Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 1662

1 Monday, 22 September 2003

2 [Open session]

3 [The witness entered court]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 10.04 a.m.

6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. Court Deputy.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honour. This is Case Number

8 IT-02-60-T, The Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.

9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.

10 I'm sorry for the delay this morning. We lost almost an hour, so

11 it is impossible for us to make it up. So this morning, we will only have

12 two sittings. We'll break at 11.30, and after the break we will continue.

13 I hope such kind of delay will never happen again.

14 Well, Mr. McCloskey, are you ready to proceed?

15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. Good morning. We are ready

16 to go.

17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.


19 [Witness answered through interpreter]

20 Examined by Mr. McCloskey: [Continued]

21 Q. Good morning, Mr. Nikolic.

22 A. Good morning, Mr. Prosecutor.

23 Q. We left off on the evening of 11 July. You had ended by telling

24 us that you had told Colonel Jankovic of the able-bodied Muslim men in

25 Potocari. Where were you when you informed Colonel Jankovic of this

Page 1663

1 information?

2 A. On the 11th of July, 1995, in the evening, I was in my office at

3 the brigade headquarters.

4 Q. And was there any other discussion on any other related matters

5 after you informed him of that, that you recall?

6 A. You mean Colonel Jankovic?

7 Q. Yes.

8 A. In connection with Colonel Jankovic, yes. As for that day, and

9 the intelligence I received on that day, I told Colonel Jankovic whatever

10 I found out through intelligence organs from the units, from the Bratunac

11 Brigade, the battalion. And especially, I conveyed to him the information

12 I received from the 2nd Infantry Battalion. After that, we talked about

13 the duties we were facing and the meeting that was scheduled for 11.00 the

14 same evening.

15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Sorry, Mr. President, there is a buzz in my ear

16 after he finishes talking. Maybe I can switch...

17 That sounds...

18 JUDGE LIU: Is that okay now? If not, we'll have the technician

19 come in.

20 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't hear it any more, Your Honour. If I start

21 hearing buzzes, I'll let you know. But it's okay.

22 JUDGE LIU: Yes.


24 Q. Mr. Nikolic, could you outline just briefly the intelligence

25 situation that you informed Colonel Jankovic that night, that you were

Page 1664

1 getting from the battalions.

2 A. Yes, briefly. During the day, I was receiving information from

3 the intelligence organ of the 2nd infantry battalion, information on the

4 movement from Srebrenica towards the U.N. Base, DutchBat base in Potocari.

5 I was told that there were large numbers of people moving down that road.

6 Later, it turned out that those had been civilians. On the basis of their

7 reports and their assessment, we found out that there had been able-bodied

8 men among those people. And my information was among those people moving

9 towards the town, there were between 1.000 and 2.000 able-bodied military

10 age men. For the most part, I received this information personally from

11 the intelligence and security organ.

12 Later, when I talked to people in the operations room, when I

13 talked to the operations duty officer, I found out that the operations

14 duty officer at the Bratunac Brigade headquarters was receiving the same

15 information.

16 Q. Did you receive any information about the 28th division forces

17 that evening?

18 A. That evening, there was some indications, some assessments that

19 forces of the 28th division had abandoned the town of Srebrenica. And

20 that they headed for the Jaglici and Susnjari village areas. They headed

21 towards an area where there was a passage that they had used before during

22 the war. Those units were grouping, forces were being evacuated to head

23 for those villages, or rather, areas.

24 Q. Did you share that information with Colonel Jankovic also?

25 A. Yes, yes, I did share that with him. Colonel Jankovic, as I said,

Page 1665

1 was staying in my office the whole time.

2 Q. You also mention that had you spoke to Colonel Jankovic about the

3 upcoming second meeting of 11 July. What did you discuss with him about

4 that next meeting?

5 A. We only agreed very briefly what to do. Rather, that we should

6 continue the tasks that I had started, that we should carrying out

7 preparations for the meeting that was scheduled for 2300 hours, that was

8 expected to take place at 2300 hours.

9 Q. What were those preparations?

10 A. Mostly those were regular preparations concerning security

11 measures that would be taken in cases where officers from the main staff

12 or from the corps command were in the area, providing security for the

13 Fontana Hotel where the meeting was scheduled to take place. It was about

14 providing physical security and taking other measures related to security

15 measures and making sure that representatives of DutchBat and the Muslim

16 side got there safely.

17 Q. While you were in the brigade command at about this time, did you

18 speak about any of these matters to your commander, Mr. Blagojevic?

19 A. As I said, in that period, in the evening on the 11th, I did not

20 personally see Commander Blagojevic. But I've said in my previous

21 testimony that whatever information I had on enemy forces and activities,

22 and whatever other information I had, I duly informed the duty operations

23 officer about it.

24 Q. Aside from the duty operations officer, did you speak to any other

25 Bratunac Brigade officers that night, before going back -- or before

Page 1666

1 leaving the office?

2 A. As I said, it was Colonel Jankovic. I can't remember specifically

3 whether I talked to him about those tasks, except the talks that I had

4 with the military police commander.

5 Q. Now, aside from what you've told us earlier, did you have any

6 additional talks with the military police commander, who is, as you have

7 stated, Mirko Jankovic, just so we're not confused, not Colonel Jankovic?

8 A. Yes, the military police commander, I told him that some of his

9 military policemen would again be needed at 11.00 to provide security at

10 the Fontana Hotel during the meeting.

11 Q. So what was the next thing you did after these discussions with

12 Colonel Jankovic and Mirko Jankovic? Where did you go?

13 A. I went myself to the Fontana Hotel, and I was preparing the

14 security measure, the carrying out of the security measures.

15 Q. And can you describe for us that meeting, who was there, who did

16 you see arrive at that meeting?

17 A. That evening, at the second meeting, I saw General Ratko Mladic,

18 commander of the main staff. I saw General Krstic, who was the commander

19 of the Drina Corps. I saw Lieutenant-Colonel Kosoric. I saw Colonel

20 Jankovic. They were representing the army of Republika Srpska.

21 As for DutchBat, the commander of DutchBat, Lieutenant-Colonel

22 Karremans was there, alongside with his deputy Major Boering, and I think

23 Mr. Rutten, one of the other officers, was also there.

24 Q. Was there a representative of the Muslims that you recall?

25 A. Yes, I apologise. I forgot about that. Representative of the

Page 1667

1 Muslim side was there that evening, Mr. Nesib Mandzic.

2 Q. Have you had an opportunity to review the video of that meeting in

3 the possession of the Prosecutor?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Again, you cannot be seen on that video, can you?

6 A. No, I can't. During the meeting itself, I was not in the room

7 where the meeting took place.

8 Q. Where were you during the meeting?

9 A. I was outside that room in another room, a bigger room from which

10 you entered the room in which the meeting was taking place. I was near

11 the door which separated the two rooms. There is a sliding door

12 separating the two rooms, so I was outside the room where the meeting was

13 taking place in the other room, the bigger room.

14 Q. Were you able to see what was going on in the meeting?

15 A. Yes, I could both see and hear what was happening inside the room,

16 who was in attendance and what was being discussed.

17 Q. What was your impressions of what was going on in this meeting?

18 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may object to the line of the

19 questioning or the way it's phrased. If he could ask the gentleman to

20 describe what he saw, then the Court can conclude what impressions he

21 might have formed at the time.

22 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Mr. McCloskey, I could not understand your

23 question, so maybe you could rephrase it to be more specific.


25 Q. Can you describe briefly what happened at the meeting, that you

Page 1668

1 saw and heard.

2 A. Yes, I can. The meeting kicked off around 11.00 as ordered by

3 General Mladic when the DutchBat people had finished their first meeting.

4 I already said who was present at the first meeting. And unlike the first

5 meeting, when those present did not even sit down around the table to

6 talk, the second meeting was more like a meeting in its nature. The first

7 part of the meeting took place in a more or less fair atmosphere.

8 Mr. Karremans was talking about the situation in Potocari. He was talking

9 about priorities, in terms of what needed doing to put the situation back

10 in control. Mr. Karremans enumerated, or rather listed, everything that

11 he thought was urgent in Srebrenica. Mostly he was referring to medicine,

12 to food, water, the evacuation of the wounded, assisting the wounded,

13 supplying some of the medicines, and other issues of more or less

14 humanitarian character.

15 The next part of the meeting was very different in tone.

16 General Mladic spoke to Nesib Mandzic telling him that the fate of the

17 Muslim people was in his hands. He still insisted at the meeting that

18 members of the civilian bodies, bodies of the civilian government and of

19 the army, should be present at the next meeting. At one point,

20 General Mladic said that his people could either survive or disappear and

21 that it was all up to Mandzic, or rather down to how the situation would

22 evolve over the next period.

23 After that, there was nothing else worth pointing out, I think.

24 The meeting was over. General Mladic personally ordered me to see members

25 of DutchBat and the Muslim representatives back to the yellow bridge,

Page 1669

1 Zuti Most, and back to Potocari.

2 Q. What, if anything, was anticipated for the next day based on what

3 you saw at that meeting?

4 A. Yes. Towards the end of the meeting, General Mladic said that he

5 would order his troops to cease-fire until 10.00 the following day and

6 that he would expect to see all of them at 10.00 attending the meeting the

7 next day.

8 Q. So did you escort Mr. Mandzic and the Dutch back to Potocari?

9 A. Yes. I escorted Mr. Mandzic and the Dutch as far as the yellow

10 bridge, and then they continued on to Potocari, their base.

11 Q. What did you do after that?

12 A. After that, I went back to the yellow bridge. I told the police

13 and members of the Bratunac Brigade who were manning the yellow bridge to

14 take over the representatives of DutchBat the next day, that a meeting was

15 scheduled for 10.00. And if they were no longer on duty the next day,

16 that they should inform the people who came to relieve them about this.

17 Then I went to the brigade headquarters. There was nothing special

18 happening. It was already quite late, so I went back home to sleep.

19 Q. When you went back to the brigade headquarters, did you see any of

20 the senior officers of the brigade or the corps or the main staff or any

21 others?

22 A. At that time, once I was back, I didn't see anyone. It was quite

23 late in the evening. There was no one around.

24 Q. Going on to the 12th of July, when did you come on duty on 12

25 July?

Page 1670

1 A. On the 12th of July, I arrived just past 7.00. I came to the

2 Bratunac Brigade headquarters, to the operations room. After that, I went

3 to my office, so that must have been just past 7.00.

4 Q. What happened of significant at the Bratunac Brigade that morning,

5 if anything?

