1 Thursday, 25 September 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
7 IT-02-60-T, the Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
9 Before we have the witness, are there any matters that the
10 parties would like to bring to the attention of this Bench?
11 Yes, Ms. Sinatra.
12 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honours. Good morning. I would just
13 like to bring -- and ask the Court's permission to be absent from the
14 courtroom today due to the fact that we do not have an interpreter that
15 will be paid by the Registrar and I cannot assist Mr. Stojanovic in
16 anything. From this position, if I could be excused, I could be working
17 on other matters.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, of course you could be excused. But as for the
19 matter with the interpreter, we consulted with the Registrar, and we were
20 told that the fee for the interpreter is included in the lump sum payments
21 to your team. It's a matter that should be solved between you and your
22 lead counsel.
23 MS. SINATRA: Well, Your Honour, I would be happy to have it
24 solved between me and my lead counsel. But as it stands right now, Mr.
25 Djukic is not paid for my hour that is he interpreters between counsel,
1 only between myself and Mr. Jokic.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
3 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.
4 If I might be excused, Your Honour?
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
6 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Nothing from the Prosecution.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, before we start, I apologise for the
11 delay. We do have a list of the exhibits and we can distribute that right
12 now. Again, I apologise. We should have done this before coming to
14 JUDGE LIU: Could we have the witness, please.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Mr. Nikolic.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE LIU: Did you have a good rest?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 JUDGE LIU: Are you ready to start for the cross-examination?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm ready, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
23 And before we start, I would like to remind the parties that
24 Mr. Nikolic is a convicted person by this Chamber but he's also a witness
25 ready to have us to understand the situation that happened in that period.
1 He is entitled to have the same treatment with other witnesses.
2 Mr. Karnavas.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE LIU: You may proceed.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
6 WITNESS: MOMIR NIKOLIC [Resumed]
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 Cross-examined by Mr. Karnavas:
9 Q. Good morning, Mr. Nikolic. I take it --
10 A. Good morning.
11 Q. I take it before coming here today your lawyers advised you of
12 the Rule, Rule 91, regarding the consequences for lying in court. Did
13 they not?
14 A. Yes, my attorneys have informed me of my rights and my duties and
15 the consequences that you mention.
16 Q. And one of your lawyers is -- in fact is from Bosnia; right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And you are well aware in the former Yugoslavia the accused had
19 the right to lie in court as part of their defence. They were entitled to
20 do that. From your own experiences, you are aware of that, are you not?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Well, is it not a fact that you were prosecuted back in 1987 with
23 respect to Article 167, paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code, or has that
24 slipped your mind?
25 A. I was not criminally prosecuted, if we are thinking of the same
1 thing. It was an erroneous qualification by the responsible body, and it
2 had to do with a foreign exchange offence.
3 Q. And perhaps that's why the records in the police department and
4 the judgement have somehow vanished, yet in the police department, where
5 there's a special register for crimes, you're still registered of having
6 committed a crime.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: I object to the conclusions, the factual
10 conclusions without any factual support of records. We don't know what
11 he's talking about, that they've vanished. I mean, that's not a proper
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
15 If I could at this point in time show the witness what has been
16 marked previously for identification purposes D12/1.
17 Q. If you could please look at it and see if you can identify your
18 name on the document.
19 A. Yes, I can identify it.
20 Q. What does this document describe?
21 A. I know exactly what this is about, and I'm ready to prepare to
22 their -- to explain to Their Honours all the details concerning this
23 document that you're referring to.
24 Q. This document, however, demonstrates that you were charged with a
25 criminal offence, does it not?
1 A. This document -- demonstrates that those who submitted charges
2 wanted to suspend me from my duties so that I wouldn't be one of the
3 candidates for the commander of the regional MUP station in Zvornik for
4 which I was a candidate at the time, and this document shows that this is
5 no criminal offence. Actually, this document doesn't show anything. The
6 proceedings that were conducted was completed with the conclusion that
7 this was a foreign exchange offence and Nazif -- I bought from Nazif
8 Muminovic 500 Swiss Francs. I paid him for this. And this document shows
9 nothing more than that. Momir Nikolic was never criminally convicted on
10 the basis of submitted charges. The charges submitted were rejected and
11 what Nikolic was called to account for was for a foreign exchange offence,
12 because in those days the law on foreign currency dealings in the republic
13 in which I lived stipulated that persons who purchase more than 500 German
14 marks or the equivalent of any other foreign exchange are -- is considered
15 an offence. And I bought these 500 Swiss Francs from Nazif Muminovic,
16 which in those days was an offence. The previous law in the former
17 Yugoslavia, Mr. Karnavas, envisaged - that is, the law prior to these
18 charges being submitted against me - stipulated that buying foreign
19 exchange above that sum was an offence, but by decision of Mr. Lazar
20 Mojsov, that law was amended and it was no longer in force and it was not
21 a criminal offence at the time these charges were made against me.
22 And let me mention also, I was not convicted on the basis of the
23 charges made by the MUP of Bratunac, that is, their inspector Muminovic. I
24 wish Their Honours to hear the explanation. Their main aim was for me to
25 be disqualified temporarily. It was not important whether I would be
1 convicted or not. The main purpose was to disqualify me as a candidate
2 for the post of commander of the police for regional traffic, because
3 according to our law, a person who is being charged for a criminal offence
4 could not be considered a candidate for such an appointment.
5 Q. If you'd look at that document, sir, does it not state that
6 the -- that the copy of the report on commission of the criminal offence
7 has somehow disappeared? Does it not state that on this document that has
8 been signed by the commander of the police station, Marko Davidovic?
9 A. If I remember well --
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I have to interrupt the witness. I
11 asked him a specific question, if he would look at the document and
12 identify -- and tell us whether it states that the file has gone missing.
13 I gave the gentleman plenty of opportunity to give a full explanation.
14 Now I'm asking that he answer the question.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I don't think the witness began
16 to answer his question. He just said, "if I remember well." It's the
17 beginning to answer a question. You have to wait.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour. I'll wait. I'll exercise
19 some patience. I apologise.
20 A. I had started my answer by saying that if I remember well, I
21 think this was a person who came from Hadzici and has nothing to do with
22 Bratunac, nor is he informed about the documents. In this document, he
23 can claim whatever he wants to. But I am claiming that neither I nor my
24 lawyers have anything to do with the disappearance of that document. If
25 it has disappeared, then that's their problem, not mine.
1 Q. Well, first of all, no one has accused your lawyers. Let's get
2 that straight.
3 Secondly, last time you were here, on direct examination the
4 Prosecutor went through great pains of talking about stamps affixed to
5 signatures to ensure that there is some sort of an authentification.
6 Could you please look at the document and see whether there is a stamp and
7 whether there is a signature of Marko Davidovic with his job description.
8 Could you please look at the document. Do you see it; yes or no?
9 A. Yes, I see the document. I see that it bears a stamp. I see
10 that there's no signature over the stamp. I don't know whether this is
11 the signature of Marko Davidovic, because I don't know what his signature
12 looks like.
13 Q. But you do see his name and you see a signature and you see a
15 A. Yes, I see what can be seen on the document.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: I apologise.
17 Q. At the top of the page, it demonstrates that this document, at
18 least on its face, comes from the Republika Srpska - right - the Ministry
19 of the Interior, does it not?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Are there not some official numbers there beneath where it says
22 "Public safety centre, Bijeljina Police Station, Bratunac"? Are there not
23 some official numbers there with respect to this particular document?
24 A. There are numbers that I can see.
25 Q. Thank you. Now, if we could go to the second paragraph, the
1 second paragraph, the one that does not start with your name. And if you
2 could look at the last sentence. Does it not say, "However, the case
3 file --" and in brackets it says, or parentheses, "Copy of report on the
4 commission of offence, end of parentheses does not exist in -- as it has
5 disappeared in an unidentified point in time and under unclear
6 circumstances"? Does it not say that, sir; yes, no, maybe? Pick one of
7 them, of the three.
8 A. What you said is written in that document. But what is your
9 question, Mr. Karnavas?
10 Q. Thank you. Let's move on to the next -- the next segment. Let's
11 talk about your background. Now, as I understand it, you're from the
12 Bratunac area. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And at one point, I take it you went to the military academy in
15 Zagreb? And left without reason. Is that correct?
16 A. It is not. It is not right that I went to the military academy,
17 because I was only 15. What is correct is that I went to secondary
18 military school in Zagreb; that is true.
19 Q. Okay. So and you left. You did not complete that.
20 A. The school is completed in one year. After the first year, at
21 that school, I moved to the technical school in Bratunac. So I didn't
23 Q. The question was: Did you complete the school, the academy there
24 in Zagreb?
25 A. I did not. I did not.
1 Q. Thank you. I appreciate that. Now, after that, after graduating
2 from high school, you went to the university college of the National
3 Defence, and that was in Sarajevo; is that correct?
4 A. It is not.
5 Q. Okay. Well, help me out here. Did you ever get a university
7 A. I did.
8 Q. Did you get it from Sarajevo?
9 A. Yes, I graduated in Sarajevo.
10 Q. All right. And what was the name of the institution from which
11 you graduated in Sarajevo?
12 A. The full name is the Faculty of Political Sciences. I studied at
13 the Department for National Defence.
14 Q. Okay. Well, I had it wrong. So it was the Department of
15 National Defence. All right. And as I understand it, because you were a
16 bright student, you were able to finish early.
17 A. That's right. I was declared the most successful student in my
18 generation at the Faculty of Political Sciences, studying defence.
19 Q. Okay. Now -- so I take it you were the number-one student. If
20 you were the most successful, you've got to be the number one.
21 A. That need not be so.
22 Q. Okay. You were the -- all right. You were the most successful
23 but not necessarily the number-one student. Kind of an oxymoron, but
24 okay, we'll receive that.
25 A. That's right.
1 Q. Okay. Now, at that institution -- that's not a military academy,
2 is it?
3 A. No.
4 Q. That's not where one would go to learn basic military -- get a
5 basic military education, as in the academy.
6 A. That's not right.
7 Q. But -- what's not right?
8 A. It's not right that you don't go there to acquire basic military
10 Q. Okay. So let -- help me out here. Are you saying that the
11 institution that you went, you get the same basic military education as
12 one would go -- would get from the military academy? Is that your answer?
13 A. No.
14 Q. So someone who graduates from the academy, would it be fair to
15 say, does get that basic military education, does he not - or she?
16 A. One could say that one acquires basic military knowledge at that
17 faculty --
18 Q. All right.
19 A. -- Or department.
20 Q. Well, work with me on the military academy for a second. When
21 one graduates that, he qualifies to have a ranking, as I understand it, of
22 lieutenant or first lieutenant; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, when one graduates the institution or the department, which
25 is, I guess, part of the University of Political Science, he or she does
1 not qualify to get a rank in the military.
2 A. He does qualify.
3 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... a rank? Is that what your
4 answer is?
5 A. No, that is not my answer.
6 Q. After you graduated, you became a high school teacher, which in
7 your country you call "professors"; right?
8 A. That's right.
9 Q. And you were teaching high school boys and girls about the
10 military, some basic information about the military; right?
11 A. No, not right.
12 Q. You were teaching them how to command.
13 A. No.
14 Q. You were teaching them --
15 A. That's not right.
16 Q. -- How to coordinate, among different units.
17 A. No.
18 Q. Or maybe you were teaching them about some -- some special
19 skills, like intelligence and security.
20 A. I didn't teach them those things.
21 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Why don't you tell us. What
22 exactly are you teaching these boys and girls in a high school with regard
23 to military science? What is it?
24 A. In the secondary school centre Djuro Pucar Stari, I taught the
25 subject called defence and protection.
1 Q. What does that entail? If you could tell us a little bit about
3 A. I can't list all the subjects that we covered, the curriculum for
4 the subject of defence and protection, but it is a programme adjusted to
5 children of their age adopted by the pedagogical council of the state at
6 the time. So I'm really unable to list all the topics that were covered
7 over a period of one academic year, for instance.
8 Q. Very well. Thank you. Now, did you -- everybody had to serve --
9 every male had to serve in the military in the former Yugoslavia; is that
11 A. Every military-able man; not everyone.
12 Q. All right. Thank you for that correction. And you were an able
13 man; right? You still are, in fact. You certainly were during the period
14 that we've been discussing -- regarding Srebrenica; right?
15 A. Yes, I was military able.
16 Q. Okay. Now, as a able man, did you attend the military before --
17 or let me just go one by one. Did you attend the military? Did you do
18 your military service? I think it was 15 months.
19 A. Yes, I did do my military service.
20 Q. Was that before or after your university education?
21 A. It was before my university studies.
22 Q. And I take it you were one of those bright students or bright
23 individuals that they plucked to attend the reserve -- the school for
24 reserve officers.
25 A. That's not correct.
1 Q. That's right. They never selected you to become a reserve
2 officer when you were doing your military service.
3 A. No.
4 Q. Now, after teaching, as I understand it - and I might be a little
5 fuzzy on the dates, but help me out here - somewhere around 1984 or 1986,
6 was it, you -- you joined the Territorial Defence? You stopped teaching
7 boys and girls in high school and now you were with a Territorial Defence.
8 Is that correct?
9 A. Yes. In 1986, I moved and started working in the Territorial
11 Q. Was that before -- that must have been before you joined the SDS.
12 A. I was never a member of the SDS party.
13 Q. Okay. Then I must have it wrong.
14 Now, when you were there, you were working in intelligence; is
15 that correct?
16 A. I apologise. I just wish to add something. I mean the period
17 you're asking me about, 1986. So in 1986, I was not a member of the SDS.
18 Q. Okay. Okay. Because the storm was coming your way, by the way.
19 Now, at some -- while you were there, in the Territorial Defence
20 in 1986, you were in -- as an intelligence officer; is that correct?
21 A. I was the assistant commander for intelligence in the municipal
22 staff of the Territorial Defence of Bratunac.
23 Q. Okay. Help us out here. What exactly does that mean? That's a
24 big title. Help us out.
25 A. What would you be interested in?
1 Q. Well, tell me exactly -- well, if you could give us sort of a
2 synopsis of what your job entailed. That may help me ask the next
4 A. My job as assistant commander for intelligence work means
5 monitoring, detecting, assessing, evaluating the enemy. It also entails
6 work in compiling documents, orders, et cetera. And it prepares
7 intelligence data and information to the commanding officer for him to be
8 able to make his decisions -- the proper decisions and the proper orders.
9 Q. Okay.
10 A. I could go on talking at length about all that, but I think that
11 is sufficient.
12 Q. It helps me out. Was there a particular enemy in that -- in that
13 period of time, 1986, that you were focussing on while you were at the
14 Territorial Defence in Bratunac? Just if you could help us out here.
15 A. No. For the most part, during that period of time it was a case
16 of studying NATO forces and the forces of the Warsaw Pact. They were
17 forces that were studied during that period of time.
18 Q. All right. So it would be fair to say that that was sort of a --
19 an inactive period. There wasn't a whole lot of activity going on that
20 required your intensive intelligence work.
21 A. That's not true.
22 Q. Okay. By the -- so that wasn't a very active period for you,
23 that required you to -- to really hone in your skills as an intelligence
25 A. No.
1 Q. All right.
2 A. Quite the opposite.
3 Q. Okay. I'll take it -- I'll move on.
4 I take it, though, that you took this job fairly seriously, did
5 you not?
6 A. I took it the way it should have been taken.
7 Q. All right. And did you go to the Pancevo centre for intelligence
8 and security to get the proper education and training for someone that is
9 going to be doing that sort of work for intelligence and then later on in
10 security? Have you ever heard of the centre?
11 A. Yes, I have heard of the centre.
12 Q. Okay, that's a starting point. Now, did you attend it?
13 A. No, not in Pancevo. I wasn't at the centre there.
14 Q. Okay. Did you go to another centre, where they trained -- please
15 listen to my question very carefully. Did you go to some sort of a
16 training centre? And I'm talking about before 1992. Okay, so between
17 1986 and 1992, did you go to any training centre to get specialised
18 training on intelligence and/or security, during that period of time?
19 A. Yes, I did. I went to a training centre.
20 Q. Okay. Could you please tell us, so we can look at the records at
21 some point. What training centre and the time that you went there, the
22 period, if you can recall.
23 A. Of course I can. I went to a training centre which was set up at
24 the time in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that educational
25 centre, provisional one, was in a place called Nemila near the town of
2 Q. Okay. And how long -- I know the Pancevo centre runs a
3 six-to-nine-month course. How long was your course?
4 A. The training lasted seven working days.
5 Q. All right. And I take it after the seven working days you were
6 fairly confident that you knew the craft, the one that's taught at Pancevo
7 for that six-to-nine-month period?
8 A. No, I never made the comparison, because I didn't know what
9 Pancevo's programme was and curriculum. I passed through the plan,
10 seven-day-training course in the educational centre in Nemila, and I
11 became acquainted with the basic elements which this seven-day training
12 programme had focussed on.
13 Q. All right. Do you recall the year, by any chance?
14 A. I can't give you an exact year. I think it was immediately after
15 my arrival at the headquarters, but I don't know the exact time.
16 Q. All right. I take it one of the things that you were trained on
17 were the rules.
18 A. Amongst others. There were excerpts from the basic rules
19 governing intelligence and security.
20 Q. All right. Now, in -- in 1992, you were appointed by the Crisis
21 Staff, is I recall, the SDS Crisis Staff in Bratunac to become the
22 commander or acting commander of the Territorial Defence in the Bratunac
23 area, because at that point the Drina Corps did not exist yet. Is that
25 A. That is not correct, no.
1 Q. All right. So let's walk it through, then. In 1992, you were in
2 Bratunac; right?
3 A. Right.
4 Q. You were still with the Territorial Defence; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Okay.
7 A. Engaged in tasks -- what I did was I was assistant commander for
8 intelligence, and I was appointed to that post earlier on in 1986.
9 Q. Okay. All right. But work with me here. We're going to go step
10 by step. Now, there was a Crisis Staff in Bratunac, was there not, in the
11 Bratunac municipality that was headed, I believe, by one of your own
12 friends, Mr. Deronjic? Was he part of the Crisis Staff at that point, or
13 do I have it wrong?
