1 Monday, 29 September 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. Court deputy.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is Case Number
8 IT-02-60-T, The Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
10 Today, we are going to continue the cross-examination by
11 Mr. Karnavas. I hope that we could finish the cross-examination today.
12 Mr. Karnavas.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 WITNESS: MOMIR NIKOLIC [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 Cross-examined by Mr. Karnavas: [Continued]
17 Q. Good morning, Mr. Nikolic.
18 A. Good morning, Mr. Karnavas.
19 Q. On Friday we left off when I had handed you what had been
20 previously marked as Defence Exhibit, for identification purpose, D21/1.
21 I take it you didn't have an opportunity to look it over during the
23 A. No, I did not have an opportunity of looking it over.
24 Q. Very well. If you could be so kind as to give it a quick look,
25 and then I would like to go over it with you.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Mr. Karnavas, I would like to correct the record.
2 It's Exhibit D22/1 I think you're referring to.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Right, D22.
4 THE REGISTRAR: And not 21.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. You're absolutely correct.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have taken a look at it,
7 Mr. Karnavas.
8 MR. KARNAVAS:
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. This document which has an identification
10 number at the top of it as DA01-0961 was provided to us by the Office of
11 the Prosecution. Do you know whether your lawyers had an opportunity to
12 share this document with you which obviously they had received as part of
13 their disclosure material?
14 A. Mr. Karnavas, I did not have an opportunity of acquainting myself
15 with this document up until the present time. That means I didn't have it
16 among the documents given to me by my lawyers.
17 Q. Very well. If we could just go through parts of the document
18 initially to lay a little bit of a foundation, at the top of the page, it
19 indicates a date of October 24, 1994, does it not?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And it indicates that it comes from the headquarters of the
22 Republika Srpska Army, does it not?
23 A. Yes, one can see that from the heading.
24 Q. Right. And if we were -- and it's titled -- it's titled
25 "Instruction on Management and Command of Security Intelligence Agencies
1 of Republika Srpska (RSA)," or in Srpski, it would be VRS. Does it not
2 say that?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. If you would be so kind as to flip over to the last page - I
5 believe it's a three-page document - at the bottom of the page, it has a
6 signature, does it not?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. It also has -- the copy is rather poor, but it would seem to
9 indicate that there was a seal along with the signature, does it not?
10 A. It would look like it. I can see the contours, so I suppose that
11 was a stamp, yes.
12 Q. And it appears that the person who signed it was Ratko Mladic.
13 Does it not?
14 A. All I can say is that it says "Commander, Lieutenant-General
15 Ratko Mladic," but I really can't say whether the signature is actually
16 his because I don't know General Mladic's signature so I can't actually
17 confirm that.
18 Q. All right. But right above the signature, it has: "Commander,
19 Lieutenant-General Ratko Mladic," and that's typed in?
20 A. Yes, I can see that.
21 Q. All right. And would this not appear to be an official document?
22 A. Of course it looks like an official document, because we can see
23 where it comes from and who the signatory is, so that's quite obvious.
24 Q. Very well. Now, on the last page, the last sentence right above
25 the stamp with the signature and the designation, the last sentence reads,
1 and correct me if I read it wrong: "This order is to be delivered and
2 introduced to all commanders of units, institutions, up to and including
3 battalions." Does it not state that?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And a battalion is within a brigade?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And so at least it would appear --
8 A. However, Mr. Karnavas, this could mean something else, another
9 thing. It could refer to the individual infantry battalions, so I'm not
10 quite sure that this refers to battalions within the brigade, but
11 independent infantry battalions. But it is possible, so I don't exclude
12 that possibility.
13 Q. Right.
14 A. I think rather it refers to independent infantry battalions rather
15 than otherwise.
16 Q. Right. But from reading this last sentence, would it not appear
17 to be a logical conclusion that this document would have gone to a brigade
18 such as the Bratunac Brigade?
19 A. Yes. That is logical.
20 Q. All right. Now, if we could go through this document step by
21 step, and I'm going to please focus your attention - we won't spend much
22 time on the first part, the first paragraph - but I would like you to
23 focus your attention on the parts where it says "instruction," and then
24 they are enumerated.
25 On number 2, it reads, and if you could follow along with me: "A
1 person in direct command of a security intelligence agency is the
2 commander of the unit institution within which the agency operates." Does
3 it not state that?
4 A. Yes, it does.
5 Q. And from that sentence, does it not -- would we not conclude that
6 the commander they're talking about, in your instance, would have been
7 your commander, Colonel Blagojevic? Just the first sentence.
8 A. From this instruction, we can see a general principle discussed,
9 "commanders." Now, if you ask me in this particular case who my brigade
10 commander was, then of course it was Colonel Blagojevic, yes.
11 Q. Exactly. And that's precisely what I asked you, whether your
12 commander was Colonel Blagojevic and whether this sentence applies to him.
14 A. It applies to all the unit commanders and commanders of
15 institutions, which includes him, too.
16 Q. With respect to Momir Nikolic, that's who we're talking about,
17 with respect to Momir Nikolic, this paragraph, this sentence refers to
18 your commander, Colonel Blagojevic?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you. Now, let's read on. "But with regard to professional
21 activities, they are under the centralised management of the security
22 intelligent agencies of the superior command. This emphasises their full
23 independence in accomplishment of intelligence and counterintelligence
24 tasks as well as in operational combining on the grounds of the authority
25 vested in them by law and the authority given by the competent superior
1 branch agencies regarding the implementation of methods and means used in
2 operation, in accordance with law." Does it not state that, Mr. Nikolic?
3 A. Yes, it does state that, Mr. Karnavas.
4 Q. And would it not be a fair, accurate, and complete interpretation
5 of what I just read to you that when it comes to professional activities,
6 you would be fully independent, does it not state that, this part right
7 here that I just read?
8 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas. However, only within the framework of what it
9 says here. That means that it indicates their full independence in
10 accomplishment of intelligence and counterintelligence tasks as well as in
11 operational combining on the grounds of the authority vested in them by
12 law and the authority given by the competent agencies regarding the
13 implementation of methods. Just in that respect and in that portion.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I don't want the witness eating the clock. I just
15 read the section to him, he's reading it back on the record. There is no
16 need for the witness if he wishes to give a qualification as to what I
17 just read I have no objection. For the witness to be reading as he did on
18 Friday in order to eat up the time, I object to that. He is intelligent,
19 he's read it, he can give his interpretation. That's all I'm asking, Your
20 Honour. I'm not asking him to reread it to us. We are not stupid in the
21 courtroom. We have read it; we understand it.
22 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, I think you have to be patient to let
23 the witness give an explanation.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: I agree with you, Your Honour. I will be eminently
25 patient for an explanation, but I dare say that I will lose my patience if
1 he's just going to be reading what I just already read. It doesn't get us
3 JUDGE LIU: I think you know this instruction is also explanation
4 there. Maybe the witness could offer us more.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: I would hope so, Your Honour.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, at the outset, I
7 stated that this document was not one that I had an opportunity to read
8 through and have --
9 MR. KARNAVAS: I object, Your Honour, to the speech making.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think this issue is relevant because at first,
11 you pointed out this document is distributed to all the commanders of the
12 units, institutions, up and including the battalions. Am I right?
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, which means --
14 JUDGE LIU: But this witness told us that he has never seen this
15 document before. There must be a reason for that. I think the witness is
16 also a commander of a unit.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE LIU: There's a point in it. You have to be patient.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. I will be.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
21 Yes, Mr. Nikolic, you may continue.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, as I was saying, I wish to
23 repeat what I tried to say a moment ago. As I said, I did not see this
24 document before. I did not have it as part of the documents disclosed to
25 me by the OTP and my lawyers in the Detention Unit. That's the first
2 Secondly, Mr. Karnavas, from this document, I -- and let me say I
3 received hundreds of documents, instructions, and orders, and so on. All
4 I can do here now is to testify to this Trial Chamber as to whether I had
5 it, whether I used it only if on this document it were to say who this
6 document was addressed to and sent to. From this, we cannot see,
7 Mr. Karnavas, that this particular document, this set of instructions,
8 went to the commander in person. I can't see that stated anywhere. And
9 my next point, I cannot see that this document was sent to the security
10 intelligence organ in person. I cannot see from this document either that
11 it states that the security intelligence organ was informed of it.
12 So after seven or eight years, all I can do is to analyse the
13 document if it says that it was addressed to the commander and then to the
14 Bratunac Brigade, the Zvornik Brigade, and so on, other brigades as well,
15 and it expressly states that this document was addressed to the security
16 intelligence organ of the Bratunac Brigade. It is only at that point that
17 I would be able to say whether I actually had the document and was given
18 it. But to the best of my recollections, I can just say whether I know
19 about a document, whether it's familiar to me or not. But I can't
20 actually confirm whether I had it in my possession, and I claim that in
21 the Detention Unit I never had this document in my possession and I did
22 not have an opportunity to read it. That is why, and you're asking me
23 some very specific and concrete details, I have to read through it. I
24 really do have to read every sentence carefully in order to be able to
25 respond to your questions.
1 MR. KARNAVAS:
2 Q. Very well, Mr. Nikolic. Let's read on, and then after we go
3 through the various paragraphs, I won't ask you to interpret; I will just
4 ask you at the end one question, and that is: Were you aware what the
5 policy that's contained in this document.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: The witness has not had a chance to answer the
8 original question he was interrupted in answering. He probably doesn't
9 remember it any more. I'm not sure I do. But he was reading back a
10 sentence and was going to offer an explanation to it. And he was
11 interrupted and has not been given a chance to answer that.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, will you repeat your first
14 MR. KARNAVAS: All right.
15 Q. Paragraph 2, from the document that the OTP gave us, gave to your
16 counsel, it says here that with respect to professional activities, you
17 would have full independence, and that aspect of it is emphasised, is it
18 not, in this paragraph? Yes or no.
19 A. Yes, it is emphasised.
20 Q. Now, later on, the last paragraph, it states: "Besides all
21 members of such agencies and services have lawful authority to proceed on
22 tasks within their scope of work, and those correspond to the authorities
23 of members of the RS ministry of internal affairs, state security
24 department;" does it not state that?
25 A. Mr. Karnavas, you've confused me again. We were talking about
1 paragraph 2.
2 Q. Paragraph 2, at the end of the -- paragraph number 2, at the very
3 end, the last sentence.
4 A. Yes, I see it now. I've read it.
5 Q. Okay. Now, paragraph 3, the first part: "It is an obligation of
6 all RSA units and institution commands as well as the obligation of other
7 army members to render any assistance to these agencies required to
8 accomplish their tasks without jeopardising through a single act the
9 security and protection of planned intelligence and counterintelligence
10 tasks and actions undertaken locally as well as in an enemy territory."
11 Does it not state that?
12 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
13 Q. Can we conclude from reading that that the intelligence organ and
14 the security organ institutions that this document is referring to should
15 get the full cooperation and assistance from their commanders? If you
16 don't understand the question, just tell me.
17 A. Mr. Karnavas, what it says here is that it is the obligation of
18 all commands and units. It doesn't say "all commanders"; it says "all
19 commands." And that is the distinction that I have to make, and it is not
20 quite identical to what you said. "As well as other members of the army,"
21 you did say that, so I can confirm that. So it is the obligation of all
22 commands and units, and I can explain what this specifically means, if
24 Q. But it says -- it begins by saying "it is an obligation..." In
25 other words, can we assume or conclude that they don't have a choice, it's
1 not an option; it is an obligation? They must.
2 A. Mr. Karnavas, all these obligations are defined by the rules of
3 service in the armed forces. And there's nothing new here, absolutely
4 nothing new. What we are reading now is defined in the rules of service
5 regarding the work of the security organs and the rules of service
6 regarding security and intelligence. So there's nothing new that this
7 instruction defines that is not already covered by the rules of service.
8 I know --
9 Q. Excuse me, Mr. Nikolic, did I ask you whether there was anything
10 new --
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, that's the third time this morning.
12 I know he doesn't want to hear from this witness, but...
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, that's absolutely incorrect. The
14 question was quite clear.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's a little early for this kind of
16 argumentativeness, please.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Would the counsels please not speak at the same
19 JUDGE LIU: I'm not allowing that the counsels argue with each
20 other in front of a Judge. If there's any problem, just refer to us.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I asked a specific question. I was
22 directed on Friday by the Trial Bench to ask specific concrete questions.
23 I asked a specific concrete question. I'm getting a historical analysis
24 of what the rules are. That's not what I asked. I didn't ask whether
25 there was something new in this. I asked whether the word "obligations"
1 means that they are obliged. Now, either the gentleman understands the
2 question and he can answer it, or he cannot understand it and I wish to
3 remind the Trial Chamber that this Prosecutor here entered into an
4 agreement with him and his lawyers, and he agreed that he was going to
5 testify truthfully and honestly and completely and forthrightly. And that
6 means not trying to evade and dodge the questions, Your Honour. That's
7 all I'm saying.
8 JUDGE LIU: I think that the witness is going to help us as much
9 as possible. And when you ask a question, you should allow the witness to
10 give you a very concise explanation why he did that.
11 Mr. Nikolic, try to make your answer as concise as possible
12 because this is a question/answer proceeding, and you have to be directed
13 or led by the counsel.
14 Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Now, it goes on in the same paragraph: "Simultaneously, it is a
17 duty of the members of the security intelligent agency to directly inform
18 the superior commanders, to a necessary extent, on the data, assessments,
19 and observations, related to security of units institutions."
20 Mr. Nikolic, is that what the statement -- is that what is stated
21 in this document?
22 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas, that is what it says.
23 Q. I would like to go to paragraph 4. Second part of the paragraph
24 reads: "All wires and mail of the security intelligence command members
25 are to be hand-delivered, these persons only and no other authority of
1 command, including the commander, has the right of inspection of the
2 contents. The method and the extent to which the content of these
3 telegrams or mail will be introduced to a command or another commanding
4 body will be regulated only, and no one but the competent security
5 intelligence agencies." Does it not state that, Mr. Nikolic?
6 A. Yes, that is what it says, Mr. Karnavas.
7 Q. Let's go to paragraph 5, now, this paragraph is sectioned off,
8 so --
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm going to object.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. Karnavas has a duty in the Rule to put his
12 point to the witness. If he has a point in regarding paragraph 5, he has
13 a duty under these rules to ask him about it, not just have him parrot
14 back what the rules say.
15 JUDGE LIU: There are two ways to do it. One is paragraph by
16 paragraph. The other -- maybe after all those confirmations of what is
17 written in this document, Mr. Karnavas will drive his nail.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Absolutely, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE LIU: I hope so.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: That's exactly what I'm going to be doing.
21 JUDGE LIU: Okay. You may proceed.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Number 5, it says: "Personal policies and in-service management
24 of members of these agencies is under the exclusive authority of the
25 commander of RSA or VRS command and assistant commander of RSA command for
1 security intelligence. In relation to this, security intelligence sector
2 of RSA command decides on the security intelligence agencies members'
3 transfers, assignments, and special tasks within their scope of
4 activities." Does it not state that?
5 A. Yes, that is what it states, Mr. Karnavas.
6 Q. Then the next part says: "Commander of units and institutions of
7 RSA whose subordinates include members of the aforementioned agency may be
8 consulted on these issues and give suggestions, but will make no decisions
9 on them." Does it not state that?
10 A. Yes, it does.
11 Q. The next point: "Commanders of units and institutions may impose
12 stimulating penalties and other measures against members of such agencies
13 upon compulsory consultation with the first in command in the service."
14 It states that, does it not?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, from this, would it appear that if your commander,
17 Colonel Blagojevic, wished to punish you, he would have to make the
18 request through Popovic or Beara? Does it not state that?
19 A. Yes, one could interpret that in that way.
20 Q. Okay. And on number 7, if we go to number 7, it says: "Control
21 of expertise, legality, and propriety of work of security intelligence
22 agencies shall only be performed by the first in command of the security
23 intelligence affairs agency, except in the part of their work that relates
24 to the command/headquarters affairs." Does it not state that?
25 A. Yes, it does, Mr. Karnavas.
1 Q. Now, the latter part of paragraph 7 where it says "except in the
2 part of their work that relates to command or headquarters affairs," does
3 that not relate in general, in essence, to office work, paperwork?
4 A. In principle, no.
5 Q. All right. Would it be fair to assume or conclude that the first
6 part of paragraph 7 in essence states that it is Popovic and Beara that
7 assess your expertise and performance in the event you are up for a
8 promotion? Assess your expertise and performance; not recommend, but make
9 the assessment.
10 A. The way that you have put it is not right. With regard to
11 promotions, that is not so. It says here clearly: "Control of
12 expertise." This has to do within the tasks and duties within the scope
13 of work of the security organ.
14 Q. Let me just digress here for a second. You were a captain, were
15 you not?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You weren't even a first-class captain, you were just a captain.
19 A. That's right.
20 Q. You were not a major?
21 A. What do you mean, I was not a major? What do you mean? If I'm a
22 captain, then of course I'm not a major.
23 Q. But you would on various occasions represent yourself to be a
24 major. That was part of your repertoire, was it not, when you were a
25 liaison with the DutchBat?
1 A. I can explain that to Their Honours, if you're asking me why I
2 represented myself as a major.
3 Q. First I would like to know whether you did. That was the
4 question. Did you not, in fact, Momir Nikolic, chief of intelligence and
5 security, represent yourself as a major, sometimes even higher, like a
6 chief of staff, maybe even a general? Did you not do that, in fact, sir,
7 when you were -- back then in 1995 and before?
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Again, that is another three-or four part
10 question. Some of it assumes facts that are not in evidence. He has a
11 duty when he asks these questions that there be some basis in fact. I
12 don't recall anyone ever saying that Momir Nikolic represented himself as
13 a general.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: He can answer the question, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, first, break your question.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well.
17 JUDGE LIU: Then using the simplest language to express your
18 view --
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well.
20 JUDGE LIU: -- Don't make all of us get confused.
21 MR. KARNAVAS:
22 Q. Did you not represent yourself to be a major? Yes or no.
23 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas, in contacts with representatives of the Dutch
25 Q. Did you ever represent yourself or lead them to believe that you
1 were the chief of staff of the Bratunac Brigade?
2 A. No, never did I lead them to believe regarding any of my duties.
3 Simply, I never told them the real truth about what I was doing, and I
4 worked as an intelligence officer. And that is quite normal.