6 A. As far as I remember, nothing special, nothing significant.

7 Intelligence kept coming in from the field that the position of the Muslim

8 convoy travelling towards Konjevic Polje and on to Cerska was already

9 known on the 12th. This was the information that had been forwarded to us

10 before the 12th, the morning hours on the 12th.

11 Q. Do you recall any meetings of senior officers at the Bratunac

12 Brigade headquarters that morning of 12 July?

13 A. There were meetings being held in that period of time at the

14 Bratunac Brigade. But I'm still not sure whether it was on the 12th on

15 the 13th, and I can't say specifically. I know there were a number of

16 such meetings. However, if it was on the 12th or the 13th, I really can't

17 say.

18 Q. Do you remember a morning meeting on the 12th or the 13th, you're

19 just not sure which day it is?

20 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may object here for a second.

21 JUDGE LIU: Yes.

22 MR. KARNAVAS: The gentleman has indicated that there were

23 "meetings" plural. And he mentioned several days. I would ask the

24 Prosecutor to please not re-characterise the witness's testimony in a way

25 that suggests a potential option from which the witness can select. In

Page 1671

1 other words, leading the witness. Thank you.

2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.

3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes --

4 JUDGE LIU: You may put it another way.

5 MR. McCLOSKEY: I will try, Mr. President. But to call the

6 Court's attention to the answer to the witness: "But I'm still not sure

7 whether it was on the 12th or the 13th." That's what I meant to get to.

8 JUDGE LIU: I think the problem is the witness said there are a

9 number of meetings. And your question is a morning meeting on the 12th

10 or 13th.


12 Q. You mentioned that there was a number of meetings, and you also

13 mentioned that you couldn't remember whether it was the 12th or 13th. Do

14 you remember anything about any meetings during that time period, and if

15 you could tell us which time period it is, to clarify?

16 A. I do remember that there were meetings on both the 12th and the

17 13th at the Bratunac Brigade command. But what I wish to say is that it

18 was seven or eight years ago, and I have been reminded by certain

19 documents that I had in my possession. So I can say that on that basis as

20 well, I can confirm that there was a meeting on the 12th in the Bratunac

21 Brigade headquarters.

22 Q. Is there one document in particular that helps you remember a

23 meeting on the morning of the 12th at the Bratunac Brigade headquarters?

24 A. There is a document of the chief of the state security centre,

25 Colonel Vasic which shows that in Bratunac, that meeting was held at that

Page 1672

1 time.

2 Q. Do you have any recollection -- sorry. First of all, were you at

3 that meeting?

4 A. No, I wasn't at that meeting.

5 Q. Do you have any recollection of who you saw present at the

6 Bratunac Brigade headquarters at that time?

7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.

8 MR. KARNAVAS: I don't mean to interrupt the Prosecutor. However,

9 he has made reference to a particular document. I think at this point in

10 time, the document should be introduced or shown to the particular witness

11 so we know exactly which document he's making reference to because the

12 gentleman did indicate that now his memory, at least in the preparation of

13 his direct examination, and perhaps cross, has been refreshed by documents

14 furnished to him by his lawyers during the course of the last year or so.

15 So he's not testifying from an independent memory, but rather from

16 documents that he's reviewed. He has also indicated that he wasn't

17 present at the meeting, and so at this point, I think, to make -- so we

18 can have a clear record and for the purposes of perhaps cross-examination,

19 the Prosecutor should show the document to the gentleman so we are sure

20 which document in particular he's referring to. Thank you.

21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much, Mr. Karnavas. I believe that the

22 Prosecutor will come to that document later. You may proceed.

23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, there -- as one might imagine, this

24 witness as well as other witnesses have referred to many, many documents.

25 I can't be prepared to have each document that this witness has used to

Page 1673

1 refresh his recollection. That particular document is a well-known

2 document. I can put my finger on it. It was provided to Defence counsel

3 a few days ago. It's a well-known document. And we have it and we will

4 tie it up. I have saved the document presentation until the end so we

5 could hear just from the witness. And so if -- I think we can tie that

6 document or anything else that appears relevant from the direct at the

7 end, that which was my intention.

8 MR. KARNAVAS: For the moment --


10 MR. KARNAVAS: -- For the moment, I am satisfied with that answer,

11 Your Honour. But only for the moment.

12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. We will see.

13 You may proceed, Mr. McCloskey.

14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.

15 Q. So do you recall any senior officers present at the brigade

16 headquarters about the time this meeting was going on?

17 A. Yes, I do remember, Mr. McCloskey. On that day, that is, the

18 12th, General Mladic was present, General Krstic, Lieutenant-Colonel

19 Popovic, Lieutenant-Colonel Kosoric, and of course it was normal that

20 Colonel Jankovic would be at the brigade headquarters. And as far as I

21 can recollect, Mr. Or Colonel Vasic was also present from the security

22 centre in Zvornik.

23 Q. Just to, again, clear up the record, did you say

24 Lieutenant-colonel Kosoric was present, not Osoric?

25 A. Yes, Kosoric.

Page 1674

1 Q. Do you recall seeing your commander Blagojevic at the brigade

2 headquarters that morning on 12 July?

3 A. Yes, I did see him. He was present.

4 Q. What did you do that morning, 12 July?

5 A. As I have already said, on the 12th of July, the talks were

6 continued at the Fontana Hotel. And after just briefly being at the

7 headquarters, I went to the Fontana Hotel, and I was working on the

8 preparations for that meeting scheduled for 10.00.

9 Q. Did you --

10 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may interrupt for one second.

11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, I'm sorry, I could not see you because of the

12 angle.

13 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. Thank you, Your Honour.

14 The previous line of questioning, the Prosecutor asked who was at

15 the brigade headquarters, and the gentleman listed several officers.

16 Prior to that, the gentleman talked about a meeting. Then the next

17 question -- then shortly thereafter, he was asked whether

18 Colonel Blagojevic was there. That is giving the impression that somehow

19 Mr. Blagojevic was at a particular meeting that was being held. And I'm

20 quite concerned that there's no clear record here as to whether this

21 gentleman here saw Mr. Blagojevic on that particular morning at that

22 particular meeting, but the transcript and the way that the presentation

23 is going from the question and answer would somehow give the impression

24 that since he saw him and since there were others there and since there

25 was a meeting, somehow assuming there was a meeting that Mr. Blagojevic

Page 1675

1 was also at the meeting with all these other high-powered officers.

2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey, you may ask some questions to

3 clarify that point. From the transcript, there may be some

4 misunderstandings.

5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I have no indication that this

6 witness saw Mr. Blagojevic at this meeting. All I know is that he was at

7 the brigade headquarters. That's all we brought out on direct. That's

8 what the record reflects. I can try to clear that up, but I know

9 Mr. Karnavas is very good at cross-examination, and I will try to make

10 that clear, clearer for Your Honours.

11 Q. Mr. Nikolic, did you ever see anyone actually at a meeting on the

12 12th of July?

13 A. No, Mr. McCloskey. I said that I wasn't at that meeting, and I

14 couldn't see who was actually present at that meeting.

15 Q. So the people that you have described present that morning at the

16 Bratunac Brigade headquarters were the people you've already described.

17 Correct?

18 A. Yes, yes, that's right.

19 Q. Whether or not they were at that meeting, you don't know because

20 you weren't at that meeting. Is that correct?

21 A. Clearly so, yes.

22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honours, is there anything else that the

23 Court is concerned with on that point?

24 JUDGE LIU: No, you may proceed.


Page 1676

1 Q. When you went to the Hotel Fontana, did you meet with any officers

2 at that time?

3 A. Yes. On the 12th, in the morning, I had a meeting prior to that

4 meeting with Lieutenant-Colonel Kosoric and Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic.

5 Q. And where was this that you met with them?

6 A. We met at the plateau in front of the Fontana Hotel, in front of

7 the entrance, the plateau in front of the entrance to the hotel.

8 Q. Was there anyone else in the area of this area in the front of the

9 Hotel Fontana?

10 A. In the area in front of the Fontana Hotel were also members of the

11 physical security, that is, members of the Bratunac police who came to

12 provide security for the hotel.

13 Q. What, if anything, was said between you and Lieutenant-Colonel

14 Popovic and Kosoric that morning in front of the hotel?

15 A. Yes, we talked. And in answer to my question to Popovic and

16 Kosoric as to what would happen next, Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic told me

17 that on that day, the women and children would be evacuated and that they

18 would be evacuated in the direction of Kladanj. Also that on that day,

19 the men, the able-bodied men, would be separated and that those men would

20 be temporarily detained once they had been separated. And when I asked

21 what would happen to them next, he told me that all balijas needed to be

22 killed.

23 That was a conversation in the presence of Popovic, myself, and

24 Kosoric. In continuation, we discussed the provisional places of

25 detention for the separated men. I suggested to Popovic and Kosoric that

Page 1677

1 the buildings of the Vuk Karadzic elementary school, that the Djuro Pucar

2 Stari secondary school in Bratunac, the gym, and the hangar should be used

3 as detention facilities for the men separated from the group at Potocari.

4 That was a part of the conversation we had.

5 Another part of that conversation relating this operation had to

6 do with my own role, and I was told that my task in that operation would

7 be to coordinate the forces that would be engaged in Potocari for this

8 operation of separation, temporary detention, and later the killing of

9 those men.

10 Q. Were there -- were there any locations discussed for the killing

11 of the Muslim men?

12 A. Yes, yes, Mr. Prosecutor. The places of execution were discussed,

13 and two locations were mentioned. The first to be mentioned was the

14 brickworks, the Ciglana, a state-owned company in Bratunac, and the area

15 of the Sase mine in Sase village.

16 Q. Who brought up these two locations as possible locations for

17 execution?

18 A. I mentioned both locations. But in view of the way in which they

19 reacted, my conclusion was that they already knew, that is, that both of

20 them already knew about both locations.

21 Q. You mentioned that Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic was saying these

22 things to you. Did Lieutenant-Colonel Kosoric say anything during this

23 discussion?

24 A. Mr. Popovic spoke, after which the same was repeated by

25 Lieutenant-Colonel Kosoric.

Page 1678

1 Q. When Popovic said that all the balijas needed to be killed, can

2 you tell us what this term "balija" is a reference to and what it means?

3 A. Balija is a term mainly used to denote Muslims, so the reference

4 was to Muslims who were at the time located in Potocari. Actually, balija

5 is a derogatory term for the Muslim people.

6 Q. How long did this discussion between you three last roughly?

7 A. It was very brief. Seven to ten minutes on the outside, not more

8 than that.

