1 Thursday, 9 October 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. Court Deputy.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is Case Number
7 IT-02-60-T, The Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Before we have the witness, are
9 there any matters that the parties would like to bring to the attention of
10 this Bench.
11 Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, I didn't want to pre-empt the Prosecutor, but
13 I do have one matter. Yesterday a question was posed by Ms. Sinatra to
14 Mr. Obrenovic with respect to equipment used to bury - or rebury - the
15 individuals at Kravica. But in my interpretation, it looks like it was
16 for the burial. On page 80 of yesterday's transcript, line 22, the
17 question was posed: "Well, I don't refer to his testimony, but if
18 Mr. Nikolic had said that the burial equipment that took care of the
19 problems at the Kravica warehouse was strictly run by equipment from the
20 Bratunac Brigade, that would make sense because Kravica is in the Bratunac
21 zone of responsibility, isn't it?" And of course the answer was:
22 "Perhaps." But -- and I didn't object yesterday because I wanted to be
23 precise in making my record. And since I'm before professional Judges and
24 not a jury, I didn't think it was necessary at the time to jump up at the
25 time and make my speech.
1 But I went through the record, and the first time that Mr. Nikolic
2 refers to anything with respect to burials was when he was questioned
3 by -- on direct examination by Mr. McCloskey. And that's where he
4 indicates, and the relevant portions are on pages -- on page 1768. And he
5 indicates that he attended a meeting, and I'll read it, from line 1: "I
6 did so, and a meeting was organised at the Municipal Assembly building in
7 Bratunac with the chief of the MUP ministry in Bratunac, Mr. -- And he
8 says here Mr. Vespovic in attendance as well as president of the
9 municipality, Ljubisa Simic, president of the Executive Board of Bratunac,
10 Davidovic, and myself." And then he goes on: "They assumed the
11 responsibility to talk to the presidents of those companies which actually
12 owned the heavy equipment. That heavy equipment would be commandeered
13 they said and used in the operation."
14 Later on, again, the issue of burials or reburials was raised, and
15 this time it was raised on cross-examination by Mr. Stojanovic. The
16 relevant pages are 2281 to 2282. There is an exchange, but - and I don't
17 wish to read it - but it is clear that Mr. Nikolic never indicated, never
18 indicated that any heavy equipment of the Bratunac Brigade were used
19 because -- and I don't think the Prosecutor has indicated that the
20 Bratunac has such equipment. And if that is part of their case, they can
21 present it. But at least with respect to Mr. Nikolic, he never testified.
22 So the question that was posed to Mr. Obrenovic assumed facts
23 which were not in evidence. And therefore, I just wanted to make clear
24 for the record so later on it doesn't appear that I am not being due
25 diligent in bringing these matters to the attention of the Court. And I
1 certainly don't them to be used in the Court's reasoning when they make
2 their findings of fact and conclusions of law.
3 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, thank you very much for your statement.
4 But I believe that the Judges are professional Judges, and we could go
5 into the transcript and find relevant parts on that issue. I believe that
6 you are a very diligent lawyer.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: I just want to be on the safe side, Your Honour. I
8 don't mean to be presumptuous. Thank you.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
10 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President, briefly, I believe
12 Mr. Karnavas is correct. I do not recall Mr. Nikolic ever suggesting that
13 the Bratunac Brigade was involved in the burials at this stage. And I
14 think the problem he mentions highlights a significant problem, and that
15 is the misstatement of facts, or the assumption of facts in the questions
16 creates a record that will be impossible to make any sense of because none
17 of us will be able to research every little misstatement. And I hate to
18 jump up at every little misstatement. I was not precisely clear as Mr.
19 Karnavas may not have been whether or not that was a misstatement. So I
20 stayed down. But it also shows that that was a two-part question, whether
21 Kravica was in the Bratunac Brigade zone and the other part, and so we get
22 an answer of, you know, an affirmative answer. So doubly, we don't know
23 what question the person is answering, and we don't -- we have a
25 So I don't want to object every time there's a misstatement or an
1 assumption of facts, but this is a problem and it's a continuing problem.
2 And I just wanted to add that.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Ms. Sinatra.
4 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour, as far as the questioning goes of
5 the witnesses right now, it is true that you are professional Judges and
6 you will be able to look at the evidence and sort it out. But also we
7 have a motion of for judgement of acquittal that will be filed at the end
8 of the Prosecution's case. There will be final briefs filed, and if there
9 are any loose ends that need to be attended to, we can cite to those
10 problems and try to wrap them up in our own perspective at that point.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Sinatra, I believe all those issues are
12 related to your questions. So could I suggest that whenever you quote
13 whoever said in the transcript, would you please quote the paragraph, the
14 lines in the transcript to avoid any misstatements in the future. I
15 believe that Mr. Karnavas did that, which is very clear. You may read the
16 relevant paragraph in the transcript to the witness.
17 MS. SINATRA: Thank you, Your Honour. I will attempt to do that.
18 And I have marked it in most parts of my questioning. But if I overlook
19 one part of the transcript, I really don't want to take the Court's time
20 up to find it. But I have tried to do that last night, to maintain that
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
23 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, if I could just briefly address
1 another matter: And this relates to the statement Mr. Jokic gave to the
2 OTP which I understand the Court has provisionally not allowed into
3 evidence. And -- however, Ms. Sinatra, yesterday, as what I believe was a
4 natural part of her cross-examination, challenged the veracity of the
5 meeting between Mr. Jokic and Mr. Obrenovic when there was this brief
6 exchange that was made. I think she challenged whether or not that indeed
8 And I believe, and I won't get into the detail, but in Mr. Jokic's
9 statement, I believe there is information that would be very helpful to
10 the Court on whether or not such a meeting occurred. And so I would be
11 asking orally at this point for the Court to reconsider, on a limited
12 basis, to consider the material Mr. Jokic provided the OTP that is
13 relevant to this particular issue. If we could provide that to the Court
14 for their consideration and admission into evidence as an admission
15 against the interest of Mr. Jokic on the relevant topic that Ms. Sinatra
16 has now challenged and put into issue, that is, this brief meeting at the
17 Bratunac Brigade headquarters where there was an exchange, I believe that
18 would be helpful for the Court now that it is in issue.