5 Q. Right. You lied?
6 A. I didn't lie. It is one of the ways of protecting myself, my
7 functional duties, et cetera. It is one of the measures, customary
9 Q. All right. We're going to get into that. But let's get back to
10 this, and we'll get into that area.
11 Now, on paragraph 8, the last paragraph, we're back to this
12 document here that has been marked for identification purposes as
13 D21/1 -- D22/1, sorry, Mr. Registrar. Paragraph number 8 says:
14 "Commanders and other superior officers at all levels who manage security
15 intelligence agencies shall strictly abide by this order." Does it not
16 state that?
17 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas, that is what it states.
18 Q. All right. Now, having -- now that we have gone through this
19 document, one general question: Were you familiar with the policies that
20 are set in this document when you were operating as a security and
21 intelligence -- the chief of security and intelligence of the Bratunac
22 Brigade around July of 1995? Yes or no.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection to the form of the question, Your
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: This insistence on yes or no questions has been
2 dealt with by the Court. That is not a proper question.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, it's not a yes or no question. Of course
4 Mr. Karnavas will allow the witness to give an explanation because it's a
5 complicated matter.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I have been giving the witness
7 opportunities to explain. First, if he could say yes or no. If he says
8 no, then I will ask him how is it possible? If he says, maybe we'll have
9 a discussion on that point. But first we need to get to whether he knows
10 the policies in here. We know he hasn't read it. We know he hasn't seen
12 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, I think there's maybe a cultural
13 difference. In some cultures, it's very difficult to answer a question
14 beginning with yes or no. But anyway, we will hear what the witness is
15 going to tell us.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have already partly
17 tried to answer this question. As regards this document, I have already
18 said that I did not have occasion to have it at my disposal here and that
19 while I held this position in the command of the Bratunac Brigade, there
20 were many documents, orders, and instructions directed towards the organ
21 of which I was the chief.
22 On the basis of this -- these instructions that I now have in
23 front of me, I cannot assert that I received them. Regards all these
24 duties and obligations, I remember how they are defined in the rules of
25 service, which I used. So I can say that this regulation of matters is
1 nothing new for me. I was familiar with my obligations and duties and
2 other matters defined by these instructions even before these instructions
3 arrived. I would state that on the first page, it says that these
4 instructions were forwarded to the commander and for the information of
5 the intelligence and security organs. And if that was so, I should have
6 received it, and I would know of it. So that would briefly be my
7 explanation with regard to this document.
8 MR. KARNAVAS:
9 Q. One follow-up question, Mr. Nikolic, because I want to make sure
10 that I understand and everyone else here understands the answer that you
11 just gave. Though you did not see this document that was signed by
12 General Mladic and directed at least in part to your sector, it is your
13 position today that everything that's contained in this particular
14 document you already knew and was in compliance of or applied while you
15 were a member of the chief of intelligence and security of the Bratunac
16 Brigade back in July 1995?
17 A. Mr. Karnavas, again, you have stated something that I did not say,
18 that it was partially addressed to my service. I have already answered
19 that question, that it was addressed to the intelligence and security
20 organ. I would know that if it said so on this document, that it was sent
21 to the heads of intelligence and security organs of the brigade. In that
22 case, I would tell you with certainty it was sent to my brigade, to me in
23 person, and I received it.
24 As it is, neither you nor I can see to whom it was addressed, that
25 it was sent to the commander it doesn't say, nor does it say that it was
1 sent to the chief of intelligence and security. So I cannot claim that it
2 arrived and that I had it because I really don't remember. Hundreds of
3 wires and telegrams, demands and instructions reached the brigade.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, that wasn't my question. My question
5 was whether he understood the policies that are contained in this
6 document. I just wanted that answer. He has already indicated to us that
7 he didn't receive it. I accept that answer, that he didn't see it. All I
8 want to know specifically what's contained in this document, the policy
9 matters, did he know them at the time and if so, did he apply them?
10 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, I think the witness has already answered
11 your question. The transcript is very clear. He said I was familiar with
12 my obligations and duties and other matters defined by those instruments
13 even before those instructions arrived.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
15 Q. Let's move on to another topic, Mr. Nikolic. From the -- I
16 understand it that before coming here today and before making your
17 agreement with the Prosecution, you spent considerable time, you, your
18 lawyers, and the Prosecutor, negotiating, did you not?
19 A. Yes, that's right.
20 Q. In fact, negotiations began sometime in November, did they not?
21 They began last year?
22 A. I really don't know the exact date. I don't know.
23 Q. I'm not asking for a specific date. I'm asking for a month. Did
24 they not start back early November, say, around November 5? Somewhere
25 around there, first week of November?
1 A. I repeat again, I don't remember whether it was November or
2 December the negotiations started. Several months ago, and I really
3 cannot tell you exactly when.
4 Q. And it took approximately six months or so for you, your lawyers,
5 and the Prosecutor to reach an agreement that you found acceptable. Is
6 that not a fact?
7 A. It took as long as it did. So we started the negotiations. I
8 didn't keep track of the number of months. We started, we negotiated, and
9 in the end we reached an agreement. And that's it.
10 Q. Before we reaching this agreement, at your disposal you had the
11 disclosure material, at least the part that your lawyers shared with you?
12 A. Yes, yes, Karnavas, I did.
13 Q. And you spent literally hundreds of hours with your lawyers
14 discussing parts of the document that were disclosed to you. Is that not
15 a fact?
16 A. With my lawyers, I spent as many hours as they, or rather I and my
17 lawyers thought we needed to prepare ourselves with respect to my defence.
18 Now, how many hours that took, I really didn't add up. Whether it was
19 hundreds, I really don't know. But in any event, we did meet very
20 frequently and regularly.
21 Q. And I take it if we were to go to the Detention Unit and get the
22 records as to when and how often and for how long your lawyers met with
23 you, we would have a better ballpark figure as to the exact amount of
24 hours that you spent with your lawyers discussing your defence, as they
25 should be doing because that's part of their job. Right? The Detention
1 Unit would have those records, would they not?
2 A. Yes, of course, they probably have those records.
3 Q. All right. And in the course of discussing the disclosure
4 material with your lawyers, it became fairly obvious what the
5 Prosecution's theory of the case was with respect to Momir Nikolic, did it
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I am going to object to the relevancy
8 of going into the client/counsel privilege in preparing for their defence.
9 I don't see how it ties into their plea agreement.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: It will tie in, Your Honour.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: The client/counsel privilege still exists, and I
12 have no idea of the relevance of that last question. Or the propriety of
14 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, I think I have to remind you that the
15 witness gave up many of his rights. But he kept his right to have his
16 counsel represented. So you should respect the privileges between counsel
17 and his client.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: I do, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE LIU: If this question is not extremely crucial to your
20 case, I hope you could skip it.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll go about it in another way, Your Honour.
22 Q. At some point, you began to meet with the Prosecutor, did you not?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. We don't have a tape-recorded statement of what exactly you and
25 the Prosecutor and your lawyers talked or negotiated or bargained over, do
2 A. I don't know that. I don't know whether you have that or not.
3 Q. Okay. Whose choice -- so you don't know, when you were present in
4 the room speaking Mr. McCloskey and his folks, you were not aware that
5 there was not a tape recorder there?
6 A. I did know that, Mr. Karnavas, yes.
7 Q. Okay. Yes, you knew that there wasn't a tape recorder there
8 because you and your lawyers had insisted that whatever went on in that
9 particular room was between those who are in that particular room at that
10 particular time. Isn't that correct?
11 A. I did not reach an agreement with respect to that matter. I was
12 invited, that is to say, I was informed that the talks would begin with
13 the Prosecutor in the presence of my lawyers. As to the procedure around
14 all this, what obligations each party had, I really don't know. I can't
15 say. Quite simply, that was procedure that I followed and accepted, and I
16 didn't know whether anything was to be recorded or not at that point in
17 time. So I behaved as I was asked to do. I talked to them.
18 Q. So would it be fair to say that respect to those matters, those
19 matters were decided by your lawyers and Mr. McCloskey as to whether it
20 should be tape-recorded or not tape-recorded, whether we should have a
21 transparent process or a nontransparent process?
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Asking the witness to speculate on matters the
24 witness has already talked about not knowing anything about.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas, I believe that you could not get
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well.
3 Q. I'm going to skip ahead a little bit, and then we'll come back.
4 The Prosecutor asked you on the last day when he was questioning you about
5 certain -- a certain information report prepared by his investigator,
6 Mr. Bursik. Do you recall that?
7 A. Yes, I do recall that.
8 Q. Okay. And in fact, Mr. Bursik went over part of his information
9 report with you, did he not?
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, Your Honour, just to clarify the
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: I know counsel meant to say when I was questioning
14 him at trial, and just so we know that because there was a lot of
15 questioning, and I'm not sure you were here at that point. So I just
16 wanted to clarify that.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes. Make some clarification for us.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour.
19 Q. You met with the Prosecutor several days - I think it was four or
20 five days - proofing what you had said on previous occasions in
21 preparation for trial. Isn't that the case?
22 A. We talked about different subjects relating to the factual basis,
23 and we also discussed other matters, too.
24 Q. Right. And one of the matters that was discussed was an
25 information report prepared by Bruce Bursik of the OTP Office. Isn't that
1 a fact?
2 A. Yes, we did discuss that piece of information, too.
3 Q. Mr. Bursik had been in the room while you were discussing or
4 debriefing Mr. McCloskey prior to reaching a plea agreement with him.
5 Isn't that a fact?
6 A. Mr. Bursik was in the room when we started our conversation, as
7 far as I remember. And after that, for a time, he wasn't in the room.
8 There were others, other associates of Mr. McCloskey. And that is the
10 Q. But you know who Mr. Bursik is?
11 A. I do know because every time we would meet, those present would be
12 introduced to the people in the room we held our discussions in.
13 Q. Right. Now, as a result of these discussions and negotiations
14 that you've had with Mr. McCloskey, the end result was a preparation of a
15 statement of facts and acceptance of responsibility which was attached to
16 a motion filed with the Court. Is that correct?
17 A. I really don't know. Don't ask me about the order in which these
18 matters took place. I know that we talked. After that, I decided to
19 acknowledge my guilt. And after that, my lawyer saw to the administrative
20 and legal portion of it. Also, don't ask me about that, I can't actually
21 say. I don't know the legal procedure set in place for that kind of
22 thing. But we did discuss matters. I decided to enter a plea of guilty.
23 Afterwards, my lawyers went around going about the business that they were
24 supposed to do with respect to various agreements and additions, annexes,
25 or whatever they're called. I don't really know.
1 Q. Okay. Well, the order is important, Mr. Nikolic, so let's walk it
2 through. The Prosecution filed a motion May 6th, I believe, and then May
3 7th containing a statement of facts and acceptance of responsibility as
4 Annex A to that document. Do you recall that?
5 A. Yes, I do recall that.
6 Q. Sometime thereafter, sometime thereafter, Mr. McCloskey and
7 Mr. Bursik, and perhaps others, came over for a -- not taking a statement,
8 but sort of a question and answer session where they were trying to plug
9 in some holes to what you had already given them in the statement of
10 facts. Do you recall that? I believe I can give you the dates. May
11 28th, 29th, and 30. Do you recall that?
12 A. I think that those were the dates when we had our discussions, if
13 I remember correctly.
14 Q. All right. Well, your discussions were not tape-recorded. That
15 we know as a fact. What we do know also is that we have been provided by
16 the Office of the Prosecution with a transcript of a tape-recorded -- it
17 says: "Conversation between Bruce Bursik and Momir Nikolic." And in
18 this, it's actually Peter McCloskey asking you most of the questions. Do
19 you recall seeing that document with your lawyers?
20 A. If, Mr. Karnavas, you're talking about an information report, and
21 Mr. Bursik tendered that, then I have seen that piece of paper.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Just a second, Your Honour. I seem to have
23 misplaced my exhibit list here. We'll do it another way.
24 If we could provide you with P82, what has been marked as P82, if
25 you could just look at that, please.
1 Q. Do you recognise that, Mr. Nikolic?
2 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas, I do recognise this.
3 Q. And what is it, please, for the record?
4 A. This is a statement by Momir Nikolic, along with a joint proposal
5 for considering the agreement on a guilty plea between Momir Nikolic and
6 the OTP.
7 Q. All right. Now, is that the statement of facts that we're talking
8 about, the statement of facts and acceptance of responsibility? Tab A.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I wonder whether we have the right
10 document just furnished to us because we got P81. That is annex B or Tab
11 B. We should come to annex A, right?
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Right, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE LIU: I wonder if the witness was provided with the right
15 MR. KARNAVAS: The witness may have been, but I don't know if we
16 have provided you with that, Your Honour. If I may have a moment, Your
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have a statement
19 which is indicated as being Tab B.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, there's no problem. My question is whether you
21 have annex A or Tab A.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, I don't have it
24 MR. KARNAVAS:
25 Q. Do you see that, Mr. Nikolic?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. Do you recognise this?
3 A. I see it and I recognise this document.
4 Q. Okay. And this document is the statement of -- contains the
5 statement of facts and acceptance of responsibility we talked about?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, if I could -- if we could provide you with D33/1, D33/1, take
8 a look at it and let us know whether you recognise that.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, now it's time for a break. Would you
11 please furnish the witness with the document and ask him to go over it
12 during the break. Then we come back for your questions.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: If it would be convenient, I could furnish him with
14 all the documents for this chapter of my cross-examination, and we can
15 move along. And I apologise for the delays.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE LIU: So --
19 MR. KARNAVAS: You want me to do it on the record, furnish him
20 with all the documents now?
21 JUDGE LIU: You may go through the Registrar during the break.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: But not during the break or during the break?
23 JUDGE LIU: During the break.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: During the break.
25 JUDGE LIU: And then we will come back and you may ask your
2 MR. KARNAVAS: And I apologise for the Monday-morning delays.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll resume at quarter to 11.00.
4 --- Recess taken at 10.16 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 10.47 a.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Blagojevic, please continue. I'm sorry, I'm
7 terribly sorry. Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: That's okay. That's all right.
9 Q. Mr. Nikolic, during the break, did you have an opportunity to look
10 over some documents? Were any documents presented to you?
11 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas. I was given the transcript of the conversation
12 dated the 15th of December, 1999.
13 Q. Okay. If it's okay with you, I would like to go through the
14 documents one by one. If you could -- and we'll get to that one dealing
15 with 1999 with Mr. Ruez. But for the record, and I'm referring now to
16 P82, do you see -- do you have with you what is titled, "Statement of
17 facts and acceptance of responsibility," which was part of the plea
19 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas, I do have that.
20 Q. And I believe that's dated May 6th. That's 2003. Is that
21 correct? It should be right --
22 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas, yes.
23 Q. And then there is D33/1, conversations between Bruce Bursik and
24 Momir Nikolic. Do you have that in front of you? And for the record,
25 that's D33/1. Do you see that?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And that has a date of 28 May, 2003, does it not?
3 A. Yes, that's what it says.
4 Q. And I believe -- you've seen this document before, have you not?
5 A. Yes, I have seen it before.
6 Q. And I think if you would flip to it, flip through it, you need not
7 do it now, but at least on the English version, on 114, page 114, we see
8 the date of 30 May 2003 as part of tape 2, side B. Would it be fair to
9 say that these conversations between you and Mr. McCloskey, though it's
10 titled "Bruce Bursik and Momir Nikolic" took place during the period 28th
11 May, 29th, and 30th May 2003?
12 A. Mr. Karnavas, you said page 114, didn't you?
13 Q. Yes, in the English version. I apologise. If you would flip
14 through it, the last date of your conversations with Mr. McCloskey and
15 Bruce Bursik were --
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just to clarify.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. Karnavas, you should have a very brief section
19 of 12 June as well.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: I just noticed that.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I've found it. I have.
22 MR. KARNAVAS:
23 Q. Okay. And then I believe if you flip a few pages further down, it
24 notes that you also met again, again with Mr. McCloskey and others, on 12
25 June 2003. Is that correct?
1 JUDGE LIU: In the B/C/S version, it's on page 132.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: I apologise, Your Honour, for not having that
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I've found that, too.
5 MR. KARNAVAS:
6 Q. Okay. And it's my understanding, at least from the receipts that
7 we have received from the Prosecution, it was delivered both in English
8 and B/C/S on June 20th, 2003. Would that be more or less your
9 understanding based on your memory of the events?
10 A. I don't know exactly when I received it, but I know that I
11 received this in the Detention Unit. But I really can't remember the
13 Q. Very well. Now, if you could kindly look at what has been
14 previously marked as D29/1, it's titled "information report." Do you see
16 A. "Information report," yes.
17 Q. All right.
18 A. A report from Mr. Bursik.
19 Q. That's correct. And does it not have the date on it of June 23,
21 A. Just let me have a look.
22 Q. It's on the very first page, 23/06/2003. Do you see that?
23 A. Yes, I do see that, Mr. Karnavas.
24 Q. Okay, thank you. Now, from our receipts, it appears that the
25 English version was delivered on June 24th, and the B/C/S version would
1 have been prepared and delivered on July 4. That is subsequent to your
2 conversations with Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Bursik back on May 28, 29, 30th,
3 and June 12th. Would it be correct, sir? Do you recall when exactly you
4 received it?
5 A. I don't remember exactly what the date was when I received this,
6 but I think that I saw this document, or rather, I received this document
7 for the first time from my lawyers. They were the ones that gave it to me
9 Q. From the dates that we have, it would appear that this information
10 report would have been given to you after your conversations with
11 Mr. McCloskey and Bruce Bursik.
12 A. Well, that's what it says here, when it was submitted. According
13 to the dates, it was after the conversation, yes.
14 Q. All right. Then there was one last -- we'll go through all of
15 these. There's another document.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: For the record, we're talking about D30/1. It's
17 proofing notes. This is a letter dated September 16.
18 Q. And do you have that, sir? Do you recall seeing that, sir?
19 A. Mr. Karnavas, I have here the English version, I think, and
20 another document attached to it. But I don't think it has anything to do
21 with this particular document.
22 Q. Okay. Well, if that is the case, I apologise, and we'll make one
23 available to you right now. Do you have that, sir?
24 A. Yes, I do have that. It says: "Report compiled during the
25 proofing session on the 10th, 11th, 12th, 15th, and 16th September 2003."
1 Q. Right. And if my memory serves me correct, you might have met
2 with the Prosecution after this, but I might be wrong. You know, after
3 receipt of this?
4 A. As far as I remember, after this I don't think we met again,
5 although I don't exclude the possibility. But as far as I remember it, I
6 don't think there were any more meetings after this in the Detention Unit.