9 Q. And what did you do after this discussion?

10 A. After that discussion, I remained in front of the Fontana Hotel.

11 Actually, I was first at the reception desk, then within the hotel

12 compound as I was expecting that third meeting at 10.00 to take place.

13 Q. And did superior officers arrive at the meeting at about that

14 time?

15 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor. I can list the participants at that meeting

16 because I saw them in person as they arrived.

17 Q. Do you know if General Mladic was present at the Hotel Fontana

18 before or during the discussion you had with Kosoric and Popovic, or did

19 he arrive afterward?

20 A. General Mladic was already in the Fontana Hotel.

21 Q. Same question for General Krstic; do you know where he was at the

22 time you were having this discussion with Popovic and Kosoric?

23 A. They were already all of them in the Fontana before I had this

24 conversation with Popovic and Kosoric.

25 Q. Can you tell us from your knowledge --

Page 1679

1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.

2 MR. KARNAVAS: The gentleman indicated that "all of them." Who is

3 "all of them" that he's now referring to? Thank you, Your Honour.

4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you may ask some questions to clarify this point.

5 I guess it's the participants of that meeting, but I'm not sure.

6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, that was, of course, my next

7 question, and the interruption from counsel is I believe at this point

8 really uncalled for. And I'm endeavouring to make this as clear as

9 possible. It's hard when the rhythm and the flow of the question/answer

10 is constantly broken up, but I will continue to try.

11 Q. Can you tell us from your own personal knowledge, besides Mladic

12 and Krstic, who was at that Hotel Fontana meeting on the morning of the

13 12th?

14 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I don't mean to interrupt

15 Mr. McCloskey, but there seems to be two meetings. There's the 10.00

16 meeting that the gentleman said he went there to make sure that security

17 was there and to prepare for that particular meeting. Then there was a

18 line of questioning where he was asked was General Mladic there already.

19 He had indicated yes. General Krstic. And then he says "all of them."

20 So there would appear at least to be another meeting preceding the 10.00

21 meeting which is separate and apart from any other meeting that might have

22 taken place at the headquarters that he might have viewed sometime between

23 7.00 and 9.00.

24 So the purpose of my objection was whether when he says "all of

25 them" is he referring to a meeting prior to the 10.00 meeting, or is it

Page 1680

1 the 10.00 meeting? And I apologise if I'm interrupting or throwing off

2 the Prosecutor. That's not my intention.

3 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I believe that you made things

4 more complicated for us. And I'm a little bit confused about all those

5 meetings. But anyway, this is important testimony, and we have to make

6 that matter clearer.

7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.

8 Q. I'm asking you about the meeting at the Hotel Fontana on the

9 morning of the 12th that is on video. That was the main reason for you

10 being there, according to your testimony. Again, who were you able to see

11 that was present at that meeting on 12 July at the Hotel Fontana?

12 A. On the 12th of July, at 10.00, the meeting was attended or the

13 people who arrived to attend that meeting were the following officers:

14 General Mladic was present, General Krstic, Colonel Jankovic,

15 Lieutenant-Colonel Kosoric, and Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic. From the

16 ministry of internal affairs, Colonel Vasic was present as chief of the

17 security centre in Zvornik as well as representatives of the Dutch

18 Battalion, Mr. Karremans, Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans, Mr. Boering, and

19 Mr. Rutten. And from the Muslim side, the meeting was attended by Nesib

20 Mandzic, Mr. Nuhanovic, and a lady whose name I am really unable to

21 remember just now, a lady who was in the team representing the Muslim

22 side. And of course, an interpreter, Petar Uscumlic, was present.

23 Q. Do you recall an Ibro Nuhanovic being present as well?

24 A. Yes, I said Ibro Nuhanovic was present as well.

25 Q. How about anyone from the civilian authorities of the Bratunac or

Page 1681

1 Republika Srpska?

2 A. Yes, attending the meeting was the president of the Municipal

3 Assembly of Bratunac, Ljubisav Simic; the president of the executive

4 council of Bratunac Municipality, Srbislav Davidovic; and in the capacity

5 of commissioner for civilian affairs of Srebrenica, Mr. Miroslav Deronjic.

6 Q. Can you tell us what is this commissioner of civilian affairs that

7 Mr. Deronjic was holding?

8 A. As far as I know, he was nominated by the president of the

9 republic, Mr. Karadzic, as a person who should take all necessary measures

10 to ensure protection for the civilian population, to communicate with

11 them, to provide medical aid, and to make sure that everything functioned

12 in accordance with the Geneva Conventions. That is my understanding of

13 his role. His role also was to organise the functioning of authority in

14 Srebrenica, to appoint the chief of the MUP and the other necessary bodies

15 for Srebrenica to renew or normalise life again. That's as much as I know

16 regarding his role.

17 Q. Did you attend this 10.00 Hotel Fontana meeting yourself?

18 A. No, Mr. McCloskey, I did not attend this meeting. I was not even

19 inside the premises where the meeting was being held.

20 Q. And why was that?

21 A. One of the reasons, there are several reasons. One of the reasons

22 is that I realised fully what was going to happen, so there was absolutely

23 no need for me to listen to what was being said. And it was my assessment

24 that all that remained was purely technical matters on technical aspects

25 of that operation, that is the operation of evacuation and forcible

Page 1682

1 resettlement.

2 Q. So what in your mind was going to happen at this meeting?

3 A. Well, roughly speaking, that the demands and questions that had

4 been discussed at the previous meeting, that is, the one held on the 12th

5 at 2300 hours would be specified regarding provision of fuel,

6 transportation, the provision of buses and trucks, and other such

7 technical matters.

8 Q. And where were you during the time of this -- the 10.00 meeting at

9 the Hotel Fontana?

10 A. For a while, I was sitting in the lobby outside the hall. And a

11 part of the time, I was in the area in front of the Fontana Hotel.

12 Q. Why didn't you go to Potocari and begin the responsibilities that

13 had been discussed between you and Popovic and Kosoric?

14 A. Simply because I hadn't received any specific order for a specific

15 assignment. We did discuss these things, but it was not a concrete or

16 specific assignment. Furthermore, the evacuation and what we had been

17 discussed was not possible just then because there were no buses or trucks

18 or anything like that yet.

19 Q. In that discussion with Kosoric and Popovic, were the Muslims

20 going to be given an option to stay if they chose?

21 A. I can only say what my impression was, based on what I had heard.

22 In theory, this would have been possible. In practical terms, my

23 conclusion was that it would have been impossible.

24 Q. What do you base your conclusion on?

25 A. For example, I base the first part of my conclusion on

Page 1683

1 General Mladic's statements. I will try and paraphrase what he actually

2 said. He said that he was the one who could guarantee safety, the safety

3 of other people, that civilians were not the target of the army of

4 Republika Srpska, the UNPROFOR, or other members of international

5 organisations. He said that whoever wished to stay should speak out and

6 say so on an individual basis, whether they wanted to stay or leave.

7 That's what he said. In theory, some of the Muslims would be allowed to

8 stay. In practical terms, I know what Mr. Popovic and Kosoric told me.

9 Quite simply, the position was that all civilians would be evacuated, that

10 the men would be detained -- separated, detained, and killed.

11 This was a position that clearly indicated the operation would go

12 through to the very end and would be applied to everyone.

13 Q. To try to clarify this, when you say you heard General Mladic

14 making these statements, where was it -- where was he and when did he make

15 these statements?

16 A. This was at the second meeting, at the second meeting at 11.00

17 when he spoke about what I've just said.

18 Q. On the evening of 11 July?

19 A. Yes, yes, the evening of 11th of July, 11.00.

20 Q. All right. Did you receive clear information or instructions on

21 what you should be doing that morning of 12 July?

22 A. Yes, I received clear instructions after the meeting on the 12th

23 of July, after the meeting that begin at 10.00.

24 Q. And who did you receive those instructions from?

25 A. I received those instructions once the meeting was over from

Page 1684

1 Colonel Jankovic who had been present at that meeting. So following the

2 meeting, I received instructions.

3 Q. And where were you and Colonel Jankovic when you received

4 instructions from him?

5 A. I was outside the Fontana Hotel, and Colonel Jankovic had left the

6 meeting. We met just after he left the Fontana Hotel, and he issued me

7 with instructions as to what I should do.

8 Q. During the time he issued you these instructions, was there anyone

9 else present or within earshot of you and Colonel Jankovic?

10 A. At that specific time, no. There were other people leaving the

11 building. There were some policemen nearby. Two of us talked to one

12 side, and the other people were leaving on the other side. So it wasn't

13 possible for anyone to overhear our conversation.

14 Q. And what did he say to you? What did Colonel Jankovic say to you?

15 A. Colonel Jankovic told me what my next assignment would be. He

16 said on the 12th, I should work in Potocari and coordinate the activities

17 that were underway in Potocari itself, that I should give instructions and

18 that I should coordinate the evacuation of the civilian population, of the

19 women and children, to coordinate work on the separation of men and their

20 temporary transfer and detention.

21 Q. Was there any discussion with Colonel Jankovic relating to the

22 killing of the Muslim men that would be separated?

23 A. No, Mr. McCloskey. There was no discussion with Colonel Jankovic

24 about that operation, the killing of men.

25 Q. What did you do after receiving these instructions?

Page 1685

1 A. I waited for a while. I did not leave for Potocari immediately

2 because the buses had not yet arrived at the time when I received my

3 instructions from Colonel Jankovic. I said for a while outside the hotel

4 in the area just in front of the hotel.

5 Q. Did Colonel Jankovic refer you to any particular person to conduct

6 these duties with in Potocari?

7 A. Yes. He told me that as for coordinating those activities that

8 were part of the operation, I should speak to Mr. Jevic who was a member

9 of the special brigades of the MUP, Dusko Jevic.

10 Q. Did you know who Dusko Jevic was at the time?

11 A. Yes. I knew Dusko Jevic personally. I'd known him from before

12 the operation. But at that time, I didn't know precisely what his role in

13 Potocari was. I knew he was a member of the special brigade of the

14 ministry of internal affairs, but I didn't know specifically what his role

15 was.

16 Q. Now, the special brigade of the MUP, is that the same organisation

17 that Mr. Borovcanin was a member of that you had spoken of earlier?

18 A. Yes, it's the same unit.

19 Q. At that time, did you know the hierarchy between Mr. Jevic and

20 Mr. Borovcanin?

21 A. Well, roughly, yes. I was aware of it. I knew that

22 Mr. Borovcanin was Mr. Jevic's superior.

23 Q. Did you see anyone else around the Hotel Fontana at this time?

24 A. While I was in the area outside the hotel, I noticed myself Petar

25 Uscumlic and Mr. Josipovic. I also noticed members of DutchBat who after

Page 1686

1 the meeting were on their way back to Bratunac.

