be able to file these documents by the 24th of January. As for the
23 other documents, this depends on the results of the motion before the
24 Chamber and it also depends on how we proceed with the other organisations
25 we are in contact with.
1 The last issue I would like to deal with has to do with certain
2 difficulties. Firstly, the first difficulty concerns the Mektauf case
3 before the Tribunal in Sarajevo. This trial, Mr. President, started last
4 December and it is continuing this week, too. In the course of hearings
5 before this Chamber it was established that the documents we obtained from
6 the Prosecutor that concern this case do not in fact constitute the entire
7 case. As a result, we've been in contact with the Prosecutor from
8 Sarajevo court in order to obtain other documents, but we haven't obtained
9 them yet. This week we were in contact with the Prosecutor again and we
10 wrote an additional letter. As a result, there might be a request that we
11 will be making in the following two weeks if the Prosecutor in Sarajevo
12 refuses to provide us with the documents. And I am referring to the
13 Sarajevo Prosecutor, not to the OTP in this Tribunal.
14 Secondly, Mr. President, our second difficulty concerns
15 translation. Unfortunately, we have reached a critical threshold. A
16 number of meetings were held with the Registry and with Defence
17 representatives. We're doing our best to avoid negative consequences for
18 the trial. A number of documents have been translated by the Defence to
19 alleviate these problems. Nevertheless, as far as the examination of
20 Mr. Merdan is concerned, we have seen the negative consequences of this
21 situation for all the parties; for the Defence, for the Prosecution, for
22 the Chamber, because there were difficulties in using documents. If a
23 document hasn't been translated, we require additional time, and there are
24 also difficulties because, in order to save time, we avoid using certain
1 As far as the translation situation is concerned, it is as
2 follows: As of tomorrow about 180 documents that have been translated by
3 the Registry will be disclosed to the Prosecution. This will amount to
4 about 400 pages that have been translated since the end of December, and
5 they were translated at the beginning of January, too. The Registry has
6 the following documents at the moment: They have the report of the expert
7 witness in constitutional matters; it amounts to 80 pages and it has to be
8 translated by the 14th of January. They also have 200 pages in their
9 possession which will be translated by the 31st of January. There are
10 still 265 documents, and this amounts to 542 pages. We will not be able
11 to start with the translation of these documents until the 1st of
12 February, according to the most recent information we have obtained.
13 These translations are necessary for the witnesses who will be heard in
14 February. We therefore need to find additional means of having these 542
15 pages translated before the 31st of January; otherwise, the Defence case
16 might be affected. We hope to have a meeting with the Registry this week
17 in order to find a solution, and this might also lead to a motion that we
18 might file with the Chamber.
19 Mr. President, this concludes the information I wanted to provide
20 about the Defence case for General Hadzihasanovic. If the Chamber has any
21 other questions, I would be happy to answer them. All the witnesses on
22 our list will be heard, all 92 bis statements will be provided for them,
23 and certain additional documents will also be filed. Thank you, Mr.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Bourgon. Your
1 submissions have been very clear. You informed us very clearly about the
2 schedule you will be following. According to what you said, we know that
3 as of today there are 42 witnesses who should be testifying here, ten of
4 which should be providing 92 bis statements. There are two witnesses, two
5 expert witnesses, who will be testifying over a two-day period. There's
6 the expert witness in constitutional matters; he'll be testifying for a
7 couple of days. And there's the military expert witness who will be
8 testifying over a number of days. Perhaps the Prosecution will need the
9 same amount of time as the Defence for their cross-examination, but that
10 is for the Prosecution to say. They should inform us of the time they
11 will be requiring.
12 So you will be following the programme you have already set forth.
13 You also underlined the fact that there were three problems; there were
14 additional documents -- there was the problem of additional documents that
15 concerned the Prlic case, which is being dealt with by another Chamber;
16 there were other documents that you received in the Naletilic case; you
17 also raised another issue which is of great issue to the Chamber, and this
18 problem concerned the Mektauf case. You said you had a certain number of
19 documents but that you have noticed that there are some documents that are
20 missing and you would like the Sarajevo Prosecutor to provide you with all
21 the documents. I don't see why the Sarajevo Prosecutor should prevent you
22 from having these documents, but if necessary, the OTP from this Tribunal
23 could contact the Prosecutor in Sarajevo to facilitate the disclosure of
24 these documents. Let's hope that we will be able to resolve this issue.
25 But the third and more delicate issue has to do with translations.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 As far as we have understood your submissions, the expert report is being
2 translated. This amounts to 80 pages. There are 200 pages that are being
3 translated and that we should have by the 31st of January. However, you
4 said that there are 265 documents that amount to 542 pages that have not
5 yet been translated. You'll be seeing the Registrar to try and resolve
6 this difficulty. If we, unfortunately, find ourselves in a situation that
7 you have a B/C/S document that hasn't been translated, we could use the
8 solution that we have been using so far. We could show the document to
9 the witness, ask the witness to read the document out, and the
10 interpreters would then interpret what the witness says. This is a
11 possible solution.
12 So for the moment I don't think there are any other questions I
13 would like to put to you. But as far as next week is concerned, as far as
14 the Judges are concerned, there's a problem for us on Wednesday, the 12th
15 of January. At the moment we don't know whether we will be having a
16 hearing on that date or not. We will look into the matter, but we will
17 inform you of the situation by tomorrow. We will tell you whether we will
18 be having a hearing or not. If we don't have a hearing on Wednesday,
19 there might be a solution. This depends on the schedule for the other
20 cases. We could make up for Wednesday by having a hearing on Thursday
21 morning, because we will be having a hearing on Thursday afternoon. I
22 don't know whether this will be possible, given the schedule, but
23 sometimes certain hearings are cancelled and this might be a solution.
24 But we'll look into this matter and we will inform you of our decision as
25 far as Wednesday is concerned. In any event, we have a very complete
1 schedule that goes up to the 21st of January.
2 Is there anything else that -- or is there anything that the other
3 Defence team would like to say about the schedule?
4 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We
5 don't have any comments with regard to the schedule.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. I'm going to
7 give the floor to the Prosecutor. Just a tiny remark. You said that you
8 will be -- we will be working on the 21st of January, but it is a holiday.
9 So I would like to present this problem: The last witness who was
10 envisaged for the 21st of January could be a problem because on that day
11 the Tribunal will not work.
12 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We have
13 already taken that into account. This has already been announced to us by
14 the Chamber. We are trying to finish the witness before the 21st.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
16 Mr. Mundis, you have the floor.
17 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Just a couple of very
18 brief comments with respect to the submissions of my learned colleague,
19 perhaps as a means of expediting their plans for the next couple of
20 months. With respect to the experts, the Prosecution, as we did with the
21 first expert witness, would be prepared to attempt to reduce the 30-day
22 period in the event we were to be given the names of the two experts so we
23 could actually, as of this point in time, begin doing a little bit of work
24 with respect to anticipating how much time, if any we may need for
25 cross-examination. We could do that. We could commence that prior to
1 getting the reports if the Defence would be prepared to provide us with
2 the names of those two remaining expert witnesses.
3 With respect to the 92 bis statements, again in the event that the
4 Defence has as of yet the written witness statements of those witnesses,
5 if we could be provided with copies of those as soon as possible in order
6 to again determine whether or not we may seek leave to bring those
7 witnesses here to be cross-examined or to otherwise take a position
8 pursuant to Rule 92 bis and the admissibility of written witness
9 statements. Again, in the event the Defence have those written statements
10 in hand, we don't necessarily need to wait until the certificate is
11 attached to them, as long as the statements are in a final version and
12 signed by the witnesses, and of course in one of the official languages of
13 the Tribunal.
14 Finally, with respect to the Mektauf case, as I've explained to
15 the Defence before and which they alluded to this morning, or earlier this
16 afternoon, we do not have the entire dossier, the Office of the Prosecutor
17 of this Tribunal, in the Mektauf case. If in fact the two Defence teams
18 in this current case would like that, I will again endeavour to speak to
19 the International Prosecutor in Sarajevo in order to ensure, number one,
20 that all the parties to this proceeding have a complete copy of the
21 Mektauf dossier so that the Defence can do with that material what they
22 like. I will again seek to communicate with the Prosecutor in Sarajevo in
23 order to obtain the full dossier in that case. Perhaps if my learned
24 colleagues would also inform me whether or not they would like the
25 transcripts of that proceeding. As Mr. Bourgon indicated, they did
1 commence the trial on Friday, the 18th of December. On that date they
2 gave the opening statements and the opening statements only.
3 Approximately one hour ago the actual taking of evidence in that case
4 commenced. My understanding was they started the trial, the evidentiary
5 phase of the trial, at
6 2.00 this afternoon in Sarajevo. If the Defence in this case would like
7 the transcripts of the actual testimony, I will also endeavour to get
8 that, although that, of course, would be available on a rolling basis as
9 we obtain it. But I'm certainly prepared to attempt to intervene and get
10 them whatever material they would like from the Prosecutor in Sarajevo
11 concerning the Mektauf case.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I thank you for this. There is
13 a point that you have raised which concerns the Defence. In order for
14 them to gain time, you propose that they should provide you with the names
15 of the two experts; and as far as the 92 bis statements are concerned, if
16 the Defence has in their possession the written statements, they could
17 provide them to the Prosecution for them to decide whether they would like
18 to cross-examine the witnesses or not. The Chamber supports those
20 And as far as the Mektauf case is concerned, Mr. Mundis has
21 promised that he would talk to his colleague in Sarajevo with regard to
22 the issue of documents. And as far as he knows, the evidentiary part of
23 the procedure started only an hour ago and this is in Sarajevo, not here.
24 So having said all this, we will still give the floor to the
25 Defence if they want to say something. If not, then we will want to hear
1 the number of exhibits that were heard through the witness Merdan. You
2 have the floor.
3 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We have
4 a list of all the documents that we would like to tender. I would kindly
5 ask for the list to be provided to the Trial Chamber, to our learned
6 friends, and to the Registrar, so that we could all follow. In other
7 words, this will make it easier for the Trial Chamber to make a ruling on
8 our proposal for the documents to be tendered into evidence. Given the
9 fact that some of the documents were not translated during the hearing of
10 General Merdan, we propose that these documents be marked for
11 identification only.
12 Documents of the BiH army, the Defence proposes that documents
13 number DH1643, without an English translation, should be marked for
14 identification only.
15 Also document number DH1644 should be marked for identification.
16 Number 1697 for -- marked for identification.
17 Number DH392 ID should be tendered into evidence.
18 Document number 1650, without an English translation, should be
19 marked for identification.
20 Document number 1651 should also be marked for identification.
21 Document number 1649 should be marked for identification.
22 Document number 1663 should be tendered into evidence as a Defence
24 Number 1669, without an English translation, should be marked for
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 Number DH431 ID should be admitted as Defence exhibit.
2 Document number DH441 ID should also be admitted into evidence.
3 Document number 443 ID should also be admitted into evidence.
4 Document number 452 ID should also be admitted into evidence.
5 Document DH454 ID should also be admitted.
6 DH455 ID should also be admitted into evidence.
7 Document DH456 ID should also be admitted into evidence.
8 Document DH465 ID should also be admitted into evidence.
9 Document DH467 ID should also be admitted into evidence.
10 Document DH468 ID should also be admitted into evidence.
11 Document DH472 ID should also be admitted into evidence.
12 Document DH473 ID should also be admitted into evidence.
13 Document DH481 ID should also be admitted into evidence.
14 Document DH482 ID should be admitted into evidence.
15 Document DH483 ID should be admitted into evidence.
16 Document DH484 ID should be admitted into evidence.
17 In the subgroup entitled The Establishment of the 3rd Corps, we
18 propose DH220 should be admitted into evidence.
19 494 should also be admitted into evidence.
20 1680 should also be admitted into evidence.
21 Also we tender for admission document 1684. Document number 1684
22 should be marked for identification because it doesn't have an English
24 Document number 498 ID should be admitted into evidence.
25 The following documents should also be admitted; they all have
1 English translation: 1686, 1687, 1688, 1689, 1690, 1691.
2 Document number 1694 does not have an English translation,
3 therefore we suggest that it be marked for identification.
4 Document DH504 ID should be admitted into evidence.
5 Documents without English translation which should be marked for
6 identification are as follows: 1698, 1645, 1699, 1700, and 1704.
7 Document number DH547 ID should be admitted into evidence.
8 DH563 ID should be admitted into evidence.
9 Documents number 1714, 1715, 1716, 1717 -- 1722, without English
10 translation, should be marked for identification.