7 Q. Okay. Now, let's stick with this document, if you will. On page
8 2 of the English version, and it should be page 2 or page 3 of yours, it
9 indicates that "during the proofing sessions," and I'm referring to, for
10 Madam Usher, on page 2, it says "Re: Information report by investigator
11 Bruce Bursik." So if you could focus your attention on that portion.
12 Do you see that section, sir?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. The first sentence says: "The witness points out that the report
15 contains a number of mistakes," does it not, sir?
16 A. Yes. I said something to that effect, but not quite that
18 Q. Right. And the information report that we are referring to is the
19 information report that you have in front of you which has been marked for
20 identification purposes D29/1. Are we not talking about that information
22 A. It is Mr. Bursik's report.
23 Q. Right. Those were, for everybody here in the courtroom, those
24 were notes taken by Mr. Bursik during the interviewing sessions that you
25 held with him, the Prosecutor, and your lawyers at the Detention Unit.
1 Those are the ones that were not tape-recorded. Is that not a fact?
2 A. Yes, that's right, Mr. Karnavas.
3 Q. And it states further down in that same section: "The witness
4 says that there were more mistakes like this," pointing to a mistake
5 referenced earlier. "They were not discussed in the course of this
6 proofing session." Do you see that, sir?
7 A. Yes, I see that sentence.
8 Q. Okay. And it would appear from reading that sentence that during
9 the proofing session between you and your lawyers, you had some objections
10 as to what the Prosecutor's investigator had written down during your
11 conversations when you all were in the Detention Unit with no tape
12 recorder, and it was just you, the Prosecutor, and your lawyers, and an
13 interpreter, of course. Right?
14 A. Mr. Karnavas, I can tell you exactly what my objections were.
15 After having read these notes by Mr. Bursik in their entirety, and I said
16 during that conversation that there were quite a number of errors in the
17 translation and in the phrasing of sentences that I uttered during the
18 course of the conversations we had over several days. I said that, and I
19 also said that I really am unable to comment on the way in which
20 Mr. Bursik took those notes. They are his notes. I also told
21 Mr. McCloskey that with regard to the notes and the accuracy of those
22 notes, I'm unable to comment, and that I stand by what I said in my
23 statement when my statement was recorded.
24 So that is what we discussed at the time, what I said, and the
25 objections I made. And I wish to say once again to Their Honours that
1 anything that is not clear regarding Mr. Bursik's notes, they are his
2 notes. I don't know how he understood everything that I said because we
3 spoke about countless issues, and this was not in any chronological order.
4 He took notes in writing. And I didn't have occasion to discuss those
5 notes or to have insight into them as this was in English, and what I did
6 read in detail was the report, or rather the information that I received
7 in the Detention Unit. And I really cannot and do not wish to comment on
8 Bursik's notes, nor on the way he wrote them down, how he understood
9 things, what the translation was like, et cetera. These are all things
10 that I cannot comment on.
11 Q. Okay. And in fact, in fact, you said as much here under oath when
12 you were being directed by the Prosecutor on Tuesday, 23 September 2003.
13 Isn't that a fact?
14 Let me put it another way. I have a transcript here that was
15 provided to us by the Tribunal. On page 1835, and this was dated -- this
16 was the afternoon session when, Mr. President, you were unavailable. It
17 states here: "I have no further comment to add. I did go through the
18 notes, and I would prefer not to comment on the way that gentleman
19 compiled those notes." And I'm reading from lines 2 to 5.
20 Then you go on. You say: "However, I can confirm here now that
21 my words were accurately recorded and reflected in the transcript." And
22 then later on, you say: "I think there are a number of mistakes there in
23 that transcript because we spoke countless times of certain issues. We
24 went back to the same issues countless times. And I'm really not in a
25 position to comment on everything that's written there. These are the
1 gentleman's notes. That's my opinion. The notes are his, not mine. I
2 said whatever I said exactly in the way in which it is reflected in my
3 statement." And I have just read all the way down to line 13 on page 835.
4 Do you recall making that statement at the conclusion of your
5 direct examination by the Prosecutor?
6 A. I do remember, Mr. Karnavas, that I said what is stated in the
7 transcript, and I didn't say anything other than that now. Nothing
8 different from what I said in that transcript. So I'm unable to quote
9 exactly what I said five days ago, but I said more or less the same thing
10 just now, and I underline once again, Mr. Karnavas, that I cannot comment
11 on Mr. Bursik's notes because they are his notes.
12 Q. All right. Well, just so I have it straight, the only other
13 people that may be able to comment on Bursik's notes would be, for
14 instance, your lawyers that were there as witnesses. Right?
15 A. I don't know, Mr. Karnavas. I do not know exactly when my lawyers
16 were present. There were moments and days when they were not present, so
17 I can't say when exactly they were present and when they were not present.
18 Q. All right. So just so I have it right, am I to understand, are we
19 to understand that there were times when you were with Mr. Bursik and the
20 Prosecutor when your lawyers were not present?
21 A. No. My lawyers were there during a part of the preparations. And
22 certain meetings, they were not present.
23 Q. Okay. On May 28th, 29th, 30th, and I believe June 12th, we have
24 you giving a tape-recorded statement. Were your lawyers present then?
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, just to clarify the record, there were
2 some mistakes on the dates of that tape-recorded statement, and Mr. Bursik
3 fixed those in an addendum that was provided to counsel. And you should
4 have that, or I've got a copy here if you'd like it.
5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, actually, and I appreciate the assistance.
7 God knows I could use all I can up here. But I was referring to actually
8 the May 28th statement, and not the one that was corrected by Mr. Bursik
9 which just coincidentally happened to have the same dates. But I
10 appreciate and I thank the Prosecutor.
11 Q. So, getting back to my question, the conversation that you had
12 with Mr. Bursik and Mr. McCloskey subsequent to you changing your plea was
13 tape-recorded, was it not?
14 A. Yes, the part that is in the transcript.
15 Q. Right. But when you were meeting with the Prosecution and your
16 team who were there to assist you during the negotiations on the statement
17 of facts, that part was never tape-recorded?
18 A. As far as I can remember, no, it was not.
19 Q. So at least while you disagree with Mr. Bursik in his information
20 report, would it not be fair to say that at least we have your own lawyers
21 as witnesses as to what you might have said when they were present in the
22 room when you were being -- when you were debriefing or briefing
23 Mr. McCloskey and his team?
24 A. Before the recording of that conversation, my lawyers, as far as I
25 can remember, were always present during the conversations and during the
1 recording of this transcript.
2 Q. Precisely. And because they were present and because there's no
3 tape-recording, and because now you dispute what Bruce Bursik has written
4 down as far as what you said, it would stand to reason that your lawyers
5 are indeed witnesses to those conversations, are they not?
6 A. Of course, while they were present at those meetings, yes.
7 Q. Okay. Now, one of your lawyers obviously speaks Srpski, your
8 language, B/C/S as it's known over here?
9 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
10 Q. The other lawyer is an English speaker?
11 A. Yes, German and English.
12 Q. Okay. And Mr. McCloskey obviously, and Mr. Bursik, were
13 questioning you in English through a translator. Right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And of course, your Defence team had their own translator to
16 assist both you and Mr. Londrovic while you were briefing the Prosecutor.
17 Is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. I take it since they were in the room and they heard everything
20 and they were witnesses, that they must have, upon receiving the
21 information report rushed to you, as your Defence lawyer, to point out the
22 numerous errors contained in Bruce Bursik's information report. Did they
23 do that, sir?
24 A. Yes, my lawyers and I discussed the mistakes which appeared in the
25 interpretation of what I had said.
1 Q. Okay. Was it them -- assuming that we are correct that the
2 English version was given to them on June 24th, and the B/C/S version was
3 given to you on July 4th, do you recall whether Mr. Londrovic or
4 Mr. Kirsch came to you to point out the errors that Mr. Bursik had made in
5 his information report? Did they come to you and say, "We have this
6 information report, we don't have it in B/C/S yet, but it contains
7 significant errors or numerous errors," however you want to put it? Did
8 they say that? Did that happen?
9 A. My lawyers, after we received this information report, discussed
10 with me, and together we agreed that in this information report there were
11 erroneous translations and interpretations. And the three of us discussed
12 this together.
13 Q. Of course, we're a little handicapped today because we don't have
14 any tape-recording that would verify or that would help us out in
15 determining whether you and/or your lawyers are incorrect, or whether it
16 is Mr. Bursik who is incorrect in what exactly was said by you, how it was
17 translated, and then how it was written down on paper?
18 A. Mr. Karnavas, I really don't see that I can be responsible for
19 something not being recorded. I simply acted in accordance with the
20 lawyers' instructions and as I was told I should do.
21 Q. And just for the record, I'm not accusing you of doing anything
22 wrong. But I'm merely making a statement or with an inflection, is that
23 we don't have a tape-recording to at least compare and contrast to see who
24 might be correct, who might be incorrect. We don't have that, do we?
25 A. Mr. Karnavas, I am describing here what happened, and I am doing
1 so when I have a chance to do that; that is to say, what is true and what
2 is not true. But I must tell you once again that all that I am saying now
3 is something that I discussed with my lawyer, and I have nothing more to
4 add. I did indicate that there were errors. I said that the
5 interpretation of what I said was not correct. My lawyers agreed with me.
6 And here, in this courtroom, I'm presenting this as errors that we
7 identified, that we discussed, and I also told Mr. McCloskey the things
8 that I disagreed with. And I also said that I didn't wish to comment on
9 Mr. Bursik's notes. He probably heard it like that, wrote it down like
10 that, and there's nothing I can do about that.
11 Q. Okay. And of course Mr. McCloskey heard what Mr. Bursik must have
12 heard and what your lawyers must have heard as well?
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: I object, Your Honour. He's speculating on
15 material that is obvious and irrelevant. I don't know where we're going
16 from this. We were -- I think it's clear what was going on here.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll ask another question, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
20 MR. KARNAVAS:
21 Q. Now, you held your proofing sessions on -- at least according to
22 this document, there were several days here. The 10th, the 11th, the
23 12th, the 15th, and the 16th, was that the first time during those
24 proofing sessions that you brought it to Mr. McCloskey's attention that
25 you strongly or had some feelings, disagreements with Mr. Bursik's
1 recitation of what exactly you had said during those many sessions that
2 you held with him, the Prosecutor, and your lawyers?
3 A. Mr. Karnavas, I think that that was the first occasion I had to
4 tell Mr. McCloskey because I had no other occasion in view of the date
5 when I received the transcript and when I had the time to read it through
6 and to review it in detail. As far as I can remember, those were the
7 first days that we met after that; that is, Mr. McCloskey, his associates,
8 and myself.
9 Q. Okay. But of course it was provided to you on July 4th, so you
10 would have had July, August, and half of September to itemise in great
11 detail everything that you took exception with with respect to what
12 Mr. Bursik had written down, for your lawyers to present that to
13 Mr. McCloskey, right? Surely they had access to Mr. McCloskey, and they
14 certainly were meeting with you during that period.
15 A. I don't know whether my lawyers had any contacts with
16 Mr. McCloskey during that period. Possibly they did. I do know that they
17 had contacts with me. I don't think we had any throughout the month of
18 August. And I think that this was the first opportunity when we could
19 seriously discuss these things, that is, in September. I was the only one
20 who had all that time at my disposal, that is, from the moment I received
21 the document up until the time we had occasion to discuss it.
22 Q. Okay. Just to pick an example, if we could, and I'm going to
23 refer to page 8. It's in the English version. I don't know exactly what
24 page it would be in the B/C/S, but I'll read the statement that Mr. Bursik
25 attributes to you as having said to him, to your lawyers, to
1 Mr. McCloskey, during those sessions that you were having. It states,
2 page 8, and I'm referring to, for identification purposes, this is D29/1,
3 it says: "Nikolic states that on 12 July" --
4 A. Could you please --
5 Q. I truly apologise.
6 A. Among all these documents, it's a bit difficult to find my way.
7 What document are you talking about, Mr. Karnavas?
8 Q. I'm talking about the information report from Bruce Bursik. Now,
9 I apologise. I'm getting ahead of myself.
10 A. Page 8. I've found it.
11 Q. I don't know if it's going to be exactly on page 8. But if I
12 could read it, and then maybe you could look for that section, and then we
13 can see whether I've read it correctly. But it states, it starts with:
14 "Nikolic states that on the 12th July, he believes that Mladic, Krstic,
15 and Blagojevic met, as was their norm early each morning during this
16 period. He believes that the three officers discussed the execution
17 making it a pointless exercise for him (Nikolic) to return to Blagojevic
18 that morning to inform him of the execution plan."
19 Have you been able to locate that section, sir?
20 A. Yes, I've found it, Mr. Karnavas.
21 Q. Thank you. Now, this is a statement that claims that you stated
22 that every morning, you would have Mladic, Krstic, and Blagojevic sitting
23 around together having meetings throughout this period.
24 A. No, Mr. Karnavas. That was not my meaning. I said that in my
25 testimony, too, in connection with the meeting on the 12th because during
1 my testimony, I said that there was some dilemma in my mind as to whether
2 that meeting was held on the 12th or the 13th, was it the 12th and the
3 13th? And on the basis of insight into a document which I was shown by
4 the Prosecutor, I confirmed that the meeting as stated in that document
5 was indeed held on the 12th in the Bratunac Brigade. And I wish to add
6 the following: After such a long period of time, I really am unable to
7 mention all the meetings and everything I saw in the Bratunac Brigade
8 because from the moment the main staff officers arrived, there were so
9 many of them that it is very difficult to put them in chronological order.
10 As for this meeting every day early in the morning, I said the
11 following, and I explained that. I said that it was customary. If there
12 was a meeting on the 12th, then it was customary for the meetings of
13 commanders to be held early in the morning. And that is what I said.
14 Q. Okay. Could I get a question in now?
15 A. Yes, you can.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, that is unnecessary commenting by the
18 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, just put your question.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
20 Q. I'm referring to this section, this paragraph. I am not asking
21 you what you testified to or what you believe. I'm asking you to look at
22 what Bruce Bursik said that you said to all those folks in that
23 clandestine atmosphere that all of you were in where nothing was
24 tape-recorded and we have no way of verifying what exactly was said by you
25 or the others.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Object to the form of the question. He's pointing
2 his finger at the person, he's talking about clandestine, and he's asking
3 the witness a question he has already answered. This is not helpful.
4 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, remember my instruction. I asked you to
5 put a specific question to this witness. But you make a comment there
6 that's not proper.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour. I apologise.
8 Q. Mr. Nikolic, it states here categorically that on the 12th,
9 Mladic, Krstic and Blagojevic met as was their norm. As was their norm.
10 Those three people meeting together. That's what it says here, does it
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, Your Honour, he started it with another
14 statement, "It states categorically." That's a statement, not a question,
15 and it's also an incorrect statement, so again, objection to the form of
16 the question.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll read it again.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
19 MR. KARNAVAS:
20 Q. Does it not state here that you stated to Mr. Bursik, to the
21 Prosecutor, to your lawyers that on July 12th or 12th July, "he believes
22 that Mladic, Krstic, and Blagojevic met as was their norm early each
23 morning during this period"? Does it not state this in this document?
24 A. Mr. Karnavas, what I said exactly I repeated in my statement, the
25 one I gave with respect to this meeting. And when I was questioned by the
1 Prosecutor, I repeated that and stated it once again. And I should like
2 to emphasise once again that I cannot comment on the contents of
3 Mr. Bursik's report or notes. Call him into the courtroom for him to
4 explain what he wrote, why he wrote it, the way he wrote it and how he
5 understood it. Because I really can't comment on other people's notes.
6 And it's very difficult to comment on them, and I don't think anybody will
7 be able to comment on my own notes, what I thought at the time and what I
8 understood and so on.
9 Q. Can we call your lawyers as well, since they were witnesses so
10 they can testify under oath as to what you might have said and how the
11 negotiations went on during that six-month period between them and the
12 Prosecution? Can we call them?
13 A. I don't know whether you have the right to call them and what
14 rights you refer to. As far as I'm concerned, I am prepared to testify to
15 all these matters further, and it is up to Their Honours if there is any
16 need to call them in or not. I really can't say.
17 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, we don't think it's necessary.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE LIU: I think -- could I come to this conclusion: There's
20 no difference or dispute concerning whether there's a meeting or not on
21 the 12th of July. But there's a difference whether it's a normal, routine
22 meeting or not. Am I right?
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Partly, Your Honour. Because it says the three of
24 them, "as was their norm," giving the impression that the three of them
25 every day were meeting. And that to me --
1 JUDGE LIU: I quite understand you. I quite understand you. I
2 think you made your point.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: I agree, Your Honour. And I apologise for
4 belabouring the point.
5 Q. Now, at some point when it became necessary to speak with the
6 Prosecution, you were advised by your lawyers that you needed to be
8 A. Yes, that's right, Mr. Karnavas.
9 Q. And they certainly did not advise you to lie.
10 A. No, they did not.
11 Q. Or to, perhaps, equivocate, not tell the whole truth?
12 A. No, Mr. Karnavas. My lawyers advised me to tell the truth. They
13 acquainted me with all my rights and duties. They advised me on all legal
14 aspects in the matter. Everything, in fact, that comes under their
16 Q. Right. And they also went over the documents so at least you knew
17 at that point what the Prosecution had in store for you if you went to
19 A. Yes, my lawyers did send me that material in, all those documents,
20 or most of the ones that the OTP disclosed to my lawyers.
21 Q. Right. And you went over those documents with them?
22 A. Well, of course I did go through them.
23 Q. And you met with an expert in your particular field?
24 A. Yes, I did have a meeting with an expert.
25 Q. And at some point, you began making statements to the Prosecutor.
2 A. Yes, yes. And after that, we, or rather I began making the
4 Q. Exactly. And prior to making that statement, is it not a fact
5 that you had been provided with a list of facts by the Prosecution as to
6 what he believed you should admit to? Is that not a fact?
7 A. No, it's not true that I was given any list of facts before I
8 entered into acceptance of responsibility or my guilty plea. We defined
9 the facts about my acceptance of responsibility after lengthy discussions,
10 and that's how we arrived at those facts.
11 Q. All right. So at no time did the Prosecution through your lawyers
12 tell them to impart to you the various facts that you needed to agree to
13 and accept?
14 A. We discussed many facts, the entirety of the case itself and all
15 the different aspects of it. And we arrived at the conclusion that - that
16 is to say, my lawyers and I, myself - came to the conclusion that these
17 roughly were the facts as they stood, and that they should be then
18 translated on to paper and written out in the form of a document.