14 A. Yes, he was a member of the Crisis Staff.
15 Q. Okay. And it's my understanding- I might be wrong- but it's my
16 understanding that back then the Crisis Staff of the municipality
17 appointed you at some point in 1992 as the acting commander of the
18 Territorial Defence in the Bratunac area.
19 A. The Crisis Staff never appointed me staff commander, and an order
20 of that kind was never handed to me or conveyed to me. The situation was
21 quite different, in fact.
22 Q. Okay. If I may -- maybe I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me
23 just ask the question: Were you ever an acting commander of the
24 Territorial Defence in Bratunac back in 1992; yes or no?
25 A. Yes, I was the acting commander.
1 Q. All right. And the Territorial Defence is financed, as I
2 understand it - and I might be wrong; help me out here - is financed by
3 the municipality; right? Like, the Zvornik area, they had their own
4 Territorial Defence in the Zvornik area, financed that. In Bratunac, it
5 came out of their budget. Is that correct?
6 A. No. It is not correct in whole. In part, yes. But in
7 principle, that was not how the Territorial Defence was financed, in fact.
8 Q. Okay. How did you get this appointment though? Who was it that
9 said, "Momir Nikolic, from this day on you're going to be acting
10 commander. You're going to give orders. You're going to send men into
11 certain areas to retrieve certain equipment that's been captured by the
12 Muslims" -- or so on and so forth. Who gave you that duty? Or did you
13 just wake up one day and say, "Hey, I'm an acting commander," and then
14 just self-designate yourself as one?
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Sorry, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm going to object to the form of the question.
18 I think fundamentally it's a simple question. But it was so long that
19 unless we do something about that now we will be here forever.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Mr. Karnavas, try to keep your questions as
21 simple as possible. Maybe one sentence will be enough.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay, Your Honour. I'll be as laconic as I can.
23 JUDGE LIU: Because this point is not as crucial as you think it
25 MR. KARNAVAS: It may become at some point, Your Honour. It may
2 Q. Who appointed you do that position, Mr. Nikolic?
3 A. The position of commander of the staff of the Territorial Defence
4 or, rather, the acting commander, I was appoint by the Crisis Staff of the
5 municipality of Bratunac.
6 Q. Didn't I ask that question earlier? Didn't I say to you: Was it
7 not in fact the Crisis Staff that appointed you, and you said no? And you
8 said this under oath. Can you give us an explanation what part of my
9 question you did not understand?
10 A. I did not understand, Mr. McCloskey [sic], because you asked me
11 about 1992. You asked me straight at the beginning what was happening,
12 what was going on. You are putting words into my mouth and saying that
13 that was what happened in 1992 and other things besides. And I don't
14 wish, Mr. Karnavas -- or rather, I wish to answer your questions, Mr.
15 Karnavas. You need explanations, additional ones, and if the Court allows
16 me to give them, what happened at one time, then I'm quite ready to do so.
17 To tell Their Honours when I arrived, how I arrived and so on and so
18 forth. And another thing, Mr. Karnavas: You told me -- or rather, you
19 claimed on several occasions that I issued orders, that I issued
20 instructions with respect to armament, equipment, amassing, that kind of
21 thing. I don't understand what you're talking about, because that's not
22 how it was. But I am ready to answer each of your specific questions.
23 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, when you were the acting commander of the
24 Bratunac Brigade, is it not in fact -- is it not a fact that you did order
25 for your troops in which 13 got killed and about 40 to 45 were injured to
1 retrieve an armoured transport vehicle which has the initials BRDM to be
2 retrieved which had been captured by the Muslims in an earlier event? Is
3 that not a fact?
4 A. It is not. Once again, in your question -- your question
5 contains several subquestions. So you take note that I ordered and then
6 you take note and observe many other things along with that. Now, if the
7 Trial Chamber should allow me to do so, I should like to explain. Who
8 decides on the deployment of the Territorial Defence and issues orders.
9 Your Honours, may I show you a document which shows who the
10 authority is who issues orders during that period of time in 1992? May I
11 be allowed to do so?
12 Q. Well, I'll --
13 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Nikolic, just tell us who made that order. I
14 think that's enough.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That order and generally speaking
16 all orders during that period of time, with respect to the deployment of
17 the units of the Territorial Defence, was issued -- or rather, the
18 decision was made by the War Presidency, and that was based on a decision
19 of the War Presidency and the date was the 13th of April, 1992. That is
20 when he -- they decided to deploy the Territorial Defence units and all
21 decisions were made by the War President, whose president at that time was
22 Miroslav Deronjic. And it is true by virtue of my post, I was a member of
23 that War Presidency and took part in its work.
24 MR. KARNAVAS:
25 Q. Okay. So as a member of the War Presidency and in your capacity
1 as the acting commander of the Territorial Defence back in 1992 - and I
2 think it might be May, but I might be wrong - an order was issued to go
3 and try to recapture a -- an armament that had been lost on a previous
4 occasion where 13 individuals were killed - I have their names - and 40 to
5 45 were injured; is that not a fact?
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: The first question on that subject referred to
8 the acting commander of the Bratunac Brigade. The same question is now
9 the acting commander of the Territorial Defence. It may just be a
10 mistake. I just wanted to clarify the record.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. I'll break it --
12 JUDGE LIU: Maybe you can break your --
13 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll break it down, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE LIU: -- Break it down one by one.
15 MR. KARNAVAS:
16 Q. Back in that period, you were part of the War Presidency, were
17 you not?
18 A. I was.
19 Q. You were also the acting commander -- having been appointed by
20 the Crisis Staff, you were the acting commander of the Territorial Defence
21 for Bratunac; is that correct?
22 A. Yes, by virtue of my post, the acting commander of the staff. I
23 was a member of the Crisis Staff too.
24 Q. Exactly. Exactly. And so a decision was taken in which you were
25 part of that decision-making process, to go and retrieve some equipment,
1 an armoured transport on wheels, a BRDM, that had been lost on a previous
2 occasion. Is that correct?
3 A. That qualification is absolutely not correct. As I'm hearing the
4 interpretation, what you said is not correct, that the reason the decision
5 was made was the BRDM, which had previously been left somewhere and that
6 the decision was made to take it away.
7 Q. Okay.
8 A. Retrieve it. That's not true.
9 Q. All right. But a decision was made nonetheless to go and send
10 four to five armoured transporters and a tank to Sandici to try to
11 retrieve it. Is that not a fact?
12 A. That's not a fact either.
13 Q. Okay. Let me fast-forward. Do you recall being transported by
14 ambulance to a psychiatric institution as a result of a beating that you
15 received because you as the commander failed to participate in that
16 campaign and then failed to go and retrieve the bodies of the Serb
17 soldiers, or Serb members of the Territorial Defence that had -- that had
18 on your orders and the Presidency's orders been involved in that campaign?
19 Do you recall that incident, being in the psychiatric institution; yes or
21 A. Mr. Karnavas, what is your question? Be specific.
22 Q. Well, do you recall the beating that you received that resulted
23 you in getting -- in having a nervous breakdown and being transported to a
24 psychiatric institution?
25 A. I do recall, Mr. Karnavas, every detail which took place on the
1 28th and 29th of May, and I am ready to explain before this Court all the
2 details that took place during that period of time, all the details and
3 circumstances surrounding Sandici, the attack by the Muslim forces, the
4 tasks which -- and orders issued at the time and who issued them, and I
5 remember and can tell you with respect to what you're talking about that
6 they were not members of the Territorial Defence or for the most part were
7 not members of the Territorial Defence but they were volunteers. And I am
8 ready to tell you what their basic goal was in entering that place, those
9 volunteers, and all the details and circumstances I am completely prepared
10 to explain them. I'm also prepared, Mr. Karnavas, to explain to Their
11 Honours all the details and circumstances of the physical attack on me
12 after what had happened in Sandici, and I'm also ready to explain to Their
13 Honours that I'm not ashamed to say that I became ill afterwards and went
14 to the hospital and lay in hospital for five -- four or five days in
15 Sabac, at the neuropsychiatric department. I'm not ashamed to say that.
16 And I'm not ashamed to say, Mr. Karnavas, to the Court that I continued my
17 treatment in Belgrade. I was not hospitalised there. However, I'm not
18 ashamed to say that. And I'm ready to explain to Their Honours here and
19 now that during that period of time while I was in Belgrade I worked as a
20 physical labourer in a Naftagas company's facility, where I did physical
21 work during that period of time, I did some painting in order to provide a
22 livelihood for my family, who were refugees in Belgrade. So I'm ready to
23 say all that and state it before this Court here.
24 And I also wish to add that it is no shame, Mr. Karnavas, to
25 become ill, to be ill, to go to hospital, and to receive treatment and
1 recuperate after that.
2 Q. Back in -- from June 1 to June 3 of 1992 you were at the Dr.
3 Lazar Lazarevic hospital, as I understand it, psychiatric and
4 neuropsychiatry hospital in Sabac, as you indicated. Is that correct?
5 A. Yes, that is correct.
6 Q. After that, Petar -- Petar Uscumlic, that's the translator we
7 later see was the one along with another gentleman by the name of
8 Jovanovic came and picked you up and took you someplace else, to another
9 hospital or health facility; is that correct?
10 A. That is not correct.
11 Q. So the -- the institute --
12 A. Petar Uscumlic did not come to fetch me. It is true that a lady
13 came from the Uscumlic family, but Petar himself did not come to get me.
14 Q. All right. And by what I heard, you were away five or six months
15 from Bratunac during this period, while you were convalescing.
16 A. I was away for four -- five or six months, from the 28th or 29th
17 of May, when all this was happening. And I was away until sometime around
18 the 19th of November, 1992. I think those dates are correct, to the best
19 of my recollection.
20 Q. And what -- how did you justify your -- your leave of absence
21 with the Ministry of Defence? Because after all, you were still acting
22 when you -- when you left as a result of the beating and the illness that
23 resulted thereafter. You were still the acting commander of the
24 Territorial Defence of Bratunac. What justification did you put down for
25 your absence while you were in Belgrade?
1 A. Well, I assume you know how absences are justified. During that
2 period of time, I was recuperating, convalescing. And after I came to
3 Bratunac, everybody from Bratunac knew why I had been absent. And, Mr.
4 Karnavas, I never need any special justification, because everything that
5 happened to Mr. Nikolic at that time, that is to say to me, was under the
6 jurisdiction of my physician. He was head of the medical corps, so he
7 personally sent me and he knew what was going on. So I didn't need any
8 justification in written form for the brigade's commander or the ministry.
9 I was listed as being on sick leave.
10 Q. Okay. And while you were on sick leave, you were working in --
11 in Belgrade. While officially you were on sick leave, you were -- this is
12 what you communicated to the Ministry of Defence -- you were working doing
13 something other than being on sick leave.
14 A. I said that I didn't tell the Ministry of Defence anything
15 myself. What I had to say, I stated in the brigade, when I arrived and
16 reported to the commander, who was on active duty at the time. I reported
17 to him, and I told him what had happened; although, the commander who was
18 there at the time had already been informed of what had happened.
19 Q. All right. Now, by the time you came back or shortly thereafter,
20 it's my understanding that the Bratunac Brigade had been formed,
21 sometime --
22 A. Yes, that's right.
23 Q. And upon your return, having been previously the acting commander
24 of the Territorial Defence, now you returned and you were assigned to the
25 security and intelligence organ of the Bratunac Brigade?
1 A. No, I wasn't assigned to the security and intelligence organ. I
2 was placed at the disposal -- at their -- I was, until my appointment, at
3 the authority's disposition.
4 Q. At some point you were given an assignment; yes or no?
5 A. What assignment do you mean?
6 Q. Well, the assignment that placed you in the security and
7 intelligence organ. You just -- or are you saying that you just decided,
8 since you were security before, or intelligence before, you're qualified
9 for the job and you just self-designated yourself? How did it go?
10 A. No, Mr. Karnavas. That's not what I said, nor is it what I
11 think. By order I was appointed to the duty of head of the intelligence
12 and security brigade -- organ in the Bratunac Brigade.
13 Q. Okay. So you were not assigned. You were appointed.
14 A. I was put in that post conducive to the law, pursuant to the law,
15 as it is done in brigades and the army.
16 Q. I'm not saying that there is anything incorrect. I just want to
17 make sure that you were assigned or appointed to that particular position,
18 as the Chief of Intelligence and security in the Bratunac Brigade.
19 A. Once again, Mr. Karnavas, that is not how it was. In my own
20 language, I was informally assigned and placed at the disposal of someone,
21 taken to an organ and assigned there. But I wasn't assigned to anybody.
22 When you say "assigned," in my language that's what that means, assigned
23 to somebody. And appointed -- but to be appointed by order, that means
24 that the individual or command who was in authority, pursuant to the law
25 to appoint me, officially appointed me by an act and document to that
1 post, to that duty. So that is in precise terms what that means. It
2 wasn't an assignment. It was an appointment by order of the superior
3 command at the proposal of the commander who was commander of the brigade
4 at that time.
5 Q. Okay. Thank you. So you were appointed to this position by the
7 A. By the organ who was competent to do that at that time.
8 Q. Which organ was that?
9 A. I am not familiar with the exact procedure, who actually signs
10 the document, but I do know who makes the proposal. The commander makes
11 proposals for appointments, but in formal and legal terms, I'm not quite
12 sure who actually signs the order.
13 Q. And who was that commander?
14 A. I can only say that there are two possibilities. When I arrived,
15 it was Colonel Sipcic, and after that came Lieutenant Colonel Tesic. And
16 I don't want to make a mistake, because it's quite possible that one or
17 the other sent the order -- or rather, the proposal for my appointment.
18 But I'm not quite sure which of the two. Either Colonel Sipcic or
19 Lieutenant Colonel Tesic.
20 Q. All right. Sometime in 1995 Colonel Blagojevic is assigned as
21 the commander of the Bratunac Brigade; is that correct?
22 A. Yes, as far as I know, that is correct.
23 Q. What do you mean as far as you know? You either know it or you
24 don't know it. Was he not there as the commander of the Bratunac Brigade
25 in 1995, say, right around May/June?
1 A. He was --
2 Q. Okay?
3 A. -- Commander, yes.
4 Q. How long had he been there? How long had he been there before
5 the attack on Srebrenica, if you recall?
6 A. If he came in May, then -- May, June, July, two, two and a half
7 months perhaps.
8 Q. So you're not quite sure which month he came.
9 A. I'm not. I think it was in May.
10 Q. Okay. Could you please tell us, how many commanders had this
11 brigade gone through from the time that you joined, which was at its
12 inception, so when it was created back in 1992, to 1995 in May? How many
14 A. I don't know the exact number. I know that they changed. I
15 really didn't count them. I could count them, but I didn't.
16 Q. Well, why don't you take a -- why don't you make the effort and
17 count them. I mean, if you miss one or two, that's okay. But just give
18 us a ballpark figure.
19 A. Just a moment for me to think it over, please. Well, let's say
20 five or six. Some came twice. They would go and come back. But I'm
21 really not quite sure. I could give you the names and enumerate them to
22 refresh my memory. So my answer is that in that period, several
23 commanders were appointed to the Bratunac Brigade.
24 Q. What was the reason for having so many commanders? They didn't
25 like Bratunac or was there a particular reason that you're aware of?
1 A. I don't know. There are several reasons one could mention, but
2 it's really not up to me to give you the reasons for the replacement of
3 commanders, nor am I supposed to know all that.
4 Q. Okay. Now, did the local authorities, the local political
5 authorities have any contact? Did they work at all with the -- with the
6 brigade? Did they have any special relationship?
7 A. They did cooperate. But as for a special relationship, I don't
8 know what you mean when you use that term, "special relationship".
9 Q. Well, who was financing -- who was paying for the regular
10 reservists that were -- well, let me back up. In the Bratunac Brigade,
11 did you have professional soldiers? Serving or did you have part-time
12 reservists or both?
13 A. If when you say "professional soldiers" you mean those doing
14 their military service, then in one period of time during the war there
15 was, I think, about a company of young soldiers, as we called them,
16 conscripts. But the rest, if we are talking about soldiers and not the
17 officers, then we mostly had reservists, people who had been mobilised
18 roughly in April of 1992.
19 Q. And were they receiving a salary, do you know?
20 A. I do know that we did receive a salary, which was received
21 irregularly, and it simply lost all value because of the terrible
22 inflation, so it wasn't worth anything.
23 Q. Did they -- did they have uniforms? Were uniforms provided?
24 A. They had uniforms. All of them didn't have camouflage uniforms.
25 There were various combinations.
1 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Uniforms? Who purchased the
2 uniforms for them?
3 A. Regarding the purchase of uniforms, that was the responsibility
4 of the logistics organ, so I don't know exactly who provided them and in
5 what way.
6 Q. Well, who paid for them? Let me put it that way. Who paid for
7 the uniforms? Was it not the municipality?
8 A. Possibly it was the municipality, but I really don't know how the
9 finances were regulated regarding the purchase of uniforms.
10 Q. Okay. Well, let me just ask a broader question. Did not the
11 municipality in some -- in some sense finance either part or the majority
12 of the brigade? Weren't they contributing?
13 A. Yes. The municipality did contribute to the financing and in
14 providing logistics support for the brigade.
15 Q. Now, when you say the municipality, somebody has to be running
16 the municipality; right? And I take it these were the same people that
17 you were involved with when you were a member of the War Presidency/acting
18 commander of the Territorial Defence.
19 A. What did you ask me? What was your question?
20 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... So these were the -- when
21 you say -- when we said "the municipality," the decisions -- somebody was
22 making the decisions in the municipality regarding the contributions, the
23 financial contributions and resource contributions to the brigade;
25 A. I assume so, yes.
1 Q. And the people that -- that were making those decisions were the
2 same people - not all, but some - that were also members at one point in
3 time of the War Presidency, which you were a member of while you were at
4 the same time the acting commander of the Territorial Defence. No?
5 A. No, that is not right. It is far more complex, Mr. Karnavas.
6 The question of financing is far more complicated than that. All those
7 people were not the same people that were making the decisions.
8 Q. All right. Did Mr. Deronjic still enjoy a particular sense of
9 power in the community while you were -- during that period of time, the
10 period of 1992 to 1995? Was he not still a fairly powerful member, the
11 head of the SDS, which you were a member of at the time?
12 A. Miroslav Deronjic in those days was what you just said, a member
13 of the SDS. To what extent he was powerful, I really don't wish nor can
14 assess. I know what my relationship with him was. I don't wish to
15 comment on his power and his status.