2 Q. Were there any discussions between you and the DutchBat people?

3 A. Yes, after they returned, they asked me what the plan was for

4 later concerning the buses, the evacuation and so on and so forth. I told

5 them that preparations were underway and that the buses would soon be

6 there. I told them they should go back to their base in Potocari to wait

7 for the evacuation to start.

8 Q. Do you recall which members of DutchBat you said this to?

9 A. I remember specifically Mr. Rutten because I knew him personally,

10 and I had been in touch with him countless times before. I don't remember

11 specifically who the other officer was.

12 Q. What did you do after speaking to these Dutch officers?

13 A. After that, I went to Potocari. Actually, I stayed for a while

14 outside the hotel, and then I left for Potocari.

15 Q. Did you stop by your command post before going to Potocari, the

16 headquarters of the Bratunac Brigade?

17 A. No, not then. I didn't go to the command post of the Bratunac

18 Brigade because it was on a different road. I went straight to Potocari

19 from the hotel, from outside the hotel.

20 Q. Before going to Potocari, did you communicate with your commander

21 Mr. Blagojevic about anything?

22 A. No, not on that day. On that day I didn't communicate with him.

23 I didn't talk to him on that day.

24 Q. Did you speak with him later that day?

25 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I'm going to ask that he stop leading

Page 1687

1 the witness. The witness indicated and I quote: "He says on that day I

2 didn't communicate with him. I didn't talk with him on that day." And

3 then the question is: "Did you speak with him later that day?" It's a

4 suggestive question.

5 Now, if Mr. McCloskey wishes to refresh the memory or to impeach

6 his own witness, I have no objection to that. But as it's phrased, it's

7 leading in nature. I appreciate the difficulties the gentleman is having

8 at the time. This is a very key witness, it's a delicate issue, and I

9 just want to go by the numbers on this one.

10 JUDGE LIU: I believe that the witness has already answered that

11 question. He said: "Not on that day." Mr. McCloskey, if you have some

12 evidence that the witness had the opportunity to speak to Mr. Blagojevic,

13 just show it to him. Otherwise, I'm afraid that you have to drop this

14 question.

15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, it's not a leading question, I

16 don't believe, is it?

17 JUDGE LIU: No, I don't think it's a leading question. But the

18 answer is quite obvious from this witness. He said: "Not on that day.

19 On that day, I did not communicate with him. I did not talk to him on

20 that day." I think that's quite clear.

21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Well, I can try to get to this question,

22 Your Honour. But I'll go on. Thank you.

23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.


25 Q. When was the --

Page 1688

1 A. Your Honours, if I may be allowed to clarify this, I think there

2 has been a misunderstanding. My understanding of Mr. McCloskey's question

3 was about that day before I left for Potocari, whether I saw the

4 commander. That's how I understood the question. And my answer was that

5 on that day, I meant that specific time of day before I left for Potocari,

6 I did not see Commander Blagojevic. I abide by that. However, on the

7 12th, on that same day, I did, in fact, see Mr. Blagojevic, but not before

8 I had left for Potocari. That's my final answer to this question. I

9 think I failed to understand Mr. McCloskey's question clearly enough, so I

10 can only offer my apologies with this correction.

11 Q. Why didn't you speak or communicate with Commander Blagojevic

12 before going to carry out these duties in Potocari?

13 A. The reason was simple. I've already referred to my conversation

14 with Colonel Jankovic. Colonel Jankovic, among other things, told me that

15 the units that I was to coordinate in Srebrenica had been issued orders

16 and that the units that would take part in that operation were already in

17 Potocari. I believed, as seen perfectly normal, that the commanders had

18 already assigned units and planned all activities related to the

19 evacuation. I thought my role in the whole thing was clear. That's why I

20 didn't deem it necessary to go back to the commander to ask for more

21 orders and more instructions.

22 Q. So about what time did you get to Potocari that day?

23 A. Roughly speaking, about 1.00, perhaps a little later, between 1.00

24 and 2.00.

25 Q. Can you describe the units that were present in Potocari at the

Page 1689

1 time you got there.

2 A. Certainly. What I can state with certainty is that I saw police

3 units there and units of the army of Republika Srpska. As for the police

4 units I saw, I saw units under the command of Mr. Jevic. Those were units

5 of the special brigade of the MUP. Further, I saw members of the public

6 security station in Bratunac whose chief was Josip Bratunovic. I also

7 recognised members of the police with German shepherds. I also saw people

8 from the corps police. I saw people from the 10th reconnaissance and

9 sabotage detachment as well as members of the Drina Wolves from the

10 Zvornik Brigade. I also saw members of the Bratunac military police. I

11 saw members of our 2nd and 3rd Bratunac infantry battalions. Those

12 roughly speaking were the units that were present in the area. I may have

13 missed out on one or two of the units, but those units were certainly

14 there.

15 Q. The units of the 10th reconnaissance and sabotage detachment,

16 where are they from?

17 A. The 10th reconnaissance and sabotage detachment was attached to

18 the main staff. I know that. They were directly under the command of the

19 main staff.

20 Q. And the record says "Bratunac military police." Is that Bratunac

21 Brigade military police?

22 A. Yes, yes. That's who I had in mind, the Bratunac Brigade military

23 police.

24 Q. Do you recall any other military police units that were present in

25 Potocari there?

Page 1690

1 A. As I've already said, there were members of the corps police in

2 Potocari, members of the police battalion from the Drina Corps.

3 Q. And any other units that you recall from the main staff besides

4 the 10th sabotage detachment?

5 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor. There were also some members of the 65th

6 Protection Regiment also attached to the main staff.

7 Q. Can you just briefly describe the scene in Potocari when you

8 arrived there.

9 A. Yes. That day in Potocari, there were in my assessment between 25

10 and 30 thousand people in a very small area. They were put up in various

11 compounds belonging to companies. It's an industrial area, mainly in the

12 village of Potocari itself. The situation was very difficult. It was

13 horrendous. There were many people there who were exhausted. They looked

14 bad. There were many sick people there, many children, elderly people.

15 There was chaos there. They were scared. The situation was very

16 difficult among those people there who were awaiting transport.

17 Q. Did you carry out the instructions that you'd heard from Kosoric,

18 Popovic, and Colonel Jankovic?

19 A. Yes. I did exactly what I had been ordered to do, exactly in the

20 way in which I was issued instructions.

21 Q. Can you describe for the Trial Chamber what you did.

22 A. Yes. When the first buses arrived, or rather just before, I got

23 in touch with Mr. Jevic. I told him how the evacuation should be

24 conducted and what his role was in connection with the buses, organising

25 those buses, and other issues related to the transport of the civilian

Page 1691

1 population. Then I gave instructions to units who were separating the men

2 from the rest. I gave them instructions to separate all military-aged men

3 in Potocari, and I showed them the house in which these men were to be

4 temporarily detained. After that, I said the men would be taken to other

5 facilities that were assigned for their temporary detention.

6 As for that particular aspect, I was the direct coordinator for

7 those units who were busy separating and detaining the men and evacuating

8 the civilians towards Kladanj.

9 Q. Which units actually took part in the physical separation of the

10 men from their families?

11 A. On the 12th, the units taking part were both the police units, the

12 unit with German shepherds. Police units from the Drina Corps also took

13 part. Elements of the 10th sabotage detachment also took part, soldiers

14 from the 65th Protection Regiment, as well as elements of the

15 Bratunac Brigade police.

16 Q. About how many members of the Bratunac Brigade military police

17 platoon were present in Potocari taking part in these events?

18 A. Well, based on my knowledge, there would have been between 10 and

19 15 people, 15 maximum, from the Bratunac Brigade in the area at that time.

20 That was as many as they could afford to second to us in addition to their

21 normal day-to-day tasks.

22 Q. Who was the ranking soldier present from the Bratunac Brigade

23 military police?

24 A. In Srebrenica -- I'm sorry, in Potocari, Mirko Jankovic was

25 present. He would come occasionally. He was the commander of the

Page 1692

1 military police platoon of the Bratunac Brigade. As far as ranks or other

2 officers from the Bratunac Brigade were concerned, I don't think there was

3 anyone else in the platoon. He was, I believe, a lance corporal or a

4 senior corporal, something like that. I'm not sure.

5 Q. The infantry battalions from the Bratunac Brigade that you

6 described, what were they doing in Potocari on the 12th?

7 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection, Your Honour.


9 MR. KARNAVAS: To the mischaracterisation. The gentleman

10 indicated "units" not battalions. In his previous answer, he indicated

11 that he saw members of the Bratunac Brigade, and then he characterised

12 them as units. The question by the Prosecution was battalions. So that's

13 a mischaracterisation.

14 JUDGE LIU: Well, according to my records, the witness testified

15 the 2nd and 3rd battalions of that brigade was present. I mean, that is

16 from his previous answer.

17 MR. KARNAVAS: Right, Your Honour, that they were from battalions,

18 but the question, the way it was phrased, it was as if the entire

19 battalion was there. As I understand his testimony from earlier, it

20 was -- he said units, unless I wasn't listening correctly and until

21 there's a clarification by the witness that the entire battalion was

22 there, the 2nd and 3nd battalion were in Potocari on that particular

23 morning. But it's my impression that he said units.

24 JUDGE LIU: Well, I don't think it's a big issue. But anyway,

25 Mr. McCloskey, you may ask some questions to clarify this issue before we

Page 1693

1 have the break.

2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, there's -- I have made no

3 suggestion that the entire battalions were there, and I think that was

4 clear from the questioning. But I will -- thank you. I'll...

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I clarify this

6 matter. I said that in addition to the units that I've enumerated,

7 present in Potocari were also elements of the 2nd and 3nd infantry

8 battalions of the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade. I apologise. I

9 will try to be very specific and precise when answering questions.

10 I can also add that present there were also elements of the 2nd

11 and 3nd infantry battalions from the 1st Light Infantry Bratunac Brigade.


13 Q. Perhaps one last question before the break. What were the

14 elements of these battalions doing in Potocari on the 12th?

15 A. Elements of those battalions mostly helped with the evacuation.

16 They secured the area in Potocari, the area in which the civilian

17 population was being held, and they helped with the evacuation and

18 transfer, rather, deportation of Muslims from Potocari.

19 MR. McCLOSKEY: It looks like it's about break time,

20 Mr. President.

21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll have 40 minutes break. We'll resume at 10

22 minutes past 12.00.