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. McCloskey, the Bench made a decision, I may
20 say temporary decision, to not admit the statement of Mr. Jokic into the
21 evidence at the very beginning of this trial. I think, you know, during
22 the testimony of the first or second witness. We made this decision not
23 because that this statement has not reached the criteria of the admission.
24 What I am saying is that legally speaking, this statement is allowed to be
25 admitted into the evidence. But on the other hand, we found that
1 statement has very little probative value at that time so that we could
2 not put much weight in that piece of the evidence when it is admitted.
3 Of course, we made a decision at the very beginning of that trial,
4 and things may change. And during the proceedings, I believe that parties
5 could reintroduce those evidence which has not been admitted into the
6 evidence at a future or at a later stage. We'll take into your proposal
7 into the consideration and we'll make a decision at a later stage.
8 Sometimes it's very difficult to make this kind of decision. It depends
9 on the proceedings of the trial.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, would you like us to provide you with
11 some written material on that, or we can just go orally, whatever you
13 JUDGE LIU: I think orally will be perfect to avoid the truckload
14 of documents.
15 Yes, Ms. Sinatra.
16 MS. SINATRA: I believe that Mr. McCloskey is asking the Trial
17 Chamber to use -- would you like for me to stop for a moment.
18 JUDGE LIU: No, you may, please, continue.
19 MS. SINATRA: Thank you. To use the statement in a form of
20 attacking the credibility of Mr. Jokic. But the only time he is available
21 to use his statement under well-established Laws of Evidence would be if
22 Mr. Jokic testified, and he were going to use the statement to attack his
23 credibility from his prior statement. He can't attack Mr. Obrenovic's
24 credibility with the prior statement by Mr. Jokic when they were
25 codefendants represented by co-counsel, the conflict is too clear.
1 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Stojanovic.
2 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours, but I
3 think on line 18 of the transcript, there was a mistake this morning when
4 Mr. McCloskey was speaking. He said about the brief meeting between
5 Obrenovic and Jokic in the Bratunac Brigade. That's line 18 of the
6 transcript. I think that there has been no reference to a meeting at the
7 Bratunac Brigade, and I assume this is only because Mr. McCloskey
8 misspoke. I think he was talking about the Zvornik Brigade. That is
9 probably the meaning of his words, and we wish to have this corrected. We
10 want the transcript to clearly reflect the proceedings.
11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
12 Yes, Ms. Sinatra.
13 MS. SINATRA: And Your Honour, just to clear up a matter
14 yesterday, we had a misstatement in the presentation of the evidence
15 yesterday that I would like the record to reflect that Mr. Krstan Simic
16 will not and has not spoken to the Defence, and I had represented that he
17 had spoken to Mr. Stojanovic and told him that he had given Mr. Obrenovic
18 the tapes. It turns out that he had not spoken to Mr. Obrenovic -- I
19 mean, to Mr. Stojanovic because he would not speak to the Defence team for
20 Dragan Jokic. So I misspoke on that. Mr. Krstan Simic never spoke to
21 Mr. Stojanovic.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. We'll take note of that.
23 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.
24 JUDGE LIU: Could we have the witness, please.
25 [The witness entered court]
1 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Mr. Obrenovic.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE LIU: I'm sorry to keep you waiting outside, because we have
4 some housekeeping matters to deal with.
5 Are you ready to start?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
8 Ms. Sinatra, you may continue.
9 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour.
10 WITNESS: DRAGAN OBRENOVIC [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Cross-examined by Ms. Sinatra: [Continued]
13 Q. Excuse me. Good morning, Mr. Obrenovic. I do have one
14 housekeeping matter which it is okay to have the witness in the courtroom.
15 But in the statement that was provided to the Defence by -- between
16 Dean Manning and Nenad Simic from 19 December 2001, it appears that there
17 are nine pages missing in the English version. And if the Trial Chamber
18 or everybody else in the courtroom could pull up the English version of
19 Nenad Simic which we filed yesterday as D19/3, I would like in the English
20 version to turn to page 18. And Dean manning says, as I said, 1524. And
21 then on the next page, at the top, Dean Manning says: "It's 1628."
22 During that time the B/C/S version continues with about an hour of
23 testimony that has not been provided in the English statement. And
24 therefore, we don't have those nine pages translated.
25 MS. SINATRA: But if the Trial Chamber would allow me, I only have
1 one line that we want to get out of this statement in the part that is in
2 B/C/S. Could we provide Mr. Obrenovic with the B/C/S version, and I'll
3 just ask him what Nenad Simic says on page 24 of the B/C/S version.
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. McCloskey, what's that problem? Did you
5 provide the English translation of those nine pages to the Defence?
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: This is the first I've heard about this,
7 Mr. President. We obviously are not perfect. I don't know if we did or
8 not. We may have; we may have -- sometimes a few things are missed. It's
9 a little difficult to hear at this hour that there is a mistake. And we
10 can sort it out at the next break. And going into B/C/S and leaving us
11 out in the English is potentially problematic.
12 But also, I would just briefly mention, statements like this are
13 generally used to refresh a witness's recollection or to impeach a
14 witness. This habit of just reading people's statements and then
15 commenting on it is not really proper. We could go on forever literally.
16 There's so many statements to do that. So if there's a particular issue
17 in the statement that needs to refresh the witness's recollection because
18 his answer doesn't get to it, or if the answer on a particular topic is
19 contradicted by something in a statement, then it's proper for
20 impeachment. But this practice of just reading a statement and saying
21 what do you comment on it appears that people are taking various
22 statements that appear to support their case and reading it out.