16 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... I apologise.
17 A. Mr. Karnavas, you said that in 1992 I was a member of the SDS.
18 You didn't ask me whether I was or not. And I can tell you that in those
19 days I was not a member of the SDS.
20 Q. When did you become a member of the SDS?
21 A. Formally I became a member -- or rather, I joined the SDS in
22 1996, after leaving or after being demobilised. The reason why I formally
23 signed my accession paper was that at the assembly meeting, deputies, in
24 order to appoint me director of the state company Guber Bratunac, required
25 that I be a member of the SDS, because members of the SDS had the majority
1 in the assembly in those days that was making the decisions. So I did so
2 pro forma in 1996.
3 Q. So formally -- formally it was 1996, but it was the same SDS
4 party that appointed you back in 1992 as the acting -- acting commander of
5 the Territorial Defence, did it not? I mean, wasn't the SDS in control of
6 the War Presidency, which you were a member of, or became a member of?
7 A. I don't know, Mr. Karnavas, whether the SDS party controlled the
8 Presidency. I answered your question and told you that I was appointed by
9 the War Presidency in 1992. Now, whether members of the War Presidency in
10 those days were members of the SDS or not, I don't know that.
11 Q. Now, you -- you stayed in the position of -- of Chief of
12 Intelligence -- or security and intelligence or intelligence and security
13 in the Bratunac Brigade until you left. And I believe it was 1996 by your
14 own account. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes. Throughout that time I was head of the intelligence and
16 security organ from the time I was appointed in 1993 until I was
17 demobilised on the 20th of April, 1996.
18 Q. And so you shared the responsibility both for security and
19 intelligence during that period, or at least up until the period of
20 Srebrenica in, say, the fall, the end of 1995.
21 A. Yes. Yes.
22 Q. You were a captain at the time?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Never went to -- never had any formal officer training either as
25 a reservist or as a -- an academy graduate?
1 A. That is not correct. I did undergo a series of training sessions
2 in the TO staff before the war, and I attended all command staff
3 exercises, which implied acquiring training in that area.
4 Q. Okay. Now, you said you were a captain. I take it that comes
5 after being a lieutenant; right? In fact, there are two ranks in
7 A. [Inaudible response]
8 Q. You don't know?
9 A. No. No, there aren't two ranks. There's one rank in each
11 Q. Really? Does that go for general too? The same thing with a
12 colonel? There's only one colonel? There's no such thing as a lieutenant
13 colonel and then a second lieutenant, as is called in the local language,
14 some would say first lieutenant and then lieutenant?
15 A. That is a correct statement, Mr. Karnavas. Second lieutenant,
16 lieutenant, and then captain.
17 Q. Okay. All right. Now, when you joined the Territorial Defence
18 in --
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, it's time for a break.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: We can break right here right now, Your Honour, if
21 you like.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Thank you very much. But I hope when we resume
23 the hearing, you'll speak directly into the microphone.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Oh, I apologise, Your Honour. I'll move.
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: I apologise.
2 JUDGE LIU: We'll resume at quarter to 11.00.
3 --- Recess taken at 10.17 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 10.46 a.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas. Please continue.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Right before the break, Mr. Nikolic, we were discussing your
8 appointment to the Chief of Security and intelligence of the Bratunac
9 Brigade. And at the time - just to recap - at the time you were
10 appointed, you were -- you were a captain; right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And as I understand it- correct me if I'm wrong- that in getting
13 that formal appointment, which would have been recommended by the Drina
14 Corps, it was in fact a gentleman by the name of Tolimir from the Main
15 Staff who actually had to authorise or give his okay to your formal
16 appointment. Does that ring a bell at all?
17 A. What you just said doesn't mean anything to me.
18 Q. Okay. Do you know a gentleman by the name of Tolimir?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And who might that person be, and could you give us his rank and
21 where he comes from?
22 A. After being appointed, I learnt that Mr. Tolimir, by rank a major
23 general, and that he was head of the intelligence and security or, rather,
24 assistant commander of the -- in the Main Staff for intelligence and
1 Q. And that was at the time -- he held that position at the time of
2 your appointment as a captain to that position that you were holding from
3 1992 to 1995 or 1996 in the Bratunac Brigade.
4 A. I didn't know that at the time.
5 Q. Now, I thought at this point rather than continue with your --
6 your background, whereas I understand after you left you went -- you were
7 working for the Department of Refugees and Displaced Persons; right?
8 After you left the army, the VRS?
9 A. Yes, that's right.
10 Q. And then as I recall, after that you were appointed as manager
11 for a state-owned enterprise, Kartonaza; is that correct?
12 A. No.
13 Q. You were never -- you never worked for that company, that
15 A. I did work for that company, but not after the Ministry for
16 Refugees and Displaced Persons.
17 Q. Was that before?
18 A. No. I worked in Kartonaza after a position I held in another
20 Q. All right. Okay. Well, if you don't mind, we'll discuss that
21 later, because I do want to get into a matter of embezzlement of
22 approximately 30.000 Deutschmarks or convertible marks that you've
23 embezzled by providing false -- fake invoices. So if you don't mind,
24 we'll talk about that afterwards and let's focus on for right now the --
25 your functions in the VRS. Is that okay?
1 A. It's okay, Mr. Karnavas.
2 Q. Okay.
3 A. I don't mind going into all these matters.
4 Q. All right. Now, I take it that once you received your
5 appointment as a -- the Chief of Intelligence and Security for the
6 Bratunac Brigade and now that you had a formal brigade, as opposed to a
7 Territorial Defence, you became familiar with the rules.
8 A. Yes. I used the rules.
9 Q. All right. So I -- am I to understand that you had the rules in
10 your office and they were available for you to look at and consult in the
11 event you were unclear as to what your functions were?
12 A. Yes, that, among other things.
13 Q. All right. Now, in addition to the brigade rules, you had the --
14 you had rules with respect to intelligence, such as the intelligence
15 support of the armed services manual, and it's dated 1987. Do you ever
16 recall seeing that?
17 A. Not with such a heading.
18 Q. Okay.
19 A. I don't think I had it.
20 Q. All right. Do you recall seeing the rules of services of
21 security organs in the Armed Forces of the Socialist Federal Republic of
22 Yugoslavia dated 1984, the same year as the brigade rules? Did you ever
23 see this?
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Sorry, Your Honour --
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: There has been mention too of brigade rules,
2 generically. In a question now it appears he's referring to some sort of
3 formal brigade rules. These are vague questions, and if -- if that could
4 be cleared up, because I -- I know -- I'm not sure what he's talking about
5 and I don't know if any witness could possibly understand.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, in my view, that first Mr. Karnavas talked
7 about brigade rules, and this time he talked about the rules of the armed
8 forces of the former Yugoslavia.
9 Am I right?
10 MR. KARNAVAS: That's correct, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE LIU: But you have to put your question in a more clearer
13 MR. KARNAVAS: I will, Your Honour.
14 And for the record, these are documents that we received from the
15 Prosecution, so they should know which documents I am referring to. But
16 if I could be so kind as to have Madam Usher collect the documents.
17 As the documents are being introduced, Your Honour -- or shown to
18 the witness, I will identify the -- the number for identification
19 purposes, the exhibit number.
20 Q. If you'd look at those documents, Mr. Nikolic, and if you want to
21 leaf through them a little bit. We're going to go through them one by
22 one, at least to identify them, and then we'll get into some substantive
24 A. I've looked at these documents, and the version I have is in
1 Q. Well, I must apologise.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: If -- if I may -- I believe -- I believe they're
3 copied. On the other side they should have the --
4 Q. Could you please look at them very carefully. You might find
5 that you'll recognise -- you also have your own language.
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 Q. All right. And I apologise for not bringing that to your
8 attention earlier, but we're trying to save a few -- a few trees.
9 A. Yes, I see it now. Two documents in a language I understand.
10 Q. Okay. Well, let's -- for the record, I just want to identify
11 them before we delve in there. So -- okay. Now, if you could look at the
12 JNA brigade rules. Do you see them in front of you? And they've been
13 marked for identification purposes P83 --
14 A. I have in front of me two rules, and neither of them is the rules
15 of the brigade.
16 Q. So I --
17 A. Now I have the brigade rules in front of me.
18 Q. Again, I want to apologise. I take full responsibility for the
19 mix-up here. All right. So you have them. And it's called "Brigade
20 rules for infantry motorised, mountain, alpine, marine, and light
21 brigades," 1984. Do you see that?
22 A. Yes, I do.
23 Q. And would it be correct to say --
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: I apologise. We don't have the brigade rules.
1 We can dig them up out of our file if we -- if you could give us a minute.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour. This was a Prosecution
3 exhibit, and we didn't want to, as I said, waste more trees by copying a
4 set of documents, but -- and I do apologise. We should have forewarned
5 the Prosecution. It's -- it's my fault.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, if you provide us the lists -- I
7 must say the list is prepared very neatly, and yesterday that we could,
8 you know, dig up from the files of our, you know, files, documents.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: I --
10 JUDGE LIU: So there's no need for you to copy all these.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: I agree with you, Your Honour, but we did have
12 quite a bit of copying. My staff was working until 3.00 this morning. So
13 we would at least look smoothly -- you know, look good, if nothing else,
14 you know, during the presentation. But obviously, as I said, I apologise.
15 We'll try to get it right next time.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: We have the -- the rules here in English, and
18 perhaps if the English can be on the ELMO, then everyone would see it and
19 we don't need to have a whole lot of copies. But if counsel is going to
20 go --
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- into this in detail, it's a good idea to see
23 the -- see the words, understand the document.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
25 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you may proceed. We saw it on the ELMO.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. Thank you -- thank you, Your Honours.
3 Actually, if it's okay with the -- with the Trial Chamber, I was
4 thinking of first having him identify and -- to see whether he recognised
5 all of them, because the rules have to be examined more or less together.
6 So if that is -- if that would be appropriate, I would just like the
7 gentleman to see whether he -- whether in the pile of documents that he
8 has in front of him he -- he sees a document entitled "Intelligence
9 support of armed services manual," dated 1987.
10 A. Yes, I have that rule before me.
11 Q. Okay. And for the record, that is for identification purposes
13 Now, do you see in front of you a document titled "Rules of
14 services of security organs in the Armed Forces of the Socialist
15 Federative Republic of Yugoslavia" dated 1984? Do you see that document?
16 A. Could you repeat that, please, the exact title of the document.
17 Q. Okay. The English version, translated, that we've received says
18 "Rules of services -- rules of service of security organs in the Armed
19 Forces of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia."
20 A. No, I don't have those rules in front of me.
21 Q. Okay. Again, let me apologise.
22 A. What I've just been handed aren't those rules either. These are
23 instructions on the methods of work for the Yugoslav People's Army.
24 Q. So you have no document in front of you dated [sic] "Rules of
25 services," with a big star on it? And for the -- for the record --
1 A. No, Mr. Karnavas. All I have is "Instructions on the methods and
2 resources of work for security," dating 1986.
3 Q. Okay.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may have a moment, Your Honour. If I may.
5 [Defence counsel confer]
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Your, if we may retrieve the document that we gave
7 the gentleman so we could just look at it for a second.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President --
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: We have that English version that Mr. Karnavas
11 has talked about, but unfortunately the -- we have just noticed the B/C/S
12 version does not appear to be the correct translation, which is what seems
13 to be what the problem is. And so that may be a problem with -- with our
14 discovery. And we'll -- we'll try to get to the bottom of it.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: We can move on.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: We can move on and -- all right.
18 Q. Now, do you have in front of you a services regulations of the
19 SFRJ armed forces of the military police?
20 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas, I do.
21 Q. All right. Of these four documents, one of which we haven't
22 provided you with the correct translation -- do you recall ever seeing
24 A. Yes, I do recall them.
25 Q. Did -- so in your everyday working experiences, while you were
1 there as the Chief of Intelligence and Security, I take it you used the
2 brigade rules? Right?
3 A. Partially, yes. But for the most part, I didn't actually use the
4 rules in any great detail.
5 Q. Okay.
6 A. I am acquainted with them, but I didn't use these brigade rules
7 in their entirety.
8 Q. Okay. Did you use the intelligence -- manual on intelligence?
9 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas, I did use them, the intelligence support,
10 dated 1987, and another set of rules as well, which you don't have here.
11 Q. Okay. And might you give us the name of those rules so we could
12 try to get them from the Prosecution if they have them.
13 A. Those rules I think also date to 1987. It is a red small
14 booklet, a manual, and the heading is -- the title is "Intelligence
15 security for operations, combat operations." It's a small red book,
16 manual, which I used. And it was to be found in the library of the
17 headquarters of the Territorial Defence while I worked there.
18 Q. Okay. So when you were dealing with -- with intelligence
19 matters, you would make reference to that particular manual and perhaps
20 others, but that's what you made your references to.
21 A. For the most part, those were the manuals which I had before me.
22 Q. Okay. Now, what about for security? Did you -- did you refer to
23 any rules or manual for security?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Okay. Might I ask if you recall the name of the manual or the
1 name of the rules.
2 A. I think that the exact heading was "Rules of the security organs
3 of the armed forces --" well, I don't really know. I can't give you the
4 exact heading. But the subject matter referred to security matters, and I
5 think it was published in 1984.
6 Q. Okay. And that's what I've been provided, and I apologise for
7 the mix-up.
8 Now, what about for military police? Did you ever look at any
9 manuals or any rules on the usage of the military police?
10 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas, I did.
11 Q. Now, we've provided you with what we received, and it's titled
12 "Services regulations of SFRJ, armed forces, military police."
13 MR. KARNAVAS: For the record, this is for identification
14 purposes, D15/1.
15 Q. Do you recall ever seeing these regulations? And if so, do you
16 know whether these were the regulations that you used?
17 A. Yes, I have seen these rules, these regulations; amongst them,
18 the one you are referring to. And I did use these regulations and this
19 particular one.
20 Q. Okay. Did you use any other rules or regulations? If you
22 A. No. They were these rules and regulations mostly.
23 Q. Now, I take it by 1995, July of 1995, you having been from 1986
24 onwards in the security sector -- in the intelligence sector of the
25 Territorial Defence, all the way to July 1995 you were still -- that was
1 one of your functions -- I take it at least with those regulations and
2 rules you were very familiar with, dealing with intelligence.
3 A. Well, you could put it that way too.
4 Q. Well, would you put it some other way that would be more
5 characteristic of how you see the picture?
6 A. Well, we could say that I was sufficiently informed of the rules
7 relating to intelligence and security for combat operations.
8 Q. Okay. And would it be correct for me to assume - I'm going to
9 make an assumption now - so would it be correct for me to assume that your
10 functions as -- in the intelligence organ when you were with the
11 Territorial Defence were relatively the same, if not the same, when you
12 were with the Bratunac Brigade?
13 A. No, that wouldn't be a good qualification or comparison.
14 Q. All right. Would you have less responsibility in the
15 intelligence sector in the -- when you were with the Territorial Defence,
16 or would you have more responsibility?
17 A. On the basis of my establishment duties in the Territorial
18 Defence, I would have less responsibility; that is to say, I was
19 responsible only for intelligence matters.
20 Q. Okay. Well, we're talking only about intelligence now.
21 Now, did you -- did the same rules apply, in other words, if I
22 can assist you here, were there a separate set of rules as to how the
23 intelligence organ operated when you were with the Territorial Defence
24 than when you were with the Bratunac Brigade? Or were the rules the same?
25 A. In principle, the rules were the same. But previously I told you
1 that in addition to these rules, the set of rules I have in front of me,
2 intelligence security for the armed forces, that I used another set of
3 rules too, intelligence security for combat operations, which in principle
4 is the same.
5 Q. Okay. So I want to make sure I understand this. All right?
6 Help me out here. When you were with the Territorial Defence and when you
7 were with the Bratunac Brigade, the same rules applied.
8 A. Roughly speaking, that's how it was.
9 Q. Okay. Well, were there a separate set of rules? Aside from --
10 you know, I understand that there was combat -- there was a combat
11 situation from 1992 onwards, but was there a separate set of rules that
12 were inapplicable?
13 A. As to that separate set of rules, I really don't know that they
14 existed; that is to say, that there was a separate set of rules that were
16 Q. Okay. So I would take it that by 1995 you have nine years of
17 experience more or less, on-the-job training, in the intelligence sector.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Okay. Now, what about in the security sector? From 1992 -- end
20 of 1992 to July and onwards of 1995, would it be fair to say that by that
21 point you knew, understood, appreciated, and applied the rules with
22 respect to the security organ?
23 A. Could you just explain what you mean. The question was rather a
24 lengthy one, and I wasn't able to follow you to the end.
25 Q. Okay. After three years of applying those rules or being in that
1 position, being in the position of security - now we're talking security.
2 Forget about intelligence. Now we're talking security - all right? By
3 1995, the fall of Srebrenica, did you know the rules with respect to the
4 security organ, you know, as they applied to you in your position in the
5 Bratunac Brigade?
6 A. When I was appointed to the post of head of the intelligence and
7 security organ, onwards, I knew to a significant extent my duties and
8 responsibilities from the competencies of the security organ.
9 Q. All right. Just to make sure that I understand, by 1995, July,
10 the fall of Srebrenica, what you're saying is you knew the rules with
11 respect to the security organ as they applied to you as a member of the
12 Chief of Intelligence and Security of the Bratunac Brigade. That's your
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Okay. The next part of the question was: Not just knowing, but
16 you understood the rules; right? There's a difference between knowing
17 them and understanding them; right?
18 A. Well, you could put it that way. So if you know something, you
19 should also understand it.
20 Q. Okay. So I take it you understood the rules. In other words,
21 you merely couldn't just recite them by heart, assuming that you could do
22 that, but you understood the essence of the rules, what they meant.
23 A. Mr. Karnavas, I did understand what the rules meant, and all I
24 can tell you is this, to make things clearer, that I could avail myself
25 and use those rules. So I was in a position to use the rules.
1 Q. All right. The next part of that question, the long one, was
2 whether you appreciated the rules. So you knew, you understood. But
3 appreciated; in other words, you understand the significance of the rules,
4 appreciated the importance of the rules. In 1995, did you appreciate the
5 rules that you claim to have known and understood?