11 Document DH228 ID should be admitted into evidence.
12 Document DH227 ID should be admitted into evidence.
13 Document DH610 ID should be admitted into evidence.
14 Document DH629 ID should be admitted into evidence.
15 Under the subtitle Measures During the Creation of the Army, we
16 propose that the documents number 1728, 1731, and 1738, without English
17 translation, be marked for identification.
18 Document number DH715 ID should be admitted into evidence.
19 DH724 ID should be also admitted into evidence.
20 DH758 ID should be admitted into evidence.
21 Document DH781 ID should be admitted into evidence.
22 DH787 ID should be admitted into evidence.
23 DH805 ID should be admitted into evidence.
24 Document number 1767 should be marked for identification.
25 Document 1771 should be admitted into evidence.
1 Document DH917 ID should be admitted into evidence.
2 DH958 ID should also be admitted into evidence.
3 Document number DH1038 ID should be admitted into evidence.
4 Document DH10 -- 1183 should be admitted into evidence.
5 Document DH1215 ID should be admitted into evidence.
6 DH1223 ID should be admitted into evidence.
7 DH1296 ID should be admitted into evidence.
8 DH1300 ID should be admitted into evidence.
9 DH1298 should be admitted into evidence.
10 DH1312 ID should be admitted into evidence.
11 Document 1833 should be marked for identification.
12 Document 1883 should be admitted into evidence.
13 Documents which were earlier marked for identification, number
14 DH760 ID, DH366 ID, DH369 ID, DH381 ID, and DH383 ID should now be
15 admitted into evidence.
16 Documents which were earlier marked for identification, number
17 396 ID, 412 ID, 413 ID, DH417 ID, DH442 ID, DH464 ID, DH474 ID, and
18 DH485 ID should also be admitted into evidence.
19 Documents number DH202 ID, DH506 ID, DH525 ID, DH532 ID, DH224 ID,
20 DH537 ID, DH538 ID, DH551 ID, DH552 ID, DH554 ID, DH555 ID, DH557 ID,
21 DH558 ID, DH559 ID, DH561 ID, DH562 ID, DH564 ID, DH565 ID, DH566 ID,
22 DH568 ID, DH576 ID, DH577 ID, DH578 ID, DH581 ID, DH585 ID, DH589 ID,
23 DH592 ID, DH600 ID, DH604 ID, DH615 ID, DH619 ID, DH620 ID, DH624 ID
24 should all be admitted into evidence.
25 Document number 1730 should also be admitted into evidence.
1 Document number DH631 ID should also be admitted into evidence.
2 Documents number 1735 and 1734 should also be admitted into
4 We also suggest that the following documents be admitted:
5 DH643 ID, DH563 ID, DH654 ID, DH659 ID, DH679 ID.
6 Document number 1744 should also be admitted into evidence.
7 Documents which were earlier marked for identification, number
8 DH705 ID, 714 ID, DH734 ID, DH741 ID, DH753 ID, DH762 ID, DH763 ID,
9 DH857 ID, DH858 ID, DH878 ID, DH884 ID, DH927 ID, DH930 ID, DH935 ID,
10 DH937 ID, DH940 ID, DH964 ID, DH966 ID, DH991 ID, DH997 ID, DH1030 ID,
11 DH1066 ID, DH1067 ID should now be admitted into evidence.
12 Document number 1589 should also be admitted into evidence.
13 Documents which were earlier given numbers for identification:
14 DH108 ID, DH1124 ID, DH1133 ID, DH1175 ID, DH1199 ID, DH2 -- DH1319 ID,
15 DH669 ID, DH669 ID [sic], DH690 ID, 669 ID [sic], 703 ID, 796 ID, 798 ID,
16 802 ID, 854 ID, 875 ID, 914 ID, 931 ID, 944 ID, 945 ID, 952 ID, 960 ID,
17 962 ID, 968 ID, 993 ID, 1016 ID, 1045 ID, 1046 ID, 1047 ID, 1061 ID,
18 1091 ID, 1176 ID, 1209 ID, 1210 ID, 1218 ID, 1216 ID, 1227 ID, 1228 ID,
19 1229 ID, 1230 ID, 1255 ID, and 1288 ID should all be admitted into
21 We also suggest that DH664 ID should be admitted into evidence, as
22 well as the document DH208 ID, as well as DH1498 ID, and documents
23 DH749 ID and 770 ID. These should all be admitted into evidence. Thank
24 you very much.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There are just a few errors in
1 the transcript. The Prosecution, do you have any objection to the
2 admission of all these documents? The documents that were not translated
3 will be given numbers for identification and those which were translated
4 and have all been marked for identification are now being proposed for
5 final admission.
6 Mr. Mundis, do you have any comments?
7 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, thank you. We have no comments, nor
8 do we have any objection to those documents being admitted into evidence
9 for which there is an English translation. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, you have the
11 floor. Can you give us the numbers for all these documents.
12 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We have
13 three big categories which were proposed by the Defence. The first
14 category are the documents which should be translated and they are marked
15 for identification 1643, 1644, 1697, 1650, 1651, 1649, 1669, 1684, 1694,
16 1698, 1645, 1699, 1700, 1704, 1714, 1715, 1716, 1722, 1728, 1731, 1738,
17 1767, and 1833. That's the first group of documents consisting of a total
18 of 23 documents.
19 The second group are the documents that are proposed for final
20 admission. They all begin with DH and with each document we will have its
21 English translation that will be given mark slash E. Those are: 1663,
22 1680, 1681, 1686, 1687, 1688, 1689, 1690, 1691, 1771, 1873, 1730, 1735,
23 1734, 1744, and 1859. That's the group consisting of 16 documents which
24 are proposed for admission.
25 And the third group of documents is as follows: They consist of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 167 documents. Those are documents which are now being admitted. They
2 were marked for identification previously. They will all lose their ID
3 and they will all be admitted as DH documents. An English version will be
4 marked by slash E. I'm going to read only the numbers. The following
5 documents will be admitted and given the following numbers -- the
6 following documents will be admitted: 220, 228, 227, 224, 208, 392, 431,
7 441, 443, 452, 454, 455, 456, 465, 467, 468, 472, 473, 481, 482, 483, 484,
8 494, 498, 404, 547, 563, 610, 629, 715, 724, 758, 781, 787, 805, 917, 958,
9 1038, 1183, 1215, 1223, 1296, 1300, 1298, 1312, 760, 366, 369, 381, 383,
10 396, 412, 413, 417, 442, 464, 474, 485, 502, 506, 525, 532, 537, 538, 551,
11 552, 554, 555, 557, 558, 559, 561, 562, 564, 565, 566, 568, 576, 577, 578,
12 581, 585, 589, 592, 600, 604, 615, 620, 624, 631, 643, 653, 654, 659, 679,
13 705, 714, 734, 741, 753, 762, 763, 857, 858, 878, 894, 927, 930, 935, 937,
14 940, 964, 966, 991, 997, 1030, 1066, 1067, 1108, 1123, 1124, 1133, 1175,
15 1199, 1299, 1319, 1324, 669, 695, 690, 699, 703, 796, 798, 802, 854, 875,
16 914, 931, 944, 945, 952, 960, 962, 968, 993, 1016, 1045, 1046, 1047, 1061,
17 1091, 1176, 1209, 1210, 1218, 1216, 1227, 1228, 1229, 1230, 1255, 1258,
18 664, 749, 770, and finally 1498. And this concludes the list. Thank you,
19 Mr. President.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar. The
21 Defence counsel will check to see whether anything has been omitted, but I
22 don't think so. There are four categories of documents, documents marked
23 for identification and then two series of documents, 16 series of
24 documents on the one hand and 167 documents indicated in the Defence's
25 list. I think everything should be in order. If anything is to be
1 checked, we can always check that.
2 We have another 20 minutes at our disposal before the break. We
3 will now call the witness into the courtroom, but before we do so there is
4 another issue I would like to clarify. At a previous hearing there was a
5 problem concerning the translation of a word. The Chamber asked the
6 translation service to check this. The translation service, CLSS, has
7 told us that the translation of the word "zaduzeno" is correct.
8 "Zaduzeno," which means "responsible for."
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we will check this
10 document during the break and inform you of our position. I don't believe
11 that there was a problem with the word "zaduzen" here. I think the
12 problem had to do with words currently used not previously used words. I
13 don't have the document in our language now, but I think there is still a
14 translation problem that has to be dealt with. We have to check the
15 translation into French, which I think is more in the spirit of what is
16 stated in the Bosnian language. We will inform you of our position after
17 the break.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. We will
19 now call the witness into the courtroom.
20 [The witness entered court]
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good day, sir. I would first
22 like to make sure you are receiving the interpretation of what I am
23 saying. If you are receiving the interpretation, please say so.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can hear you and I understand you.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have been called here as a
1 witness for the Defence whom you have already met when preparing for your
2 testimony. Before you take the solemn declaration, I would like to ask
3 you to identify yourself. Could you tell me your first and last names,
4 your date of birth and your place of birth.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Ahmed Kulenovic, I was
6 born on the 10th of March, 1955, in Vitez.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. What is your current
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was an officer before the war and
10 in the course of the war.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But today.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm now retired.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In 1992 and 1993 you
14 were saying that you were an officer. You were an officer in which unit,
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Before the war I was an officer in
17 the JNA, and after the war I was an officer in the Army of the BH
18 Republic, or later an officer in the Army of the Federation of Bosnia and
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And as an officer, which unit
21 were you assigned to, which brigade were you assigned to?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the beginning of the war I was
23 assigned to the Municipal Defence Staff in Vitez and later to the
24 Municipal Defence Staff in Travnik. Later I was assigned to an operations
25 group. I was a brigade commander in Vitez. Afterwards, after the war, I
1 was in the Main Staff of the BH army, and my last post was in the Ministry
2 of Defence of the BH Federation.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have you already testified about
4 the events that took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992 and 1993?
5 Have you testified about these events either before an international or
6 national court or is this the first time?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I haven't testified to date before
8 any kind of court. This is my first appearance before a court.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you please read the solemn
10 declaration out.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
12 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You may sit down.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we commence with your
16 testimony, which will be interrupted very soon because we will be having a
17 break, I would like to provide you with some information concerning the
18 procedure we will be following here. I would first like to apologise to
19 you because your testimony should have commenced at 2.15, but as we had
20 certain technical matters to deal with, your testimony can only be
21 commenced now. But we believe that we will be able to examine you in the
22 course of the afternoon.
23 As I have already said, you are appearing here as a witness for
24 the Defence. You will first of all have to answer questions put to you by
25 Defence counsel. Both Defence teams may ask you questions if they wish
1 to. At the end of this stage, the Prosecution, who are to your right,
2 will commence with their cross-examination. The Judges sitting before you
3 may ask you questions at any point in time, but as a rule the Judges
4 prefer to wait for both parties to complete their examination before
5 putting questions to witnesses. When Judges ask a witness questions, this
6 is in order to help us in establishing the truth.
7 There are also two other factors I would like to point out to
8 you: You have taken the solemn declaration. You have said that you will
9 speak the truth and this means you shouldn't give false testimony. As you
10 know, false testimony constitutes an offence which is punishable.
11 There's another thing I should point out to you: When a witness
12 is asked to answer a question, if the witness believes that his answer
13 might provide information that could incriminate him at a subsequent date,
14 in such a case the witness can refuse to answer the question. But in such
15 exceptional circumstances, the Trial Chamber may nevertheless compel the
16 witness to answer the question but the witness is granted a form of
17 immunity. I just wanted to point this out to you. So far this has never
18 been an issue.
19 In addition, try to answer the questions put to you as clearly and
20 precisely as possible because the procedure that we follow here is
21 adversarial but the procedure is oral, so what you say is important.
22 Everything you say is transcribed. You will see your answers appearing on
23 the screen before you. The transcript of what you say is in English.
24 When you are being examined, you might be shown certain documents,
25 documents, for example, of military nature.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 Roughly speaking, this is the information that the Judges provide
2 to witnesses before we commence the examination of a witness. Feel free
3 to answer the questions. Don't be concerned, everything will go well,
4 everything has gone well so far. We'll now have a break, 20- or 25-minute
5 break, not because we want to have a rest but it is necessary to have a
6 break for technical reasons. If everything depended just on me, we would
7 continue. So we will have a 20- or 25-minute break now and we will resume
8 at about 5 to 4.00.