23 Both sides could go on endlessly like this with the various
24 statements of people that will never come into Court. So yes, we will try
25 to sort this problem out as soon as we possibly can. But I think it also
1 highlights another potential problem that we're facing.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, I believe that Ms. Sinatra is trying to impeach
3 this witness statement. Maybe she did not express her very clear at this
4 point. But I guess that you do not object to the using of the B/C/S for
5 this moment.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't object now. Let's see if it goes into
7 areas. Maybe it's not a problem.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll see how far, how far we can go.
9 Yes, Ms. Sinatra, you may proceed.
10 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour. I would like the Court to notice
11 that the pagination of the pages was perfect. It was just the missing of
12 the time between the tapes, and until reviewing Mr. Stojanovic's statement
13 last night, we don't notice the missing pages.
14 But if I might show Mr. Obrenovic the B/C/S version of the
15 statement of Nenad Simic. I'm sorry, page 32.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, there has been no question. You
17 can't impeach someone unless you have an answer to impeach. You can't
18 refresh someone's recollection unless they have given an answer they don't
19 remember. Just showing people things to comment is not proper adversarial
21 JUDGE LIU: I haven't seen, you know, that statement yet since
22 this is the B/C/S. Maybe Ms. Sinatra at first is trying to reflect the
23 memory of this witness. Then she will impeach this witness. I don't
24 know. Let us see how far she can go.
25 MS. SINATRA: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, are you now on page 32 of Mr. Nenad Simic's
2 statement in B/C/S?
3 A. Yes, I found page 32.
4 Q. Did you not state yesterday in your testimony that Nenad Simic was
5 not the duty officer on the 15th, but that it was Drago Nikolic?
6 A. Yes, I did say that indeed.
7 Q. Okay. So Mr. Obrenovic, this is Nenad Simic's statement. Could
8 you read the line after he says "hvala, ako ste vi bili." Can you read
9 that sentence, please.
10 A. Yes, I can. "If you were the duty operations officer on the 15th,
11 if you were the operations duty officer between the 15th and the 16th,
12 then yes."
13 Q. Okay. So Mr. Simic says that he was the duty officer between the
14 15th and 16th, doesn't he?
15 A. That's what he says here, yes.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MS. SINATRA: I have nothing further from this statement, Your
18 Honour. But I would like to have the Prosecutor to work with us and get
19 the missing pages in English. Both of these documents in B/C/S and
20 English have been introduced as D17, I believe. And we will try to
21 provide the missing pages in the English translation.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Ms. Sinatra, I don't see there's a conflict
23 between the witness's statement and the paragraph you read out just now
24 because I remember that the witness told us on the 15th to 16th, Mr. Nenad
25 Simic was the duty officer. There's no contradiction between the two
2 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, there is contradiction between the two
3 statements in that he also went to say, no, he believes that Drago Nikolic
4 was the duty officer that day.
5 JUDGE LIU: No, he said that Mr. Dragan Jokic was the duty officer
6 from the 14th to the 15th. So from the 15th to 16th is Nenad Simic.
8 MS. SINATRA: Well, I heard him say that Drago Nikolic was duty
9 officer on the 15th, and he has documents that reflect Nenad Simic as duty
10 officer, and he has records that reflect Drago Nikolic as duty officers.
11 So just to confirm from the statement of Nenad Simic, Nenad Simic says
12 that he was duty officer on the 15th. I think it's an important piece of
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
15 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Obrenovic, for being our interpreter today.
17 You do remember that Nenad Simic also stated that you were
18 debriefed by him on the 15th of July in the morning, don't you?
19 A. Yes, I remember what you read yesterday from Nenad Simic's
21 Q. And on the 14th in the headquarters, there was a huge panic going
22 on, wasn't there, on the 14th -- I mean on the 15th?
23 A. On the 14th, as I said, I was not at the brigade headquarters
24 physically. Therefore, I have no personal experience of that. But I
25 assume that the few people who were actually there were probably in a
1 state of panic or fear. On the 15th, also there were very few people
2 there. When I came, there was hardly anyone to be found, with the
3 exception of the conversation with Jokic and the group of people who were
4 in the office. But this all happened very quickly, just as I had
5 explained; that's if memory serves me. And we were in a state of panic,
6 yes, indeed, including myself on the 15th.
7 Q. And on the 15th, the headquarters was in a state of panic, and
8 people must have been busily trying to take care of all the procedures
9 that went on with the requisition of soldiers and the combat proceedings.
10 And you stated that no one else heard this discussion between you and
11 Dragan Jokic. As I borrow from Mr. Karnavas, it was just four eyes and
12 four ears. Is that right?
13 A. As I've already explained, on the way into the headquarters, the
14 building of the headquarters, Vasic and I took the flight of stairs to the
15 first floor. Jokic appeared on our right-hand side, and he called me
16 over, and that's where we talked. I didn't see anyone else there. Vasic
17 proceeded up the stairs towards the first floor, and that was that.
18 Q. So are you saying that you met Mr. Jokic on the first floor or on
19 the ground floor?
20 A. Ground floor.
21 Q. But Mr. Jokic's office is on the first floor, isn't it?
22 A. I don't know if you're referring to his office or to the office of
23 the operations duty officer. But whichever of the two you mean, both are
24 located on the first floor.
25 Q. So there was really no need for Mr. Jokic to be on the ground
1 floor, was there?
2 A. I really don't know what his needs were. I only told you when I
3 saw him. He was coming from the corridor on my right. What he was doing
4 there, I really don't know. I don't know what his purpose was, but he
5 needed to be there.
6 Q. Your statement today is you met Mr. Jokic on the first floor, and
7 you talked to him somewhere near the duty officer's room. Is that what
8 you're saying?