19 Q. Is it not true that your lawyers, from their conversations and
20 negotiations with the Prosecution, had a laundry list of facts that the
21 Prosecution expected you to agree to or to accept in part or in whole as
22 part of the negotiating process? Isn't that a fact?
23 A. It is not, Mr. Karnavas. No list at all was compiled.
24 Q. Okay. And they didn't tell you verbally what the Prosecution
25 wanted to hear? They didn't say: "Say something about Blagojevic or
1 there's no deal"? That never happened?
2 A. No, no.
3 Q. Okay. All right. Now, after --
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, pounding the table is not a proper
5 manner, you know, especially in this courtroom. You have to show some
6 respect to this witness.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
8 Q. Mr. Nikolic, when you began speaking to the Prosecutor, you told
9 them that you had participated in a massacre, did you not?
10 A. No, that's not how it was, Mr. Karnavas.
11 Q. Did you not take responsibility for ordering the executions at
12 Sandici and at the Kravica warehouse on July 13th, 1995? Did you not
13 tell the Prosecutor that you had ordered those executions?
14 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas. At one point I did state that, and I wish,
15 before this Honourable Trial Chamber, to explain why I said what I said.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may, Your Honour.
17 A. I said it. I didn't tell the truth when I said that. I myself
18 without any influence from anybody made a mistake.
19 Q. All right.
20 A. Our agreement in a period of time, in my assessment, could have
21 fallen through. That was how I saw it. It might have fallen through,
22 this agreement. And so I wanted at all costs to have this agreement
23 between myself and the OTP stand. So I wanted to plead guilty, I wanted
24 to accept my responsibility for the crime in Srebrenica and to recognise
25 before this Trial Chamber that I took part in that particular crime. I
1 wanted to take my part of the responsibility for that. So at that point
2 in time, quite simply, I took on more than was my share and what I
3 actually had done.
4 After that, I apologised both to the Prosecutor and to my own
5 lawyers and said that I had, indeed, made a mistake, that I had lied, that
6 that was not the truth. I said -- I told the Prosecutor and my lawyers
7 that I would in continuation of our conversation tell the truth in future.
8 And that's what I did. So I take advantage of this opportunity here and
9 now in this courtroom to apologise to Their Honours and the Honourable
10 Trial Chamber for having done that, and to apologise to the Defence
11 counsel for having done what I did with respect to Kravica and Sandici.
12 And that is the whole truth as far as that matter is concerned, and that
13 is the only falsehood that I told, that I uttered in the conversation that
14 I had, that is to say, in the presence of my own Defence counsel and the
16 We continued our conversations, and I stand by everything I said
17 after that. And I stand by it. That is the truth, and that is how it
18 happened. And I want to say another thing. I want to tell Their Honours
19 one more thing, and that is I wanted before this Honourable Trial Chamber
20 to come and testify as a man who had recognised his guilt. I recognised
21 and acknowledged that a crime had been committed, and I wanted to move the
22 case of Srebrenica from the dead end it had come to. I wanted the truth
23 to be heard, that you hear these words uttered from a man who was there
24 and took part in it. That was my intention. I apologise once again to
25 the Trial Chamber, to my Defence counsel, and to the Prosecutor for having
1 uttered that falsehood.
2 Q. Okay. Let's stick with Tab B. Let's stick with your mistake
3 which, in fact, was a lie, shall we? Now, at the time that you made this
4 mistake, you knew you were lying, did you not? Yes or no.
5 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas. I confess that I wasn't telling the truth at
6 the time.
7 Q. It wasn't some irresistible impulse that you could just not resist
8 telling a lie; it was a calculated risk that you took --
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, we do not use "lie," the word. We
10 use "false statement" or something neutral.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I understand I'm in an International
12 Tribunal. We're dealing with an execution. We're dealing with somebody
13 who wanted a deal, was willing by his own testimony to say anything. He
14 used the word "lie." I'm merely repeating what he has indicated. And I
15 don't think in my humble opinion using diplomatic niceties to call it a
16 falsehood when in fact it is a bald-faced lie, I don't think we do a
17 service to the international community. We should call it for what it is.
18 But if the Court wishes me to call it a falsehood, I will do so.
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, the witness has already admitted
20 he made a mistake. No matter if you call it a lie or false statement,
21 there is no difference. But this is an International Tribunal, and you
22 are a professional. So can you accept our suggestion that you use the
23 word "false statement."
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you may proceed.
1 MR. KARNAVAS:
2 Q. Now, when you made this false statement, you had decided that you
3 were going to take a risk, had you not?
4 A. Could you just tell me which document you're looking at?
5 Q. I'm looking at --
6 A. I have the statement before me.
7 Q. Your declaration. We're going to stay with this.
8 A. Yes, I have the declaration in front of me.
9 Q. All right. When you made -- but I'm not interested in what you
10 declared after the falsehood; what I'm interested in is the mental process
11 that went through in conceiving and executing the falsehood. So if I
12 recall, earlier, you stated that part of your profession required you to
13 use deceptive measures, or take deceptive measures as an intelligence
14 officer. Right?
15 A. No, that's not right, Mr. Karnavas. And I didn't say at all what
16 you're now claiming I did. What I said was this: That one of the ways,
17 one of the methods employed, one of the methods of work was, amongst
18 others, to represent yourself to members of foreign armed forces, as far
19 as that was possible, rather, to conceal your role, function, and post.
20 That is a component part of intelligence work, or rather security staff.
21 And that is something that is allowed. I never uttered the sentence you
22 have just said. So I explained exactly how this is done, why this is
23 done, what the purpose of it is.
24 Q. So when you represented yourself to be a major when, in fact, you
25 were not even a captain first-class, that was a falsehood, was it not?
1 A. I should like to ask Their Honours to allow me to explain how this
2 came about in the first place.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: I object, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Nikolic, we Judges are also interested in the
5 mental process when you tell the Prosecution something that is not true.
6 Can you explain that. Because Mr. Karnavas asked this question, then he
7 changed to another subject. I think we should concentrate on that issue.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: I was getting around to it, but I agree with you,
9 Your Honour.
10 Q. Could you please explain to us the mental process that went
11 through, how you sit down and you conceive, plan, and then execute a
12 convincing falsehood, based on your experiences.
13 A. Your Honours, all I can do is to confess and say that the
14 conversation about the crime, the discussion about the crime, and
15 acceptance of the crime, confessing to it is a very difficult situation to
16 be in. And anybody who finds himself in a situation of that kind, of
17 having to talk about it does not feel at all, if I say comfortable, that's
18 a mild word. But what you feel is quite simply -- you feel yourself to be
19 somebody who confesses to carrying out something and taking part in
20 something which was, in fact, a crime. So this is not a pleasant task.
21 It is not a situation in which one feels comfortable or normal in. And it
22 is not pleasant. I can't seem to find a different term to express my
23 sentiments on that score.
24 I also wish to say that my feelings and sentiments at that point
25 in time --
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour --
2 A. -- Were quite simply, as I was saying, quite simply at that point
3 in time, or rather up until that point, I had confessed to my faults. I
4 talked about many difficult matters. And all this took me back and
5 reminded me of the period of time when this actually happened, when it
6 took place. So I felt very uncomfortable, and I could not, in full,
7 control the chronology of events, the chronology of what I was saying.
8 Quite simply, there were no preparations beforehand in the sense of my
9 preparing myself. It just came about during the conversation. The
10 Prosecutor asked me what happened in Sandici. I said what I said. He
11 said: "Did you take part in what happened in Kravica?" I said: "Yes, I
12 did." And then what happened came about. I said what I said. So that
13 was during this questioning. After several hours of work, several hours
14 of questioning, quite simply, I stated what I did, and we had a break
15 after that. I then met with my lawyers, and I realised what I had done.
16 I think that this was more out of despair, desperation, rather than having
17 given much thought to it. And quite simply, that's what I went through.
18 That is the process I went through when we come to discussing this issue.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
20 Mr. Karnavas, you may proceed.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. All right. Now there was a particular photograph that you
23 believed depicted you in it. And you're shaking your head, so I take it
24 you understand English.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, it's a statement, not a question.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE LIU: Where is your question?
3 MR. KARNAVAS:
4 Q. The question is that initially, you stated that you were in a
5 photograph in the area of Sandici. Is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. At the time, you believed that was you, did you not?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You truly believed that that was Momir Nikolic in looking at that
10 particular picture?
11 A. Yes, I did believe that.
12 Q. And that -- I take it, then, that you must have been at Sandici at
13 the time when you are purportedly being depicted in this particular
15 A. No, Mr. Karnavas. I confessed that I was on that route twice on
16 the 13th. And regardless of remembering the details that took place when
17 I passed along that way, I quite simply was not able to exclude the
18 possibility of getting out of the vehicle at that point in time, that I
19 was photographed, and that I was actually there. So I was there on the
20 13th the first time, and a second time, and quite possibly I did step out
21 of the car and happen to find myself in that part of Sandici when somebody
22 took a photograph of me. So that's what I told the Prosecutor, and my
23 lawyers, too.
24 Now, afterwards, later on, my lawyers conducted an investigation
25 because they doubted whether it was actually me on the photograph. So an
1 investigation was conducted, and my lawyers at one point investigated this
2 matter of the photograph and uncovered the person who was actually on the
3 photograph. The photograph and person was taken in profile. We can take
4 a look at it together. He does resemble me in profile, because I had a
5 moustache during the war so we can take a look at the photograph all
6 together, because the person really does resemble me, so that's why I
7 thought and said that it was, in fact, me. And when we conducted this
8 investigation, we established, rather my lawyers established, that it was
9 somebody quite different, another man who was there. We have disclosed
10 and discovered his identity. He confessed that it was him. He said yes,
11 indeed it was, so this dispersed all doubts as to whether it was me on the
12 photograph or not.
13 Q. And it was your lawyers, according to you, who had the doubts, not
14 Momir Nikolic, and that is why they went and did the investigation. Is
15 that your testimony today?
16 A. No, I said that I had doubts, together with them. But that I did
17 not at any point in time exclude the possibility of it -- of I myself
18 having been in the area at that time.
19 Q. Okay. Now, let's get back to the Kravica warehouse. I'm still a
20 little confused. How is it that you thought that by admitting to
21 the -- to one of the most horrendous executions that had ever taken place
22 in this area, that that would help you with the Prosecution and with the
23 Trial Chamber in getting the kind of sentence that you're hoping and
24 praying for?
25 A. No, Mr. Karnavas. At the time, I did not -- my thinking process
1 wasn't the kind you've just described. I did mind, and I wanted the
2 agreement to be successful, to come about. I did not want to go to trial.
3 And in my assessment, it was my assessment that everything that took place
4 in Srebrenica, the crime that took place there, that nobody, including
5 myself, could avoid responsibility and their guilt. And that the
6 Prosecution has at its disposal documents which absolutely do indicate the
7 participation of my unit, the unit in which I was the chief of the
8 security intelligence organ. And on the basis of this overall weighing up
9 of the matter, I came to realise that the best solution for me personally
10 would be to enter into an agreement of this kind, to come before the Trial
11 Chamber, to confess my guilt, to testify about the crime. And in that
12 way, quite simply, to save myself, that is to say, not to have to go
13 through something that I already went through during the war. That on the
14 one side, and on the other, to help the Court to arrive at the truth as
15 far as that is possible. So those were the reasons that guided me. I
16 have no others.
17 Q. All right. Well, you were trying also to assist the Prosecution
18 in solving a piece of the puzzle. Who ordered the massacre? And if
19 Momir Nikolic could step up to the plate and take responsibility, in the
20 Prosecution's eyes, he would have solved at least one piece of the puzzle
21 that was still missing, and then you could get the sort of benefit that
22 you're hoping and praying for from this Trial Chamber.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, it's not a question. Ask your
24 question instead of statement.
25 Mr. McCloskey.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: I was just going to suggest that baseball is a
2 great game, but I'm not sure it's going to help this guy in answering the
4 JUDGE LIU: I think the previous question was very good, was very
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Mr. Nikolic, did you think that by admitting, falsely admitting,
8 to having ordered this execution, that you were solving a question mark in
9 the Prosecution's case as to who, in fact, had ordered that massacre? Is
10 that what you were trying to do when you made the admission?
11 A. All I can say, Mr. Karnavas, is that at that point in time I
12 really didn't think along those lines, as to whether I would solve
13 anything by that statement. I made that statement. I said that. And I
14 cannot now speculate with it as to what I had in mind, whether I would
15 solve anything or not. I really didn't think about that at all most
17 Q. But you picked that particular crime, not, say, Branjevo farm
18 where there was another execution. You picked that one. You selected
19 that particular atrocious incident in the history of mankind to accept
21 A. Mr. Karnavas, I didn't select that crime, nor did I select it. We
22 started discussing it simply. And that is the only crime as far as I know
23 of that kind in view of the way in which it was committed. That is, in
24 Kravica. So my answer is I didn't select that crime. We discussed it.
25 And I said what I said.
1 Q. And in discussing it, was not the Prosecutor implying through his
2 questions - I wasn't there, I don't have a tape recorder; wish I
3 did - but was he not implying that perhaps Momir Nikolic, chief of
4 intelligence and security of the Bratunac Brigade, was involved,
5 instrumental in that particular massacre as well as in Sandici?
6 A. No, Mr. Karnavas. The Prosecutor did not in any way suggest or
7 require me to say that. Through a very correct conversation, we reached
8 that issue. And as I have already explained to you, why and for what
9 reasons I said what I said.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: I know, Your Honour, we're ready for a break, but I
11 would like to go for a few more moments.
12 Q. I'm not insinuating that he tried to get you to say anything wrong
13 but I am ...
14 JUDGE LIU: Mr. McCloskey.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's another statement, and of course, it was
16 exactly what he was doing.
17 JUDGE LIU: But, Mr. McCloskey, you have to understand that
18 Defence counsel has the right to ask any questions that are in the
19 interests of his client. I think this is a particular case.
20 MR. KARNAVAS:
21 Q. In the questioning by Mr. McCloskey, did it appear to you that
22 Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Bursik thought, suspected that Momir Nikolic was
23 involved in Kravica?
24 A. I really cannot claim anything with that respect, that is, whether
25 Mr. McCloskey or Mr. Bursik thought that, what their assessment was. I
1 really don't know what Mr. McCloskey thought about it, and I don't know
2 what Mr. Bursik thought about it.
3 Q. But the conversation was about Kravica, was it not?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did you raise it? Did you say: "Now, Mr. McCloskey, let's get
6 into Kravica," or was it Mr. McCloskey directing the line of questioning,
7 telling you that he wished to discuss this particular massacre with you?
8 Who was leading whom?
9 A. Of course, Mr. Karnavas, it was the Prosecutor who was leading the
10 conversation, and I was answering questions. And the question of Kravica
11 came up as a normal question in the chronology of events on the 13th, that
12 is, when I returned from Konjevic Polje. So it was nothing outside the
13 chronology of the questions put by Mr. McCloskey.
14 Q. And you knew at the time that the questions were being posed, that
15 he, Mr. McCloskey, was interested in solving that mystery; that is, who
16 ordered, who specifically ordered, the massacre in Kravica.
17 A. I can only assume so, that the Prosecutor was interested in all
18 the details and all the facts and everything. That could be said with
19 reference to all the crimes, including the crime in Kravica.
20 Q. Well, one last -- if we could go back to the information report,
21 the one that we discussed earlier.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: And for the record, we're discussing D29/1 for
23 identification purposes.
24 Q. It's on page 8 on the English version. And it's the seventh
25 paragraph from the top down. So it would have been four paragraphs down
1 from the one where we earlier discussed. And if I could just help you out
2 here, it begins with saying: "Nikolic states that he was at the Kravica
3 warehouse on the 13th July (later retracted this) and ordered the
4 execution there." If you could find that paragraph.
5 A. Yes, I've found it. I've found it.
6 Q. All right. And then you go on -- at least, according to
7 Mr. Bursik. He says that you said: "He said that Borovcanin arrived
8 whilst the execution was underway, and they spoke about what they should
9 do about the bodies of those executed." Right? That's what it says?
10 A. That's what it says.
11 Q. Okay, now --
12 A. That is what it says. But that is not what I said with regard to
13 Borovcanin. I said --
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may interrupt --
15 A. -- Certain things about Borovcanin, but --
16 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, this is a very important piece of the
17 evidence. We would like to know the details. So you have to allow the
18 witness to give some explanations.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: I totally agree, Your Honour. And I would be more
20 than happy to have him give an explanation, but after at least he answers
21 my question. But I agree. I will -- we'll go this route. We'll go this
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
24 Yes, Mr. Nikolic, you may proceed.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. At the time I was
1 speaking about the -- Kravica in general, I said that I had information.
2 I didn't put it the way it is stated here, that Mr. Borovcanin was there
3 during the execution, that he knew about everything that was going on. I
4 spoke about the reasons for the execution, why it took place, and the
5 other details that I learned about after everything that had happened. So
6 the way it is written here is not correct.
7 MR. KARNAVAS:
8 Q. Okay.
9 A. And it goes on to say that actually with regard to the incident,
10 the guard that had been killed and so on. I did speak about that. Now,
11 what Mr. Bursik put down, I really don't know. I don't know how he
12 understood what I was saying.
13 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Nikolic, if the Defence counsel needs more
14 information, he will ask questions to you.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well.
16 MR. KARNAVAS:
17 Q. Okay, so Mr. Nikolic, what you're saying here today right now is
18 that this paragraph, as it is written, is incorrect at best, false at
20 A. No, I didn't say that. I just said that it is not written in the
21 way I said it in its entirety.
22 Q. Okay. Well, let me read the second sentence here. It says: "He
23 said that Borovcanin arrived whilst the execution was underway, and they
24 spoke about what they should do about the bodies of those executed." Now,
25 you claim today, and we have no reason to know, but you claim today that
1 that is not what you said in the presence of Mr. McCloskey and your
2 lawyers. Is that correct? You didn't say this?
3 A. With regard to the execution and the discussion about the bodies
4 of those executed, I think that we didn't talk along those lines. But
5 rather, I said that I had knowledge as to what had happened with the
6 bodies of the people who were executed, and that Ljubisa Borovcanin was
7 included and that he knew what was happening in that respect.