6 A. In 1995, I knew what the rules pertained to and regulate.
7 Q. Did you appreciate them? In other words, understood the value of
8 the rules? Knowing them is one thing; understanding them is another;
9 appreciating them is something totally different. Did you appreciate the
11 A. I applied the rules in the extent to which the objective
12 situation allowed me to do so.
13 Q. All right. Well, that was the last part of the question. So if
14 you knew, understood, and appreciated, it would be a foregone conclusion,
15 it would be axiomatic, it would follow that you would indeed apply those
16 rules; right?
17 A. You could put it that way, yes.
18 Q. Well, how else would you put it?
19 A. Well, this is a complex question, Mr. Karnavas, and to discuss a
20 rule now is a little pretentious. It would be pretentious on my part to
21 enter into polemics about them. I can now say that I did have those
22 rules, that I used the rules, that I applied them in the extent to which I
23 should have applied them -- I needed to apply them, and that these rules
24 could have been influenced by the situation in which we found ourselves,
25 the different circumstances and situations. So probably - although, I
1 can't give you a concrete example right now - that there were certain
2 things, certain small details which were in keeping with the rules but not
3 completely so, as prescribed by the rules. I don't exclude such
4 possibilities. They were also possible.
5 Q. All right. And I agree. It's a complex question. Let's break
6 it down here. I think - and correct me if I'm wrong - I --
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: This is asked and answered about six to eight
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Mr. Karnavas, we could not get your point. You
12 know, if you have a final question, put your final question directly to
13 this witness.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
15 Q. You've just indicated -- you've just indicated that you applied
16 the rules as you understood them to be, but then you qualified it
17 depending on the situation, that the situation might have influenced the
18 application of the rules.
19 A. Well, of course. That's always understood.
20 Q. Okay. Well, here I'm having some problems understanding exactly
21 what you mean. Are the rules clear; yes or no?
22 A. Yes, they are clear.
23 Q. And you've indicated you understood the rules; right?
24 A. That's right.
25 Q. The rules are made clear in order for someone like you to apply
1 them; is that correct?
2 A. That's correct, Mr. Karnavas.
3 Q. And the rules are designed in a way so they can be used during a
4 fluid situation such as a combat activity.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And you indicated that you knew and understood the rules and you
7 appreciated the rules, so I take it the rules were your guiding principles
8 as to how you should or should not behave.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. The rules explained what your functions were.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Your responsibilities.
13 A. That's right.
14 Q. Who you were subordinated to.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Who your superior was.
17 A. That's right.
18 Q. Who was subordinated to you, who was underneath you.
19 A. There are no -- there is no security organ -- or rather, there
20 is. I apologise, there is. In the professional sense, there are
21 subordinate organs, if that's what you mean.
22 Q. Well, in your capacity -- in your capacity, you were at times
23 able to use resources, staff, such as the military police; is that not
25 A. Mr. Karnavas, the way you put it is not how it stands.
1 Q. I'm using the broader sense. We're going to get into the rules.
2 We're going to go into the detail usage of the rules. But for right now
3 is it not a fact in your capacity as Chief of Intelligence and Security at
4 times you had subordinates at your disposal, pursuant to the rules?
5 A. No.
6 Q. So if I understand you correctly -- and please, I don't want to
7 misunderstand you or misquote you -- what you're saying here today, at no
8 time and nowhere under the rules you have the right to use military
10 A. Mr. Karnavas, the rules as to the deployment of the military
11 police stipulates exactly the method and work of the security organs and
12 defines the authorisations for this, with respect to the military police.
13 And in keeping, or pursuant to those instructions and rules, I had this
14 relationship that I did towards the military police.
15 Q. Precisely. That's exactly what I'm trying to say. Maybe I'm
16 being inarticulate today. But you had the capacity to have the police
17 subordinated to you at times in order to carry out certain functions
18 related to your work under the rules.
19 A. No.
20 Q. All right. We'll move on.
21 A. The police is not resubordinated or attached to the security
23 Q. I didn't say "resubordinated." I said -- let me -- let me
24 rephrase it. Were there times when you could give the military police
25 orders; yes or no?
1 A. I can't answer that way. I can't give you a yes-or-no answer.
2 Q. How about a maybe?
3 A. I was in charge -- well, I can't give you a maybe answer either.
4 I'll tell you how things stood. I was in charge in the professional sense
5 of the military police in the Bratunac Brigade.
6 Q. Okay. You were in charge of them. So that put them under your
7 supervision, authority, control?
8 A. No, Mr. Karnavas. Professionally speaking, being professionally
9 in charge of the military police and police, implies something quite
10 different. And my competencies and authority in that section were equal
11 to the competencies and authority of the head of the arms and services in
12 the unit in which the military police was located. That is what the rule
14 Q. Am I to understand that you could not order the military police
15 to carry out any activities? And let me give you an example. I'm getting
16 ahead of myself here, but just to help you out. According to your
17 testimony, you, Colonel Beara, Deronjic, I think it was Vasic or someone
18 else - I'm not quite sure - were sitting around on the 13th at the SDS
19 headquarters having a little chat. Do you recall that?
20 A. I do.
21 Q. All right. Now, as I recall your testimony -- and we're going to
22 get into this in great detail. But as I recall it, in general, at that
23 point, while you were there a decision had been made - it's unclear who
24 made that decision - but a decision was made that members of the -- this
25 is according to you -- that members of the military police, of the
1 Bratunac Brigade, would be used to guard the buses of the people. Because
2 in your version of the events, the situation was very tense. There was a
3 security concern for the people of Bratunac on that particular night.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection to the multi-part form of this
6 question. It becomes impossible to answer such a question.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, the witness --
8 JUDGE LIU: Well --
9 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may respond, Your Honour, please.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: If the witness doesn't understand the question, he
12 can certainly, you know, inform me. He doesn't need the assistance of the
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. McCloskey, I think in this situation
15 Mr. Karnavas is laying the background. I haven't heard a question put
16 forward by him yet.
17 Maybe, Mr. Karnavas, it's time for you to directly ask a question
18 to this witness.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: All right.
20 Q. Do you recall that scenario, as I described it, based on your
21 testimony, you being in the office late at night, 13th of July, Beara,
22 Deronjic, Vasic? Do you recall that?
23 A. Yes, I do recall that.
24 Q. Do you recall stating, testifying that a decision was made at
25 that point in time to use, along with others, members of the Bratunac
1 military police? Do you recall that?
2 A. To use them for what?
3 Q. To guard -- I apologise. To guard the buses of -- containing the
4 people. Because as I understand your testimony, there were not enough
5 people to transport all those buses that night and guard them at the same
6 time. Do you recall that?
7 A. No, that is not how I testified about it.
8 Q. All right. So are you saying that in order -- a decision was not
9 made on that night when you were there to use the military police of the
10 Bratunac Brigade?
11 A. No, no decision. The military police of the Bratunac Brigade had
12 already been used to a great extent for the tasks and assignments that
13 you're referring to.
14 Q. All right. That's your testimony today, under oath. And you've
15 never given a different version on that, that a decision was made to
16 utilise members of the Bratunac military police on that night?
17 A. I cannot quote my own words from the testimony. But as far as I
18 can remember, I didn't speak specifically about a decision having been
19 taken that evening, because it would be illogical. The police had already
20 been used. This was the 13th, late at night. And the detainees were in
21 Bratunac already on the 12th in the afternoon, the night of the 12th/13th
22 in the morning, afternoon, and the night of the 13th. So I don't think I
23 said any such thing, at least not in that context.
24 Q. All right. I'll move on. We'll get to that later on. We'll --
25 we'll see if I have it wrong. So your testimony here today under oath is
1 that during this period of the fall of Srebrenica and thereafter you never
2 gave any orders on your own to the military police of the Bratunac
3 Brigade. Is that your testimony?
4 A. No, Mr. Karnavas. You're quoting me as saying something I didn't
5 say. You asked me about the 13th in the evening, and I said that that was
6 not right. That is the interpretation I'm getting. I didn't say in my
7 statement nor am I claiming now that I never told the military police what
8 they should do. If you want me to say I ordered them things, then I
9 accept I did in certain situations order the military police what they
10 should do, but the military police had already been engaged for that
11 assignment. It received instructions from me as to what to do next, how
12 to behave, where to go. That is true.
13 Q. All right. So aside from the hypothetical that I posed, based on
14 your -- on your testimony, which I may have wrong, you now are saying that
15 throughout that period you were at times giving orders on your own to the
16 military police. I just want a clear, straight answer.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour --
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm going to object. That's a misstatement of
20 the evidence. I think that's a deliberate misstatement, and that's
21 uncalled for and improper.
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I think your question has been
23 answered by the witness already. It is quite clear from the transcript
24 the answer to this question, so there's no need to repeat the same
25 question again and again.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
2 Q. Am I to understand, Mr. Nikolic, that you always applied the
3 rules as they were written and as they applied to you? During this
4 period. We're talk about the Srebrenica period. I'm not interested in
5 other periods.
6 A. If, Mr. Karnavas, you are referring to the use of the military
7 police that we were just talking about - and I hope that is what you
8 mean - then I can assert that the military police and I acted to implement
9 assignments ordered by the commander and from the chain of command and
10 that we acted in accordance with the rules regarding the engagement of the
11 military police, the rules of service of the military police from 1985.
12 Q. Did you always apply the rules as they related to you, with
13 respect to your functions as a -- the head of the security organ of the
14 Bratunac Brigade?
15 A. I can say that in all the situations when I was able to use the
16 rules, except in situations when that was impossible or in situations when
17 I disagreed with the order to engage the military police. And when the
18 order to engage the military police was not in accordance with the duties
19 of the military police, in those situations, when the commander makes a
20 decision, I have no right to refer to the rules or anything else, and
21 there are were such situations.
22 Q. There were situations where you were unable to use the rules,
23 with respect to your functions as a member of the security organ? That's
24 your testimony?
25 A. No. There were situations in which the use of the military
1 police was ordered outside the scope of the duties of the military police.
2 Q. I'm not speaking about the military police. I've moved on. I'm
3 talking to you in your capacity as the chief of the security organ, has
4 broader functions than the military police. In your capacity as the chief
5 of the security organ of the Bratunac Brigade, did you always follow the
6 rules? That was the -- that was the question.
7 A. In principle, yes, to the best of my understanding and ability to
8 use them.
9 Q. Okay. So if the rules say, for instance -- this is a
10 hypothetical now. If the rules say that you must notify or get permission
11 or be authorised by your commander before you can do -- carry out a
12 certain function, you always - I underscore "always"- applied the rule?
13 Is that -- is that true?
14 A. Always, whenever I had the chance to do so, I informed the
15 commander of my involvement. I always did that during three or four war
16 years. When the commander is there, when I had the chance to do that, I
17 informed him about my involvement. But in principle and as a rule,
18 regarding my engagement and the task given to me as the chief of the
19 security and intelligence organs, are given by the commander. It is the
20 commander who gives me orders as to my assignments.
21 Q. All right. And that commander would be the Bratunac Brigade
23 A. Of course. Of course, yes.
24 Q. Not -- and that wasn't Popovic, was it?
25 A. I don't understand the question.
1 Q. Well, let me help you out here. The commander of the Bratunac
2 Brigade during that period was not Popovic. Did you ever hear that name?
3 A. Yes, I did hear it. Lieutenant Colonel Popovic was not the
4 brigade commander.
5 Q. What about Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric? Was he the commander?
6 A. No, he wasn't the commander either.
7 Q. What about Colonel Jankovic? Was he the commander?
8 A. No, Mr. Karnavas.
9 Q. Then I take it, from listening to your earlier question, the only
10 thing -- the only time when you were not able to follow the rules and
11 inform your commander in advance was when you did not have the opportunity
12 to apply the rules as they should have been applied.
13 A. What is your question, Mr. Karnavas?
14 Q. Very well. I'll slow down a little bit. Earlier I thought you
15 said that you were unable at times to apply the rules or to notify your
16 commander but you would always do so, provided you had the opportunity, if
17 the opportunity presented itself.
18 A. Yes. Though I considered that they were not tasks within my
19 competencies, I thought I should inform the commander.
20 Q. All right. My question to you -- and I -- it's a very narrow
21 issue. As I understand it, you always went by the rules and contacted
22 your commander, except when you were unable to do so because of the
24 A. There were objectively speaking very few such situations.
25 Q. But I thought that was your earlier answer. I just want to make
1 sure that I have that correct.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, that's not the question.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could have questions, we might be able to
5 get through this.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I --
7 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may --
8 JUDGE LIU: You know, I think somehow we get your point. But if
9 you have a case at your hands, just put it directly to this witness. We
10 don't have to go around and around.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour. I just want to make sure
12 that I lock the witness into his position and -- but very well.
13 JUDGE LIU: But don't confuse everybody, you know.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well.
15 Q. According to your testimony, you were issued tasks by Kosoric and
16 Popovic, or Popovic and Kosoric; is that correct?
17 A. In a certain part I did receive tasks from them.
18 Q. And you also indicated on direct examination that you received
19 tasks or a task from Colonel Jankovic. Is that correct?
20 A. Yes, I did say that I was issued a task by Colonel Jankovic.
21 Q. And is it not a fact that you stated that based on the orders or
22 tasks that you were given by Popovic and Kosoric, on one hand, and
23 Jankovic on the other, you went ahead and carried out those tasks? You
24 said that, did you not?
25 A. I said that I went to carry out those tasks.
1 Q. All right. And that's when you were the coordinator in Potocari.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, as I understand you correctly, as I understood your
4 testimony, when you were tasked you were in Bratunac.
5 A. Yes, that's right.
6 Q. The tasks that you received from Popovic and Kosoric, according
7 to your testimony, were given to you when you were standing in front of
8 the Hotel Fontana, which is in the middle of Bratunac.
9 A. That's right, Mr. Karnavas.
10 Q. And as I understand it, slightly thereafter but basically in the
11 same vicinity, either in or outside the Hotel Fontana, you get tasked by
12 Colonel Jankovic. Is that correct?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. Now, the Hotel Fontana -- I know you've been away from Bratunac
15 for a while, but help me out here. The Hotel Fontana is at a juncture.
16 One way you go to Potocari. If you turn right, you go towards the
17 Bratunac Brigade headquarters; right?
18 A. That's right.
19 Q. The Bratunac headquarters are, what, a two-minute drive?
20 A. That's right.
21 Q. And Potocari is, as I understand it, halfway between Bratunac and
22 Srebrenica, so we're talking about 10 kilometres or maybe 5. I think it's
23 10, 5 miles.
24 A. I think it's 5 or 6 kilometres.
25 Q. All right. Now, I understand your testimony- and we can dig it
1 up here later on- but as I understood from listening to you, that after
2 you received the tasks from both Popovic, Kosoric, and Jankovic, you
3 waited around, you hung around, while the VIPs were there in front or in
4 the Hotel Fontana before going off to carry on those orders.
5 A. First of all, Mr. Karnavas, I have the translation that I hung
6 around. I didn't hang around the Fontana Hotel. I waited for the buses
7 to arrive. So there was a period of time when I didn't have anything to
8 do in Potocari. And then after that, I went to Potocari. But I went to
9 Potocari when Colonel Jankovic told me what my tasks were and when he told
10 me that units participating in the Srebrenica operation had received
11 orders as to what their tasks would be in that operation.
12 Q. And you were being sent there to coordinate.
13 A. Yes. After that, that is to say, since I knew that the units
14 that were there had already received orders as to their role in the
15 operation, I went there to coordinate work in that operation in Potocari,
16 as I testified.
17 Q. Okay. Now, a poor choice of words on my part when I said you
18 "hung around." You waited. You waited before going off to Potocari.
19 A. That's right, Mr. Karnavas.
20 Q. You've indicated that it would have been a two-minute drive for
21 you to leave the Hotel Fontana to go over to the Bratunac Brigade
22 headquarters; right? That's an established fact by you.
23 A. You said that, and I said -- I'm now saying up to five minutes,
24 on the outside.
25 Q. Okay. I'll take five. You did not go to the Bratunac Brigade
1 headquarters before heading off to Potocari, did you?
2 A. No, I didn't go to the Bratunac Brigade headquarters.
3 Q. And from your testimony, you've never said, at least thus far,
4 that someone told you, Momir Nikolic, "Do not leave the Hotel Fontana
5 premises." In other words, nobody prevented you from getting into your
6 car, which you had as a security officer, the head of the security
7 intelligence, drive down to the brigade and see whether your commander was
8 in and if so, inform him of the orders that you had received from Popovic,
9 Kosoric, and Jankovic. You did not make that -- that trip to the
10 headquarters, did you?
11 A. No, I didn't.
12 Q. And had you made -- had you made - had - had you made that trip,
13 you might have determined, learned whether your commander was in the
14 headquarters or not if his office; right? Had you made that trip.
15 A. If I had made that trip and if I had looked for him, I would have
16 seen for myself.
17 Q. Right. And I guess what I'm trying to get at is you had the time
18 and the opportunity on that particular morning, if indeed -- if indeed you
19 are correct in what you've stated, you've had the time and the opportunity
20 to inform your commander that you had been issued tasks by others who are
21 not your commander; is that correct?
22 A. I wouldn't put it quite like that. I could perhaps confirm that
23 I did have time to go to the brigade headquarters, and I can say that my
24 assessment was that there was no need for me to inform Commander
25 Blagojevic about the operation because such a large-scale operation in
1 which Colonel Jankovic had told me that these units had been engaged, it
2 couldn't have happened without decisions of the commanders, ranging from
3 the commander of the Main Staff, of the Drina Corps, and the brigade
4 command. It is quite impossible. And that is why I didn't go to inform
5 him. And anyway, I know that the refugees, the prisoners and concern for
6 them was within my purview. And regarding those tasks defined by the
7 rules of service for the security organ, it is not prescribed that I
8 should keep running over to the commander and ask for his permission for
9 every task.
10 Mr. Karnavas, one could put it this way, that I have the
11 authority from the commander for all the tasks stipulated by the rules of
12 service, according to which the commander must know better and more about
13 those rules than myself.
14 Q. Okay. Let me get back to this -- to the earlier part of your
15 answer. You're making an assumption today, are you not, that Colonel
16 Blagojevic knew anything about this operation that Jankovic tasked you.
17 This is an assumption on your part. Is it not a fact?
18 A. I am not assuming anything. I'm convinced that the command
19 structure knew about this operation. That is my conviction.