9 A. I don't remember having said that. I said that I was stopped by
10 Jokic to have a word with him, and that was on the ground floor. As I was
11 entering the building, he called me from the right-hand side corridor.
12 Again, I repeat, it was on the ground floor, not on the first floor, and
13 it was to my right, in the corridor to my right, and I believe that is
14 exactly what I said a little while ago.
15 Q. But there really is no reason for Mr. Jokic to be on the ground
16 floor, is there?
17 A. I really don't know how to answer your question. I told you where
18 I saw him. Why he was there at that moment, he never told me.
19 Q. And he --
20 A. I don't remember him explaining to me his reasons for being there.
21 Q. And when you met Mr. Jokic with Mr. Vasic, Mr. Vasic decided to go
22 on up the stairs at that time?
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. That is a deliberate misstatement of
24 the evidence, which is just improper.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Sinatra, as I instructed you not long ago
1 that if you want to quote whatever the witness said, you have to quote the
2 exact words in the transcript.
3 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, I'm questioning him from his own
4 memory, not from his testimony before. He says he's remembering this
5 right now, and I'm asking him if he met Mr. Jokic and Mr. Vasic on the
6 ground floor, and then he stated that Mr. Vasic went up the stairway. If
7 he knows from his own memory without having to refer to a transcript, I'm
8 asking for his own personal memory on this.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't want to belabour the point, Your Honour,
11 but Mr. Obrenovic has clearly said numerous times that as he was coming in
12 and going up the stairs, Jokic came in from one direction and Vasic
13 continued. He has never said or implied that there was a meeting between
14 Vasic, himself, and Mr. Jokic. That was implicit and suggested directly
15 in her question to him. It's a deliberate misstatement designed to
16 provoke the witness or confuse the evidence or whatever. But it's
17 absolutely improper, and it's -- it's improper.
18 JUDGE LIU: Ms. Sinatra, since you provided us with the model, and
19 I think we should make the best use of it.
20 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.
21 JUDGE LIU: Can you ask the witness to point where they met with
22 Mr. Jokic.
23 MS. SINATRA: Yes, I would love to do that. If we could get the
24 usher please to help us with the model and take it down to the ground
25 floor, then we can find exactly where Mr. Obrenovic met with Mr. Jokic.
1 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, could you please point with the pointer to
2 somewhere in the ground floor that you met with Mr. Jokic as you and
3 Mr. -- Colonel Vasic were coming into the building.
4 A. Two of us entered here. This I believe, is the main entrance to
5 the building. If my memory serves me, the staircase is here. So
6 immediately from the entrance, I walked across there area here, and then
7 we started climbing the stairs. And if my memory serves me well, the
8 staircase is straight in front of the entrance. And as the two of us
9 started climbing the stairs, from the ground floor to the first floor,
10 that is, from this part here on the right-hand side, Major Jokic came, and
11 he said "a moment, please." He called me. I made a few steps back, and
12 here in this corner we exchanged a few words, the two of us.
13 Q. And at that point on the first floor, on the ground floor where he
14 met, where was Colonel Vasic at that point?
15 A. As I've already told you, we already climbed a few steps. I made
16 a few steps back. Colonel Vasic did not go back. He continued climbing.
17 And when I finished my conversation, I climbed the stairs, and that's
18 where Colonel Vasic was waiting for me, on the landing which separates the
19 offices from the other part of that corridor.
20 Q. But Colonel Vasic could have heard Mr. Jokic calling you, couldn't
22 A. The two of us were standing close to each other. If I heard him,
23 I suppose he could hear him as well.
24 Q. Okay. Thank you.
25 All right. I'd like to go on to --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
2 MS. SINATRA:
3 Q. I'd like to go on to clear up D17/3, which was the statement by
4 Nada Stojanovic yesterday. And in reviewing the complete statement,
5 Bruce Bursik does not ask about a date certain. But to corroborate the
6 testimony of Ms. Stojanovic, I do have the military police roster for that
7 day, for July 14th. And on that roster, it states that Nada Stojanovic on
8 the 14th went out to Orahovac, and it's the only corroborating evidence we
9 have. It was provided to us by Mr. Butler through the OTP expert. And
10 I'd like to know if I could introduce this as corroborating evidence that
11 Ms. Stojanovic made the statement about meeting Mr. Obrenovic at
12 headquarters on the 14th.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you could introduce it. But that piece of
14 document should be tested.
15 MS. SINATRA: Should I have the witness take a look at it?
16 Because I don't know that he's familiar with the military police logs.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, of course.
18 MS. SINATRA: May we provided a copy of this document to
19 Mr. Obrenovic.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Perhaps it could simplify matters, Your Honour.
22 We can stipulate that the police log is genuine. We did get it in a
23 search warrant. It is mentioned in Mr. Butler's report. It does indicate
24 that she was at Orahovac on the 14th. And it's a clear part of the
25 evidence here. So perhaps we can save time. My objection was she keeps
1 using this term "the 14th." That was not part of the record of
2 Bruce Bursik's.
3 MS. SINATRA: That's correct.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: The day that she was at Orahovac is the day that
5 she said she saw Mr. Obrenovic. That's fine. That perhaps solves the
6 problem, and we can go forward.
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, let us see what kind of question Ms. Sinatra was
8 going to ask.
9 MS. SINATRA: Well, if there's no objections from Mr. McCloskey
10 stating that this is corroborating evidence, he accepts it, that
11 Nada Stojanovic went to Orahovac on the 14th, then I think we have
12 corroborating evidence that's uncontested to support the fact that she
13 went to Orahovac on the 14th. She returned to headquarters and saw
14 Dragan Obrenovic. I can ask him more questions about it, like does he
15 recognise this document.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Again, Your Honour, I have no objection to this
18 material being used for impeachment purposes. And as such, that's fine.
19 Material that's used for impeachment purposes is generally not to be used
20 as substantive evidence of fact and is generally not, therefore,
21 admissible. Of course this will be admissible -- is part of the record.
