1 Wednesday, 8 October 2003
2 [The accused entered court]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
4 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, everybody. Call the case, please,
5 Mr. Court Deputy.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
7 IT-02-60-T, Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. And before we start, I have to
9 say that in accordance with the Rule 15 bis, Judge Argibay won't be able
10 to join us, and the remaining judge decided to continue the proceedings.
11 Are there any issues that the parties would like to bring to the attention
12 of the Chamber.
13 Yes, Ms. Sinatra. I think lady first.
14 MS. SINATRA: Thank you very much, Your Honour. That's quite
15 genteel. I just wanted to ask the Court to recognise that Dragan Jokic
16 will not be waiving his right to contest the statements taken by the OTP
17 in 2000 and 1999 because we intend to use Mr. Obrenovic's statement taken
18 at that time to attack his credibility, but not for the truth of the
19 matter asserted within the document. So if the Trial Chamber would
20 recognise it under Article 20, 21, Rules 87, 95, 63 and 42 that we still
21 maintain that not only are Mr. Jokic's interviews illegally taken but also
22 Mr. Obrenovic's interview was probably illegally attained, although we do
23 not have standing to contest that.
24 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Could I hear Mr. McCloskey on this matter.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: We have no objection to the use of Mr. Obrenovic's
1 prior statements in his cross-examination, and I don't believe his
2 statement is at issue any longer as evidence in this case, since he was
3 able to testify, and I think the Court's ruling on that matter. So it
4 shouldn't be an issue. There's no problem.
5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. And could I turn to Mr. Wilson on that
7 MR. WILSON: Your Honour, we have no --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.
9 JUDGE LIU: Microphone, please.
10 MR. WILSON: Sorry, Your Honour. My apologies, Your Honour. We
11 have no objection to the statement being used for cross-examination, Your
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
14 So, Ms. Sinatra, your application is granted.
15 MS. SINATRA: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE LIU: Is there anything else? Mr. McCloskey.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go into private session for just a
18 housekeeping matter that will be very brief.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll go to the private session, please.
20 [Private session]
19 [Open session]
20 JUDGE LIU: And for your information --
21 THE REGISTRAR: Open session, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Thank you. We are now in open session. And for
23 your information, we cancelled sitting on Friday afternoon, in accordance
24 with Ms. Sinatra's information provided to us yesterday, and I hope we
25 could finish the testimony of this witness as early as possible. And
1 today we'll sit until 7.00, and tomorrow we have the whole day, which
2 means we have to sit until 4.30 tomorrow afternoon.
3 Yes, Ms. Sinatra.
4 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour. I will certainly try my best to
5 cover the material, and it is probable that we would be finished in time.
6 JUDGE LIU: In time. What do you mean by "in time"?
7 MS. SINATRA: By 4.30 tomorrow afternoon.
8 JUDGE LIU: As I said, the earlier the better.
9 MS. SINATRA: I'll do my best.
10 JUDGE LIU: Maybe we could finish this witness Friday morning,
11 during one session or two.
12 MS. SINATRA: I would like that. I promise I'll be finished by
13 4.30 on Thursday, but we still need to have court for the redirect and the
14 Judges' questions, I believe, on Friday.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Thank you very much.
16 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.
17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you for your cooperation.
18 So could we have the witness, please.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, Mr. Obrenovic.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE LIU: Are you ready to start?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I am, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
25 Ms. Sinatra, you may proceed.
1 MS. SINATRA: Thank you, Your Honours. May it please the Court.
2 WITNESS: DRAGAN OBRENOVIC [Resumed]
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 Cross-examined by Ms. Sinatra: [Continued]
5 Q. And Mr. Obrenovic, I'm so sorry. I was so hasty in taking the
6 podium yesterday that I forgot to introduce myself. I'm Cynthia Sinatra.
7 I work along with my esteemed lead counsel, Miodrag Stojanovic, and we
8 both represent Dragan Jokic. And I'm sorry I didn't introduce myself
10 We had already gone over the outside of the model yesterday and if
11 we could just get one overview of the model from the exterior. I think
12 we're going to go into the model in just a moment.
13 MS. SINATRA: And Your Honours I'd like to also thank
14 Mr. Frank Swanson who is from the audiovisual department for his
15 assistance in the courtroom today.
16 Thank you. We have it.
17 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, can you use the pointer again and point to the
18 entrance of the -- I'm just going to call it headquarters, to be brief.
19 A. Ms. Sinatra, first of all, thank you for your kind words. The
20 entrance to the building is right here. You can't see very clearly, but
21 it's here.
22 Q. Thank you. And that entrance faces the highway out front; is that
24 A. Yes. Yes. Facing the road you mentioned yesterday.
25 Q. Yes. I'm going to ask the usher's assistance now. We're going to
1 go -- the model comes 0, ground floor, first floor and second floor, and
2 if Ms. Usher could please go ahead and take it down to the ground level
3 first, I would appreciate your assistance. Thank you.
4 Now, I don't know if we can get a view from the camera at this
5 time of the ground floor, but, Mr. Obrenovic, could you point with your
6 pointer on the ground floor as to where your entranceway is and where the
7 stairs are. And other than that, there are really no important staff
8 offices on the ground floor, are there?
9 A. Ms. Sinatra, it appears to me that there is both a statement and a
10 question included in your question. So as for the latter, staff offices,
11 as far as I remember, the ground floor contained the office of the
12 assistant chief of staff for the personnel, administration. I think it
13 was Major Galic at the time. And you came in this way, it was the first
14 office to the left, this one. This is where Major Galic was. He was part
15 of the staff.
16 And then there was the staff office. When I say "staff office," I
17 don't mean the physical office itself, the room. I mean its purpose.
18 There were two persons working there who were part of the staff, and there
19 was the staff office. Not the room itself, but the two people
20 constituting the staff office, as a functional unit, not as a room. I
21 think they were in this room.
22 Then there was the staircase, just opposite --
23 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, excuse me. Is that staff office, that's for
24 administrative recordkeeping for the brigade; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, precisely.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 A. That's what they did.
3 Q. You can continue going on to the next room.
4 A. You asked me to point out the staircase for you. It was probably
5 hereabouts. I think this must be the staircase, if I understand the model
7 Q. Yes. I think that's correct. Now, the only other office that
8 might be of any other importance on the ground floor would be Mr. Tanacko
9 Tanic's office. Can you point that one out to us?
10 A. One you've entered through the entrance and then you turn left
11 down the corridor, it's one of these two offices at the far end of the
12 corridor, to the right. This one or this other one. I think this first
13 one was the office for the brigade files and administration. There was a
14 woman working there who was in charge of keeping the files, and if I
15 remember correctly, this last office at the far end of the corridor was
16 the office of the chief of the brigade's finances. And then there was
17 Tanacko whom you've referred to and another man. There were two persons
18 in this office. I think the last one at the far end of the corridor. I
19 may have been mistaken pointing that out, but I think that's what it was.
20 Q. Could you please point out the office of the military police also.
21 A. If I remember correctly, it was just opposite, across the
22 corridor. You go down this corridor and then at the far end of the
23 corridor, the last office to the left, on the left-hand side of the
24 corridor, I think that was the office of the commander of the military
25 police company and the office just before that one, here, next to the
1 toilet, lavatory, was the office of the crime prevention unit of the
2 military police company. I think those four lawyers were based here in
3 this office, from the military police. That's how I remember it, at
4 least. This has been changed many times over, but that's what I remember.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MS. SINATRA: And I'd just like to take a moment, Your Honours. I
7 have forgotten to identify the model as -- I believe it's D9/3, for the
8 record. And it represents the physical exhibit of the model of the
9 Zvornik Brigade headquarters. And for purposes of the record, when we
10 finish our discussion of the floors, I will provide Mr. Obrenovic with a
11 copy of the layout so he can mark all the places he's identified to be
12 introduced into evidence, if that's all right with Your Honour.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
14 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.
15 JUDGE LIU: By the way, are you going to tender this model into
17 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour, I will.
18 JUDGE LIU: And how about the resumes and the letters of the model
20 MS. SINATRA: I don't know whether they've been copied yet. They
21 will be supplied, all the copies will be supplied during the next break,
22 Your Honour.
23 JUDGE LIU: I'm asking you whether you are going to tender this
24 into the evidence or not.
25 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour. I'd like to tender into evidence
1 all supporting documents to support the foundation for the model.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, if there's no disputes concerning with this
3 model, I don't think, you know, that it's necessary to admit into the
4 evidence the resume of the builders. It depends.
5 MS. SINATRA: I would love to not have to introduce it, Your
6 Honour, if the Court finds it sufficient that the witness has identified
7 it and said that it accurately depicts the headquarters in 1995, then we
8 don't need to tender those documents.
9 JUDGE LIU: You know, in the jurisprudence of this Tribunal, in
10 other case, I think in the Celebici case, a model of the Detention Unit
11 was also tendered as the evidence.
12 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour. Except it took up the whole
13 centre of this courtroom. It was really huge, and it was provided by the
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes. You may proceed.
16 MS. SINATRA: Thank you very much.
17 Ms. Usher, could we take it now to floor 1, and I hope now that
18 Mr. Swanson can get a view of this. If we can't, we'll put it on the
19 ELMO, but I hope we can get a good view of --
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't know if this is a problem, but the witness
22 has -- is I think -- hasn't really been able -- hasn't been asked for the
23 inside yet whether this is his recollection, whether these are accurate.
24 He's, I think, doing his best to point things out, but I don't think that
25 foundational question has been asked. I think it was for the outside, but
1 I don't think we quite got there, and maybe these other floors are more
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you know.
4 MS. SINATRA: Mr. McCloskey is exactly right. We discussed it
5 outside of the courtroom, but he's absolutely right.
6 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, does the layout on the inside of the building
7 fairly accurately depict the way the Zvornik Brigade headquarters looked
8 in 1995?
9 A. I apologise. May I just have another look at the ground floor?
10 Q. Of course.
11 A. Ms. Sinatra, you asked me whether the ground floor is faithfully
12 reflected in this model, to the best of my recollection. I can only speak
13 on the basis of my own recollection. The interior of the ground floor of
14 this building is, I think, fairly faithfully reflected, except here, right
15 here, this separation, the wall between these two rooms, I don't think it
16 was there in July 1995. I think there was a hall, a room here, that we
17 used for lining soldiers up. There was a bigger area here. I don't
18 remember this wall being here. There was a widening here, and then the
19 next thing was this wall and the staff office here inside, with the
20 typists and all that. I remember when the Office of the Prosecutor
21 searched the building, we lined ourselves up here, in this room, and
22 that's where it was. This wall, a separation was not in place, and I
23 don't think it was there in July 1995. I may be wrong, but to the best of
24 my recollection it wasn't there.
25 As for the rest of it, I think it faithfully reflects the interior
1 of the building. Obviously I don't know much about the scale to which
2 this model was built, but I suppose that doesn't really matter.
3 MS. SINATRA: Well, Your Honours, I'd like the record to reflect
4 that the witness has identified one wall that he is questioning.
5 Fortunately, this model has been put together so that walls can be removed
6 and at the next break we will remove that wall to conform with his memory
7 of the Zvornik Brigade headquarters. So it's kind of like Legos.
8 Okay, now If you don't mind, can we go to the next floor, which
9 is -- we call it the second floor, in Europe it's referred to as the first
11 Q. Now, most of the staff, the important officers for the brigade
12 headquarters, were located on this floor, weren't they?
13 A. Yes, that's a fair assessment.
14 Q. And if we can get a view of the inside, if it's possible,
15 Mr. Swanson, can you get the inside of the building here?
16 Mr. Obrenovic, will you locate the stairwell, which is where you
17 come up from the ground floor; right?
18 A. Ms. Sinatra, it's the same one that I've already pointed out, must
19 be this.
20 Q. And then could you start with the first office next to the
21 stairwell. Start with where you think the duty officer location was.
22 A. Yes. Like you said, you come out after you've climbed up the
23 staircase, and to the right, the first office on the right-hand side, was
24 the duty -- operations duty officer.
25 Q. And the next office next to that was whose office?
1 A. The next office down the corridor was I believe the office of the
2 commander for logistics, Sreten Milosevic.
3 Q. And then the next office to that is -- was an operations room; is
4 that correct?
5 A. We called it the operations room, yes, because there's a
6 difference between the operations centre and the operations room. There
7 was no communication equipment stored here. There were only tables,
8 covered with books, and several maps. That's all that was there. Aside
9 from that, you're right, yes, the operations room.
10 Q. What is the next office?
11 A. There were two offices, the operations department of the brigade.
12 In the first there were administrators, two or three administrators, maybe
13 four, at one time. And the next office was the office of the chief of the
14 operations department, or rather, the operations affairs,
15 Mijo Dragutinovic, Captain First Class by rank. And the next office was
16 my office, chief of staff. The next one after that was the dormitory of
17 the -- or rather, the bedroom of the brigade commander. That's going down
18 the corridor.
19 Q. Thank you. We're just going to deal with this side for a moment.
20 From the duty officer's office to your office, there are basically four
21 offices in between; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. If you could describe that in metres. How many metres would it be
24 from the door of the duty officer to the door of chief of staff?
25 A. Probably these smaller offices, with the exception of the
1 operations room, were three or four metres across, roughly speaking. The
2 operations room was twice the size of the other rooms. If you -- if we
3 say that the other rooms were three metres across, then the operations
4 room was between 10 and 14 metres across, I believe. This is a very rough
5 estimate. Maybe the description of the building contains the accurate
7 Q. So basically, it could be anywhere from 20 to 25 metres between
8 the offices; is that correct?
9 A. Well, probably.
10 Q. And could you identify -- is there a little partition there with
11 the door that separates the chief of staff and the commander from the rest
12 of the building, with a door in it?
13 A. In this model, I would identify the spot as this one.
14 Q. Okay. Thank you. Okay. Let's go across the hall. And whose
15 large office was that across the hall from you?
16 A. The only office on the left-hand side, in this section of the
17 corridor, or anteroom, if you like, was the brigade commander's office,
18 Lieutenant Colonel Pandurevic, namely. It's the one I'm pointing out.
19 Q. Thank you. And then we have the toilets, and next to the toilets,
20 whose office is that?
21 A. Yes, the toilets. And next office was the office of the assistant
22 commander for security, Lieutenant Colonel [sic] Drago Nikolic, this one
23 right here. Now we're walking back down the corridor. Next to his office
24 was the office of the assistant chief of staff for intelligence affairs,
25 Captain First Class Dusko Vukotic and his personal clerk. There was
1 another security clerk together with this assistant there. The next
2 office was the office of the chief of communications, Captain First Class
3 Milisav Petrovic. The next one was the office of Major Dragan Jokic,
4 chief of engineering, if I remember correctly. Because there were
5 changes. We are, of course, talking about July in this case.
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. This office was the office of the morale section. Nenad Simic was
8 here, the moral guidance section. And there were three other persons in
9 the room with him. And another toilet, two toilets, actually, one
10 functional, the other was out of order. It was closed. And the next room
11 we used to refer to it as kitchenette. That's how the officers referred
12 to it. There were several tables in there that the officers used to
13 assemble and drink coffee.