9 --- Recess taken at 3.34 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 4.00 p.m.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We will now resume
12 and I will give the floor to the Defence.
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon. Thank you, Your
15 WITNESS: AHMED KULENOVIC
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 Examined by Ms. Residovic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Kulenovic. In addition to
19 the words you heard from the Presiding Judge, I am going to ask you to
20 make a short pause after my question. In other words, wait for my
21 question to be translated for the Trial Chamber and for everybody else in
22 the courtroom. Did you understand that?
23 A. Yes, I did.
24 Q. You have told us that you were an officer of the former JNA.
25 Please tell us, which schools did you finish, when and where?
1 A. Yes, I was a JNA officer. I completed primary school, secondary
2 aviation school, I completed a military academy in Belgrade. After that,
3 I was given the rank of a second lieutenant in the JNA. After that I
4 completed a number of courses. I continued my education while I worked in
5 the JNA.
6 Q. Which branch of the army did you serve in?
7 A. I completed education for the army officer, and I belonged to the
8 sabotage and reconnaissance unit.
9 Q. Where did you serve while in the JNA?
10 A. When I completed my education I was sent to Slovenia, and this is
11 where I served, namely in the towns of Celje, Novo Mesto, Ljubljana and
12 Posnjna. These are little towns in the Republic of Slovenia where I
13 served as a JNA officer.
14 Q. Mr. Kulenovic, did there come a time when you left the JNA; and if
15 that is the case, why did you leave it?
16 A. Yes, I left the JNA on the 6th of April, 1992. I have to explain
17 that I survived. I personally witnessed whatever was taking place when
18 Yugoslavia started breaking up. I was in Slovenia when the war broke out
19 in Slovenia and it was already there that I noticed - and not only me but
20 also the majority of other officers - that this was not the same JNA for
21 which I was educated and for which I had worked for 13 years. In the -- I
22 arrived in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina amongst the last units
23 that had left the territory of the Republic of Slovenia.
24 I was sent to serve in Kraljevo, which is a town in Serbia. From
25 there I was assigned to the command of the 7th army in Sarajevo. This was
1 sometime in November 1991. I was placed at the disposal -- I don't know
2 whether you are familiar with that term. I was placed at the disposal of
3 the command of the troops in Sarajevo. I was assigned to the Lukavica
4 barracks in Sarajevo. After some two or three months, I spent some time
5 in Lukavica between November and March. I did not have any particular
6 tasks during that time. After that, I was assigned to the Zenica
7 barracks. And from Zenica, on the 4th of April, 1992, I left the JNA, I
8 deflected, I ran away. I can go into more details if you wish me to.
9 Q. No. This will not be necessary. Once you left the JNA, did you
10 join some armed forces? If that is the case, can you tell us which armed
11 forces those were.
12 A. When I left the JNA from the barracks in Zenica on the 6th of
13 April, I reported to the staff of Territorial Defence in Vitez, which is
14 my native place. That's where I reported. I believe this was on the 8th
15 of April, so two days after I ran. I have to say that I reported to the
16 staff of the Territorial Defence, but I had to go into hiding for a few
17 days because the then-commander of the Zenica barracks, Colonel Sipcic
18 was looking after me. He was looking for me in the region of Travnik and
19 Vitez. There were threats against my family. So these were all things
20 that accompanied my running away from the JNA.
21 Q. On the 6th of April the JNA and the Serbian forces had already
22 attacked Bosnia and Herzegovina; this is not in dispute. When you
23 reported to the staff of the Territorial Defence in Vitez, did you assume
24 any duties? If that is the case, what duties did you assume?
25 A. When I reported to the Territorial Defence Staff in Vitez, as far
1 as I could understand the Territorial Defence had not yet been organised
2 in the way it should have been organised. People reported to the staff
3 and people were placed at the disposal of the republican bodies and they
4 were waiting for their assignment. That means that I was not deployed for
5 some five or six days. Then the staff commander called me and asked me to
6 establish a manoeuvre detachment of the Vitez defence staff, consisting of
7 some 200 to 250 people who would be engaged in the territory of the
8 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I had some organisational problems
9 while I was establishing this unit. I have to emphasise here that we did
10 not have any weapons. What we had were a few rifles, few hunting rifles,
11 a few revolvers, few pistols, and that was all that we had by way of
12 weapons in our unit. In terms of organisation, I tried to establish this
13 unit as well as I could.
14 Q. Mr. Kulenovic, did you remain in Vitez or did you soon after that
15 change the place of residence, did you change your assignment in the
16 Territorial Defence as well?
17 A. When this manoeuvre detachment was established in Vitez, which
18 happened on the 21st or 22nd of April, 1992, and since there had already
19 been combat activities taking place, the BiH army and its bodies had
20 already started fighting the Serbian and Montenegrin aggressor, and since
21 there had already been operations near Vitez in Travnik, in Turbe, on the
22 pass towards Novi Travnik, towards the end of April and the beginning of
23 May - I can't remember the date - I was still engaged together with one
24 part of my unit in the Turbe front line. We -- our shift lasted for five
25 to seven days, or eight days. This is where I was engaged for the first
2 After that, I was engaged together with my manoeuvre detachment in
3 the Visoko front line between the 20th of May, 1992, and the end of
4 August. My detachment was there in shifts. This is in the region of the
5 town of Visoko, or to be more specific, in Crkcici [phoen], which is a
6 settlement there, and this is where I stayed until the end of August.
7 Towards the end of August or the beginning of September at my own
8 request or, in other words, at the request of the commander of the defence
9 staff of Travnik and pursuant to the approval of the command of the
10 regional staff of Zenica, I was transferred to the municipal staff of
11 Travnik and I was appointed at the assistant commander for education and
12 operations. In other words, I prepared and monitored combat activities
13 that took place in that territory and the area of responsibility of the
14 municipal defence staff of Travnik.
15 Q. Only briefly can you tell us whether you stayed in the municipal
16 staff for a while and did you assume any other duties besides the one that
17 you have mentioned?
18 A. You mean in Travnik?
19 Q. Yes, I mean in Travnik.
20 A. In Travnik, when I arrived in the Travnik staff at the beginning
21 of September, I stayed in that position sometime until mid-November, until
22 the 18th of November when the municipality of Jajce fell together with
23 some parts of municipality of Travnik, namely the Karaula settlement.
24 Because some problems appeared in the municipal staff, the then-commander
25 of staff was ill and had to be taken to hospital, on the 18th of November,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 pursuant to an order, I was appointed a commander of the defence staff of
2 Travnik. Towards the end of November I became the commander of the
3 defence staff of Travnik.
4 Q. Thank you very much. Mr. Kulenovic, since you were an officer in
5 the JNA, all of a sudden you found yourself in the Territorial Defence.
6 Did you have any information at the time as to what the Territorial
7 Defence was? And how did you accept your new role in the Territorial
8 Defence as staff?
9 A. During my military education and during my active service in the
10 former JNA, I had a lot of information and I gained quite a lot of
11 knowledge on the role, tasks, and position of the Territorial Defence
12 within the former Yugoslavia. When I arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina
13 and after all of these developments, the role and the function of the
14 Territorial Defence changed. The Territorial Defence of the Republic of
15 Bosnia and Herzegovina assumed some other characteristics. I know that in
16 the former system the commander of the municipal staff was a member of the
17 War Presidency. In the new organisational system of the Republic of
18 Bosnia and Herzegovina, the staff commander did -- was not a member of the
19 War Presidency of the municipality. However, he could exert influence and
20 he could work towards organising the Defence when it came to working with
21 the bodies of civilian power and the War Presidency. So this is just a
22 rough outline.
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, since in my further
24 examination I will be using certain documents, I would kindly ask the
25 usher to distribute the documents. We have a set of documents that will
1 be shown to this witness and we have copies for everybody in the
3 Q. In response to my previous question you said that some changes did
4 take place when we're talking about the structure of the Territorial
5 Defence and the armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina with regard to the
6 previous system of general people's defence. In 1992 and the best part of
7 1993 you spent in the municipal staff of the Territorial Defence. Can you
8 tell me whether the civilian bodies of power that had been in the position
9 to organise defence, did they come to terms with the changes that you have
10 just talked about? If you have any information about that, can you please
11 share that information with us briefly.
12 A. Yes, there were interference. There was certain overlapping of
13 duties, and civilian bodies of power interfered with the work of the
14 military bodies. In my view, civilian bodies didn't want to relegate some
15 of their authorities and privileges that they enjoyed when it came to
16 controlling the army and those civilian bodies that were involved in
17 working with the army. There are a number of examples to illustrate that,
18 however, it suffices for me to say that the civilian bodies, for example
19 in Travnik, on one occasion issued an order to me, or attempted to issue
20 orders to me to do this or that or the other with regard to certain
21 military aspects of the front line. They ordered me to engage units or
22 equipment, or they would say that because of the safety of the citizens,
23 certain pieces of equipment had to be relocated, or they would tell me
24 that the route for those artillery pieces when they went to the front
25 line could not be by certain villages but that a different route had to be
1 taken. This was an interference and a direct interference with the
2 military matters.
3 And they also tried to influence the personnel. For example, they
4 -- if there was an officer who was a reserve officer or a former active
5 officer of the JNA, they would tell me this person had to be placed here
6 or there. So as I'm saying there was interference and overlapping in
7 terms of equipment, in terms of deploying staff, and in professional
8 military terms, this is not correct. I fought that. Sometimes I had to
9 resort to somewhat rougher means. Let me just say that they didn't want
10 to give up some of their privileges and rights.
11 Q. Can you please look at document number 9 referring to the BiH
12 army. The number of this document is 0591 -- 0951. As you can see, this
13 is a decision of the War Presidency of the Travnik municipality, and it
14 was issued in April 1993. Can you please look at the decision and tell
15 me, given what you have just testified about, which is the interference of
16 the civilian bodies when it came to military matters, how do you see this
17 decision? Does this decision reflect the situation that you have just
18 testified about?
19 A. I'm familiar with this document. I was provided with it at some
20 point in time when I needed it. And even then I said that they couldn't
21 issue orders to me. I said I have my superiors and my subordinates, I had
22 superiors who would issue orders to me. But if I may provide you with an
23 explanation. With regard to the orders that I received earlier on and
24 have to do with this order from the 3rd Corps command to form certain
25 units, to change certain structures, et cetera, et cetera, I was already
1 working on the formation of these so-called area units. And at the time
2 they were in preparatory stage, we were preparing to form them. So this
3 specific order issued by the War Presidency has a certain weight in that
4 this is what should have been organised, but things weren't done in
5 accordance with the competencies of various people and various bodies.
6 Q. Mr. Kulenovic, the War Presidency or the municipality, what sort
7 of responsibilities did they have according to the law with regard to army
8 units? What was their duty with regard to the army? What were they to
9 provide the army with in order to enable the army to perform its function?
10 A. In accordance with the new law that was adopted for the Republic
11 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the municipality was primarily responsible for
12 providing logistical support for operative units. They had to provide
13 them with technical equipment and materiel, they had to provide them with
14 ammunition, they had to provide them with transport to certain points. So
15 they had to provide them with food, clothes, et cetera, et cetera. This
16 was a logistical role that had to be played. These are the main things
17 that the municipality had to provide the BH army with at the time.
18 Q. Who carried out the mobilisation of men and equipment for the
20 A. I should have mentioned mobilisation. Men and equipment was
21 mobilised at the request of the municipal staff by the municipal defence
22 organ. It was the municipality's task to mobilise men and equipment and
23 to place them at the disposal of operative units. In this specific case,
24 at the disposal of the Territorial Defence municipal staff.
25 Q. Please have a look at document number 14. The number of the
1 document is 1169. Tell me, is this a document that refers to the
2 responsibilities and authorities that the War Presidency of the civilian
3 body had in relation to the army? And you have just spoken about this in
4 your previous answer.
5 A. Yes. And this document states quite specifically what the
6 municipal staff or the Secretariat for National Defence should do. It
7 should say finding heavy machines, but we had machines that were in
8 certain construction companies; shovels, excavators, bulldozers, et
9 cetera, everything that was needed to arrange defence lines facing the
10 Serbian and Montenegrin aggressor. We would request such equipment from
11 the municipal organ, and it was their duty to obtain such equipment. I am
12 familiar with this document.
13 Q. At some point towards the end of 1992, were there any changes in
14 the organisation of the army, and what position did you hold at the time?