22 But we need some structure here, otherwise this will become complete chaos
23 with all these documents floating around being used substantively when
24 they're actually being used for impeachment.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think I have already allowed Ms. Sinatra to
1 use this document and ask some questions to this witness.
2 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.
3 JUDGE LIU: But frankly speaking, I fail to see how important this
4 document this is.
5 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, Mr. Obrenovic states emphatically,
6 absolutely no that he was not at headquarters on the 14th. Ms. Stojanovic
7 states that she ran into Obrenovic at the headquarters on the evening of
8 the 14th. So I think it's clear for impeachment purposes to get a picture
9 of where he was located during these days, the 13th, 14th, and 15th.
10 JUDGE LIU: You may proceed.
11 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.
12 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, do you recognise this document?
13 A. Are you referring to this list of the people present in the police
14 on the particular day? I know what it is. I know -- I recognise it.
15 Q. I think it's a military police roster for who was present and
16 where they went that day. Is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And can you please look at the fourth person down, Nada
19 Stojanovic. And then I think you travel over to the 14th, and the marking
20 there is a T, which means "terrain," doesn't it?
21 A. Yes. Nada Stojanovic, on the 12th, on the 13th, and on the 14th,
22 T, which means terrain.
23 Q. And does that represent that she was in Orahovac?
24 A. Judging by this here, if you look at only this paper, I can see T.
25 But this does not suffice to tell me that she was in Orahovac. T can mean
1 anything. But from other sources, we know that she, indeed, was in
3 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, we also have a summary from
4 Mr. Butler's report stating where everybody was located at a certain
5 time. If I can have the assistance to find it real quickly.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Perhaps we can clear this matter up, Your Honour.
8 On the original of this log, and we have an expert report that counsel
9 has, you can see that the T has been erased. And underneath it is an O.
10 And then on the back of the document, there are several letters indicating
11 T means terrain, and then it's O means Orahovac. And this is what Mr.
12 Butler and others have based their opinion on, that the people with the O
13 next to their name were at Orahovac. So it gets deeply into the evidence.
14 But this is basically where she is, I think, trying to suggest, just if
15 that can be of some help.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. It's very helpful.
17 MS. SINATRA: Well, okay, Your Honour, it appears that we may have
18 to verify this information at another time, but I would like to have that
19 opportunity, to provide the Court with the Butler report summary of
20 Mrs. Stojanovic being at Orahovac on the 14th. But we'll have to pass for
21 right now.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Ms. Sinatra, sorry to interrupt, I was wondering
23 if you could identify this particular document for the record, please.
24 MS. SINATRA: I believe this will be D29/3, or D28/3? And it's
25 military police --
1 THE REGISTRAR: It would be D27/3 in my list.
2 MS. SINATRA: Okay, D27/3. It is the military police roster for
3 the month of July.
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, we have -- from this list just furnished to us,
5 we have another D27/3. That is OTP interview with Dragan Obrenovic.
6 THE REGISTRAR: So it will be D29/3.
7 MS. SINATRA: Thank you. D27 is the interview?
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Ms. Sinatra, if it will save some time, the
9 Prosecution is willing to stipulate that according to that document, that
10 document indicates with other documents that I just told the Court about,
11 that Nada Stojanovic was at Orahovac on the 14th of July.
12 JUDGE LIU: So there's no dispute about that.
13 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, I will accept that stipulation. And I
14 just hope that the Court remembers the testimony - I don't need to refresh
15 his memory with the testimony at this point - and I would just like to go
16 on to the next topic if the Court -- I mean if the Prosecution stipulates
17 that it was on the 14th.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
19 MS. SINATRA: Okay. Thank you very much.
20 Okay, Your Honour, I'm going to bring up what I think is marked
21 D27/3. Is it the statement by Mr. Obrenovic from 2 April 2000?
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, it seems to me that according to list, it's the
23 June 2003.
24 MS. SINATRA: I'm looking for the marking for the 2nd of April
25 2000. And if there isn't one, I guess this would be D28. It's the
1 statement from April 2nd, 2000.
2 THE REGISTRAR: It would be D28/3.
3 MS. SINATRA: Thank you. With the usher's assistance, to provide
4 a copy of the B/C/S to Mr. Obrenovic.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could, again, she make it clear what we're
7 referring to if we're not going to be provided copies, could we at least
8 research our own records.
9 MS. SINATRA: Yes, I'm going to be looking at page 62, line 13
10 through 24.
11 JUDGE LIU: Could you please repeat which document.
12 MS. SINATRA: Yes, it is now marked D28/3, page 62, line 13.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
14 MS. SINATRA: Through 24. And after reading the part out of the
15 statement, Your Honour, there will be a question following.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm going to object to that, Your Honour. That is
17 improper. There needs to be a question first.
18 MS. SINATRA: Okay.
19 Q. You stated that Mr. Jokic met you in the hallway on the morning of
20 the 16th and debriefed you, didn't you?
21 A. On the 16th? No, no, on the 16th, I was in Baljkovice, and nobody
22 came there, believe me.
23 Q. Sorry. It was on the 15th.
24 A. On the 15th, yes, I showed it to you a little while ago on the
1 Q. Okay. And in your statement that you gave in the year 2000, you
2 stated that that was on the 15th at 9.00 in the morning upon deployment on
3 the heights in the area, I got my vehicle and hurried to Zvornik. When we
4 searched the part of the route of Brezik where all these curves we found
5 two trails where the main body of the 28th division went --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please read slowly. The document is
7 not on the ELMO. Thank you.
8 MS. SINATRA:
9 Q. It concerns two tracks, actually 2 metres wide --
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me it, greatly assists the interpreters to
11 have the document on the ELMO as well as the public if she is going to
12 read. But again, what the relevance of all this is.