14 Q. And then we go across the hall from the cafeteria. Is that
15 Commander Milenko Jovanovic's office?
16 A. Yes, that's right. It was Milenko Jovanovic's office, but he
17 wasn't the commander. He was what we called komandir. And that was his
19 Q. What was his position?
20 A. His position was commander, or komandir, of the staff command.
21 It's a small unit directly subordinate to the chief of staff, and its task
22 was, to make matters as simple as possible, to ensure the basic requisites
23 for life in the command, that is to say, food, water, tents if they were
24 going in the field. And he was in charge of keeping this area clean,
25 making coffee. His staff would make coffee, bring in food, and so on.
1 And his office was here.
2 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now could we go on to the second floor, if
3 Ms. Usher can help.
4 A. May I just add something, please. This partition here, as we
5 called it, there was a double door here and the commander ordered them to
6 be set up so as to make a separate part of this corridor. It was
7 partitioned off. There was a small hall here, not like this one here, not
8 as it's built up here. The left part of the door was always closed. The
9 right-hand side opened towards this door here. And when you went into
10 this anteroom, on the left-hand side you would come across two doors
11 again. So the left door would lead into the toilets and the second door
12 would lead into the commander's office. On the right-hand side was the
13 entrance to my office. That door was first, this one here, nearest the
14 door. And then there was the room that the commander used to sleep in.
15 So in this separate little hallway, we didn't have three offices on the
16 right-hand side, as this model shows. I remember that clearly. There was
17 my office and then there was the room that the commander used as his
18 bedroom. So two on the right, two on the left. And then three doors on
19 the left-hand side. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I don't think so. I think
20 I'm right in remembering it being that way.
21 Q. That sounds fairly accurate too. But the partition was put up so
22 that the commander and the chief of staff could have some privacy; is that
24 A. This door was placed there because the commander ordered that in
25 1993, I believe. The courier was here. And the switchboard used to be
1 here at one time, that is to say, a table with the inboard switchboard,
2 which would sometimes be manned by a man, other times by a woman. And the
3 commander instructed this door to be put up, and, of course, for the
4 reason you state, for privacy, quite certainly, yes.
5 Q. Thank you. And for clarity purposes. In July of 1995, the
6 switchboard was not on the first floor, was it?
7 A. No. You're quite right. It was not. The switchboard was
8 transferred to the duty officer's room, the operations duty officer.
9 Otherwise, it was up at this wall. But all the devices were moved. This
10 might have been at the beginning of April 1995, for instance, thereabouts,
12 Q. Can I ask you also: The duty officer's door had a sign on it that
13 it was to remain shut because of the communications; is that correct,
15 A. You're probably right. The commander did insist that the door be
16 kept closed. Now, whether there was a sign on the door, I really can't
17 remember. But it would be logical for them to be asked that the door be
18 kept shut. It was an ordinary door, just like that door over there.
19 Q. Okay. Thank you. Can we -- are you finished with the first floor
20 and we can go to the second floor? Okay. Thank you.
21 Mr. Obrenovic, there's really only two rooms on this second floor
22 that are of interest to this case. If you could please identify the
23 communications room and the encryption room, please.
24 A. To be quite frank, Ms. Sinatra, I didn't go up on the upper storey
25 very often, and I'm not sure I know where -- what you asked secondly was
1 located. But when you come up the staircase and come up to the first
2 floor, I think that the encryption office was the first one, the
3 encryption room, that it was the first one.
4 Q. Thank you. And do you know where the communications room was
6 A. The in-house switchboard, and all the attending equipment, if I
7 remember correctly, was in this last room here on the right. As I say, it
8 was an in-house switchboard, and we would have to distinguish between the
9 communications centre. We had that in a container up on the hill above
10 Zvornik. This was an in-house switchboard and it was equipped with all
11 the necessary devices for relay communications. And as I say, I think it
12 was the last room on the right.
13 Q. Okay. Thank you. I don't know how we'd like to do this, but
14 could Ms. Usher give Mr. Obrenovic a copy of the floors.
15 MS. SINATRA: And I don't know if the Court would like for him to
16 fill in the rooms at the break or if you'd like for him just to go ahead
17 and mark on the documents to be introduced into evidence.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, maybe during the break, and after the break you
19 could ask some questions according to this map. And I hope that each room
20 has a number on it so that we know which room is for what functions.
21 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, I will take care of that in a moment.
22 It's not numbered at the present, but I will take care of it. That's a
23 very good suggestion. Thank you.
24 Q. Now, thank you very much, Mr. Swanson. I think that we're not
25 going to use the model at this point. I just wanted to -- and Ms. Usher.
1 Thank you.
2 The headquarters that's represented there, that's located in a
3 little town called Karakaj, and it's about, would you say, three
4 kilometres north of Zvornik?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. But the engineering department was about 300 metres away from this
7 compound called Standard, at a place called Sapna? Maybe I'm
8 mispronouncing it. Please forgive me.
9 A. I apologise. The interpretation I got was the engineering
10 department. Is that it?
11 Q. Yes. The engineering department was not located on this
12 compound -- company. The engineering company, I'm sorry, was not located
13 on this compound, was it?
14 A. You're right. The engineering company wasn't located there, no.
15 Q. And it was located about three kilometres north and on the other
16 side of the highway, wasn't it?
17 A. Yes. It was -- yes, probably. Now, whether it was three
18 kilometres or not -- but yes, you're right. On the road to Bijeljina, and
19 then you would turn off towards Sapna at the crossroads and find it on the
20 right-hand side. That is, it was opposite the Glinica factory. That's
21 where the engineering company was.
22 Q. Thank you. And just for clarification purposes: The duty
23 officer's office that you identified faces the back of the Standard
24 compound, toward the Drina River, doesn't it?
25 A. Yes, that's right. It had a window looking out onto the Drina
1 River, right.
2 Q. And I'm kind of jumping ahead because of logistics, but, you know,
3 on the 13th and 14th, supposedly there was a large convoy of prisoners
4 that was transported from Bratunac to the Zvornik area. They went north,
5 in front of this building on the road, didn't they?
6 A. Yes. They passed along the road we mentioned a moment ago.
7 Q. And I'm just trying to get some locations down. I know that you
8 stated that on the 14th you were at a location called Snagovo. Please
9 forgive my pronunciation.
10 A. Yes, you pronounced it very well.
11 Q. And Snagovo is really about ten kilometres or ten minutes from the
12 Zvornik Brigade headquarters; isn't it?
13 A. It's about ten kilometres. Perhaps it would be best to speak
14 about kilometres rather than the time it takes.
15 Q. Right, because these roads are not as good as some roads might be;
16 right, during these circumstances in 1995?
17 A. In 1995, you could reach Snagovo along the macadamised road
18 surface, the old road passing by the hospital and up to Snagovo, or you
19 could take the asphalt road across Crni Vrh, which was twice as long. We
20 used, for fast access, the macadamised road.
21 Q. I'm going to move to a different subject, but we've heard several
22 days of testimony from Mr. Nikolic and from you about the military front
23 that was happening from July 4th on through July 16th, 17th, and 18th. So
24 I'm not going to revisit that line of questions with you, but I'm going to
25 ask you three or four summary questions to get that over with.
1 I believe that the testimony that you've given on direct was that
2 on the evening of the 13th of July, you were first informed by
3 Drago Nikolic, the chief of security, that it was the intention of the
4 Main Staff to bus detained prisoners captured during the Srebrenica
5 operation north; is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And a day earlier, on the 12th of July, you were informed that the
8 28th Division of the BiH army was fleeing the Srebrenica area and moving
9 toward Tuzla, and Zvornik was right in the way; is that correct?
10 A. Yes, in general terms, without going into detail, that would be
11 it, yes.
12 Q. And on the 15th of July, you were under severe attack by the
13 Muslim column, the 28th Division moving up from the south and from the
14 west/north-west, you were being attacked by the 2nd Battalion of the BiH
15 army, and you were in a very severe situation which could have caused the
16 fall and the loss of Zvornik; is that right?
17 A. Yes, that's right. Now, this serious fighting had already begun
18 on the evening of the 14th. We had seven dead, in fact, on the night of
19 the 14th, seven of our soldiers had already been killed, which is serious.
20 And on the 15th, yes, this culminated, reached a peak.
21 Q. What I'm trying to explain is that simultaneously with the fact
22 that some security and intelligence officer has informed you that you're
23 going to be flooded with 3.000 to 5.000 prisoners, you're also under
24 attack from every front and undermanned; is that right?
25 A. Yes, that is right, but may I just add something, and that is that
1 he didn't speak about figures, how many prisoners would be brought in. He
2 just spoke about a large number. So at that time, I didn't know whether
3 it would be 5.000 or however. But in all other respects, you're quite
4 right, yes.
5 Q. In fact, you kept getting misinformation about the size of the
6 column approaching, didn't you?
7 A. Yes, you're right. Up until the evening of the 13th. On the
8 evening of the 13th, they told me that the column was three kilometres
9 long. On the 14th I saw it for my very own eyes in the morning, although
10 even at that time, just to make a remark, they didn't believe me at the
11 time, and they probably told Major Jokic that they're lying, that it
12 wasn't that way. When I say "everyone," I mean the Superior Command.
13 Q. Well, also I want to recap your testimony yesterday regarding
14 Mr. Blagojevic's defence. Basically, you confirmed that most of the
15 information and communication that was travelling around on the 13th and
16 14th was really being communicated through security and intelligence
17 channels versus directly to commanders who most needed the information at
18 the time; is that right?
19 A. It's right when it refers to the work of the security organs, but
20 we had a parallel -- or let me put it this way. Drago Nikolic did report
21 through his own chain, as I said yesterday when I was asked by
22 Mr. Karnavas. I explained this. I don't want to go into details again.
23 But there was the regular chain of command as well, the regular line,
24 whether it was me or whether it was somebody else later on,
25 Lieutenant Colonel Pandurevic, or the duty officer. It didn't matter who,
1 but depending on the day, it was a different man every day.
2 Q. And I just want to bring to light also -- I don't think we've
3 discussed up to now the difference between security and intelligence. And
4 I will introduce a chart in a moment to try to explain it. But the
5 difference between the Bratunac Brigade, which Mr. Nikolic was a part of,
6 and the Zvornik Brigade, which you were deputy commander and chief of
7 staff of, was that the Bratunac Brigade was a light infantry brigade; is
8 that correct?
9 A. Yes, that's right.
10 Q. And as such, as a light infantry brigade, their offices at the
11 military police, security and intelligence, were all incorporated into one
12 person, Mr. Momir Nikolic; is that correct?
13 A. In general terms, yes. Now, I'm not quite sure whether
14 Momir Nikolic had a clerk or two clerks, or rather, assistants, people
15 helping him. I think he did have an assistant for security, but he did
16 have one for intelligence affairs [as interpreted]. But all this in the
17 light brigade, not only the Bratunac Light Brigade, all these affairs were
18 seen to by the security person.
19 Q. Whereas in contrast, the Zvornik Brigade had a separate chief of
20 intelligence and chief of security and head of the military police; is
21 that right?
22 A. Yes, that is right.
23 Q. Because they were a regular brigade, not a light brigade?
24 A. Well, it was an infantry brigade. It was an infantry brigade. We
25 had the chief for security, who was at the same time assistant to the
1 commander for security, directly subordinate to him, one of his
2 assistants; and then we had another person and a whole sector, the two of
3 them, in fact, the assistant now of the chief of staff. To me and not
4 Pandurevic, for intelligence, at the headquarters. So this is a
5 significant difference with respect to the Bratunac Brigade, as you put
7 Q. And so the responsibilities of Momir Nikolic were distributed
8 between Dusko Vukotic and Drago Nikolic, and is his name Jasikovac, the
9 military police? And then the MUP, the civilian police, was headed by --
10 was it Borovcanin or was it Vasic?
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: I object to the form of the question. There are
13 so many parts in that, and we do have two Nikolics here, and I know it
14 gets slightly confusing.
15 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, I agree. I see whether I've strayed in
16 the correct form.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
18 MS. SINATRA:
19 Q. In the Zvornik Brigade, you had Drago Nikolic, who represented the
20 chief of security?
21 A. Yes, that's right.
22 Q. And you had Dusko Vukotic, who represented the chief of
23 intelligence, if I'm right. And you had -- I think his name was
24 Jasikovac. That was commander of the military police.
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 Q. And then you --
2 A. Lieutenant Miomir Jasikovac was commander of the military police
4 Q. And then another branch of a police protection unit was the MUP,
5 the ministry of -- I'm sorry. I forgot. I'm sorry. MUP stands for
6 Ministry of the Interior, and that was headed by -- was it Mr. Borovcanin?
7 A. I'm not quite sure whether I understood your question properly,
8 but you're right, Borovcanin was the chief of staff of the special police
9 in the Ministry of the Interior of Republika Srpska, the MUP. But this
10 was a separate entity from the Zvornik Brigade. He wasn't actually a
11 member of the Zvornik Brigade himself. He appeared there on the 15th with
12 the commander of the detachment, sometime around noon, if I remember
13 correctly, and he took part in the fighting at Baljkovica. He wasn't
14 organisationally and establishment-wise a member of the Zvornik Brigade.
15 I'm not sure whether I'm making myself clear.
16 Q. I understand. The MUP was part of the civilian entity versus the
17 military entity; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And the MUP also had a special police brigade, didn't they?
20 A. Yes, it did.
21 Q. And that was headed by Commander Saric, underneath Borovcanin? Or
22 who commanded the special police brigade?
23 A. If I remember correctly, the commander of the special police
24 brigade in July 1995 -- I'm not sure of his rank. I think he was colonel.
25 But anyway, Goran Saric. I think he was a colonel at that time and was
1 promoted somewhat later to general. So he was chief of staff, like I was
2 to Pandurevic, was Lieutenant Colonel Ljubisa Borovcanin.
3 Q. Okay. Thank you for clarifying that.
4 I want to go on to your statements recently since you pled guilty.
5 You're absolutely positive that you were not at the headquarters on the
6 14th of July; is that right?
7 A. Completely and absolutely.
8 Q. Okay. So you're telling us that between 6.30 and 7.00 on the
9 morning of the 14th, you weren't at the flag raising or the ceremony that
10 all the soldiers have in which you issue their daily orders?
11 A. No, I absolutely was not present, and even if I wasn't present, I
12 don't think that the ceremony took place at all on the 14th, because there
13 was general chaos, and I don't think anybody would have thought of doing
14 anything like that. I wasn't there. I wasn't at the barracks. But in
15 view of the situation as it was, and we all know what the situation was
16 like, I don't think anybody would have gone through that ceremony on the
18 Q. And so you're also saying that you weren't present for the 7.00 to
19 8.00 meeting at the headquarters, with all the commanders?
20 A. No, I was not present.
21 Q. So if someone saw you there, they'd be wrong; right?
22 A. I don't know. All I know is that I wasn't there. Now ...
23 Q. You stated that you left the brigade command on the 13th and that
24 you didn't return until the morning of the 15th, at 11.00. Is that what
25 you stated?
1 A. Yes. I stated that I left my office and the headquarters on the
2 evening of the 13th, after talking to General Zivanovic, perhaps half an
3 hour later. Now, the people tapping into the conversation, if they
4 identified it as being at 2030 hours, then quite certainly I had left at
5 2100 hours. And I already reached Jevtic as dusk was falling, or Maric.