15 A. At the end of 1992, I don't know the exact date because there were
16 communication problems, it was difficult to deliver mail, et cetera, but
17 certain organisational changes, significant organisational changes, were
18 made. The Territorial Defence municipal staffs, which were not
19 sufficiently linked up in an overall system of defence - this is my
20 opinion - the supreme command and my immediate command, the 3rd Corps
21 command, ordered that operative units should be formed. I don't know what
22 the exact name was, but I know that my municipal Territorial Defence staff
23 in Travnik had to form two operation units, a motorised brigade and a
24 mountain brigade. On the basis of that order, we formed those two
25 brigades, the 312th Motorised Brigade with the zone of responsibility in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 Travnik and in the Turbe area, and it's in that part of the territory that
2 equipment and men were mobilised; and that was the 306th Mountain Brigade
3 that was formed, which was present in the Bila area. The Vlasic plateau,
4 Mehurici, Han Bila, and the other mountainous part, that's where it was
5 located. And out of the remains of the municipal staff -- well, the
6 municipal Territorial Defence staff continued to function in a reduced
8 Q. Mr. Kulenovic, you said that the civilian bodies tried to
9 influence the municipal staff. Tell me whether at that time influence was
10 exerted on the army's operative units, and in which units was this
11 influence most pronounced if there was -- such influence was exerted?
12 A. I'll have to repeat something I've already said. The municipal
13 bodies tried to have as much influence as possible on the structure and
14 the functioning of the army. When the order was received to form
15 operative units, we decided who the commanders would be, who the
16 commanders of the operative units would be, this was decided at certain
17 meetings, and in cooperation with civilian bodies we would appoint certain
18 people to keep posts in brigades, and in this way we tried to separate the
19 municipal bodies. And I think we managed to separate the municipal
20 civilian bodies from the operative units.
21 Given the conditions that prevailed, the influence of the civilian
22 bodies was not as great on the operative units. In a certain sense, they
23 were placed within a system of subordination, but nevertheless there was
24 still considerable influence on the municipal staff. They would still
25 meddle in military matters in the Territorial Defence staff. This is what
1 the municipal bodies of the civilian authorities would do.
2 Q. We have heard a number of testimonies on a great number of
3 refugees arriving in Travnik. Can you tell us how those people organised
4 themselves and whether there was influence in the brigades which was
5 formed by displaced persons to a large extent, and I'm referring to the
6 Travnik area in particular.
7 A. I'd like to provide you with a more detailed explanation. When I
8 was assigned as the commander of the Travnik municipal staff at the end of
9 November, I think that over 30.000 displaced persons passed through the
10 territory of the municipality of Travnik. I would like to point out that
11 receiving these refugees and accommodating them was a problem. It was
12 also a problem to send them on. And the municipal staff and operative
13 brigades were burdened by this problem. The municipal bodies had quite a
14 lot of influence on the reception of refugees, and to a certain extent
15 this was their duty, but the municipal defence staff in Travnik also had
16 such responsibilities. The influence they had displaced persons -- first
17 of all I should point out they were accommodated in the gymnasia, in
18 private houses as well, and we had a lot of problems. The municipal
19 bodies tried to have an influence on the fate of these displaced persons.
20 Q. Mr. Kulenovic, tell me, in addition to the normal civilian bodies
21 of power in Travnik, did some other bodies start appearing, bodies from
22 areas from which people had been displaced, and what was their attitude
23 towards these refugees, towards these displaced persons?
24 A. Well, in the territory of Travnik and in the wider area, the
25 displaced or the expelled persons were mostly from Banja Luka, Prijedor,
1 and some smaller towns, Kotor Varos, et cetera, and the political bodies
2 from those areas were temporarily stopped in Travnik. And I know that the
3 Banja Luka region and the Prijedor region were particularly active in the
4 sense of politically organising displaced persons. They wanted to take
5 charge of these expelled persons, and as the situation developed they even
6 wanted to form their own brigades, with headquarters in Travnik or
7 somewhere else in the free territory. And this caused us significant
8 problems in terms of organisation and materiel and equipment.
9 Q. You have just said that you had problems. All these attempts to
10 form various military organisations, armies, under the influence of
11 civilian authorities, did this make it more difficult for you to establish
12 regular units in the area of Travnik or did this take place in spite of
13 your engagements?
14 A. I'd like to provide you with a lengthy explanation. We were
15 working on the formation of operative units, on structuring them, on
16 finding the men, training the men. We were doing everything necessary to
17 form operative units and put into function the staff. At the same time,
18 numerous refugees had arrived from occupied areas; Banja Luka, Prijedor,
19 et cetera. And while forming the units, we also had to have parts of
20 units which would receive refugees or displaced and expelled persons.
21 These people would arrive at the demarcation line separating us from the
22 Serbian and Montenegrin aggressor. So in addition to forming these units,
23 we had care for the expelled persons. So I as the commander of the
24 municipal staff who was responsible for forming units was never able to
25 establish a brigade. I had to restructure these organisations, other
1 commanders had to do this, too, so the largest unit we were able to
2 establish at the time and call them a company or a battalion of
3 such-and-such brigade and assign them certain responsibilities, the
4 largest unit we could establish was a company consisting of 150 men. And
5 this was just before the parts of these units would go to the defence
6 lines. So this is how we established the units. And while conducting
7 this defensive war, we formed those units.
8 A few times when the unit was returning from the lines, I would
9 sometimes return displaced persons from the lines, not just the troops.
10 So the troops and the civilians were mixed up. Naturally, there were a
11 lot of rumours that were then spread and there was propaganda, et cetera,
12 et cetera.
13 Q. Mr. Kulenovic, please have a look at document number 2 in the
14 first series of documents. The number of the document is 472. It's a
15 document from the War Presidency of Banja Luka municipality; it was
16 drafted in Zagreb. Tell me whether such a request made -- was this one of
17 the requests that you would find, was this one where the political bodies
18 tried to influence the army structure?
19 A. This is the first time I've seen this document. The Presidency of
20 the municipality of Banja Luka, with its headquarters in Zagreb, requested
21 that a Banja Luka brigade be formed. Naturally, I expected to receive
22 certain orders from my immediate superior command. This is the first time
23 I see this document, but I know there were rumours and I know that in
24 contact with the civilian authorities in Banja Luka and in Prijedor, I
25 know that they said that they would like to form their own brigades, that
1 they would like to have their own units, but this is the first time I've
2 seen this document. In any event, this one of the documents that
3 indicates that displaced persons wanted to fight, they wanted to have
4 their own brigades, and if they weren't placed within the system of
5 control and command, naturally such orders would have a negative influence
6 on the events unfolding in the field.
7 Q. Please have a look at document number 3 in the same series. The
8 number of the document is 473. It's a decision of the staff of the
9 supreme command, according to which the 1st Banja Luka Brigade is to be
10 formed. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes. Again, I must say that this is the first time I've seen this
12 document. And I as a professional member of the military would have to
13 respect such a document, naturally. This document contains all elements
14 that an official order should contain. There is the appropriate heading
15 and mention is made of an authorised person, Sefer Halilovic, in this
17 Q. As a commander of the municipal staff, during that year did you
18 come across other orders on forming numerous refugee brigades in the
19 territory of Travnik municipality; and when you came across such orders,
20 did you know what sort of information the staff of the supreme command in
21 Sarajevo actually had about the events in the field?
22 A. I can understand your question, but I would answer it as follows:
23 In Travnik the 312th and 306th Brigade were formed, the 17th Krajina
24 Brigade was also formed on the basis of orders issued by my superiors, and
25 I saw that there were orders on the formation of the 27th Brigade, too.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 This occurred subsequently. I also saw orders on the formation of the
2 37th Mountain Brigade.
3 As far as the orders are concerned relating to the formation of
4 brigades in Travnik and the wider area, I'm not familiar with all the
5 orders, I don't know what the supreme command staff in Sarajevo ordered.
6 I wasn't able to know about this and I didn't know about this, but I know
7 what my immediate superior, the 3rd Corps command, ordered. And I carried
8 out the orders issued by the 3rd Corps command.
9 Q. Have a look at document 0774. It's document number 7. You
10 mentioned the 27th Motorised Brigade, which was also to be formed of
11 refugees. Tell me, how long did this process last from the time when the
12 first initiatives were taken up until the formation of this brigade?
13 A. The process to establish a brigade should be explained in somewhat
14 greater detail. When I served in the JNA for 13 years, I experienced two
15 or three organisational changes. In the JNA we had everything; we had
16 facilities, we had equipment, everything that was necessary for an
17 organised military. And this process took months. As far as I could know
18 as a company commander and then captain, when a unit is established in the
19 conditions of war, when nobody knew who was in charge or what was going
20 on, the process to form a brigade was a tall order. It was an impossible
21 situation. However, we managed to establish a brigade despite the
22 problems. As I can see here, the order was issued at the beginning of
23 March and the units became operational towards the end of 1993, in
24 September or maybe October, I don't know exactly. I only know that one
25 part of the command became operational in May and its units became
1 operational subsequently. I have to say that the 27th Brigade should have
2 been established from the refugees from Kotor Varos. And people who had
3 been expelled from that area were already engaged in the existing units
4 from the territory of Travnik municipality. And I here primarily refer to
5 the 306th Brigade, the 312th Brigade, and their respective areas of
6 responsibility. Smaller groups of people who had come from that area were
7 already engaged in those two brigades. So people had to be taken from the
8 already established units and attached to some other units. This was a
9 major problem that was accompanied by moral and all other considerations.
10 Q. Thank you very much. Can you please look at document number 1.
11 Its number is 0468. Mr. Kulenovic, you carried a certain part of the
12 burden during the restructuring of the army and its transformation from
13 the Territorial Defence to operative groups. In this document under item
14 1, it is asked for the manoeuvre and territorial units to be organised on
15 the extraterritorial principle. Can you please tell me, what problems did
16 you face in your area with this regard? Was it possible to organise on
17 the extraterritorial principle at that time?
18 A. The military term to establish unit on the extraterritorial
19 principle, that means to establish a unit that would be fed from a very
20 large area. What we could do in the given circumstances, in the situation
21 when the civilian bodies interfered with the military matters, they wanted
22 us to form the unit on the extraterritorial principle. And they thought
23 that ten people should be taken from one settlement, ten from another,
24 five from a third one. This is the so-called extraterritorial
25 establishment of units. We were not in a position to form units in such a
1 way and we formed units primarily for these units to be attached to a
2 certain smaller subregion.
3 I don't know whether I've answered your question properly.
4 Q. Thank you. You've told us that the role of the municipal staff
5 had changed significantly. Can you please look at document number 5. The
6 number of this document is 0629.
7 Under item 3 of this document, it says that the number of staff in
8 municipal and district staffs will be reduced to 10 per cent of the
9 establishment. Tell me, please, how was the municipal staff organised
10 under the circumstances and what happened to it by the end of 1993?
11 A. Pursuant to orders on establishing corps brigades and lower units,
12 the municipal staffs, including the municipal staff of Zenica, worked
13 together with the 3rd Corps command for a certain period of time. We
14 adapted to the situation and we exercised orders issued to us by our
15 superior commands. What does it mean when you read here 10 per cent? If
16 a municipal staff had a certain number of units and if the structure was
17 what it was, then it means that only 10 per cent had to be retained and
18 the rest were to be deployed by the corps command. In concrete terms, the
19 municipal staff of Travnik was -- the Territorial Defence was transformed
20 and once it lost its initial role, it kept only some 150 to 170 people in
21 the Territorial Defence staff. In an indirect way, they were just
22 logistical support to operational units. When I say that, they did not
23 provide logistical support per se, they did not replenish those units,
24 they just cooperated with the civilian bodies in order to provide for the
25 functioning of the operational units.
1 Q. Did you have any units - what were their names if you had them -
2 what was their function during that period of time, the 150 people that
3 you mentioned or however many you mentioned?
4 A. When operational units were formed, when people were deployed to
5 these operational units, municipal staffs - in more specific terms, my
6 municipal staff of Travnik - retained very few people. I had only 150
7 people at my disposal and I was given different tasks. I'm sorry, I
8 didn't understand your question.