13 JUDGE LIU: Sure, sure, we'll put that English version on the
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Apologise. Did you mention page 63?
16 MS. SINATRA:
17 Q. I mentioned page 62 in English.
18 A. What page is that in the B/C/S version?
19 Q. "And on the road, when I was on the road, I asked through the
20 radio centre to find someone from the MUP, Colonel Vasic or someone,
21 sometime after 9.00. I got to the barrack most probably around 9.30. And
22 at the entrance of the barracks, I met with Colonel Vasic who was the head
23 of MUP in Zvornik." And that's where you stop. You go on to the office.
24 I would like to ask you, is there a reason why you never mentioned
25 Dragan Jokic meeting you on the 15th in your 2000 statement?
1 A. There is a reason, and I explained the reason yesterday. In the
2 statement that I gave in April 2000, I did not mention any of the
3 incriminating facts. I didn't mention this conversation; I didn't mention
4 the telephone conversation which took place two days before that; I didn't
5 mention anything concerning the execution of prisoners of war. That's why
6 I skipped this particular conversation that you're now asking me about.
7 That was the reason.
8 Q. You didn't mention anything because you were trying to tell your
9 own story, weren't you?
10 A. I just told you. At that time, I didn't speak of anything that
11 had to do with the execution of prisoners of war. I just omitted that.
12 Q. And by omitting that, you gave a false statement, didn't you?
13 A. In that part, yes.
14 MS. SINATRA: I'd like to go to D18/3, which is the statement of
15 Mico Gavric, and I believe we have the correct statement today. And I'll
16 be referring in the English version to page 55, line 13. In the B/C/S
17 version, do you know what the reference is? Page 50 in the B/C/S version.
18 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, you stated that you never went to the Zvornik
19 Brigade headquarters on the 14th. Right?
20 A. Right.
21 Q. But Mico Gavric, on the 28th of November, 2001, says: "When you
22 went to Zvornik on the 14th, did you see any captured Muslims there?"
23 Mico Gavric: "They were no there, because we arrived at the reception
24 room, and we reported, and we arrived where we were just given a room
25 where I could go with my soldiers to take a rest and wait further orders."
1 Dean Manning: "Did you see any Zvornik Brigade officers?" Mico Gavric:
2 "Obrenovic was there." Dean Manning: "What time during the night did you
3 see Obrenovic? What time during the day did you see Obrenovic?" Mico
4 Gavric: "During the night." Dean Manning: "What time?" "Between 1.00
5 and 1.30 in the morning."
6 Now, Mico Gavric has seen you in the brigade headquarters on the
7 14th; hasn't he?
8 A. No, on the 14th, I was not in the headquarters of the Zvornik
9 Brigade. Mico Gavric must have made a mistake. I don't know why. Three
10 days ago, Mr. Karnavas showed me three or so documents, one from Zvornik,
11 and two from Colonel Blagojevic, which said that at that time, none of the
12 units of the Bratunac Brigade were in Zvornik. He made a mistake. I
13 don't know why he made it.
14 Q. But you can confirm that Mico Gavric says that he saw you at the
15 Zvornik Brigade headquarters on the 14th. Right?
16 A. No, Ms. Sinatra, I can't confirm that he saw me because he didn't
17 because I wasn't there. It was an error on his part, so I can't confirm
18 this error.
19 Q. My question was, but you can confirm that Mico Gavric says in his
20 statement that he saw you there, doesn't he?
21 A. It's a different story. In this statement, Mico Gavric claims he
22 saw me, but again, I say he could not see me because I simply wasn't
24 Q. Okay. Thank you very much.
25 Now, you stated on your direct that you didn't know anything about
1 the CZ. We have another document which has not been marked for
2 identification yet, so I think it will be D29/3.
3 THE REGISTRAR: It will be D30/3, Ms. Sinatra.
4 MS. SINATRA: D30/3.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, that's a misstatement of the facts as
7 stated. It was a rather more complicated issue yesterday on that point.
8 I don't -- It's not what he said.
9 MS. SINATRA: Mr. McCloskey, the evidence will speak for itself.
10 I'm sorry, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, let us see that document first.
12 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.
13 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, this is a document from the Official Gazette of the
14 Republic of Srpska, isn't it?
15 A. Yes, precisely.
16 Q. And it's dated Tuesday, the 29th of September, 1992.
17 A. That's what it says.
18 Q. And it's a directive that was issued by the government of
19 Republic of Srpska.
20 A. Yes, legal act on the organising and functioning of civilian
22 Q. And there is an excerpt, chapter 11, part 10, article 21, dealing
23 with asanacija. Is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And the asanacija is -- do you recognise this document from the
1 Republic of Srpska?
2 A. Well, I've never seen it before.
3 Q. But you knew -- you were aware of it, right?
4 A. Well, if it was submitted to us by the Office of the Prosecutor,
5 I've probably seen it in that case.
6 Q. Well, it was not submitted by the Office of the Prosecutor. It's
7 being submitted by the Defence, but it came from the Republic of Srpska.
8 And may I read to you the purpose from the civilian protection
9 organisation when it comes to asanacija. And then I'll ask you to comment
10 on it.
11 A. I was in prison on the 29th of 2002, and I only had occasion to
12 read what was given to me by my Defence counsel or the Office of the
14 Q. But the Official Gazette is the official documents filed each day
15 in the Republic of Srpska that becomes law, doesn't it? "On asanacija,
16 with the view of preventing diseases, epidemics and other consequences of
17 war actions, natural disasters, technical, technological, and ecological
18 accidents, as well as other damages in time of war and peace, asanacija
19 shall be organised and conducted by way of removing and burying corpses of
20 perished animals and removing waste and other matters which might be
21 hazardous to lives and health of people.
22 "In the organising and conducting of asanacija, public utilities,
23 civil engineering, construction, transportation, healthcare, and
24 veterinarian companies, enterprises, and organisations are engaged as well
25 as scientific and expert institutions, and as needed, the units of
1 civilian protection."