6 So that is the 13th. And I returned on the morning of the 15th. I said
7 in my statement that it was difficult to say exactly what the time was
8 when I arrived. But for orientation purposes, I was able to set the time
9 approximately, because as we were moving towards the barracks from the
10 Zvornik road, we found one of the trucks belonging to the Vukovi -- the
11 Wolves coming back, and then the last intercepted conversation of mine, as
12 Lovac 1 - that was the code - that was recorded at 10.45 or 10.40. So
13 those two parameters help me pinpoint the time. And to the best of my
14 recollection, of course, I knew that it was sometime during the morning,
15 the first half of the day.
16 Q. Lovac 1 was your call-signal on the radio?
17 A. Yes, you're right.
18 Q. [Previous translation continues]... Conversation that you had with
19 Mr. Zivanovic, there's no intercept or proof of that conversation, is
21 A. I don't know whether we're thinking of the same thing, but there
22 is an intercepted conversation at -- registered on the 13th of July, 1995,
23 at 2035 hours, if I remember correctly, in the evening. It says Obrenovic
24 and the general. And I know that that was General Zivanovic, although it
25 doesn't say Zivanovic; it just says the general. Obrenovic and the
1 general. And I'm talking about the column.
2 Q. Okay. On the night of the 13th, you are aware that there was a
3 very infamous meeting held in Bratunac where the commanders, along with
4 Popovic and Beara, made the decision that they would have to kill the
5 prisoners? Are you aware of that?
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. That's a misstatement of the evidence.
8 No problem with leading questions, but it has to reflect the reality of
9 the evidence.
10 JUDGE LIU: Ms. Sinatra, you may put your question in the form of
11 a question. Ask whether this witness knows there's a meeting or not, and
12 who took part in that meeting, step by step.
13 MS. SINATRA: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. Are you aware that there was a very significant meeting held in
15 Bratunac on the evening of the 13th?
16 A. No, I'm not aware of that. I'm not aware of ever mentioning
17 anything like that. I was not aware of that meeting. I don't know if it
18 was held.
19 Q. So the commander, Pandurevic, never mentioned about having
20 attended the meeting in Bratunac where the decision was made to kill the
22 A. No, he never referred to anything like that.
23 Q. Okay. As deputy commander, you were the commander at the Zvornik
24 Brigade when Commander Pandurevic was fighting in the Krivaja 95; is that
1 A. As chief of staff, I was also the deputy, automatically, while the
2 commander was away, for any reason whatsoever, in relation to your
3 question. In Srebrenica, when the commander was there, when the commander
4 was not in Srebrenica, during his absence, as his deputy, I commanded
5 those units of the Zvornik Brigade units that were in Zvornik at the time,
6 because we did have five or six other units in other places at the time,
7 but I had nothing to do with those. I was only in charge of those units
8 that were in Zvornik at the time, the Zvornik Brigade units.
9 Q. Do you know that on the 13th to 14th, Sreten Milosevic was the
10 duty officer, operations duty officer, at the headquarters, wasn't he?
11 A. Yes. Yes. On the 13th it was Sreten.
12 Q. And on the 14th to the 15th, the duty officer was Dragan Jokic; is
13 that right?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. And on the 15th to the 16th, the duty officer was Nenad Simic,
16 wasn't it?
17 A. I believe that on the 15th it was supposed to be Drago Nikolic,
18 and on the 16th it was supposed to be Nenad Simic, but there were changes
19 there due to the situation.
20 Q. Nenad Simic was there to assume the duty shift from Dragan Jokic
21 on the morning of the 15th, wasn't he?
22 A. I don't know, because on the 15th, I was not there in the morning,
23 nor was I in charge of the shift on the 15th.
24 Q. But don't you have to sign, as chief of staff or deputy commander,
25 in a shift book, when there's a change of duty officers, to confirm it?
1 A. Ms. Sinatra, if the situation is regular or quiet, if the command
2 functions under relatively normal circumstances, in a manner of speaking,
3 then yes, you would be right. However, if the circumstances were
4 exceptional, even if only on account of a meeting or a briefing, let alone
5 if this exceptional circumstance was as a result of fighting or major
6 disturbances, not only in those days, but also earlier, so on account of
7 that situation, what would usually happen in those days was that the duty
8 officers would agree to change and relieve one another whenever they
9 could. The commander would come and give them tasks, and failing that,
10 they would just go on with their duties as usual and inform the duty
11 operations officer of the corps.
12 Q. We will come to the exact requirements and descriptions of the
13 duty officer at a later time. The normal procedure would be that you
14 would have to confirm whenever the duty officers change; is that correct?
15 A. No. This is not correct. I've just explained that there were
16 exceptions, or aberrations from what you said, and rightly so, was usual.
17 Q. The normal procedure would be that you would sign a duty shift
19 A. Commander.
20 Q. Now, the shifts were for 24 hours at a time normally, weren't
22 A. Yes. The duty of the operations duty officer would normally last
23 24 hours.
24 Q. And that was usually changed between 8.00 and 9.00 a.m. to 8.00 or
25 9.00 a.m. the following day; is that right?
1 A. Yes. I can't remember precisely, but the shift was like you said,
2 at 8.00 or at half past 8.00, I believe.
3 Q. And normally the -- I guess he's called a deputy duty officer or
4 assistant duty officer, is prepared to take over for the duty officer
5 between 1.00 a.m. and 6.00 a.m. so that the duty officer can get some
6 rest; is that right, or is it 11.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m.
7 A. I think it was about midnight or just past midnight. Perhaps it
8 would be more correct to say between 1200 hours, midnight, and about half
9 past 5.00 in the morning, give or take a half hour. The duty officer
10 would sleep and the deputy duty officer would be on duty. And again, if
11 the situation was calm, if the situation was quiet enough to allow him to
12 get some sleep. If not, he would just go on duty or get some rest.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, in your statement also you verified that you
14 filed an interim combat report at 11.00 p.m. on the 14th. You verified
15 that yesterday in your testimony, didn't you?
16 A. If I remember correctly, I said that most probably I filed it
17 between 2300 hours and 2400 hours. The slip of paper that we read out
18 yesterday, the interim report, and I gave it to the communications
19 officer, who then relayed the message via his radio equipment.
20 Q. The normal procedure, though, is that a daily combat report is
21 filed between 5.00 and 7.00 in the evening every day?
22 A. Well, I can't say precisely, but I think we were supposed to
23 forward interim combat reports to the corps command by 1600 hours, by 1600
24 hours, regarding the situation at 1500 hours, or maybe one hour later. By
25 1700 hours, with the situation at 1600 hours. So that the duty officer at
1 the corps could take care of that and to make sure it didn't arrive too
2 late at the corps.
3 Q. Now --
4 A. At the Main Staff.
5 Q. You reviewed that interim combat report yesterday, didn't you?
6 A. That's possible.
7 Q. And you filed that interim or extraordinary combat report because
8 of the chaos and threat to the Zvornik Brigade, didn't you? It's not
9 normal procedure?
10 A. As the name itself says, it's an interim report. According to the
11 usual procedure, the procedure then in force, interim reports were only
12 forwarded or drafted, rather, when absolutely necessary. That's the long
13 and short of it. I deemed it necessary at the time. We had had many of
14 our soldiers killed or wounded. There was a threat to our units, so I
15 drafted an interim combat report and forwarded it.
16 Q. And the interim combat report talked about the combat operations
17 that were going on on the 14th on the front there at - excuse my
18 pronunciation - Baljkovica and Snagovo, the front around Zvornik. Is that
20 A. We're talking about the front in Snagovo. As for the geographical
21 terms, Snagovo was mentioned, and then the road at Planinci and then the
22 4th, 6th, and 7th Battalion.
23 Q. But this report contained items and descriptions that are
24 considered legitimate military communications, aren't they?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. In fact, it totally was descriptive of the combat operations and
2 the need for reinforcements at the time, wasn't it?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. There was no mention of any prisoners coming to the area at that
5 time, was there?
6 A. No.
7 Q. It was a legitimate military operation that you were engaged in?
8 A. As concerns that report, yes, and that fighting.
9 Q. Now, you said you ordered your duty officer to transmit this
10 report; right?
11 A. If I remember correctly, I wrote this down on a slip of paper. I
12 gave it to the communications officer. Due to technical reasons and
13 because of the equipment that we had, he had to relay this to the radio
14 centre via a radio unit and then the duty officer there would read that to
15 the operations duty officer, and then, obviously, since we have the
16 document, now he gave it to Misko Vasic, who typed it up, and then the
17 document would be coded. That's how it went through the stages.
18 Q. When you say "coded," it would be taken upstairs to the encryption
19 room and slipped through a little slot in the door?
20 A. If I remember correctly, there were two possibilities. The
21 operations duty officer, the duty officer, could call the person who was
22 in charge of encrypting the document. He would say: I have a telegram.
23 And he would come and take it away and maybe the duty officer took the
24 document upstairs himself and brought it to the encryption officer. Now,
25 this depends on the person who was on duty, what exactly was done. Maybe
1 he could have informed the assistant: "Now, take this and take it to the
2 person who was coding the documents." But this is only an assumption.
3 Q. Well, you're stating that you called -- you gave the interim
4 report to your signalman, who called it into the signalman at the
5 headquarters, who then typed it up and gave it to Mr. Jokic? Because
6 there's no intercept information on this interim combat report, is there?
7 A. If you allow, I'll repeat this. I wrote it down on a slip of
8 paper, I gave it to my communications officer, the communications officer
9 radioed this to the radio centre, because we couldn't talk to the duty
10 officer directly. You saw that. Zvornik, the headquarters, was in a
11 valley, and it was not physically possible on account of the equipment we
12 had at our disposal. So the person working the radio centre took note of
13 that, phoned the duty officer, read the message out to him. This was a
14 procedure that we had to follow.
15 Now, with Jokic, or the duty officer, would have been supposed to
16 give this to someone to be typed up. We did see yesterday that
17 Misko Vasic was the person who typed it up. And then the next step was
18 for this to be encrypted. Now, your question, why wasn't there an
19 intercepted message? There were a lot of intercepted messages there, but
20 I gave it to the communications officer because he could read it and then
21 put himself in touch with someone else, send it down a different channel,
22 and then there would be someone else there talking on that channel. They
23 would relay one sentence: They're going to Sava 96, and then the next
24 sentence. And this happens not to be there. I wish it was there. I wish
25 we did have it, but we don't.
1 Q. Okay. So your answer to my question is there is no intercept
2 showing the communication from your signalman at Snagovo to the
3 communications centre about the headquarters; is that right?
4 A. As for the contents of this interim combat report that we're
5 talking about, yes. But except for that, the registered communication
6 between my communications officer and the radio centre, yes, there are
7 several such things in those days, but not for this specific report.
8 Q. In fact, the evidence that we have before us is consistent with
9 you just dictating the interim combat report to Mr. Jokic, isn't it?
10 A. No. No. What exactly are you basing your statement on?
11 Q. Well, there's another possibility that you weren't at Snagovo and
12 that you directly dictated your interim combat report to Mr. Jokic, and
13 then it was typed by Mr. Vasic and then it was taken to encryption. The
14 only difference is your location when dictating the interim combat report.
15 A. Well, you can speculate whatever you like, but I am telling you
16 where I was. And the next thing: On the evening of the 14th, we were
17 crushed in the military sense. We were defeated in that battle. The
18 column of the 28th Division crushed us and threw us to the left, to the
19 west, geographically speaking. And the column was passing between my
20 group and Zvornik. I would not have been physically able to reach Zvornik
21 even if I had wanted to, because our enemy was passing there. Seven of
22 our soldiers were killed. And the next day, in order to reach Zvornik, we
23 had to fight. We had to cut across their path. You have recorded
24 conversations dated the 15th with me saying there are about 300 metres
25 left for us to search and then we'll take the old route, the old road. So
1 on the 15th, days after the event, for the whole night and the next day
2 for several hours we were doing this, so how could we have done anything
3 during the night?
4 Q. Well, you kind of lost me there with all of that description. But
5 I think what our bone of contention --
6 A. My apologies for that.
7 Q. I'm just not a military person, so it's very difficult for me to
8 picture in my mind all of these activities. But basically, would you be
9 surprised if Milan Maric had said that you were not at Snagovo on the
11 A. I'm not sure what to say. I'm telling you: I was at Snagovo on
12 the 14th. Milan Maric, first I hear of him. I don't even know who the
13 person is, or at least it doesn't occur to me at the moment. Yesterday we
14 heard -- or rather, five days ago Mr. McCloskey asked me about a man named
15 Gavric from Bratunac. Yesterday, Mr. Karnavas claimed, he himself claimed
16 that Gavric was not in Zvornik, and yet Gavric said to you that he had
17 seen me there. Therefore, I'm not putting it to you that this Vasic or
18 whatever his name was had not told you something, anything. But what I'm
19 telling you is that I was engaged in combat at Snagovo.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, it's time for a break. Maybe during the break
21 we could read the transcript, Mr. Obrenovic's testimony, to see where we
23 MS. SINATRA: I'm sorry, Your Honours. Have I confused you?
24 JUDGE LIU: No, no, no, no. I'm quite clear. I'm just afraid
25 that you claim that you did not understand what the witness is telling
1 you. Maybe during the break you could read the transcript for this
2 paragraph, then reorganise your questions.
3 MS. SINATRA: Thank you, Your Honour. But what he was describing
4 really is not relevant to my line of questioning. But as far as the
5 military operations, my line of questioning goes -- it can go forward.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll resume at 4.00.
7 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.
8 --- Recess taken at 3.36 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 4.02 p.m.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, before we start, Mr. Karnavas, you have
11 something to address the Bench.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour. Just a brief matter.
13 Mr. McCloskey earlier had objected with respect to a question that was
14 posed by Ms. Sinatra. In fact, there were two questions dealing with a
15 meeting of commanders on the 13th to kill. I didn't -- first, I want to
16 say that I totally agree with the objections and the basis for the
17 objection by the Prosecution. Secondly, I didn't object, one, because I
18 believed Mr. McCloskey had covered it, but in -- after thinking about it,
19 I didn't want the record to reflect that somehow I was acquiescing by not
20 objecting, that somehow there was a meeting of commanders on the 13th,
21 because that was that one question. And then there was a follow-up
22 question about Pandurevic attending a meeting. The facts that we have so
23 far are that there was a meeting on the 13th that we know of, based on the
24 information provided by the OTP between Mr. Deronjic and Beara,
25 Colonel Beara, that Momir Nikolic may or may not have attended, but that's
1 the only meeting. But as far as a meeting of commanders sitting there on
2 the night of the 13th discussing killings, there has been no evidence so
3 far, none has been proposed by the Prosecution, and so I just want to make
4 sure that I do object formally on the record. And my failure to object
5 earlier was out of courtesy to my colleague, but I was not acquiescing to
6 the form of the question. Thank you.
7 JUDGE LIU: I understand your statement, and it's registered in
8 the transcript.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Sinatra.
11 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour. I have one brief housekeeping
12 matter. Yesterday I introduced the original mechanical drawings and
13 architectural drawings from the Standard factory, and if the Court would
14 allow us to substitute copies of these architectural and mechanical
15 drawings, because I promised to return those originals to Standard factory
16 in Zvornik.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, please.
18 MS. SINATRA: Thank you very much. And I would also --
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could get copies of anything, I'd appreciate
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I believe that it will be furnished to your side
22 when we are going to use it; right?
23 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, the Prosecution was provided with a
24 courtesy copy several weeks ago. They made the copies in their office for
25 us, and I much appreciate it, but it's the same mechanical drawings that
1 you already have.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: We don't know what it is, Your Honour. I believe
3 counsel, of course, but if we could just get some idea, then we're fine.
