1 Tuesday, 30 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. Good morning, everybody. Today
10 we will continue the cross-examination of Mr. Nikolic by Mr. Karnavas.
11 And we have to finish the cross-examination by Mr. Karnavas by 1.45. And
12 I'm very glad to see that the potential evidence has been translated into
13 English and is distributed to everybody, I believe. I would like to thank
14 the translation office for this translation.
15 Well, it seems that Mr. McCloskey hasn't got the translation yet.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Mr. President, not yet.
17 JUDGE LIU: I see.
18 Good morning, Mr. Nikolic. Can you hear me?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. I hear
20 you very well.
21 JUDGE LIU: Are you ready to start?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I am.
23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
24 Mr. Karnavas, are you ready to proceed?
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Always, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may proceed.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
3 WITNESS: MOMIR NIKOLIC [Resumed]
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 Cross-examined by Mr. Karnavas: [Continued]
6 Q. Good morning, Mr. Nikolic.
7 A. Good morning, Mr. Karnavas.
8 Q. We left off yesterday when we were discussing your involvement as
9 the coordinator in Potocari on the morning of July 12th, 1995. Do you
10 recall that?
11 A. I do recall that, but it wasn't in the morning. But we were
12 talking about my presence in Potocari and the units in Potocari.
13 Q. I stand corrected. You got there around -- between 12.00 and
14 2.00, as I understand it. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes, roughly about that time.
16 Q. And before going there, according to your testimony, you had a
17 pretty good idea of which units were located in Potocari by that time. Is
18 that correct?
19 A. No. I clearly understood my tasks, and I spoke about this in my
20 testimony, and that is that the units that were to participate in that
21 operation had already been tasked, and they were already in Potocari. I
22 subsequently learned, that is, once I came there and was working there for
23 the next two days, I learned which units were engaged there, or rather
24 which parts of units were there.
25 Q. Okay. Was -- the 10th Sabotage Reconnaissance Detachment was
1 there, was it not?
2 A. Yes, as far as I was able to identify, and I did know parts of the
3 10th Sabotage Reconnaissance Detachment because they had been engaged
4 in Bratunac over the previous few months, so I knew they were also there.
5 Q. Now, you were there to coordinate their tasks among the others as
6 well, were you not?
7 A. I was there to coordinate in the operation of removal. And among
8 other things, my task was to coordinate the work of the participants in
9 that operation.
10 Q. And one of the participants, one of them, was the 10th
11 Reconnaissance Sabotage Detachment. Is that correct?
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. And that unit is directly attached to or part of the main staff.
14 Is that not correct?
15 A. The 10th Sabotage Detachment is a unit of the main staff.
16 Q. Which is above the Drina Corps, the main staff?
17 A. That does not mean above it. It means that it is a unit of the
18 main staff. It means that it is a unit which is under the control in the
19 sense of command and in the professional sense, under the command of one
20 of the administrations of the main staff.
21 Q. And with whom did you communicate -- or let me withdraw that.
22 Who was in charge on that particular afternoon or however -- you
23 know, that period of time of the 10th Reconnaissance Sabotage Detachment?
24 Who was in charge of that unit that was there that you needed to
25 coordinate with?
1 A. I know, Mr. Karnavas, who was the commander or leader. I don't
2 know exactly what his title was. I think it was commander of the 10th
3 Sabotage Detachment. I knew who their commander is. Now, who was in
4 charge in that operation to be in command of that unit directly, I've
5 already told you that I didn't know that. I didn't know who was in charge
6 of which unit and who was in command of which unit in Potocari. I know
7 who their commanders are generally, but I did not attend a meeting, if
8 ever there was one, at which assignments were issued, and I didn't meet
9 with the commanders either to be able to know who was in command of those
10 units at that time.
11 Q. Okay. Now --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness come closer to the
13 microphones, please.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: The witness or the lawyer?
15 THE INTERPRETER: Both, thank you.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: I was admonished yesterday.
17 Q. Okay, now, let me just go over some of the units that were there
18 based on your testimony which we can see on the transcript pages of 1689
19 to 1690. We have -- we talked about the 65th Protection Regiment of the
20 main staff. Correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. The 10th Reconnaissance Sabotage Detachment of the main staff.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. The Drina Wolves which were -- were they attached to or were they
1 part of the Zvornik Brigade, to your knowledge?
2 A. Yes, it was a unit of the Zvornik Brigade.
3 Q. And it wasn't just any kind of -- it wasn't just an ordinary unit;
4 it was -- were they not highly trained soldiers, a crack unit?
5 A. I'm really not qualified to talk about units of another brigade,
6 that is, of the Zvornik Brigade, how trained -- well trained they were is
7 really something I can't comment on.
8 Q. So even today -- well, let me -- so your answer is that you today
9 and as well as back then were unaware of the quality of the Drina Wolves
10 as far as being, you know, a fighting unit, as far as their competence,
11 their capabilities as a fighting unit?
12 A. Mr. Karnavas, I can express my personal opinion about any unit of
13 the Drina Corps. I can make an assessment of units of the main staff.
14 But I was very specific. I'm not qualified to judge to what extent a unit
15 of that level as a part of the Zvornik Brigade is combat ready, how well
16 trained it is. I cannot say because I don't know.
17 Q. Do you know whether they participated on the attack on Srebrenica?
18 A. I heard, and this was later confirmed and subsequent information
19 indicates that the Drina Wolves did participate in the attack on
21 Q. All right. Now, there were also various police units, were there
23 A. Yes, if you're asking me about Potocari or are you asking me
24 generally? Are you asking me about the operation or about Potocari on the
1 Q. Mr. Nikolic, until we move to another segment, to another chapter,
2 we're going to be focussing on Potocari, and we're going to be on the
3 12th, and we're talking about when you went there. Okay? That's the
4 focus. Very limited period of time.
5 Now, we know from your testimony that you indicated that there
6 were police units with German shepherds. Right?
7 A. Yes, I said that.
8 Q. We know that you saw Stalin there, right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And Stalin is Mr. Jevic, isn't he?
11 A. Yes, Dusko Jevic.
12 Q. He got his nickname because he was a tough instructor in the
13 police academy, right? That's why they call him Stalin?
14 A. I don't know that. I don't know why he acquired that name. But I
15 do know that that is how they called him.
16 Q. And you knew of him from before? You knew him personally?
17 A. Yes, superficially, nothing special. We never socialised. Before
18 that, we were never assigned to the same task, but I did know him as a
19 member of the MUP. So extremely superficially and by sight, but it can be
20 said that I did know him personally.
21 Q. And what was his rank?
22 A. I really don't know what the structure of the police was, what
23 their ranks are, what their duties were. Except for Borovcanin and Savic,
24 I'm not familiar with their structure or their positions in the special
1 Q. Okay. And I take it you were not familiar with the structure back
2 then as well, on that particular day? If you're not today, it stands to
3 reason that you wouldn't be back then, right?
4 A. It stands to reason that one could conclude that I just knew that
5 they belonged to a special MUP brigade, and I knew under whose direct
6 command they were. I know that the direct commanding officer of those
7 units was Ljubisa Borovcanin. He was in charge of them. And I knew that
8 the units that were in Potocari under Bjelic's command belonged to the
9 unit under the command of Ljubisa Borovcanin.
10 Q. Okay. What rank was Mr. Borovcanin, if you can recall?
11 A. What I knew and according to what he himself said, I think he had
12 the rank of a police colonel. I may be wrong. But I think that he
13 represented himself as a colonel. Whether that is true or not, I don't
15 Q. So just so I can be sure about this, and perhaps others may be
16 interested as well, at that particular time, you, Momir Nikolic, or
17 Captain Nikolic, chief of intelligence and security, was not sure whether
18 Mr. Borovcanin was indeed a colonel in the MUP? Is that your testimony
20 A. Mr. Karnavas, I said what I thought. I think that at the time he
21 was a colonel. Now, whether he was a colonel, a lieutenant-colonel, I
22 don't know.
23 Q. Okay.
24 A. And that is my answer.
25 Q. Very well. Now, those units, those MUP units under
1 Mr. Borovcanin, they were his subordinates, were they not?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And from listening to your testimony and reading your statements,
4 it doesn't appear anywhere that Captain Nikolic contacted
5 Colonel Borovcanin to find out what, if any, instructions he had given his
6 units that were located in Potocari at the time that you arrived, around
7 noon, or slightly thereafter, on July 12th, 1995. Am I correct?
8 A. Mr. Karnavas, I never stated, and I am still saying now, that I
9 did not meet with Mr. Borovcanin because Mr. Borovcanin is a commander,
10 and he communicates with officers from the command structure. And all I
11 can do with respect to Mr. Borovcanin is to provide a service to him, that
12 is, give him intelligence information along the axis of his combat
14 So with respect to intelligence, I can communicate with him and
15 fulfill my duties and obligations. Outside of that, I had no need, nor is
16 it my duty for me to sit and talk to commanders about anything. So
17 Mr. Borovcanin has the right and the competence and obligation to
18 communicate and discuss and agree on assignments at the command level.
19 Q. So it would be fair to say that when you went to Potocari, or
20 before going to Potocari, just so I'm clear about this, you never spoke
21 with any of the commanders of the units that were located in Potocari.
22 This is before going there.
23 A. It can't be put that way because I did speak to Borovcanin, and I
24 said that in my testimony. So I spoke to him on one occasion, a day prior
25 to my going to Potocari. But in connection with the assignments,
1 intelligence information, and providing intelligence information to the
2 commander in person, for him to be able to use armoured forces, to use a
3 tank to hit targets that are defined as tanks -- as targets with which
4 armoured units, should be used.
5 Q. I'm going to interrupt the witness. We're talking about a
6 particular time and place. We're not talking about the 11th, we're
7 talking about the 12th. So focus, work with me on the 12th. Prior to
8 going to Potocari, you never spoke with any of the commanders of any of
9 the units that you were there to coordinate with. Isn't that a fact? And
10 I'm specifically directing my question with respect to your tasks of
11 coordination in Potocari on the 12th.
12 A. Mr. Karnavas, the answer is no. That is, I did not speak to any
13 unit commander of the units engaged in Potocari at the time. But before
14 that, you asked me if I had ever spoken to the commander, and I answered
16 Q. Very well.
17 A. So I apologise if there was a misunderstanding. You did ask me
18 whether I had ever spoken to him, and I said that I had.
19 Q. You've answered the question. Now, when got to Potocari, is it
20 not a fact that you never spoke while you were in Potocari before you
21 began your coordination, the tasks that were given to you by
22 Colonel Jankovic, you never spoke there with the commanders of the various
23 units that you were there to coordinate? Isn't that a fact?
24 A. In my statement, I indicated precisely with whom I spoke. There
25 are certain things I was not asked about, and about which I can talk
1 now --
2 Q. I'm going to interrupt you again. The question was very specific.
3 The question was very specific. You don't understand it, ask me. I'll
4 rephrase it. When you got to Potocari on the 12th, all right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You were there to coordinate units by your own testimony. Those
7 units had commanders. While you were there, is it not a fact that you
8 never contacted the commanders of those units with respect to your tasks
9 for coordination?
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Object. In that leading question is a
12 misstatement of the previous testimony, that is an improper way to ask a
13 leading question. This witness clearly said he spoke to Dusko Jevic, the
14 commander of the special police. The question has a misstatement of fact.
15 That's an improper question. And it's objectionable.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may -- let me respond for a second.
17 JUDGE LIU: No, no, no. Well, Mr. McCloskey, I think you know the
18 Defence counsel has the right to check the testimony given by this witness
19 in the direct. But on the other hand, on the other hand, Mr. Karnavas,
20 you may quote what he said in the direct or in the statement.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Let me be a little more specific.
22 Q. I'm not talking about the commanders of the units, the immediate
23 commanders that were commanding the units on the ground in Potocari. I'm
24 talking about their commanders such as, for instance, Borovcanin, such
25 as -- well, if the Drina Wolves were under the Zvornik Brigade, it would
1 be Pandurevic, right? That's what I'm talking about. So my question to
2 you, sir, is when you went to Potocari, when you were there, you did not
3 contact any of those commanders?
4 A. No, no, Mr. Karnavas. The way you're putting the question, I did
5 not contact any of those supreme commanders, commanders of special
6 brigades of MUP. No, I did not. I say "supreme" in inverted commas.
7 Q. Now, another very specific question: Did you contact each and
8 every commander of the units - not the supreme now, but of the units that
9 were there in Potocari - did you contact each and every one of them to
10 find out what their individual tasks were in accordance to what they had
11 been tasked by their superior commands?
12 A. First of all, that was absolutely impossible. And if you want
13 that kind of answer, then no, I didn't contact individually each of those
14 participants to ask them what tasks they had been assigned. I did not
15 contact them. I knew what was supposed to be done that day, Mr. Karnavas.
16 That means I knew, I knew we had to evacuate 30.000 people. I also knew
17 my role in that operation. I also knew that up there in that place,
18 Potocari, units had been brought in to do the job. Now, individually, who
19 had received what assignment from their commanders, that, I did not know,
20 but I did tour the region in its entirety. I saw the units present, in
21 place there. And when the operation started, wherever there were
22 problems, I solved them in the way I saw fit.
23 So there's absolutely nothing unclear on that score. Now, Your
24 Honours, I have to add something, please. Had there been a plan,
25 Mr. Karnavas, I know what you want to hear from me, I know what you want
1 to get --
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Object. It goes beyond the scope of my question.
3 I'd like to use my time as efficiently as possible. He can certainly say
4 what he wishes through Mr. McCloskey. But this goes beyond the scope of
5 my question.
6 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Nikolic, if you want to provide more information,
7 I believe that the counsel will ask you questions. Here is a question and
8 answer procedure. And counsel has the duty to lead you to the point.
9 MR. KARNAVAS:
10 Q. Mr. Nikolic, the definition of "coordination" as I understand it
11 is to synchronise the aim, the place, the time, and the means of the
12 various units that you were supposed to be coordinating. Would you agree
13 or disagree with that definition of what coordination means under the
14 circumstances that we are discussing here today in this Tribunal? Aim,
15 place, time, means, all these units in a very confined area, we're talking
16 about 30.000 people, mass chaos, humanitarian crisis.
17 A. That is a theoretical definition, and it's just theory, what
18 you've just said. All I can do is to tell you how I understood this
19 coordination, and I understood it in the following way: I was given my
20 assignment, my tasks, within the frameworks of my overall assignment,
21 within the frameworks of the overall operation of moving the inhabitants
22 of Potocari to Kladanj and further afield, elsewhere. To coordinate, to
23 guide, because I was from Bratunac myself, I was an officer from the
24 region, to guide the work of those units to resolve certain problems that
25 might crop up that I come across during that operation. Furthermore, to
1 make suggestions and proposals, and if necessary to issue orders in the
2 sense of having the main say as to what will be done when and where, in
3 the technical sense, in the organisational sense, et cetera. That was my
4 understanding of it.
5 Now, what you just said is an exact definition, yes, it is theory,
6 the theory concerning coordination, governing coordination.
7 Q. Okay. Mr. Nikolic, yesterday I asked whether you had received
8 some sort of letter of introduction from Colonel Jankovic so you could
9 show to the various commanders or even soldiers from the various units who
10 you were and what powers or mandate you had in order to guide them and, if
11 necessary, order them around. I believe the answer was no letter of
12 introduction was given to you by Colonel Jankovic. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas. My answer was that no letter except an oral
14 order did I receive from Colonel Jankovic.
15 Q. And no written order, no formal written order was given to you
16 with, perhaps, a signature and a stamp that would have the value and the
17 weight of an official order was given to you by Colonel Jankovic so you
18 could show it around just in case one of these higher ranking officers,
19 like, say, a major or lieutenant-colonel or a colonel, all of these ranks
20 who were there at the time leading units, you didn't have an official
21 document to show where your power came from in ordering them or their
22 troops around in this highly regimented system called army where rank is
23 rather important as to who gives the orders and who takes the orders.
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, it's a statement, not a question.
25 I think, you know, it's a reasonable suspicion on this issue, but you have
1 to put it in the form of a question.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll rephrase. I was -- I was --
3 Q. You did not get an order, an official order from Colonel Jankovic?
4 A. I received an official order. I did receive an official order
5 from Colonel Jankovic, and that order, let me just finish, please,
6 Mr. Karnavas, was not in written form. I received an oral order from
7 Colonel Jankovic.
8 Q. But nobody was there to hear that oral order, so how could these
9 people back -- these higher ranking officers or the foot soldiers of the
10 various units in Potocari at this time know that you had this order, this
11 oral order if nobody was there to hear it, to witness it, to verify it?
13 A. Mr. Karnavas, that's not my fault. I'm telling you the form the
14 order took and that I was given. Now, why there was nobody else there,
15 that's not my problem, and I can't influence that. I can do nothing about
16 that. I told you where I got the order, who I got the order from, and
17 what kind of order it was. The fact that there was nobody else there is
18 not my problem. So I really can't have any influence on that. There's
19 nothing I can do about it.