23 --- Recess taken at 11.32 a.m.

24 --- On resuming at 12.12 p.m.

25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey, please continue.

Page 1694

1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.

2 Q. Mr. Nikolic, we are in Potocari on the afternoon of 12 July. Can

3 you give us another example of how you coordinated the activities that

4 were going on.

5 A. I can, Mr. McCloskey. I could give you endless examples, but I'll

6 mention one. When the evacuation started, or rather, the transport of

7 women and children, some problems arose in connection with the buses and

8 establishing some sort of order with them. And Mr. Jevic was in charge of

9 this part of the operation. After I had noticed this problem, I ordered

10 Jevic to change the place where the buses were turning around, and that is

11 what he did. He relocated this, or rather, he moved this position some

12 100 or 200 metres towards the UNPROFOR compound where there was an

13 expansion so that the buses could make their about turn and the column

14 could be formed under more normal conditions.

15 There were other examples, too. For example, at the spot where

16 the men were separated from their families, I suggested to the soldiers

17 that they take care and make sure that they would let pass as many

18 civilians as a bus could take so as not to cause a chaotic situation.

19 That is, not to allow more civilians to come out than could be boarded

20 onto the buses and trucks. I suggested that they acted in that way, and

21 they followed my instructions.

22 Q. What senior officers did you see in Potocari that day, the 12th of

23 July?

24 A. On that day in Potocari, I saw first of all General Mladic. Then

25 I also saw General Krstic. I saw Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic. I saw

Page 1695

1 Lieutenant-Colonel Kosoric. I also saw Major Dragoslav Trisic from the

2 Bratunac Brigade. Lieutenant-Colonel Krsmanovic, Colonel Acamovic. From

3 the police, I already said I saw and coordinated with Dusko Jevic, and I

4 could say that there were many officers present in Potocari on that day.

5 And I have listed those that I actually saw and can remember.

6 Q. Did you see Mr. Borovcanin?

7 A. I'm not sure whether I saw him on the 12th or the 13th, and I'm

8 really unable to confirm that. I did see him in Potocari, but I'm not

9 sure that that was -- actually, I did see him on both days, but I had no

10 communication with him on either of those days.

11 Q. Did you see Mr. Blagojevic in Potocari on the 12th of July?

12 A. No, no, Mr. McCloskey, I did not see Colonel Blagojevic in

13 Potocari on the 12th myself.

14 Q. Did you see him on the 13th of July in Potocari?

15 A. No. I didn't see Colonel Blagojevic in Potocari on either day

16 myself.

17 Q. You said you saw Major Trisic. Can you remind the Court who this

18 is and, if you know, what he was doing?

19 A. Yes, I can. Major and reserve Dragoslav Trisic was the

20 assistant commander of the Bratunac Brigade for the logistics. And what I

21 know for certain is that Major Dragoslav Trisic was also engaged as a

22 member of the team for organising transportation and evacuation of

23 civilians from Potocari. I forgot to mention and wish to add that in

24 Potocari, I also saw officers from the Bratunac Brigade, from the

25 logistics department, Captain Milosavljevic, and corporal or senior

Page 1696

1 corporal Mr. Stevic, and Mr. Pavle Loncarevic. All these officers were

2 from the logistics organ of the Bratunac Brigade.

3 Q. And Mr. Acamovic, what was he doing -- what was he and what was he

4 doing?

5 A. Colonel Acamovic was the assistant commander for logistics in the

6 Drina Corps. And he was assigned, and I know that to be in charge of the

7 overall organisation of the transportation, the provision of trucks and

8 buses for logistic support in the sense of the provision of fuel, the

9 distribution of personnel, et cetera.

10 Q. And how about Mr. Krsmanovic who you also just mentioned?

11 A. Yes, I mentioned Lieutenant-Colonel Krsmanovic. Mr. Krsmanovic is

12 an officer from the logistics organ of the Drina Corps. He is an officer

13 in that body, and he feels engaged to be chief of the transportation

14 service and the immediate superior was Acamovic.

15 Q. Did you communicate that day, the 12th, with Colonel Acamovic?

16 A. On the 12th, I did not communicate with Colonel Acamovic because I

17 had no need to contact him.

18 Q. How about Lieutenant-Colonel Krsmanovic, did you communicate with

19 him on the 12th?

20 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor.

21 Q. During this process of evacuation of the women and children and

22 the separation and detention of the men, did you see any of the Muslims

23 abused by Serb soldiers or police?

24 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey. At the very spot where the separation was

25 taking place of the men from their families, I saw innumerable cases of

Page 1697

1 abuse and mistreatment of the men being separated.

2 Q. What kind? What kind of abuse during the separation did you see?

3 Can you describe it?

4 A. I can. After the separation, which was done in a rough and

5 inappropriate way, personal belongings were seized and thrown onto a pile

6 which was formed on the way to the White House where they were taken. Then

7 there was physical abuse and beating of those men with hands and feet.

8 Then there was verbal abuse; that is, they were called balijas and Turks

9 and Ustashas and the like. Then those who passed through this point were

10 turned back from the buses they had reached and separated and told to go

11 back to the place where the already separated men were temporarily

12 detained.

13 Q. Did you see any superior officers of the MUP or superior officers

14 of the VRS forces ever attempt in any way to stop this abuse?

15 A. No. While I was present there, during the separation and this

16 mistreatment, I didn't see any of the immediate officers in command trying

17 to prevent the mistreatment of these men.

18 Q. Did you yourself do anything to try to stop this?

19 A. No. I didn't do anything. I didn't try to prevent the

20 mistreatment or the abuse of those men.

21 Q. Was this a dereliction of your responsibility as a military

22 officer?

23 A. Well, one can say that though I was aware and an eyewitness of

24 what was going on, I didn't undertake anything myself personally, nor did

25 I insist that such measures be taken by the officers in charge of units

Page 1698

1 that I was coordinating. And I do think that it was a dereliction of my

2 duties.

3 Q. Do you think your failure to prevent these abuses encouraged the

4 abuses in any way?

5 A. Yes, I think so. I think that my behaviour also contributed to

6 the abuse continuing throughout the period of evacuation.

7 Q. Can you explain that, why junior soldiers might feel encouraged

8 when their seniors are not preventing them from such abuse?

9 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm going to object.

10 JUDGE LIU: Yes.

11 MR. KARNAVAS: Calls for speculation, Your Honour. He can

12 describe exactly what he in particular did to encourage. As I understand,

13 he participated in some of the abuses over there, so he can give that

14 description. So maybe then, there may be a follow-up question. But the

15 way it's stated, given the lack of foundation, he's asking the witness to

16 speculate.

17 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. McCloskey, it is a speculation because he

18 could not say why the junior officers did that. You may rephrase your

19 question.


21 Q. The fact that your seniors had issued orders of the nature that

22 you've described, separating Muslim men to be killed, and the fact that

23 senior officers were present during this abuse, did that encourage you in

24 any way to continue this dereliction of your duties?

25 A. It did.

Page 1699

1 Q. Is a military officer supposed to lead by example?

2 A. He is.

3 Q. Do the junior troops look to their officers on how to properly

4 conduct themselves?

5 A. They didn't.

6 Q. Should they have?

7 A. Yes, of course.

8 Q. How long were you in Potocari on the 12th before you left the

9 area?

10 A. Most of that day I spent in Potocari; that is, the day of the

11 12th. Once I arrived at Potocari, I stayed there. I stayed there until

12 the last convoy arrived. That is when men started to board the means of

13 transport, those that were separated for evacuation.

14 Q. And then what happened?

15 A. I don't understand the question, actually.

16 Q. What did you do at this point during the last part of the day in

17 Potocari?

18 A. After that, I went to the headquarters of the Bratunac Brigade.

19 Q. And about what time did you arrive to the Bratunac Brigade

20 headquarters?

21 A. Well, shall we say between 20 and 2100 hours, roughly, around that

22 time.

23 Q. What did you do there?

24 A. At the Bratunac Brigade headquarters, after my involvement in

25 Potocari, I informed the Bratunac Brigade commander of my activities

Page 1700

1 during that day.

2 Q. Where were you and the commander when you informed him of your

3 activities of the day?

4 A. I personally informed the brigade commander in his office at the

5 Bratunac Brigade headquarters.

6 Q. Was there anybody else in the office with you and your commander

7 at this time?

8 A. No, the two of us were alone.

9 Q. Can you outline for us what you had told your commander about your

10 activities that day.

11 A. I told him everything that had happened on that day, the 12th, and

12 what I had been involved in. I told him about the orders I had received.

13 Then I told him that I was engaged in Potocari. I told him what my duties

14 were there. I told him how the evacuation evolved and what my main tasks

15 were. I told him about certain details regarding the separation of those

16 men in Potocari and the deportation, or rather, detention first in the

17 White House and then in the Vuk Karadzic elementary school. I told him

18 that I had information that those men would later be killed. I didn't

19 tell him who my source was, who had told me that. And that would be in

20 brief the contents of the information I passed on to him.

21 Q. What, if anything, did Mr. Blagojevic say to you as you were

22 explaining him these events?

23 A. Nothing special. He didn't say anything in particular. When I

24 was reporting to him about the situation in Potocari, I told him that the

25 situation was extremely difficult, that there were many problems, that it

Page 1701

1 was all dreadful. His reaction was nothing in particular. He just said

2 that he was aware that that was so and that he had no special opinion

3 about it, that those were the orders and that what was being done was what

4 had been ordered.

5 Q. What did you take him to mean when he said to you that he was

6 aware that "that was so" and that "those were the orders"?

7 A. I can just say what my impression was at the time, and that was

8 that this operation which was being implemented, that he had been informed

9 about it, that he was well aware of it, and that what I told him was

10 nothing new to him and that these were not new information that he was

11 hearing for the first time.

12 Q. Did he do anything to dissuade you from carrying out future

13 conduct in relation to the separation and murder of the men?

14 A. No, I didn't receive any instructions or any orders of any kind.

15 Q. Did he do anything to dissuade you from taking part in the

16 organisation of the transportation of the women and children from

17 Potocari?

18 A. No.

19 Q. Did he do anything to encourage your continued involvement in

20 these events that evening? Did he say or do anything that evening to

21 encourage your continued involvement in this operation to move out the

22 women and children and detain and kill the men?

23 A. No, he didn't say anything along those lines that would give me

24 the impression that he was encouraging me to do anything else.

25 Q. Did he -- what was your understanding of what your duties would be

Page 1702

1 the following day, 13 July, based on your meeting with your commander?