4 MS. SINATRA: I'd be happy to try to coordinate that information,
5 Your Honour.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Thank you very much.
7 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please. Please proceed.
9 MS. SINATRA: Thank you very much.
10 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, I just wanted to go back to the 15th. I know that
11 you claim that you were at Snagovo until the morning of the 15th. Is that
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 Q. And then you had stated in your direct testimony that you arrived
15 in front of the brigade headquarters about the same time as
16 Dragomir Vasic; is that correct?
17 A. If I remember correctly, I entered the compound, the barracks, a
18 moment before Vasic. And then I saw him arrive in a car down the road,
19 through the net, and I waited for him by the kiosk. So we met outside the
20 building, on the road, where the kiosk is, the small kiosk, outside the
21 entrance to the building.
22 Q. But you had already gone to the barracks before you met Mr. Vasic?
23 A. The barracks, the compound, the gate to the barracks, not the
25 Q. Well, you went through a whole dialogue of meeting with Mr. Jokic
1 on the morning of the 15th during your direct testimony. Do you remember
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. And I know you're aware that Colonel Dragomir Vasic was the chief
5 of security in the Zvornik area, wasn't he?
6 A. Colonel Dragomir Vasic was the chief of the security centre in
7 Zvornik, of the MUP.
8 Q. Right. The MUP, the civilian branch.
9 A. Yes. Yes, that's right.
10 Q. And you are aware that Colonel Vasic has made several statements
11 to the Prosecutor during the last couple of years; is that right?
12 A. My lawyers received the statements forwarded by the Prosecution,
13 but personally, I don't have any of those.
14 Q. Are you stating before this Trial Chamber today that you don't
15 read any of the witness statements provided to your Defence by the OTP?
16 A. No, that's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that I read
17 those of Vasic's statements that the Office of the Prosecutor had
18 forwarded to my lawyers, and therefore to me also. That's the only thing
19 I'm saying.
20 Q. And I would like to provide for your perusal right now a copy of
21 what has been marked for identification purposes as D16/3. And I'd like
22 to provide it to Madam Usher, over here, Dragoslav Djukic has that and
23 we'd like to provide the witness a copy in B/C/S.
24 Do you have a copy, Mr. Obrenovic?
25 A. Yes, I do. Thank you.
1 Q. Can I get you to turn to page 48. That's in the English version
2 of Mr. Vasic's statement. It's page 31 in the B/C/S statement, I believe.
3 Mr. Obrenovic, you are aware that this statement by Mr. Vasic was
4 only made on the 10th of June, 2003?
5 A. Yes, that's what it says in the heading.
6 Q. [Microphone not activated]
7 A. That's right.
8 Q. I'd like to refer to line 24 of Mr. Vasic's statement, on page 48.
9 I'm not sure what line it is in the B/C/S version. But it says -- it's
10 the paragraph that says: "I read his statement where he said he talked to
11 Jokic, and to be honest, I did not see Jokic. I talked about it several
12 times before, but if I saw Jokic, I would have to say that." Do you see
13 that part? I'm sorry. They're telling me it's page 47, line 17 in the
14 B/C/S version. That's what Mr. Vasic says, isn't it?
15 A. Yes, I see what it says here.
16 Q. But he states that Mr. Jokic was not present that morning; right?
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. That's a misstatement of what it says.
18 He says he didn't see him.
19 MS. SINATRA: All right. Then --
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
21 MS. SINATRA: I withdraw that question.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
23 MS. SINATRA:
24 Q. And if we could go to page 47 on the English version, line 15. It
25 states that you met Vasic at the headquarters between 9.00 and 10.00,
1 doesn't it? "I called the brigade to see whether Obrenovic was there,
2 because I wanted to see with him, since I've heard that he led those
3 forces above Kula, I wanted to see what happened. And then between 9.00
4 and 9.30, 10.00 at the most, I went to the brigade."
5 So he's stating that you were at the brigade at 9.00 to 10.00, not
6 11.00, as you said; is that correct?
7 A. As I can read here, it says 9.00, 9.30, 10.00 at the latest, the
8 most. I said before the break that it's very difficult to speak about a
9 precise time after so much time has gone by. But I pinpointed that time
10 on the basis of two facts. First of all, my memory, my recollections of
11 it; and second, that as we were going down the Drina road, we drove up and
12 encountered some trucks that were coming from the Zepa area, the Wolves.
13 And the third thing that helped me pinpoint the time that was there was
14 this intercepted conversation between myself, my code-name was Lovac 1, on
15 that date about 15 to 11.00, at a quarter to 11.00. So it was impossible
16 for somebody to register my conversation -- or register me being in the
17 field at a quarter to 11.00 and to have been in my office at the same
18 time. So I said what I said to Mr. McCloskey and I stand by that. Perhaps
19 Vasic is wrong with the time. Perhaps within an hour or half an hour. So
20 I said approximately around 11.00, give or take 15 minutes. But if they
21 recorded us at 10.45, I couldn't have been in the office, and that's how I
22 arrived at that time. I got to that time. Now, if you expect me to
23 remember the exact time within 15 minutes after so much time has gone by,
24 I really can't do that.
25 Q. I think what you're saying is that you don't really remember what
1 time it was but you've only come up with that time due to refreshing your
2 memory by all of the OTP documents that you've received over the last few
3 years; is that right, including the intercept?
4 A. I said that I came up with that time on the basis of three
5 factors. First of all, I remember it being during the first half of the
6 day, if it was the morning, I would say it was in the morning. I know
7 that we were fighting that morning and found those dead people up there,
8 the medical corps. And I was also assisted by the documents, what I read
9 in them.
10 Q. Thank you. Now I'd like to go on to page 51, line 18, which is,
11 in the B/C/S version -- page 51, line 18. Okay. He'll have to help me.
12 Let me read it for you. Mr. McCloskey says: "What do you think Obrenovic
13 was lying about in the statement that you've read, if anything?" And
14 Mr. Vasic answers: "I think two things: The time of his arrival, the
15 moment that Pandurevic walked in, that he actually talked to us, that the
16 two of us had an argument. And if Obrenovic can remember that he should
17 talk about it. And at the moment that someone said call the air force, I
18 mean, that's really ..."
19 I think that -- isn't Mr. Vasic stating that you mischaracterised
20 or gave false information about several items that he takes -- he
22 A. Ms. Sinatra, I think that this is the consequence of the
23 following: That Vasic didn't know the exact time, he couldn't remember
24 whether it was 10.00 or 11.00, for example. That's the first point. And
25 the second point is this: He -- as far as I can it, he read my statement
1 about guilt, which was disclosed, and probably did not have the chance of
2 reading the entire interview. I gave Mr. McCloskey -- actually, my
3 statement as to guilt was an excerpt, a summary. It wasn't the entire
4 interview with Mr. McCloskey. And I explained to Mr. McCloskey the
5 argument and Lieutenant Colonel Pandurevic's reactions to Vasic's proposal
6 to let the column pass, and all the rest of it.
7 Now, as to the air force, that he can't remember that, I don't
8 know. I do seem to remember it, and I've already explained why. I
9 thought it was quite amazing. So I couldn't believe that. Now, why he
10 can't remember, I really can't say.
11 Q. And it's quite amazing because the VRS didn't have an air force at
12 that point and there was a no-fly zone; isn't that right?
13 A. The Army of Republika Srpska did have an air force. It had an air
14 force brigade, in actual fact, and a helicopter brigade too. But it did
15 not fly because of the NATO no-fly zone, yes, and that's why I was amazed.
16 Q. I want to go back to your testimony just a second ago. I believe
17 what you just said was that Mr. Vasic's statement, after you pled guilty,
18 that the OTP had provided him with a copy of your plea papers at that
19 time, before he gave his interview. Is that what you're saying?
20 A. No, I didn't say that, Ms. Sinatra. As the plea papers or
21 statement of guilt was on the Internet. Now, I didn't have a chance to
22 speak to Vasic, and you know that full well. I'm just trying to be
23 logical. Vasic is an intelligent man himself, probably looked at the
24 Internet, read my statement of guilt on the Net, and in that statement,
25 there wasn't all this whole section about the meeting where him,
1 Borovcanin, Pandurevic, where they were present, and he was probably
2 adversely affected by that. But as you could have read yourself, I gave
3 detailed explanations about the argument that he mentions here. It wasn't
4 an argument. It was just a different views. Pandurevic said that he was
5 in command, and anybody who wanted to listen could listen, and so on. And
6 I think that Mr. Vasic is referring to that when he mentions this argument
7 here. But that's just a guess on my part again.
8 Q. Okay. And Mr. Vasic's statement before you, I would like to go
9 forward to page 64, line 14, where Mr. Vasic states, mid-paragraph: "I
10 think that Momir Nikolic lied, that he was not with me at the meeting.
11 Some things that Obrenovic mentioned were not correct. And because of the
12 load that I was carrying for a long time, I decided to tell you the things
13 that I kept for myself. My lawyer has already said that there were some
14 nasty messages sent to me from that team."
15 You are aware that Mr. Vasic has made those allegations against
16 you, aren't you?
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't know what that team means or what this is
20 about or what its relevance is to anything, and just also for the record,
21 the -- since the OTP has been brought up in this, we have not provided Mr.
22 Vasic with a full statement of Mr. Obrenovic, nor is it our policy to do
23 that to suspects that are being interviewed.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I also got a question in this respect. You said
25 that he was not with me at that meeting. What meeting is it? Maybe you
1 could ask some questions to clarify this point, Ms. Sinatra.
2 MS. SINATRA: Was that on the last --
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think this is on the line 15, page 64, you
4 just read out.
5 MS. SINATRA: I guess I would have to go back. I'm not sure what
6 it refers to in the statement. But basically, all I'm trying to bring out
7 is that Mr. Vasic says that -- and maintains that there have been
8 falsifications in presentation of testimony for the OTP. And I would have
9 to review -- and I could give the Court an answer at the next break on
10 what meeting that was.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I believe this is a two-part answer
13 by Mr. Vasic. First he's saying Momir Nikolic is not correct about the
14 meeting at the -- I think he's referring to the SDS meeting with Deronjic
15 in Bratunac on the evening of the 13th, and then he goes on to make these
16 other comments about Mr. Obrenovic. So I think that's the context of the
17 answer to this question.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
19 MS. SINATRA: Thank you very much.
20 Now, Your Honours, I'd like to ask to present Mr. Obrenovic with a
21 copy of what has been marked as -- it's Mr. Obrenovic's June 2003
22 debriefing, and I don't see --
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry to interrupt, but there is a comment
1 here about where Vasic says receiving nasty messages from a team. And
2 Ms. Sinatra has made an accusation against someone, I'm not exactly sure.
3 But if that can be withdrawn from the record. I don't see what she is
4 talking about. And those kind of allegations really are potentially
6 JUDGE LIU: I believe Ms. Sinatra promised us that she will look
7 into this matter during the break.
8 Am I right?
9 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, I think we were referring to that
10 meeting, but that meeting has been clarified by Mr. McCloskey. I was just
11 reading the testimony of Mr. Vasic, and if Mr. Vasic refers to that team,
12 I'm not making any allegations; I'm just stating what the witness stated.
13 And if Mr. McCloskey has any problem with that, then I suppose he can, you
14 know, discredit his own witness. But his own witness, the OTP witness,
15 has stated that. It didn't come from my mouth.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. Vasic is a suspect and is certainly not an OTP
18 witness, just to clarify that record.
19 JUDGE LIU: But anyway, Ms. Sinatra, just according to what is
20 said by Mr. Vasic in this statement, I don't see there's any problem. Even
21 if the team refers to the Prosecution's team.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: I believe she was referring to someone else, Your
23 Honour, but if she is dropping it, I'll drop it as well.
24 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, I personally have not made any
25 allegations. I was just reading --
1 JUDGE LIU: I understand that. I understand that.
2 MS. SINATRA: And I would not like it to be interpreted that I'm
3 personally making any allegations. Thank you.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: It may be worth reading the record on that, Your
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. But anyway, Ms. Sinatra stated her view very
7 clear just now. I think we have to accept it.
8 MS. SINATRA: Thank you, Your Honour. May I proceed?
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
10 MS. SINATRA: For identification purposes, this is marked as
11 D27/3. Thank you. And this -- please provide Mr. Obrenovic with a copy
12 in B/C/S. Thank you very much. This was the statement of Mr. Obrenovic
13 on the 4th of June, 2003.
14 Q. Okay. On page 31, of course you stated that you didn't know what
15 time it was that you got back to the Zvornik Brigade headquarters, that
16 you based that decision upon the monitored conversations, the tactical
17 ones. Isn't that what you said?
18 A. Could you just tell me where that portion is?
19 Q. Yes. It's line 14, page 31 of the English version.
20 MS. SINATRA: And just to save time, Your Honour, the next
21 document will be his April 2nd, 2000 interview from the OTP. And I
22 believe that that's already been marked as a D1 exhibit. I'm not
23 positive. But it is marked as -- do we have it marked? Okay. We don't
24 have it marked. I guess that would be D28/3. And if we could go ahead
25 and provide the B/C/S -- you don't have it?
1 [Defence counsel confer]
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, but I haven't found the
3 previous one either. On page 31, line 14, is empty.
4 MS. SINATRA:
5 Q. Okay. Well, I don't have the B/C/S corresponding page number, and
6 I will -- after the next break, I'll come back to this. In fact, since we
7 don't have -- you don't have a copy of your 2nd April, 2000 statement in
8 front of you, do you?
9 A. All I have is what you have given me.
10 Q. Well, then I will go on to the next exhibit, which is marked
11 D19/3, and could we provide the B/C/S copy of that and copies for the
12 usher. This document is the OTP interview of Nenad Simic on 19 September
14 Mr. Obrenovic, can you just refresh our memory on what Mr. Simic's
15 position was in the brigade?
16 A. In July 1995, I think he had the rank of captain first class and
17 he was occupying the position of assistant commander for moral guidance,
18 religious affairs, and legal affairs.
19 Q. He's the one that went out and met the families after soldiers
20 were killed on the front and took care of funerals; is that right?
21 A. Well, this department's affairs did include assistance at
22 funerals, family members, and so on. I was doing my own job, but it was
23 logical that he probably did attend those funerals, yes, before and after.
24 Q. And also, Nenad Simic was the person who was to take over the
25 position of operational duty officer on the 15th from Mr. Jokic, wasn't
2 A. I think he was supposed to take over this duty on the 16th.
3 Perhaps I'm wrong.
4 Q. Let's go to page 13 of his statement, line 14. Mr. McCloskey --
5 I'm sorry. It's Dean Manning. He says: Did you see him or talk to him
6 when he came in on the 15th? And the questioning is whether they saw or
7 talked to Mr. Obrenovic. Then if you go on to page 14, line 6, Mr. Simic
8 says: "I wouldn't know about that, because I met Obrenovic down on the
9 ground floor, and I briefed him quickly about the situation that I was
10 having at the time. I don't know whether they met and talked." And he's
11 talking about whether you met and talked with Commander Pandurevic.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: I object to the --
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Again, the form of the question. It was two part,
15 and I believe the first part had to do with Vinko Pandurevic, not
16 Mr. Obrenovic, looking at the transcript she is referred to. If it can be
17 broken down ...