20 Q. All these units had already got their orders, and they knew what
21 they were going to be doing. You know, you had these colonels or these
22 majors out there. They had their orders. Why was it necessary to have
23 Captain Nikolic go there? They already had their orders. Why did they
24 need you there, especially if -- especially if - help you out here a
25 bit - especially if you never went to speak to any of them to find out
1 what their individual tasks were? Help me out.
2 A. I can't help you out, Mr. Karnavas, on that point. I told you
3 what I knew. Now, why it was the way it was, I really don't know. I
4 don't know the details surrounding all that. All I know is my role and
5 what I received. Now, why it was done in that way, I really can't say.
6 Who ordered it that way, I don't know that either because I didn't attend
7 any of the meetings. I don't know that part of it, who issued an order of
8 that kind. I don't know who issued any of the other orders and compiled a
9 list of participants there. I don't know that either because nobody told
10 me officially because I never attended official meetings of that type. So
11 what I'm telling you is what I know.
12 Now, whether that was the right way to go about it, I can give you
13 my comments here and now. But in answer to your question, that's it.
14 Q. Okay. Now, you went back on the 13th, right? On the 13th -- I'm
15 switching, I'm sorry. Now let's talk about the 13th of July, next day.
17 A. All right.
18 Q. Different chapter. On the 13th, you went back to Potocari. Right?
19 Yes or no.
20 A. Yes, yes, I did go back.
21 Q. And you went back because the task that you had been ordered,
22 according to you, by Colonel Jankovic had not been completed. Right?
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, this is another misstatement of the
25 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm going to object, Your Honour, to coaching the
1 witness as to what to say.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm not going to say it, but I think the world
3 knows what he said on that point, and that is a misstatement. It's
4 fundamental for a lawyer in his position not to misstate the evidence.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: All right.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I believe that you have to
7 rephrase your question.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay, Your Honour.
9 Q. On the 13th, was your task completed, the one that was given to
10 you by Jankovic? Yes or no.
11 A. On the 13th, it was not completed, or rather the operation was not
12 completed of this removal, nor was my task around the coordination at
13 Potocari completed either.
14 Q. And in fact, you said as much in the transcript. And having been
15 accused by the Prosecutor, let me point him out to page 1709.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: I stipulate that his job wasn't done. They had a
17 lot more people to deal with it.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: There was no need for the objection.
19 JUDGE LIU: Mr. McCloskey, there's no need for the objection
20 because the Defence counsel is just going to quote what he said in the
22 MR. KARNAVAS:
23 Q. Now, sir, when you went back on the 13th, you only stayed there an
24 hour or an hour and a half. Isn't that correct? Is that correct, on the
25 13th, now?
1 A. Yes, as I said during my previous testimony.
2 Q. Yes, from page 709: "How long were you there on this visit to
3 Potocari on the 13th"? Question posed by Mr. McCloskey. Answer: "I was
4 in Potocari only very briefly on the 13th. So on the whole, this lasted
5 for one hour at most, perhaps a little longer, after which I went back to
6 the headquarters or rather the military police building where the military
7 police were stationed."
8 Now, when you went there in the morning, had the evacuation been
9 completed of everyone that you were there to coordinate?
10 A. No, Mr. Karnavas. The evacuation continued on the 13th.
11 Q. And that was still part of your mandate, was it not, for you to be
12 coordinating the evacuation? Isn't that a fact?
13 A. Yes, one of the tasks was that one, too, on that day.
14 Q. Okay. Well, that was a continuing task that had been given to you
15 according to your testimony and what you told the Prosecutor, that was the
16 task given to you earlier that day, and that task had not been completed.
17 And according to you, that was an order. Right?
18 A. Your question contains a number of observations and questions as
19 well. Now, the evacuation on the 13th was not completed, no. My task
20 continued on the 13th to coordinate along those assignments in Potocari.
21 And the third question that you asked me, the order -- or rather, I
22 received no order on the 12th in written form, in writing. I received an
23 order orally from Colonel Jankovic for that particular task.
24 Q. And that order was still in effect on the 13th because you hadn't
25 completed it.
1 A. You could put it that way because after this order from
2 Colonel Jankovic, I didn't receive any others, if you mean
3 Colonel Jankovic, if that's who you're referring to.
4 Q. Well, not quite. Would it not be fair to say that when you're
5 given an order, you have to carry it all the way through to its full
6 completion unless you're interrupted with another order?
7 A. Well, in principle, you could put it that way. That is to say,
8 the orders one receives, until the task is completed, you go on. Or until
9 you receive another order. So it is a task which should be completed
10 within the frameworks of the initial order.
11 Q. So there was no need for you to ask Colonel Blagojevic on the 13th
12 whether you could go to Potocari and continue the task that you had
13 already been given, according to what you say, by the main staff. Right?
14 A. No, that's not right, Mr. Karnavas. After the first day, I
15 informed Blagojevic as to where I was. On the 12th, I was the duty
16 officer. And during that evening, I informed Colonel Blagojevic of what I
17 was engaged on, so I saw Blagojevic on the 12th. I saw Colonel Blagojevic
18 on the 13th, too, in the morning when I arrived. Colonel Blagojevic knew
19 about the operation to shift these 30.000 people, and Colonel Blagojevic
20 did not by a single gesture or order or in any other way question,
21 prohibit, or stop me in any way to go about my business in Potocari the
22 next day.
23 Q. Okay. All right. Now, when you went to Potocari on the 12th, I
24 take it you drove there. You had your own car. I believe the colour was
25 blue, if I'm not mistaken.
1 A. I don't know whether it was blue or some other colour. There were
2 several cars in the police that I used. There was a Golf, one Golf,
3 another Golf, blue. There was a Zastava-type car. I really can't say
4 which one that was.
5 Q. Was your car there handy by the Hotel Fontana when you left for
6 Potocari? Because we know you never went to the headquarters to see your
7 commander. Was your car there?
8 A. Yes, I always had my car handy.
9 Q. And did you go to Potocari with anyone in particular, or did you
10 just go by yourself? When you went to coordinate.
11 A. I went to Potocari alone on the 12th. And as far as I remember,
12 in Potocari, I was joined by another -- by some policemen from the
13 Bratunac Brigade, one policeman. I think his name was Nenad Jokic.
14 Q. Okay. I have a statement here from Nenad Jokic. Let's see what
15 he has to say.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: If I could provide everybody with a copy. I guess
17 we need to give this an identification number, unless it has one. I
18 believe we're up to 39, Mr. Registrar?
19 Q. Let me show you what has been marked for identification purposes
20 as D39/1. And I believe you have been focussed to a particular page.
21 It's page 4. But for the record, your page should read 13070M, I believe.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: And for everyone else's convenience, if you could
23 turn to page L0089853, and I'll be going through that page and the
24 following page. And starting with around line 10, to focus everybody.
25 Q. So if you could read page 4, sir. And I believe we've already
1 marked it for you for your convenience.
2 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas. I've seen it.
3 Q. Okay. Now, let's read it. On line 10, it says: "So I was in
4 Bratunac" -- he's being questioned by Peter McCloskey.
5 "So I was in Bratunac, and later we were given the order to go to
6 Potocari." Peter McCloskey: "Who gave you the order?" Mr. Jokic: "I
7 accompanied Momir Nikolic." Mr. McCloskey: "What order did Momir Nikolic
8 give you?" "To me?" Peter McCloskey: "To you or to others that you
9 witnessed." Mr. Jokic: "I was alone with him." Peter McCloskey: "Were
10 you normally his escort in those days?" And then Jokic: "I asked him
11 whether it was safe to go there." Peter McCloskey: "Were you normally
12 his escort in those days on the 12th and the 13th?" Mr. Jokic --
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, Your Honour. This could go on forever.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I want to read the appropriate part.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: We've all read it. If we could get a question on
16 a particular point.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: I want to give context to this, and I'm entitled to
18 use my time in a proper fashion. This is proper. I want to give the
19 gentleman an opportunity to respond.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, since this paragraph is not that long, you may
21 continue, Mr. Karnavas. But later on, I don't think it's necessary to
22 read the whole page because everybody has got a copy, also the witness
23 also got one. You just draw his attention to certain particular places.
24 Then ask your questions.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well.
1 Q. So the question was "were you normally his escort in those days on
2 the 12th and 13th?" That's what I just read before the objection. Line
3 20 on this particular page. "That happened by accident because he came to
4 the military police office, and he said he wanted somebody to accompany
5 him." "Okay. And how come he ended with you?" "I was there." "What did
6 you hear Momir Nikolic, what did Momir Nikolic say to you as you went
7 together to Potocari?" "He did say nothing in particular. We talked
8 about... " "And so where did you go and who did Momir Nikolic see when
9 you went to Potocari?" "So we came to Potocari near the UNPROFOR camp and
10 that factory." "About what time of day was this? Just roughly." "I
11 can't exactly remember, I think it was like 11.00, maybe later." And then
12 there's a conversation about the Hotel Fontana. He's pressed. He's not
13 sure whether he was there on the 11th or the 12th.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: And for the record, the Prosecution has moved to
15 have this transcript come in through Rule 92 bis. And of course, I'll be
16 making a request for the gentleman to be appearing here.
17 Q. Now, Mr. Nikolic, it would appear, would it not, at least from
18 what this gentleman says that on that day, somewhere around 11.00, you
19 went to the Bratunac Police Station, which is located by your testimony
20 and from what we all know approximate by 2 minutes from the Bratunac
21 Brigade headquarters, directly in front of it, you went there, picked him
22 up, and together the two of you, not alone, the two of you went to
23 Potocari. Does that not appear from this statement or from this
24 questioning statement, where Mr. McCloskey was questioning Mr. Jokic?
25 Does it not say that?
1 A. Mr. Karnavas, that comes from the statement made by Mr. Jokic.
2 One could deduce that. But that is absolutely not correct. Mr. Jokic was
3 there on the 12th at 10.00 as security at the entrance to the Fontana
4 Hotel. He was not at the police station at that time. So the meeting
5 began at 10.00 and lasted -- well, I don't know exactly how long it
7 And you can see Mr. Jokic on the footage, on a picture providing
8 physical security of the Fontana Hotel. So you can see him at the
9 entrance to the Hotel Fontana. And it's not true according to his
10 statement that he was at the police station. He was on duty in front of
11 the Fontana Hotel providing security as a security detail for the Fontana
12 Hotel, and you'll be able to see that that is so if you look at the
13 videotape that the Prosecution provided to you and to me.
14 Q. Are you also denying having him in the car with you as you drove
15 to Potocari on that particular morning? Would you like to retract your
16 earlier statement that you went alone and maybe --
17 A. No, no, Mr. Karnavas. I do not wish to retract my statement. I
18 went to Potocari alone. He came to Potocari as far as I can remember in
19 his own car, not in my car with me. That is the truth. And Jokic was
20 with me in Potocari in the role of some sort of security or escort for me.
21 So that is the truth with respect to this incident.
22 Q. Okay. All right.
23 Who ordered you to go to Colonel Franken - I believe he was a
24 major back then - to collect the rent? This was, I believe, on
25 the -- around the 14th or 15th of July.
1 Let me back up. Let me back up. Do you know who Major Franken
3 A. Major Franken, I think I do know.
4 Q. He was at DutchBat, was he not?
5 A. That's right.
6 Q. Do you recall going to see him, going there and asking for rent,
7 for rent, rent money, either for the DutchBat or for the UNMO, the
8 observers, the United Nations Military Observers. Do you recall doing
10 A. I really don't know, Mr. Karnavas, what you're talking about.
11 What rent? To whom? What?
12 Q. Okay. So it doesn't ring a bell?
13 A. It doesn't mean anything to me, that I went to take rent from
14 Franken? That really and absolutely -- first of all, the Dutch Battalion
15 was based, headquartered in Potocari. They didn't pay any rent. They
16 didn't pay anything to anyone. They didn't have any obligation to do so,
17 nor did I have anything to do with any rent. It was a base, a factory. I
18 really don't know what you're talking about.
19 Q. What about for housing the prisoners or the refugees? Did you try
20 to collect rent for that, or rent for the United Nations Military
21 Observers? Do you ever recall going there, trying to have a meeting with
22 him, and asking him to give you, I guess on behalf of the -- well, whoever
23 you were representing, rent money?
24 A. Karnavas, I really cannot understand what you're saying. First of
25 all, I can't understand that you're asking any such thing, not to mention
1 anything more. The Dutch Battalion had nothing to do with any kind of
2 housing, and never did they pay anything as far as I know. Everything
3 linked to the Dutch Battalion and everything that was done with them was
4 done through official enterprises and organs. If you are alluding to
5 something else, another event, please tell me so I know what we're talking
7 Q. Well, did you ever contact him with a bill -- you were going to
8 present him with a bill for the building that was rented by the United
9 Nations Military Observers, the UNMO?
10 A. Which building were they renting, Mr. Karnavas?
11 Q. Well --
12 A. Potocari?
13 Q. Let me just ask you this, Mr. Nikolic: Do you ever recall going
14 there, driving a Toyota, approaching him, asking to collect rent? Yes or
15 no. Pretty simple.
16 A. Mr. Karnavas, that really is a ridiculous question.
17 Q. Okay. Let me turn everyone's attention to the transcript from
18 Colonel Franken. This is on September 15, 2003. And I will start with
19 page 1557.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could get copies of that so I can see it in
22 the proper context and so we know what's being talked about. I
23 unfortunately wasn't here during that testimony.
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, you may read the relevant part.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: It's pretty short, Your Honour.
1 Q. And I was doing the questioning, by the way. "Did you see Nikolic
2 around that time, the 12th or 13th?" This is page 1557, line 22, starting
3 with line 22. Answer -- I'm sorry, that was line 24. Answer: "No. The
4 first time I saw Nikolic was I think on the 14th afternoon or the 15th
5 when he came to the camp by car." "Okay. Did you have a conversation
6 with him since you already knew him, or did you just see him and then you
7 went about your business?" Answer, line 4: "No, he came not on some kind
8 of a visit. He came with a purpose, and I believe on that occasion, he
9 came in with the car of our former technician. On the occasion of - what
10 was it? - the bill for the building the UNMO rented had to be paid, and
11 he tried to have DutchBat pay for the cost of made by the Bosnian Serb
12 army for the POWs." Question: "Did he inform you who had instructed him
13 or was he there --" "No, no, he announced that he came. He asked that he
14 could come on the base with his car. I allowed him that. So he parked it
15 in front of the HQ, the headquarters, and then we spoke about this." "And
16 did he ask you, did he throw a particular figure at you, how much the rent
17 was?" "No, it didn't come that far. As far as the UNMO were concerned, I
18 told you before, they were not -- they didn't belong to DutchBat. So I
19 said, okay, I'll have the UNMO make contact with you about that thing, and
20 I told him that it's absolutely ridiculous let me pay for POWs they took,
21 and he didn't insist further on. So I never heard the math." "Okay. Do
22 you know whether he wanted cheque, cash, credit card?" "The discussion
23 didn't come that far." "Okay. And as far as you know or as far as you
24 recollect, he didn't say I have been ordered by Mladic?" "No." And then
25 he goes on, he says: "He just showed up." And I just read all the way to
1 page 1559.
2 Now, do you recall that occasion, Mr. Nikolic?
3 A. What you have read, Mr. Karnavas, never happened. And I never had
4 any obligation or duty to ask for any kind of rent. The only thing that
5 is possible, the only possibility is -- but I'm not sure of that. I don't
6 know whether anyone was in Fontana at the time. At the Fontana Hotel, I
7 think military observers were present for a time, and they had a contract
8 with the Fontana Hotel. They slept there, the observers and their
9 interpreter Petar Uscumlic had a contract with the hotel and they paid
10 rent to the hotel. The agreement was on an individual basis and had
11 nothing to do with me. I never asked anything like that of Mr. Franken,
12 nor did I discuss any such thing with him. As for the prisoners and their
13 status and payment for them, absolutely not, except for the physical
14 security of the prisoners by the Dutch Battalion, I had nothing to do with
15 their stay there, their status, their departure from there or anything
16 else in that connection.
17 So Mr. Karnavas, that simply does not stand. I was never
18 implicated in any such activity, nor did I ask him for anything.
19 Q. Okay. And since this didn't happen, according to you, I take it
20 you never went there with a blue Japanese car that belonged to one of
21 their technicians who just happened to be -- his name is Rizo. And he
22 just happened to be Muslim. That didn't happen either?
23 A. No, Mr. Karnavas, I didn't say that. I did drive after the fall
24 of the Srebrenica enclave, I did for a while drive a blue car that was
25 seized from Mr. Rizo. So he handed me the keys, or rather, one of his
1 workers, a policeman from the Bratunac Brigade - you can take a statement
2 from him. So Rizo gave him the keys voluntarily. This policeman gave the
3 keys to me. After that, I drove it for a while, and then this blue car
4 was requisitioned for the needs of the Bratunac Brigade. And this blue
5 car drove Commander Blagojevic personally.