2 A. My understanding was that the following day, I would continue to

3 be engaged in that operation until its completion, that is, the

4 evacuation, separation, and detention of the separated men.

5 Q. And did your commander ever say anything that night suggesting

6 that you would continue those duties the next day?

7 A. That night or rather that evening he didn't, but the next day he

8 did.

9 Q. Okay. So how long do you think you were in the office talking to

10 your commander about the day's events that evening?

11 A. I think that that conversation didn't last long. Shall we say

12 between 15 and 20 minutes, very roughly speaking, and a maximum of that

13 amount of time.

14 Q. What did you do after the meeting?

15 A. After that meeting, I went to my own office and wrote a report to

16 the corps command, to the department for intelligence and security

17 affairs, regarding the situation and the progress of the evacuation during

18 that day.

19 Q. Were there any significant details in that written report that you

20 didn't -- or that you hadn't discussed with your commander in your

21 previous meeting with the commander?

22 A. No. There was nothing in particular except, I wish to point out,

23 that in that report I didn't indicate the intention to kill. I wrote down

24 all the other information I had in that report to the command of the Drina

25 Corps.

Page 1703

1 Q. What did you do with that written report?

2 A. That report I took to the communications centre where there is a

3 code. I handed it to the person who actually dispatches such reports, and

4 that evening he sent that report to the corps command.

5 Q. Did you deliver the written report to anyone else personally?

6 A. No. That report does not -- is not as a rule handed to anyone

7 else. That was the normal practice. After the exchange of information, I

8 wrote down what I had informed the commander of, and there was no need for

9 me to carry that report to anyone, and not even to the commander for his

10 inspection.

11 Q. Did you have any other dealings with any other officers at the

12 Bratunac Brigade that evening?

13 A. I did. At the Bratunac Brigade headquarters on the 12th in the

14 evening, I talked to -- but this was not in the form of an official

15 conversation, in the operations room, I spoke to a group of officers who

16 happened to be there that evening.

17 Q. Who do you recall were there in that group?

18 A. I remember the presence of the assistant commander for logistics,

19 Dragoslav Trisic. I think, but I'm not sure, that also present were his

20 associates from the transportation service and the technical service. I

21 think that an officer from the operations and training sector was there,

22 Milorad Micic, I think. Anyway, officers from the brigade command.

23 Q. Was this informal meeting as you've called it, did that occur

24 before or after your meeting with Mr. Blagojevic in his office?

25 A. Mr. Prosecutor, this was no meeting. I just came there. After

Page 1704

1 sending the report, I came to the operations room. It was just an

2 informal contacts with those people because that was our regular habit, to

3 gather there after the day's activities.

4 Q. What did you discuss of significance?

5 A. We mostly discussed the situation as it was in Potocari. Each one

6 of us briefly expressed his views and impressions of what he had seen

7 during the day. So we discussed this difficult situation, the evacuation,

8 and everything that they had seen and I had seen in Potocari. We did not

9 discuss the question of killing, and I didn't discuss that matter with

10 them.

11 Q. Did you have a particular assignment that evening in the Bratunac

12 Brigade?

13 A. Yes. On the 12th of July, 1995, I was the duty officer in the

14 command of the Bratunac Brigade.

15 Q. And briefly describe to us what the duties of the duty -- brigade

16 duty officer were at that time in your brigade.

17 A. The duties of the duty officer in the brigade are mostly to sit

18 there, to be on duty in a room that is known as the operations room.

19 Also, the duty of the officer on duty is all the information received from

20 a superior command and all requests or needs coming from subordinate units

21 of the battalion, to receive them in that operations room, to record them,

22 and the information that he considers to be urgent or are marked as

23 urgent, that about them he should inform the chief of staff or the

24 commander. Also, the duty of the duty officer is to record all

25 information as he receives them regarding the movement of enemy forces or

Page 1705

1 intelligence information, regardless of the level they may be coming from,

2 which means from both subordinate units and superior commands, from

3 neighbouring units. And in a timely fashion and fully, to inform the

4 chief of staff or the commander of the brigade of the same.

5 And also, as is quite normal, to control and take all measures to

6 provide security for the headquarters and all the other tasks that may be

7 assigned to him, aside from his regular duties by the chief of staff or

8 the commander and to carry them out. And of course, this also implies

9 passing on orders from superior units to subordinate units when they go

10 through the duty officer.

11 Q. What were the working hours of the duty officer that night?

12 A. In fact, to all intents and purposes, the duty officer would stay

13 on duty by 12.00 insofar as I can remember, and at 12.00, he would be

14 relieved by the assistant duty officer in the brigade. That was the

15 principle. However, as on that day I had been busy with the activities in

16 Potocari, I was being replaced by staff officers. And that night, I

17 stayed until 3.00 in the morning at the brigade headquarters.

18 Q. So when you say normally, the duty is to 12.00, is that 12.00 noon

19 or 12.00 midnight?

20 A. 2400 hours, midnight. That's what I mean. 12.00 in the evening,

21 midnight.

22 Q. And so why did you stay until 3.00 a.m.?

23 A. I stayed until 3.00 a.m. Because during that day, I had not been

24 in the operations room for the most part. I spent most of the day back in

25 Potocari. But I remember most clearly is the reason my assistant was

Page 1706

1 standing in for me most of that time. When I arrived in the operations

2 room, he left to rest and relieve me later on as the duty officer.

3 Q. And who was this person that relieved you?

4 A. That evening, Mirko Jankovic stood in for me. He was the

5 commander of the military police platoon in the Bratunac Brigade.

6 Q. Do you know who the duty officer was during the day when Mirko

7 Jankovic was in Potocari and you were also in Potocari, as you've

8 described earlier?

9 A. Well, all I can tell you is that this was the established

10 practise. If the duty officer needed -- for example, this did happen to

11 me a number of times before this day we're talking about. In that case,

12 the clerks, for example, Milorad Micic was an administrator in the

13 operations and training department who would very often relieve operations

14 duty officers because he was physically there, and he had the spare time

15 to do it. And he would often stand in for me and for other people, too.

16 I don't remember exactly who replaced me on that particular day.

17 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may object here.

18 JUDGE LIU: Yes.

19 MR. KARNAVAS: I would ask if you could please caution the witness

20 to answer the question and only the question. He was asked a particular

21 question, and then it was a non sequitur that has nothing to do with the

22 question he was being asked. And if he wishes to volunteer information,

23 or if he needs to explain an answer, he can ask permission or he can just

24 do so, as is the habit in the Court.

25 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I think the witness answered the

Page 1707

1 question by his last sentence. Of course, the witness has to understand

2 that this is a question/answer process. If the Prosecution need more

3 informations, he could ask you about those informations. Just concentrate

4 on the questions the Prosecution asks to you. Do you understand? Thank

5 you.

6 You may proceed, Mr. McCloskey.

7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.

8 Q. And what did you do at 3.00 a.m.?

9 A. At 3.00 a.m., I went back home to sleep.

10 Q. And when did you next continue your duties as an officer of the

11 Bratunac Brigade?

12 A. I continued my duties on the 13th, in the morning. Just after

13 7.00, I arrived at the Bratunac Brigade headquarters.

14 Q. And what did you do that morning at the brigade headquarters?

15 A. That morning, I spent some time in the operations room after which

16 I spoke to Commander Blagojevic.

17 Q. Before speaking to your commander, did you receive any

18 intelligence information about the Muslim forces?

19 A. Yes. On the 12th in the evening, and on the 13th in the morning,

20 I was receiving intelligence on the position and movement of the Muslim

21 column.

22 Q. What information did you get about the Muslims on the morning of

23 the 13th in the direction of Konjevic Polje?

24 A. I received information that they were moving towards Konjevic

25 Polje, that already at that time in the morning hours, Muslims had been

Page 1708

1 captured there.

2 Q. And when you went to see your commander, was there anybody else in

3 the room with you and he?

4 A. No. No, there was no one else, just the two of us alone.

5 Q. What did he say to you, if anything?

6 A. He told me to continue my activities, the ones that I'd started on

7 the 12th, that I should get involved on the same tasks and assignments

8 that I had been involved in on the 12th of July.

9 Q. Did he mention any of those things specifically, any of the

10 specific tasks?

11 A. The same tasks as the previous day. The evacuation of the

12 civilian population, the women and children, the separation of men, and

13 the coordination of work in the Potocari area where forces were active as

14 on the previous day.

15 Q. And did you make any reports to him, or any statements?

16 A. Aside from the information that was related to the movement of

17 Muslims and their column, we also knew that men were beginning to be

18 captured on that road, on the 13th.

19 Q. Did you tell your commander that?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Did he have any comment about that?

22 A. No, nothing special.

23 Q. And so what did you do after that -- let me ask. Was there

24 anybody else present at that meeting?

25 MR. KARNAVAS: It has been asked and answered. The answer was no,

Page 1709

1 nobody was present in the room.

2 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, you are too fast.

3 Well, Mr. McCloskey, maybe you could reconsider your question.

4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I wasn't sure I had asked if. I just

5 wanted to make sure it was clear. If Mr. Karnavas tells me I did, I

6 believe him, and we can go on to another question.

7 JUDGE LIU: Well, you may continue your question to make sure that

8 question is answered.


10 Q. Can you just -- just to make sure, was there anybody in the room

11 when you had this meeting with your commander on the morning of the 13th?

12 A. No. As I have said before, no one else.

13 Q. What did you do after that meeting?

14 A. After that meeting, I went to Potocari. In Potocari, I found

15 units that were already active there. That day, like the previous day, I

16 worked on coordination, on providing assistance, providing advice related

17 to the continuing evacuation, to the separation of men, to the temporary

18 detention of men, and the transfer of men to a temporary detention

19 facilities in Bratunac.

20 Q. How long were you there on this visit to Potocari on the 13th?

21 A. I was in Potocari only very briefly on the 13th. So on the whole,

22 this lasted for one hour at most, perhaps a little longer after which I

23 went back to the headquarters, or rather, to the military police building

24 where the military police were stationed.

25 Q. While you were in Potocari on the 13th, did you see any abuse of

Page 1710

1 Muslims?

2 A. Yes, I did. I saw the same thing that had happened on the

3 previous day, on the 12th.

4 Q. Did you see any Muslim men or women or children murdered by anyone

5 in Potocari on the 12th or 13th?

6 A. No. Neither on the 12th, nor on the 13th did I see anyone killed.

7 However, I did hear that these things had happened outside the base where

8 the civilian population was gathered.

9 Q. Where did you get this information from, that someone -- or that

10 Muslims had been killed outside the base?

11 A. I heard this from the DutchBat people, and also from some soldiers

12 who were in Potocari, or rather, from the policemen who were in Potocari,

13 policemen from the Bratunac security station.