9 Q. What were the names of your units, what was their function?
10 A. They had inadequate names, absolutely inadequate names, in my
11 view. They were called anti-sabotage detachments. In the introduction to
12 my testimony, when I introduced myself and I said who I was, I said that
13 my specialty was reconnaissance and sabotage units because I had completed
14 that education and a number of sabotage courses. I continued education in
15 that field. I found it very ridiculous to see a unit where the average
16 age of men was above 40 years of age, a unit where all the men had limited
17 combat capabilities, or diminished combat capabilities, a unit in which
18 men were not capable of being engaged in combat activities was a unit that
19 was called anti-sabotage unit. This is a very simple explanation. In
20 order for somebody to become a member of the sabotage unit, one has to
21 learn a lot. One has to have psychological and intellectual capabilities.
22 If somebody is to become a member of an anti-sabotage unit -- I'm not
23 going to mention Sylvester Stallone Rambo 1 and 2, because those are just
24 movies -- those people have to be up to 50 per cent better educated in
25 order to be members of such anti-sabotage units. I did have those units
1 which were called anti-sabotage units, however those units consisted of
2 older men with diminished combat capabilities. Those were territorial
3 units that covered the territory in the depth of the operational unit and
4 they provided security for some less important facilities.
5 For example, my unit provided security for the staff command of
6 Blue Waters, the post office building, the water supply building --
7 actually two facilities of the water supply. And from time to time as
8 circumstances permitted, because there were conflicts with the HVO, they
9 also provided security for the TV relay. So we provided security for some
10 facilities of importance for the municipality.
11 Q. Thank you very much. Since you have provided quite a lot of
12 details with regard to the transformation of the Territorial Defence and
13 the loss of functions of the municipal staff, can you please tell us, what
14 were your main tasks and duties? As the commander of the municipal staff,
15 what did you do during the first part of your term of duty up to the end
16 of March 1993? If you can just briefly tell us that and then we will move
17 on to another topic.
18 A. What I did from the moment I was appointed towards the end of
19 November up to the end of March was to establish units, operational
20 brigades. I managed to do that together with the newly appointed members
21 of the command and newly appointed members of the command of the new
22 brigades. This was one part of my duties.
23 The next part of my duties was the replenishment of these units.
24 The municipal staff, which had some 7.000 men in Travnik, and these people
25 were assigned to nine or ten regional units, these people, together with
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 their equipment, had to be redistributed to -- into those new brigades.
2 This was a very complex task, given the circumstances.
3 The second task that I would like to mention as being among the
4 most difficult ones was the reception, looking after and further care for
5 the refugees and expelled persons from Banja Luka and Prijedor.
6 My third task was to fight civilian bodies or working with them in
7 order to convince them that there should be a brigade, that there should
8 also be the municipal defence staff, and that the civilian bodies had to
9 employ their resources in order to support both the operational units
10 because we had two in the territory as well as the municipal defence
12 Q. This is quite enough. I just wanted to hear what your main tasks
14 In Travnik there were some other military units. There was the
15 Croatian Defence Council. Can you tell us, what was the relationship you
16 had with them and what problems did you encounter as commander of the
17 municipal staff during the first half of the year 1993?
18 A. I would go even further back in time. When we were engaged in
19 fighting in the town of Jajce, that is the BiH army and the HVO and as
20 well as fighting in around Dobratic and Karaula, it was our common
21 interest to protect this territory. Both the BiH army and the HVO had a
22 common interest and goal, however, what I could notice at the time and
23 subsequently what was confirmed to me through the developments, there were
24 always dualities or dual aspects. In Travnik, there was the HVO brigade
25 of Travnik and their primary goal was to organise the Croatian people in
1 military and in political terms and to have them all under the HVO wing.
2 The territory of the town of Travnik was covered by the two BiH -- HVO
3 brigades, the one that covered the town of Travnik and the other one that
4 -- which was the Frankopan Brigade, which covered the territory of the
5 Bila Valley and whose territory overlapped with the responsibility of the
6 306th Brigade, 306th Mountain Brigade.
7 I would like to say at this point that there were also all sorts
8 of police units. There were -- there was a unit called The Jokers and
9 another unit whose name I can't remember, they were also under the wing of
10 the HVO. There were police, special police, so the HVO was a unit which
11 was organised in military terms.
12 Q. At any point in time were there any incidents, excesses, and what
13 did you do to establish cooperation, or rather, did you provoke conflicts
14 with the other military formation present in the town of Travnik?
15 A. There were incidents, there were excesses, there were a lot of
16 them in the area of Travnik municipality. The first time I was directly
17 involved in an excessive situation was in May 1992 when I called my
18 manoeuvre unit from Vitez to the battlefield in Visoko. HVO units didn't
19 allow me to pass through the territory with my vehicles. I had to provide
20 them with a list of my men and equipment, I had to tell them the tasks I
21 had to carry out. I had to tell them why I would be engaged in the
22 battlefield in Visoko. This was in May 1992. Whenever I went to Visoko
23 where I was engaged with my manoeuvre unit, or if I was taking a unit from
24 Vitez to the Turbe battlefield, I had to pass through at least three HVO
25 checkpoints on such occasions. So there was one at Stari Bila, Nova Bila,
1 by the sawmill, and there was the Okuka checkpoint at a crossroads which
2 you come across from Vitez and Travnik when you go in the direction of
3 Novi Travnik, and it's at that checkpoint I also had to provide them with
4 information. I was checked by another unit which should have been
5 fighting together with me against a common enemy. While I performed my
6 duties as the commander of the municipal staff in Travnik there were a lot
7 of incidents. When my sector detachments were on shift, we had to provide
8 information on the number of men involved, the number of food, the days
9 the task would involve, we had to state how much food would be provided
10 and for -- the kind of -- period of time this concerned. And if
11 individuals were returning towards the Turbe battlefield, they were often
12 maltreated, their weapons were taken away, their uniforms were taken away.
13 There was a problem with the Borac company in Travnik - this was a textile
14 company - because before the war this company was well-known as a producer
15 of military uniforms. They had a huge warehouse that contained material
16 for military uniforms. And in agreement with the civilian bodies and the
17 management of the Borac company, these uniforms were sent to Split to be
18 dyed there. I was aware of this and I authorised this. This was also on
19 the basis of the authorisation provided by the regional staff as well.
20 About 3 million metres -- well, I'm not quite sure of the number but a
21 huge number of material was sent to Split to be dyed into camouflage
22 colours. It was then to be returned to Travnik and uniforms were to be
23 made for members of the BH army. This was also a significant problem. We
24 would receive 10 to 15 per cent of the uniforms. I would receive 10 or 20
25 uniforms out of a hundred, the HVO would receive 70 or 80 of them. So
1 there was material that was seized in such cases, too.
2 Q. Very well. Tell me, as far as this issue is concerned, what sort
3 of policies did the 3rd Corps pursue? They were your superior command,
4 what sort of policy did they pursue as far as a possibility of a conflict
5 breaking out with the HVO was concerned? Did the 3rd Corps issue orders
6 telling units how they should behave in the case of incidents or in the
7 case of an open conflict?
8 A. As commander of the Travnik municipal staff, as a professional
9 soldier, I often had verbal conflicts with the 3rd Corps command, and
10 before that with the command of the Zenica regional staff, because they
11 always ordered me to avoid large-scale conflicts at whatever cost. And
12 they said that I should try to resolve any difficulties in a peaceful
13 manner. And as a result, I was often placed in a very humiliating
14 position. On two occasions I was arrested at the checkpoint at Okuka.
15 Anto Furundzija arrested me and took me to a hotel in Vitez which is where
16 -- well, I wouldn't say I was slapped but I was slapped by Sandic [phoen]
17 and a commander of the operations zone, Blaskic, got me out of
18 difficulties on a number of occasions because Blaskic and I, Blaskic and
19 myself, worked together in Ljubljana, later on in Posnjna. I had also
20 been his superior, so he respected me in a certain sense, so quite
21 frequently Blaskic helped extricate me from certain difficulties.
22 Q. Mr. Kulenovic, could you please have a look at document number 4.
23 It's an order from the 3rd Corps, and could you please have a look at item
24 number 3, and tell me, is this the clearly stated position of the 3rd
25 Corps as far as relations with the HVO are concerned at the time we have
1 been talking about?
2 A. I'm familiar with this document and this is one of the documents
3 that in a certain sense made me a little angry with my superior command
4 because attempts were made to preserve the peace, whatever the cost,
5 although, as I have already said, I was frequently in very humiliating
6 situations. But it's true to say that what is stated here is not just
7 theoretical. This was the situation in practice.
8 Q. Have a look at document number 21, DH056 -- 0656. Are you
9 familiar with this document and could you comment on it?
10 A. I'm familiar with this document. I can recognise my signature and
11 the signature of the commander of the Travnik Brigade, Colonel Filip
12 Filipovic. To provide you with additional details in relation to the
13 previous order that we have been referring to, I think there were a number
14 of orders stating that incidents or conflictual situations should be
15 resolved peacefully. I went to see Mr. Filipovic, Colonel Filipovic, on a
16 number of occasions and since I knew Blaskic, I frequently saw him, too,
17 and I tried to resolve all the difficulties, any conflictual situations,
18 through agreement. I tried to calm tensions that might lead to something
19 much worse. I think this is one of the public statements that were
20 issued. It says the 1st Corps, the command of the 7th Brigade. I don't
21 know whose stamp this is but this is my signature. It was drafted by
22 myself and by Filip and we always tried to avoid such conflictual
23 situations. This is one of the statements that we used, that we issued
24 through the media, through the radio, through the newspapers in order to
25 inform the people that any problems would be jointly dealt with, that I as
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 commander of the Territorial Defence staff and Colonel Filipovic would try
2 to resolve together.
3 Q. In line 22 it mentions the 7th Brigade. You in fact mentioned the
4 stamp at the top where we can see the stamp of this brigade that also
5 received this document. Is that what you're referring to?
6 A. Yes, yes, I wasn't quite clear about the stamp at the top, but
7 it's clear to me now.
8 Q. Mr. Kulenovic, you said that this was a public statement and that
9 it contains certain conclusions. As a soldier you probably also issued
10 orders to your units in relation to this subject. Can you tell me whether
11 the army implemented these conclusions referred to here; and what was the
12 HVO's attitude with regard to these conclusions?
13 A. As a commander of the Travnik municipal staff, I could not
14 directly relay these conclusions to operation units. But I issued direct
15 orders to my units, to the anti-sabotage unit. I had also informed
16 brigade commanders of such conclusions, the commander of the 312th Brigade
17 and the commander of the 306th Brigade. I also provided such information
18 to commanders who were in the Travnik -- who were in Travnik or in the
19 field. At this time I was still the commander of the municipal defence
20 staff. These conclusions were really implemented by the municipal staff,
21 and I can also say that the units in the territory of Travnik, in the
22 territory of the municipality of Travnik, also respected and implemented
23 these conclusions. I in a certain sense was the person who dealt with
24 such matters in Travnik, and I established contact with officials in the
25 operative zone of Central Bosnia and officials in the HVO.
1 Q. Tell me whether the attempts that you made yielded results.
2 Thanks to these efforts, was a conflict in Travnik avoided or did events
3 unfold in some different way?
4 A. Well, these agreements of ours and these conclusions and the
5 statements that we made through the media only helped us to find temporary
6 solutions to certain problems. Because as time passed by, the problems
7 became more substantial as far as the relation between the BH army and the
8 HVO is concerned. This also concerned the municipal authorities. They
9 also had a lot of conflicts, there was also a lot of antagonism there. So
10 all these conclusions had a temporary nature and we were putting out a
11 fire that was smoldering.
12 Q. Mr. Kulenovic, have a look at document number 22, DH823, and could
13 you please tell me whether you recognise this document. Does this
14 document reflect the situation in Travnik at the beginning of April 1993?
15 A. I can recognise this document. I am very familiar with it. I
16 drafted a significant part of this document, but the person responsible
17 for the document was my assistant for security, Smajic, Mesud. At the
18 time we didn't have ranks. I am familiar with this document and with all
19 the events referred to here. I am also familiar with events that aren't
20 referred to here or not in detail. But, for example, it says that 2200
21 hours shooting could be heard. You don't have a full description of the
22 event here, but I know that a grenade was thrown at my MP unit which was
23 securing a hospital at the time. For no reason at all, two grenades were
24 thrown from the fourth floor and a burst of fire was opened from an
25 automatic rifle.
1 Q. After these events, where did the HVO units deploy and what sort
2 of position was Travnik in after the event and what sort of position were
3 the army units in Travnik in?