6 After that, this blue car, when Commander Blagojevic left the
7 Bratunac Brigade --
8 Q. Excuse me. The question was on that particular day, did you go
9 there with a blue Toyota? That was the question, that belonged to Rizo on
10 that day. Do you recall doing that? I'm not interested in what you did
11 with the car afterwards.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think he was answering the question.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: It went well beyond the scope of the question, Your
15 Honour. The question was if he recalls showing up on that particular day
16 trying to collect rent driving the blue Toyota that belonged to Rizo. Yes
17 or no. What he did afterwards on his personal time driving around
18 somebody else's car that he confiscated is of no interest to me unless
19 we're here for --
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, the witness answered that I did drive after the
21 fall of the Srebrenica enclave. I did for a while drive a blue car that
22 was seized from Mr. Rizo.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour, but we have a transcript from
24 Colonel Franken who says in very particular words that he showed up with
25 Rizo in Rizo's car on that particular day. So I'm merely trying to help
1 him out. He doesn't have a recollection of asking for the bill. I would
2 now like to lock him in because either he's misstating the facts or
3 Colonel Franken is misstating the facts. One of the two.
4 Q. So if I can focus you back on that particular day that Colonel
5 Franken says he recalls you showing up on the base, on the base, driving a
6 car. You're driving, Rizo is sitting as a passenger in his own blue
7 Toyota that you later confiscate. Do you recall showing up on that
8 particular day over there presenting yourself as a collection agency for
9 rent? Do you recall that?
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, Your Honour. He's just playing around.
11 It's his time.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, put your question in a very simple
13 way, and you added a lot of elements in your question, so it becomes
14 extremely difficult to know where you are going.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay.
16 JUDGE LIU: Just ask one question. That's all.
17 MR. KARNAVAS:
18 Q. Do you recall showing up with a blue Toyota that belonged to Rizo
19 with Rizo in the car trying to collect rent from Colonel Franken? Major
20 at the time. Do you recall that?
21 A. No, Mr. Karnavas. I do not recall that, nor did that happen.
22 That is not true.
23 Q. Okay.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, it's time for a break.
25 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Unfortunately, Your Honour, because of the way the
2 question was asked, we don't know if he's referring to --
3 MR. KARNAVAS: I can ask it again.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- Not meeting with Franken, not driving the car
5 with the guy or all of them. That's the problem with those kind of
7 MR. KARNAVAS: We've already established through the gentleman
8 that he doesn't recall ever trying to collect the rent.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's right, that's why we didn't need that added
10 to the question.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: The question was, the question was now because we
12 have facts from a witness, their witness who says not only did he show up
13 trying to collect the rent, but he showed up with their driver in a blue
14 Toyota. Why is that significant? It's significant because it means that
15 Colonel Franken -- this incident.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's a speech making again, Your Honour. I just
17 would like a straight question.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm responding to what he's saying --
20 JUDGE LIU: There's no need for that because we all know the
21 points. Just ask a simple question about the car, not about collecting
22 rent. Then we'll break.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, the driving the car ties into
24 collecting of the rent because that's perhaps why Franken -- that's why it
25 was so significant because he was shocked to see Rizo, their employee, in
1 his car being driven by Nikolic.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, first of all, you asked the question about
3 collecting the rent. The witness denied that fact. It's quite clear.
4 The second should be whether he was there on that particular day in a
5 particular car. That's all.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: I was looping, Your Honour. I was taking part of
7 the --
8 JUDGE LIU: Don't add more elements into one question.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: All right. I apologise. I apologise.
10 Q. Did you ever show up and meet with Colonel or Major Franken on the
11 14th or 15th in Mr. Rizo's blue Toyota?
12 A. No. In that period of time, I know for certain that I did not
13 meet with Mr. Franken.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll accept that. I'll accept that.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, we'll resume at quarter to 11.00.
16 --- Recess taken at 10.18 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 10.47 a.m.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, before we start, there's a scheduling
19 announcement. This afternoon, we'll start at 3.15 instead of 3.00 sharp.
20 Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: That doesn't mean I get an extra 15 minutes.
22 JUDGE LIU: No, no, no, you have to finish by 1.45. I promised
23 you the time.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: I just thought I'd ask.
25 Q. Mr. Nikolic, if we could return -- if we could return to the 12th,
1 as I understand it from your testimony and your statement, that on the
2 afternoon of the 12th or the evening of the 12th, you met with your
3 commander. And at that time, you described the conditions in Potocari on
4 that particular day. Do you recall making -- testifying about that?
5 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
6 Q. And it seemed to me from listening to you that when you were
7 describing these events to your commander, you sort of -- you were rather
8 disturbed of what you had been seeing in Potocari on that particular day.
9 A. That cannot be seen from my statement. I was just describing the
10 situation. I told him what the situation was like in Potocari.
11 Q. Well, you told him it was a hell, right? That the conditions were
12 bad, that mothers were having their children torn away from their hands or
13 their arms, and wives having their husbands separated from them. You told
14 him all of these, and you described how, as I believe from your reading
15 your statement, how the conditions were rather horrendous.
16 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas. I said, in fact, that the conditions there
17 were horrendous, that the scenes were horrendous, that the overall
18 situation was extremely difficult. But if I remember correctly, I don't
19 think that I mentioned anywhere that children were being snatched away
20 from their mothers. I don't think I mentioned that. The rest, I did.
21 Q. Okay. All right. Now -- so I take it from the way you've
22 described it, you as a man, a father, husband, what you were describing
23 and when you were describing it, you were rather moved, disturbed, at what
24 you had seen that day, were you not?
25 A. Every normal man, Mr. Karnavas, and I consider myself that, would
1 have to have felt moved, and he would necessarily find it difficult to
2 stomach all the ugly things that were happening over there.
3 Q. Now, on that day, on the 12th in the afternoon where those ugly
4 things were happening, were you not, in fact, trying to locate and
5 interrogate wounded refugees? Was that not one of the additional tasks
6 that you -- or burdens shall we call it, that you took upon yourself in
7 addition to the coordination that you were involved with?
8 A. No, Mr. Karnavas. The refugees, and I'm talking about the 12th,
9 or rather, the wounded that you mentioned, and the international forces,
10 the UNPROFOR, the international observers, the military observers, and
11 other international factors that were present in Srebrenica, or rather, in
12 Potocari at the time, were clearly within the terms of reference of
13 Colonel Jankovic. And he told me that my role for that period ceased,
14 that is, my role as a liaison officer, and that all activities linked to
15 those contacts would be taken over by him in the ensuing period.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may ask to go into private session for one
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go to private session, please.
20 [Private session]
11 Pages 2232 to 2240 – redacted – private session.
1 [Open session]
2 JUDGE LIU: Now we are in the open session. You may proceed.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. Let me focus your attention back to the 13th, the 13th of July,
5 1995. As I understand your testimony, at some point you were informed by
6 the military police that General Mladic was going to be going down to
7 Konjevic Polje. Is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. That was sometime in the morning, mid-morning of the 13th?
10 A. Yes, that was after my return from Potocari. That is to say, I
11 stayed in Potocari for a time, and then I came to the building of the
12 military police.
13 Q. And that's where you found out from them?
14 A. Yes, that's when I was told that on that day, Mladic was, roughly
15 during that period of time actually, or several hours afterwards, was
16 supposed to pass along that route towards Konjevic Polje.
17 Q. Okay. And so you went down that road to make sure that it was
18 safe. Right? That was your testimony, I believe.
19 A. Yes, I went to check the situation out, the safety and security of
20 that line of communication on that day during that period.
21 Q. You weren't under any orders to do that; that was on your own.
23 A. No, Mr. Karnavas. I did not receive any order. I acted as I
24 thought best at that moment in time, and I made the decision as the
25 security organ in charge.
1 Q. Okay. Kind of interesting that everybody would know where Mladic
2 is coming and going. I mean, if there's a security risk. Don't you find
3 it kind of curious that he would telegraph to everybody: "Here's where
4 I'm going"?
5 A. No. If you're asking me, then quite certainly he didn't inform
6 everybody where he was going. The squad from the Bratunac Brigade was one
7 of the participants in providing security for General Mladic so that it
8 was quite normal for the police to know about his whereabouts and his
9 movements, and there would be one or two units included in the security of
10 General Mladic.
11 Q. Right. But we're talking about the police that were with him.
12 When they're with him, obviously they know where he is. The ones that are
13 back in the headquarters aren't necessarily told, "here's where General
14 Mladic is going," so that information is revealed.
15 A. Well, according to the nature of the job, you couldn't put it that
16 way. They should have had information about General Mladic's movements,
17 the Bratunac Brigade and the police.
18 Q. Okay. Now, that road was heavily guarded, was it not, already?
19 If you don't know, let us know, but...
20 A. I did not know at that point in time the exact level or degree to
21 which that road was safe when I decided to go out and check it out. But I
22 did, of course, know that some of the police forces were there. That is
23 what I did know.
24 Q. Well, part of that road had already -- being policed or being
25 secured by the police well before Srebrenica. Isn't that a fact?
1 A. I didn't know how it was secured, how that part of the road had
2 been secured before the attack on Srebrenica. All I knew was what was
3 going on in Konjevic Polje before the attack on Srebrenica. And I
4 testified about that.
5 Q. Okay. And so you went there, and I take it you took a lot of
6 people with you because you weren't sure how safe this road was. So just
7 in case you got in trouble, you must have taken some backup support when
8 you drove down that road to make sure that it was safe for the general.
9 Did you take any support with you when you were trying to check out the
10 safety of this particular road? Or were you just driving around casually
11 hoping that you didn't get hit by a stray bullet or be ambushed?
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection again. He's just playing. It's
14 silliness. It's too serious a matter to talk like that.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, just ask a simple question. Did you take anybody
16 with you?
17 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll ask it again, Your Honour.
18 Q. Did you take anybody with you when you were there to check that
19 piece of road for its safety? Yes or no.
20 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
21 Q. Who did you take? How many people?
22 A. On the way in my car, there was a policeman with me.
23 Q. Okay, so it was just you and a police officer driving down this
24 road checking the safety of the road for the supreme commander of the
25 army. That's your testimony?
1 A. Yes, with the policeman, I drove in that direction and along that
2 stretch of road to check out what I was interested in, to see what the
3 security and safety was and the communication lines, how far they were
4 open towards Konjevic Polje.
5 Q. And then when you found that it was safe and you had reached the
6 destination, you stayed there waiting for General Mladic. Is that
8 A. When I established that the road was quite safe and that nothing
9 else had to be undertaken, I stayed in Konjevic Polje once I had got
11 Q. And you waited for General Mladic. That was part of the question.
12 You waited for him, right?
13 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas. Yes, I did. I waited for General Mladic to
14 pass by.
15 Q. All right. Were you just waiting for him to pass by, or were you
16 waiting to report to him?
17 A. Mr. Karnavas, at that point in time, I was waiting for him to pass
18 through Konjevic Polje. I didn't know what he intended to do in Konjevic
19 Polje, whether he intended to stay and ask me anything, whether I would
20 have occasion to report to him. I knew nothing about that at that point
21 in time. I was waiting for him to pass through, to pass through that
22 junction, crossroads.
23 Q. And at some point he arrived. Right? At some point --
24 A. Yes, yes, he did arrive. General Mladic did arrive.
25 Q. And as I understand your testimony, it was you that went to him to
1 report, to give him a report.
2 A. Yes. I met General Mladic on the asphalt road at the crossroads
3 there when he stepped out of his car.
4 Q. He hadn't given you any particular tasks.
5 A. No. I reported to General Mladic, telling him that everything was
6 all right, in order, that there were no problems. And all the rest he
7 could see for himself.
8 Q. Okay. And when you asked him what would happen to these people,
9 which you already knew, according to your testimony, and he made that hand
10 movement which you interpreted to mean "they will all be killed," there
11 was no one there to hear you ask that question, was there?
12 A. There were many people round about. Nobody approached, and that's
13 customary of which the reporting, that it is always done at a distance
14 from the person you are reporting to. I think -- I don't think our
15 conversation was within this reporting period. While I was reporting to
16 him, we were standing straight, and I asked him: "General, sir, what
17 should be done with the people next?" And he made the gesture that I
18 described. And that's how I understood it.
19 Q. And it was just you and him having this conversation at the time.
20 A. Yes. I was reporting to him, and then just the two of us
21 continued the conversation about this.
22 Q. But I guess what I'm trying to make sure that we all understand,
23 there was nobody else there to hear this supposed conversation that took
24 place between you and General Mladic. That's the question. There was no
25 one there to verify that this conversation did, indeed, take place.
1 A. Mr. Karnavas, no one could have been in the immediate vicinity of
2 me and General Mladic. I've already told you that around us, there were
3 security people at a distance, which is normal. They weren't close to us.
4 They weren't listening to our conversation. And it is not customary for
5 them to be there. They were at a normal distance. There were several of
6 them, several soldiers who were securing the spot where the two of us were
8 Q. Okay. Thank you.
9 Now, I want to focus on a different area. And I want to recall to
10 your attention your testimony with respect to Mr. Petrovic who, I believe,
11 you have indicated on the record was involved in taking revenge for his
12 brother by killing six prisoners that had been captured when you were with
13 him and Mirko Jankovic driving around with the APC. Do you recall that
15 A. Mr. Karnavas, I recall exactly what I said in that regard.
16 Q. And you stand by your testimony today that while you were driving
17 the APC -- while you were in the APC and it was being driven, you came
18 across six prisoners who were later killed by Petrovic.
19 A. Mr. Karnavas, I stand by what I said in my statement.
20 Q. Very well.
21 A. Precisely in the way I said it in my statement. And I can repeat
22 that once again. I stand by my statement.
23 Q. No need to repeat.
24 Okay, if I could share with you what has been marked for
25 identification purposes as Defence Exhibit 37/1, D37/1, and D38/1. And
1 I'm merely interested in you focussing for the moment on the first one,
2 D37, which is a statement, and it is to myself. It's a statement. In
3 other words, we're not dealing with the one given to the Bratunac Police
4 Station, but we're dealing with the one that was given to a Risto Lugonjic
5 and is directed to me. If you could please take a look at it, and first
6 of all, before you go on to read it -- well, why don't you look at it, and
7 we can discuss it.
8 A. Your Honours, may I have some time to read through this whole
9 statement because it is a very important matter, and I would like to ask
10 you kindly to allow me to read it in its entirety because I have not had
11 occasion to read this document.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Might I make a suggestion, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Why don't we take an early break so he can read it
16 on the break time rather than my time. Because these are -- they're not
17 terribly long, but I don't want to spend 15 minutes standing while he's
18 reading, if I can avoid it. If I can avoid it. I'm just asking. I'm
19 just making a suggestion, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we may have a break. But the next sitting will
21 be a little bit too long. What if we come back at 5 minutes past 12.00.
22 Is that okay?
23 MR. KARNAVAS: That's okay with me, Your Honour. I'm just trying
24 to be efficient.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes. And by the way, in that private session, you
1 used two documents, and one document we heard is numbered as D40.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Right.
3 JUDGE LIU: How about the other?
4 MR. KARNAVAS: D41, Your Honour. D41. I apologise.
5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Thank you very much. So we'll resume at 5
6 minutes past 12.00.
7 --- Recess taken at 11.37 a.m.
8 --- On resuming at 12.07 p.m.
9 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Nikolic, did you have a chance to read those two
11 THE WITNESS: Sorry.
12 JUDGE LIU: I'm asking you whether you had the chance to read the
13 documents during the break.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I only received one
15 document, only one statement. And I've read it.
16 JUDGE LIU: Let us start from that document.
17 MR. KARNAVAS:
18 Q. Now, is that document the statement --
19 JUDGE LIU: Your microphone.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Let me repeat.
21 Q. Is the document you have in front of you, is that the one that
22 bears my name on it? It's a statement.
23 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
24 Q. Okay. Now, in reading -- in reading this document, do you
25 recognise the person who gave the document?
1 A. Yes, I do recognise him.
2 Q. Now, and who may that be?
3 A. It is Mr. Mile Petrovic.
4 Q. Is that the same Mile Petrovic that you've testified to before?
5 A. Yes. It is the Mile Petrovic that I testified about.
6 Q. Okay. Now, in reading the document, I believe it's on the last
7 page, it states that back in March or April, your lawyers went to meet
8 with this gentleman. Is that correct?
9 A. I just cannot confirm the exact date, whether it was in March or
10 April. But I can confirm that I have information that my lawyers did meet
11 with Mile Petrovic.
12 Q. And when you say your lawyers, are we speaking of Mr. Londrovic
13 and Mr. Kirsch, and this gentleman Stanko Petrovic?