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
19 MS. SINATRA: All right. I will go back to line 8 on page 13.
20 Q. And Mr. Manning says, "Going to the 15th ..." And so I assume
21 that all of the dialogue, without my reading it, for the following page,
22 still has to do with the morning of the 15th. And I'm just jumping
23 forward because the next question under the topic of the 15th, on page 14,
24 Dean Manning says: "Did the Chief of Staff Obrenovic brief the commander
25 Pandurevic on what happened in his absence?" And Mr. Simic says: "I
1 wouldn't know about this, because I met Obrenovic on the ground floor and
2 I briefed him quickly about the situation that I was having at the time."
3 Now, that certainly conflicts with the story about having
4 Mr. Jokic brief you on the 15th, when Mr. Simic, who was the duty officer
5 who took over, claims that he briefed you on the 15th; isn't that right?
6 A. No. Mr. Simic did not brief me on anything. I didn't even see
7 him. It was precisely the way I put it in my testimony.
8 Q. Okay. So Mr. Simic is not telling the truth; is that what you're
10 A. Perhaps he's mistaken. Perhaps he didn't have the right time.
11 Perhaps he mixed up the day or the hour. I can't really say.
12 Q. And just to jump way forward in the line of questioning. What
13 would reflect Mr. Simic being the duty officer on the 15th and what would
14 reflect that Dragan Jokic was not there on the 15th would have been the
15 duty -- change of duty shift book, which is missing out of our group of
16 evidence, isn't it?
17 A. The duty shift book would not be the sole factor reflecting the
18 situation. As I've already said, as to who was on duty and at what time,
19 as I've already explained, is seen in the work book, the logbook, the
20 regular combat report, and of course the duty shift book. Now, we have
21 everything else except the duty shift book. So everything that you're
22 saying now can be read out from any of the four documents enumerated. So
23 of the five documents, we have four, and in them you can clearly see what
24 happened and when it happened.
25 Q. In fact --
1 A. And so that's it.
2 Q. -- In the duty work book it's clear that Nenad Simic became duty
3 officer on the 15th, didn't he?
4 A. No.
5 Q. I'll get to that as we come to those documents. I want to go back
6 to Mr. Simic's statement on page 14, line 22. Dean Manning says: "I'm
7 also interested in the whereabouts of Dragan Obrenovic in that period but
8 to make it a small period, from the 11th to the 15th of July, detail for
9 me where you know Obrenovic was." Nenad Simic replies: "I think during
10 that time - I don't know. I know that Obrenovic came to the command
11 during that period, engaged some people, met some people, solved some
13 And then I would like to skip on down to line 17. "Okay. Before
14 you go, when Obrenovic tasked your referent Bojanovic after midnight on
15 the 14th, where did he send, what did he give him to do?"
16 And the last line of 22 -- I'm sorry. That's irrelevant. I don't
17 know why it's underlined there.
18 Anyway, Mr. Simic says that he's the one who briefed you on the
19 morning of the 15th of the situation, as duty officer; isn't that right?
20 I'm just asking you: Isn't that what Mr. Simic said?
21 A. I don't know what Mr. Simic said, but I explained to you exactly
22 how it was. Specifically, this part of your question. As for the
23 previous bits that you have read to me, it is true that Major Simic is
24 generalising there. He knew that Obrenovic had been there on the 11th and
25 that he came and went. But I defined this very clearly. I said I arrived
1 on the 13th in the afternoon, that I almost spent the whole day at the
2 command, I went to the engineering section, the detachment, that
3 afternoon. I spoke about it in very precise terms. I think Simic is
4 merely generalising. If you read it like that, it may appear this way or
5 that way, or however you choose to interpret it, but ...
6 Q. It's not my interpretation, Mr. Obrenovic. It's how the Trial
7 Chamber interprets the evidence that is placed before it.
8 But I'd like to go now to what is marked as D18/3. And if we
9 could provide the copies to the witness, please, that is, the OTP
10 interview with Mico Gavric on 28 November 2001.
11 Mr. Obrenovic, you already stated that you don't know who
12 Mico Gavric is; right?
13 A. When I read this statement, I know that he's an officer from the
14 Bratunac Brigade command, but I can't remember whether I met him. I don't
15 know the man. I've read the statement. That's all I can say about him.
16 Q. Yes. I just want to make that clear. You've read all of the
17 statements provided in your case, haven't you?
18 A. I've read very many statements. There were certain statements,
19 such as those by the Bratunac Brigade, that I did not think were
20 particularly relevant. I may have just skimmed through those. It was a
21 truckload of paper. You can't possibly expect me to have detailed
22 knowledge of every single statement that there was.
23 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, I sympathise with you. I understand the truckload
24 of paperwork that was received, believe me. In this statement by
25 Mico Gavric, could we please turn to page 55, line 13. Dean Manning says:
1 "When you went to Zvornik on the 14th, did you see any --"
2 A. I apologise. This only has 46 pages, so I can't find page 55.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: This is the wrong Gavric, I believe. There's a
5 couple of them. This is another one which we -- it would be best --
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I noticed that, you know, a different name.
7 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, I have on mine marked Mico Gavric. Is
8 there another one?
9 JUDGE LIU: On mine is Milisav Gavric.
10 MS. SINATRA: I'm sorry. I think they copied the wrong
11 statements, because mine is 28 November 2001, of M-I-C-O G-A-V-R-I-C.
12 JUDGE LIU: No. It's different.
13 MS. SINATRA: Okay.
14 JUDGE LIU: Maybe the best way is put that relevant part on the
16 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.
17 JUDGE LIU: And provide Mr. Obrenovic the correct copy.
18 MS. SINATRA: Can you pull the relevant part? Because I need my
19 copy to read from. Okay. Mine's the only copy. Your Honour, since
20 mine's the only copy of the correct statement, may I approach the ELMO for
21 reading out as everybody is looking at it? I only have the one copy.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you may be there.
23 MS. SINATRA: Okay. Thank you very much.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Is there a B/C/S copy? I mean, this is something
1 that I think the witness should have a chance to take a look at.
2 JUDGE LIU: Of course.
3 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, I will clear this up after the break,
4 and I'll come back to this witness. So I'll just put it back in the chair
5 with the statements that haven't been provided back here. So I'll just
6 continue this, Ms. Usher, after the break, when we have the correct copies
7 of the statement. Thank you.
8 I'll go on to I hope what is the correct statement, which is
9 marked for identification purposes as D17/3, the interview of
10 Nada Stojanovic.
11 Yes, Your Honour.
12 Do you have a copy of it, Mr. Obrenovic?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. This is an interview with Nada Stojanovic, and the whole part of
15 the interview, questioning by Mr. Bursik has to do with her being
16 transported to Orahovac on the day of the 14th and what she saw and what
17 happened. And I will go ahead and take you forward to page 34. I can't
18 read the lines. I don't think there are lines on this one. It says the
19 day -- Mr. Bursik says: "The day that you went to Orahovac before leaving
20 the barracks at Zvornik, did you see the chief of staff, Obrenovic?"
21 Ms. Stojanovic --
22 A. I apologise, but that's not what I have on page 34.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: If he could have a moment. The pagination, of
24 course, is different for the B/C/S.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, of course.
1 MS. SINATRA:
2 Q. Nada Stojanovic --
3 MS. SINATRA: I think that this was --
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 39. Page 39.
5 MS. SINATRA: Okay. Thank you very much for your assistance,
6 Mr. Obrenovic.
7 Q. Page 39, Mr. Bursik says: "The day that you went to Orahovac
8 before leaving the barracks at Zvornik, did you see the chief of staff,
10 Nada Stojanovic replies: "The only time I saw him was when I came
11 back that night, when I came back to the barracks, I saw him in the
12 compound, but we just passed each other. "
13 And that was the 14th that Ms. Stojanovic is referring to. Are
14 you aware that Ms. Stojanovic has stated that in her statement before?
15 A. Yes, yes, I've read that.
16 Q. And so you don't think Ms. Stojanovic saw you in the compound on
17 the evening of the 14th?
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. If we could have a reference to where
20 Ms. Stojanovic actually says it's the 14th, that would be helpful, because
21 it's not what this record says in front of me. I don't doubt counsel that
22 she must say 14th somewhere, but that -- it's not said -- there's not in
23 fact a proper foundation for that question.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Ms. Sinatra, maybe you could show the -- show us
25 the paragraph where she is indicating the date.
1 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour. I will have to find that at the
2 break too. I cannot come up with it at this moment. And I really
3 apologise for the lack of organisation, but I do have another witness that
4 we could go on to at this time, and he is Milan Maric. He's now marked
5 as -- is he D26? Did you add him?
6 [Defence counsel confers]
7 MS. SINATRA: D20/3, Milan Maric. And could we be provided with
8 copies of that, please. Okay.
9 Q. I don't know. Do you have a copy, Mr. Obrenovic?
10 A. Yes, I have a document, a statement by Milan Maric, taken on the
11 30th of June, 2002.
12 Q. Okay. And starting on page 33, line 18, Milan Maric says: " --
13 Let's start with Mr. Manning's question.
14 Q. It's 12.05 and I resume this conversation. Tell me
15 what, in your account, and what in Obrenovic -- what in your account and
16 what in Mr. Obrenovic's accounts differ. Milan --
17 A. I apologise, but I can't see that, line 18, "in view of
18 literally," that's what my document says.
19 MS. SINATRA: I'm sorry, I wish I -- after all these years I
20 should speak B/C/S, Your Honour, but I'm delinquent in that.
21 JUDGE LIU: It's very understandable that you only have your
23 MS. SINATRA: I do --
24 JUDGE LIU: Not long ago.
25 MS. SINATRA: I've been here since 1996. You'd think I would have
1 learned it since then. It's page 31 in the B/C/S version, line 2.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 31.
3 MS. SINATRA:
4 Q. And Mr. Manning asked: "Tell me what in your account and what in
5 Mr. Obrenovic's account differed." Milan Maric said: "He was very,
6 Obrenovic was very dissatisfied when I couldn't confirm especially about
7 the 13th, in the afternoon. 13th in the afternoon and going on the 14th,
8 that I couldn't tell him that he was with me and he was saying: 'Well,
9 where else could I have been but with you?' And obviously he didn't like
10 my story very much. Maybe the other people told him the story that
11 pleased his ears more, and maybe they agreed to do certain things, and
12 maybe he didn't like me or the way that I perform my duties or the way
13 that we cooperate. I assume that was the reason that I was transferred."
14 That's what Mr. Maric said, didn't he?
15 A. Yes. You've just read it out, and as you were reading, you
16 realised probably that every second word is "perhaps" or "he may have" or
17 and everything is "perhaps" or "maybe" or "he may have." What is true,
18 though, is that I sent Maric to Snagovo on the 13th and I stayed back at
19 the command. Logically, I was not with him. Secondly, I said that I had
20 a logbook that I showed Maric. I read clearly everything that was in
21 there when I spoke to Maric. And once he had finished this, I showed him
22 the logbook.
23 So I had no reason to force Maric to do anything, nor was I in a
24 position to do anything like that. He says it himself, maybe this, maybe
25 that. He wrote it in his own hand. He wrote it out clearly, everything
1 that was happening. He was the duty officer on the 12th and the 13th.
2 And then the next duty officer also wrote everything down in the logbook.
3 So I really don't know why he's putting forward so many assumptions here,
4 so many different assumptions. Maybe he was unhappy that he had been
5 transferred to Sokolac, so maybe he's taking his revenge here, but it's
6 not for me to say really.
7 Q. As a matter of fact, you tried to talk -- you talked to
8 Milan Maric before your interview with the OTP, didn't you, in April of
10 A. No. This conversation took place following my conversation with
11 the Prosecutor in 2002. Maybe a month or so later. I think Maric says it
12 himself in this statement. That's how it was.
13 Q. And you tried to persuade Mr. Maric to confirm that you were
14 present at Snagovo on the night of the 14th, didn't you?
15 A. No.
16 Q. You didn't try to get him to provide an alibi for you?
17 A. I didn't need to do anything like that. I had all the documents
18 and all the documents that I've given the Office of the Prosecutor. Why
19 would I have needed to convince him to do anything? It was all written
20 there. You saw it yourself. I just found it in the papers, the fact that
21 he was a duty officer on the 13th and that he was the commander of a
22 company, whereas here he claims that he wasn't. I believe that he simply
23 might have reminded me of a detail that I had lost track of. But these
24 are his impressions, and they're not well founded, in my opinion.
25 Q. As a matter of fact, you just stated that you showed Milan Maric
1 the logbook, and you're talking about one of the logbooks that you kept
2 hidden from the OTP and from the Defence during the period of 1999 through
3 2003; right?
4 A. I'm talking about the logbook of the operations duty officer of
5 the Zvornik Brigade for that period of time. I refer to it as the blue
6 book some days ago. The colour of the cover is blue, and that's what I
7 showed Maric. I showed him only the page that he wrote himself in his own
8 hand. I didn't keep any secrets, as you can clearly see, because you have
9 the document yourself.
10 Q. Yes, but you just gave the documents to us after you pled guilty
11 on June 3rd, 2003, didn't you?
12 A. My lawyers forwarded these documents to the Office of the
13 Prosecutor following my plea, yes.
14 Q. So it was June 2003 before we saw these documents; right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And Milan Maric, after his conversation with you, was transferred
17 out of the Zvornik Brigade, wasn't he?
18 A. That's not correct. The answer to your question is necessarily a
19 complex one. The truth of the matter is that Milan Maric was not
20 transferred after this conversation. As to when exactly he was
21 transferred, this is clearly stated in the order for his transfer. His
22 transfer was a result of a reorganisation of the Army of Republika Srpska,
23 pursuant to the Dayton Accords and to a decision by the SFOR commander in
24 the year of 2000, 1999. The Army of Republika Srpska had to be whittled
25 down. We had about 200 people in Zvornik and this had to be down to 50.
1 Major Maric was the war commander of a battalion of the Zvornik Brigade.
2 There was a proposal for him to stay there at the command. However, the
3 corps commander, General Zivanovic, or rather, my apologies,
4 General Andric and the 5th Corps, he was transferred to the corps command
5 at Sokolac. However, I must point out that the law on the Army of
6 Republika Srpska and you can run a search yourself, the right to transfer
7 someone with the rank of a general, or major, would have to be granted by
8 the defence minister, and I was only the brigade commander. Despite this,
9 my proposal was for him to stay with the Zvornik Brigade. And you must
10 have these documents, because we did forward these documents to the Office
11 of the Prosecutor and to the Tribunal. So those documents show clearly
12 what Maric said, any way, maybe, or it is my impression that these are all
13 speculations that hardly ever have anything to do with reality.
14 Q. Well, just to follow up on this: When Mr. Jokic wouldn't
15 cooperate with you, he was transferred by General Andric to Sokolac too,
16 wasn't he?
17 A. No. Mr. Jokic was transferred to the 5th Corps, but much earlier.
18 Q. 1998?
19 A. I don't know for sure. I know it was much earlier, but I don't
20 know which year exactly. This may have been in 1998, indeed.
21 Q. Well, we'll get to that transfer in just a moment. I want to
22 finish with Mr. Maric. On page 34, line 4, Milan Maric, Dean Manning
23 says: "Okay. Start on the 13th. When were you with Obrenovic?"