4 A. While I was in Travnik or while I was the commander of the Travnik
5 municipal staff, I never noticed a big HVO unit. They were always
6 somewhere around, but they kept moving around, they kept redeploying. I
7 never saw a large unit. I was never in a position to say, here we have a
8 large and organised unit. But as far as my units are concerned, the
9 municipal defence staff units are concerned and the operative units of the
10 army, well, we were in a position to form companies and a battalion after
11 a certain period of time, and it was possible to notice the presence of an
12 organised military unit then. But what is important to note is that the
13 smaller units that were deployed throughout the town of Travnik from the
14 hospital, the nursery, the school, the warning centre, et cetera, that's
15 where we had a smaller unit, a platoon perhaps, then there was the hotel,
16 the Sedisic [phoen] feature, et cetera, et cetera, but these units were
17 deployed outside the town of Travnik. On the whole they were deployed in
18 the immediate vicinity of Travnik. They were deployed in -- on elevations
19 from which it was possible to control or to observe everything that was
20 happening in the town of Travnik. These features are the features of
21 Vilenica. There was a relay station there that I secured with a unit.
22 But we were then redeployed in a military manner, in a rough manner. Then
23 there was Hajdareve Njive above the hospital for pulmonary diseases. This
24 is now the Travnik cantonal hospital. So I've mentioned Hajdareve Njive,
25 and then there was Velika and Mala Beca [phoen], just above Plava Voda,
1 Blue Water, the entrance to Travnik. So they had surrounded the town and
2 they had the fire power to control it.
3 Q. Thank you. Have a look at document number 10, 0958, and could you
4 tell me what this document is about, what were your duties within that
5 organ, and what sort of tasks did that organ have? Do you recognise the
7 A. Yes, I can recognise the document. I know this document. After
8 the events in Central Bosnia, in Vitez above all, after the massacre in
9 Ahmici and in order to prevent further escalations and opening on the
10 third front, after these events the 3rd Corps command ordered me as one of
11 the officers in the zone of responsibility of Travnik to become member of
12 the joint command of the BH army and the HVO. I was to be an operations
13 officer in that joint command. I know all these people who are mentioned
14 here, they know me, too, and we knew each other from before. Initially
15 the command's task was to deal with problems that were a result of the
16 conflict in the Lasva area. They were to deal with these problems to an
17 extent this was possible. And then later on the command was to carry out
18 and plan joint combat operations against our common enemy. First of all
19 we had to deal with the problems that were a result of the conflict in the
20 Lasva area and then we were to plan and carry out joint operations.
21 Q. How did you, representatives of the BiH army, approach this task
22 of organising joint combat activities? Did the work in that command yield
23 any results? If not, tell us why.
24 A. If you'll allow me, I would like to provide you with a very short
25 analysis and tell you something about the people who were appointed to the
1 joint command.
2 Q. You don't have to do that because we've had other witnesses who
3 testified about that and there will be some others in the future. Let's
4 be rational with the time. Can you please tell us whether you were
5 engaged on any of the tasks, how you worked, and did the command achieve
7 A. I told you what our primary task was, and since I knew the
8 territory and people in the municipality of Travnik, I absolutely worked
9 towards dealing with all the problems in the town. And the four of us who
10 are mentioned here on the part of the BiH army, we absolutely took our
11 task very seriously when it came to the planning and engagement in joint
12 combat. I'm sure that we were able to provide a complete overview of the
13 units in the region of Travnik. We had an overview of the number of arms
14 and combat capabilities of such units; we provided an overview of
15 communications systems; we did everything and we put everything on the
16 table to enable all of us to talk.
17 At the same time, members of the HVO, those who were appointed to
18 the joint command, they would always tell us that their units had not been
19 established, due to the conflicts they were being restructured, the units
20 didn't exist, and so on and so forth. On the one hand we on our part did
21 everything we could and we approached the task very seriously. At the
22 same time, the HVO did nothing, they were not serious. At first they did
23 come to work regularly; however, after some five, six, or ten days they
24 started avoiding their duties, they start -- they failed to appear in the
25 facility where we met, which was the cellar of the post office building in
1 Travnik. Every time they came, they insisted on arriving in the armoured
2 personnel carrier provided to them by UNPROFOR.
3 So we worked very well and HVO, to my mind, did not take their
4 duties seriously and they didn't work. And this command failed in their
5 duties when it came to preparation for joint combat activities.
6 Q. Mr. Kulenovic, during that period of time did you assume any other
7 duty? Were you appointed to another duty? If that was the case, can you
8 tell us, what duties did you assume?
9 A. At one point in time I had three duties: I was a commander of the
10 municipal defence staff of Travnik, I was a member of the joint command
11 with the members of the HVO, and at the same time since the command failed
12 to perform its duties and I did not have that many duties after a certain
13 time, General Alagic proposed that I should become the operations officer
14 in the Bosanska Krajina OG. There I prepared and monitored combat
16 Q. Mr. Kulenovic, let me move on to a completely different topic.
17 You were the commander of the municipal defence staff in Travnik. In your
18 capacity, did you become acquainted with the existence of some foreigners
19 from African and Asian countries who had arrived in the territory of
21 A. Yes. I knew that there were such individuals in Travnik. In my
22 view, they were humanitarian workers and they were engaged in humanitarian
23 activities. They brought food, I don't know where from and how. In any
24 case, I was interested in that because I had spoken with Klotz [phoen],
25 the logistical centre of Travnik, and it is through them that these people
1 arranged their business. I saw them but they were never armed, they were
2 never under my command, they were never under the command of any of the
3 operational units of the 306th, 312th, or 317th Brigades. The command
4 building was near Blue Waters, Plava Voda, it was very close to the
5 multi-coloured mosque; that's where I saw them. They came to that mosque
6 to perform their religious services. That's where I saw them most often.
7 Q. You said you moved to the operational service of the Krajina OG.
8 Did the data from subordinate units come to you? What data did you
9 receive in the operational centre when it came to your resubordinated
10 units or your subordinated units?
11 A. What I did as an operations officer in the OG was to receive
12 information on the number of men, the quantity of equipment, the combat
13 activities underway, combat activities under preparation, reactions to our
14 combat operations on the part of the enemy. So all this data arrived in
15 the operations centre of the Bosanska Krajina OG, and the information came
16 from all the units that was -- that were in the area covered by the
17 Bosanska Krajina OG. In cooperation with the commander and on the orders
18 of the commander and his deputy, I would often inspect these units.
19 That's how I knew what the number of men in those units was, what
20 equipment they had at their disposal, and I also knew about the
21 developments that were taking place in the unit on its left flank, on its
22 right flank, and in the depth of its defence. So in very general terms I
23 was abreast of the situation in the area of responsibility.
24 Q. In response to my question you've told us that in your capacity as
25 a commander of a municipal defence staff you had nothing to do with these
1 foreigners and they had nothing to do with you. When you arrived in the
2 operations centre of the Bosanska Krajina OG in June, on the strength of
3 the units that were subordinated to the Bosanska Krajina OG, did you see
4 or did you receive any information to the effect that these Arabs,
5 Mujahedins, or these foreigners from African and Asian countries were on
6 the strength of your units or in other words on the strength of the
7 operation group?
8 A. I said that I was familiar with the number of men and equipment,
9 with the combat operations in -- that certain units were engaged in. I
10 didn't have any information, none of the units ever told me or wrote to me
11 in any of their combat reports that they had Arabs or any other men that
12 did not belong to the establishment structure of these units. And I
13 repeat, I had a good overview of the troops and the equipment and
14 everything that was important for the functioning of those units.
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, maybe this is a
16 good time for a break. I will need another ten minutes to complete with
17 the examination of this witness.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. We are going to make a
19 25-minute break. We shall resume at 5 to 6.00.
20 --- Recess taken at 5.29 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 5.58 p.m.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll now resume and I give the
23 floor to the Defence.
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Kulenovic, before the break you were saying that as an
1 operations officer and operations and training organ you would visit your
2 units to see the state of combat readiness they were in and to perform all
3 your other duties. Tell me, while performing these duties with members of
4 the 3rd Corps command, did you at any point in time come across the
5 problem of the Mujahedin, or rather, did some of your subordinate units
6 inform you of the existence of such a problem?
7 A. Yes. I'll provide you with an example. Naturally when visiting
8 the units and positions with the operations and training organ I visited
9 the zone of responsibility of the 306th Brigade on the -- on the Vlasic
10 plateau and examined the situation in the zone of responsibility of that
11 unit. And through speaking to the troops I discovered that there were
12 certain problems in the unit because of the presence of these foreigners -
13 I don't know how to call them - but they had an influence on the combat
14 readiness of the unit. They were trying to go after men, recruit men from
15 their units by providing them with presents, money, food, et cetera, and
16 troops complained about this on the Vlasic plateau. They said that they
17 had such problems because these foreigners were trying to persuade them to
18 leave the units and join them.
19 Q. Mr. Kulenovic, were these foreigners, these Mujahedin subordinated
20 to the 306th or some other army unit that was part of the Bosanska Krajina
21 OG, or rather of the 3rd Corps?
22 A. Well, I'll repeat what I was saying a minute ago. As an
23 operations officer in the operations group, I had information on the unit,
24 the men in the unit, and the equipment they had. And when reviewing this
25 information I never came across information according to which there were
1 men in one of those units who weren't actually part of that unit. To be
2 more specific, there were no foreigners in the 306th Brigade. I'm sure
3 there were no foreigners in the 312th, in the 17th, and in other units
4 that were part of the operations group. There were no foreigners; this
5 could be seen when one had a look at the lists and this could be seen in
6 fact in the field.
7 Q. Mr. Kulenovic, did you at any point in time come across
8 information according to which the El Mujahid detachment had been formed
9 in 1993?
10 A. Yes, I did find out that such a detachment had been formed, but I
11 was never involved in its establishment nor did I know where this took
12 place and I didn't know the sort of task that the detachment would be
13 involved in. I was not a participant in establishing the chain of command
14 and establishing the other elements that are necessary for the formation
15 of such a unit.
16 Q. Mr. Kulenovic, tell me whether you had access to an order issued
17 by the 3rd Corps according to which that detachment should be
18 resubordinated to the Bosanska Krajina OG for combat operations, and did
19 the commander make any attempts to place these men under his command? Do
20 you have any information on this matter?
21 A. Well, as an officer in the operations group, I had to know which
22 units were to become part of the constant structure or the temporary
23 structure. I know that the El Mujahid unit - again I don't know when and
24 where it was formed or on what basis - but I know at one point in time it
25 was supposed to be resubordinated, but the word "resubordinated" or
1 "subordinated" or "attached," these terms could be discussed, but I do
2 know that this unit or part of this unit participated one of our brigades
3 in combat operation and because of the way they engaged in combat I know
4 that one of our units sustained significant losses. So after one hour of
5 fighting our 17th Krajina Brigade had 12 dead, about 80 or 90 wounded men,
6 et cetera. So in a fairly short period of time, they sustained losses
7 that were far too great.
8 Q. And Mr. Kulenovic, could you tell me whether to the best of your
9 knowledge these foreigners, the Mujahedin from the El Mujahid detachment
10 at any time in 1993 in fact placed themselves under the command and
11 control of the operations group or its subordinate units?
12 A. As far as I know the Mujahedin or the El Mujahid detachment were
13 never placed under the command of the Bosanska Krajina OG, at least not on
14 the basis of the documents available, nor did they ever become part of the
15 structure of the Bosanska Krajina OG. And a minute ago I said they did
16 participate with us in combat operations, they participated in combat
17 operations with our unit, and because of the way they engaged in combat,
18 we sustained very significant losses.
19 Q. Mr. Kulenovic, you and the Bosanska Krajina OG, did you have the
20 possibility of going to that detachment and carrying out investigations,
21 checkups, et cetera? Was this possible to the command and the members of
22 the Bosanska Krajina OG staff in 1993?
23 A. General Alagic on one occasion, and this was at the beginning of
24 August, I think, took me there. We tried to enter the camp that they had
25 in the village of -- well, it was a village above Mehurici in the
1 immediate vicinity of the Mehurici settlement. We wanted to persuade them
2 to join or become part of the system of command and control. We wanted to
3 prepare them to carry out certain combat operations, but at the entrance
4 to the camp we were received in a very rough manner, no respect was shown,
5 especially not for General Alagic, the commander of the OG, nor did they
6 show respect for me. We were taken to some building, asked what we
7 wanted. As I had a cigarette, I was an infidel. So this was their
8 attitude towards General Alagic and myself. And as far as I know, we
9 didn't manage to persuade them or to reach an agreement with them on joint
10 action or an agreement or engaging them within the OG. I don't know how
11 this unit was subsequently engaged.