14 A. As far as I know, I'm not quite sure about that. But I think that
15 Mr. Kirsch was not involved. I think it was Mr. Londrovic and my
16 investigators, that is, the investigators from my team.
17 Q. All right. And would it be fair to say that they went to meet
18 with Mr. Petrovic at your request?
19 A. Mr. Karnavas, among others, I mentioned this name, the name of
20 Mile Petrovic, with whom my lawyers could and should talk. And I can
21 confirm that I gave this man's name to my lawyers.
22 Q. And from the date March or April 2003, it would seem to
23 me - correct me if I am wrong - that if you started your negotiations with
24 the Prosecution around November or December, and you didn't reach an
25 agreement until end of April, this encounter of your lawyers with this
1 witness must have been during that critical period, that critical
2 negotiating period. Right?
3 A. Mr. Karnavas, I can only speculate about that because I don't know
4 exactly. I don't have the date on me as to when they met.
5 Q. But it was during the period when you were negotiating the facts
6 as to what you would be willing to admit and acknowledge and provide to
7 the Prosecution. Isn't that a fact?
8 A. I've already told you that I don't know. And I can't say any more
9 than that.
10 Q. Very well. I'll move on.
11 Now, in reading this statement, it would appear, would it not,
12 that Mr. Petrovic's account as to what happened is dramatically different
13 from your version? Is that not a fact?
14 A. I cannot describe in that way Mr. Petrovic's statement. I can
15 talk about Mr. Petrovic's statement as a whole and point by point. And I
16 would not agree with your description.
17 Q. Okay. Well, Mr. Petrovic states, on page 1, that they
18 only -- that you picked up two prisoners, not six.
19 A. Mr. Karnavas, I am claiming here that in that group, there were
20 five or six prisoners, as many as I had said in my testimony and in my
21 first statement. I continue to assert that there were more than two.
22 Five or six to the best of my recollection.
23 Q. Okay. In your statement, you do not acknowledge and take
24 responsibility for physically abusing any prisoners by hitting them with
25 the butt of a rifle. But Mr. Petrovic claims that that's what he
1 witnessed. So we have a difference there, don't we?
2 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas. That is what Petrovic says in his statement.
3 But I am claiming here that never in my life have I hit anyone with a
4 rifle. Not a single prisoner have I hit or touched or had any physical
5 contact with, never mind hitting anyone with a rifle. Furthermore, to
6 clarify, I did not carry a rifle. In that period of time, I was armed
7 with a pistol in a holster in my belt, CZ69, a pistol I always carried
8 with me. And when I went into the field, again, I didn't carry a rifle.
9 I carried a shorter weapon, an Uzi. So what he said is absolutely not
10 true. I wasn't armed with a rifle, and I didn't have a rifle when I was on
11 that route.
12 Q. Okay. And you never hit anyone, as is described here, with the
13 butt of any weapon? You never abused any prisoners, as described.
14 A. Never, Mr. Karnavas.
15 Q. Okay. Fine. I understand.
16 A. Never. Neither then nor ever during the whole duration of the
18 Q. Okay. Now, Mr. Petrovic states that he was on top, and not you,
19 and that you were, in fact, in the APC. I take it you dispute that as
21 A. Of course, Mr. Karnavas. I know exactly where I was.
22 Mr. Petrovic was at the weapon, a machine-gun of a high calibre on the
23 APC. I, too, was on the top sitting at the transporter with my legs
24 inside the APC.
25 Q. Okay. And he also states that there wasn't a megaphone on the APC
1 from which to call the Muslims to come from the hills or from they were
2 hiding. You take exception with that, too?
3 A. Yes, I do deny that, too. I claim, and I said it in my testimony
4 that as we were going towards Konjevic Polje, as we moved, a megaphone was
5 used from the APC that I was on. It was driven by Mirko Jankovic, and
6 Mile Petrovic was there, too. And this megaphone was the property of
7 UNPROFOR. And it was inside, as were other objects as part of the
8 equipment of that armoured personnel carrier. And I claim that it was
9 used and that Muslims were called with the megaphone from that APC to
11 Q. Okay. Now, Mr. Petrovic also denies your version of the events,
12 that is, that he took the six -- five or six prisoners and killed them, as
13 you have described it. I take it you disagree with his account, his
15 A. I said precisely what happened in my statement and what my
16 knowledge about it is. In my statement, I did not claim that
17 Mile Petrovic, that I saw what Mile Petrovic did to them. I said how I
18 saw that incident and what I was told so that I never claimed that I saw
19 him kill them, and I stand by that. I didn't personally see Mile Petrovic
20 killing them. But I said what Mile Petrovic told me when he came back,
21 and I stand by that statement to this day. That is what I heard and what
22 I was told.
23 Q. Okay. Now, you had asked your lawyers, in particular,
24 Mr. Londrovic, to go and see if Mr. Petrovic could provide a statement to
25 assist you with respect to who was ordering the military police. Would
1 that be correct?
2 A. I didn't give such instructions to Mr. Londrovic. When we're
3 talking about potential witnesses who were supposed to testify in these
4 proceedings, I always gave him instructions and named people who might
5 testify in a particular area. If he's a member of the police, then with
6 reference to that area and within the framework of the indictment and the
7 charges it contains against me. So those were the kinds of instructions I
8 gave to my lawyers. It is quite normal that Mr. Londrovic was to have
9 spoken to Mile Petrovic about the police and their involvement, how orders
10 were issued, and things like that. So that was the area within which the
11 conversation was to have been conducted and information gathered.
12 Q. Right. And at some point, Mr. Londrovic came back to you
13 informing you that he had, in fact, met with Mr. Petrovic; he had
14 questioned him. And based on that conversation, he had learned from
15 Mr. Petrovic that he could not be of assistance to you.
16 A. Not like that, Mr. Karnavas. It wasn't like that. My lawyers in
17 that period of time consulted and spoke to at least 100 potential
18 witnesses, or people that could provide information to them. They passed
19 on to me that they had spoken to Mile Petrovic, that they have their own
20 opinion about all that, and that in the ensuing period contacts would be
21 made with Mile Petrovic and innumerable other people so that they didn't
22 tell me anything specific linked to him.
23 Q. And it was after you learned from Mr. Londrovic that Mile Petrovic
24 could not give assistance to you, that you told Prosecutor the incident
25 with respect to the six prisoners. Right?
1 A. Mr. Karnavas, as regards that incident, I told my lawyers this
2 immediately when we started working, and my lawyers knew about it. As for
3 the Prosecutor, I recounted that incident to him when we spoke about it;
4 that is, when we discussed the events along that route on a particular
5 date and in the specific area of Konjevic Polje.
6 Q. Let me make sure I have it right.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I object at this point.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. Karnavas is asking leading questions, assuming
10 facts which have been not been placed into evidence, speculating on things
11 that he may or may not have information about that have to do with this
12 person talking with his lawyer. I don't understand the relevance or the
13 propriety of this. Is this some kind of -- it just...
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, the last paragraph of this document in our hands
15 stated something which is -- which might relate -- might be related to the
16 questions Mr. Karnavas asked.
17 You may proceed along this line.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Let me make sure I have it right. You informed your lawyers,
20 Mr. Londrovic and Mr. Kirsch, of this incident early on -- in your working
21 relationship with respect to Mr. Petrovic. Is that correct?
22 A. Yes, one could put it that way.
23 Q. And then you send your lawyers to see whether this person,
24 Mr. Petrovic, could provide you with assistance in your case and give a
25 statement to the effect that -- as to who was giving him orders as a
1 military police officer. Is that correct?
2 A. Mr. Karnavas, don't ask me in that way because I really can't
3 remember what exactly I said to Mr. Londrovic, Mr. Kirsch, and the
4 investigators. All I can confirm is that one of the persons that needed
5 to be contacted was Mile Petrovic. And of course, with respect to
6 questions related to the military police of which he was a member. And I
7 can't tell you exactly what we talked about, but that was the idea.
8 Q. So early on, you gave your lawyers one of the potential witnesses,
9 their names that they should contact, one of them was Mile Petrovic.
10 That's what you're trying to state, right?
11 A. I didn't -- we hadn't yet defined who the witnesses would be. We
12 were reviewing the situation. We consulted a large number of people, went
13 towards them, spoke to people. But we hadn't yet decided who would be a
14 witness and who would not. And we couldn't anyway because we didn't have
15 anything concrete.
16 Q. Your lawyers came back after meeting with Mr. Petrovic and
17 said -- and told you that he could not help you. Isn't that a fact?
18 A. They didn't tell me that he couldn't help me. They conveyed to me
19 roughly what they had discussed with Mile Petrovic. But at the time, we
20 were not deciding whether he could be of assistance to me or not. They
21 simply briefed me on what they had talked about with Mile Petrovic.
22 Q. And from what they conveyed to you, it became obvious,
23 Mr. Nikolic, that what the gentleman had to offer as far as information
24 was not helpful to your case. Right?
25 A. Not as a whole. There were parts that my lawyers spoke about and
1 that could be of assistance to me. And there were some things that were
2 not to my benefit.
3 Q. Okay. And after that --
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, I still don't see the relevance of any
5 of this. We could go through this forever in his defence, and we could
6 examine his entire defence and all his relationships with his lawyers.
7 But where does it get us? There's a rule that requires him to put his
8 case to the witness, and I would like to hear it.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I would like to respond to that --
10 JUDGE LIU: We're not going to debate on that, because I have
11 already made a ruling before that the case lies in the last paragraph of
12 this document. The counsel has the right to know the motive of
13 Mr. Nikolic to state something happened which is different in the
14 counsel's case. It is quite clear. We believe that this issue is
15 relevant. So we allowed Mr. Karnavas to proceed. But I believe somehow
16 you have already got your point. There's no need to pursue it further on
17 this subject. You could not agree the witness totally agreed with you.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Let me ask a few more questions, Your Honour.
19 Q. After Mr. Londrovic came back and spoke with you about
20 Mr. Petrovic, it was only after that that you went to the Prosecutor and
21 told him of this incident with the six soldiers. Isn't that a fact?
22 A. I told the Prosecutor about this incident when we -- when the
23 question came up. I really can't say when I mentioned it first. But what
24 I can say is that I said what I said in my statement when I made the
25 statement and when I was talking about that particular case.
1 Q. Very well.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: We'll move on.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic, on that.
4 I have a couple of other matters. Just briefly about the security
5 situation in Bratunac --
6 A. Your Honours.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could we perhaps -- actually, I see
9 here that there was another statement that was given to another organ, the
10 police station in Bratunac this time. And since I have a feeling about
11 this statement, that it was directed and taken for a specific purpose, I
12 would like to ask the Court's indulgence to give us the opportunity to
13 take a look at this second statement as well. Perhaps it could help us
14 clarify certain points, and I express doubts -- I have my doubts here
15 because I see quite a few material mistakes. One of the incorrections by
16 Mr. Mile Petrovic, that he was just an ordinary soldier, for example --
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, it all depends how the counsel will lead you.
18 If he's going to use this document, he'll ask you some questions. If he
19 does not, we could not go into this piece of the evidence. I'm sorry for
21 Mr. Karnavas.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
24 MR. KARNAVAS:
25 Q. Okay. Let's talk -- I just want to focus you back on the security
1 situation in the town of Bratunac on July 13th, just very briefly. Now,
2 according to your testimony, on that particular night, the situation was
3 rather tense this town because of all of the prisoners. Is that correct?
4 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas, and I spoke about the -- I did speak about the
5 difficult situation in Bratunac.
6 Q. And I believe you were asked which units were guarding the buses,
7 and you indicated that you were unable to confirm which units because you
8 never went there to check them. Is that correct?
9 A. Yes, I said that I did not know all the units or the names of the
10 units from which these members came that provided security for all those
11 buses and the ones that were in Bratunac.
12 Q. Now, you also said, and I quote from page 1755. This is dated
13 Tuesday, 23 September 2003. I'm quoting from line 11 -- well, let me
14 quote from line 8, the question: "Were there any special police units,
15 the people you have described under the command of Dusko Jevic and
16 Mr. Borovcanin? Were any of those units guarding prisoners in Bratunac
17 this evening?" Referring to the 13th. Your answer was: "I really am
18 unable to confirm which exact units were guarding the prisoners because
19 that evening I wasn't there and I don't know."
20 Do you recall making that statement?
21 A. Yes. I said I wasn't there personally, so I don't know which
22 specific units were involved.
23 Q. In other words, you never went to check to see who was guarding
24 them, to ask, "Which unit are you from?" Or perhaps recognise some
25 people. Right?
1 A. No, that evening I was engaged on other tasks, and I did not go,
2 no, to see all that there.
3 Q. Okay. And it was after that time, sometime around 12.30 or so, is
4 when you go to the operation room at the Bratunac Brigade headquarters
5 where you see several officers, including Commander Blagojevic. Correct?
6 A. Yes, that evening, that is what I said, that all of them were
7 present because the situation was serious. Bratunac was under threat, and
8 I knew about that individual, so I went to the operational room where I
9 found almost all the officers from the Bratunac Brigade or Bratunac
11 Q. In fact, according to your testimony, during the meeting that you
12 had with Deronjic and company, at one point the discussion was whether to
13 engage the entire police force of the RS. That's on page 1752, lines 7 to
14 11; 753, lines 3 to 7, for the record. Do you recall stating that, there
15 there were some discussions whether to engage the entire RS police force
16 because of how tense the situation was, how insecure Bratunac was at that
17 period of time?
18 A. What I remember, Mr. Karnavas, is this: That I said that that
19 matter was discussed at the meeting. And I said that as far as I
20 remember, that on that particular evening, a request was made to engage
21 all available forces, perhaps I said police forces, I'm not sure. But if
22 I didn't say that, then all available forces should be engaged in order to
23 provide security for the convoy, the trucks, the prisoners, and everybody
24 who found themselves in Bratunac at that time. That's what I said.
25 Q. Right. And if I could read back the record, 1752, line 7: "And
1 one of the questions discussed was that that evening, all of the -- the
2 entire police force of the MUP of Republika Srpska should be engaged as
3 well as free soldiers who were free, the military police. And in view of
4 that very serious situation, that volunteers should be called in to assist
5 in the security; that is, all the manpower available should be used to
6 secure the Muslims who were in buses, trucks, in front of the schools, and
7 on sides of the roads, anyway, in the very centre of town." That was your
8 testimony. Do you recall stating that?
9 A. Yes, I do recall that. That means that that evening, based on the
10 situation that prevailed, that the priority task was to ensure secure
11 conditions in Bratunac. And of course, that all the forces, both police
12 forces and those of the military police and the volunteers and all those
13 bearing weapons should be called in order to provide security for the
14 town, security for the buses and trucks that were scattered round the town
15 in the side streets, on the plateaus, and so on. That's what I said then,
16 and that's what I say now.
17 Q. Right. And then you went to the -- as we said, you went to the
18 operations room around 12.30 or so that evening. You discussed the
19 situation. Correct?
20 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas. The operations room was full. Everybody was
21 there. And the situation and the state of affairs in town at the time was
22 the subject of discussion, what was going in general terms.
23 Q. Right. And that's when you stated that you had this conversation
24 with Colonel Blagojevic, pulling him aside to inform him of your trip to
25 Zvornik. Correct?
1 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas. That is when I informed first of all those
2 present in the room as to what was happening in Bratunac. And now I can
3 also claim that they all knew what was going on, and I can confirm that
4 on --
5 Q. Excuse me.
6 A. Yes, I will answer your question straight away. I will answer
7 your question, yes, yes. Yes, I will, and I apologise. So then I
8 informed Mr. Blagojevic about my trip to Zvornik and the intentions, what
9 was to happen to those people, the prisoners that were in Bratunac at that
11 Q. Okay. And that was when it was, you know, just four eyes, you and
12 him, and four ears, just your ears and Colonel Blagojevic's ears. Right?
13 That kind of conversation, nobody else heard that take place.
14 A. Nothing special except what was heard in the operations room, what
15 we discussed. I didn't convey anything else to him. So apart from what
16 the others heard, I just told him that I had been in Zvornik.
17 Q. My question is when you pulled him aside and had the conversation
18 about Zvornik, is it not a fact that that was -- that conversation could
19 only be heard, if this conversation took place, by him. Right?
20 A. You could say that. You could put it that way, that we talked
21 tete-a-tete, or in four eyes, if you like.
22 Q. That's the expression I believe that's used in Bosnia, so that's
23 why I thought I'd use it.
24 After that, according to your testimony, and I have it here in the
25 transcript, page 1759, you indicated that you went to the MP building, the
1 military police building, to see if there were any military police
2 available, to engage them. But you had no luck. There weren't any.
3 A. Yes, what I remember is that at the military police, there was
4 just the police officer on duty. And that there weren't any more
5 policemen there who could have been engaged on that assignment. They were
6 elsewhere on assignment that evening.