20 Q. Okay. Did you speak with Colonel Blagojevic that morning about
21 this operation; yes or no?
22 A. If you're asking me about the 12th in the morning.
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. We did not discuss that operation on the 12th in the morning.
25 Q. And in fact, you had no contact with him on that particular
2 A. Regarding the operation in Potocari, I did not have specific
3 contact with Colonel Blagojevic.
4 Q. And just so I make -- just so I can understand your answer, as
5 far as you were concerned under the rules - which we'll get to after the
6 break - as far as you were concerned, you were free to do -- to carry out
7 those orders in Potocari, the orders that were given to you by Popovic,
8 Kosoric, and Jankovic. That came under your authority and you didn't have
9 to inform your commander about it at all.
10 A. No, I didn't say that, that I didn't have to inform him. I did
11 inform my commander about tasks and my involvement, but I said that that
12 morning I didn't talk to him about the operation and that he did not issue
13 me any orders in connection with the operation, and he couldn't have,
14 because I didn't discuss it with him.
15 Q. And you did not inform him before the fact - not after, but
16 before - in other words, before going to Potocari, before taking the
17 initiative to carry out the orders that were given to you by Jankovic,
18 Popovic, and Kosoric, you went ahead. You didn't talk to the commander;
20 A. Yes, that's right, Mr. Karnavas.
21 Q. And that was a decision that you made.
22 A. No, it wasn't a decision that I made. It was an order that I
24 Q. You were ordered not to -- to meet with Colonel Blagojevic?
25 A. No, I didn't say that.
1 Q. Okay. So the decision not to consult with him, the decision not
2 to take the two- or five-minute drive to headquarters, the decision not to
3 see whether he's in to speak to him was yours and yours only.
4 A. Yes, it was my decision, on the basis of my authority, with
5 respect to prisoners of war and the duties that I was to be engaged in.
6 And, Mr. Karnavas, let me just add: All my responsibilities linked to
7 prisoners, refugees, et cetera, are defined by order of the brigade
8 commander, and that provision and my responsibilities is something I'm
9 well aware of, because I am sufficiently trained to realise and appreciate
10 what my responsibilities are in that respect.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well --
12 MR. KARNAVAS: This would be an excellent time. We'll cover that
13 next area when we come back, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe that this is an important part of the
15 cross-examination, and I'm sorry that you spent a lot of time on those,
16 you know, rules before. So we have to cut it here. I hope after we
17 resume you could be more streamlined and concentrate on those events.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour. This is as streamlined as
19 I can get it. But I will -- I will endeavour. I will endeavour to --
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for your cooperation.
21 We'll resume at 12.30.
22 --- Recess taken at 12.02 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 12.32 p.m.
24 JUDGE LIU: Please proceed, Mr. Karnavas.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. Okay. Mr. Nikolic, before we -- we go through the various
2 rules -- are you okay? Before we go through the various rules, which
3 unavoidably will take some time, I would like you to please inform us what
4 you believed your functions were and your responsibilities were first as
5 the head of the intelligence organ and then, second, as the head of the
6 security organ. And if you could do it in that order, I would appreciate
8 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas. This, too, is a very broad area, but I'll try
9 in the briefest terms to tell you what my duties and responsibilities were
10 as head of the organ for intelligence and security in the light infantry
12 My basic task and duty in the sphere of intelligence security was
13 to collect, process, and send out intelligence information to the
14 commanders so that on the basis of the intelligence data provided they
15 would be able to make the right decision or issue the right order.
16 Next, my duties would also be to provide military and
17 professional assistance on a continuous basis to subordinate intelligence
18 security organs. In this case, those would be the assistant commanders
19 for intelligence and security matters, in the light infantry brigade.
20 Next, within the framework of the organs which I headed, it was
21 my duty to see to documents as the head of the security and intelligence
22 organ in the Bratunac Brigade, in specific terms, I kept a logbook of the
23 intelligence reporting and was also at the head of a diary, intelligence
24 diary that we kept. This was another document that I oversaw and kept.
25 And then my duties and responsibilities also entailed the decision-making
1 phase; that is to say, to propose and put forward to the commander
2 measures of intelligence security, and also on the basis of the
3 commander's decision, or in exceptional circumstances - and I'm talking
4 about exceptional, extraordinary circumstances - on the basis of the basic
5 concept that the commander had to draw up a plan for intelligence
6 security, and then also after a decision had been taken, once the
7 commander had made his decision, it was my duty to write and compile an
8 order for intelligence security for subordinate units. And for Their
9 Honours, let me explain and expound here. As head of the organ, I would
10 write out and compile the order for intelligence security to the
11 subordinate units or, rather, battalions. However, the order would be
12 signed by the commander. The signature would be the commander's. The
13 commander would review it, authorise it, and then sign it.
14 The case is the same with orders; that is to say, I take part in
15 the writing of orders, orders to reconnaissance units. In the Bratunac
16 Brigade for a time a unit of that kind was set up, a reconnaissance unit.
17 It was in fact on the level of a platoon, and it was also the duty of the
18 intelligence organ to write out and take part in the writing of orders for
19 reconnaissance work to subordinate units or, rather, to the subordinate
20 unit. And in this case, it was the reconnaissance platoon of the Bratunac
22 Similarly, I should like to add, in connection with this order,
23 that the order is conceived and written out by the head of the
24 intelligence security organ. However, the order for reconnaissance work,
25 its definite shape, the text and contents of this document, that is
1 something the commander has the final say in and then signs and is then
2 sent down to the subordinate unit or the reconnaissance platoon, in this
3 particular case.
4 Now, I could go on and tell you about the ways in which this is
5 done further down the line, but I don't think that's something that you
6 asked me about. But if you feel like it, I will do so.
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. I take it that's what you understood --
8 that's what you understand your duties were and that's what you
9 understood - past tense - that your duties were at the time that you were
10 performing them during the fall of Srebrenica.
11 A. Yes, those were my duties. They ranged within the frameworks of
12 these responsibilities of mine that I have outlined and were in keeping
13 with the rules governing intelligence security and the rules on
14 intelligence and combat operations.
15 Q. Okay. And -- well, you were wearing two different hats while you
16 were working in the Bratunac Brigade as the Chief of Intelligence and
17 Security, because there was a light infantry brigade; is that correct?
18 And by that I mean one for security, one for intelligence.
19 A. Yes. One person embodied and combined the two, intelligence --
20 the intelligence organ and the security organ.
21 Q. And in fact -- but those two positions are distinct and separate.
22 Even though you were carrying them out yourself, those are two different
23 functions, in security and intelligence.
24 A. No. You can't put it that way. These two functions are very
25 similar, and there are a series of immediate and further removed links
1 between one and the other function.
2 Q. Now, before coming here today, as I understand it - correct me if
3 I'm wrong - you've spent a considerable amount of time with your lawyers
4 going over the disclosure material as well as the rules. Is that correct?
5 A. With my lawyers I spent as much time as was necessary, as far as
6 we assessed. And we dealt with all the documents and everything that we
7 had at our disposal, in the sense of preparing the defence well.
8 Q. Right.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I apologise. I just think we might
11 be able to clarify something. The question was originally: Describe your
12 intelligence duties and your security duties. The witness did not have a
13 chance to describe his security duties. He did use a term that gets
14 translated as "intelligence security," but that in my belief has to do
15 with his securing of the intelligence information, not to do with the
16 security branch and those duties. So there may have been some confusion
17 on that point. And I don't know if counsel wants to ask him about his
18 security duties. But as far as I know, he didn't -- that was his first
19 question and he didn't get to that.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, it depends on you, whether you
21 would like to pursue along this line or not.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: I assumed that the gentleman was mixing the two or
23 combining the two, and that's why I asked whether there were two distinct
24 functions. But I will clarify it, Your Honour.
25 All right. For the record, the gentleman was shaking his head.
1 I take it --
2 Q. Do you want to -- do you want -- would you like to have the
3 opportunity to describe to us what your functions were, as you understand
4 them to be, as the head of the security organ?
5 A. Your Honours, before I answer that question, I should just like
6 to say that Mr. Karnavas asked me separately. He asked me to explain
7 intelligence duties, intelligence work and my duties within that area, and
8 that previously I had been speaking expressly about the intelligence part.
9 So now I would like to say a few words about my role in -- as a function
10 of the security organ.
11 The basic tasks of the security organ in the light infantry
12 brigade were the following: Security for facilities and premises,
13 individuals and property, which if we're dealing with individuals, then
14 they belonged to the light infantry brigade; and then it was also -- as
15 the security organ, it is -- it was my -- I was directly responsible for
16 the professional heading and work of the military police; and to make
17 things quite clear, commanding the platoon of the military police,
18 commanding and leading the military police. That comes under the
19 competence of the commander of the unit or institution within whose
20 composition we have the military police or has been attached to it. In
21 this case, the military police is directly controlled and commanded by the
22 commander of the brigade.
23 Now, what does it mean that my role was the -- that I was
24 directly -- immediately responsible for the professional commanding of the
25 military police platoon? That means in actual fact that I was responsible
1 to see that the military police were ready for combat, combat operations,
2 and that my role was to propose to the commander the best possible ways
3 and means of deploying the military police unit, platoon, in keeping with
4 the rules and regulations governing military police deployment. It was
5 also my job to control the implementation of orders and measures issued by
6 the commander, and then also that the military police platoon should be
7 given all forms of professional aid and assistance in the sense of being
8 able to carry out the orders issued by the commander, and also it was my
9 duty within the frameworks of all this to take care and see that the
10 military police was organised properly and that services were organised
11 which are necessary for a certain assignment to be accomplished. These
12 services - and I can repeat this again so that the laws can be interpreted
13 properly - because of the few people that made up the military police
14 platoon, that is to say, there were just 30 men, that the participation of
15 policemen in certain services of the military police was multiple,
16 multi-fold, which meant that one policeman at one given point in time
17 would take part, for example, in the security service, in providing
18 security. Then he would take part in the patrolling and in other services
19 too. So that was the principle, this multiple principle governing the
20 functioning of the police, and the duties of the head, vis-a-vis their
22 And just one more sentence, if I may: As far as my authority and
23 competencies went, linked to the professional control of the military
24 police platoon, these went as follows: They were authorisations by the
25 head of the branches and services in the unit in which the military police
1 platoon was located. The same authority and competencies, to quote an
2 example, were vested in me, when it came to military professional aid, and
3 military assistance to the platoon, just like the head of the traffic
4 service and communications service intended for traffic control, for
5 example -- the military police for traffic control. He sees to the
6 professional training of the department. He sees that the men are
7 equipped properly, and he sees that they are deployed properly, that they
8 are trained professionally. So he sees to that, and that's faired just as
9 I see to the professional aspects in the military police -- engaged in
10 military police functions and tasks. That briefly would be that.
11 So the military police platoon, in addition to these tasks, tasks
12 in providing security for the staffs, headquarters, materiel, and
13 technical means, also engages in military discipline, sees that measures
14 of military discipline are adhered to, and helps uncover crimes and the
15 perpetrators of crimes and offences within the jurisdiction of what the
16 military courts have to deal with. So those are the basic tasks and
17 duties, and my participation there in the military professional sense, to
18 help them carry out their tasks.
19 Q. Okay. Thank you. Let me ask the same question again, and I'll
20 try to be clear. From listening to your description of intelligence and
21 then security, it seems to me that they are two distinct functions,
22 separate. They're separate and distinct.
23 A. Well, they are separate in the sense that I have just explained
24 it theoretically. However, they are closely connected. And let me just
25 quote you one example, to make this quite clear to you. On the one hand,
1 you have the detention monitoring of enemy forces, their intentions
2 vis-a-vis your unit; that is the intelligence portion. And on the other
3 hand, from the security job, one of the tasks is to prevent the
4 infiltration of those same enemy forces by making diversion, sabotage, and
5 so on. So in that context, I say they are connected.
6 Q. Okay. And you were carrying out all of these task, both of those
7 tasks that you -- because both of those fell on your shoulders, as opposed
8 to in a regular brigade. You had two individuals. You were saddled with
9 both those responsibilities and duties, one person, Momir Nikolic.
10 A. I was the head of that particular body, organ, and I performed
11 those tasks; of course, with assistance by another -- from another
12 individual who was working within that same organ.
13 Q. But you were giving -- you were taking the lead.
14 A. I was the chief of that organ.
15 Q. Okay. Now, just to be on the safe side, I'd like to go through
16 the -- the rules, the brigade rules, and then the separate rules so we
17 know exactly -- just not all of them but just some of them that may be
18 relevant to your testimony on cross and may shed some light on your
19 testimony on direct.
20 If you could refer to the brigade rules. And I had previously
21 indicated that this was marked for identification purposes as P83, for the
23 If you could look at paragraph -- they're numbered -- 118. It
24 talks about the intelligence organ; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, I've found it, paragraph 118.
1 Q. All right. And if you could briefly -- if you could quickly look
2 at it.
3 A. Yes. I have had a look at it.
4 Q. This in -- and I don't want to put words in your mouth. But this
5 in essence characterises in general what the intelligence organ's
6 responsibilities are, which is pretty well what you said earlier -- what
7 you said earlier in your response. Is that correct?
8 A. Here in paragraph 118 we see set out in principle the
9 professional tasks and defined as to what the intelligence organ actually
11 Q. Right. And it's a continuous -- it's a continuous function. In
12 other words, you continually have to be in the field or constantly engaged
13 in the gathering of intelligence and providing the support services to
14 your commander as they are reflected here in paragraph 118; is that
16 A. Mr. Karnavas, what you've just said is not what is written here.
17 It doesn't say that I have to be in the field constantly. And as I
18 understood it, that -- actually, that is not the way in which intelligence
19 data is collected, and that is not what this point or paragraph defines
21 Q. It doesn't say "in the field," but are you suggesting that you
22 sit in your office and you just wait for the intelligence to come to you?
23 Is that your understanding of what you as the Chief of Intelligence should
24 be doing?
25 A. No, Mr. Karnavas. I don't wish to say that either. But from
1 time to time, I do sit in my office.
2 Q. I'm sure you do.
3 Now, 122 talks about the security organ. Further down the page.
4 And that again, in general, sets out what you're supposed to be doing.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And the very last paragraph talks about the expert direction that
7 the security organ gives to the military police; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, that last paragraph does. The security organ provides
9 expert direction for the military police unit, and that's something I
10 talked about a moment ago.
11 Q. All right. And it also indicates that you make recommendations
12 to the commander. For the more efficient use of the police; right?
13 A. In my own language, it is not I who makes recommendations. I
14 propose to the commander the ways in which the military police should be
16 Q. Okay. And I take it if you're going to make proposals, you do
17 that in advance of using the military police, not after the fact.
18 A. Well, that's quite clear, yes.
19 Q. It makes sense; right? You don't engage them and then say, "Oh,
20 by the way, commander, I just used the forces in a most efficient manner.
21 Let me tell you how I used them. What do you think? Can I have the
23 A. I'm not quite sure I'm following you.
24 Q. All right.
25 A. I don't think I know what you wanted -- what you meant.
1 Q. What I mean is if you're going to be making proposals, you make
2 them in advance, not after you've already utilised the military police in
3 a manner which you think is the most efficient but you need the commander
4 to give you the authorisation, assuming he -- he agrees with the
6 A. Mr. Karnavas, the commander does not make any proposals. That's
7 what I got from the interpretation. But the commander after my proposal
8 orders the use or deployment of the unit for a specific task and
9 assignment he orders.
10 Q. Right. But he -- he has the final authority of saying, "I don't
11 agree with your proposal."
12 A. Yes, he does. He does.
13 Q. And he can make recommendations on how he thinks, you know, your
14 proposal could be improved; right?
15 A. After my proposal, the commander can say that he doesn't agree at
16 all and that he does not accept a single word that I stated. And once the
17 commander, Mr. Karnavas, says "I have decided," that he has decided, then
18 that's definite. That's the last word and there's no more discussion
19 after that point.
20 Q. All right. Thank you.
21 Now, I'm going to skip ahead a little bit on another topic, but
22 let's cover since we're here on these rules. If I could -- if you could
23 be so kind as to look at Articles 150, 151, and 152. It talks about
24 cooperation in collaboration. And in those articles, it makes references
25 to the term "coordination."
1 MR. KARNAVAS: And I know that we're taking some time, Your
2 Honour, but I think this is -- I'm laying the groundwork.
3 A. Could you please repeat the numbers of the paragraphs.
4 Q. 150, 151, 152, and in fact you can just skim or read quickly 150
5 and 151 and zero in, if you will, on 152.
6 JUDGE LIU: We're told that we don't have that part. So is it
7 possible to put those articles on the ELMO so that we could see what that
9 MR. KARNAVAS: We can do that.
10 Just for the record, you may -- am I to understand, Your Honour,
11 that we failed to provide you those pages?
12 JUDGE LIU: I don't mean that.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Oh, okay. I just -- so I could make the
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't have those
16 pages either within these rules.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. All right. [B/C/S spoken] We'll get to
19 If I may confer with my colleague, Your Honour.
20 [Defence counsel confer]
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, we had the entire collection, and
23 you can use mine to put on the ELMO, so long as we can all see it. That's
24 fine with us.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have it now, paragraph 151? Is
2 that what you said?
3 MR. KARNAVAS: .
4 Q. Yeah, 150, 151, read those quickly. And then 152, if -- you may
5 wish to look at.
6 A. I would like to read it through.
7 Q. Yes, go ahead. Take your time. Well ...
8 A. I have read out paragraphs 150 and 151.
9 Q. Okay. Why don't you go ahead and read 152 as well, please.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 MR. KARNAVAS:
12 Q. Why don't you go read 152 as well, please.
13 A. I've looked at it and read it.
14 Q. Now, we're not going to go into great detail, but would it be
15 fair to say, even though this talks about cooperation and collaboration
16 and it's dealing with the brigade -- and your understanding of what your
17 tasks were as the coordinator on the 13th and 14th of July, is this the
18 basic concept, the basic philosophy, the basic principles of coordination?
19 A. First of all, Mr. Karnavas, as far as I have been able to read in
20 a hurry, this has to do with collaboration during the execution of combat
21 operations. But what I spoke about in my testimony had to do with
22 coordination following the completion of combat operations.