2 This document -- this civilian protection organisation is
3 something totally separate from the military, isn't it?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And the Republic of Srpska has provided for the asanacija to be
6 maintained by the civilian protective organisation, hasn't it?
7 A. That's what it says here.
8 Q. Thank you very much.
9 We talked about Mr. Jokic wearing two hats, that of chief of
10 engineering and that of the duty officer, on the 14th and the morning of
11 the 15th. It was his turn to rotate in as a brigade operational duty
12 officer, and his permanent position was that of chief of engineering,
13 wasn't it?
14 A. Mr. Jokic establishment-wise held the post of chief of engineers,
15 with the Zvornik Brigade, with the staff of the Zvornik Brigade. And he
16 was the operations duty officer pursuant to an order by the commander
17 following a roster of duty officers.
18 Q. And the roster of duty officers is supplied for a seven- to
19 ten-day period. Is that right?
20 A. I can't say precisely. It may have been like that. Maybe for 15
21 days, for a period of 15 days. Usually there would be one month, and then
22 it would be updated whenever necessary. That's what I remember.
23 Q. But when it became your turn to rotate in, it was your turn to
24 rotate in for that 24-hour period. Right?
25 A. As I've already explained, the brigade commander and the chief of
1 staff, that's myself, were not duty officers at the brigade. Other
2 officers were pursuant to a decision of the brigade commander, but I was
3 not on duty.
4 Q. Who drafted the roster for the duty officers?
5 A. The roster was drawn up pursuant to an order of the commander, of
6 the brigade commander, on organising duty, or rather operations duty. So
7 the operations officer would draft a proposal, and then the commander
8 would define -- further refine the proposal as to who could be on duty and
9 who couldn't. And there was a group of officers - this was generally
10 known - a group of 15 officers or so pursuant to this order, and the list
11 contained therein one of the operations officers would schedule these
12 officers according to the days for specific days of the week and what the
13 duties of each of the individuals on duty would be, or of the units.
14 There was a rule that no one should be on duty more than four times a
15 month, that everyone should have the same number of hours of being on duty
16 over a weekend, so there was an operations officer who would draw up the
17 schedule, and the commander would then take final decisions as to who
18 specifically would be on duty on a certain day.
19 Q. And the commander you're referring to is Colonel -- Commander
20 Pandurevic. Right?
21 A. Yes, I --
22 Q. We discussed the other day that there was friction between Drago
23 Nikolic and Commander Pandurevic because Drago Nikolic didn't feel like he
24 should have to sit in as duty officer. Is that right?
25 A. At one point, yes, there was tension or friction, as you say. Not
1 only because of that particular duty, but also because of that.
2 Q. What were the other frictions between Drago Nikolic and
4 A. The commander tried to prevent Drago Nikolic from using the
5 brigade stamp above his own signature. He tried to prevent him from using
6 the code or the call signal without the commander's approval to send his
7 reports like that. He wanted absolute control, just to put it in simple
8 terms, over Drago Nikolic as over anyone else. Also as concerns the duty
9 roster, for example.
10 Q. And Drago Nikolic would send communications without the approval
11 of the Commander Pandurevic. Is that right?
12 A. Pursuant to the rules governing the work of the security organ in
13 the JNA, Yugoslav People's Army, which was then taken over by the VRS, and
14 then pursuant to a directive which Mr. Karnavas disclosed before the
15 Court, some possibilities were open for the security organ. Therefore,
16 Lieutenant-Colonel Drago Nikolic was free to send his reports to
17 Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic without necessarily informing the commander
18 about their contents.
19 Q. Thank you. The engineering company was under the command of
20 Dragan Jevtic. He was the commander, right?
21 A. Dragan Jevtic was the commander of the engineering -- engineers
22 company. In the VRS, that is the lowest rank which is referred to as
23 commander, the battalion commander. And Jevtic was precisely that. He
24 was a commander.
25 Q. Thank you. I'd like to refer now to what has been marked for
1 identification purposes as D26.
2 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, just from a technical standpoint, is it
3 possible for me to plug my headphone in over here so I can reach over to
4 the desk? I'm not sure if there's a place for it to plug in here. I was
5 just wondering. I'll try it.
6 JUDGE LIU: I'm afraid we have to ask the technicians about that.
7 I hope some day we could have wireless microphone.
8 MS. SINATRA: Give me a little more leash here.
9 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, you have before you the combat rules for the
10 engineering company platoon. Are you familiar with this?
11 A. I used to read it earlier.
12 Q. Now, I would like to have you tell us what the duties are of the
13 engineering department. This is the description of what the company
14 commander does. Dragan Jevtic. If you could tell us what basically the
15 duties of the company commander are. Could you tell us from reading this
16 document what the basic duties are of the company commander?
17 A. The commander of the engineers company, well, to be quite honest,
18 I really don't know all of the duties for all the companies that we had
19 across our units. I can only try to recall what they were. But in our
20 brigade, we had -- well, the purpose was not for every rule to be learned
21 by heart. I didn't know every single rule by heart, if that's what you
22 mean. If I needed something, I would go to the rules and look for it.
23 I'd refresh my memory and prepare myself for work. I can't know these
24 things by heart, the duties of the commander of an engineers company.
25 Q. Would you say that the commander of a company such as the
1 engineering department, that he organises the company?
2 A. By all means, the commander of the engineering company would be
3 subjected to a certain set of rules, as any other commander. He commands
4 the engineers company. He knows the structure. He's familiar with the
5 equipment and weapons at their disposal. He must be familiar with his
6 soldiers. He must be familiar with the rules of his particular branch,
7 and all these other general duties. Since we have the rules here before
8 us, I think we just best go through them and maybe read them because they
9 state very clearly what the duties are.