8 Q. All right. So you had knowledge, you had obtained knowledge
9 either beforehand or through the documents provided to you that Borovcanin
10 was there. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And then you put that knowledge that you had into your little fact
13 pattern when you -- into the facts that you were outlining as far as how
14 you were there in Kravica ordering the executions. Would that be correct?
15 A. Yes. I said that I, too, though I wasn't involved there, that I
16 was involved in that part of the events in Kravica.
17 Q. Okay. And of course, that was false.
18 A. I said that I wasn't in Kravica. After having admitted the error,
19 I said that I was never in Kravica, and that is true.
20 Q. But you included Borovcanin into your story, into your falsehood,
21 in order to make your falsehood or your story convincing enough to the
22 Prosecution so that he could buy it. Right?
23 A. I did not include Borovcanin in the story in the way it is written
24 here. I knew how Borovcanin was involved in this.
25 Q. But you were never present in Kravica, according to your
2 A. According to my testimony, I was not in Kravica during the
3 execution of this crime.
4 Q. Okay. And then you state that Borovcanin did nothing to prevent
5 the shooting that you had ordered. Right?
6 A. Yes, I said that. The question was whether I did anything, having
7 admitted that I had ordered it, I said -- then the question was with
8 regard to Borovcanin, and I said that I did nothing.
9 Q. Okay. Well, but you're saying that he did nothing. "Borovcanin
10 did nothing to stop the shooting while he was there." You've included him
11 into your story through this line, that he was there with you, and he did
12 nothing to stop the execution. Right?
13 A. Mr. Karnavas, I knew that Borovcanin was not there, so I knew
14 that. And apart from my involvement, the rest is true. He was there, and
15 he did nothing. And I know that on the basis of information I collected
16 later, after the execution. So I know that he did nothing to stop it.
17 Q. Okay. So you collected information, and you read information.
18 And based on that information, you came up with a story that you could
19 sell to the Prosecution. Isn't that correct?
20 A. I've already told you that I included myself, or rather I admitted
21 to participating over there, but that most of what is there is correct,
22 and it did take place according to my information. So my error and what
23 is not correct is my participation in all that.
24 Q. All right. Now, you said you collected information. You did an
25 investigation on Kravica?
1 A. No. I am not an authorised person for any kind of investigation.
2 I just collected information about what was happening -- what happened in
4 Q. Okay. Now, it goes on to say that "During the time, women and
5 children were passing by in buses." Does it not say that, the last
7 A. Yes, that, too--
8 Q. That's a fact?
9 A. Is something that is correct, and it is true that according to my
10 knowledge, when this crime was committed, buses were passing along that
12 Q. So in concocting, in creating, in formulating, in designing a
13 falsehood, you, Momir Nikolic, took some information which you knew to be
14 true or factual, believable, provable, and incorporated that information
15 into your -- into the falsehood in order to give your story more
17 A. No, Mr. Karnavas. I included myself in all this for the reasons
18 that I have already explained. And everything else that is written here,
19 among other things, are things that happened about which I had information
20 that they had happened. I had confirmation that they had happened on that
21 day or those days.
22 Q. And the falsehood, the false information that was contained in the
23 story was about yourself. Right?
24 A. The false part of the statement relates to my participation in
25 that operation.
1 Q. Right.
2 A. The rest, regarding the participation of Borovcanin and the other
3 details linked to the -- how the murder came about, the information about
4 the incident, I knew about that, and that information is quite correct.
5 Q. Okay. But getting back to what I said, the false information in
6 this story relates to Nikolic, and Nikolic stood to gain the most from the
7 story that Nikolic himself had created and served to the Prosecutor.
8 A. I did not, Mr. Karnavas, at that point in time think along those
9 lines, as to what I would gain and what I would lose. Just then I had
10 decided, since the Prosecution and I were in an advanced stage, and since
11 I had conveyed to the Prosecution everything that I had done and I had
12 been involved in, I simply felt that the agreement should be signed with
13 the Prosecution, and that that agreement should be reached, that I should
14 confess my guilt and plead guilty. And within that framework, I made this
15 error, and that is all I can say now.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, first I want to thank everyone here
17 for going beyond the normal breaking period. And I think this would be a
18 good time to break.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will resume at 10 minutes to 1.00.
20 --- Recess taken at 12.22 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 12.52 p.m.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Before we leave Tab B, I'd like to recall your attention,
25 Mr. Nikolic, to what you stated back on Friday, 19 September 2003,
1 transcript page 1595. You stated, and I'm quoting from lines 9 through to
2 11: "Once the agreement with the Prosecution had already advanced, I came
3 to the decision that there would be no agreement, and I really wanted to
4 obtain an agreement."
5 Do you recall making that statement on Friday in this courtroom?
6 That was Friday, the 19th, September 19th.
7 A. I remember, Mr. Karnavas, what I said on Friday. And what I said
8 was that when conversations between me and the Prosecution were in an
9 advanced stage, I simply made an assessment. My personal assessment was
10 that the agreement could be called in question. And I feared that that
11 might happen because I had already told the Prosecutor and those present
12 most of what -- I had arguments to offer, and I believed that an agreement
13 should be reached and that at that point in time, that was the best
14 solution for me, and that is why I made that decision.
15 Q. So you acknowledge today stating back on Friday, the 19th
16 September 2003, as it states here on page 1595, on line 10: "I came to
17 the decision that there would be no agreement, and I really wanted to
18 obtain an agreement." You recall saying that?
19 A. I'm not quite sure. Really, I can't remember exactly each and
20 every sentence. But if that is what it says in the transcript, then that
21 is what I said.
22 Q. All right. And just for the record, I also believe a line of
23 answers in this respect were noted today, and I'm told as on page 48.12,
24 and it was approximately 11:40:19.
25 Now, may I ask, Mr. Nikolic, what was it that led you into
1 believing, into having these feelings, that perhaps an agreement would not
2 be reached?
3 A. Just then, I really didn't make any analyses or calculations as to
4 why the agreement may not be reached. That was just the impression I had
5 just then at that point in time. Those were the feelings I had. And this
6 was a terrible period for me. I don't even wish to remember it, never
7 mind talk about it. And I was admitting to something that really is hard.
8 It was the crime that happened in Srebrenica. It is not easy to talk
9 about it, nor was it easy to confess to one's involvement in such a crime.
10 And all these circumstances created the impression in my mind that there
11 could be some misunderstanding. And to be quite frank, I was convinced
12 that most of what I had been saying to the Prosecution, that the
13 Prosecution already has the facts and circumstances about all that. And
14 all these were factors that prompted me to come to the conclusion that all
15 this may not be sufficient for an agreement. It was along those lines
16 that my thoughts went at the time.
17 Q. All right. You thought the Prosecutor had all the facts that you
18 could give him, and you needed to give him something that he did not have,
19 something that you could come up with to satisfy his needs and, of course,
20 your needs as well. Right?
21 A. Not quite, Mr. Karnavas. I simply at the time made such a
22 decision. And all this -- these circumstances and the set of
23 circumstances surrounding the crime, the confession, my role, and
24 everything that happened in Srebrenica and around Srebrenica were always
25 present in my mind, and I simply did not wish to have to go through that
1 process again, not to have to go on trial. I wanted to admit my guilt,
2 and I simply wanted to cooperate with the Prosecution. That was my
4 And I wish to tell Their Honours and to admit here that it is
5 quite normal that I expected because I would come out and confess to all
6 that, that I would make it easier for myself, the Prosecution, and the
8 Q. Well, it wasn't that you just wanted to get it over with, you also
9 expected to benefit. You wanted to limit your time, imprisonment, to 20
10 years. Right? That was part of the arrangement? Quid pro quo.
11 A. Mr. Karnavas, my lawyers set before me all the ways and means and
12 all the rights that I enjoy before this Tribunal. They told me everything
13 that I could expect, in all the different variations, all the different
14 possibilities, and what would happen if I went to trial, what would happen
15 if I pleaded guilty, and so on. So they explained all the different ways
16 in which I could get through this process. And it was I who decided.
17 They didn't wield any influence on my final decision. I was the one who
18 made the final decision, and I decided to enter into this agreement and to
19 act in the way I have acted. So nobody else wielded any essential
20 influence on me except for the fact that my lawyers did explain to me all
21 the different legal options before this Tribunal.
22 Q. Right.
23 A. And vis-a-vis this Tribunal.
24 Q. And one of the things that you wanted to enjoy was the right or I
25 guess we would call it privilege to walk the earth a free person, spend
1 time with your family, and not to have somebody tell you when you will
2 wake up, what you will eat, when you will have your one-hour walk in a
3 confined, caged -- in a prison setting. Right? Am I not correct?
4 A. Mr. Karnavas, you are quite right in saying that everybody, all
5 people, including myself, would like all this to last as short as time as
6 possible. But what I also want to tell you is that regardless of the fact
7 that I do wish to get out of here as soon as possible, to be reunited with
8 my family, in this process, in this trial, I have conjured up the strength
9 to -- and plucked up the courage to acknowledge and admit why I'm here,
10 which means that I decided to take the hard road. I have decided to
11 acknowledge and confess to my mistake, to confess to the crime. And that
12 I think that I am the first officer from the Army of Republika Srpska who
13 was a participant and yet admits to everything, confesses to all the
14 things that he took part in. And quite simply, in admitting to my guilt
15 and in admitting my participation, in confessing to that, I am fully
16 conscious of the fact that I will pay and be punished for my mistake. And
17 I don't see anything inhuman in that, the fact that I have accepted to
18 talk about this, to testify about it.
19 And let me just also tell you, Mr. Karnavas, this: In this
20 process, in this trial, I am not testifying against anybody. I am
21 testifying about the events that took place in Srebrenica. I am
22 testifying about my participation in them. And I am not sparing anybody
23 here, and not myself either. So that was the final decision, and that was
24 what made me make it and decide to testify here.
25 Q. And when you thought there would be no deal, because the
1 Prosecution had all the facts that you could give him, you needed to give
2 him some more facts to sweeten the deal so that he would go ahead and make
3 the arrangements that have been made here today. And that's why you
4 provided this story, this falsehood, about Kravica. Right?
5 A. Mr. Karnavas, I've already said several times that it was not the
6 Prosecution who insisted upon this. The Prosecution did not ask that of
7 me. The Prosecution did not exert any influence on me so that I should
8 say that. My lawyers, likewise, did nothing along those lines to make me
9 make the decision I made. So what I did is my own mistake. I have
10 admitted it here, confessed to it. And there's nothing more I can say.
11 Q. In an earlier question, I asked you whether you conducted an
12 investigation with respect to Kravica. And I believe you indicated that
13 you were not an authorised person to conduct such an investigation. Did I
14 hear that answer correctly?
15 A. You heard it correctly. You heard my answer correctly, that the
16 intelligence and security organ in the Light Infantry Brigade was not the
17 officially authorised person or body to conduct any kind of investigation
18 because investigations of that kind can only be carried out by officially
19 authorised persons, which I was not. All I could do was gather
20 information about it all, and that's what I did. I gathered information
21 about that particular case, and all other cases which occurred during the
22 war and were of interest or which came under the realm of my field of
23 work. So I was not the officially authorised person.
24 And let me make this clearer: Officially authorised persons were
25 the chiefs of security, for example, in infantry brigades and higher
1 units. I, myself, in the intelligence field conducted command and staff
2 security which you could see from the guidelines and instructions we had
3 here. So that I didn't conduct an investigation, I didn't have the power
4 to do so, the authority to do so.
5 Q. If we could just for one last time hopefully go to what has been
6 marked as P84 for identification purposes. I'm referring to the rules of
7 service of security organs. And sir, if you could look at paragraph or
8 article, I guess it would be, 43, and then also read 51 and 52.
9 A. Just a moment, Mr. Karnavas. You said paragraph 43. And which
11 Q. And then paragraph numbered 51 and 52.
12 A. Very well. I have had a look at it.
13 Q. And on 43, you went through Article number 43 or paragraph number
14 43, it states: "In the case of crimes that are within the competence of
15 military courts and are prosecuted ex officio under the conditions
16 prescribed by the law that regulates criminal procedure authorised
17 officers of security organs may arrest a person and deliver him without
18 delay to an investigative judge or military court or the nearest military
19 unit or military institution." Is that what paragraph or Article 43
21 A. Yes, that's what it states.
22 Q. Did you have the authority to arrest someone and deliver him -- as
23 it stated in here, to the investigative judge of a military court?
24 A. No, Mr. Karnavas. I've already explained that in my response a
25 moment ago. The right to take into custody or to arrest anybody is a
1 right that authorised organs of security have, and the first level where
2 this authorised organ of security exists is the security organ in the
3 infantry brigade. And it is these organs as opposed to security
4 intelligence organs that have official ID cards and badges. And this
5 distinguishes them from the security intelligence organises in the light
6 infantry brigades. I was not an official, authorised person bearing these
7 ID cards.
8 Q. Okay.
9 A. Or badges. But I was an individual who was able to gather
10 information about crimes perpetrated that come under the jurisdiction of
11 the military courts and which are being prosecuted ex officio and which
12 relate to the theft of weapons, the destruction of ammunition, the
13 destruction of mines and explosives. So that is the realm and area in
14 which it was my task to gather information and intelligence and to send
15 them to the prosecution organs.
16 Q. Mr. Nikolic, are you suggesting here that you could not use the
17 military police to arrest someone, for instance, for not reporting to
18 duty, leaving his post? Is that what you're suggesting here today? You
19 did not have that authority? Yes or no.
20 A. No, that's not what I'm saying. But I have to say -- actually I
21 have to give you an explanation because what I've said is not sufficient.
22 I don't say that I did not have the authority to monitor the work of the
23 military police and its services when arrests were being made of recruits
24 or conscripts that had fled from the units. Had I had the duty to monitor
25 the execution of those tasks, and those tasks are defined and orders
1 issued by the brigade commander, whereas the leader, the commander of the
2 military police following instructions and the rules of the military
3 police is the authorised individual who does have the right to file a
4 criminal report.
5 So there are two cases -- there are two cases in which the
6 commander of the military police can file a criminal report. The first
7 case is having received permission from the commanding officer of the
8 unit. And the other instance is when this is required, when it's an
9 urgent case, and when criminal reports are required. But after a report
10 of that kind is filed, he must inform the commander of his unit, the unit
11 of which he is a member.
12 Q. Very well. Go to Article 51, and then 52. Just read them.
13 A. I have read it, Mr. Karnavas.
14 Q. And I take it it's your testimony after having read those that you
15 still had no authority to investigate the crime such as the Kravica
16 massacre to which you have falsely, at least at one point, admitted to
18 A. Mr. Karnavas, I told you quite specifically what my duties were
19 because you asked me about the article defining crimes which came under
20 the jurisdiction of military courts and which are prosecuted ex officio.
21 That's what you asked me a moment ago. And this particular article, or
22 rather paragraph 51, I can comment on it, but it would boil down to the
23 answer I gave to your previous question.
24 Q. That you had no authority to initiate an investigation of a
25 massacre such as Kravica.
1 A. I did not have the authority to initiate an investigation, but I
2 was duty-bound and did have the authority to gather information and data
3 about what had happened in Kravica. And once I had done that, I was to
4 inform the corresponding organ in the Bratunac Brigade who would then
5 process this information and file a criminal report. And if Their Honours
6 would allow me, may I say that I have here the reports filed, dated 1992
7 to 1995. And from those documents, you can see who files a criminal
8 report, who signs these criminal reports and so on. So I do have the
9 criminal reports with me, not all of them, of course, but a sufficient
10 number for you to be able to see this chain and how the links in the chain
11 go down to the actual filing of a report and so on, up to 1995.
12 Q. Needless to say, can we conclude that you did not exercise your
13 authority to gather the information and then pass it on to the higher
14 authorities in order for something to be done with respect to Kravica?
15 A. What I want to say is this: I had information as to what had
16 happened at Kravica. That same information was something that the organs
17 dealing with investigations also had, and the organs who filed criminal
18 reports. So this same information was something that the higher organs
19 had, the superior authority also dealing in affairs of this kind. And
20 they are officially authorised persons, which I was not. That's what I
21 want to say.
22 Q. So the answer to my question is no.
23 A. No, it's not, Mr. Karnavas.
24 Q. Very well.
25 A. The answer to your question is that I used and did what I was
1 authorised to do. What you said, I was not authorised to do and therefore
2 didn't do those things.
3 Q. Very well. We'll move on.
4 I would like to now show you what will be marked as D36/1 for
5 identification purposes. I have the copies for the Chamber myself. The
6 front page is in English, the second page is in Srpski or B/C/S.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: For the record it has a number on top. 0308284 --
8 03082452, a document we received from the Office of the Prosecution.
9 Q. If you could look at the second page, and please read it.
10 A. I've read it, Mr. Karnavas.
11 Q. This was provided --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 MR. KARNAVAS:
14 Q. This was provided to us by the Office of the Prosecution. I can
15 only assume that your lawyers also received it. Do you know whether they
16 shared this information with you, this information?
17 A. Yes, yes, I had this information among the documents that my
18 lawyers gave me.
19 Q. And did you go over this document with your lawyers, if you
20 recall, prior to, during, or after your numerous negotiating sessions that
21 you were holding with the Prosecution?
22 A. I don't know when we actually went over this document. All I can
23 say is that I and my lawyers did take a look at this document together,
24 that subsequently I also had a look at it in the Detention Unit, in my
25 room there. I can't say, I can't give you an exact answer as to when I
1 actually received this document. And whether it was before, I really
2 don't know.
3 Q. Okay. And from this document, do you recognise the name, at
4 least, at the bottom of the page?
5 A. Yes, if you mean what's written down in handwriting, D. Vasic is
6 the signature.
7 Q. And who is Mr. Vasic?
8 A. Dragomir Vasic is the head of the centre of the services of
10 Q. Centre of which services? Maybe there was something lost in the
12 A. I think it was the centre of the services of public security or
13 the security services. I don't know what the actual heading was. But I
14 know it was a centre of MUP in Zvornik.
15 Q. All right. And at the top of the page, on the first line, it
16 refers to a Tomo Kovac. Have you ever come across that name before?
17 A. Yes, I have heard of this name, Tomo Kovac.
18 Q. And who is Mr. Tomo Kovac?
19 A. Tomo Kovac was one of the senior officers in MUP. Now, whether at
20 that point in time he was the acting minister or the minister, I really
21 can't say. But I do know that he was from the MUP, Ministry of the
23 Q. All right. Now, having read this document prior to coming here
24 today, and then reading it again today, does this document not refer to
25 the incident in Kravica?