23 Q. I agree. And I'm not trying to -- what I'm trying to establish
24 here, because I haven't been able to look in the rules on coordination
25 after a battle -- so my question is -- my question is: Are the principles
1 of coordination where you have to cooperate and collaborate with all these
2 units, is the principle the same as stated in 151, 152, and 150 -- 150,
3 151, 152? Just the principles.
4 A. I am not able to draw such conclusions in haste. Coordination in
5 my understanding means unifying in principle of at least two structures
6 when carrying out certain tasks. When I say "at least two structures," or
7 elements, what I mean is, for instance, to be more specific, what was
8 happening in 1995, and that is to unify the activities of members of the
9 Ministry of the Interior and members of the Army of Republika Srpska. But
10 I also wish to say that coordination and these other combat actions were
11 not matters that I analysed. In principle, I do not participate in these
12 things. These are the responsibilities of the chief of staff and the
13 commander, so I'd rather not make -- voice any opinions about it. I've
14 told you what I understand to be coordination, as a measure taken after
15 combat operations. And the same definition could apply under conditions of
16 combat as well.
17 Q. Okay. Well, let me see if I understood your answer. First, the
18 rules that I've showed you talk about combat operation; is that correct?
19 Not post-combat.
20 A. These paragraphs, as far as I have been able to see quickly
21 looking through them, relates to what happens in the area of combat
22 operations, collaboration, and cooperation among the various units.
23 Q. All right. And that happens at the commander -- the commander is
24 the one that's in charge of that.
25 A. Again, Mr. Karnavas, you're asking an unequivocal and unclear
1 question. So could you please define your question clearly, as to what it
2 is you want to hear from me.
3 Q. It's not what I want to hear from you, Mr. Nikolic. I'm trying
4 to decipher your answer. As I understand it, what you're saying is --
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, in an effort to try to bring some
7 clarity to this discussion, I -- if we could point out that the paragraphs
8 that he's talking about are under the heading in this manual, which is on
9 page 39 of the English, entitled "Work of the brigade command in preparing
10 and organising combat operations." If that could be made clear. I think
11 there's -- appears to be some suggestion that these paragraphs are
12 particular to intelligence and -- and security, and I think we could deal
13 with this document in a proper context, it would be helpful.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: .
16 Q. Mr. Nikolic, as I indicated, that I would like you to look at
17 these articles for the purposes of an analogy, unless - unless - and I
18 underscore "unless"- you can point out anywhere in the rules dealing with
19 security or intelligence, a definition of "coordination" which you looked
20 at or could look at or was available to you under the rules at the time
21 when you were assigned in order to be the coordinator of units with
22 commanders of much higher ranking than you. Is there anywhere in any of
23 these rules, anything that would give you some guidance as to the term
24 "coordination"? That you are aware of?
25 A. Mr. Karnavas, I think I've already answered that question. I
1 understand what "coordination" means. I told you it means unifying at
2 least two structures. I told you that the question of coordination,
3 collaboration, and the other details defined by these rules is something
4 that I did not study. They don't come under the intelligence or security
5 purview. But I can tell you that I was assigned that task at the time and
6 I carried it out on the basis of the order issued to me. I did not delve
7 into that at the time, and I can also say later on I never looked for any
8 reference for the coordination that I performed.
9 Q. Okay. Aside from the unifying -- unifying the -- the military
10 with the civilian organ, would it be fair to say that as you understood
11 your task you had to get these different units to cooperate, collaborate,
12 act in unison for a common goal and purpose of which you knew of and were
13 there to assist in coordinating and executing?
14 A. Mr. McCloskey [sic], you've asked me several questions again.
15 But I shall try to answer in general terms what my understanding was of my
16 role. It was as follows: My understanding was that I had to go to
17 Potocari, where certain units had already been deployed and at least two
18 structures, as far as I was informed at the time, that we should work
19 together on the same assignment, that I was designated or, rather, ordered
20 to coordinate because I was from Bratunac and was most familiar with the
21 area, and because this was in the area of responsibility of my unit,
22 according to my understanding, and that I should, among other things, in
23 the execution of that overall operation one of my tasks was to adequately
24 resolve any problems or misunderstandings that might arise in connection
25 with that operation.
1 Q. Okay. Now, you indicate it was your area -- it was in the area
2 of responsibility, and you said "of my unit." Is that your security unit,
3 or are you referring to your brigade? What is your unit that you're
4 referring to here?
5 A. Mr. Karnavas, I apologise for using the term "my unit." When I
6 refer to the unit, I have in mind the 1st Light Infantry Brigade, the
7 Bratunac Brigade.
8 Q. And you assumed because this was in the area of Bratunac or where
9 the Bratunac Brigade was operating that it was your responsibility to take
10 care of this -- this incident or this task of coordinating. It fell right
11 within your area of responsibility.
12 A. Mr. Karnavas, I didn't think anything. I didn't think anything.
13 I simply carried out an order received. I can speak about the zone of
14 intelligence responsibility with competence, and I can speak about the
15 zone of responsibility or area of responsibility of the brigade in general
16 terms. And in my understanding, that was the area of responsibility of
17 the Bratunac Brigade, and that is still my understanding. I may be wrong,
18 but I may not be considered an expert for that area, so that I need not
19 comment on it.
20 Q. Now, based on your understanding at the time and perhaps today -
21 I don't know - was Popovic and Kosoric, one order, and Jankovic, were they
22 authorised to give you direct orders, as you understand the rules?
23 A. As I understood the rules and in view of the position held by
24 Colonel Jankovic - so I'm answering your first question first - his
25 arrival to the Bratunac Brigade and his visit in my office and his
1 contacts and presence there created the conviction that he was a man from
2 the Main Staff who can give me orders as to what I should do when it comes
3 to the prisoners, the refugees, because generally speaking and as a rule I
4 knew and was aware even before receiving the order that concern for the
5 refugees and the prisoners, their assembly, their securing and
6 transportation, was within the competence of the intelligence and security
8 Q. I --
9 A. The same with respect to your second question. That was the same
10 understanding I had with regard to Lieutenant Colonel Popovic, who was in
11 the Drina Corps and Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric, who was Assistant Chief of
12 Staff in the Intelligence Department of the Drina Corps. So I had the
13 same view of both of them.
14 Q. Just so I'm clear, the Drina Corps is above the Bratunac Brigade,
16 A. Yes. It is the superior command to, among others, the Bratunac
18 Q. Right. And of course, the Main Staff is even higher to the Drina
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. So from your answer, would I be safe in assuming that your
22 understanding of the rules are that since somebody from above, the Main
23 Staff or the Drina Corps, is giving you an order, one, they have the right
24 to do that under the rules? Is that my -- is that your -- am I correct
25 that that is your understanding?
1 A. Generally you're not right, and that was not the explanation I
2 gave. You are not right when you say that automatically, if I understand
3 you correctly, that simply because someone is from the Main Staff that, he
4 can give me orders. That was my understanding of what you said.
5 Q. Okay. Let's talk about Colonel Jankovic and your answer with
6 respect to Colonel Jankovic. One day he shows up in your office.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Your office is, if we're looking at the -- at the Bratunac
9 Brigade headquarters, the Kaolin factory, your office would be on the left
10 side, as you walk through the gate, right, second floor?
11 A. Yes. Yes, you've described it correctly.
12 Q. The -- the commander's office is on the right side, second floor.
13 A. At quite the opposite end. At one end is my office, and at the
14 other end the commander's, yes.
15 Q. And in between there are walls to prevent you from going directly
16 from your office - in other words, walking down the corridor - to the
18 A. Yes, that's right.
19 Q. You have to go downstairs to the first floor or -- I guess in
20 Europe they call it the ground floor -- all the way -- go out, go through
21 a separate set of stairs in order to see your commander; right?
22 A. Yes, that's right.
23 Q. All right. Now,-- and we'll get to the layout in greater detail
24 later on. But in any event, one day out of the blue, out of nowhere,
25 Colonel Jankovic of the Main Staff shows up in your office and says, "I'm
1 here to stay, to take -- to use your office"; right? Or words to that
3 A. Not quite like that, Mr. Karnavas.
4 Q. Okay.
5 A. As I understood it, it was -- what you said, he didn't come by
6 chance nor in the way that you described.
7 Q. All right. He shows up though all of a sudden, didn't he? Out
8 of nowhere he just shows up.
9 A. Again I must underline the interpretation I'm getting is that
10 showed up from nowhere. That is not true. Colonel Jankovic came and
11 introduced himself as an officer from the Intelligence Department of the
12 Main Staff of the VRS.
13 Q. Okay. So he showed up from the main office one day. And what
14 I'm trying to say is he didn't call you in advance and say, "Captain Momir
15 Nikolic, may I have permission to use your office while I'm in Bratunac."
16 He just showed up unannounced.
17 A. Again, Mr. Karnavas, you've asked me several questions and
18 asserted several things. I said that Colonel Jankovic came from the Main
19 Staff, he came to my office, he introduced himself to me, and he said that
20 in the ensuing period following orders from the Main Staff he would be
21 engaged in Bratunac and that he would be staying and sharing my office.
22 Q. Precisely. He didn't ask you if he could use your office. He
23 was telling you that he's going to be using your office pursuant to orders
24 from a higher authority.
25 A. Mr. Karnavas, in my understanding this was absolutely normal
1 procedure. It was a normal act. And officers from the Main Staff or the
2 superior Command never ask officers in a command whether they can come to
3 the unit or not. He could have ordered me to give my office to him, that
4 that was the decision of the commander of the Main Staff. He could have
5 ordered me to move to another office. He could have done that too, told
6 me to vacate it simply.
7 Q. Exactly. And based on your understanding and from your earlier
8 answer, it was also your understanding that he could give you a direct
9 order. Is that not a fact?
10 A. At the time, I felt that Colonel Jankovic could give me an order
11 in line with the law on security of intelligence and the rules defined in
12 that manual. One of the tasks that I was assigned by Colonel Jankovic was
13 the task which already had been defined and the participants designated on
14 the part of the command, and my tasks mainly had to do with refugees and
15 prisoners, that is, able-bodied men that we had separated in Potocari.
16 Q. Just so I'm clear, what law on security of intelligence are you
17 referring to? Or was there a misunderstanding by the interpreters? Did
18 you mean to say law on security or law on intelligence? If I could have
19 that point clarified.
20 A. I may have misspoken, or maybe it wasn't interpreted properly.
21 I'm referring to the rules of service that we reviewed a moment ago.
22 Q. Okay. Now, is that the service for security or is that the
23 service -- is that the rules for intelligence? Because you mentioned
24 both, and I'm a little confused here. Help me out.
25 A. I can look it up and tell you. One of the rules of service
1 defines the attitude or behaviour towards refugees and prisoners of war.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: All right. Your Honour, are we breaking -- if I
3 may ask a question. Are we breaking at 1.30?
4 JUDGE LIU: Well --
5 MR. KARNAVAS: I don't know. I'm ...
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, if you feel that, you know, you've finished,
7 you know, certain parts of the cross, we could break now. But normally
8 we'll break at 1.45.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Oh, 1.45. I can go. I can go on.
10 Q. Okay. Well, why don't you take a look at the rules, because I
11 was going to get to that next. I have some rules in mind.
12 A. For instance, I'm talking about the rules governing the military
13 police. And among other thing, it says that the military police can take
14 part in securing prisoners of war in camps for prisoners of war, that it
15 participates in guiding the movement of refugees and detects enemy
16 formations. That is one of the tasks. And previously I also tried to
17 explain that with respect to prisoners of war, and in view of the training
18 I underwent, I knew that orders of the commander or of unit commanders
19 define the duties of the security, that is, intelligence organ, with
20 respect to refugees and prisoners. So I think that that is quite a legal
21 and legitimate requirement and task within my jurisdiction.
22 Q. Okay. Let's back up a little bit, because we need to clarify the
23 record. If you could please identify for the record the title of the
24 document that you were just referring to, just the title.
25 A. "The rules of service of the armed forces," 1985.
1 Q. Is that the intelligence? Is that what we're looking at? Or the
2 security? I didn't pick that up. I'm sorry.
3 A. "Rules of service of the military police."
4 Now, may I just take a look subsequently at another rule or,
5 rather, both rules to find the section which relates to what I've just
6 been saying?
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just to perhaps assist the record, the military
8 police rules have been marked as D15/1.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: If I could also note for the record that it was
11 Article 25 of paragraph 25(H) where the gentleman referred to the military
12 police taking part in providing security for prisoners of -- of war in
13 camps for prisoners of war.
14 Q. That's what you were referring to; right, Mr. Nikolic? Am I
15 correct? When you ...?
16 A. Yes, I did speak about that.
17 Q. Where was the nearest military camp vis-a-vis Bratunac?
18 A. I know that a classical camp of the type that you envisage was in
19 Batkovici. However, what can be in my opinion applied to in the context
20 of this particular point is what was happening in Potocari, that is to
21 say, linked to the prisoners of war, civilians or, rather, refugees. And
22 it can also be taken to apply to provisional detainment in the complex of
23 Bratunac that I spoke about.
24 Q. So, if I understand you correctly, when you were identifying, as
25 you claim you did, places where the Muslim men were going to be detained,
1 such as, I believe you mentioned the Vuk Karadzic School, your
2 understanding was that you were -- that you were identifying a camp for
3 prisoners of war; is that -- am I correct? Is that your interpretation?
4 A. No. No, Mr. Karnavas, that is not my interpretation. I know
5 exactly what those facilities were, and I differentiate between camps and
6 places for provisional detention of prisoners.
7 Q. Okay. Now, let's get back to my earlier question regarding
8 Jankovic, because I had asked you a pretty specific question. Was it your
9 understanding of the rules, the ones that you knew, understood,
10 appreciated, and applied, that Jankovic, being that he was from the Main
11 Staff, a higher-ranking officer, such as a colonel, could directly order
12 you, Momir Nikolic, a captain in the Bratunac Brigade? Was that your
13 understanding back then and is that your understanding here today?
14 A. The issuing of orders by Colonel Jankovic I understood as I did
15 all other orders which were issued and were present in other periods of
16 time. So this wasn't any special period of time, that is to say, that
17 orders of that kind were issued just then and there. In my view, in my
18 assessment, both then and now, those are the military professional tasks
19 which were defined in -- as duties of the security and intelligence organ.
20 And if they come from individuals who are from the Superior Command of
21 that particular organ, then I never asked myself the question as to
22 whether he had the right to issue that order to me or not. I never
23 questioned it. So at the time, this relationship and type of
24 communication was quite normal to me, and the goal -- or rather, the aim
25 of respecting that order was that the operation should be executed as the
1 orders stipulated and within the time stipulated. That would be my
3 Q. All right. And I take it if I were to look into the rules, I
4 would be able to find somewhere where someone like Colonel Jankovic from
5 the Main Staff, albeit the security sector, could give you a direct order
6 bypassing the Drina Corps, bypassing the commander of the Bratunac
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's a misstatement of the facts, Your Honour.
10 I believe that Colonel Jankovic has always been a member of the
11 intelligence branch. And I -- it's late. I can tell people are getting a
12 little tired.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Intelligence. Pick your choice.
15 Q. It's your understanding that as someone from the Main Staff,
16 Colonel Jankovic, under the rules now - I'm not talking about in
17 practice - is it your understanding -- if I were to look into the rule,
18 would I be able to find a particular rule that an intelligence officer
19 from the Main Staff can bypass the corps and the brigade commander and go
20 directly to you, who shared this position of intelligence and security and
21 give you a direct order? Will I find this in the rules? And it's a
22 simple yes-or-no answer. If you're not sure, go with maybe. I'll take
23 that as well.
24 A. Mr. Karnavas, the question wasn't a simple one, and I can't give
25 you a yes-or-no answer, because if I knew everything that happened up
1 until the issuance of that order to me, then I could give you a yes-or-no
2 answer. However, I do not know under what conditions and circumstances, I
3 don't know from whom Colonel Jankovic received his orders or whether he
4 did receive any orders at all, so I don't know many of the facts that went
5 before Colonel Jankovic issued me an order of that kind. All I can do is
6 assume and speculate, surmise and conjecture how he came to issue that
7 order to me, and I don't want to speak about that because, as I say, I
8 don't know what went before, what preceded it, preceded the issuance of
9 the order.
10 Q. Well, you could have asked him; right? That's one possibility.
11 "What gives you the right, Colonel Jankovic, to order me, someone from the
12 Main Staff? Where is it in the rule that is says that you can bypass my
13 commander and give me a direct order?" You could have asked him that;
14 right? I'm not saying you would have, because obviously you didn't. But
15 you could have.
16 A. Mr. Karnavas, there are some things which theoretically speaking
17 exist or are a theoretical possibility. There is the possibility of
18 things happening the way you said, that is to say, that I could have told
19 Colonel Jankovic -- asked Colonel Jankovic who he had received his orders
20 from. But I don't think that is standard practice or that things are done
21 in that particular wail.
22 Q. That's not a polite way to treat a colonel, right, from the Main
24 A. Well, not that it isn't polite to treat a colonel that way from
25 the Main Staff, a colonel from the Main Staff, but there is standard
1 practice, standard methods, a mark of respect for one's superior and for
2 one's superior command. So for those reasons alone it would be improper
3 for me to check out Colonel Jankovic and quiz him about who had issued
4 these orders to him, which meeting he attended, whether he called upon my
5 own command, and so on. That's not the way things are done.
6 Q. Okay. Maybe not a good idea to question Colonel Jankovic. What
7 about going to Colonel Blagojevic, your own commander? Certainly that's
8 not an impolite approach.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: We've spent good deal on that subject at this
12 particular time.
13 JUDGE LIU: I agree with you.
14 Mr. Karnavas --
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE LIU: I think you've put this question to this witness
18 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll move on.
19 Q. With respect to Kosoric and Popovic or Popovic and Kosoric -- I
20 guess Popovic is security; Kosoric is intelligence. You're wearing both
21 hats. They give you a direct order. You never communicate what was told
22 to you by them at the time to your -- your commander. You go off to
23 execute that order. Question: If I check the rules, will I find
24 anywhere - anywhere - in the rules something that would give us the
25 impression that those two, Popovic and Kosoric, had the right to give you,
1 Momir Nikolic, in your position a direct order bypassing - and I
2 underscore "bypassing"- your commander? Will I find this rule anywhere?