12 Q. Since you have just mentioned August now, could you just say
13 whether this was after the El Mujahid detachment had been formed. Was it
14 after the formation that you went to talk to them with General Alagic
15 about their subordination?
16 A. As I said, I didn't know exactly when the El Mujahid detachment
17 was formed, but when we went there all I knew was we were going to the El
18 Mujahid detachment to see whether we could engage them in the upcoming
19 combat operations. As to the order on the basis of which this was done, I
20 don't know.
21 Q. Thank you very much. You have just said -- you have just told us
22 about what happened with Commander Alagic. Were there any other bodies of
23 yours, any other organs of yours, that could control that detachment up
24 until the end of 1993?
25 A. As far as I know, in the training camp - I'm not sure what it was
1 called, but in the camp where they resided - no one from the BH army was
2 able to enter that camp. I'm referring to members of the OG but also to
3 members of the units that were there, the 306th, the 312th, part of the
4 7th Muslim, there was a battalion in Travnik then, there was the 27th that
5 was being formed at that time, and there was some other attached units or
6 units that were moving through our zone. But none of these units, no
7 members from these units were able to enter the camp.
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kulenovic. You have just said at one point you had
9 to perform various duties and the role of the municipal staff gradually
10 changed, it was being disbanded and you became part of the OG. Have a
11 look at the document 1501, document 17, please. This is a proposal from
12 the 3rd Corps to the supreme command staff. Under number 6, under item 6,
13 there is a proposal that concerns the Travnik municipal staff.
14 Tell me, do you know whether Travnik municipal staff continued to
15 exist, or after this proposal was it disbanded?
16 A. After this proposal was made, the Travnik municipal staff was
17 disbanded as a military structure on the basis of this order and the
18 proposals that were subsequently made. But on the basis of these
19 suggestions, elements from the municipal staff became part of these units,
20 as stated in this proposal and later on in an order. On the basis of that
21 order, I was assigned to the OG, and I no longer performed any duties in
22 the municipal staff.
23 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Kulenovic.
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this concludes my
25 examination of this witness.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll now turn to the other
2 defence team.
3 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We
4 have no questions for this witness.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 I'll now give the floor to the Prosecution.
7 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Cross-examined by Mr. Mundis:
9 Q. Good afternoon, Witness. My name is Daryl Mundis and along with
10 my colleagues here today we represent the Prosecution in this case. I
11 have just a few questions for you, sir. Before I ask those I would simply
12 like to inform you that it's not my intention in any way to confuse you,
13 so if there's any question that I ask you that you don't understand,
14 simply say so and I'll rephrase the question so that we're absolutely
15 clear with respect to what I'm asking you.
16 Let me start by talking a little bit about or asking you a few
17 questions about when you first came to the Travnik municipal staff. I
18 believe you said that was the end of August or the beginning of September
19 1992. Is that correct?
20 A. Yes. The end of August was the time when the procedure started.
21 I don't remember the exact date when I joined. I believe that it was at
22 the beginning of September, either on the 2nd or the 3rd. So we are
23 talking about a five-day period when this all happened.
24 Q. And, sir, at the time you joined that staff, can you tell us,
25 please, the precise title of that unit that you were part of in Travnik.
1 A. When I arrived in Travnik there were still units being organised
2 to put up resistance against the enemy. The municipal defence staff
3 existed and it was subordinated to the regional staff in Zenica and
4 further up the hierarchy to the supreme staff in Sarajevo. So municipal
5 staffs were subordinated to the regional staffs, and the regional staffs
6 were subordinated to the state staff.
7 Q. Can you tell us, sir, when you first arrived at the Travnik
8 municipal staff at the beginning of September 1992, who was your immediate
9 superior in Travnik?
10 A. When I arrived in Travnik and when I reported to the duty, I was
11 appointed the assistant commander of the municipal defence staff, and my
12 superior was Ribo Haso. At that time ranks did not exist, we just had
13 commanders, their assistants, their deputies. So my commander was Ribo
15 Q. And how long after your arrival did Ribo Haso remain as the
16 commander of that staff in Travnik?
17 A. I assumed my duties during the first couple days of September and
18 Ribo Haso was my superior up to the second half of November. I'm not sure
19 about the date. It could have been either the 18th or the 20th of
20 November. And then due to the commander's illness, I was appointed the
21 commander first by an oral order which was followed by a written order
22 confirming that. That happened around that time and I can't give you the
23 exact date again.
24 Q. That's fine, sir. I just wanted to be clear that the fact is that
25 when you first arrived in Travnik at the beginning of September 1992, Ribo
1 Haso was the commander and then some point in mid-November, due to his
2 illness, he left and you in fact became the commander of the municipal
3 staff in Travnik. Is that an accurate summary?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber a little bit about any type of
6 military or combat activities that occurred within the town of Travnik
7 from the time you arrived in early September until the time you assumed
8 command of the municipal staff in mid-November 1992.
9 A. In the town of Travnik itself, in its settled part, there were no
10 combat activities, at least not such that I would consider combat
11 activities as a professional soldier. Combat activities were taking place
12 in Bijelo Bucje, Vrbe [phoen], Turbe and the plateau of Vlasic in Gornje
13 Meokrnje. These were more or less the lines that the army and the HVO
14 used to defend the territory against the Serbian and Montenegrin
15 aggressor. We performed combat activities there. Those were defence
16 activities because the Serbians and Montenegrins launched attacks against
17 us. In most of the operations, we defended ourselves. Parts of the units
18 from Jajce, after Jajce fell, withdrew towards us, they joined us, we
19 received those units. And also when the part of the municipality of
20 Travnik fell, the local detachment from Karaula joined us as well. Those
21 were the major combat operations. And on the defence line on the Vlasic
22 plateau, we defended the plateau against Serbs and Montenegrins with
23 whatever means we had at our disposal. Those were the major combat
24 operations that were taking place when I was a member of the municipal
25 defence staff of Travnik.
1 Q. Sir, let me again focus your attention on the period from the
2 beginning of September 1992 through the time that you became the commander
3 of the municipal staff in the middle of November 1992. So I'm asking you
4 about that two-and-a-half-month period when you first arrived at the
5 municipal staff in Travnik. During that period of time, did you remain
6 physically present, you personally, in the town of Travnik during that
7 two-and-a-half-month period, or were you travelling out or visiting other
8 units in the areas outlying Travnik, the town of Travnik?
9 A. A little while ago I mentioned defence and defence activities that
10 the municipal defence staff of Travnik was engaged in. I also mentioned
11 the facilities and the centres where I stayed, where I was engaged, and
12 pursuant to the orders of Ribo Haso, this is where I also commanded some
13 activities. I'm a professional soldier, and at that time, there were no
14 military experts who could organise defence in a professional manner. I
15 had to stay in Bijelo Bucje, in Karaula, in the village of Dobratici, and
16 in that general region. I inspected 90 per cent of the lines on the
17 Vlasic plateau myself. This means I was not always in the town of Travnik
18 in the staff building. As an operative, I had to be present on the
19 defence lines wherever combats were taking place.
20 Q. So it's fair then to say, sir, that during this
21 two-and-a-half-month period you travelled to a number of locations in the
22 immediate vicinity of Travnik town in order to inspect the troops at these
23 front line positions. Would that be fair?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. During this same time period, sir, what if anything was the
1 commander Haso Ribo doing? Was he similarly making any inspections? What
2 -- to the best of your knowledge, what was the commander doing during that
3 time period, September to mid-November, 1992?
4 A. In military jargon speaking, I was not duty-bound to know what he
5 was doing. I was duty-bound to carry out things on his orders. In any
6 case, Ribo Haso did go to the positions or send the five of us who were
7 familiar with the ground, who were familiar with the men, who were
8 familiar with the deployment of equipment, and he also had a lot of locals
9 who were either reserve officers of the former JNA or were the JNA
10 officers who had returned. So he trusted us and he trusted our opinion.
11 And based on our opinion, he was able to draw conclusions at our briefings
12 and meetings. So we worked as a team, as real staff, and I repeat, Ribo
13 Haso, he himself inspected a lot of the lines, either on his own or with
14 us or he would put together teams that would inspect various units,
15 artillery units, infantry units. It all depended on what was to be
16 inspected, that's how he decided what kind of teams to form to send out to
17 inspect the area.
18 Q. So I take it then, sir, from what you've just told us, that Haso
19 Ribo did not remain in the municipal staff headquarters every single day
20 throughout that time period, September through mid-November 1992. He in
21 fact was out examining positions and units on the front lines.
22 A. Yes. However, we had an agreement that all of us who were of the
23 same generation, we often organised teams like I've just told you. A team
24 would be, for example, put together in order to inspect the infantry unit.
25 I would be the head of that team. If -- if the mission was to inspect the
1 artillery unit, then Haso Ribo would appoint an engineersman, somebody who
2 was versed in artillery. If an engineering team was to be organised, then
3 he would appoint an expert. At the same time, there -- a team would
4 remain behind who would be in charge of the staff and the units that
5 communicated with the staff. We had teams and we worked as teams.
6 Q. And, sir, the only point of my question is asking whether or not
7 Haso Ribo himself was part of some of these teams and in fact left the
8 headquarters to go out and inspect or to determine for himself the various
9 units and positions in the immediate vicinity of the town of Travnik.
10 A. I'll repeat again: I was duty-bound to perform orders. Again, I
11 repeat, he did inspect positions. I don't know what exactly he inspected.
12 He would tell us at the briefings, I was here and there, the situation is
13 what it was, and then he would issue orders to me as to what had to be
14 done the following day. What I know is that he inspected the area, that
15 we worked as teams. How much, what he did, I don't know. Because he was
16 my superior at the time, I can assume what he did, but I can't give you
17 any reliable information to that effect.
18 Q. Let me ask you now, sir, about the presence of foreigners. My
19 learned colleague from the Defence asked you about persons of African or
20 Asian descent who were present in Central Bosnia. Are you familiar, sir,
21 with the term "Mujahedin"?
22 A. I am familiar with the term and I believe that everybody knows
23 that this is a rough translation of "a warrior on the god's path." In
24 Bosnia, the term "Mujahedin" is something that I personally heard only
25 towards the end of 1993. It was only towards the end of 1993 that I heard
1 the term and learned a bit more about what it represents.
2 Q. Let me, sir, ask you, if I might, that when I use the term here
3 today "Mujahedin," I am referring to these foreign-born fighters coming
4 from Africa or Asia or the Middle East and I'm not referring to any holy
5 or holy fighters or warriors fighting for a religious cause coming from
6 Bosnia. Do you understand the distinction?
7 A. Yes, I'm clear on that.
8 Q. Sir, when to the best of your recollection did you first become
9 aware that there were these Mujahedin in Central Bosnia?
10 A. At the beginning of my testimony I said that my first engagement
11 was in Visoko, on the front line there. This was between May and August
12 1992. This was the first time when I heard, but only heard, that there
13 were some foreigners who wanted to fight on the side of the Republic of
14 Bosnia and Herzegovina and its army. I can't remember when I saw them for
15 the first time, but in Travnik I believe that this was towards the end of
16 September. It was the first time that I ever saw foreigners like you
17 described them, people from African or Asian countries. And I saw them
18 performing a humanitarian role. I saw them in their vehicles, carrying
19 clothes, food. They delivered all that to the logistical centre of the
20 War Presidency of the municipality of Travnik. They were not armed when I
21 saw them. What I can say, that under the circumstances I was very happy
22 to see somebody delivering food and clothes. There were a lot of expelled
23 persons from the areas north from Travnik, Banja Luka, and so on and so
24 forth. And people were already experiencing hunger. I most often saw
25 them around a multi-coloured mosque. This is a religious facility in the
1 old part of the town. I found that normal because they hailed from Africa
2 or Asia, this was their religion, and I found it normal to see them there
3 when religious services were being performed, and this is the first time
4 when I actually saw any of them.
5 Q. Sir, let me ask you a couple of follow-up questions based on what
6 you've just told us. If I could ask you to focus on that time period
7 between May and August 1992 when you were on the front lines in the
8 vicinity of Visoko and you first heard about these foreign fighters, these
9 Mujahedin. Do you recall any of the specifics about what you heard
10 concerning these people?