1 A. Well, this document refers to a series of incidents from the
2 arrest of individuals, and then others, too. So there are a series of
3 incidents which the document describes. Among others, it does refer to
5 Q. Right. Okay. Well, let's focus on Kravica, shall we? Now, would
6 it be fair to say that what is being described in this document is rather
7 different than what you have described to us during your direct
8 examination? Is that not a fact?
9 A. No, it's not. I did not describe the incident as it took place.
10 That means that I mentioned as far as I remember saying -- I mentioned
11 saying that I knew the incident had taken place and that there was a
12 soldier or officer involved with the seizing of a rifle and the killing of
13 a member of the MUP. And I also said that as far as I knew, that was the
14 main reason for which the mass killing in Oka [phoen] took place. That's
15 roughly what I said.
16 Q. Does it not also state -- does it not state in this particular
17 document that it was General Mladic who, after receiving a message from
18 the field concerning an incident in Kravica, ordered that all POWs be
19 liquidated? Is that not what this document states?
20 A. That is what it says, Mr. Karnavas. But before I read this
21 document, never before did I ever hear of anything like this. So that
22 means I don't know what was going on in Vlasenica, what orders were
23 issued, who they were issued to, who received the information. I really
24 know nothing about that, any of that, because that was going on 50
25 kilometres away from Bratunac, and I didn't know about what was going on
2 Q. So I take it you can neither nor deny the accuracy of what is
3 contained in this particular document which we received from the
4 Prosecution that was addressed to them from Mr. Vasic.
5 A. I cannot confirm anything from this document. I can't confirm it
6 or deny it. It's a document. I have nothing here. I don't know who
7 wrote it, where it came from, who it was addressed to, who was informed.
8 I have nothing, no grounds for me to be able to comment along those lines.
9 So I don't know. I don't know who sent it. Actually, I don't know
10 anything about it. It's a piece of paper without a heading, without
11 anything else. It is signed by hand at the bottom. But other than that,
12 I can't really say anything about it. I'm don't know the details. I'm
13 not quite clear on the specifics.
14 Q. Very well. We'll move on.
15 Now, going back to Friday, 19th September 2003, back again to page
16 1595, you were asked a question, and this is on line 22: "Do you
17 understand today and throughout the rest of your testimony how critically
18 important it is for you to tell the whole truth?" Do you recall being
19 asked that question?
20 A. Which question, Mr. Karnavas?
21 Q. The question that was posed to you by the Prosecutor. "Do you
22 understand today and throughout the rest of your testimony how critically
23 important it is for you to tell the whole truth?"
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And in fact, that had been part of the agreement that you had
1 been -- that you had reached with the Prosecutor earlier, that you would
2 testify truthfully and tell the whole truth; not just some of it, but the
3 whole truth.
4 A. Mr. Karnavas, I said I told the truth to the best of my
5 recollection. And I did so regarding the points I was asked about by the
6 Prosecutor and also in response to questions put by you over the past
7 three days.
8 Q. Right. Now, on page 1598, that would be about three pages later,
9 you're being asked about your background, and you indicated on page
10 10 -- I mean, on line 10: "And then after a year at the assembly, I was
11 again appointed as director of the Kartonaza Bratunac company. I remained
12 there until privatisation occurred. And after the privatisation had been
13 carried out, I was unemployed again, and that was the period during which
14 I was arrested."
15 I've just read from lines 10 to line 14 of the transcript from
16 September 19, 2003. Mr. Nikolic, do you recall making that statement?
17 A. Yes. I spoke about my CV. And among other things, I mentioned
18 that as well. And maybe I forgot to mention something, and that is that I
19 was the old director of Kartonaza, and that after privatisation, I
20 remained, I really don't know for how long, but I remained there and was
21 elected by the owner to be the new director of Kartonaza. And holding
22 that position of director of the new company which was no longer called
23 Kartonaza, I stayed in that position for three or four months. I don't
24 know exactly. If you have the figures, please remind me.
25 Q. So now you supplemented your answer. Do you wish to supplement
1 anything more regarding that?
2 A. Regarding Kartonaza? There are many things that I could say, but
3 will you please ask me what you're interested in.
4 Q. Well, what I'm interested to know is why you have failed to inform
5 us that you were fired, you were fired, not that after privatisation, you
6 became unemployed. But you were fired from your position. Is that not a
8 A. No, that is absolutely not true. Not a single word of what you
9 said is right. And if Their Honours allow it, I will give you a complete
10 answer to this question as to why I left Kartonaza.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may conduct a correct examination, Your
12 Honour, I do have some documents that I wish to put forward to the
13 witness. And in doing so, he can give his explanation.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: If I can show you what has been marked for
16 identification purposes as D26/1.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could I please get a better
18 photocopy because I really can't see anything on this one. I can't read
20 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may confer with my colleague for one second,
21 Your Honour.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can now. I'm sorry, I can
23 read everything I have now.
24 MR. KARNAVAS:
25 Q. Now, if you could please look at it, at the top of the page, it
1 designates "SM-PRO." And I do have the documents. We'll go through them.
2 But since we're focussing on this particular document, is it fair to say
3 that that was the new name of Kartonaza when it went from state ownership
4 to private ownership?
5 A. Yes. One could say that.
6 Q. Okay. And it's Bratunac, December 29, 2000. Do you see that?
7 That was the date.
8 A. Yes, I see it.
9 Q. Okay. And then it states that this is a decision, does it not?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. At the bottom of the page, there seems to be a signature. We
12 can't read the signature, but I believe it is signed by an Alempic, J.,
13 with the SM-PRO seal affixed to it. Do you see that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. I just want to focus you on the part which says "explanation."
16 "Starting with November 25, 2000, the employee from the pronouncement of
17 this decision assigned to the position of the manager of the enterprise
18 stopped appearing at his place of employment. As it is obvious that the
19 aforementioned person no longer wishes to be employed with the employer,
20 and as the requirements have been met to apply provisions of Article 91,
21 item 8, the employer decided as in the pronouncement of the decision."
22 Do you read that explanation?
23 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
24 Q. And at the top of the decision, it denotes that you cease to be an
25 employee with this enterprise, does it not?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, I want to show you some other documents with respect to
3 Kartonaza when it was still called that.
4 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, would you please tell us the source of
5 this document.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: The source. We went -- I had my investigator, Your
7 Honour, collect all of these documents in the process of investigation.
8 Everything was done by -- in accordance with the appropriate manner, and I
9 have a letter here dated to me. I made a request, formal request in
10 writing. And based on that request, these documents were provided to us.
11 And if the Court wishes something more formal from -- a more formal
12 source, we can provide that as well.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
14 MR. KARNAVAS:
15 Q. Okay. Now, if I could show you what has been marked D27/1 for
16 identification purposes. And along with that, why don't you look
17 at -- can we give Mr. Nikolic also D23, D24, and D25.
18 So 27, 23, 24, 25, and I truly apologise for not having the
19 numbering in a better system. I take full responsibility for that.
20 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, it seems to me that you could not finish
21 the cross-examination before the time. So could we continue in the
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Absolutely, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE LIU: Because, you know, we have just been furnished with so
25 many documents at this moment.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: I just lost track of time, Your Honour. But
3 JUDGE LIU: We have to stop on time during this period because of
4 the lunch break.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay, all right. I was under the wrong assumption,
6 Your Honour, that we would keep going. But very well, this would be a
7 very good time.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Perhaps if the witness could be provided with
10 these documents, he could look at them so we could save some time in the
11 afternoon because it looks like there's a lot of them.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, absolutely. We'll provide him with all the
13 documents. Thank you, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
15 Well, so we'll resume at 3.00 this afternoon.
16 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.43 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 3.05 p.m.
18 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, you have something to address to the
20 MR. KARNAVAS: I do, Your Honour. While we were on our lunch
21 break, I received a fax, two faxes, in fact, from my investigator Risto
22 Lugonic. Last night, yesterday afternoon, I asked him to go down to
23 Bratunac and try to locate and meet with one particular witness, or an
24 individual that has been named by Mr. Nikolic. The individual's name is
25 Mile Petrovic. This is a gentleman that Mr. Nikolic asserts has -- was
1 the one that picked up six Muslims and then executed them, and then came
2 back and said: "Boss, I took revenge for my brother." I think the Court
3 may recall that testimony.
4 I had met the gentleman on a prior occasion with my investigator
5 and with Ms. Tomanovic, so he had flatly denied that. So last night, I
6 thought in light of the testimony, that we would contact him and ask if he
7 would provide us with a -- that he would be interviewed by my
8 investigator, be posed certain questions, and to see whether he would be
9 willing to come to The Hague and testify. Through my investigator, we had
10 learned -- we learned that on 25th of August, 2003, which would have been
11 subsequent to the change of plea hearing when it was live and covered
12 throughout Bosnia, especially on the television station in the Federation,
13 the statement of facts became known. And as a result of that, this
14 particular gentleman was taken to the police station of Bratunac, and he
15 provided a statement. And with me, I have the minutes from the statements
16 of -- of the questioning process that took place on the 25th of August,
18 So I have two documents: One, I have a letter from my
19 investigator dated today, faxed today. And it indicates that it was
20 received at 12.26 p.m. It indicates that, one, that the individual flatly
21 denies the allegations. Secondly, that the gentleman was approached by
22 the Defence team of Mr. Nikolic and was requested to provide a statement
23 that might be helpful to Mr. Nikolic. This particular witness declined,
24 unable to providing anything concretely that would be of assistance to
25 Mr. Nikolic. And there is a paragraph on page 3 where the witness
1 believes that because of his refusal to provide this statement, that
2 perhaps that may be one of the reasons, the motives, for Mr. Nikolic now
3 claiming that six individuals were picked up of which he killed, and then
4 later on he came back and said: "Boss, I took revenge."
5 He does acknowledge being in the APC, although slight -- there's a
6 difference in the way he describes it. And also indicates that two
7 Muslims were picked up, one of which was physically abused by none other
8 than Momir Nikolic. So in light of this, I should also note that
9 recently, within the last day or so, the individual that has been
10 assisting us in translating abruptly tendered her resignation, probably
11 because of the amount of work that we have been -- and the deadlines
12 imposed on her. So we don't have the capabilities of translating this. I
13 do believe this is vital, that I need to confront this particular witness
14 because I would recall to the Court's attention the joint motion for
15 consideration of the amended plea agreement in which on paragraph 11,
16 which -- and this was agreed upon by all the parties, it indicates, and I
17 read: "It is understood and agreed by Momir Nikolic and the Prosecution
18 that all information and testimony provided by Mr. Nikolic must be
19 absolutely truthful. This means that Momir Nikolic must neither minimise
20 his own actions, nor fabricate," nor fabricate, and I underscore that,
21 "someone else's involvement."
22 It would appear to us from this at this stage that we have some
23 conflicting testimony. The individual is prepared to come to the Hague.
24 It states it quite clearly here. He is in Bratunac at this time. In
25 other words, he has been available to the Prosecution, had the Prosecution
1 wished to check out this information. I don't know, maybe they have,
2 maybe they haven't. In any event, I think in light of this, I would be
3 requesting the following: One, assistance from the Trial Chamber to see
4 whether either through the OTP or through the registry we could get these
5 documents translated on an expedited basis. I cannot do proper
6 cross-examination if I cannot, first of all, read it, and also I may need
7 to go back and forth with respect to the documents. I think it's vital
8 that I confront this witness and give him an opportunity to explain to the
9 Tribunal, to the Trial Chamber his version of the events, again, if
10 necessary, and perhaps to agree, deny, or whatever.
11 But I think it's very important that I lock this person into his
12 testimony, now that I have this information. And I think I'm duty-bound,
13 I'm duty-bound to ensure that Mr. Blagojevic gets a fair trial which would
14 include full rights under the Statute with respect to, I believe it's
15 Article 21 or 20 which talks about the right to confrontation. And I can
16 think of no, no greater importance at this stage in these proceedings than
17 to allow us the opportunity to confront this particular witness who has
18 had, might I add, and I'm sure I've said this in the past, plenty of
19 opportunities, days and days and days of proofing sessions, negotiations,
20 meetings with the Prosecution, and so on and so forth. So I think it is a
21 reasonable request. So I would ask that while we proceed this afternoon,
22 that whatever you could do, Mr. President and Your Honours, to assist us
23 in getting these documents translated so I can go into this.
24 While I'm at it, I can say with a great deal of certainty, and I'm
25 sad to say this, but I will say it anyway, but there's no way humanly
1 possible that I can finish my cross-examination today. It is humanly
2 impossible. I know it's a disappointment to the Trial Chamber. I know
3 there may be some contention as to whether I'm efficient or nonefficient.
4 God knows I'm trying every possible style of cross-examination I can think
5 of. But I would venture to say a full day tomorrow, a full day tomorrow,
6 will absolutely be necessary. And I don't want to guarantee that I will
7 be finished. But that's the matter I wish to bring to the Court's
8 attention. Thank you.
9 JUDGE LIU: Let me turn to the Prosecution to see whether there's
10 any reactions from their side.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I at this point object to the use
12 of a document that has not been translated. In addition, a document from
13 a witness statement is -- information in it is fair game. And I think
14 counsel should be able to ask whatever questions he thinks are relevant
15 from the information in a document. However, the Republika Srpska
16 government has denied Srebrenica happened, has said in an official
17 document that the Muslims killed themselves. Almost to a man every
18 Republika Srpska soldier we have talked to has denied taking part in this
19 or that it occurred, so if there's one statement where a person denies
20 being involved in it, I think we need to be careful in making much of
21 these actual statements before they are translated.
22 But the information inside the statement, anything that
23 Mr. Karnavas has learned that is relevant, I think yes, he has a right to
24 ask and cross-examine the witness on that, and I don't have any problem on
25 that. I would like to see it come to an end. He has had lots of time to
1 cross-examine him. He is well over the time the Prosecution took, or
2 certainly will be by the end of the day. And -- but we remain flexible to
3 what the Court feels is the best way to go forward.
4 JUDGE LIU: Any response, Mr. Karnavas?
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I guess I do need to respond a little bit.
6 And I'm trying to exercise my breathing at this point because I think
7 remarks such as attacks on the Republika Srpska are unhelpful. And
8 Mr. McCloskey knows that there has been a change of government in the
9 Republika Srpska. And this year, in particular, during the anniversary,
10 they went over there. So I think it's unhelpful, and he's on record
11 making comments such as the people in that part of the world do not act in
12 a civilised manner. I don't think --
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: I object to that. I'm sorry to engage in this,
14 but that's just such malarky.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: It's on the record, Your Honour. And I've stated
16 many times in my motions.
17 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, Mr. Karnavas.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well.
19 JUDGE LIU: I'm asking your comments about whether you could
20 introduce this document or not, only this issue, but not an overall
21 assessment of what the Prosecution said. I think we could make our own
23 MR. KARNAVAS: First of all, Your Honour, as far as I can
24 understand it, I can confront a witness with anything just about. Now,
25 whether I can actually have it admitted into evidence may be a different
1 matter. There, I need to lay a foundation. Now, I am prepared to have
2 the registry fly my investigator here. I am prepared to fly the gentleman
3 over here to lay a foundation if necessary. The gentleman has indicated
4 that he's prepared to testify in Court. Now, the Prosecutor has indicated
5 that we've gone well over our period of time. I think that's unhelpful as
6 well because I would say I'm being allotted half the time that he was
7 allotted to prepare this witness. So numbers don't get us anywhere.
8 But as far as me having the ability to show this to the witness
9 and to say: "What do you say now, now that you're being confronted with
10 this, do you agree or do you deny?" And remember, we are dealing with
11 someone who by profession, being in the intelligence, you know has certain
12 tools of the trade that are used in common day. And I think during our
13 cross-examination today, we learned a little bit about how one goes about
14 making up a story based on part fact and part fiction. So I think we need
15 to tie him down. And also, might I add -- I know he's the Prosecution's
16 witness, but we're dealing with a situation where 7.000, 6.000, 8.000
17 people were killed. This is the largest massacre, according to the
18 experts, in western Europe since World War II. I believe that this case
19 deserves some time. Also, I would like to point out that Mr. Blagojevic
20 is looking at a life sentence, and this gentleman wishes to enjoy a 20 --
21 15- to 20-year sentence. And Your Honours at the end of the day will need
22 to make an assessment as to how truthful this person was because the
23 option is for a life sentence. And just recently, in Indonesia, where a
24 cooperative witness in the Bali incident, with the Prosecutor arguing for
25 20, the Court stated no, life sentence. And there were 220 victims in
1 that case and here we're talking about, so...
2 And I'm not suggesting what sentence you give him. But what I am
3 saying is you're going to need to make an assessment as to how cooperative
4 he was, and I'm using the language that was prepared by none other
5 Mr. McCloskey, that he cannot fabricate anyone else's involvement.
6 And I think to make a statement that somebody actually killed six
7 people and to bring that into his story in order to benefit because he
8 thinks the Prosecutor needs more information than he already has, and that
9 we have that on the record, I think this is significant. And I'm
10 confident that this individual will come to The Hague, and we can make the
11 necessary arrangements with the Registrar. He can make the necessary
12 arrangements to take a deposition of the gentleman. I can work it either
13 way. But the gentleman is in Bratunac, he's ready, willing, and able, and
14 he has already spoken with the police. And I see no reason why these
15 documents cannot be used to confront Mr. Nikolic. And then subject to
16 connection, the Trial Chamber can make a decision whether this should come
17 in or whether this should be left out.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, after consultations with my colleagues, this
20 Bench arrived at the conclusion that we believe the Defence has the right
21 to confront the witness with any documents at their disposal. And since
22 this document arrived before he finished his cross-examination, it is
23 allowed to confront this witness with that document. We hereby order the
24 Registrar to translate those documents in an expeditious manner. And I
25 hope we could get it by tomorrow morning at 9.00. At the same time, we
1 ask Mr. Karnavas, the Defence team of Mr. Blagojevic, to furnish the B/C/S
2 version to the Prosecution and to other parties in these proceedings.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: We have, Your Honour, already.
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
5 The next matter is about the scheduling. Did I hear you that
6 you'll spend the whole day for tomorrow for your cross-examination?