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: I object, Your Honour. And this is a
4 hypothetical not based on facts, as they've been laid out. And it's also
5 multi-part and confusing. The points are well taken. And if they can be
6 asked in a manner that can be understood, I certainly have no objection.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I apologise if Mr. McCloskey doesn't
8 understand the question which is obviously fairly simple. The witness has
9 not indicated that he does not understand the question. Also, the
10 question relates to early information that he has given. I'm merely
11 asking can he point out -- can he point out to a particular rule
12 somewhere, either in the brigade rules, the intelligence, the security,
13 anywhere - anywhere - that would say that someone like Popovic and Kosoric
14 would give him in his position a direct order bypassing his commander.
15 Can he do that? And if he needs more time, we can -- he can do that
16 during the lunch break, Your Honour.
17 A. Mr. Karnavas, I can respond to your question in this way: I
18 can - and there is an order here - I can tell you that in the order by the
19 corps commander on combat operations and their implementation, the heads
20 of security are directly held responsible for the conduct -- for their
21 conduct with prisoners of war and others. I hope that that order was done
22 in keeping as it was signed by the corps commander, that it was compiled
23 in conformity with positive rules relating to the planning of combat
24 operations, and analogously to that, if the order contains -- if Popovic
25 and Kosoric are made responsible for the prisoners of war, then in the
1 area linked to prisoners of war, in that section, which relates to
2 Potocari in this particular case, then in my view that reference defining
3 the authority of Kosoric and Popovic, to give me instructions as to what I
4 should do with those prisoners of war for which they are responsible by
5 virtue of the commander and his orders. And you have that order in your
6 documents, in your files, Mr. Karnavas. And it is a Prosecution document.
7 Q. Very well. And I take it you would not object if we went through
8 the orders after we take our break, our lunch break; right? You would not
9 object to us going through the orders.
10 A. I have nothing to object. I leave it to the Court's discretion.
11 Anything that the Court rules, I shall abide by.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we specifically just identify the order
14 he's talking about for the record. I think he has a specific order in
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please, so we could prepare.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Is the question directed to me?
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, of course.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. Very well, Your Honour. I believe the
20 gentleman was referring to the Drina Corps order of 2 July 1995.
21 Q. Right?
22 A. With your permission, I can take a look at that order during the
23 break, and then I will specify. Because I can't remember the dates
25 Q. Yes. Yes, of course. I totally agree.
1 And also, might you be so kind -- might you be so kind to also
2 look at the order that was prepared by your own commander as a result of
3 the Drina Corps order. And that's of 5 July 1995.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: And for the record -- for the record, with the
5 Court's indulgence for one second, I'm referring to -- if he could provide
6 the documents to Madam Clerk -- to Madam Registrar, sorry, D16/1 [Realtime
7 transcript read in error "D61"]. That would be the command of the Drina
8 Corps order for active combat activities dated 2 July 1995 and the
9 Bratunac Brigade command order for active combat action -- that's 5 July,
10 1995. And for the record, that's marked for identification as D17/1. And
11 so we will provide that to the witness, Your Honour. And these are the
12 orders that I believe that the gentleman was referring to.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
14 We'll resume at 3.00.
15 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.49 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 3.01 p.m.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas. Please continue.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Okay. Good afternoon, Mr. Nikolic.
20 A. Good afternoon.
21 Q. Right before we broke off for lunch, we agreed that we would go
22 over the orders of the -- of the Drina Corps and then of the Bratunac
23 Brigade. Now, if we could go first to the -- the Drina Corps order dated
24 2 July 1995. And again, for identification purposes, is marked as D16/1.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: I should note that on the transcript it says D61.
1 It was probably -- it's an error perhaps because I was not annunciating
2 clearly for the -- whoever is writing.
3 Q. If you could look at that particular order, sir. Just take your
4 time, look it through. When you're ready, let us know.
5 A. I've taken a look at the document -- or rather, the order.
6 Q. Okay. Do you recognise it?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You've seen it before, I take it, before coming here today?
9 A. Yes, I have seen it before.
10 Q. May I ask, did you see it before coming to The Hague, that is,
11 when you were back in 1995 did you recall seeing it then, or was it -- did
12 you see it for the first time when you went over this and all the other
13 disclosure material with your lawyers?
14 A. I saw it first when I received it -- when I received the material
15 from the Prosecution.
16 Q. Okay. So prior to seeing it from the Prosecution, you had not
17 seen this piece of document, this order from the Drina Corps of 2 July
18 1995 when you were the chief of the intelligence security organ of the
19 Bratunac Brigade; is that correct?
20 A. I personally did not see this order, no.
21 Q. Okay. When you say "personally," I just want to make sure I
22 understand there's -- you just -- you don't recall seeing the order?
23 A. Not that I don't recall whether I saw it or not. I know for
24 certain that this order as it now stands, as I see it here and now in
25 front of me, was not possible. Rather, I didn't have the opportunity of
1 seeing it, because it wasn't addressed to me.
2 Q. Okay. All right. Now, just to make sure I understand. Earlier,
3 before we broke for lunch, you had indicated - because we were speaking
4 about, I believe, where the prisoners were going to be detained or what
5 would happen with the prisoners of war as a result of the battle plan on
6 the attack of Srebrenica, and you had indicated that you -- that you were
7 acting pursuant to an order from the Drina Corps. Might you have been
9 A. No. As far as I remember, I didn't say at all that I acted
10 pursuant to an order from the Drina Corps. What I said was that in this
11 order is the point of reference in law for the questions that you asked me
13 Q. Okay. I stand corrected.
14 Now, let me see if I have it -- if I have it right. The Drina
15 Corps issued an order dated July 2nd, the one that you have in front of
16 you that's already been premarked for identification purposes as D16/1.
17 You will see that on the right-hand side of the top of the page it refers
18 to Krivaja 1995. You're familiar with that term, are you not?
19 A. Yes, I am familiar with the name Krivaja.
20 Q. All right. And is it not in fact true that this particular order
21 was drafted pursuant to a directive that came from the Supreme Command,
22 none other than President Karadzic?
23 A. All I can say now is -- actually, all I can do is guess. If I
24 were to take up the directive and have a look at it now, I could give you
25 my personal opinion.
1 Q. Okay. Well, we'll -- we'll get to that later, if it's necessary.
2 But if I could show you now what has been premarked for
3 identification purposes as D17/1. It's the Bratunac Brigade command order
4 for active combat actions dated 5 July 1995.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: And for the record, I need to clarify a couple of
6 matters. One, this document we received from the OTP in one of the -- the
7 CDs; secondly, the ERN number, for some reason we have not been able to
8 find it in our search and in printing this order out, although we have
9 spent the last three days searching for it; third, the order itself had
10 not been translated, and so we, that is, the Blagojevic Defence team,
11 translated it through our translator, who is an official translator but
12 not employed as an official translator with the ICTY. So the translation
13 that we are providing was done by the Defence, and of course I would take
14 it the next step would be if indeed this document is tendered, which I
15 intend to tender it, then it could be checked and perhaps given the --
16 checked for the translation by the -- the official department here with
17 the Registry. So with that, if there are no objections - and I see none
18 from the Prosecution or they have this very serious look on their face -
20 Q. Mr. Nikolic, if you could kindly look at this document. And see
21 if you can identify it.
22 A. Would you give me a moment for me to take a look at the document
23 first, please.
24 Q. Absolutely. Absolutely.
25 A. I've taken a look at the document, the order.
1 Q. Okay. Now, if we could -- if you could be so kind as to flip to
2 the very last page of the document. It shows that it's been signed by
3 Vidoje Blagojevic, the commander. Is that correct?
4 A. Yes, according to what I can see, that would be correct.
5 Q. Okay. Now, on the very first page, again on the right-hand side
6 we see the term "Krivaja 1995."
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now, from your knowledge and expertise, being in the intelligence
9 and security organ and having been a member of the Bratunac Brigade for
10 several years, by looking at this particular document would it be fair to
11 say that this document here generated by the -- by Commander Blagojevic
12 was generated as a result of the previous order shown to you from the
13 Drina Corps that's signed by General Zivanovic?
14 A. On the basis of this first point in the order for active combat
15 actions, I'm able to say that this in general terms was a document
16 compiled on the basis of a previous order, or rather, an order by the
17 Drina Corps command.
18 Q. Okay. Can we be a little more specific? I showed you one
19 document. It's an order from the Drina Corps. If you could look at that
20 document and then look at the one that I've shown you from the -- the
21 Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade. Is not the order from the brigade the
22 result of the order issued by the higher authorities, that is, the Drina
24 A. Mr. Karnavas, probably that is as you say, but for me to be able
25 to judge this document I would need to analyse everything that the first
1 document contains, all the paragraphs, to analyse what is written in the
2 order for active combat action in this document and then to give you a
3 very precise answer. To do so hastily on the basis of a cursory review, I
4 have already noticed that this order was obviously written without me and
5 my participation, because in this order, if I have looked at it properly,
6 I have noticed straight away that there is a certain lack of understanding
7 and imprecise assignment of tasks with respect to the security of combat
8 operations, so that regarding the intelligence security something is
9 written that should not be there, and intelligence security as a measure
10 of combat security does not exist in this document. I may be wrong, but I
11 don't see it. And in a -- an order written by a commander that I was
12 involved in, that never happened and I attended numerous exercises and
13 participated in the drafting of countless such orders.
14 Q. Let me take it one at a time. Am I to believe, or are we to
15 believe that you have never seen this order before me showing it to you
17 A. I can say with certainty, but only on the basis of what I see on
18 the last page of this order, that this order was typed in six copies and
19 that it was delivered to the following bodies: An original to the brigade
20 archives, and then to the commands of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th
21 Infantry Battalions - that makes it five - and to the chief of staff of
22 the brigade the sixth copy. On that basis, I can assert that this order
23 for active combat action was not delivered to me.
24 Q. The chief -- the Chief of Security is directly subordinate to
25 the -- the commander in the brigade; is that correct?
1 A. That is correct.
2 Q. Now, when it comes to intelligence - and I may be wrong here -
3 but when it comes to intelligence, is it not the chief of staff that
4 actually oversees the intelligence sector? Help me out here.
5 A. No.
6 Q. That's your understanding.
7 A. The intelligence and security organ in a light infantry brigade
8 is an organ that is directly linked to the brigade commander, is in direct
9 communication with him. In infantry brigades and other types of brigades,
10 when the intelligence is separated from the security function, the Chief
11 of Security is in direct communication with the brigade commander and the
12 assistant chief for intelligence affairs is in direct communication with
13 the chief of staff.
14 Q. Okay.
15 A. Since I or, rather, my person combined both functions at the time
16 while I was performing those duties I was in direct communication with the
17 brigade commander.
18 Q. So if I -- if I understand you correctly, one, this document was
19 never shown to you by your own lawyers when it was -- which they would
20 have received through the Prosecution during the disclosure process. Is
21 that correct?
22 A. I can't confirm that now. I assume that a document of this kind
23 may have been among the documents, but I didn't pay any attention to it.
24 I don't have it just now on me, but I can check whether I have it among
25 the documents in the Detention Unit.
1 Q. All right. Do you recall ever discussing an order by the
2 Bratunac Brigade commander for the attack on Srebrenica with your lawyers
3 during the, what, one-year-plus period that they've been working with you?
4 Do you recall them -- do you recall going over a document with them in
5 order for them to analyse what your functions were prior to and perhaps
6 subsequent to the attack on Srebrenica?
7 A. Mr. Karnavas, with my lawyers I discussed on numerous occasions
8 the overall Srebrenica operation. Not only did I discuss it with them, my
9 lawyers, but I also had occasion to discuss my role, my functional duty,
10 my obligations, my rights and duties, omissions, and every other aspect of
11 my role with a military expert in this area who was engaged by my lawyers
12 upon my suggestion.
13 Q. May we have that name, if it's okay with you.
14 A. I don't mind at all. The expert who visited me in the Detention
15 Unit is Colonel Vuga, from Belgrade.
16 Q. Exactly. Now, I take it -- I take it in discussing what your
17 duties and functions were on the attack and subsequent to the attack of
18 Srebrenica, this particular expert would have had to have looked at orders
19 that were given to you. Or did he just ask you what you thought your
20 duties were and from there he gave an opinion?
21 A. Mr. Karnavas, my expert had at its disposal the complete
22 documentation that I had, and it relates to the area in which I was. So
23 every document that my defence team received from the Prosecution was
24 placed at the disposal of my military expert for his analysis. The
25 preparations lasted quite a long time, and after those preparations and
1 after all the documents that I had at my disposal being analysed, Mr. Vuga
2 came to the Detention Unit and that is when we discussed a whole series of
3 issues but from the standpoint of my functional duty as chief of the
4 intelligence and security organ.
5 Q. Did -- when you were conferring with this expert - and I believe
6 it was sometime around February or March, as I recall - do you recall ever
7 going over this particular document with him, that is, the order that the
8 commander of the Bratunac Brigade had drafted, an order which would have
9 included your functions, duties, and responsibilities?
10 A. I've already answered that question. All the documents in my
11 possession and which he as an expert thought should be discussed were
12 discussed. I cannot recall now. There really was a host of documents,
13 and I cannot claim that we discussed this or that particular document.
14 All the documents that my expert thought were relevant and substantive
15 were reviewed by us when he visited me in the Detention Unit.
16 Q. Might I ask what did you think -- what did you think your duties
17 and responsibilities were as the Chief of Intelligence and Security prior
18 to, that is, leading up to, during, and immediately subsequent to the fall
19 of Srebrenica? Did you have a clear picture of what you were supposed to
20 be doing? And if so, how?
21 A. Mr. McCloskey [sic], it was not up to me to think what my duties
22 were. I knew exactly what my duties were as the Chief of Security and
23 also as the Chief for Intelligence Affairs. And all I can say is that the
24 duties of my position are quite clearly defined in the rules. On the work
25 of intelligence and security organs. During the immediate threat of war,
1 during the war itself, and my duties within the framework of a particular
2 assignment are defined by order, or pursuant to an order. And they can be
3 seen here. They are visible, from every order. That is, what my basic
4 duties are can be seen from the orders.
5 Q. All right. Let's talk concretely, then, and length go to the
6 order from the Drina Corps, which according to your testimony you've never
7 seen prior to your arrival at The Hague. And if you could look at - and
8 I'm referring to, for the record, this is -- for identification purposes,
9 it has been marked as D16/1.
10 If you could look at and see whether there's a section in the
11 order itself - it's on page 4 at the bottom in the English version, but
12 I -- I'm afraid I don't read Srpski, B/C/S as its known here. There is a
13 particular section with respect to the duties and responsibilities that
14 are being ordered to the Bratunac Brigade. Do you see it?
15 A. Could you please repeat the page number, please.
16 Q. It's page 4 in English, but it would be -- it would be under
17 paragraph 5. So if you go to paragraph number 5, and I think it's --
18 you'll see the -- the section. So that would be on page 3, I believe.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me. Your Honour --
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- Would it be possible to have this document on
22 the ELMO so that it can be publicly viewed as well if it's going to be a
23 matter of discussion?
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well.
1 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, maybe you could read the --
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, yes.
3 JUDGE LIU: -- Sentence in the beginning of this paragraph.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes.
5 Q. On paragraph 5, on page 3 it begins "Tasks of the units for
6 separating and reducing the enclave in size."
7 Then on page 4, at the bottom of page 4 in English --
8 A. Please, would you be kind enough to repeat what you just read
9 out. On page 3 ...?
10 Q. On page 3, it was the very first -- the very first sentence under
11 number -- paragraph 5, "Tasks of the units for separating and reducing the
12 enclave in size."
13 A. It doesn't say that in my version. What it says in my copy is
14 "Tasks: To smash the enemy along the axis of attack, to separate the
15 enclaves of Zepa and Srebrenica, and reach the line Alibegovac, Vuc Gora
17 Q. If I could just interrupt you for a second. Look at page 2. All
18 right? Now, at the bottom of the page number 5, even in my -- even though
19 I don't speak the language and can't even read it, I know that's what I'm
20 referring to. Would that be correct? "Tasks of the units for separating
21 and reducing the enclave in size." Okay?
22 A. Yes, that's correct.
23 Q. Now, if you would continue on, you should see a section that
24 refers to the Bratunac Brigade. And in fact, I believe it's the middle of
25 the page. Page, of page 3.
1 A. Yes, I've found it.
2 Q. Okay.
3 A. "the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade with a part of its forces in
4 direct contact with --" I see it.
5 Q. All right. Now, could you please read that section. And we can
6 have it on the ELMO if the public wishes to see it.
7 But from reading that, does it not seem to indicate that this
8 order is giving a particular task to the Bratunac Brigade?
9 A. Mr. Karnavas, will you allow me to read this first --
10 Q. Oh, I'm sorry.
11 A. -- Before I answer?
12 Q. I apologise.
13 A. I've read it.
14 Q. All right. Now, if I could repeat my question. Does that
15 paragraph that you just read from this particular order, does it not give
16 the Bratunac Brigade a specific task?
17 A. Yes. On the basis of what is written here, the Bratunac Brigade
18 is being given a specific task. But I just wish to say that that was the
19 purpose of writing an order or command.
20 Q. Thank you. You didn't participate in drafting this, because
21 you've never seen it before coming to The Hague; right?
22 A. I told you earlier on that I did not participate in writing this
24 Q. Okay. Now --
25 A. I haven't finished. I haven't finished my answer.
1 But according to the -- all the rules, I should have taken part
2 in writing the first paragraph of this order, that is, I should have
3 proposed the first paragraph of this order to the commander, that is, to
4 provide a draft, and within the framework of combat security I should have
5 proposed to the commander intelligence security as an aspect of combat
7 Q. All right.
8 A. And possibly also - and I apologise - the engagement of a
9 military police platoon, if the commander had decided to use that platoon
10 during combat action.