7 Q. And I believe it was after that point that you were asked, 1759,
8 line 21, "then what did you do?" And your answer was: "Nothing. It was
9 late, and I went to sleep after that." That's your testimony. You did
10 nothing. You went back to sleep. Right?
11 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas. I said that after that, I did nothing, and
12 that after that, I went off to sleep. And I can just add one more
13 sentence there, that means that what I knew at that point in time was that
14 the people who were in the school were secure. And as to the other --
15 further responsibilities, that was up to the logistics organs to take care
16 of the prisoners. And so as I had no means of seeing to that, and
17 actually didn't come under my competence either, I did nothing. I took no
19 Q. So let me sum it up: Everybody thinks in that meeting that this
20 is a dangerous situation for the town of Bratunac, not for the prisoners
21 but for the town of Bratunac. There's a discussion with respect to
22 mobilising all available police -- the police force and volunteers. You
23 don't know who's guarding them. You have this supposed conversation at
24 the operations room. And then the situation, which remained volatile,
25 nonetheless, you went home to your family in Bratunac and went to sleep.
1 That's the point I'm trying to make. Is that correct? Is that the
2 sequencing of it?
3 A. No, Mr. Karnavas. You just now said something that I did not, in
4 fact, say, and that is the observation that I did not know who was
5 providing security for all those prisoners. I separated that. I did know
6 who was securing the prisoners in the facilities, in the schools and the
7 hangar, the gym hall, and the secondary school centre. But I did not know
8 who was providing security for the captured who -- during the night, who
9 were there during the night when I wasn't there, when I was in Zvornik.
10 That means that a vast number of buses arrived. I can't say 80, 100, 120
11 buses and trucks. I don't know the exact number, but a lot of them. And
12 they were scattered throughout town, parked all over town, so I don't know
13 who secured them then. How this was done. Which units there were.
14 Whether there was enough or not. I know nothing about that. And that's
15 what I'm saying, that's what I'm testifying about. I'm saying I don't
16 know which people provided security for those buses and trucks that turned
17 up during the night. And that's the truth of it. That's what I'm
18 claiming, and that's what I said in my testimony.
19 Q. Very well. Okay. But the situation still remained volatile when
20 you went to sleep. The town of Bratunac was still insecure when you went
21 to sleep, wasn't it?
22 A. Mr. Karnavas, the security of the town was not just my job. The
23 security of the town, the town itself, the town proper, was more up to the
24 police forces to secure because during that period of time, everything was
25 functioning. The civilian authorities, police authorities, and everything
1 else. So it wasn't me. I wasn't the one alone who was responsible for
2 the town of Bratunac. There were a series of other structures who were
3 responsible for it, too. And among other things, I had my role in all
4 this, amongst all these others, and I think I did what I could. And I had
5 to go to bed, to go to sleep because I had stayed up until 3.30 a.m. the
6 previous night. So I couldn't take it any more, and I had to get some
8 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas --
9 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm going to move on, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE LIU: We didn't get your point, frankly speaking, but move
12 MR. KARNAVAS:
13 Q. Every time you've communicated with Colonel Blagojevic, on the
14 12th, on the 13th and so on, up until the 17th, it would appear that the
15 communications were four eyes and four ears only. Right?
16 A. Mr. Karnavas, during that period of time, every time I wished to
17 communicate with the commander or with any other commanding officer, the
18 only way was to communicate that way, to communicate personally and to
19 report to him. During that time, there was no reporting. There were no
20 meetings. So the only way in which I could communicate with the commander
21 was that way, and that's what I did.
22 Q. And there's no one to verify whether indeed you did make any
23 communications with him. And if so, what exactly you communicated.
25 A. I've already said. In these cases, I communicated personally with
2 Q. Right. And there's no one to verify what, if anything, was said
3 on the morning of the 12th between you, Kosoric, and Popovic.
4 A. Mr. Karnavas, I have explained the situation that we were in. I
5 said who was present, and you can draw your own conclusions. But I said
6 how it was.
7 Q. And nobody is available to verify whether, indeed, you were
8 ordered by Colonel Jankovic to do anything on July 12th, 1995.
9 A. I explained that, too. And I have nothing further to add.
10 Q. Right.
11 Let's move on to another topic. Yesterday we talked a little bit
12 about the negotiating process. And we were discussing, and at one point
13 you indicated, and I quote -- I believe it's page 67 on the transcript
14 from yesterday's, and I'm reading sort of the unofficial version of it.
15 But it starts with page 67, and it's 23:54:17 [sic].
16 "That's where -- and all of these circumstances created an
17 impression in my mind that there could be some misunderstanding. To be
18 quite frank, I was convinced that most of what I had been saying to the
19 Prosecution, that the Prosecution already has the facts and circumstances
20 about all of that, and all these were factors that prompted me to come to
21 the conclusion that all this may not be sufficient for an agreement. It
22 was along those lines that my thoughts were at the time."
23 Do you recall making that statement, Mr. Nikolic?
24 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas. I think that in the context of what you asked
25 me, that I tried to explain to you my guiding thoughts and my line of
1 thinking at that point in time.
2 Q. And from looking at all of the discovery and discussing it with
3 your lawyers, you knew that the Prosecution had no such information about
4 a meeting where you were tasked or informed by Popovic and Kosoric on the
5 12th. Right?
6 A. I'm not following you, Mr. Karnavas. What's the question?
7 Q. The question is by this point, you had spent a lot of time reading
8 all of these documents and discussing these documents with your lawyers.
9 And you knew from reading everything and discussing them with your lawyers
10 that in those documents, there was nothing about you or anyone else being
11 informed on the morning of the 12th of a plan to execute the separated
12 men. Right?
13 A. In those documents, if you mean the Prosecution documents, the
14 ones I got from the Prosecution, then in those documents I did not find
15 any explicit sentence which would claim that.
16 Q. And there was nothing explicit or implicit that Colonel Jankovic
17 had tasked Captain Nikolic to coordinate units in Potocari the morning of
18 July 12th, 1995. Isn't that correct?
19 A. Mr. Karnavas, at that period of time, I did not have all the
20 documents which the Prosecution had at its disposal. What I did have --
21 in the ones I did have, I did not see that, what you're talking about. I
22 didn't see that in the documents that I had. However, and I do apologise,
23 however, on the basis of an analysis of my indictment, that is to say,
24 what was set out in my indictment, I was going through a process of
25 thought in which, quite simply, I was looking to find myself, see where I
1 was in all that, knowing what I did and what I worked on and what I took
2 part in.
3 So quite simply, I had an idea of my own participation in
4 everything that happened.
5 Q. Okay, or at least how the Prosecution saw it, saw your
7 A. All I could do was to see on the basis of the indictment how the
8 Prosecution sees my participation and to assess that. And I couldn't do
9 that on the basis of any other documents.
10 Q. And based on all the documents that you had, nothing explicit or
11 implicit that would give you or anyone else the impression that there was
12 an order by Colonel Jankovic to you on that morning when you had that
13 meeting outside the Hotel Fontana. Correct?
14 A. Nothing like that was written. But there were a series
15 of -- there was a series of information, a series of events and incidents
16 of which I had both a recording and everything else. So of course it
17 wasn't set out in detail in those documents and in my indictment. Not all
18 the details were introduced there. But there was a series of meetings,
19 events. Quite simply, there were those things during that period of time
20 on the basis of which, on the grounds of which I was able to draw certain
21 conclusions myself and to see myself there in what was going on. That's
22 the only way I can explain this to you. So no, it did not state that in a
23 single sentence, no. But the events were recorded. The people were
24 there. I knew about them.
25 Q. Right. You saw yourself on video outside the Hotel Fontana with
1 Kosoric and Popovic. Right? You were there. So at least we have a
2 photograph of you, and that's one of the facts that you saw that was in
3 the hands, in the possessions of the Prosecution. Right?
4 A. No, Mr. Karnavas. I knew of my meeting with Kosoric and Popovic.
5 I knew of my meeting with Jankovic. I knew about everything they conveyed
6 to me, and I knew about all the other contacts I had with the commanding
7 officers before the Prosecution ever supplied me with any videotapes. I
8 knew all this. Of course, the videotapes were confirmation of what I
9 already knew before that.
10 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Nikolic, did you see yourself on the video at that
11 Hotel Fontana with Kosoric and Popovic?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I did see myself.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
14 MR. KARNAVAS:
15 Q. Now, in the documents that you had received and you went over with
16 your own lawyers, there was nothing there implicit or explicit that would
17 show that you had these communications with Colonel Blagojevic, the ones
18 that you claim to have had now, now that you claim that you had between
19 the two of you. There's nothing in there.
20 A. In concrete terms, the way you are saying, I did not find
21 anything, or rather I didn't remember anything. If you mean in the
22 documents supplied by the Prosecution.
23 Q. And we don't have any videoclips --
24 A. Or --
25 Q. Did you want to finish?
1 A. No, I said that I don't remember the details from the indictment
2 now, whether any mention was made about that. As to the meetings, I think
3 there are a series of documents. If you're asking me about those
4 documents, then there are a series of documents testifying to the meetings
5 in the Bratunac Brigade during that period of time.
6 Q. Okay. So we have some documents that there were some meetings.
8 A. Yes, you're asking me about documents. And I'm saying that I saw
9 documents which said that there were meetings there.
10 Q. And in none of those documents where those meetings took place,
11 regarding those meetings, show that Colonel Blagojevic was in those
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, that's a misstatement of the facts.
15 One of the documents has him right there leading the meeting where certain
16 things were discussed.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm talking -- let me rephrase.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yeah, maybe you could rephrase your question.
19 MR. KARNAVAS:
20 Q. I'm talking about the 11th -- you didn't see him on the 11th. But
21 the 12th, the 13th, the 14th, the 15th, the 16th, there are no documents
22 that you have seen with respect to meetings - not talking about
23 activities; I'm talking about meetings - that has Colonel Blagojevic in
24 there along with the big players, Mladic, Krstic, or any of the others.
25 A. First of all, your question is not quite clear to me. I know that
1 there are no documents of the Bratunac Brigade which state that
2 Mr. Blagojevic participated together with the big leaders, as you call
3 them, at these meetings. But I also know that in the documents disclosed
4 by the Prosecution, there is evidence that all those meetings, or rather
5 the meetings mentioned were held in the command, in the headquarters, of
6 the Bratunac Brigade. There are -- there's an intercept in which it says
7 that Commander Blagojevic is at a meeting upstairs with those from above.
8 So that is what I can say and what I can recall just now, because I have
9 gone through a large number of documents. And that particular document,
10 as far as I can recollect, that intercept I think relates to the 12th.
11 I'm not sure about that, or the 13th maybe. I'm not sure.
12 Q. You're not a participant in that intercept, are you?
13 A. Mr. Karnavas, my name is mentioned in that intercept.
14 Q. Were you involved directly in the intercept? Are you on that
15 intercept making that claim, assuming that it is what you claim it is?
16 A. I'm not a direct participant in the conversation. But my name is
17 mentioned in that intercept.
18 Q. That's -- that intercept is during the period when you went home
19 to get some rest when you were supposed to be on duty. Right?
20 A. No, that's not right. It was the period of time when I was on
21 duty and I had completed my duty about 3.00 a.m. And in accordance with
22 the rules of service, my deputy replaced me midnight, much later than he
23 should have replaced me in fact, Mirko Jankovic.
24 Q. So you were actually covering for him; he wasn't covering for you?
25 Never mind. I'll move on.
1 A. I wasn't covering for him. The duty service consists of two
2 officers. One is the duty officer, and the other one his deputy. One of
3 the them is on duty one part of the day, and the other one for the other
4 part of the day. And he was my deputy on duty in the operations room, in
5 the operations duty service.
6 Q. Very well. In any event, during the negotiations when you were
7 talking to Mr. McCloskey and his team and giving him all of this
8 information, the truth as you knew it back then, at some point you came to
9 the conclusion that you just weren't giving them enough facts to convince
10 him that he should give you up to a 20-year sentence rather than the life
11 sentence that is probably more appropriate for your conduct. Right?
12 A. Mr. Karnavas, that is your assessment. I testified about that
13 yesterday, and I said everything I have to say about that. And I really
14 have nothing more to add to what I said then.
15 Q. Just one last housekeeping matter. Trisic, you know the
16 gentleman, don't you? He was the assistant commander for rear services?
17 A. Yes, I do know Major Dragoslav Trisic.
18 Q. Now, before you got arrested, you were aware, were you not, that
19 Mr. Trisic had met with the Prosecution at least on one or two occasions
20 to give statements?
21 A. I don't know whether Trisic met and how many times. I do know
22 that he once told me that he had an invitation for a conversation. You
23 can check that out. I never spoke to Trisic either before his interview,
24 and after that, he never conveyed to me what happened during that
1 Q. But my question was - maybe I didn't phrase it correctly - before
2 being arrested, you knew that he had been interviewed by the Office of the
3 Prosecution. Correct?
4 A. One could say that I knew that they talked.
5 Q. Can you give us an explanation as to why you had your lawyer put
6 his name with the Registrar to be your investigator on this case in which
7 you knew he was a witness or a potential witness for the Prosecution?
8 A. No, I didn't know, Mr. Karnavas, that he was a witness or a
9 potential witness or anything like that. I didn't know at all. And to be
10 quite frank, I didn't know anything about the legal provision that
11 somebody that the Prosecution has interviewed could not be an
12 investigator. I was not aware of that. And the decision to engage him as
13 an investigator, my decision, was prompted by the fact that
14 Dragoslav Trisic was for many years commander of the TO staff, and then
15 chief of staff. He was in the army for a long time. He is familiar with
16 the situation in Bratunac. He knows many people. And those were the
17 reasons for my decision.
18 As for this other thing, I really didn't know. And when we
19 learned about that, we gave up the idea and engage somebody who could do
20 that. And that was it.
21 Q. That's correct. Your lawyer learned it from me. Thank you.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: That was a sleazy backstab at lawyers. Perhaps
25 you missed that, Your Honour, but that was an attack on these counsels'
1 integrity and it's completely unnecessary. I know nothing about the
2 situation. I wish we could strike that until we get down to the bottom of
3 what the devil he's talking about.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: First of all, this was not an attack on the
6 lawyers. The lawyers were early in the case. They were not expected to
7 know what is contained in the disclosure material. This witness, however,
8 did know because Bratunac is a small town. And I maintained that he
9 wanted somebody on the inside trying to influence witnesses. That's the
10 point. And if the Prosecutor doesn't get it, he can ask me, and I can
11 tell him what the point is. But it's pretty obvious --
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I believe that you have a point in
13 these questions. The problem is that you have to present it in a proper
15 Well, thank you, Mr. Karnavas, for your cross-examination. And I
16 believe that you are ahead of the time. And this afternoon, I think we'll
17 start at 3.00 instead of 3.15, because the reason for doing that is to
18 allow all the people to have a decent lunch, which will probably last 90
19 minutes. But now we have enough time for that. So we'll resume at 3.00
20 in the same courtroom.
21 The hearing is adjourned.
22 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.12 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 3.02 p.m.
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Stojanovic, as you indicated that you only
25 need the time of one sitting to cross-examine this witness, I believe that
1 will be 75 minutes, the normal sitting time. I hope we could have 15
2 minutes after the witness leaves the courtroom to discuss your two motions
3 concerning other procedural matters.
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I will
5 respect the time limit. Also, in view of the answers given by the witness
6 today, I hope that we will be able to finish this in less than 75 minutes.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may proceed.
8 Yes, Mr. Blagojevic?
9 THE ACCUSED BLAGOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise,
10 but I would ask your leave to allow me to put a couple of important
11 questions to this witness.
12 JUDGE LIU: It's a very complicated question, I mean procedurally
13 speaking. And we'll consider your request, and this witness will be here
14 tomorrow. And tomorrow morning, I'll give you a reply.
15 THE ACCUSED BLAGOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
17 Mr. Stojanovic, you may proceed.
18 Cross-examined by Mr. Stojanovic:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Nikolic, good afternoon.
20 A. Good afternoon, Mr. Stojanovic.
21 Q. On behalf of Dragan Jokic and his Defence team, I would like to
22 ask you a few questions, fully aware of the fact that we have nothing in
23 particular to discuss from your statement.
24 During the examination-in-chief by the Prosecutor, you spoke about
25 the duties of the duty officer, and you spoke about that today, too, that
1 is, the time during which you were the officer on duty. I just wanted to
2 ask you whether it is true that the night between the 12th and the 13th of
3 July, you were the duty officer in the Bratunac Brigade of the?
4 A. Yes, Mr. Stojanovic. In my testimony, I said that I was the duty
5 officer in the command of the Bratunac Brigade on that date.
6 Q. Can you tell me according to the instructions for the work of
7 commands and headquarters how is the procedure of the handing over of duty
8 carried out by the duty officer?