7 Mr. Karnavas.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: I believe you heard me right, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, I'm very disappointed about that because in our
10 scheduling ruling the other day, we said that we will give you about 12 to
11 15 hours for your cross-examination, which is more than that of the
12 Prosecution. And in the last three days, we made an extra effort to sit
13 in the afternoon, which you got 90 minutes more than usual sittings. We
14 hope that you could wind up your cross-examination as soon as possible,
15 maybe in the first session of tomorrow.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, with the utmost respect, and I know
17 you're disappointed, and I would like to please everybody in the
18 courtroom, but I have a particular mandate, if it will. There's a great
19 deal of areas -- there are many areas that I have yet to go into. Some of
20 them are very quick. May I recall to everyone's attention that the
21 Prosecution did not go over the rules. Obviously, they're entitled to do
22 their direct however they wish. However, I believe that was necessary
23 groundwork in order to lay the foundation for what came thereafter. Now,
24 had the Prosecution decided, and again, it's optional on their part to do
25 that, I might not have spent as much time. And I'm trying to be as
1 efficient as the Court would like.
2 We also have a witness who at times gives lengthy explanations,
3 sometimes unnecessarily. And I'm put in a position where I either have to
4 appear argumentative with the witness and abusive, or sit there like a
5 potted plant, as I have been on many occasions, exercising my breathing
7 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, when we made that ruling the other day,
8 everything goes according to that schedule. We said that we are going to
9 start the next witness on Wednesday and spend two days on that witness.
10 And on Friday, we believed that the Jokic's team also need one day for the
11 preparation for their cross-examination. So everything should go
12 according to the schedule. And Mr. Stojanovic already indicated that they
13 need one sitting, that is, more or less 75 minutes, for their
14 cross-examination to this witness. I believe there's some redirect from
15 the Prosecution.
16 Mr. McCloskey, could you please indicate to me how much time do
17 you need for your redirect?
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't really -- I can't think of anything right
19 now, Your Honour. If you have any suggestions, I can help out the Court.
20 But I don't have anything right now.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, you mean that you are not going to redirect this
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Not yet, Your Honour. I don't see any point I
24 need to make, though if you need any help on that, I can go into it. But
25 we tried to make it as clear as we could.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Well, I'm sure that there's some questions
2 from the Bench because we have some questions concerning certain areas
3 which is not quite clear. We need some clarification from this witness.
4 And that will take some time. And we also have to admit bundles of the
5 documents. And by the way, I believe that the document list you prepared
6 is very good. It's easier to find those particular documents.
7 But anyway, you don't have the whole day tomorrow for your
8 cross-examination, Mr. Karnavas.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, if I could use the Prosecutor's time, Your
10 Honour, since they are willing to give it up. Then we should be able to
11 finish tomorrow. I will try, Your Honour. I will try. I'm really
12 working as hard as I can. I really am. But there are certain areas such
13 as this, getting the documents in, that are time-consuming. But let's see
14 how it goes.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, how about that you finish your cross-examination
16 by 1.45 tomorrow afternoon.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE LIU: And we leave some time for the cross-examination by
19 Mr. Jokic's team tomorrow afternoon, 3 to 4.30.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: That's fine, Your Honour. Well, it's not fine, but
21 I'll have to live with it.
22 JUDGE LIU: You have to say that's fine.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE LIU: We gave you, you know, an extra three sittings.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: It's fine.
1 JUDGE LIU: It's so decided.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE LIU: Could we have the witness now. Madam Usher.
4 Good afternoon, Witness.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
6 JUDGE LIU: I'm sorry for the late start, because we had some
7 procedural matters to discuss. Now, are you ready to proceed?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I am ready, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
10 Mr. Karnavas.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Mr. Nikolic, during the break, did you have an opportunity to look
13 at the documents that were provided to you?
14 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas, I did.
15 Q. Now, if I could turn your attention to what has been marked as
16 D27/1 for identification purposes, could you please look at it. If I may
17 help, it's the decision. It's a decision by the court, basic court. Do
18 you see it?
19 A. I have found it, yes.
20 Q. And in this decision, it notes that the enterprise formally known
21 as Kartonaza has been changed to SM-PRO Ltd. Is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you. If you look at what has been previously marked for
24 identification purposes as D23/1, and it says: "the Basic Court in
25 Bijeljina" at the top. And this talks about the change of ownership.
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 Q. And there's a list -- okay. And this basically demonstrates that
3 it went from a state ownership to a private ownership, does it not?
4 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
5 Q. Thank you. If we could look at what has been previously marked as
6 D24/1 for identification purposes, that is the document in your language
7 which would designate you as the company manager.
8 A. Yes, I see that.
9 Q. And again, this is dated 18 October 2000. And at the bottom, it
10 designates that it is a form, attachment 4 to the decision. Does it not
11 say that, sir?
12 A. Attachment number 4 of the decision.
13 Q. And the decision that we're talking about is the decision that I
14 first showed you which for identification purposes was D27/1, that
15 decision? You can see it's the same date?
16 A. Yes, we could say that. Yes.
17 Q. Okay. Then if we go to D25, what has been previously marked for
18 identification purposes as D25/1, that is the form that has both your
19 signature and your thumbprint or your fingerprint on it. Do you see that,
21 A. Yes, I see that.
22 Q. Okay. And is this not, sir, also part of the same package -- the
23 same attachment package to the decision of 18 October 2000?
24 A. Yes, it is.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 Now, I would like to draw your attention to what has been
2 previously marked as D20/1 for identification purposes. Could you please
3 look at it, sir. It's a package of documents, but I'm really interested
4 for the time being on the first one, two -- well, let's look at them all
5 first, and then we'll decide how we'll proceed. Just please look at them.
6 A. I took a look at it earlier on in the group of documents that you
7 gave me.
8 Q. Okay. And the first page of D20/1 is a letter addressed to me,
9 and it's from SM-PRO Bratunac. And in fact, it has a date on it of 15
10 September 2003, does it not?
11 A. Yes, there is a letter here, some kind of letter, with the
12 contents as they're put.
13 Q. And just for the record, let me read it, and then we'll discuss it
14 at some point.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: We don't have these documents that you're
18 referring to.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm shocked.
20 JUDGE LIU: D20. Do we have it to be put on the ELMO?
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, we could put it on the ELMO, and there must
22 have been a -- I know we're into Monday afternoon now, but... I apologise
23 to the Prosecution. I assumed they had a copy of it.
24 Q. Okay. Now this letter dated September 15th, 2003, states - it's
25 addressed to me - "we are informing you that we have inspected the
1 archives of ODP Kartonaza, currently called SM-PRO, as you requested, and
2 found invoice number 117/2000 issued by d.o.o. 'Amstel' Valjevo, on the
3 basis of which 7,520 KM," that's convertible marks, "were paid out in
4 ready money (cashier's order number 82, dated June 29, 2000), and invoice
5 number 84/2000 dated May 10, 2000, d.o.o. `Meteor' from Valjevo on the
6 basis of which 9,380 KM," convertible marks, "were paid out in ready money
7 (cashier's order number 81, dated June 30, 2000)." And then it has the
8 enclosure. Is that how your copy reads, sir?
9 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas, that's how it reads.
10 Q. Now, if we could go to the next document that is contained within
11 what has been previously marked as D20/1 for identification purposes, and
12 if you could please look at it, sir. And at the top of it, it says
13 "Enterprise Amstel" on the left side and "ODP Kartonaza" on the right
14 side. Do you see that, sir?
15 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas, I do.
16 Q. And it notes that there's a date, 12 June 2000, does it not?
17 A. That's right.
18 Q. And the invoice number is 117/2000. Is that correct?
19 A. Correct, Mr. Karnavas.
20 Q. And there is a signature, is there not, on this document, or
21 signatures, are there not?
22 A. There are several signatures, one, two, three, four, in fact.
23 Four signatures.
24 Q. Okay. Any of them yours, Mr. Nikolic?
25 A. That's right, Mr. Karnavas.
1 Q. Now, this document, as I understand it, it's a delivery of goods
2 from Amstel to Kartonaza. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes, you're right.
4 Q. Now, if we could look at the next document which is contained in
5 D20/1 for identification purposes, top side of it says "cashier's order."
6 And do you see that?
7 A. Yes, that is the cashier's order. Right.
8 Q. Dated June 29, 2000. Correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And it's invoice number 82. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And it's for the amount of 7.500, is it not?
13 A. 7.520 KM, convertible marks.
14 Q. And a convertible mark at that time was approximately the same
15 value as a Deutschemark. Would that be correct?
16 A. Yes. In Republika Srpska and Bosnia-Herzegovina, that was roughly
17 the exchange rate.
18 Q. Now, this is a payment from Kartonaza to Amstel, is it not?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And it has your signature, does it not?
21 A. Yes, I approved this order for payment.
22 Q. Okay. And the payment, in fact, is for cash, right?
23 A. That's right, Mr. Karnavas.
24 Q. If we could now -- if you could look at what has been previously
25 marked for identification purposes as D21/1. I don't know if the
1 Prosecution was given a copy of that. We have an extra copy. And we
3 Do you see that, sir?
4 A. I do see that, Mr. Karnavas, yes.
5 Q. Now, if I could read this into the record, this is a letter
6 dated -- well, I believe I don't see the date on it. Or does it have a
7 date? 7 July. Is that it?
8 A. It says here, Mr. Karnavas, the 7th of July, number 1.
9 Q. Right. Okay. But at the bottom, it says -- it's signed September
10 15, 2003, Amstel Valjevo, and it has director Milena Mitrovic.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, does it not state in this document, sir, that -- well, let me
13 just read it. "In response to your request, we hereby inform you that
14 company Amstel d.o.o. Valjevo did not maintain business relations with ODP
15 Kartonaza Bratunac in year 2000." Does it not state that?
16 A. That's what it states, Mr. Karnavas.
17 Q. And then it states: "Company Amstel d.o.o. Valjevo had 36
18 invoices in its documentation pursuant to the annual account and for the
19 year 2000 in the period between 01/01/2000 and 12/31/2000. Mention
20 invoice number 117/2000 from June 12, 2000, does not exist in our files,
21 and we know nothing of it." Does it not say that, sir?
22 A. That's what it says, Mr. Karnavas.
23 Q. And so it would appear that the invoice 117 to which you paid to
24 Amstel which bears your signature is a false receipt, isn't it? It's a
25 false payment receipt.
1 A. No, Mr. Karnavas.
2 Q. Very well.
3 A. That is absolutely not correct. Everything here -- you can see
4 everything from this invoice, and I should like to ask you, or rather the
5 Trial Chamber for you to complete what you have to say, and then I should
6 like to ask Their Honours to allow me to explain the details of it.
7 Q. Okay. All right. Let me ask a few more questions before we get
8 into that. And perhaps before you give your explanation, we can go into
9 the next segment which has to do with Meteor. But while we're still with
10 respect to Amstel, you do not dispute the fact that the receipt itself
11 carries your signature. You recognise that signature? You recognise it
12 to be yours, do you not, sir?
13 A. No, sir, I am not questioning the fact that I approved this
14 invoice. That means -- and you'll understand this once you hear my
15 explanations and when I explain the situation as it was when I arrived and
16 why I had this kind of relationship. So none of the invoices which
17 came -- fell due for payment in the accounts department of the company
18 where I was director could not have been paid out or anything else done
19 pursuant to it until it was brought to my table for approval. As you can
20 see in both these invoices, or rather on these invoices, you have my
21 approval, my signature stating that I approved the payment pursuant to the
22 invoice. So you have the Amstel invoice, and you have the invoice
23 dated - just a moment, please - the invoice from Valjevo, from Meteor from
24 Valjevo, where I approved in similar fashion the payment pursuant to the
25 invoice that reached our enterprise. And that, Mr. Karnavas, is the -- my
1 discretionary right, how I'm going to act in matters of payment. That is
2 to say, from the account of the company I was director of. Nobody else
3 has the right to make that decision and to approve payments.
4 And you are able to see what my authorisations were, that is to
5 say, they were authorisations without restrictions and limitations, giving
6 me the right to control everything with respect to financial transactions
7 in the company, to approve or not to approve the various payments. Of
8 course, everything must be in keeping with positive legal rules and
9 regulations and the law governing financial undertakings.
10 Now, if I may, I should like to explain to the Trial Chamber
11 before we go on to the next company and the next invoice the following:
12 That the overall situation, what I found when I came to join Kartonaza,
13 and I should like to ask Their Honours to give me the time to answer and
14 explain that. And afterwards, I think things will be much clearer, and my
15 relationship and why I acted in this particular manner and all the rest of
17 Q. If I may ask a few questions before you launch into your
18 explanation --
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I would object on foundation. If
21 counsel could perhaps -- and relevancy, where this is all going. I think
22 that a business litigation in the former Yugoslavia is probably one of the
23 areas that is more complex than anything to do with what we could think up
24 militarily. And I would object on the grounds that this is more
25 time-consuming than it is probative.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas, I think there's some sense.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, Your Honour, Mr. McCloskey here has brought
3 this gentleman in here saying that he's an honest and truthful individual.
4 And here we're showing through these records, he can give whatever
5 explanation he wishes, but the records are fairly clear. And we maintain
6 that this individual has a past where he is less than honest. This is a
7 crime of dishonesty. And it goes to his character. Obviously, it's
8 something that the Trial Chamber will need to consider in evaluating what
9 weight, if any, to give to his testimony. And I think that is why we
11 Now, I can spend two or three days on other material. I have not.
12 I'm limiting it. But I think this is a prime example of where a phony
13 receipt is paid out bearing the gentleman's signature to a company that
14 acknowledges it had no business. And it's interesting to hear his
15 explanation, and then perhaps the Prosecutor can argue that nonetheless
16 the gentleman has a clean past, he's truthful, he's honest, he doesn't
17 have any crimes of dishonesty. And might I also add if you look at the
18 presentencing brief that was prepared by his own lawyers, there's a
19 segment there, there's a segment there that talks about his lack of
20 criminality. So this is important.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: I understand now where counsel is going. But I
23 would renew my objection in that we have a few documents, many of which
24 are letters to counsel, to try to get to the bottom of this, do we need to
25 get in expert witnesses from the company and how these things work. It
1 goes on endlessly, so I say this is much less probative than it is helpful
2 in getting to the truth of the matter. I just -- in most countries, you
3 must have a criminal conviction of some sort to impeach a witness of
4 something like this. Unless there's something clear and precise we can
5 get to, this is just endless.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe that, you know, this set of
7 cross-examination goes to the credibility of this witness. So that's why
8 this Bench allowed the continuation of the cross-examination. But,
9 Mr. Karnavas, could we go through all those as soon as possible since we
10 have -- we have the documents at your hands. We know your point in that
11 cross-examination. You may raise some questions direct to this witness
12 and ask for some explanation.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
14 Q. Sir, if we could go back to what has been previously marked as
15 D20/1 for identification purposes, if you could look at that. And now I
16 want to focus your attention on another couple of documents that refer to
17 another company called Meteor, Valjevo. Do you see them, sir?
18 A. Yes, I see that, Mr. Karnavas.
19 Q. And in essence again, these two documents demonstrate that a
20 cashier order, cash, was signed over by you to Meteor based on an invoice,
21 number 81. Is that correct?
22 A. The invoice number is 80 -- there's a mistake here. It is 84 as
23 far as I can see.
24 Q. Okay. All right. There's one 84, and what is that for, the
25 84/2000? What are we looking at?
1 A. We are looking at an invoice, and the contents of that include
2 general repair of Sloter and two Krajsers, repair of a Pivano cutting
3 device, and purchase of new cutting devices for the machines that were
4 repaired. So we have an invoice for items linked to the repair of one of
5 the Kartonaza plants. And the machine is actually called Kartonaza in
6 this enterprise.
7 Q. Okay. And then we have a cashier's order with -- bearing again
8 your signature, does it not, for I believe it's 9.380 KM, does it not?
9 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas, that's right.
10 Q. Now, would it be surprising to you if I were to tell you that
11 Meteor is a company for trade; it is not licensed or capable of repairing
12 printing machinery? Would that surprise you?
13 A. It would not surprise me because the Meteor company is a company,
14 to the best of my knowledge, undertakes supplies for tools and everything
15 else necessary for the repair of heavy machinery. And pursuant to a
16 demand from us, this company procured everything we required in order to
17 perform a general repair of Kartonaza. That is to say, Sloters, Krajsers,
18 and all the other devices that were the subject, the Pivano cutting device
19 which is an Italian-produced knife.
20 Q. Now, if the Court were to issue a subpoena to get the records, the
21 payment records, would it surprise you that there's no such payment to
22 Meteor in their giro account for these services that they allegedly
23 provided for which you paid for and signed? Would that surprise you?
24 A. Mr. Karnavas, as far as payment and the payment records, that's
25 where you have the problem. As regards the recording and payment
1 recording, everything was possible in the former Yugoslavia. So it was
2 possible for you to come to a company which you have been doing business
3 with for ten years, and not to find a single invoice. Or on the other
4 hand, they might issue a certificate saying that they never recorded any
5 payments in their company. And I wish to say before this Tribunal this
6 was the only method in which money could be paid out because it was
7 business transactions with Serbia at the time, and there were no payment
8 transactions with Serbia at that time. So there was no other way in which
9 payment could be made except in cash, ready money, which means that in
10 accounting department, Mr. Karnavas - and quite obviously you haven't been
11 informed about these issues - they're not able to record convertible marks
12 there because there's not allowed to do so. It would be an offence.
13 So they couldn't do that. So I wouldn't be at all surprised if
14 they were to come here and tell us that they have nothing in our accounts
15 department if they said that.
16 Q. That's precisely --
17 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, we are not litigating on commercial
18 transactions. You have to understand, if you have some verdict made by a
19 court or judgement rendered by a tribunal, you may show it to us. I think
20 that's the easiest way to prove your point.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
22 If I may ask one last question.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, if you think it's proper.
24 MR. KARNAVAS:
25 Q. So you acknowledge to creating invoices that don't properly
1 reflect what they claim to reflect. Yes or no.
2 A. Well, you can't put it that way, Mr. Karnavas, and ask for a yes
3 or no answer. First of all, you're claiming something that does not
4 stand, that is not correct. I don't create the invoices. It is services
5 that are being invoiced, so I didn't create the invoices. The invoices
6 came from companies who sent me the goods or performed services. So it's
7 not me that draws up the invoices. It is them. And as the person in
8 authority, as the director, I approve the money, payments in the sole way
9 possible at the time, the only method that was used between Republic of
10 Serbia and the Republika Srpska. That was the only way in which payments
11 could be made, that is by cash. Because there were no payment
12 transactions, you could pay nothing through a bank or bank account.