24 Milan Maric says: "On the 13th, 6.00 in the evening, he ordered me, in my
25 office, to go to the location of Snagovo, meaning that I saw him also on
1 the 14th in the morning." "So, you saw him at 1800 when he ordered you to
2 go to Snagovo. When was the next time you saw him?" "In the morning of
3 the 14th, at about 8.00 or 9.00 in the morning." So from what Mr. Maric
4 says it appears that you were gone from Snagovo from 6.00 in the evening
5 on the 13th until 8.00 or 9.00 in the morning on the 14th; is that right?
6 A. That's not right, no. Again, for the umpteenth time, I went
7 during the night between the 12th and the 13th, around midnight or just
8 past midnight. I spent the rest of the night there, the morning of the
9 13th, and I stayed there until about noon, the 13th, and just past noon on
10 the 13th I came back to the barracks, Zvornik. That's where I spent the
11 afternoon, until about 9.00 in the evening I was in the barracks. Not
12 only in the barracks, but also I went to the engineering department, the
13 barracks, the duty officer, my office, and then back to Snagovo. I spent
14 the night there at Snagovo, the night between the 13th and the 14th.
15 Quite possible, yes, those were units, the second half of the
16 night between the 13th and the 14th, I got involved in deploying the MUP
17 forces from Doboj in their positions. I looked for Maric when I needed
18 him. This line of ambush was maybe between two and three kilometres long,
19 and I never said that I had spent that whole night with Maric. What could
20 I have been doing with him? He was a company commander. So when I needed
21 him, I sent for him.
22 Q. So when Maric says that he wasn't with you and he didn't see you
23 at Snagovo from 1800 on the 13th to 8.00 or 9.00 on the 14th, then he's
24 mistaken; right?
25 A. I don't remember whether we saw each other that night. He may as
1 well be right. What I'm telling you is that we were involved in an
2 activity. We were setting an ambush. And I was dealing with the MUP
3 company for most of that time. So he may not have seen me at all. He may
4 be right here, though. I never said that I spent that entire night with
5 Maric, because I was involved in specific activities.
6 Q. You did say that you spent it at Snagovo, though, didn't you?
7 A. Certainly, but please try to understand. Snagovo is an area
8 that's a bit bigger than this courtroom, so not everyone could see
9 everyone else there. It's about ten different hills, an area covering
10 about ten kilometres. And we were setting up defence.
11 Q. So --
12 A. It's only logical that he may not have seen me at certain moments.
13 Q. But he said he didn't see you at all during the period from 1800
14 in the evening until the next morning, at Snagovo. And you do recognise
15 that that's what Mr. Maric says, isn't it?
16 A. I see what he stated if I look at the statement. But I told you a
17 moment ago that I went to Snagovo on the 13th. Probably it was at about
18 9.00 in the evening. So it's quite logical that he couldn't see me,
19 because I had been in the barracks, in the office, up until then. And
20 then as dusk was falling, I came there and we set up the units for the
21 defence. We were expecting fighting to begin and we weren't standing next
22 to each other. So that means he may not have seen me. I'm just
23 explaining why he may not have been able to see me there.
24 MS. SINATRA: Your Honours, if I might just have one moment.
25 Q. Okay. You do remember in your debriefing on the 18th that you
1 discussed five or six Muslim children were captured by the VRS on the
2 front, don't you? Do you remember that, on the 18th of July?
3 A. When do you mean?
4 Q. On the 18th of July there were several, five to six, Muslim
5 children that were captured on the front, in the Zvornik zone of
6 responsibility. Do you remember that?
7 A. I remember that some children were brought. I don't know where
8 from, the road to Parlog.
9 Q. And you have stated in your statements before that Mr. Jokic
10 assisted them to get through the minefield and back to their families,
11 didn't he?
12 A. Yes, that's true.
13 Q. And then the Muslims called and thanked you, didn't they?
14 A. No. They didn't call me specifically. They just called the
15 Serbs. That's what they said. But Jokic was the one who had taken them
16 through the minefield between our positions.
17 Q. Thank you. I want to go back to the morning of the 15th. After
18 you and Colonel Vasic were in your office trying to decide how to solve
19 and save Zvornik, you discussed the possibility of letting the column pass
20 through; isn't that right?
21 A. Yes, that's right.
22 Q. And then you called General Miletic for permission to let the
23 column pass, and he said: No, you have to fight. Right?
24 A. Before that, I tried to come into contact with my commander, and
25 then the command of the Drina Corps, but there was nobody up there. And,
1 yes, I spoke to General Miletic and he said exactly what you said, as you
2 summarised it.
3 Q. And this is the same General Miletic that gave you access to the
4 documents that you seized in 1999 from the Zvornik Brigade headquarters?
5 A. The general is the same, but he did not give me access to the
6 documents. I have already explained how I came by those documents. I
7 said so two or three days ago in detail, and I can repeat it if you like.
8 But Miletic didn't give me access to that. I think that he learnt about
9 it when the documents appeared here.
10 Q. So we'll go through this chain of custody a little bit later. I
11 just wanted to make sure that this was the same General Miletic.
12 He was located in -- was he located in Mali Zvornik in 1999 and
13 2000, at the warehouse facility there?
14 A. Yes, in the spring of 1999, he was there for four or five days,
15 looking through the documents. And I visited him twice, following orders
16 from the corps commander, the general of the 5th Corps, General Andric.
17 Q. I want to go back to you letting the column pass through. And
18 basically, when you opened the column up, because Zvornik could not stand
19 against this column, you allowed their peaceful passage, more or less,
20 with a little scattered firing here or there; isn't that true?
21 A. I think that that is too much generalisation, that that isn't
22 actually how it was. I couldn't say that three days of heavy fighting and
23 all the 200 -- 40 dead and 200 wounded, that can't be considered to be
24 sporadic shooting and fighting on a small scale.
25 Q. Well, basically, by your preserving the integrity of Zvornik, you
1 were a hero by making that decision with the local people, weren't you?
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Misstatement of the evidence. I think it's been
4 clearly established or stated previously who made that decision.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
6 MS. SINATRA:
7 Q. Was the decision made by Colonel Vasic, or the suggestion?
8 A. May I be allowed to explain, please. On the 15th, when we met in
9 front of the headquarters here, Vasic asked around about the police
10 captain, Captain Jankovic, who had been taken prisoner, and he asked me
11 whether I had seen with my own eyes that there were so many men, that the
12 forces were so strong, and he was surprised by that. So when I informed
13 him of it, all his first proposal, yes, they should really be allowed to
14 pass through, because the command of the 28th Division had a radio relay
15 and they called from that captured person, Captain Jankovic, they asked
16 for free passage. And Colonel Jankovic suggested that. Now, my position
17 was such, my duty was such, and position was such, that it wasn't up to me
18 to make that decision. So I said who we had called up to ask for approval
19 and permission. But we did not receive permission, and in the meantime,
20 the commander, Lieutenant Colonel Pandurevic arrived, and both I and Vasic
21 suggested that to him. I told him first in my office. I said that we had
22 agreed and we felt that the column were to be let through. But his
23 reaction was to prohibit that. He did not allow the column to be
24 passed -- the column to pass through. And afterwards, so on the 15th, in
25 the afternoon, the night between the 15th and 16th, and the 16th up until
1 2.00 p.m., we were engaged in serious fighting. It really was very heavy
2 combat. Over 200 people were wounded, many people were killed, our own
3 people, our own men. And I don't like having to mention these killed
4 persons to illustrate a point, but that's how it was.
5 So it was only after this that Lieutenant Colonel Pandurevic made
6 the decision and in agreement with Semso Muminovic, the officer,
7 commanding officer on the opposite side, was the corridor opened. And I
8 said that it was my impression that Lieutenant Colonel Pandurevic was
9 facing great pressure, especially from the Main Staff, because they were
10 opposed to this. That is how I saw it. So the decision as to whether to
11 open the corridor or not was not a decision that I made. I really did not
12 make that decision. Had I had the right to make the decision, I would
13 have made it, and wouldn't have called anybody. I would have taken the
14 decision on the 15th, in the morning, and there wouldn't have been all
15 those dead people. I believe to the present day that that was a mistake,
16 but I just didn't have the authority to make the decision on my own.
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Sinatra, it's time for a break.
18 MS. SINATRA: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE LIU: And we hope that we could revisit the document D17/3
20 and D18/3 after the break.
21 MS. SINATRA: Yes. Thank you. I'll take care of that.
22 JUDGE LIU: We'll resume at a quarter to 6.00.
23 --- Recess taken at 5.16 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 5.50 p.m.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Sinatra, please continue.
1 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour. I would like to bring to the
2 Trial Chamber's attention that for the moment we will have to withdraw the
3 testimony regarding Nada Stojanovic, because in the OTP statement there's
4 no reference to the day that she was in Orahovac. But I can coordinate it
5 with Mr. Butler's statement, saying what day she was there, but I'll have
6 to find that tonight and if you'll allow me just to reintroduce this
7 tomorrow. We can't confirm the date unless we corroborate it with some
8 other evidence.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, of course.
10 MS. SINATRA: Thank you. And I'm not sure --
11 JUDGE LIU: Your microphone, please.
12 MS. SINATRA: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I think we have copies of
13 Mico Gavric, but I see that my help is gone. So I'm going to go on to
14 another document, which, for identification purposes, has been marked
15 D6/3. And I don't know if I have anybody to help me with this at the
16 moment. I can go back to another question real quickly regarding
17 Milan Maric. I'd like to go back to his statement, which we had covered
18 already. And I would like to ask Mr. Obrenovic:
19 Q. You are aware --
20 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.
21 Q. You are aware that Milan Maric was one of the witnesses used by
22 the OTP to confirm witness tampering in getting the denial of your
23 provisional release; right? Should I break that down, Your Honours?
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, if you like. But since there's no objections,
25 you could go your way.
1 MS. SINATRA: Okay. Thank you.
2 Q. You are aware that Milan Maric was interviewed by the OTP when you
3 were requesting provisional release; right?
4 A. I understood it that the OTP talked to Maric for their regular
5 investigations, and it coincided by chance that they could use this to
6 oppose my provisional release.
7 Q. Well, you are aware that your provisional release was denied
8 because of allegations by the OTP of witness tampering; right?
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, Your Honour, it's calling for a
11 conclusion on why the Trial Bench at that time did anything, which is
12 completely inappropriate.
13 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, if he knows and he read the documents,
14 I think he has a right to answer this question.
15 JUDGE LIU: No, no, no. You should not answer this kind of
16 question. You may put your question in another way.
17 MS. SINATRA:
18 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, you are aware that your request for provisional
19 release was denied; right?
20 A. You're quite right, yes.
21 Q. And you were explained that one of the reasons that provisional
22 request was denied was the argument put forth by the Prosecutor that you
23 were tampering with witnesses; is that correct?
24 A. One of the reasons that was stipulated in the decision was the
25 fear that I would influence witnesses. Nothing specific was stated,
2 Q. Okay. Thank you very much.
3 Now I'd like to go back to Mico Gavric. I think we've just -- did
4 we just -- no. I'm sorry. This is a document prepared by Mr. Obrenovic.
5 Can you tell me: Do you recognise this document, Mr. Obrenovic? And just
6 for clarification, this is D6/3.
7 A. Roughly speaking, yes. I haven't got time to read through the
8 entire document, but yes, I would say that that is what I once typed out.
9 Q. So this is a document that was prepared by you, isn't it?
10 A. Yes, roughly speaking. As I say, without entering into the
11 details to see whether anything has been altered, but roughly speaking,
12 yes, it is.
13 Q. And it's a document that you prepared in anticipation for your
14 interview with the OTP in April of 2000, isn't it?
15 A. Yes, it is.
16 Q. And in fact, you provided the Prosecutor with a copy of this
17 itinerary through your attorney during your interview with the Prosecution
18 in 2000, didn't you?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Although my pages aren't numbered, I would like to go to the 13th
21 of July, 1995 and ask you to review that day quickly.
22 Now, Mr. Obrenovic, during July 13th, 1995, in this itinerary
23 you've prepared for the Prosecution, you never mention any call from
24 Drago Nikolic on the evening of the 13th telling you about the arrival of
25 any prisoners, do you?
1 A. You're quite right.
2 Q. And could we go to the 15th of July, 1995, about maybe eight lines
3 down. You start with: "Around 9.30." And might I remind you: This was
4 prepared before your review of all OTP statements; right?
5 A. Absolutely. At the time, I had none of these documents.
6 Q. "Around 9.30, I arrived to the barracks in Zvornik via the old
7 road. Colonel Vasic showed up immediately and we discussed the
8 possibility of letting the Muslims through. I asked the Drina Corps
9 command for permission. There was nobody there, while at the Main Staff,
10 General Miletic did not allow that and hung up on me."
11 And then it goes on to discuss your meeting with Colonel Vasic.
12 And the truth is, there's no mention about any debriefing by Dragan Jokic
13 on the morning of the 15th, is there?
14 A. No, nothing is mentioned with respect to any incriminatory acts,
15 not only for the 15th, but as you said a moment ago, for the 13th as well,
16 and all the other days too. And you can read it for the 14th. No
17 incriminatory acts were mentioned by me at the time. You're right.
18 Q. And also, this document was given to Mr. Jokic by your joint
19 counsel at the time, Krstan Simic, wasn't it?
20 A. I don't know that. I thought not.
21 Q. So you didn't know that Mr. Simic had given Mr. Jokic a copy of
22 your itinerary, did you?
23 A. No, I didn't know that.
24 Q. So you didn't know that Mr. Simic was trying to coordinate the
25 stories between you and Mr. Jokic by giving Mr. Jokic a copy of your
1 proposed itinerary; right?
2 A. No. I know that Mr. Simic didn't give me anything that was
3 written by Jokic. This is the first I hear of it, of him giving
4 Dragan Jokic these papers of mine. If I had wanted to give this to him, I
5 would have given it to him myself.
6 Q. Let me ask you: You just stated that Mr. Simic had never given
7 you anything relating to Mr. Jokic's case; is that what you're saying?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. So you don't remember that right after Mr. Jokic's first interview
10 with the OTP, that Mr. Simic had given you the original audio copies of
11 that interview? I'm sorry. Not the original, but the Defence copy of the
12 audiotapes of that interview.
13 A. No, I don't remember that.
14 Q. And so they're not still in your custody, then; right?
15 A. No. I have what the Prosecution gave us, all those statements and
17 Q. I'm talking about before your interview with the OTP in April
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm going to object to this line of questioning as
21 inappropriate, unless counsel will lay the foundation that they intend for
22 Mr. Jokic to withdraw his attorney/client privilege with Mr. Simic and
23 intend to have Mr. Simic take the stand to put some credibility to these
24 suggestions, and/or Mr. Jokic to do the same thing. Otherwise it's
25 speculating into areas of attorney relationships, and this kind of
1 speculation and assumption of facts without anything to back it up is
2 really inappropriate, and I don't see the relevance of it either.
3 JUDGE LIU: Ms. Sinatra.
4 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, if I can get a subpoena on Mr. Simic, I
5 would love to have him come testify, but Mr. Simic has explained to lead
6 counsel that he gave the audiotapes to Mr. Obrenovic. Because we've
7 requested them. We never could get our copies of the audiotapes, and
8 that's where we have been told they have been possessed.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, it depends on this issue is crucial to your case
10 or not. And my suggestion is that you may ask a statement from this
11 person and exhaust all the possible means at your hands to gain some
12 evidence. If you failed, you may raise this issue again to the attention
13 of the Chamber, and we'll see what we could do.