9 A. I can tell you very briefly. There are two parts of this handing
10 over of duty. A part of it has to do between the duty officer and his
11 assistant, and the second part of the procedure, as far as I know, deals
12 with the handing over of duty between the previous duty officer and the
13 next duty officer in the hall. These are the two parts of this handing
14 over of duty.
15 Q. I would like to ask you about this second type of handing over of
16 duty between the previous duty officer and the coming duty officer. How
17 is it done and in whose presence?
18 A. All I can say is what the practice was and what was done in
19 practice in the Bratunac Brigade. I cannot say how this was regulated in
20 other brigades. What happens is that the previous duty officer who spent
21 certain time on duty familiarises the next duty officer of obligations and
22 tasks if he has any that had been ordered by the superior command, about
23 current duties that again stem from the requirements of subordinate units
24 or orders from superior commands, orders, hypothetically speaking, from
25 the commander or chief of staff of his own unit which may have been issued
1 or need to be passed on. And that would be the customary matters that the
2 duty officer would inform his successor of. There may be other matters,
3 but this is a broad issue, and I don't think it's necessary for me to go
4 into the details.
5 Q. Is a book signed, a report indicating that duty has been handed
7 A. I wouldn't call it any kind of report or minutes, at least I'm not
8 familiar with it. And we didn't proceed in that way. During the handing
9 over of duty, there is the duty book which -- in which all these matters
10 that I have mentioned are recorded, and then the next duty officer is
11 familiarised with these things. And it was customary for this book to
12 contain all these observations and issues, and it was customary to write
13 at the end "duty handed over by" and then the previous duty officer would
14 sign. And then in the other corner, "duty taken over by," and again,
15 signed by the person taking over duty. And that would be the whole
17 Q. And on this report on the handing over of duty, does the commander
18 or chief of staff approve this and confirm this by his signature?
19 A. In the Bratunac Brigade, we didn't have that practice for the
20 commander to sign this. It may have been the practice in some other
21 brigades, but in view of the fact there's a plan of operations duty
22 drafted in the brigade, that plan is usually approved by the commander or
23 chief of staff. So this plan of duty had already been approved, according
24 to my understanding. Therefore, I am not aware of any practice that the
25 commander, and I'm talking about the Bratunac Brigade, would be present
1 when duty was handed over. That was not the practice in the Bratunac
3 Q. Can I infer from that that it was obligatory for the chief of
4 staff or the commander to be present, but that this was not carried out in
6 A. I really cannot confirm that because I cannot refer to any rule of
7 service specifying that because I'm not sufficiently familiar with that
8 segment. I don't know the details.
9 Q. Was this change of duty in the brigade fixed? Was there a fixed
10 time when this was done?
11 A. As far as I can remember, one duty shift would last, as far as I
12 remember, 24 hours. So duty would be taken over in the morning, and it
13 would be handed over the next day in the morning. Again, I'm not quite
14 certain whether that is the duration, but I think that is how it was. I
15 think you would take over duty one day, and hand it over the next day. As
16 far as I can remember, this would happen in the morning.
17 Q. Judging by what you just told me, your duty should have started on
18 the 12th in the morning and should have ended on the 13th in the morning?
19 A. Yes, one could put it that way.
20 Q. Does the rules of service of the security organ envisage the
21 possibility for the intelligence security officer to be the duty officer
22 in the brigade?
23 A. Of course, Mr. Stojanovic. Chapter 9, paragraph 93 of the rules
24 of service of the security organ defines this duty service and explicitly
25 stipulates that an officer in the security service cannot be the duty
2 Q. In spite of such an explicit rule, you were designated as the duty
3 officer from the 12th to the 13th?
4 A. Yes, in spite of that and in spite of my warnings to all the
5 commanders of the Bratunac Brigade that security organs and police
6 officers should not be planned as duty officers in the brigade, it was the
7 regular practice for me to be the duty officer, before Srebrenica and
8 after Srebrenica and always, regularly.
9 Q. Was this something that was established in the Bratunac Brigade in
10 advance as a list of duty officers?
11 A. In the Bratunac Brigade, a plan of duty officers was drafted. I
12 don't remember whether this was done on a seven-day, ten-day, or 15-day
13 basis. But on the basis of such an approved plan of the chief of staff,
14 or the commander - again, I'm not quite sure who approved it - so on the
15 basis of this written plan, duty service was carried out in the brigade.
16 Q. Just one more question on this subject: Would it happen that in
17 the morning on that same day, a duty officer would be appointed
18 extraordinarily, or was that plan respected regularly?
19 A. While I was on duty, it would happen frequently - I know that this
20 happened to other officers from the senior command - that an officer would
21 replace him who had more time. So such replacements were allowed for a
22 couple of hours, two, three, or five hours, depending on the
24 Q. Was such a replacement done with the knowledge of the commander
25 and chief of staff or not?
1 A. In principle, such replacements were known. One of the officers,
2 senior officers, whether he be the chief of staff or the commander, would
3 know about it, and he would not oppose it.
4 Q. Would it be correct to say that such replacements would not be in
5 order unless the commander or chief of staff were informed about them?
6 A. In principle, Mr. Stojanovic, whatever is prescribed by the law
7 and the rules should be complied with. So if the commander and the chief
8 of staff do not decide otherwise or do not allow something else to take
9 place, I don't know whether you can make such a conclusion. All I can say
10 is that in the Bratunac Brigade, this was not -- this was never treated as
11 an infringement of duty.
12 Q. But according to the rules, this should be done with the approval
13 of the commander or chief of staff?
14 A. Of course. Whatever is prescribed by the rules should be complied
16 Q. Thank you. You said that in every battalion, there would be
17 either an assistant commander or an officer for intelligence and security
18 affairs. Is that right?
19 A. Yes. In each infantry battalion, there would be an assistant
20 commander for intelligence, security affairs.
21 Q. So that is the precise title, "assistant commander"?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you. What are the duties of that assistant commander for
24 security and intelligence work in the battalion?
25 A. There are many duties, but I shall try and tell you briefly what
1 they are. The duties of the assistant commander for intelligence and
2 security affairs in a battalion is in the area of responsibility of his
3 battalion and in the area -- I'm sorry, I can't find the right word, the
4 right term. In the area of responsibility of the battalion and the
5 intelligence zone of the battalion to gather all information about the
6 activities of the enemy in front of him, to propose to the battalion
7 commander all measures to prevent any infiltration of sabotage and
8 terrorist and other armed groups within the area of responsibility of the
9 battalion, to propose to the commander the most effective and efficient
10 way of using the reconnaissance unit. And in a battalion, there are
11 reconnaissance squads. And to organise, in accordance with the
12 requirements of a superior officer or commander, to organise
13 reconnaissance patrols, scouts, observers, observer posts, and to train
14 all those reconnaissance elements. And whatever is gathered as a result
15 of the work of these reconnaissance elements in the battalion to be placed
16 at the disposal of the commander so that he might have a clear idea of
17 what is to be found ahead of him in his area of responsibility. So that
18 would be in brief the duties.
19 Q. You said twice "inform his commander." When you say "inform his
20 commander," which commander do you mean? Of the battalion or of the
22 A. Whenever I say this, and we were talking about the battalion, I
23 mean the battalion commander because he was the direct assistant commander
24 in that unit. So he would inform his commander about everything.
25 Q. Can I conclude from this that it is to the assistant commander for
1 intelligence and security in the battalion that the battalion commander is
2 in command of him? Is that right?
3 A. Of course, Mr. Stojanovic, that's right. The assistant in the
4 battalion has the battalion commander as his commander. And that same
5 assistant down the line vertically is -- has the chief of the intelligence
6 in the brigade above him, and he is duty-bound to inform the assistant
7 commander for intelligence and security about all intelligence in the
9 Q. And if he is duty-bound to do so, then can I conclude that he is
10 responsible for his work to the battalion commander? Is that who he is
11 responsible to?
12 A. Yes. He is responsible for his work to the commander of the
13 battalion, and the battalion commander is directly in command of that
15 Q. Well, we'll try in concrete terms to touch upon the counts in the
16 indictment which refer to my defendant. In paragraph 9, tab 1, tab (a) of
17 the statement of facts, you say, and I'm going to paraphrase, that after
18 the execution in Kravica, soon afterwards on the 13th of July, 1995,
19 machines were brought in from Zvornik and Bratunac to bury the bodies.
20 Now, in that context and in that respect, I wish to ask you to
21 clarify a few points. Do you know what machinery this was? What kind of
22 machines were they?
23 A. The question, or rather when it comes to this kind of information,
24 I said that I learned that the bodies from Kravica, they were -- bodies
25 from Kravica, and people who were killed and lost their lives, that I
1 learned that they were from Zvornik, or rather, that the engineering
2 machinery came from Zvornik, or civil construction machinery came from
3 there, from Zvornik and from Bratunac as well, this construction
4 machinery. I learned about that from the director of the communal
5 services company in Bratunac, Mr. Dragan Mirkovic was his name. And
6 that's what I relayed and conveyed further on.
7 Q. And can I ask you how Dragan Mirkovic could know about that? Was
8 it an operation he took part in and so knew about it that way? Did he say
9 anything about that?
10 A. Mr. Stojanovic, Dragan Mirkovic, or rather I talked to him many
11 times about that with him before I was arrested and before I came here.
12 And Dragan Mirkovic told me himself that he had taken part in the
13 operation to bury the Muslims who were killed and lost their lives during
14 that period of time.
15 Q. Did Dragan Mirkovic ever tell you that they were machines from the
16 civilian sector, or whether they were machines from the Zvornik Brigade
17 perhaps? Which? Where did they come from?
18 A. No, Dragan Mirkovic did not tell me that they were machines from
19 the Zvornik Brigade ever. Dragan Mirkovic told me that I think that they
20 were dredgers which were yellow in colour. He never said that the
21 machinery was actually from the Zvornik Brigade, excavators yellow in
22 colour. I don't know who they belonged to, either the company or whether
23 they were the property of the brigade.
24 Q. Let's just deal with one more dilemma. Can you tell us when that
25 machinery was functioning? On what day, what day was it working?
1 A. We discussed the period when they were put to use -- we didn't
2 discuss the period when they were put to use, and I wasn't actually
3 interested in it. I could just make a guess, but I don't want to do so.
4 So during that critical -- we were discussing that critical period of time
5 and the use of that machinery, so I can only make a guess, but I don't
6 want to do so.
7 Q. When you say "the critical period," do you mean that particular
8 day, the 13th, or the next few days, the 14th, for example? What do you
9 mean when you say "the critical period"?
10 A. Well, when I say "critical period," I mean the days, or rather,
11 first of all, the 13th, the 14th, the days when according to
12 Dragan Mirkovic's statement these bodies were buried, if you're asking me
13 about this critical period.
14 Q. So can I take it, then, that that critical period is the 13th and
15 14th? Is that what you mean?
16 A. Yes, that's what I can confirm on the basis of what
17 Mirkovic Dragan said during our conversation.
18 Q. Thank you. May we just clear one more point up. Did anybody say
19 who worked this machinery that was yellow and came from Zvornik?
20 A. No, Mr. Stojanovic.
21 Q. Did he happen to say that it was a soldier or a civilian?
22 A. No, we didn't discuss that.
23 Q. And one more question in that same context: Did you hear from
24 Dragan Mirkovic perhaps or from anybody else that there were trucks, some
25 trucks that came from Zvornik, too, or were you just referring to the
1 construction machinery?
2 A. As far as I remember, we just spoke about these construction --
3 this construction machinery that was brought in on trucks, and they were
4 referred to as "truck trains." But we didn't discuss the details.
5 Q. Did he perhaps say who led this operation in Bratunac, or rather,
6 Kravica, this burial operation? Was it the army? Was it civil defence?
7 Was it a civilian group of people, or perhaps somebody else entirely?
8 A. Dragan Mirkovic told me that he was personally in charge of
9 clearing, or rather transporting the bodies and digging the graves and the
10 cleansing of the terrain as a member of the civil defence unit in Bratunac
11 at that time.
12 Q. Can I take it, then, that it was the civilian protection sector of
13 Bratunac that managed the operation?
14 A. Well, I can't really tell you what conclusion you yourself can
15 make. I'm just telling you what I know and it's up to you. I can't
16 comment on what conclusion you're going to draw from that.
17 Q. All right. Let me put the question a different way, then. Was it
18 the army, the Bratunac Brigade soldiers who were in any shape or form in
19 charge of cleaning up the terrain, or rather dealing with the bodies from
21 A. From what I know and the information that reached me, I don't know
22 that the Bratunac Brigade organ in organised fashion or in any other way
23 took part in the burial process, in burying the corpses from Kravica.
24 Q. And Dragan Mirkovic, who was director of the communal service for
25 Bratunac, was also the commander of the civil defence in Bratunac. Is
1 that right, at that time?
2 A. I don't know what he actually was establishmentwise. All I know
3 is that he belonged to the civil defence or civil protection sector. But
4 what post he held when he was mobilised and anything else, I really can't
5 say. I don't know.
6 Q. All right, thank you.
7 Now, you said at one point, and I'll revert to that statement of
8 facts, the same one, point 2 or paragraph 2, that from the intelligence
9 officer of the 2nd Infantry Battalion, you got information as to what was
10 happening in Potocari on the 11th, or rather, the 12th of July.
11 A. Mr. Stojanovic, perhaps I misspoke, made a slip of the tongue. If
12 I said from the intelligence security organ, then that would mean that I
13 received it directly. What I meant to say was that I received this
14 intelligence from the 2nd Infantry Battalion, from the intelligence
15 reconnaissance group. I think I made a slip of the tongue on that score.
16 Q. Well, I'm going to read it out to you, and then we can comment.
17 And I'll read it in B/C/S. "I received that information from the
18 intelligence officer of the 2nd infantry battalion."
19 A. Well, quite possibly I said that.
20 Q. But it means you didn't get it from the officer, but from the
21 service. Is that it?
22 A. What I meant was the intelligence reconnaissance organs under the
23 brigade command, and perhaps I had misspoken or said something that was
24 too narrow. So let me put it right now.
25 Q. Does that mean that you can't mention a single name, the name of
1 an officer from whom you received that piece of information from?
2 A. I can state who I got all the information and intelligence from,
3 the man in the 2nd Infantry Battalion. I can give you a name, the name of
4 the officer who was assistant commander for intelligence and security in
5 the 2nd Infantry Battalion.
6 Q. But you can't tell us that you actually got that information and
7 intelligence from him? You mean you got it from him or from his service?
8 A. Well, I can confirm -- actually, there was a lot of information
9 and intelligence coming in during that period of time from the 2nd
10 Infantry Battalion. And it would be quite wrong if I were to state that
11 he was the only one who supplied me with information and intelligence
12 because as I say, there was a lot of intelligence coming in during those
13 days from the 2nd Infantry Battalion.
14 Q. And who was the officer in the battalion?
15 A. The officer who was assistant commander for intelligence and
16 security affairs was Milenko Jovanovic from the 2nd Infantry Battalion.
17 Q. Very well. On the 12th and 13th of July, parts of the 2nd and
18 3rd Infantry Brigade of the Bratunac Brigade were in Potocari during the
19 period of time you said you coordinated the units. Did you happen to see
20 any officers from those units down there at Potocari?
21 A. Yes, Mr. Stojanovic, I did see officers from the 2nd Infantry
22 Battalion. In point of fact, I saw Zoran Kovacevic, who was the deputy
23 commander of the company or commander of the company. I saw another
24 officer as well who was the leader or commander of the so-called
25 intervention platoon of the 2nd Infantry Battalion, a platoon that doesn't
1 exist in establishment terms, but it did in actual fact. And his name was
2 Zoran Milosavljevic. I saw him. I also saw many other soldiers from that
3 same battalion, or a number of soldiers from the Zoran Milosavljevic unit,
4 some soldiers from another unit belonging to Zoran Kovacevic.
5 Q. Thank you. Now, let's go back for a moment to the section in your
6 statement when you went up to Zvornik on the 13th in the evening.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. I don't think I need remind you of what you said. We're talking
9 about the evening of the 13th, and your arriving at the Zvornik Brigade
10 headquarters. You said you had been to see the duty officer in the
11 headquarters of the Zvornik Brigade, that you introduced yourself and said
12 what it was all about. Was it the duty officer, and did you go inside the
13 room of the duty officer at the headquarters of the Zvornik Brigade?
14 A. Well, I didn't put it that way, Mr. Stojanovic. I said that they
15 took me to the office, which was up on the first storey in the Zvornik
16 Brigade headquarters. And quite simply, I gained the impression that it
17 was the duty officer's office. I did not know the offices in the Zvornik
18 Brigade headquarters. I just said that it was most probably this office,
19 that I had most probably gone there. They didn't take me anywhere else.
20 So I assume that that was the office belonging to the duty officer.
21 Q. Well, I don't think I was wrong when I asked you that because I
22 have the statement in front of me, and you said that you went to the duty
23 officer, that you asked to meet with Drago Nikolic, and in the duty
24 officer's office somebody met me whom I thought was from the intelligence
25 and security sector.