13 And if something doesn't work, if the system isn't in existence,
14 then you couldn't do it. So that's the only reason why we did it this
15 way. And I'd like to ask you, Mr. Karnavas, if you have a single piece of
16 evidence that after this any lawsuits were brought against me or criminal
17 files made because of this, and that I was prosecuted for anything of this
18 kind, please tell me. I have no knowledge of it, and I know that nobody
19 ever raised any questions with respect to the methods of -- the payments
20 functioned in my company. And I also wish to say before this Trial
21 Chamber that you were well able to see -- you could go to the control
22 organ of Republika Srpska, the financial police, and see what the state of
23 affairs was after two controls in a state enterprise such as Kartonaza and
24 the day I left Kartonaza, so before and after, you can look at that.
25 I invited the financial police before I left Kartonaza to look
1 through all the books, of all the financial transactions and to report to
2 the shareholders' meeting, because there were five owners in the end
3 instead of one. We heard a man named Mirko from Zvornik of the financial
4 police, I don't know what his surname was. But you can contact the
5 financial police. They can show you their report. And you will see that
6 on the day I left the Kartonaza company, we had not overstepped our
7 authority anywhere with respect to payments and financial transactions.
8 Everything was in order.
9 And I wish to state one more thing. What you said does absolutely
10 not stand. I was not thrown out of Kartonaza. They offered me the post
11 of technical managing director which I turned down because there was a
12 student that they brought in to sell out the state-owned enterprise
13 Kartonaza, to let the workers go, and then to dispose of everything. So I
14 didn't accept this concept and them bringing in this kind of man. So
15 that's where the conflict lay. When they suggested they let go half the
16 workers, 50 per cent of the workers, I told the workers before I left
17 Kartonaza that if they were sacked, I would be the first to leave if they
18 were sacked. And once I left, I would no longer be able to decide on
19 their fate.
20 Now once I left, after my departure, 95 per cent of the businesses
21 that worked with Kartonaza ceased to do so. All the machinery was sold.
22 All the repair work of the machinery that I had conducted and all the
23 workers were let go. They were all sacked except for two workers. And
24 the situation in the Kartonaza factory was this: There were no more
25 workers and no more machinery to work with. And you can also go to the
1 accounts department, the department that gave you these documents -- just
2 let me finish, please.
3 Q. Mr. Nikolic, we're talking about whether you embezzled money or
4 not, that's what this is all about. Not whether they sacked other
6 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, I think the witness is finishing his
7 testimony. Be a little more patient.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm just about finished,
9 Mr. President, Your Honours. So after I left that company virtually no
10 longer exists. There are only one or two people still employed. All the
11 others have been fired. The entire plant that I overhauled has been sold
12 for next to nothing, for peanuts. Some space is being rented out for a
13 monthly rate. And the plant is a completely new plant.
14 I would like Your Honours to know this, too: When I arrived,
15 nothing was working there. The printing press was at a level of 45 years
16 ago. And I can explain each and every detail. So I claim that this is no
17 forgery of any invoices, no embezzlement, I claim that legally and within
18 my legal competencies, I carried out and approved payments, and I also
19 claim that I approved the payment of money and I didn't take it myself
20 personally. And in the corner, you have the cashier, the signature of the
21 person who received the money on one of these invoices. So I just
22 approved it. You have the person who received the money.
23 One person was the manager of the printing press, and the other
24 person who received the other sum of money was the manager of Kartonaza.
25 So I didn't take the money. I didn't receive it. They pick it up from
1 the cashier. And they gave it to the people who were working in those two
2 companies. That is the whole truth.
3 As for this letter from Serbia, Mr. Karnavas, it doesn't mean
5 Q. Very well.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll move on, Your Honour. I could go into this
7 area, but I think we better move on.
8 Q. I want to talk to you, Mr. Nikolic, about your role as a
9 coordinator. As I understand it from your testimony, your statements, you
10 were tasked on the morning of the 12th by Popovic, Kosoric to locate
11 certain areas where they could store and detain prisoners. Is that
13 A. Yes, I said that we discussed this issue, and that I proposed to
14 Popovic and Kosoric facilities where the separated men from Potocari could
15 be temporarily detained.
16 Q. And then slightly thereafter, you're given an order by
17 Colonel Jankovic. Is that correct?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. You're outside the Fontana, Hotel Fontana?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. The conversation doesn't last more than a few minutes?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And he tells you, Captain Nikolic, to go to Potocari to coordinate
24 the various units. Is that right?
25 A. Yes. Roughly so.
1 Q. Okay. You were a reserve -- in the reserves. You weren't an
2 officer from the military academy; your rank was as a reserve officer. Is
3 that correct?
4 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
5 Q. Okay. Now, how long had you been a captain?
6 A. I really don't know. It says in my booklet for how long, but I
7 really don't know.
8 Q. Did you start out as a captain when you joined the Territorial
9 Defence back in 1986?
10 A. I think I had the rank of captain then, but I'm not sure. I'm
11 really not sure. I think that I already had the rank of captain then.
12 Q. All right. Now, is that a rank that you had earned or was it
13 bestowed upon you when you got the job? All right, let me back up.
14 Before going to the Territorial Defence in 1986, you were a
15 schoolteacher or professor, as you would put it in Bosnia. Is that
17 A. Yes, I was a teacher of defence and protection in school.
18 Q. All right. You had attended the military, but you weren't
19 selected or chosen to attend the school for reserve officers. Is that
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, Your Honour. We have been over this.
23 If there's some foundation counsel makes why we need to go over this
24 again, but time is valuable and I know we have gone over this. And these
25 questions have been asked. And unless we can point to some relevance, I
1 wish we could go on.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas, I think we are discussing the
3 coordination rule by this witness during that period.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, if I ask a compound question, Your Honour,
5 I've got the Prosecutor there jumping up and down saying I'm trying to
6 confuse the witness. If I break it down, I've got the Prosecutor jumping
7 up and down saying we're going over old territory. So the question I want
8 to ask basically is: Here's a guy from 1986, he's a captain. Now it's
9 1995. He was a member of the war presidency. He was acting commander of
10 the Territorial Defence. He's not even -- he never attended any
11 academies. He's a reservist. He's not even a first captain, let alone a
12 major. How is it that given his background, his pedigree, how is it that
13 he was still a captain? That's the basis of my question.
14 Now, if I ask it in that form, which is my normal trait, I'm going
15 to get objected.
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think you have already asked this question,
17 and I think the witness answered: "I think I had the rank of captain
18 then, in 1986."
19 MR. KARNAVAS: But my question is how is it nine years later, he's
20 still a captain? And I can't ask all of that unless I kind of lead up to
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Why are you still captain in July of 1995 is a
24 perfectly fine question. I wish you would ask it. Or maybe just refer to
25 Boering's questions.
1 MR. KARNAVAS:
2 Q. You were still a captain back in 1995 in July. Right?
3 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
4 Q. Even though at one point you had been the acting commander of the
5 Territorial Defence?
6 A. Yes, which failed, and that system no longer existed. It wasn't
7 functioning any longer.
8 Q. Now, when you had this two -- this short conversation, I don't
9 know how many minutes it took, but maybe you could tell us, this short
10 conversation with Mr. Jankovic, how long did it take?
11 A. I said that it was very brief, some 10 minutes or so. I'm really
12 unable to tell you more precisely than that. It was very brief, the
13 amount of time it took for him to convey to me the order as to what I
14 should do.
15 Q. And you were alone when this conversation took place? Nobody was
16 there? Nobody was close enough to hear what Jankovic had tasked you,
18 A. Yes. He called me. I approached him. And then we spoke alone.
19 Q. Okay. Now, you've indicated that when you got to Potocari, you
20 found the various units that had been there.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And in fact, at one point, you list them.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Okay. Now, one of them was the 65th Protection Regiment?
25 A. I think I said in my testimony that it was a part of the 65th
1 Protection Regiment. I think that I was referring to the military police
2 because a part of the 65th Protection Regiment were people I knew
3 personally, both officers and soldiers. But I knew most of the officers
4 at least by sight, not by name or positions. But I knew them.
5 Q. Okay. Now, before we go on, do you recall giving a statement to
6 Mr. Ruez back in 15 December 1999?
7 A. Yes, I remember talking to Mr. Ruez.
8 Q. Do you remember him asking you if the 65th Protection Regiment
9 rings a bell? In fact, I believe it was Peter McCloskey asking you that
10 question. Do you recall Peter McCloskey asking you that question, if the
11 65th Protection Regiment rings a bell?
12 A. Yes, possibly he asked me that. But really I don't remember many
13 details of the questions put to me then in 1999.
14 Q. Would you like to have your memory refreshed, or should I just
15 give your answer and see whether that rings a bell?
16 A. Yes, you can do that. It's up to you. You choose which you want
17 to do.
18 Q. Question: "Does 65th Protection Regiment ring a bell?" That's
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: May we have reference to the page --
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, I stand corrected.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: It's page 27, line 23. And in the B/C/S version,
25 it's page 24, line 19. Page 24 in B/C/S, and I believe it's around line
1 19, somewhere in that neighbourhood.
2 Q. Do you recall being asked the question: "Does 65th Protection
3 Regiment ring a bell?" And you answered: "No, I really don't know.
4 Protection Regiment of the main staff, yes. But the numbering, I didn't
5 read anywhere, I think."
6 Do you recall giving that answer?
7 A. Possibly, Mr. Karnavas, if that is what it says, then that was my
8 answer. No, really, I don't know. The Protection Regiment, yes, the
9 Protection Regiment of the main staff. But as for numbers, since the end
10 of the war up until the time of this interview, I absolutely had no
11 contacts with the army. It simply didn't interest me. And I forgot
12 whether it was called the 65th or the 95th. It didn't mean anything to me
13 then. So I didn't concern myself with numbers. I said I knew which unit
14 it was then, too. As for the numbers, they really didn't mean anything.
15 Q. Just so I'm clear, four years -- you leave the army in 1996. Is
16 that correct? 1996?
17 A. Yes, in April. I think it was the 20th of April, 1996.
18 Q. Here we are December 15th, 1999, according to the statement on the
19 first page. Am I correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And your testimony today is that in three years' time, you simply
22 could not remember the number of the Protection Regiment. That is your
23 testimony today. Am I correct?
24 A. I am saying that at the time when I was giving this interview,
25 prior to that, I had no contact, nor did I have any document or anything
1 which would remind me of the units and the numbers of any units. So at
2 the time I was not prepared to talk about numbers because I simply from
3 the day I was demobilised until I was called for the interview, I did not
4 concern myself with these things. And that's what I said.
5 Q. Okay. All right.
6 Who was the -- who was in charge of the 65th Protection Regiment
7 on July 12th, 1995, when you went to Potocari?
8 A. I told you that I knew the senior officers by sight, and that I
9 know the commander in person. It was first Colonel Savcic, and then
10 Zoran Malinic. He was either a major or a lieutenant-colonel. I'm not
11 quite sure of his rank now. But I did know members of the 65th regiment
12 from the police who were present for a time in Bratunac. I knew them by
13 sight, and I knew which unit they belonged to.
14 Q. Let me ask the question again, and I'll read it from the screen:
15 "Who was in charge of the 65th Protection Regiment on July 12th, 1995,
16 when you went to Potocari?" Now, that is in Potocari, who was in charge
17 that you dealt with? Do you remember?
18 A. Mr. Karnavas, I don't know who was the commander of the Protection
19 Regiment in 1995. I don't know. It was a unit of the main staff. I
20 don't know who was appointed to that position. And in my statement --
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Nonresponsive, Your Honour. Nonresponsive. I
22 asked the question for the second time. I asked him -- this is critical
23 to my defence. He indicated that as a captain he went there to
24 coordinate. He's coordinating people a lot higher than him from different
25 units. Now, if he doesn't know, he should say I don't know. But to go on
1 and give a nonresponsive response gets us nowhere, and it's eating the
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, the first sentence of his answer
4 to your question, he said, "I don't know who was commander of the
5 Protection Regiment in 1995."
6 MR. KARNAVAS: No, Your Honour. My question was very narrow.
7 Who was in charge in Potocari on July 12th, because he indicated that the
8 whole regiment wasn't there, a unit was there. So somebody had to be in
10 JUDGE LIU: So you are asking about who is the commander of part
11 of the regiment on that particular day?
12 MR. KARNAVAS: That was in Potocari that he had to deal with and
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes.
15 MR. KARNAVAS:
16 Q. Do you know who it was?
17 A. I don't know who it was. Who was the commander of that part of
18 the Protection Regiment that was in Potocari, I don't know his first and
19 last name.
20 Q. Do you know his rank?
21 A. I don't know. I don't know his rank. I know him by sight.
22 Q. Was he -- did you know him personally or did you just know him by
24 A. I just told you that I knew those men from those units by sight.
25 I don't know them personally. I would see them.
1 Q. So the person that you were supposed to coordinate from the 65th
2 regiment, unit that was there, you did not know that person, and he -- I
3 guess, axiomatically, that he did not know you at least in a personal
5 A. In my statement, I didn't say that I went there specifically to
6 coordinate the work in the way in which you are putting it. I was in the
7 role of coordinator, and I said with whom I had direct and personal
8 contact among the officers in charge. I said who I had contact with, and
9 I never mentioned the name of any officer from the Protection Regiment.
10 Q. Mr. Nikolic, you've testified that you were given a mandate by a
11 colonel from the main staff. Right?
12 A. That's right.
13 Q. And that mandate required you to coordinate all of the various
14 units, you, a captain, all the various units in Potocari on that morning
15 of 12 July 1995. Isn't that a fact?
16 A. My assignment, Mr. Karnavas, was to coordinate the work of units
17 who had been tasked, who knew what they were supposed to do in Potocari.
18 And my task was to supervise them, to solve problems should they arise in
19 this overall operation. So the units that were in Potocari had already
20 received assignments from their commanders, from their superiors. I had
21 no need to know all the commanding officers. My task was to supervise
22 things, to tour the places of engagement. If there are any problems, to
23 suggest and propose solutions to those problems. Those were my tasks as
25 Q. Okay. The 65th regiment belongs to the main staff, does it not?
1 A. That is a unit of the main staff of the Army of Republika Srpska.
2 Q. That's under Mladic, is it not?
3 A. One could say that, though it is within the framework of the
4 security administration in the professional sense. But it is directly
5 subordinated probably to General Mladic.
6 Q. Okay. Now, if you were there to coordinate and give instructions,
7 obviously you would need to have some physical contact and speak with the
8 various units that were there. Am I correct?
9 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas, that what I said. I spoke to the commander
10 because I saw that there were problems. So I spoke to that commander. I
11 mentioned Jevic that I spoke to because there was a problem with respect
12 to the buses, the movement, the transportation. I also spoke to other
13 officers who encountered problems during the operation. For instance, in
14 the town of Bratunac, those buses were stoned at one stage. I got in my
15 car, I went to Bratunac, I found the military police of the Bratunac
16 Brigade, one or two patrols, as many as it was possible to find. I
17 engaged those men, so I then directly ordered the police of the Bratunac
18 Brigade to secure passage through the town because at a certain point in
19 time, that was the main problem.
20 Had a problem arisen somewhere else, I would have gone there, too,
21 to see what the problem was, try and find a way to deal with it. However,
22 in other segments, there were no problems that the officers on the spot
23 were not able to deal with. So that was my role in the simplest terms.
24 Q. Okay. Focus with me, we're back in Potocari. It's sometime
25 around noon or 1.00 or 2.00, whenever you get there, on June -- July 12th,
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Before going there, you had this 10-minute conversation with
4 Jankovic. Did he explain to you exactly how each and every unit was
5 tasked? Did he give you specific instructions and tell you the 10th
6 Sabotage from the main staff has been given this task, 85th this task, MUP
7 this task? Did he do that?
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes, Mr. McCloskey.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: I know it's getting late, but there's no such
10 thing as the 85th, so if we could try to keep the facts straight.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: 65th. 65th.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
13 MR. KARNAVAS:
14 Q. Did he tell you exactly what each unit was supposed to do? And
15 I'm not asking for an explanation that he told you that they know what
16 they're supposed to do. I'm asking you did he tell you what each unit was
17 tasked to do? Yes or no.
18 A. No, he didn't tell me.
19 Q. Now --
20 A. In the sense that you have put it.
21 Q. Well -- so in other words, he didn't tell you what the 65th
22 Regiment was tasked to do, and if so, who tasked them, right?
23 A. That's right, he didn't tell me.
24 Q. He didn't you who was in charge of the 65th Protection Regiment at
25 that time so you could make contact with that person, did he?
1 A. No, he didn't tell me who was in charge of the 65th Protection
3 Q. Incidentally, did he give you like a letter of recommendation or a
4 letter of introduction so you could introduce yourself as Captain Nikolic
5 when you would be going up to these lieutenant-colonels or colonels or
6 majors, whoever you were coordinating with, to let them know that you had
7 a mandate from none other than the main staff, Colonel Jankovic? Did he
8 give you a letter of introduction?
9 A. No, Mr. Karnavas. All I can tell you is that most of those
10 officers knew Captain Nikolic, even before they came to Potocari, both
11 from within police ranks and the ranks of these units. I think that many
12 people knew me personally or by sight. They knew who Captain Nikolic was.
13 And I didn't receive any letter.
14 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, it's time.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: I thought we were going until 5.00, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE LIU: No, we never did that. Usually we go from 3.00 to
17 4.30, because the tape will not run two hours. We have to break here.
18 It's very late.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour. I do wish to point out,
20 though, that we have a little bit of what we call back home filibustering,
21 it's a technique used in the senate, when they don't want to pass the
22 bill, they read the phone book in order to run out the time. And I'm
23 concerned a little bit. So with all due respect, I will need some
24 permission to cut the witness off, or I would request the President to cut
25 the witness off when he's not responsive to direct questions. Because I
1 think we wasted 15 minutes on one question to which finally I got the
2 answer which was no. With that, Your Honour, I mean, it's a little
3 frustrating up here. Maybe that's the game plan, frustrate and evade.
4 JUDGE LIU: No, no, no, I think as always you have to think the
5 other side as bona fide. And Mr. Karnavas, also on your part, I think
6 there's still room for improvement. You ask the same question once again.
7 And sometimes you are not so direct and to the point. I believe that you
8 have a point to make in those questions, but you could directly come to
9 that question. Because in the cross-examination, you are allowed somehow
10 to ask leading questions.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: There's always room for improvement, Your Honour.
12 And I agree, and I will -- I certainly will make greater efforts.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for your cooperation. And we'll
14 resume at 9.00 tomorrow morning in the same courtroom.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.35 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 30th day of
17 September, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.