11 Q. All right. Let's clarify a couple of points. First of all, the
12 order that we're going over right now was an order that is signed by
13 General Zivanovic, the commander of the Drina Corps. Surely - surely -
14 you're not suggesting that General Zivanovic should have allowed you,
15 Momir Nikolic of the Bratunac Brigade to participate in or to draft a
16 particular paragraph in his order that is based on a higher order from the
17 Main Staff. That's not what you're trying to suggest, is it?
18 A. I think, Mr. Karnavas, that you have completely misunderstood
19 what I was saying. I never said anything like that. I said that in
20 drafting the order of the brigade commander for combat action I should
21 participate in drafting the first paragraph, that is, making a draft for
22 the commander, the contents of the first paragraph, and that I should have
23 within the framework of the drafting of the paragraph of the order linked
24 to combat security there should have been a paragraph on intelligence
25 security and another paragraph on security of combat. That is what I
1 should have been involved in in writing the order of the brigade
2 commander, not the corps commander.
3 And if you're interested in my involvement in writing orders of
4 the corps commander, I can explain that too.
5 Q. No, that won't be necessary. I totally agree with your answer.
6 When it comes to the brigade order -- when it comes to the brigade order,
7 the rules are very clear, that you're supposed to participate in those.
8 But I misunderstood you, because I'm still working on the order from
9 the -- from the corps. Okay?
10 Now, if you could -- if I could please focus your attention to
11 paragraph number 10. It speaks of combat security. And if you could look
12 at B, subsection B, where it says "Security." In the English version, it
13 would be on page 7. On your version, it would be on -- it would start on
14 page 4 and go into page 5. But probably the section that you're most
15 interested in, as we all are, is on page 5.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just for clarification.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: We're talking about the corps order now?
19 MR. KARNAVAS: The corps order. I've always been talking about
20 the corps order.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. There's been a little misunderstanding.
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think we should put page 6 on the ELMO
23 instead of 7.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, page 7, Your Honour, is the pertinent part.
25 And if I could help the gentleman out.
1 Q. Mr. Nikolic, you will see under section B, called "Security," it
2 says: "The security organ and military police will indicate the areas for
3 gathering and securing prisoners of war and war booty." And I believe
4 that's what you were referring to prior to the break. Did you see that
6 A. Yes. Yes, Mr. Karnavas, I see it.
7 Q. All right. And then subsequent to that, it's quite clear. It
8 says: "In dealing with prisoners of war and the civilian population
9 behave in every way in accordance with the Geneva Convention." That's
10 what this particular order says.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Okay. Now, if we could turn now to the order from the Bratunac
13 Brigade, which you have indicated you did not participate in or your
14 contributions with respect to security matters were not taken into
15 consideration prior to the drafting and distributing the particular order.
16 For the record --
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: That is a misstatement of what he's said on that,
20 and the witness would have a chance to read this document carefully. I
21 believe what he said is he didn't see the section on security that
22 would -- he would normally expect to see in there.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: I dis --
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: You know, we can play hide and seek here F we
1 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, just draw our attention to the
2 relevant paragraph of this document.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: .
4 Q. Mr. Nikolic, previously you've had a chance to look at this
5 document, have you not, the one from the Bratunac Brigade? Just now. A
6 few moments ago.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now, am I mistaken -- am I mistaken, but have you not indicated
9 that you did not participate in the drafting the section with respect to
10 the security organ as you normally would be expected to do as is required
11 or you're entitled to do under the rules?
12 A. Your Honours, before I answer this question, I should like to ask
13 you kindly for Mr. Karnavas to allow me to answer the question he puts to
14 me, because he asks one question after another without me having the time
15 to hear it. So to make our work proceed more smoothly, I'm ready to
16 answer every question but I need time to hear the question and to
17 familiarise myself with the document, because a moment ago there was
18 confusion between these two orders. So please let us move slowly. I'm
19 ready to stay and answer your questions for as long as the Court decides.
20 Q. Very well.
21 A. And may I make another request? And that is please put one
22 question at a time. Very often there are three or four questions in one,
23 and I am unable to follow and to give you concrete answers.
24 Q. Okay. Please -- please look at the document dated 5 July 1995 if
25 the 1st Bratunac -- from the Bratunac Brigade Light Infantry Brigade.
1 Could you please look at it.
2 A. Yes. I've had a look at the document.
3 Q. Okay. Now, could you please look at paragraph 5.6.
4 A. I have found it. I've found point 5 -- or rather, paragraph 5.6.
5 Q. Does this paragraph not refer to the military police platoon?
6 A. As it says here -- it says "Reserve: Military police platoon.
7 Have it in the area of the command post of the 1st KM 1, 1st Bratunac
8 Light Infantry Brigade, ready to deploy if need be." As it stands, this
9 refers to the military police platoon of the Bratunac Brigade.
10 Q. Okay. It also designates what their function is going to be,
11 does it not, at least with respect to this particular order -- well, --
12 while this order is in effect?
13 A. Mr. Karnavas, on the basis of an assignment defined in this way,
14 apart from the fact that the military police platoon should be in reserve,
15 nothing more than that can be seen from this.
16 Q. Precisely the point. What I'm trying to get at from you is from
17 reading 5.6, it designates that the function of the military police
18 platoon while this order is -- is in -- is functioning, is in use, the
19 military police platoon are in reserve. That's the reserve for the
20 Bratunac Brigade. That's their function. Am I correct?
21 A. Well, you're not at all correct, no.
22 Q. Okay. So are you saying that Colonel Blagojevic through his
23 order did not put the military police platoon to be the reserve during
24 this order, while this order was being implemented, that they were not in
25 reserve and that they were not supposed to be in the area of the 1st
1 Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade command post, which would be in Bratunac?
2 Does this not say this?
3 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas, that's what it says in this document.
4 Q. Okay.
5 A. But all I can say -- or I can just say one thing in that regard,
6 that had I taken part in the compiling of this order it would never state
7 that the military police platoon should be placed in reserve, because in
8 an operation of this nature there are so many military police assignments
9 and tasks which should be done that I can give you my own personal
10 opinion. This is not a suitable order and I would have opposed it, quite
11 certainly. And I'd like to propose to the brigade commander that the
12 military police platoon be engaged and deployed on military police matters
13 within the frameworks of the operation and after it. With an order of
14 this kind, with an assignment to the military police of this kind,
15 violations have been made first of the authorities of the brigade
16 commander and his competencies and the military police unit was engaged in
17 matters that did not come under the realm of military police assignments.
18 And in my work, on countless occasions I had conflicts, conflicts of
19 opinion with respect to the engagement of the military police contrary to
20 the law, an inappropriate deployment. So because of this inappropriate
21 engagement of the police, what happened was that many other problems
22 arose. And instead of the police solving those problems, it was somewhere
23 taking up their position, somewhere which wasn't their assignment. They
24 were on the front somewhere. And I could explain this from numerous
25 aspects telling you why this is quite inappropriate and not in order.
1 Q. Okay. So if I go back to my earlier question that I asked way
2 before, when I drew the objection from the Prosecution, you never drafted
3 or participated in drafting this particular part of the order, as you
4 claim you should have and as the -- as the rules require; is that correct?
5 A. You're right, yes. I did not participate in the drafting of this
6 order. And with respect to intelligence security and the first point of
7 the order, I did not provide my proposals or give my opinions in any way.
8 Q. All right. But nonetheless you would agree with me, would you
9 not, this is an order? You may not like it. You may not agree with it.
10 But it's an order.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. It's an order drafted by your commanding officer; right?
13 A. Right.
14 Q. And while you may disagree with it, as far as I understand all
15 over the world in the army when an order is given, you salute and you
16 carry it out. Is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. In other words, it's not up to you to decide whether you're going
19 to disregard an order and disregard what the commander has -- has decided
20 simply because you have a philosophical or a scientific difference as to
21 how the military police should be used. Is that correct?
22 A. Mr. Karnavas, once again you are understanding this in your own
23 particular way. The use and deployment of the military police is not a
24 philosophical approach or any other kind of approach. The deployment of
25 the military police is defined by law, by the rules of service. And
1 therefore, the commander, issuing an order of any kind of command of any
2 kind, is duty-bound to expect the rules of service and to use the units as
3 they should be used, in combat actions and on all other occasions
5 It is my duty, Mr. Karnavas, in cases of that kind - that is to
6 say, if the commander to whom I am proposing something, proposing the use
7 of the unit in come place with the rules and regulations and he rejects
8 it, he did not accept it as a suggestion or proposal on my part, then he
9 bears the responsibility for all the possible consequences that might
10 arise through the inappropriate use of the unit, and it is my duty -- I am
11 duty-bound through the chain of command and reporting to inform the
12 superior command that the commander has inappropriately used a military
13 police unit.
14 Q. Very well. And did you do that in this instance? Call up and
15 talk to Beara? You seem to have known him fairly -- fairly well in your
16 prior dealings. Did you call him to -- to voice your objection?
17 A. I've already said that this order never reached me. It was not
18 forwarded to me. I did not take part in it, and therefore I could not
19 have reported back on it. Had I received it, I would have reported
20 about -- on it.
21 Q. All right. I just want to be very clear on this, and I'll be as
22 direct as possible. Are we to understand that during the attack on
23 Srebrenica, before, during, and after - it took several days - you were
24 unaware of any orders that had been drafted by the commander of the
25 Bratunac Brigade which would have included tasks assigned to you?
1 A. Mr. Karnavas, I would like to limit myself and say that we're
2 discussing this particular order. And as regards this particular order, I
3 am claiming that I did not write it, I did not receive it, I did not
4 report back on the basis of it, and I did not act upon it. So when it
5 comes to my actions and the actions of the military police platoon.
6 And just to make this quite clear, in view of the fact that I did
7 not know about the orders issued to the military police, I acted and
8 prepared the military police platoon professionally speaking for complying
9 with their military police tasks, which are the continuous tasks of a
10 military police unit.
11 Q. All right. But you also wore the hat of intelligence, did you
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. So as the head of the intelligence service you were walking
15 around for several days wondering what pray tell you might be doing during
16 the operation on Srebrenica. You were clueless. You were without a clue
17 of what to do. Is that what you're suggesting here today?
18 A. Mr. Karnavas, intelligence work and the gathering of intelligence
19 data is not a job that takes one, two, or three days, as you seem to be
20 saying. This order was written on the 5th. On the corps command it was
21 two or three days -- written two or three days prior to that. So the
22 process of collecting intelligence data is a long one, a continuous
23 ongoing one on the part of all the structures concerned, all the units
24 concerned, and it's not something that can be accomplished in the space of
25 three days. As chief of the Intelligence Department, I had a full
1 perception of what was before me, and I knew full well all the details as
2 far as my job was concerned, what I had to do with respect to the
3 deployment of enemy forces, with their fortifications, their equipment in
4 terms of weapons, and their general possibilities and capabilities, their
5 weapons and ammunition, their possible axes of attack, their axes of
6 withdrawal. I knew all that before this order was written.
7 And just to give Their Honours an understanding of what I'm
8 talking about, on my worksheet the intelligence organ -- the worksheet in
9 my office, at all times the commander can come into my office and have a
10 look at the deployment of forces, the situation on the previous day, and
11 any possible changes in intelligence data on this working sheet compared
12 to the previous day, for example, the map in fact. And they could read
13 this in my intelligence diary as well. It was accessible to the commander
14 on a daily basis, so he was free to peruse through it and look up any
15 information he might need. Everything that my commander had was something
16 that the superior command had access to, because it was my duty to send
17 them my intelligence assessments and the evaluations with respect to the
18 force, intentions, equipment of the enemy within the enclave, or rather,
19 within the Srebrenica area. And that's what I did.
20 Q. Very well. Mr. Nikolic, I take it you were not aware that in
21 Pribicevac it was a forward command post of the Bratunac Brigade at that
22 time, the battle of Srebrenica?
23 A. You mean you -- you think I didn't know?
24 Q. Well, are you saying that you through your intelligence knew what
25 was already going to be in the order and therefore you had no need to read
1 it or no need to ask what are the orders? Is that what you're suggesting?
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, that's a complete misstatement --
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: A mischaracterisation of the evidence. Counsel
5 is required to put his case during cross-examination. I'm not objecting
6 to relevancy. I'm thinking something's coming here. But if -- I would
7 object on the grounds he's not putting his case to the witness.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas --
9 MR. KARNAVAS: I will --
10 JUDGE LIU: We got confused too, you know.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: I will rephrase, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE LIU: Put your question directly to the witness.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: I will rephrase.
14 Q. From what I understand, from the moment Srebrenica was attacked
15 until after the fall of Srebrenica you never saw the order that was
16 prepared by your commander. That's your answer; is that correct?
17 A. Yes, that's correct.
18 Q. Would it not make -- does it not make sense that the 1st, 2nd,
19 3rd, 4th Battalions would need an order to know what exactly they're
20 supposed to do?
21 A. Well, that can be seen from this order, that they did receive an
22 order of this kind in fact.
23 Q. All right. But you claim never to have seen it, never to have
24 read it; right?
25 A. Mr. Karnavas, what I claimed was - and I've said it ten times -
1 that I did not have this order, it was not sent to me, and I did not read
2 it. I don't know the contents of this order.
3 Q. And would it be fair to say would that as the head of the
4 intelligence sector and head of the security sector you made no efforts to
5 see whether an order was ever issued, to see what might your role be in
6 the attack on Srebrenica?
7 A. Mr. Karnavas, I have to say once again what the practice was.
8 It's not up to me to invest any effort --
9 MR. KARNAVAS: [Previous translation continues] ... As
11 Q. Did you make an effort, sir, to find out whether there was an
12 order; yes or no?
13 A. The way you ask your question, I can't give a yes or no answer.
14 Q. All right. Mr. Nikolic, you were an intelligence officer. Part
15 of that job requires you to gather intelligence, does it not?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you try to gather some intelligence as to whether an order
18 existed? Like maybe ask somebody from the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Battalion or
19 the commander, the chief of staff, somebody, anybody? Did you ever ask,
20 "Is there an order? What are we doing?" Did you do anything?
21 A. Mr. Karnavas, intelligence data does not mean collecting
22 information as to the orders issued. That's not what it's about. That's
23 not an intelligence piece of information and isn't gathered.
24 Q. All right. If you could look at paragraph 10, please, of the
25 order. And we've identified it for identification purposes as D18/1. If
1 you could look at that, please. And I believe it's -- it's under A,
2 "Intelligence security." You will note --
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, what's the number for
5 MR. KARNAVAS: The identification, Your Honour, is --
6 JUDGE LIU: I think it's D17.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: D17/1.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: I apologise, Your Honour. It's getting a little
10 late. Not that that was a complaint, but just ...
11 Q. If you could look at that. Now, it's on page -- well, these are
12 not paginated, unfortunately. But you will note there is an area or
13 there's -- there's some language dealing with POWs.
14 A. Yes, I've found that paragraph.
15 Q. What is a POW? A prisoner of war, is it not?
16 A. I can't see that.
17 Q. Okay.
18 A. The area of collecting prisoners of war and looters the area of
19 Pribicevac? Is that what you're referring to? But I don't have those
20 letters and that abbreviation.
21 Q. Okay. Let's focus on that.
22 A. Yes. All right.
23 Q. From this order does it not say that as long as this order
24 exists, is in effect, that POWs from the Bratunac Brigade, that they
25 gather, will be at Pribicevac? Does it not say this?
1 A. It does say that, unfortunately.
2 Q. Well, whether it's fortunately or unfortunately, that can be
3 debated as a military academy. But right now in this particular order
4 that's what it says; right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. So that means that as long -- as long as this order is in effect
7 all POWs captured by the Bratunac Brigade are to go to Pribicevac, not to
8 some warehouse, not to some school, but over there. Isn't that a fact?
9 A. As it is written here in this order, that is correct. But I've
10 tried to explain to you that what it says here is not my proposal.
11 Q. I got that. I got that.
12 A. And the commander, Blagojevic, could have written whatever he
13 wanted to write. And that's what he wrote and that is what it stands --
14 how it stands in the order.
15 Q. Well, it's his prerogative, is it not, to write the order,
16 even -- even after you make your recommendations, in the end it's up to
17 him to decide whether to accept, modify, or come up with completely
18 different proposals, because after all his name is on the order and at the
19 end of the day he's going to be responsible.
20 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas, you're quite right in saying that. However,
21 had I taken part in the writing or had I proposed this point in the order,
22 it would never have been written in that fashion. And I can say with
23 certainty that I would have adapted it to the situation.
24 Q. Very well. Just to pick up on that last point. Is that what you
25 were doing on the 12th, when you -- when you indicated that you were the
1 one that was suggesting to Popovic and Kosoric where to detain the people?
2 You were adapting to the situation? Is that what you were doing?
3 A. On that 12th, I suggested to Popovic and Kosoric the facilities
4 which were capable of taking in the assessed number of POWs who were in
5 Potocari. And I also proposed facilities in which with a relatively small
6 force we were -- would have been able to provide the physical security of
7 those prisoners.
8 Q. Is it not a fact, sir, that this order was still in effect,
9 especially as it pertained to you?
10 A. That order was in effect only on paper. And as it was unknown to
11 me, I was not able to act in conformity with it.
12 Q. Especially the latter part, where it says "Apply Geneva
13 Conventions in treatment of POW population." So you weren't aware that
14 that's what the order had, you were free to treat the prisoners in
15 whatever manner you, Momir Nikolic, saw fit at the time.
16 A. No, Mr. Karnavas. I was not able to treat the prisoners in
17 whatever manner I saw fit, and nobody ever in an order would write
18 anything other than was written in this order. Do you really think that
19 in an operation where 7.000 people were set aside, captured, and killed
20 that somebody was adhering to the Geneva Conventions? Do you really
21 believe that somebody adhered to the law, rules and regulations in an
22 operation where so many were killed? First of all, they were captured,
23 killed, and then buried, exhumed once again, buried again. Can you
24 conceive of that, that somebody in an operation of that kind adhered to
25 the Geneva Conventions? Nobody, Mr. Karnavas, adhered to the Geneva
1 Conventions or the rules and regulations. Because had they, then the
2 consequences of that particular operation would not have been a total of
3 7.000 people dead.
4 Q. With respect to you, Mr. Nikolic, this order was still in effect,
5 was it not?
6 A. Yes. Yes, the order was in effect.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I know you wish to go until 4.30. Is
8 there any chance we might be able to knock off a little early? This would
9 be a good time to --
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, I think, you know, we could be very
11 flexible to break or to resume at any time. If you believe that now is a
12 good time to break, so we'll break now and we'll resume at 9.00 tomorrow
13 morning in the same courtroom.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.17 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Friday, the 26th day of
17 September, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.