1 A. Yes, I said I went to that room, to that office. And as far as I
2 remember, I said they called this man to come in. When I said that I was
3 looking for Drago Nikolic, I had to wait in the office, and then they
4 brought in a man who asked me whether he could of any assistance with
5 respect to Drago Nikolic, whether he could help me there. And I said to
6 him that I have to convey to Drago Nikolic personally a message and an
7 order, and that's where we concluded our conversation, in that very same
9 Q. Can you help us ask describe the man you talked to if you didn't
10 know him personally?
11 A. From the Zvornik Brigade, apart from Vinko Pandurevic and
12 Drago Nikolic at that period of time, I didn't know anybody else. I can't
13 really tell you anything special, any characteristic features of that
14 man. Quite simply, I didn't pay that much attention. I wasn't that
16 Q. Well, can I ask a specific question: Do you now know
17 Dragan Jokic? Could that man have been Dragan Jokic if you know the man
19 A. I didn't know Dragan Jokic then at the time. I do know who
20 Dragan Jokic is today. And I'm not quite sure. I can't really say
21 whether it was Dragan Jokic or not. I didn't really pay that much
23 Q. Dragan Jokic wasn't the duty officer on that night, the 13th. But
24 for the Court and for us, we had to clear up that it wasn't Dragan Jokic.
25 But you say it wasn't him, but you don't know who it was.
1 A. Mr. Stojanovic, even if it were him, it wouldn't have meant
2 anything because I didn't pay any attention.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 You said that after that, you went on to the forward command post
5 of the Zvornik Brigade. Is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Can you recollect who you spoke to there and how you reached the
8 Zvornik Brigade headquarters, by car, I mean the forward command post of
9 the Zvornik Brigade?
10 A. I reached the forward command post escorted by a soldier from the
11 Zvornik Brigade who was allotted to me to take me there. We went there in
12 one car, in my car.
13 Q. And what kind of a building was it at the forward command post?
14 Could you remember?
15 A. Believe me, it was nighttime, and all I can say is that it was a
16 road that was rather narrow. It seemed to me to be about 6, 7, or 8
17 kilometres away. We got there, only just managed to turn the car around
18 where I had to do so. And it was just a house. Whether it was a holiday
19 home or not, I really don't know. I just went inside that house.
20 Q. If I understood you properly, from the street, you went into the
21 house where you found Drago Nikolic. You said you turned the car around.
22 A. I parked the car, got out of the car. And I was taken by the
23 policeman to this -- these premises where the forward command post was.
24 Q. But where did you turn the car around?
25 A. We turned the car around. I don't know how many metres forward.
1 We turned the car around, went back, and parked the car facing the
2 direction from which we had come.
3 Q. Was this the yard of that building or was it the street, the road?
4 A. No. I claim that we didn't make a turning into a yard or anywhere
5 else from the road, as far as I can remember these details now.
6 Q. And when you reached the forward command post, you say that you
7 met Drago Nikolic and spent about ten minutes with him?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Was anyone else there apart from Drago Nikolic attend while you
10 had that conversation?
11 A. No, as far as I can remember we spoke alone.
12 Q. At the end of that conversation, did you return alone, or did
13 Drago Nikolic go with you?
14 A. No, Drago Nikolic remained at the forward command post, and the
15 policeman and myself went back towards the Zvornik Brigade.
16 Q. That is something I wanted to ask you about. Did Drago Nikolic
17 know that you were coming? Did anyone tell him on the phone that you were
19 A. I really cannot say now whether somebody told Drago Nikolic that I
20 was about to come. I really don't know.
21 Q. Maybe put it this way: Did you announce to Drago Nikolic that you
22 would be coming to tell him something important?
23 A. No. I was given an assignment in the centre of town. And in that
24 period of time, I didn't use a telephone. I didn't drop by anywhere, and
25 I didn't call him from the Zvornik Brigade. Somebody from the Zvornik
1 Brigade may have called him up and told him, but I don't know that.
2 Q. And then you left. You got into the car with that same policeman,
3 and you went back. Did you notice whether there were any other buildings
4 and soldiers in those buildings, or was that building all alone, the one
5 you spoke to Drago Nikolic in? Can you remember that?
6 A. Mr. Stojanovic, I really didn't pay any attention as to what was
7 to be found along that road or round about there, nor did I have any
8 reason to look around to see what buildings there were. I told you it was
9 dusk or dark already. I was brought there under escort, and I returned
10 with the same policeman after this talk without any intention of making
11 any observations. I didn't pay any attention to the appearances of my
12 surroundings, the road or anything else.
13 Q. Just one more question: When you reached the Zvornik Brigade
14 headquarters, not the forward command post but the headquarters of the
15 Zvornik Brigade, you said that you first reported to the policeman at the
16 gate, the security officer. You told him who you were and what you were.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Was your arrival recorded in any kind of book, your arrival at the
19 Zvornik Brigade headquarters that you know?
20 A. I don't know. I can't deny it, but I can't claim that it was
21 either. At the reception, I showed my pass. I had a pass which I had
22 made in the Kartonaza in Bratunac, a pass with my photograph on it, my
23 full name, and my particulars from my ID. And with that pass, as I never
24 had an official ID, I had this pass. I didn't carry my ID with me. And I
25 showed this pass at the entrance when I reached the Zvornik Brigade
1 headquarters. I said I was from the Bratunac Brigade. I said that I was
2 a security organ, and that I needed Drago Nikolic in person. Now, whether
3 anyone noted that down or not, I don't know. But they didn't stop me. I
4 had no problems. They let me pass. They did not disarm me as was
5 customary. So this is what I'm sure of as having happened.
6 Q. As you are an intelligence and security officer, and a good one,
7 was it their duty to record the arrival of such a person, that is, an
8 officer from another brigade? Shouldn't that have been noted down
10 A. I don't know, Mr. Stojanovic, what their superior officers'
11 instructions were. I know that in the Bratunac Brigade, security organs
12 and intelligence security organs would announce themselves with me. They
13 would inform me by telephone, and then I would receive those men. And as
14 far as I know, in my brigade, there was no registering of names at the
15 gate of intelligence and security organs. I don't think other senior
16 officers' names were recorded either, if we knew who they were. If we
17 knew their identity and their positions, men from the corps command, from
18 superior, or even subordinate units, that was not the practice. The rules
19 may have required it, but as far as I know, we did not comply with that.
20 Q. You will agree with me that this was not the case, you were not
21 announced, your arrival was not announced. The officer for intelligence
22 and security affairs didn't tell the receptionist to let you pass. You
23 arrived unannounced. You introduced yourself, and you were allowed to
24 enter. So it's contrary to what you were just saying.
25 A. That is not my omission. I don't know how these things were
1 regulated in that brigade.
2 Q. But let me just finish with this. When you reached the forward
3 command post, was there somebody on duty, somebody securing the post? Did
4 you report your arrival there? Was this registered?
5 A. As far as I know, there was no one there to stop me. The only
6 thing I could hear was the communications that existed. I don't know what
7 kind. But nobody registered me. Nobody searched me or asked for my ID.
8 No, no one.
9 Q. Very well. You mentioned this concept of asanacija or clearing or
10 sanitisation. Can you tell me what it means in the military sense.
11 A. The term asanacija in the military sense, first of all, it is a
12 measure that is taken within the system of civil defence measures. One of
13 the measures being asanacija. And in the military sense, it means
14 cleaning the battlefield or the terrain after combat operations, removing
15 dead bodies, corpses of animals and various other objects and things that
16 could provoke an epidemic later on. That would be the briefest definition
17 of this concept.
18 Q. Could we agree that this is quite a legal and legitimate military
20 A. We can agree that it is a legal measure within the scope of civil
21 defence which is resorted to after combat activities and after the --
22 after casualties, after burning, destruction, and so on.
23 Q. Talking about this reburial of victims, you spoke about that, too.
24 And at one point in time you confirmed that this was an order from the
25 main staff. Am I right?
1 A. Yes, you're right. It was conveyed to me by Lieutenant-Colonel
2 Popovic that this was a main staff order.
3 Q. And Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic, did he tell you that you were the
4 person who would in the area of responsibility of the Bratunac Brigade be
5 the coordinator of these reburial activities?
6 A. Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic spoke about the operation, the need to
7 move the graves up there, and he told me that I needed to coordinate those
8 activities and organise the operation of reburial, and that I should be
9 engaged as well as the machinery, the fuel, how fuel should be checked.
10 That is, the logistic support was also discussed, to put it briefly.
11 Q. Can we agree that this was a secret activity going from the main
12 staff via the corps to the brigades?
13 A. I could tell you that at the outset, one could say that this was a
14 clandestine or secret operation. But in view of the course of the
15 operation, the number of participants, the number of vehicles, the
16 logistic support, the number of people involved, in my judgement, in my
17 assessment, it could not have been a secret operation. Possibly there
18 were ambitions to keep it secret, but I'm saying that in view of all that
19 happened, it could not have been a secret operation.
20 Q. So we are drawing the conclusion that this was meant to be a
21 secret operation, but because of the large number of participants, the
22 involvement of machinery, it could not be concealed. Is that the right
23 way to put it?
24 A. Mr. Stojanovic, you insist again on me qualifying the operation.
25 I would rather not qualify it because I was not given any order that would
1 indicate to me that it was a secret operation. No measures were taken to
2 infer that it was a secret operation. That may have been the intention of
3 the main staff. They may have -- that may have been defined as a secret
4 assignment, but I really don't know that.
5 Q. But a moment ago, you said that it probably should have been a
6 secret operation. On what basis are you making that conclusion, then?
7 A. As an intelligence and security organ, I can make conclusions on
8 the basis of what was being done. Do you think that such an operation
9 would be widely publicised? Don't you share my own opinion?
10 Q. I know it was secret, but I'm asking you to answer on what basis
11 you said today that it probably should have been a clandestine operation,
12 and that's a very logical question.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think we have to cool for a minute.
14 Mr. Stojanovic, you have to understand that you and this witness
15 speak the same language. So please make a pause after you hear the answer
16 from this witness. It is a very bad practice for you and the witness to
17 speak at the same time in this courtroom.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I understand. May I proceed.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you may proceed.
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 Q. Allow me to repeat the question: On what grounds did you state
22 that this should have been a secret operation?
23 A. Mr. Stojanovic, I didn't state that. I said that it could have
24 been a secret operation. It might have been.
25 Q. But why might it have been a secret operation?
1 A. It might have been because this was an illegal act of removing a
2 large mass grave to another site. And in my view, this could be a reason
3 for it to be a secret operation.
4 Q. In connection with that assignment of yours, from the 25th of
5 August to the 5th of September, did you spend any time in the main staff
6 in Crna Rijeka in connection with your activities?
7 A. No. From the beginning until the end of the operation, I did not
8 visit the main staff at all, nor did I spend any time in Crna Rijeka.
9 Q. Does the name Captain Milorad Trbic from the Zvornik Brigade mean
10 anything to you?
11 A. Yes. I've heard of that name, but I don't know him personally.
12 Q. And what did you hear about him? What did he do in the Zvornik
14 A. What I knew and when I heard of his name, it was in connection
15 with the convoys that were coming from Zvornik and going to Srebrenica,
16 convoys of humanitarian aid for the Dutch Battalion or for the population
17 of Srebrenica.
18 Q. And did you hear what he did in the Zvornik Brigade, what his
19 duties were there?
20 A. No, I really didn't know what his duties were.
21 Q. Do you know whether in the Zvornik Brigade they reburied in this
22 same way?
23 A. Yes, I did hear that the same procedure was done in the Zvornik
24 Brigade, this reburial.
25 Q. Well, seeing as you heard that, could you tell us who was in
1 charge of that activity in the Zvornik Brigade?
2 A. No. I know nothing about this reburial in Zvornik or anything
3 about the operation.
4 Q. Can I deduce from that that you know nothing of the role played by
5 Dragan Jokic in the reburial in the Zvornik Brigade?
6 A. Yes, you can. I know nothing about his participation in this
7 reburial process.
8 Q. Just like you don't know anything about Trbic Milorad?
9 A. Yes, that's right.
10 Q. You mentioned several times the 5th Engineering Battalion.
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. Now, as I am Defence counsel for an officer from the engineers, it
13 is my duty to clear up the position of the 5th Engineers Battalion with
14 respect to Dragan Jokic. Whose unit is the 5th Engineers Battalion?
15 A. Everything that I'm going to say about the engineers battalion and
16 its status must be taken with some reservations. I don't think that I can
17 help you much except if we're talking about specific matters linked to
18 operations in the Bratunac Municipality. As for everything else, I don't
19 think I'm going to be able to help you much there because the status of
20 the engineers battalion, I think, was a unit of the Drina Corps.
21 Q. That was the important point for me.
22 Now, who was in command of the 5th Engineers Battalion?
23 A. As far as I know during that period of time, the commander was
24 Mr. Avramovic. I don't know his first name, and I don't know the rank he
1 Q. Would it be right if I said that the 5th Engineers Battalion and
2 the head of the engineers -- the battalion of Dragan Jokic was not one and
3 the same unit?
4 A. Yes, that's right, they were not.
5 Q. Thank you. And now the last group of questions has to do with the
6 meetings held in the Zvornik Brigade in December 1999 and what you were
7 saying about that and another meeting several months after that first
8 meeting or those first meetings. I take it you attended both those
9 meetings, did you?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. At both these meetings was Dragan Jokic present?
12 A. As far as I remember, yes, he was.
13 Q. Mr. Nikolic, who organised these meetings and how did it happen
14 that you yourself attended?
15 A. Well, what I can say is this: And once again, this is my own
16 personal assessment, or rather I make this conclusion. In view of the
17 structure that was -- and people present at the meeting, the meeting could
18 have been organised only by someone like General Andric, for example,
19 perhaps General Miletic as well, and officers of that level and rank.
20 That's my opinion.
21 Q. But for the Trial Chamber, could you tell us who these people
22 were, General Andric and General Miletic. Who were they?
23 A. Well, as for General Miletic, I don't know what his job was at the
24 time establishmentwise. As to General Andric, as far as I know, during
25 that period of time he was either the chief of the 5th Corps or commander
1 of the 5th Corps. I'm not quite sure. I think that General Krstic had
2 been arrested at the time, so either he was commander or acting commander.
3 I don't know. But he was an officer in the 5th Corps, I believe.
4 Q. And all this was taking place at the headquarters of the Zvornik
5 Brigade. Is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, did you experience this meeting as pressure prior to a
8 statement made to the International Criminal Tribunal?
9 A. Well, if you're asking me personally, then the answer is this:
10 How I felt personally, I think that it was partly pressure, but let me be
11 quite specific here. This was not direct in any way, or emphasised in any
12 way. But in view of the way in which this was spoken about, patriotism
13 was mentioned, that as little should be stated to the investigators as
14 possible, and all the rest of it. So I think this was a form of coercion
15 or pressure on us, those of us who were to appear before the investigators
16 of The Hague Tribunal in December 1999.
17 Q. Do you remember whether Pavle Golic was present at one of these
18 meetings, an officer of the Drina Corps?
19 A. Yes, I do remember. I think he was.
20 Q. And in that same context, do you happen remember perhaps Jokic's
21 reaction at the start of the meeting when he addressed Generals Andric and
22 Miletic with the following question. He said: "Why are you calling,
23 inviting the two of us," meaning him and Dragan Jevtic, "you could have
24 asked Cviko Kovac, too."
25 A. I really can't confirm this, Mr. Stojanovic. There were different
1 reactions. I cannot confirm or deny whether Mr. Jokic actually did that,
2 said that. I can't say he did. I really don't remember who said what.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just to clarify the record, it's unclear what that
5 last name was you mentioned. I got Dragan Jevtic, and Mr. Jokic. And
6 then there was another name, and I think we should just have that clear.
7 It says "Vinko Kovac." I've never -- I don't know who that is. But if we
8 could clarify that.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stojanovic.
10 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I'd just like to make this
11 correction for the transcript, not Vinko but Cviko Kovac. Kovac is not
12 the man's surname, he was an ironsmith, the job he did,.
13 THE INTERPRETER: And the question was pejorative in the sense of
14 any Tom, Dick, or Harry, interpreter's note.
15 MR. STOJANOVIC:
16 Q. I wanted to have Dragan Jokic's opinion as to why he was being
17 brought there and invited to attend.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Cviko. C-V-I-K-O, interpreter note.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, you may proceed.
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation].
21 Q. And let me end on this final note, final question: Mr. Nikolic,
22 in that year of 1995, in all those events surrounding Srebrenica, were you
23 ever in a situation in which in anyplace and anywhere you saw or learned
24 anything about Dragan Jokic in 1995?
25 A. I did not see Mr. Dragan Jokic, and I did not know anything -- I
1 did not know him at that time.