14 Q. So when you say "policemen from the Bratunac security station,"

15 you're talking about MUP, Ministry of the Interior police forces?

16 A. Yes, those were members of the ministry of internal affairs from

17 the Bratunac public security station.

18 Q. On the 12 or 13th, was there any gunfire in and around Potocari?

19 A. There was gunfire on both days, both in and around Potocari.

20 Q. What did you do when you went back -- you said you went back to

21 the Bratunac Brigade command. I believe you went to the offices of the

22 military police. What did you do there?

23 A. Yes. When I arrived at the military police building, I found out

24 that during that day, General Mladic was supposed to pass down the

25 Bratunac/Konjevic Polje Road along with a group of officers.

Page 1711

1 Q. Who did you find this out from?

2 A. The duty operations officer of the military police told me. So

3 did the commander of military police, Jankovic.

4 Q. So does the military police platoon have its own separate duty

5 officer as from the brigade duty officer?

6 A. Yes. According to its structure, a military police platoon had a

7 duty operations officer within the military police platoon on a daily

8 basis.

9 Q. And we'll have an exhibit later on, an aerial image. But can you

10 just tell us briefly where the military police offices are compared with

11 the Bratunac Brigade headquarters offices.

12 A. I can. The Bratunac Brigade headquarters was at the Kalin

13 factory in Bratunac. In front of that building, there was another prefab

14 building at a distance of about 20 or 30 metres from the brigade

15 headquarters. This building was not physically linked to the

16 headquarters, but it was in the immediate vicinity. Like I said, nothing

17 special, two buildings. One was the brigade headquarters, and the other

18 was the police building nearby. That's all.

19 Q. So what did you do with this information about Mladic going in

20 that area, if anything?

21 A. After that, I took a vehicle and a police officer with me, and I

22 drove out on to the Bratunac/Konjevic Polje Road. I wanted to check

23 whether the road was safe.

24 Q. About what time did you leave Bratunac and drive along the

25 Bratunac/Konjevic Polje Road?

Page 1712

1 A. I can't be very specific about this, but it may have been about

2 11.00, perhaps half past 11.00. Maybe even a little later, but it was

3 around that time.

4 Q. And what did you see along that road?

5 A. All the way down that road as far as Kravica, I didn't see

6 anything out of the ordinary. Near Kravica, in the Sandici area, I saw

7 forces of the special brigade of the MUP. In Sandici, I saw heavy

8 weaponry, Pragas, self-propelled machine-guns, tanks that I knew belonged

9 to the MUP special brigade. Further, I saw forces deployed between

10 Sandici all the way to Konjevic Polje.

11 Q. Did you know who was in command, immediate command of these forces

12 stationed along this road, these MUP forces?

13 A. I knew that those were forces under the command of Ljubisa

14 Borovcanin. The immediate commander was Dusko Jevic.

15 Q. And did you see any Muslims along that road at that time?

16 A. Yes, I did. I saw several captured Muslims as I was passing on my

17 way to Konjevic Polje.

18 Q. Do you recall roughly the area that you saw the captured Muslims

19 and roughly how many?

20 A. As I was passing, I saw them in the Sandici area. There must have

21 been between 10 and 15 men who had been captured, perhaps even less than

22 that, but roughly speaking.

23 Q. Had you met with Dusko Jevic in the morning of the 13th during

24 your visit to Potocari that morning?

25 A. Yes. In the morning on the 13th, I met Dusko Jevic in Potocari.

Page 1713

1 In addition to the instructions to continue with the same tasks as on the

2 previous day, I also told Dusko Jevic to convey the order to his units

3 along the road that the captured Muslims should be assembled in one place,

4 that they should be secured, and that they would later be evacuated to

5 Bratunac.

6 Q. And are you referring to Muslims captured along the Konjevic

7 Polje/Bratunac Road?

8 A. Yes, yes.

9 Q. So back on your trip along that road, where did you go?

10 A. Would you please repeat the question. I don't think I understood

11 the question.

12 Q. Just going back to your trip along the Bratunac/Konjevic Polje

13 Road, where did you end up driving to and stopping?

14 A. I came from the direction of Kravica and stopped at the junction

15 in Konjevic Polje.

16 Q. And what did you see there at this junction? Can you just

17 describe for us what this junction looks like and who, if anyone, you saw.

18 A. Yes, I can. The junction is a crossroads mainly. There's a road

19 coming from -- turning off right to Kaznemik [phoen], and then to the

20 right there's a road leading to Nova Kasaba and Vlasenica. It was there I

21 found members of the MUP from the Bratunac public security station. There

22 were a large number, or rather many Muslims there who had been captured

23 and detained in a house guarded by men from the engineering battalion from

24 Konjevic Polje.

25 Q. Can you describe what the engineering battalion is, who it

Page 1714

1 belonged to, what kind of facility was there.

2 A. The engineering battalion was part of the Drina Corps. The

3 battalion was based in some privately owned houses in Konjevic Polje.

4 That's where the headquarters was, their communication centre, the

5 kitchen, and other facilities. I think partly they were using the

6 elementary school in Konjevic Polje, the elementary school building to

7 accommodate their people and provide logistics for them. All in all, this

8 is a unit which before combat operations had already been stationed in the

9 area.

10 Q. And you mentioned you'd seen large numbers of Muslim prisoners in

11 this area. Can you give us any kind of an estimate of roughly the amount

12 you're talking about.

13 A. In that area, according to my rough estimate, there were between

14 200 and 250 Muslims who had been captured. If you count in all the

15 captured persons who were in a meadow in Konjevic Polje, those detained in

16 one of the buildings across the road from the junction itself, an old

17 building, and some of the captured men who were put up in a house used by

18 members of the engineering battalion, that would have been the total

19 number of people captured in Konjevic Polje.

20 Q. There's a gas station today in Konjevic Polje. Is that correct?

21 A. Yes, there is one. The gas station is where the old building was,

22 the one that I have been talking about.

23 Q. This old building is one of the buildings where the Muslim

24 prisoners were stored?

25 A. Yes. Yes.

Page 1715

1 Q. So what did you do when you got to this area and you saw this?

2 A. I spoke to the MUP people who were manning the checkpoint there.

3 I told them to assemble all the Muslims that had been captured and detain

4 them in those buildings. I said that transport would be organised and

5 provided for those Muslims in the course of the day, and they would

6 eventually be transferred to Bratunac.

7 Q. Was there some kind of a MUP headquarters building in Konjevic

8 Polje?

9 A. They had a permanent checkpoint there. I do know that in that

10 period of time, a unit from the special brigade was housed there in the

11 premises of the elementary school in Konjevic Polje, whereas the command

12 in Konjevic Polje, the only command or headquarters, was of the engineers'

13 battalion which had its headquarters in Konjevic Polje.

14 Q. So after informing the MUP officers there of what to do with

15 captured prisoners, what else did you do?

16 A. After that, I waited for General Mladic to arrive, and it had been

17 announced that he would be passing through Konjevic Polje. In the

18 meantime, I was informed by members of the MUP that an important prisoner

19 was being held in a house, and his name is Resid Sinanovic, and he was

20 important because he was on the list of war criminals, former head of the

21 public security station in Bratunac, or the MUP in Bratunac.

22 Q. So what did you do in relation to Resid Sinanovic?

23 A. In relation to Resid Sinanovic, when I left for Bratunac, I

24 personally took Resid Sinanovic with me in the car and drove him to the

25 police of the Bratunac Brigade.

Page 1716

1 Q. Why did you do that?

2 A. I did that because I was told that he was among the people who

3 were war criminals and that he was responsible for certain acts or

4 military activities that had taken place in Bratunac Municipality. And I

5 simply thought that as such, he needed to be taken and handed over to the

6 police, interrogated regarding those events because in that period of

7 time, there was certain killings and murders among the Serb population,

8 military men and civilians, that had not been fully investigated.

9 Q. Who in particular do you recall did you turn him over to at the

10 military police?

11 A. I took Sinanovic over myself, drove him to Bratunac, and turned

12 him over to Zlatan Celanovic, a graduate lawyer who was a member of the

13 Bratunac Brigade.

14 Q. Did this lawyer, Mr. Zlatan, is his first name, was he associated

15 with the military police in some way?

16 A. Celanovic, Zlatan, in practise had a role and position in the

17 military police platoon. And throughout that period, even though in paper

18 and according to orders he had different duties by establishment, he was

19 engaged throughout until the end of the war in the military police

20 building, and he engaged in activities that mostly were related to the

21 military police and had to do with legal matters.

22 Q. Did he ever interview and interrogate prisoners to your knowledge?

23 A. Yes. Yes, Zlatan Celanovic did interview prisoners, compile

24 reports, and a copy of those reports would also be sent to me.

25 Q. Let me just take you back to Konjevic Polje. Before you take Mr.

Page 1717

1 Sinanovic to Bratunac, what do you do there at Konjevic Polje?

2 A. In Konjevic Polje, I gave instructions to the officers of the MUP

3 and the units engaged there as to how prisoners should be treated after

4 being captured. I waited in Konjevic Polje for the arrival of

5 General Mladic. In Konjevic Polje, I reported to him. I saw him address

6 the captives in Konjevic Polje. And after he left, I returned to

7 Bratunac.

8 Q. What instructions did you give the MUP on how to deal with the

9 prisoners that they had in Konjevic Polje?

10 A. I told members of the MUP that the prisoners in Konjevic Polje:

11 Those that surrender or those that are captured should be detained in

12 premises that can easily be secured, that during the day transportation

13 would be organised, and that those imprisoned Muslims would be transported

14 to Bratunac during the day.

15 Q. From your knowledge, what was going to happen to those prisoners

16 that went from the Konjevic Polje area to Bratunac?

17 A. The same that was to happen, or rather, what had been planned and

18 ordered regarding prisoners in Potocari. And in my opinion, all those

19 captured in that period enjoyed the same status, whether it was on the

20 roads or in Potocari itself.

21 Q. What was that status?

22 A. Those prisoners were to be transported to Bratunac, temporarily

23 detained in premises and buildings designated for that temporary

24 detention, and after that, killed like all the others that had been

25 separated on the 12th and 13th in Potocari.

Page 1718

1 Q. Had any officer or superior specifically told you that regarding

2 the fate of the Muslim men along the Bratunac/Konjevic Polje Road?