14 MS. SINATRA: Thank you, Your Honour. And I think there is a
15 potential that I may be a witness in this area at some point because of --
16 I really don't want to talk about it in open session, but we will come to
17 this when we're discussing the suppression of the statements and the
18 conflict of interest with the attorneys at a later date.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Maybe you could come to it at a later stage.
20 MS. SINATRA: Thank you very much.
21 So may I ask him whether he has the audiotapes in his possession?
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you may ask this question.
23 MS. SINATRA: Okay. Thank you.
24 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, do you have the audiotapes from Mr. Jokic's
25 interview in December 1999 your in your possession?
1 A. No. I have in my possession tapes of the interview that I gave.
2 I didn't even listen to them, because I also received a transcript, so I
3 just read through that.
4 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, do you have in your possession the audiotapes from
5 Mr. Jokic's interview with the OTP in April of 2000?
6 A. No.
7 Q. So if Mr. Simic had said that he had given them to you, he would
8 be incorrect?
9 A. Probably, yes.
10 Q. Although we are not acquiescing to the acceptance of the accuracy
11 or reliability of the intercepts, I would like to ask him a question about
12 one of the intercepts.
13 JUDGE LIU: So you agree with the way we suggested?
14 MS. SINATRA: You mean present the evidence and let the Trial
15 Chamber decide on the weight to give it?
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, no, no, no, no, no. We are using this document
17 at the moment, and later on we'll discuss whether we should admit it into
18 the evidence. The weight matter is something far away.
19 MS. SINATRA: Actually, Your Honour, I think I'm going to skip the
20 question. I'd like to preserve my running objections.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, it does not affect your objections. Your
22 running objections is still there. If you want to ask some questions
23 concerning these intercepts, please do that.
24 MS. SINATRA: I think I'm going to move on for today. I'll think
25 about it overnight.
1 Q. Now, Mr. Obrenovic, you know that Mr. Nikolic has completed his
2 testimony; right?
3 A. Yes, I know that.
4 Q. And in fact, you and Mr. Nikolic have been housed in the same
5 location -- I'm sorry. Let me retract this. Mr. Nikolic said that
6 written reports from Main Staff and Main Staff security would not
7 necessarily go to the Zvornik Brigade headquarters, communications between
8 security didn't go through the command; isn't that right?
9 A. Can you please elaborate? I don't think I've understood your
10 question. I apologise.
11 Q. I think I'm going to put it in another way, in that normal rules
12 of command and communications don't necessarily apply when there is a Main
13 Staff presence during a special operation, do they?
14 A. You mean if Mladic is there?
15 Q. Yes. If Mladic is there or Beara is there.
16 A. It would be possible for them to issue any order that they see
18 Q. I want to go to Dusko Vukotic. We mentioned him earlier. Now, he
19 was the assistant chief of staff of intelligence, starting in 1994, wasn't
21 A. Yes, you're correct.
22 Q. He held the rank of captain first class?
23 A. At that time, yes.
24 Q. And on the 14th and 15th of July, you had him stationed at a
25 special location high above Zvornik to receive communications, didn't you,
1 and that's at Kula Grad?
2 A. At Kula Grad, yes. Not only to receive messages and
3 communications, but rather to maintain contact with the MUP units.
4 Q. Plus could he visually see the approach of the 28th Division?
5 A. He probably could, from Kula Grad, he could have seen them
6 entering the villages of Bajrici, Samari and Liplje. In some places at
7 least. This is a wooded area we're talking about so as they were passing
8 clearings, yes, he would have been able to see them.
9 Q. And just for clarification for the Trial Chamber, Kula Grad is an
10 ancient medieval fortress built high on a cliff overlooking Zvornik from
11 about the thirteenth century, isn't it?
12 A. Kula Grad is a geographical term referring to a village which is
13 there, including three hillocks in the area, the space between them, plus
14 a medieval fortress, and the village itself. It's a geographical name for
15 the village and the buildings there.
16 Q. The view from this fortress is a military location that has been
17 maintained for centuries and centuries because of the view that you have
18 up there; isn't that correct?
19 A. One section of the fort, the east battlement, more specifically,
20 from there, you can see the river Drina and that section of the valley, if
21 that's what you had in mind.
22 Q. Now, Mr. Vukotic, do you know what kind of radio equipment he had
23 up there?
24 A. If I remember correctly, he had a Motorola piece of communications
25 equipment, using ultra shortwave.
1 Q. And your signalman that you had with you had a Motorola that could
2 receive his radio signals, couldn't he?
3 A. No. My signalman had an RUP-12, which was not compatible with the
4 other piece of equipment. So whenever we needed to get in touch with
5 Vukotic, Vukotic would go to the artillery platoon, who were stationed
6 there at Kula Grad and were using the same sort of communications
7 equipment that I was using. So that's how we got in touch.
8 Q. The artillery division, when it communicated with your RUP-12, it
9 didn't necessarily have to go through the switchboard, did it, at
11 A. No.
12 Q. None of those messages with Mr. Vukotic were intercepted, were
14 A. There have been intercepts for the tactical conversations, as the
15 Prosecution called them. Every day. He used the signal Vuk, or Wolf, and
16 there have been many intercepts between myself and him and other units he
17 was speaking to. Vuk was the code that he was using.
18 Q. And all of the communications with Vuk, Captain Vukotic, were
19 concerning combat operations or legitimate military operations on the
20 night of the 14th and the 15th; right?
21 A. Yes. He was there and he took part in that.
22 Q. You stated on your direct that you didn't know anything about the
23 CZ. Didn't you say that?
24 A. I may have misheard the interpretation. I apologise.
25 Q. Well, I think CZ is a Serbian term for civilian protection
1 organisation. You stated in your direct testimony that you didn't know
2 anything about that.
3 A. If I understand you correctly, the question perhaps refers to the
4 reply I gave Lieutenant Colonel Pandurevic on the 15th, when we spoke in
5 the corridor. He asked me why the burials were not being carried out by
6 the civilian protection, and I said I was not even aware of them having to
7 do it. Is that what you were referring to?
8 Q. I was referring to your direct testimony, where Mr. McCloskey was
9 questioning about the burial of the Muslim soldiers on the 16th or 17th,
10 and you said that it was a normal function of the engineering department.
11 And he asked you about the CZ and you said you didn't know anything about
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: I never used the term "CZ," so perhaps if counsel
15 has the transcript number, she can help us out. But that, it's just
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
18 MS. SINATRA:
19 Q. The civilian protection organisation.
20 A. I know what civilian protection is, yes, in Zvornik, at least.
21 Q. So when you said that you didn't know anything about that in your
22 direct testimony, that was not true, is it?
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. If this is a form of impeachment, we
24 would -- I think it's appropriate to have the source clear and at hand.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Sinatra. If you want to challenge this
1 witness's testimony, you had better point to us the specific page and line
2 of this question.
3 MS. SINATRA: I will come back to that with the exact line in the
4 transcript, Your Honour, but I'd like to go forward with my questioning
5 about the civil protection organisation, if I might.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. You may use the term the civilian protection
8 MS. SINATRA:
9 Q. Now, you had jumped ahead. You were aware that
10 Commander Pandurevic, or Pandurevic, when he returned on the 15th, he
11 asked you why you hadn't engaged the civilian protection organisation,
12 didn't he?
13 A. No. He asked why the burials were not being carried out by the
14 civilian protection, not why I hadn't engaged them to do it. That's what
15 I said.
16 Q. By him asking you that question, wasn't he inferring that you
17 should have taken care of that?
18 A. He told me what had been ordered, and I told him that I didn't
19 even know that any such thing had been ordered. That's all we said about
20 civilian protection. I don't know what he meant. I'm only telling you
21 what he told me.
22 Q. The civilian protection organisation is the organisation
23 responsible for burials and terrain restoration in the civilian section of
24 Zvornik municipality; right?
25 A. Perhaps that's one of their duties, yes.
1 Q. And in fact, the engineering company is not really authorised to
2 participate in burials. That's the duty and responsibility of the
3 logistics company, isn't it?
4 A. Yes. Under the rules, it's the logistics units that should clear
5 the terrain or do the sanitisation, the logistics battalion and one of
6 their units, but it's also the right of any of the commanders, on account
7 of the given circumstances, to order a specific activity. Under the
8 rules, strictly speaking, it is not the duty of the military police to
9 engage in direct combat, but, as we have seen, under the circumstances, we
10 were forced to do it.
11 Q. I'd just like a direct answer from you from my question. The
12 engineering company is not authorised to participate in burials; it is the
13 responsibility of logistics, according to the rules?
14 A. There is no reference in the rules to anything being forbidden to
15 anyone. If you mean the specific concept of sanitisation, or asanacija,
16 then the rules specify that a logistics unit should be in charge of that.
17 That's in the rules.
18 Q. Now, the civilian protection organisation, if you know, since I
19 don't know that you are familiar with this organisation, they're the ones
20 responsible for contacting the Red Cross or the United Nations when
21 there's any kind of emergency situation, aren't they?
22 A. This may be the case, but I really can't say for sure.
23 Q. And since there was no authority for the engineering company, that
24 was commanded by Dragan Jevtic to engage in this, then, on the other hand,
25 the chief of engineering certainly did not have any authority to
1 requisition this civilian service, did he?
2 A. I don't remember ever having said anything like that. Was your
3 question in relation to a set of rules --
4 Q. Engineering rules. Engineering rules. The chief of engineering
5 could never have the authority to requisition a municipal organisation to
6 undertake an engagement such as these burials, could he?
7 A. Under the rules, no. The civilian protection --
8 Q. About asanacija, or terrain restoration, this is not a term that
9 is just specific to the rules of the JNA or to the rules of the VRS, is
11 A. I'm not aware of the rules applied in any other army, so I can't
12 talk about them.
13 Q. So you wouldn't know that it might be a general provision in any
14 military in the international community; right?
15 A. Perhaps it may be so, but as I said, I haven't read any of the
16 other rules.
17 Q. And terrain restoration, as it's written in the JNA manuals, is
18 really written in there to prevent epidemics and protect the public
19 health, isn't it?
20 A. Among other things, yes. That's one of the purposes.
21 Q. I want to go back to Mr. Nikolic's testimony, and I assume that
22 you read the transcripts from his testimony, didn't you?
23 A. No, I haven't had an opportunity to read the transcript of his
24 testimony. I have read the statement that he gave the Office of the
25 Prosecutor prior to his testimony, though.
1 Q. Well, I won't refer to his testimony, but if Mr. Nikolic had said
2 that the burial operation that took care of the problems at the Kravica
3 Kravica warehouse strictly run by equipment from the Bratunac Brigade,
4 that would make sense, because Kravica is in the Bratunac zone of
5 responsibility, isn't it?
6 A. Perhaps. If they didn't have the equipment, the corps command
7 could have taken steps to bring equipment from just about anywhere.
8 Whoever was in charge of the burials, if they had no machines, they could
9 have easily hauled them in from just about anywhere, on civilian or
10 military authority, regardless.
11 Q. And there is a CZ in Bratunac also, isn't there? I'm sorry.
12 Civilian protection organisation.
13 A. Yes, probably there is.
14 Q. I won't ask you about any of Mr. Nikolic's testimony. If you say
15 that you are not familiar with it. Is that right?
16 A. What I told you is that I read his statements, the statements that
17 he gave to the Office of the Prosecutor. But I never had a chance to read
18 the transcript of his testimony, because it was never forwarded to me.
19 Q. Okay. When supposedly you were notified that prisoners were being
20 sent to the Zvornik area of responsibility, it's my understanding that you
21 responded that: We can't accept that responsibility because the commander
22 is not here. Is that right?
23 A. There are two parts to your question, and my answer has two parts
24 also. When you say "supposedly," it wasn't supposedly; it was exactly as
25 I said it was. As for the latter part of your question, I didn't say that
1 we could not accept that because the commander was there, but rather that
2 we couldn't accept it unbeknownst to our commander and without explicit
3 approval from our commander, not merely because he was absent.
4 Q. I want to just go back to your telephone or radio message from
5 Drago Nikolic, informing you about this operation on the 13th. As we
6 stated, that was not intercepted, was it?
7 A. This was not radio message. This was no radio message and it was
8 not a phone -- it was a phone conversation by phone line.
9 Q. But the only evidence that we have that this conversation took
10 place is to borrow from Mr. Karnavas, four ears and four eyes of you
11 telling us that that's what happened; right?
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. Asking the witness to speculate on the
13 state of the evidence. I would certainly disagree with that, that
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think the question has a point. Maybe the
16 form of the question is not correct. And I think Ms. Sinatra just wants
17 to ask whether there's somebody else besides Mr. Obrenovic when he was
18 talking -- he was receiving the telephone call from Drago Nikolic.
19 Am I right?
20 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour. That's exactly what I'm trying to
21 get an answer about. And as far as I know, the only evidence we have that
22 this conversation took place was -- is Mr. Obrenovic's testimony.
23 Q. So is that --
24 JUDGE LIU: You may ask a direct question.
25 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.
1 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, we have no other evidence that Drago Nikolic
2 informed you of this operation on the evening of the 13th, other than you
3 saying so; isn't that right?
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. That's a misstatement of the evidence.
5 Mr. Butler's report deals with the subject in depth. There's many
6 inferences. The good part of the Prosecution's case was based on that
7 there must have been communication at this point.
8 JUDGE LIU: Let us hear what Mr. Obrenovic is going to tell us.
9 MS. SINATRA:
10 Q. I think the Trial Chamber has said you can answer the question,
11 Mr. Obrenovic.
12 A. Ms. Sinatra, I don't know if this particular conversation was ever
13 intercepted. Among the evidence submitted to us by the Office of the
14 Prosecutor, I have read no such thing. But yes, such a conversation did
15 indeed take place, and not via radio link, but rather, by phone.
16 Q. Well, you're not aware of any other evidence that supports this
17 telephone conversation, are you?
18 A. Not that I've seen any, not that I've been shown any.
19 Q. And you've read all of the intercepts and all of the statements
20 provided by the OTP, haven't you?
21 A. Well, as for all, I don't know, but I've read a number of them,
22 yes, quite a number.
23 Q. Just the relevant statements. We'll stick with that. Thank you.
24 Just to clarify matters: Your duty officer on the 13th,
25 Sreten Milosevic, I believe, was the duty officer on the 13th?
1 A. Yes, he was, Sreten Milosevic was.
2 Q. He gave you the information that 3.000 prisoners were possibly
3 coming in your direction from their capture on Konjevic Polje; right?
4 A. No. That's not how it was, and I don't remember having said that.
5 What I did state with respect to that matter was that when, on the 13th, a
6 little after noon, I returned from Snagovo, that the duty officer, Captain
7 Sreten Milosevic, informed me about having talked to the corps commander
8 and that he had said that the road was blocked between Kasaba and Konjevic
9 Polje, and that the Muslim units had not managed to pass through further
10 than that. And later, in the course of the day, I learnt from various
11 other sources that the figure bandied about was 3.000, that there were
12 3.000 prisoners from Bratunac to Konjevic Polje and Kasaba. But there was
13 no talk of them coming to Zvornik, and I don't think I ever said that.
14 Q. The only thing I'm trying to get is that other than your
15 allegation that Drago Nikolic informed you that these prisoners were to be
16 killed, there is no other evidence other than a legitimate military
17 operation of the transfer of prisoners; isn't that correct?