2 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no more
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much, Mr. Stojanovic.
5 Well, Mr. Nikolic, I think today you're finished your testimony.
6 And we are looking forward to seeing you tomorrow morning. And we are
7 going to discuss some procedural matters which have nothing to do with
8 your testimony. The guard will show you out of the courtroom. And I wish
9 you have a good rest tonight. You may leave now.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
13 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise. I don't
14 know whether there is any need for me and colleague Kirsch to attend any
15 longer if you have procedural matters to discuss which do not have
16 anything to do with our client.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you may leave now.
18 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may for one second.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: It's just a minor technical issue. It was brought
22 to my attention with respect to D41 and D41/1, I need to clarify that what
23 has been marked as Defence Exhibit D41 is the statement dated 28/11/2000.
24 And what has been marked for identification purposes as D41/1 is the
25 statement dated 10/11/2001.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, but one of the documents is not used during
2 the cross-examination so far as I remember.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: It wasn't used but I just wanted to make it clear
4 on the record which one -- which refers to which.
5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
6 Well, yesterday and today we received two motions filed by
7 Mr. Jokic's team. The first one is about Mr. Jokic's motion to continue
8 live testimony. The second one is Mr. Jokic's request for disclosure of
9 documents removed from Zvornik Brigade headquarters. Am I right, Mr.
11 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour, if I might address the Court on
12 these issues.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, you may proceed, Ms. Sinatra. I'm sorry for
15 MS. SINATRA: That's quite all right, Your Honour. I just wanted
16 to of course bring to the Court's attention the motion filed by Mr. Jokic
17 on the 12th of September, which was Dragan Jokic's request, urgent request
18 for disclosure of the materials under Rule 68 that would affect the
19 credibility of Dragan Obrenovic when he testifies. And the Court did ask
20 me if I had any concerns about that, and of course I was guaranteed by the
21 Prosecution that they had checked on all this and that everybody had been
22 disclosed. And then on Thursday evening, way into the testimony of
23 Mr. Nikolic, we met with the Prosecutor in his office. And he mentioned
24 to us that they had just found out that there were still more documents
25 that had been in the custody of Mr. Obrenovic, that were still in
1 Belgrade. And we requested to see them pursuant to Rule 66(B).
2 Yesterday, Mr. Stojanovic did a cursory inspection of the documents that
3 have now been brought to The Hague which we had not been provided with
4 prior to this moment. And when he went through them, since they are all
5 in B/C/S, nothing is in English, he did find several documents that he
6 considers important to the case, important to the examination of
7 Mr. Obrenovic, possibly that could have been important to the
8 cross-examination of Mr. Nikolic that have been held in the office of the
9 counsel for Mr. Obrenovic since his arrest. And I'm not sure of that
11 We're very concerned that we have not had access to these
12 documents. We're very concerned that it adversely affects the rights of
13 Mr. Jokic to confront these witnesses. We're concerned about the fact
14 that someone who is an officer of this Court has been allowed to hold on
15 to these documents knowing that we have been requesting these documents
16 for an extended period of time. We do not find fault with the Prosecution
17 at this point. We do believe that they probably had requested these
18 documents, but for some reason they were not disclosed until yesterday.
19 So we ask that this Court continue the case until we have a chance
20 to have the documents inspected, have them translated, and understand
21 where they fit into the puzzle of this examination of Mr. Obrenovic. And
22 I understand that this is very untimely. But considering the
23 circumstances, we have no other option.
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, but you made a very serious allegation against
25 Mr. Obrenovic. In your motion you said Mr. Obrenovic had been involved in
1 a conspiracy to hide this evidence from this Tribunal. And from your
2 motion, we do not see any or enough evidence to support a prima facie case
3 in that.
4 You have to understand a conspiracy to hide documents in some
5 jurisdictions is a criminal act. It's a very serious allegation.
6 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour, and if I might call on the
7 Prosecutor himself to respond to this allegation. And if he has advised
8 me that this is true, that it was found in the office the counsel of
9 Mr. Obrenovic, certain documents were turned over on June 3rd after having
10 been in the possession of Obrenovic for three or four years. I would like
11 for the Prosecutor -- if you don't mind, would the trial Court ask for the
12 Prosecution's response on this because the best evidence is from the
13 Prosecutor himself.
14 JUDGE LIU: Of course. Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm not aware of a shred of reasonable evidence to
16 these allegations, Your Honour. One of the most serious allegations is in
17 paragraph 4 of their first motion where they say "current counsel for Mr.
18 Obrenovic made partial disclosure at the time of Mr. Obrenovic's
19 debriefing as a result of his guilty plea, and the remainder of the
20 evidence sought by both the Prosecution and the Defence has remained
21 hidden in the offices of Mr. Obrenovic's counsel in Belgrade."
22 This is an extremely serious thing to say against counsel
23 obviously. I'm not aware of a shred of evidence to support it. I'm not
24 sure these materials have ever been in their office. I'm not in a
25 position to represent them, but I can tell you the process we went
2 When we got the first motion suggesting there may be other
3 documents, we checked with counsel saying, "Hey, are there any other
4 documents?" They went and checked with their clients. "Are there any
5 other documents?" Their client got back through them to us and said,
6 "There are some other things, most of which we think are not relevant to
7 the time period and are documents you have copies of. But there may be
8 some other stuff. We will make all efforts to get them." I said, "Please
9 do, please make all efforts to get them." That's what we did last week.
10 And we managed to have those documents brought by a person who, again, I
11 would like to go into private session for, if we need to.
12 But they were -- that material was brought directly to the office,
13 our office in Belgrade. And it was brought down over the weekend by
14 someone from the office. We all came in on the weekend and went through
15 the material and identified a small stack of material that appeared to be
16 new. We notified counsel of that, and we met with them yesterday evening
17 and let them go through all the originals of those documents.
18 Anyway, that's a different matter than the allegations which --
19 there are so many allegations flying around on Defence counsel for
20 Mr. Simic to Mr. Londrovic now to Mr. -- I don't even want to mention the
21 name because something new especially for lawyers in the former
22 Yugoslavia, this kind of allegations, and it's very disruptive, and
23 especially when I don't see any foundation for it. So yeah, that is a
24 problem. The documents now to the substantive issue, unless you want any
25 more questions on the issue of these allegations, but I can also talk
1 about more on the substantive issue of the documents, how we're doing with
3 JUDGE LIU: You mean you strictly complied with the rules to
4 disclose those documents to the Defence counsel, especially the Rule 68?
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Absolutely. When we first heard about this, we
6 filed a response saying, you know, we thought we had everything. I can't
7 remember exactly what we said, but we went and checked. And as we found
8 there was more, as soon as anyone could, we have got those materials
9 from -- I believe they were in a private residence somewhere in the former
10 Yugoslavia. They were taken to our offices, and then that very night
11 brought to us. The next day we got them, Defence counsel, and they looked
12 through them. And there are some documents that are new, and some
13 documents that -- nothing that we see that we would need as a Prosecution
14 exhibit. But there are documents that may be of interest to the Defence.
15 For example, there was a report on the engineering activity of the Zvornik
16 Brigade. And it didn't mention anything about burying bodies. It did
17 mention the various excavating equipment that we have become familiar
18 with. So there's that kind of document which is naturally of some
19 interest to them. Not many documents frankly, but they're correct. They
20 do need to look at them and go over them, and we do need to have them
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, do you know how many pages are together for
23 those documents? Just to give me a rough idea.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: I can do centimetres. Maybe a centimetres' width.
25 Mr. Stojanovic copied the ones he was most interested in. He may be able
1 to answer you better on that.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes, Mr. Stojanovic.
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I don't
4 think as the Defence counsel for Dragan Jokic we need to dramatise
5 regarding these new documents. But it is a fact that it was only last
6 night that we received the possibility of reviewing the documents that
7 were in the possession - I will say it - in the possession of
8 Dragan Obrenovic, because I have no other source to mention. Thanks to
9 the Prosecution, I looked at those documents straight away yesterday, and
10 I can tell you that there is a large number of documents, most of which
11 are not relevant to 1995. And a group of documents which neither the
12 Defence nor the Prosecution had in their possession up to now, nor did we
13 have the opportunity to see them or review them.
14 Among those documents and in my judgement, there may be about 70
15 of them, 70 such documents, in the hour that I could devote to this, I
16 came to the conclusion that there were several documents which might be of
17 relevance for the defence of Dragan Jokic. This applies in particular to
18 the document that my learned friend, McCloskey, mentioned today. And I
19 think it's no secret why this is relevant. And if necessary, we can
20 explain that.
21 However, yesterday afternoon, something else arose which could be
22 very relevant. Yesterday in B/C/S and on Thursday in English, we received
23 an amendment to the transcript of the interview granted by
24 Dragan Obrenovic to the OTP during his -- when he entered a plea. These
25 are 19 pages of the transcript that were left out during the first
1 disclosure. In this part of the transcript, there is a part which could
2 be of great interest for Dragan Jokic's Defence when he says that the
3 brigade commander, Mr. Pandurevic, informed him as to who was in charge of
4 the activities of the burial of the victims of the massacre in the area of
5 Zvornik. This is a new element mentioning the actual function of the
6 person who was assigned to do this. And this is a novelty for us, a new
7 element, and we shall try to find a solution, or rather, an appropriate
8 response to this.
9 So my answer is that there are about 70 documents, and these
10 missing pages of the transcript. Thank you.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Stojanovic, I'm very, very surprised to hear
12 that you raise the issue of the 16 missing pages. I believe that the
13 Prosecutor disclosed this statement as early as on June 4th, 2003. And
14 you are saying that until yesterday, you found that there are 16 pages
15 missing? I'm very, very surprised about your answer. If I'm the counsel,
16 when I receive the document, first I have to read over the document. I
17 think the next day, I'll find something was missing.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I did read the
19 transcript, and I wish to let you know that the transcript is paginated in
20 such a way that the page order agrees. You see page 53, 54, 55. However,
21 in the period from 14 hours 12 minutes until 15 hours and 20 minutes, that
22 segment of the interview, probably due a technical error, was not included
23 in the transcript that I received. And when you read the transcript, it
24 has a certain chronology and continuity. And the page numbers agree. So
25 you can't see that 19 pages are missing.
1 Of course, I did read the transcript. I think I've learned it by
2 heart. But this segment of the interview, which is now being added, and
3 this may be a part of the audiotape that was simply not transcribed.
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, your explanation is not still convincing. You
5 missed 1 hour and 8 minutes transcript. And you only found out yesterday
6 after the Prosecution furnished you with that part.
7 Well, Mr. McCloskey, could you tell me the reason why there are
8 some missing pages in the transcript.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Your Honour. Because of the urgency to get
10 it transcribed, and I think we had a rule of -- I can't remember, 25 days
11 to get it to the Defence, it was sent out, and I didn't realise this, and
12 it's my fault. It was sent out to people outside, the people that
13 normally do this for us. And they were unable to make -- apparently
14 unable to understand part of the audiotape in their transcribing. I did
15 not read the interview. I was at the interview, and I didn't read it. So
16 I didn't find the problem. And I was alerted to the problem at least a
17 couple of weeks ago by the court personnel. And I thought I'd had it
18 fixed, and I was wrong. It took too long for me to get it fixed. But we
19 did get it fixed last week in English when we put our best person on it,
20 who is the most experienced in listening to bad tapes. And she was able
21 to transcribe it in English, and that's what we provided last week.
22 And they have just finished, what, last night doing the B/C/S. So
23 we provided that last night. That is -- I take responsibility for this,
24 Your Honour. There's -- I should have done better. Having said that,
25 this is 16 to 20 pages. You can read it in 30 minutes. It's -- I don't
1 see any reason why it should be -- it should be a reason for delay. They
2 have had it now for several days. Ms. Sinatra is doing the examination.
3 Hopefully Mr. Jokic can have a chance to review it in B/C/S and can
4 consult. But that alone should not be a reason to delay in my view.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, actually, it's the Chamber that found that
6 problem. And the problem always exists in the English version. Maybe
7 there's a problem with the B/C/S translations.
8 Well, as for the new documents, there's 70 documents,
9 Mr. Stojanovic, you believe that is relevant to this case? How many pages
10 altogether you believe that is relevant to this case?
11 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I made an
12 approximation when I said about 70 documents. These are documents
13 consisting of one, in some cases two pages each. And these are documents
14 which agree, that is, the Prosecution and myself, have not been disclosed
15 to us until now in any other stage of the disclosure procedure. And allow
16 me, for the sake of my own conscience and feeling of responsibility, to
17 confirm that it is true that we're talking about 19 pages of the
18 transcript, and that this segment, on page 53 ends with the words "it is
19 now 14 hours, 22 minutes. We will resume when we change the tape."
20 Immediately on that same page, it continues with the words "it is
21 now 15 hours and so many minutes. I don't know exactly how many. We are
22 continuing the interview with Mr. Obrenovic." And all of this is
23 contained on page 54. So believe me, I could not have known that in the
24 meantime, there were another 19 pages of the interview. But I'm not
25 making a problem out of it. I would just like to request that what this
1 interview contains could help us to find out who is the man in the civil
2 defence who is mentioned in that part of the interview, the man in
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Sinatra.
6 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour, I'm sorry to double-team you on
7 this issue, but just to continue on about the pagination, the issues that
8 arise from the 19 pages need further investigation. We need to interview
9 people. I'm not saying this should be an extended period of time. But
10 it's not something we can just read and confirm overnight while
11 Mr. Obrenovic takes the stand tomorrow.
12 And I would like to continue, if the Court would let me, on why I
13 made these allegations about counsel holding on to the documents all this
14 time, if the Court will allow me. It will take one second, I promise.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, here, one second means 10 minutes, you know.
16 You know, we are always be asked to wait outside for 1 second, but it
17 turns out to be 10 minutes. We have been sitting here for quite a long
18 time. We have to finish this sitting as soon as possible because the tape
19 needs to change. Everybody wants a break.
20 MS. SINATRA: Could I just ask that the Prosecution supply you
21 with the document that they gave me on Thursday night that I was relying
22 on when writing this motion, and it was the proofing notes from Tomas - I
23 can't pronounce his last name. And it has a chain of custody of exactly
24 where the documents have been and what has happened to them. And that's
25 what I based the motion on. So perhaps you could be furnished with a copy
1 of these proofing notes that this motion was based upon with the chain of
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey. I give you 30 seconds, which
4 really means 30 seconds.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Under the schedule we're going, Mr. Obrenovic
6 would be cross-examined next week. So that gives a fair amount of time.
7 And we also -- you may have known that Miroslav Deronjic has entered a
8 plea agreement and has pled guilty, and will be on our witness list. And
9 we can always bring back, if necessary, Mr. Nikolic or Mr. Obrenovic if
10 there's something in any of this material that needs to be dealt with. So
11 that would be one offer of how to stay on our schedule and solve our
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
14 And are you going to furnish us with the document that you
15 furnished Ms. Sinatra?
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. And there's obviously a major
17 misunderstanding of that document. There's -- and I don't believe it was
18 cited or mentioned in the --
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- Papers.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
22 Well, Mr. Karnavas.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour. First, I do want to say
24 that I read the statement myself. And I can confirm what Mr. Stojanovic
25 indicated because I'm pretty thorough, and I didn't notice anything
1 different. So I could see how that could have been missed.
2 Secondly, I agree with -- this may be a unique opportunity in this
3 courtroom. I agree with the Prosecutor. I would prefer if we go forward
4 tomorrow since he's putting on his case with the defence. I understand he
5 has got two days. Then we have been given Friday off. And of course, I
6 do intend to cross-examine Mr. Obrenovic as well. And I think that if it
7 becomes necessary for counsel for Mr. Jokic to ask for additional time, I
8 think, you know, that could be raised at that point. But it may be
9 premature to assume. And I'm not trying to suggest that we should rush
10 through it, but I think I would prefer to hear the direct, and of course
11 that may give them some more guidance as to how much time they will need
12 additionally if they do need any time. So I would prefer that we go
13 forward tomorrow. And there's a reason for that, and that is because I
14 have my military expert here and I would like him to assist me while
15 listening to Mr. Obrenovic's testimony. Thank you.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, after consultations with my colleagues, this
19 Bench arrived at the following conclusions: Tomorrow, we'll hear
20 Mr. Obrenovic in the direct examination. And on Friday, we have a break,
21 and we'll have Mr. Jokic's team to prepare for the cross-examination. And
22 next Monday, we should start the cross-examination under the condition
23 that if those documents are translated. And if the Defence team believe
24 that those documents is crucial and essential to the Defence of their
25 client, they will have an opportunity to call back Mr. Obrenovic in the
1 future during these proceedings. It is so decided. And at the same time,
2 this Chamber denied the motions filed by Mr. Jokic's team.
3 Having said that, the hearing is adjourned.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.41 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 1st day of
6 October, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.