3 A. All I can do is describe to you my encounter with General Mladic

4 and his gesture when I reported to him regarding the prisoners. He

5 addressed the prisoners and said to those in the meadow not to worry at

6 all, that transportation would be organised, that they would be

7 transferred to free territory. That was what he said when he addressed

8 them. When he completed that speech, in the middle of the road where I

9 had reported to him, I asked him: "General, sir, what is going to happen

10 to these men?" And he simply gestured. He didn't say anything. With his

11 hand in answer to my question, he waved his hand and showed me what would

12 happen. I understood that to mean that those men would be killed.

13 Actually, I saw that to be a confirmation of what was already

14 happening.

15 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may interrupt, I notice that the

16 witness made a gesture. I don't know if that was the gesture that

17 General Mladic made, but he did make a gesture, and it wasn't recorded on

18 the record. Perhaps Mr. McCloskey could clarify that point.

19 JUDGE LIU: I believe Mr. McCloskey will ask a few questions along

20 this line. You may proceed.

21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can the record reflect that the witness made a

22 gesture with his hand across his chest area with his palm down, just a

23 sweeping gesture.

24 Q. Prior to this gesture from General Mladic, what did you think was

25 going to happen to the men captured along the Konjevic Polje/Bratunac Road

Page 1719

1 on the 13th?

2 A. I didn't have any thoughts about it. I knew what was going to

3 happen to them, Mr. Prosecutor. I knew that those men would be captured,

4 and after that killed. I knew that.

5 Q. And what did you base that knowledge on, if you could just briefly

6 tell us?

7 A. That knowledge of mine was based, first of all, on the

8 conversation I had had with Mr. Popovic and Mr. Kosoric. They personally

9 told me what had happened to those men. He told me what would happen to

10 the captured Muslims. So this was all part of a unified operation, so the

11 status of those captured along the roads did not differ in any sense from

12 those in Potocari. Those captured along the roads were able-bodied men.

13 In Potocari, there were some who were able-bodied, some who were not. And

14 it was quite clear that if I was told that those men would be captured,

15 temporarily detained, and after that killed, then it is quite clear that

16 the fate of those who did not surrender and who did not come to Potocari

17 would be exactly the same.

18 And there was no other conclusion that I could draw except that

19 those men would suffer the same fate as those separated in Potocari.

20 Q. Okay. So what did you do after dropping Resid Sinanovic off at

21 the military police barracks?

22 A. I didn't understand your question. I'm sorry.

23 Q. Sorry. After you took Resid Sinanovic to the military police,

24 what did you do then?

25 A. After that, I, Mirko Jankovic, and Mile Petrovic, that is, the

Page 1720

1 police commander and deputy police commander, from the compound of the

2 Bratunac Brigade barracks, we took an APC which Mirko Jankovic knew how to

3 drive, and we drove off to the Bratunac/Konjevic Polje Road.

4 Q. Now, when you say Mirko Jankovic and Mile Petrovic, they are

5 police commander and deputy police commander of the Bratunac Brigade

6 military police. Correct?

7 A. Yes, yes, I meant the military police.

8 Q. And where was this -- APC is an armoured personnel carrier. Is

9 that correct?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And where was this APC from?

12 A. The armoured personnel carrier was from the Dutch Battalion, and

13 it had been seized when the Srebrenica enclave had been captured.

14 Q. What colour was it when you were -- you and Mirko Jankovic and

15 Petrovic were in it?

16 A. It was a white armoured personnel carrier with the UN letters

17 written in bold capitals, as far as I can remember.

18 Q. So where did you go in this APC?

19 A. After we took the APC, we drove off to the

20 Bratunac/Konjevic Polje Road.

21 Q. And what were you doing as you were driving along the road in this

22 APC?

23 A. As we moved along in this APC, Mirko Jankovic was driving. Mile

24 Petrovic used a loudspeaker which was in the APC, and I sat on the APC.

25 We drove from Kravica towards Konjevic Polje, and after Sandici, Mile

Page 1721

1 Petrovic took the megaphone and called on the Muslims to surrender, the

2 Muslims who were in the woods along that road.

3 Q. Where did you first stop, if anywhere, along this road?

4 A. We stopped for the first time somewhere in the region of the

5 village of Pervani. I think after Sandici, there is Lolici, and then

6 Pervani villages.

7 Q. And then what did you do?

8 A. When we stopped on that occasion, five or six Muslim soldiers

9 surrendered to us. We took them into the APC and continued on our way to

10 Konjevic Polje.

11 Q. And then what did you do?

12 A. We reached Konjevic Polje. I got off the armoured personnel

13 carrier and told Mile Petrovic to take the prisoners to a group of other

14 prisoners who were already there. And I went and sat down under the eaves

15 of a house that had been burnt and where a certain number of Muslims were

16 sitting there already, captured Muslims. I told him to take those Muslims

17 to join that group. And after that, to come back to the spot where I was.

18 Q. And what happened then?

19 A. After some 10 minutes or so, I heard a burst of fire not far from

20 the spot where I was. And this burst of fire reached me from the

21 direction of the building where the petrol station is now. This was on

22 the bank of the River Jadar. Shortly after that burst of fire, Mile

23 Jankovic [as interpreted] came under this awning where I was sitting and

24 told me the following: "Chief, I've taken revenge for my brother, and

25 I've killed them."

Page 1722

1 Q. What did you do upon receiving this information?

2 A. I didn't do anything.

3 Q. Did you ever report his killings up your chain of command?

4 A. I did not, Your Honours and Mr. Prosecutor. I didn't inform

5 anyone about that killing because I felt that in view of all the numerous

6 killings and the knowledge I had as to what would happen to all those

7 prisoners, I didn't feel that any such report would have any sense.

8 Q. So what did you guys do after that?

9 A. After that, together with Mirko Jankovic and Mile Petrovic, I

10 returned to the Bratunac Brigade.

11 Q. And about what time did you get back to the Bratunac Brigade?

12 A. This could have been in the evening by then. So between 18 and

13 1900 hours. I really can't be more precise than that. But anyway, late

14 in the afternoon, it still wasn't dark but it was the afternoon.

15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.

16 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour. I've just noticed -- I

17 have been watching the monitor here. And it indicates that the gentleman

18 might have said that it was "Mile Jankovic." We have a Mirko Jankovic and

19 a Mile Petrovic. But it denotes that a Mile Jankovic was the one that

20 came back and said: "Boss, I just took revenge." So if we could have

21 some clarification.

22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, sometimes we also got confused with all those

23 names.

24 Mr. McCloskey, you may clarify this matter for us by asking some

25 questions to the witness.

Page 1723


2 Q. Who was it that came back and told you he'd just taken revenge

3 upon the Muslims?

4 A. Mile Petrovic.

5 Q. Okay.

6 Now, when you drove back to Bratunac that, as you described, late

7 afternoon, early evening but it was still light, what did you see along

8 the road between Konjevic Polje and Bratunac?

9 A. Returning from Konjevic Polje on the way to Bratunac, I saw

10 columns of captured Muslims moving towards Konjevic Polje. Then I also

11 saw columns of captured Muslims moving towards Sandici, which means in the

12 opposite direction. Then I saw again, as we moved along, some bodies next

13 to the asphalt road. There would be groups of two, three, four, or five

14 bodies, depending. Then in Sandici, I saw a large group of captured

15 Muslims in a meadow in Sandici.

16 And in Sandici, I recognised and identified the same combat

17 vehicles that I had seen on my way to Konjevic Polje, which means a Praga,

18 self-propelled machine-gun, and tanks. And after that, in the Kravica

19 area, I saw several soldiers, but nothing in particular. In Kravica, I

20 also saw members of the Bratunac MUP on my way back, and they were

21 standing in front of the old cultural centre which had been burnt and

22 destroyed. And after Kravica, I didn't see anything special. I continued

23 on my way to Bratunac.

24 Q. Did you see any Muslim prisoners alive or dead around the area of

25 the Kravica warehouse as you went by it that afternoon/evening?

Page 1724

1 A. No, I already said that in -- on that part of the road, I didn't

2 see any prisoners in the area of Kravica.

3 Q. On your trip from Bratunac to Konjevic Polje and back, the second

4 one you've just now described, aside from yourself, Mirko Jankovic, and

5 Mile Petrovic, did you see any members of the Bratunac Brigade along that

6 road?

7 A. When I was there, I didn't see members of the Bratunac Brigade

8 along the road. I saw members of other military units. There were

9 troops, but I really was not able to tell which units they belonged to

10 because the uniforms of civilians and policemen are almost identical.

11 Q. Were you able to recognise by name any of the MUP officers that

12 you saw in Konjevic Polje?

13 A. Yes. In Konjevic Polje, I did recognise members of the MUP from

14 Bratunac. There was Nenad Deronjic, a policeman. And another policeman,

15 Mirko -- I know his name, but I can't remember the surname. Mirko Peric.

16 So one was an older policeman, and this Deronjic was a younger policeman.

17 And they were in Konjevic Polje.

18 Q. On your first trip to Konjevic Polje where you picked up Resid

19 Sinanovic, did you see any Bratunac Brigade soldiers or officers along

20 that road or in that area?

21 A. No. I really didn't identify or see any members of the Bratunac

22 Brigade along that road that I was moving on.

23 Q. And a subject you briefly mentioned, the uniforms of the special

24 brigade of the MUP under Borovcanin and Jeftic, was there any way to

25 distinguish those uniforms from the uniforms of VRS soldiers such as the

Page 1725

1 Bratunac Brigade or other VRS soldiers?

2 A. Well, let me tell you, you could only tell by the insignia that

3 the special brigade wore on their sleeves, the sleeves of their uniforms.

4 That emblem and insignia differed, and you could identify them by those

5 insignia.

6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, this might be a good place to stop

7 for the day. I think we're about through.

8 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Could I ask you at this moment how long, how

9 many hours, are you going to use for tomorrow?

10 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'll take a look at my outline. One second.

11 JUDGE LIU: Yes.

12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I hope to finish tomorrow. It's

13 hard to gauge precisely, but I only have two pages of the outline. I have

14 some documents and a couple of intercepts to go over. But I don't think

15 that there should be any lengthy discussion on any of those. I am very

16 much going to try to finish up tomorrow.

17 JUDGE LIU: Well, it's very encouraging. And we lost some time.

18 For instance, last week we lost two days. And today we lost one sitting.

19 And if you need some time longer, we might sit tomorrow afternoon. But we

20 hope we will not.

21 Well, tomorrow morning, we'll go back to Courtroom III upstairs.

22 So we'll resume at 9.00. The hearing is adjourned.

23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned

24 at 1.36 p.m. To be reconvened on Tuesday,

25 the 23rd day of September, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.