11 A. As a soldier I had my manoeuvre unit, my manoeuvre detachment, as
12 I said earlier on. I was engaged in two parts of the front line. The
13 smaller part of my unit was engaged in Turbe, and the soldiers went there
14 in shifts which numbered between 25 and 30 men. And in Visoko I was
15 engaged with some 100 to 120 of my men. This was the strength that I had
16 at my disposal. And I took my men in shifts to these front lines. It was
17 either me or my deputy. And I -- the first time I heard about the
18 Mujahedin, maybe in July, at the beginning of July, I heard that they had
19 arrived, that they were there. Again, I didn't see them. There were
20 rumours about El Mujahid, which was either a unit or was not a unit, men
21 who wanted to fight. There was nothing specific being said. I heard that
22 they were in Travnik. At that time I was in Visoko. I performed my
23 tasks. And once when I arrived in Travnik I did not see them as a unit,
24 because when I say "unit," I mean an organisation, men, equipment. I
25 didn't see that. I did not experience that in Travnik.
1 Q. Sir, do you recall hearing again in this time period when you were
2 in Visoko sometime between May and August 1992, and you've told us perhaps
3 it was in July 1992, did you specifically hear from any of the sources of
4 information, the rumours or whatnot, that these people had come to Bosnia
5 to fight the Chetniks?
6 A. I can't say whether they had arrived to fight against Chetniks.
7 In any case, given their religious affiliation, they arrived - and this is
8 just my opinion - to fight on the side of the Muslims. This is my rough
9 interpretation. But this also implied fighting anybody who will attack
10 Muslims. So one might arrive at the conclusion that they had arrived to
11 fight anybody who fought against the Muslim people, which were Chetnik.
12 But there's no written document that would define that in those specific
13 terms. They just came.
14 Q. Sir, you've told us that you saw these people in Travnik engaged
15 in humanitarian activity. You made reference to them, I believe you said
16 delivering clothing in vehicles. What type of vehicles did you see these
17 people driving in?
18 A. The type, make, colour, those were trucks. In any case, they were
19 vehicles with registration plates of either Travnik or Jajce. On the eve
20 of the war there was a very large company called Spedicija in Bugojno and
21 they transported oil, flour, sugar in three lorries. These lorries
22 belonged to this company, Spedicija Bugojno, and the registration plates
23 started with a JC, that stood for Jajce. Now, how they got hold of these
24 lorries, whether they paid somebody to get hold of them, I don't know.
25 What I found important at the time was that the aid arrived and that it
1 was put in the warehouse of the municipal staff for distribution to its
2 lower units, lower ranking units. Those were not any specific vehicles,
3 they were just ordinary lorries with Bosnian registration plates, which
4 meant they were from the area.
5 Q. Sir, on at least one and perhaps two occasions this afternoon
6 you've made reference to the multi-coloured mosque in Travnik. Can you
7 tell us a little bit about that religious facility.
8 A. This mosque is a religious facility which is very old. I can't
9 say how old it is. I know that it has been there for a long time and that
10 it has been used as a religious facility. It is coloured in a very
11 particular way which cannot be seen anywhere else in the Balkans. It is
12 decorated on the facade as well as on the inside. What I know is that the
13 minaret, the tower, is not where it is supposed to be, where you would
14 find it on any other mosque. And what else I can say about this mosque?
15 Before the Second World War, this is where the Muslims of Travnik came to
16 pray, to engage in cultural activities. There is a brook by the mosque,
17 it's called a blue brook. So the mosque was a religious or is a religious
18 facility which served for religious rituals, whatever is done in a mosque.
19 Q. Let me turn your attention now, sir, to again the Mujahedin and
20 the -- did there come a time when you became aware that these individuals,
21 that these foreigners, were not only engaged in humanitarian action or
22 activities but did you become aware that they were also armed or engaged
23 in any kind of combat-related activities?
24 A. Yes. I became aware of the fact that they were armed, but I don't
25 know in which combat activities they participated and under whose wing.
1 What I can say with certainty is that I never saw a piece of paper placing
2 such a military formation or unit under the command of the municipal staff
3 of Travnik or any of the brigades that were established or existed in the
4 territory of the municipality of Travnik. No such formation was placed
5 under the command of the Bosanska Krajina OG or became a part of this OG.
6 A little while ago during my testimony I said that this group was
7 persuaded in one way or another to perform in a combat and that one of our
8 brigades, the 17th Brigade, suffered huge losses because of them. What I
9 can say with certainty is from what I know they never wanted to be placed
10 under our command. What I can understand as a soldier, I know what
11 subordination is, what resubordination is, what replenishment is, but we
12 could not command them. I as the operations officer in my OG could not
13 command them. The unit existed as such, I was aware of their
14 participation in some combat activities, but I guarantee you that they
15 could never be subordinated to me because of their way of warfare. It
16 seems that they didn't allow anybody to be above them, and even if they
17 accepted to participate in combat together with our unit, they wanted to
18 have a special mission, a special task, and they could never be taken to
19 task by the superior command. The superior command could never be aware
20 of what was done in combat, whether the mission had been accomplished or
21 not. In my view, whatever happened during combat, they would just leave
22 without reporting to anybody on what had been accomplished in terms of
23 their original mission.
24 Q. Sir, let me again ask you some follow-on questions based on what
25 you've just told us. First, did you ever personally see any of these
1 armed Mujahedin?
2 A. I did. I've already said that I went to that camp with General
3 Alagic in the village in the immediate vicinity of Mehurici. We went
4 there to try and persuade them to get involved in a task, in carrying out
5 a task. I saw a group of men under arms there, they had certain military
6 equipment, but I wasn't able to understand the structure of that
7 formation. When we went to that camp, let's call it a camp, there were
8 five or six armed men, and perhaps between eight and ten men in uniform
9 but without weapons. We spoke to one of them, I don't know who he was,
10 probably no one in a position of authority since we were received in such
11 a rough manner, and all we managed to agree was that we would later see
12 how to proceed. On that day we didn't reach any agreements, but that was
13 the first time that I in fact saw them face-to-face.
14 Q. And I believe you told us earlier that that was the beginning of
15 August 1993?
16 A. If that's what I said, then yes, give or take a day. But I think
17 that it was at the beginning of August.
18 Q. Just so that we're absolutely clear then, sir, prior to the
19 beginning of August 1993, you don't ever remember seeing any armed
20 Mujahedin in Central Bosnia?
21 A. Before August 1993 I really never saw, as you say, an armed
22 Mujahedin, a Mujahedin with a weapon, equipment, et cetera. But in
23 particular, I didn't see any such military formation.
24 Q. Now, you told us when you went to this camp these individuals were
25 wearing some kind of uniform. Can you describe for us what the uniform
1 that you saw looked like.
2 A. They had camouflage uniforms with a specific or a particular kind
3 of edition head scarf that you wrap around your head. They didn't have
4 the standard military caps that we had in operations units. They had
5 something else on their heads, not military caps. There was no BH army
6 insignia on those uniforms, because in mid-1992, towards the end of 1992,
7 and in particular at the beginning of 1993, on the basis of an order
8 received from our superiors, we were obliged to have insignia on our
9 shoulders. First of all, the TO insignia and then BH army insignia. As
10 the army developed, the insignia changed. When we were in the camp
11 itself, we couldn't identify any BH army insignia on them.
12 Q. Sir, you told us that they had a specific or a particular kind of
13 edition head scarf. Can you tell us, do you recall, can you describe
14 for us what this head scarf looked like?
15 A. The length, the width, well, I don't know what the dimensions were
16 exactly. But it was -- it had black and white dots. They would wrap it
17 around their heads. It had a sort of fringe. It wasn't exactly a
18 turban. It was something that resembled it perhaps, but it wasn't the
19 sort of cap that would fit the description of a uniform of a BH army
21 Q. Can you be a little more specific with respect to the location of
22 this camp. You told us it was near Mehurici. Do you know the precise
23 location of the village or the settlement where this camp was located?
24 A. When you go from the direction of Han Bila and Mehurici, then from
25 a left -- you turn left from the centre. That would be east of the
1 centre, about 5 or 700 metres east from the centre of the Mehurici
2 settlement. I can't remember the name of the village or the hamlet. But
3 you turn left from the centre of the village, you head off in the
4 direction of the north-east and then you continue in that direction for
5 about 500 metres.
6 Q. Sir, do you know or do you recall if the name of this location was
7 Poljanice or Savici?
8 A. I wouldn't know, but now that you have mentioned Poljanica, I know
9 that on the Vlasic plateau there is Poljane, Duge Poljane, Poljanice,
10 Police, Poljice. These are the local names, but for me these places were
11 all the Mehurici settlement. That's the local area.
12 Q. Can you describe this camp in terms of buildings or building,
13 whether it had any kind of fence or gates or any kind of plants, trees,
14 shrubs? Can you describe what it looked like?
15 A. There was no gate, but there was a sort of fence, a sort of
16 barrier that you couldn't pass through. We approached the first building.
17 That's as far as we got. It was a very small wooden hut. We entered this
18 building. There was a table and two chairs and almost no other furniture;
19 we sat down there and had our discussion, which lasted for 15 minutes at
20 the most, I would say. When General Alagic saw that it wouldn't be
21 possible for him to agree on anything, we then left. There were no big
22 buildings. There was a gate if we can consider this barrier as a kind of
23 gate, which is where we were stopped and asked to wait. As for other
24 buildings, there were no other buildings. It was mountainous terrain.
25 There was a wood -- pine wood at the rear. If you have a training camp,
1 well, that involves a lot of other features. I didn't see any such
2 features apart from this wooden house or wooden hut which is the building
3 we entered and which is where we had our 15-minute discussion. There was
4 an improvised table there used for meals. That's what one could see upon
5 entering the building.
6 Q. Sir, would -- at least, in the English translation this structure
7 is described as a hut. Would you have considered this to be a structure
8 that people would have lived in or that you -- a building that you would
9 have kept maybe tools or equipment in, or was it a building that was built
10 to house livestock? What kind of a structure did this building seem to be
11 designed for?
12 A. There was perhaps a mistake. I didn't use the plural when I said
13 "hut." There were no huts, there was a hut, a small hut which could
14 accommodate three to five people. There was one room, there was a porch,
15 and this was a very basic building and it could accommodate three to five
16 people. I only saw one such hut and there was a table and a bench -- a
17 table at which one could eat because there were some plates that had
18 remained there. There must have been perhaps a place where they would
19 prepare food because you couldn't cook in that building. There was one
20 hut. I didn't say that there were huts. I didn't use the plural.
21 Q. I don't believe in my question I did either, sir.
22 Let me ask you a couple of final questions and then we'll stop for
23 today and I'll have some more questions for you tomorrow afternoon. You
24 told us I believe earlier, you said there were approximately four to six
25 individuals who were armed and then I believe you said about eight
1 individuals who didn't appear to be armed. Would that be the approximate
2 number of people that you saw in the camp when you arrived with General
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you recall whether these people that you saw were all or
6 appeared to be all foreigners, or do you recall seeing any of these
7 persons who appeared to you to be locals or Bosniaks?
8 A. I don't think they were all foreigners. We spoke to two
9 foreigners, two of the men we spoke to were foreigners. We didn't
10 understand each other very well. One of them managed to translate for us,
11 and he didn't speak our language very well but we managed to speak to
12 other somehow or other. And these young men who were not carrying weapons
13 didn't have the same complexion. I assume that they were local men,
14 perhaps they were in that camp for some reason, training or some other
15 reason; I didn't speak to them about this, I wouldn't know. But at the
16 beginning I said that they tried to recruit local men, either by giving
17 them food or money, this is how they would go after them, and they
18 distributed leaflets stating that they were looking for young men to join
19 their unit and stating that they would provide them with all the items I
20 mentioned earlier on. So in a certain way they would try to buy these men
21 or try to persuade them to join their unit.
22 Q. One last question for today, sir. Can you confirm for us then
23 that none of the persons that you spoke with on that day in this camp, in
24 this hut, were native speakers of the Bosnian language?
25 A. The Bosnian language wasn't their mother tongue, but one of them
1 could speak our language a little better and that's how we were able to
2 understand each other. Though the three men sitting at the table and the
3 fourth person standing outside the building, these men weren't local men.
4 Q. Thank you, sir.
5 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I note the time.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, as you have surely
7 realised, we haven't been able to conclude your testimony today. I invite
8 you to return tomorrow. The hearing will commence at 2.15, and in the
9 meantime you shouldn't see either of the parties present in the courtroom.
10 You should have no contact with the Defence or with the Prosecution.
11 We will now adjourn and I will see everyone tomorrow at 2.15.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.59 p.m.,
13 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 11th day of
14 January, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.