18 A. I don't think you're right on that score. You mean looking at it
19 today? Actually, I'm not quite sure I understand your question.
20 Q. On the 13th, in the evening, nobody else knew of the intention to
21 kill these prisoners. You might not have even known. The only evidence
22 we have is a call, assumedly, from Drago Nikolic; is that right?
23 A. I don't know who knew about it, all the people who knew. I just
24 said that Drago Nikolic called me up, and I told you what he told me. He
25 mentioned the people that I've already mentioned myself during my
1 testimony. And as I said, I believed him, quite simply. Now, who else
2 knew about it, I really can't say. I read what Nikolic stated, but I
3 don't know the details of it, no specifics. I believed him. I believed
4 that all the people he mentioned as knowing about it did actually know
5 about it. Perhaps I was wrong. It was -- I made my -- I drew this
6 conclusion on the basis of what he told me.
7 Q. You said he didn't mention any names but that someone would be
8 getting in contact with the people in your area. Isn't that what you
9 said? So you didn't mention any names when you were talking to
10 Drago Nikolic; isn't that right?
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. Misstatement of the evidence. This
12 really messes up the record and is unnecessary.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Sinatra, we could not understand your
14 question at all.
15 MS. SINATRA: I'll try to organise my thoughts a little better.
16 Thank you.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, please.
18 MS. SINATRA: Actually --
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may be heard for one second.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes. You want to help?
21 MS. SINATRA: More instruction.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Not quite. I wouldn't put it in those terms, Your
23 Honour. But the gentleman did indicate that he -- all the people
24 that -- mentioned the people that -- that I've already mentioned myself.
25 He didn't mention any people. He said, as I understood it, and as we
1 discussed yesterday, that Drago Nikolic said that everybody knew it,
2 including the commander. I think he never said that he mentioned
3 particular people. So I just want to clarify that point. And maybe
4 there's some confusion going on. But as far as I know, he never mentioned
5 any particular names.
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
7 MS. SINATRA: Thank you. If Mr. Karnavas's evidence can be
8 accepted, I agree with him 100 per cent. Thank you very much.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. McCloskey.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's my precise objection to all of this. The
11 lawyer is trying to put in evidence. It's just absolutely wrong, doesn't
12 reflect the facts of the case, and the witness, I'm sure, can answer the
13 question if he's given a specific question, but ...
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Going from the sublime to the ridiculous.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I think Mr. Karnavas just make a statement of
17 how he understands the conversation. But he's not -- it may not reflect
18 the facts. So we need some more questions put by Ms. Sinatra to this
19 witness to clarify the situation.
20 MS. SINATRA: I would just like to clarify Mr. McCloskey's side
21 bar comment from the sublime to the ridiculous. I hope I'm the sublime
22 and the other team is the ridiculous. There's a lot of side bars going on
23 here, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, to save time, just put your question to the
1 MS. SINATRA:
2 Q. If there were a conversation between you and Drago Nikolic, if
3 there were evidence supporting this, your statement, when referring to the
4 conversation, said -- never mentioned anybody else by name; isn't that
6 A. If I'm following you correctly, and I apologise, but you did have
7 at least four questions there, your question plus all the subquestions.
8 First of all, you said if there was a conversation. My answer to that
9 question was yes, there was a conversation. The second question, or
10 subquestion, well, it's just slipped my mind. I apologise. What was the
11 second thing you asked?
12 Q. Well, they're really prepositional phrases instead of questions.
13 But if there were evidence supporting your statement with Drago Nikolic --
14 do you want to answer that one?
15 A. Well, I wasn't shown anything like that. I didn't see anything
16 along those lines.
17 Q. In this alleged conversation, you never mentioned anybody else's
18 name, did you?
19 A. You mean the telephone conversation between myself and
20 Drago Nikolic?
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. I mentioned several names, or rather, Drago Nikolic mentioned the
23 following names: Mladic, Beara, Popovic, and later on Jasikovac, when he
24 asked for Jasikovac to be placed at his disposal. So in that entire
25 conversation, those were the names we mentioned, the name of our
1 commander, and that's it.
2 Q. Thank you very much. And again, there was no intercept recording
3 this conversation; right?
4 A. I didn't read any, no.
5 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, transportation of prisoners, based on your military
6 expertise, transportation of prisoners from one zone to another zone is
7 viewed as a legitimate military operation, isn't it?
8 A. Yes, that's right.
9 Q. And it's further verified if the caravan on the 14th is being led
10 by a United Nations white APC; isn't that correct?
11 A. I did not see it myself. It was only later on, after all these
12 events, that I heard stories told about some of the UNPROFOR equipment
13 that was used and the APCs that were mentioned, not just one, but several
14 of them, that they had been captured and used, among other things, also
15 for accompanying the convoy. But I did not know that at the time. I
16 learnt that somewhat later on.
17 Q. And you knew that the soldiers on the buses were wearing UN
18 uniforms too, didn't you?
19 A. I heard that story told later on. I didn't know at the time. And
20 I don't know whether all of them wore them. I heard that some of them
21 did, did have uniforms, UN uniforms.
22 Q. And just for clarification: The duty officer's office in the
23 Zvornik Brigade headquarters doesn't face the road, does it?
24 A. The window of that office faces the Drina River, not the road.
25 That's right.
1 Q. Now, on the 13th, when you told us about this brief meeting with
2 Jasikovac, when you called him back from the ambushes, Sreten Milosevic
3 was your operational duty officer then, wasn't he?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. It wasn't Dragan Jokic?
6 A. It was Sreten Milosevic.
7 Q. You said that on the 14th, that you learned that, at 1400 hours,
8 that a large number of prisoners were being brought to the Zvornik area
9 from Major Zoran Jovanovic; is that right?
10 A. I said that when the reinforcements arrived a little after 1400
11 hours, or 1400 hours, those reinforcements were brought in by Major Zoran
12 Jovanovic. Yes, that's right.
13 Q. And Mr. Jovanovic is the head of the military police; right?
14 A. No, that's not right. Mr. Jovanovic, a major, was I
15 think -- well, I don't know the exact post he held in the brigade command,
16 but he worked in the staff office, different things with respect to the
17 computer. The head of the military police was Jasikovac.
18 Q. I'm sorry. I did get those two confused. That's my fault.
19 You said after the 14th, in the morning of the 14th, that you left
20 the intersection at Snagovo and went to the headquarters, didn't you?
21 A. The 14th? No. That's not what I said. I didn't go to the
22 headquarters on the 14th.
23 Q. Who is Dragan Jevtic?
24 A. Mr. Dragan Jevtic is, if you mean his military post at the time,
25 was commander of the engineers company. Otherwise, he was a citizen
1 living in Zvornik, and he was a graduate of architecture.
2 Q. But he was commander of the engineering company, wasn't he?
3 A. That's right. You're quite right. Yes.
4 Q. And you have a lot of respect for him; you think he is a bright
5 and respectable man, don't you?
6 A. Well, if you want me to state publicly here and now, then I can
7 say that he's a well-educated man. I think he's a clever man, able to do
8 his job. I don't think it's only me who respects him. Anybody who knows
9 him we will probably respects him too, like everybody else who is a good
10 person and well educated.
11 Q. In your direct testimony you described the burial of 20 or so
12 Muslim soldiers by the Zvornik Brigade, in the name of terrain
13 restoration, after a combat operation. Although this is the normal
14 responsibility of the logistics company, the civilian protection
15 organisation participated in that burial operation, didn't they?
16 A. I don't think I put it that way. What happened was, after the
17 fighting there in the Baljkovica area, there were some 20 corpses, or
18 however many, which were found, and the soldiers belonging to units who
19 were deployed there gathered up the bodies, and the 4th Battalion had
20 already arrived from Bratunac, which was renamed the 8th Battalion. And
21 the burial itself was done by the machinery from the engineers company.
22 Q. Okay. So you don't remember a man named Kosta Eric participating
23 in this burial operation?
24 A. I really don't know. Our brigade was a large one. There were 50
25 companies to the brigade, 11 battalions, and if you expect me to know each
1 and every soldier, well, I really don't know.
2 Q. But the burial of combat fatalities is a standard operating
3 procedure for a military brigade, isn't it?
4 A. Yes, it is.
5 Q. I just want to go to the transcript from October 2nd, and I
6 believe there is some dispute as to whether this was considered a
7 top-secret military operation. But I would like to go through your
8 testimony on the reburials. First of all, you said that the people that
9 came from Main Staff came and operated in civilian clothes; isn't that
11 A. As far as that is concerned, I mentioned Colonel Beara and
12 Popovic, and I said that they came, according to what I heard later, and
13 that at the time they were wearing civilian clothes. I don't recall
14 having mentioned anybody else from the Main Staff.
15 Q. And that all of the traffic was stopped along the way during that
16 time by the MUP; right?
17 A. I'm quite sure I said that what I had heard with respect to that
18 was that some unit from the corps battalion of the military police of the
19 Drina Corps was blocking the roads, the communication lines, via which the
20 loaded-up trucks with the corpses of the people to be reburied were moving
21 along, and it was them that did that, according to what I had heard. The
22 military police of the Drina Corps, or one of its units, at least. Now,
23 whether the MUP had taken part, I don't know. Perhaps it did. I didn't
24 hear anything about that.
25 Q. And they went so far to cover this up as to change truck drivers
1 in midstream so that nobody knew what they were doing or where they were
2 going, didn't they?
3 A. That's what I heard. That was the story going round, and I think
4 it's true.
5 Q. Okay. We're going to go now to -- you admitted that you were the
6 commander responsible for all the operations at the Zvornik Brigade on the
7 14th and 15th of July; right?
8 A. What I said was that as the chief of staff and also the deputy of
9 the battalion commander, that I was in command of the units of the Zvornik
10 Brigade which were in the Zvornik area.
11 Q. I'd like to provide for the witness, and copies for everybody, a
12 copy of what is marked for identification purposes as D10/3. I have a
13 B/C/S version here. Thank you.
14 Do you have a copy of it? Thank you.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And this document is from the federal secretariat for National
17 Defence, brigade rules; is that right?
18 A. This is a photocopy of the first two pages. The title page,
19 brigade rules, and the page after that, Articles 117 to 123 of the said
21 Q. That's correct. And if you'd like a full copy of the rules of the
22 brigade, we could provide it to you, but I was just going to refer to one
23 paragraph, and that is paragraph 120. "Organs for combat arms are
24 specialised organs of the command which recommend the most appropriate use
25 of units of each combat arm, so the brigade as a whole can fulfil its
1 assignment in the best way. They recommend measures and activities to be
2 completed by all brigade units." And then it lists engineers, security,
3 anti-aircraft, anti-nuclear, chemical, and biological measures, and
4 suchlike, within their combat arms, for the assignment to be carried out
5 to the greatest possible effect. This is in relation to the top sentence
6 up there, says what chiefs are responsible for.
7 Now, the chief of operation is used to recommend the most
8 appropriate use. He's like an expert. He makes recommendations to the
9 commander or the deputy commander, doesn't he?
10 A. Do you mean the chief for operative and -- operations and training
12 Q. The chief of any organ. You have the chief of security, you have
13 the chief of engineering, you have the chief of whatever else you have.
14 It's referring to the chiefs. Their duties are to propose ideas to the
15 commander, and the commander makes the decision based on the information
16 given by the expert organ; is that correct?
17 A. It is correct, but with this proviso: We have to define the chief
18 of security, what that is, and some of these other duties that you
19 mentioned. It's not -- they're not in the headquarters, the command. The
20 chiefs of the services, the branches, PVO, artillery, communications, they
21 are in the staff at the headquarters, and within the frameworks of their
22 branch, yes, they propose to the commander the best possible use of the
23 forces and equipment available from their sector: The artilleryman with
24 respect to the artillery, the communications man with respect to the
25 communications, and so on and so forth.
1 Q. Thank you. And you're aware that on July 14th through the morning
2 of the 15th, Dragan Jokic wore two hats, so we say: He was chief of
3 engineering and he was also assigned as duty officer on that day; isn't
4 that right?
5 A. Yes, that is right.
6 Q. I just want to clear up: In your direct testimony, on page 2443
7 of the transcript, you stated that Dragan Jokic was chief of staff, and I
8 think maybe that was a misinterpretation. Dragan Jokic was never chief of
9 staff of the Zvornik Brigade, was he?
10 A. I don't know what was recorded and what was interpreted, but I
11 don't think I said that. The chief of staff of the Zvornik Brigade was
12 myself. I was. And also deputy commander when the commander was absent,
13 I automatically took over his duties and became the commander, or rather,
14 I was the deputy. So I have absolutely no intention of saying that Jokic
15 was chief of staff when he wasn't. I was chief of staff, and that's what
16 I said.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think the question is misleading in that I
19 believe there was a question on that point regarding 1992, in the early
20 days of the brigade, is my recollection.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, no matter what the situation, the witness has
22 answered this question in a proper way.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Well, I think the question was confusing, and I'm
24 not sure the witness understood it because of the confusion. But ...
25 MS. SINATRA: I'll ask him a follow-up question.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, if there's any.
2 MS. SINATRA:
3 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, you have worked with Mr. Jokic in the JNA, and then
4 when it was transformed into the VRS, and I just wanted, as far as your
5 knowledge goes, Dragan Jokic has never been chief of staff of the Zvornik
6 Brigade, has he?
7 A. Dragan Jokic was a major. He was chief of staff of the Zvornik
8 Brigade during two periods. At the beginning, when it was first formed.
9 So when I came, provisionally, on the 15th of June, I found him there as
10 chief of staff. Then temporarily, for one month, I performed those
11 functions and he was appointed commander of some training centre. And
12 then once again, when I came on the 1st of December to the VRS, then
13 Major Jokic was chief of staff on that occasion as well. After that,
14 however, he became head of the engineers and I was the chief of staff. So
15 during those two periods - and I think you'll be able to find it in the
16 papers relating to the personnel department - Dragan Jokic was indeed the
17 chief of staff. I thought you meant with respect to your first question
18 that you were asking for the July period, July 1995. That's why my answer
19 was as it was, that I was the chief of staff in 1995., except for the time
20 that I was deputy.
21 Q. Well, I thank you for clearing that up for me, because I was never
22 aware that he was ever chief of staff. And when you talk about that
23 transition period when he may have been chief of staff at one time, are
24 you talking about for a temporary one-week period or just until somebody
25 was substituted in?
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. That's a misstatement of the
3 testimony. He never said "may have."
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, generally speaking, I believe that the counsel
5 has the right to ask this question, to make these things clear.
6 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.
7 A. To sum up, if you look at it time-wise, with respect to the
8 period, if I remember correctly, the first half of June 1992, and then
9 later on, from about the 20th of July, or, to try and be even more precise
10 from the end of July 1992 until the 1st of December 1992. So during that
11 time Major Jokic was chief of staff of the Zvornik Brigade. I don't know
12 whether he was appointed to that post or whether he was the acting chief
13 of staff, but anyway, he was there doing the job. Now, after the 1st of
14 December, when I arrived, I continued to occupy that post. I took up the
15 post. Of course, it wasn't our own choice. We were following orders.
16 Q. Thank you very much for clearing that up for us.
17 As duty officer and chief of engineering --
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Sinatra, it's time to break, you know. We
19 have been sitting here for a long time. Maybe you could continue your
20 cross tomorrow morning.
21 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll resume at 9.00 tomorrow morning.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.01 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 9th day of
25 October 2003, at 9.00 a.m.