10 Q. He receives tasks verbally on site?
11 A. Now you're asking me how tasks are assigned. If that's what
12 you're asking me, speaking about the commander, he can receive an
13 assignment in a written or oral manner. That's the mode of reception.
14 The other thing you need to look at is where he receives instructions or
15 tasks. I could tell you a lot of things about these possibilities if
16 you're interested in. I'm not sure if you want to go that far.
17 Q. We probably don't want to go that far, but thank you,
18 Mr. Obrenovic.
19 I'd just like to get out paragraph 26 which says that "along with
20 the order for carrying out the task, the company platoon commander usually
21 receives technical documentation. Absence of technical documentation
22 cannot be the reason for nonfulfilment of the task..." So even if he
23 doesn't get recommendations or proposals from the chief of engineering,
24 the company commander still has to proceed with the tasks. Isn't that
25 what that's saying?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. All right. Thank you very much. I appreciate that.
3 The next document we have is Document D --
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Sinatra, I think you are coming to another
5 document. It's time for the break. Shall we break here.
6 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE LIU: We'll resume at quarter to 11.00.
8 --- Recess taken at 10.18 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 10.47 a.m.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Sinatra, please continue.
11 MS. SINATRA: Thank you, Your Honours.
12 Q. I would like to go back to what's marked for identification
13 purposes as D26. I think it might be in front of you. Do you still have
14 D26 in front of you? It's the combat rules for the engineering company.
15 Okay, thank you. And I just forgot to cover Rule 25, paragraph
16 25. Isn't it true that the company is under the command of a company
17 commander, and the platoon is under the command of a platoon commander?
18 Is that correct?
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the witness, please.
20 A. In principle, yes, that's correct. That's what the rule states.
21 However, when Mr. McCloskey was examining me, I explained all the possible
22 variants in relation to these rules.
23 MS. SINATRA:
24 Q. Talking about exceptional circumstances. But as a general rule,
25 the procedure is the company is under the command of the company
1 commander, and the platoon is under the command of a platoon commander,
2 right, under normal circumstances?
3 A. Under normal circumstances, yes. And it is the right of a brigade
4 commander to define what these exceptional circumstances, as you say, are
5 and to put his idea into practice.
6 Q. And the company commander and the platoon commander receive their
7 tasks from the commander of the unit to which the company and platoon
8 organisationally belong. Right?
9 A. Yes, according to the chain of command, the company commander, in
10 this case the commander of the engineers company would have received his
11 orders from the brigade commander. That's one variant. The other variant
12 is he receives his orders through the chief of engineers.
13 Q. Thank you very much.
14 When Dragan Jokic took over as duty officer, he relinquishes his
15 duties at the engineer company, doesn't he?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And he would never act as the commander of that company, would he?
18 The chief of engineering could never act as the commander of the
19 engineering department, would he?
20 A. I'm not sure I'm getting a correct interpretation. These are
21 military concepts. I think there has been some confusion with departments
22 and chiefs. If I understand this correctly, if I understand your
23 question, chief of engineers is not the same duty as the commander of the
24 engineers company. These are two distinct positions. There is a
25 possibility under certain circumstances for the brigade commander to make
1 a decision to give the chief of engineers the right to command the
2 engineers company. But this might be pursuant to a specific decision by
3 the brigade commander in a given -- under a given set of circumstances.
4 But if the chief goes elsewhere, then he is on a different mission.
5 Q. And if Captain Jevtic was not -- if he was absent as the commander
6 of the engineering company, then the deputy commander of the engineering
7 company takes over that command, doesn't he?
8 A. If you allow just a small correction, Jevtic was not a captain.
9 He was a private, but he was also the company commander. And you are
10 right; in the absence of the company commander, which in this case was
11 Mr. Jevtic, then automatically the duty would have been assumed by the
12 deputy commander of the company who is also the assistant commander for
13 moral guidance in that same company.
14 Q. And that deputy commander who assumed the command position in the
15 engineering company, when Dragan Jevtic went to the field, was Slavko
16 Bogicevic, wasn't it?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And then if Slavko Bogicevic is absent, then it went to Lazarevic,
19 I believe is his name?
20 A. Well, now, it's hard for me to say. But in principle, if the
21 company commander is not there, then his deputy stands in. If there's no
22 deputy, then there is the commander of the 1st platoon. Damjan Lazarevic
23 was part of the company and he was one of the platoon commanders. I can't
24 remember if it was the first platoon specifically or not, but he may have
25 been the commander of the 1st platoon.
1 Q. And Slavko Bogicevic was present in the engineering company on the
2 14th of July, wasn't he?
3 A. According to my information, he was present, but my information is
4 based on these statements that you read because I wasn't -- well, when I
5 said that on the 13th, on the afternoon of the 13th, I was in the
6 engineers -- at the engineers company, he was there. As to where he may
7 have gone later on, I really can't say. However, on the 13th, when I had
8 taken Jevtic there - Bogicevic was there, too, and Jokic was there, too at
9 the engineers company.
10 Q. But Bogicevic assumed the position of deputy commander, and Mr.
11 Jokic went on to assume the position of duty officer, didn't he?
12 A. Well, this was an automatic thing. This was not assumption of
13 position like you said. This was implicit. If a commander gets killed,
14 he's automatically replaced by his deputy to keep the chain of command
15 intact. And continues. Now, this is a different problem you're posing
16 there in your question. The operations duty officer, we said when the
17 shifts would change, in the morning generally speaking between 8.00 and
18 9.00 in the morning. Sometimes it was a bit later for different reasons,
19 but mostly it was between 8.00 and 9.00 in the morning throughout that
20 period. And on the 14th, as we said, Jokic was on duty.
21 Q. I was going to refer to your April 2003 interview which is marked
22 as D28/3. On page 27, and we just discussed the normal chain of command
23 like in the engineering department. But in the year 2000 in your
24 testimony, on page 27, you said: "There is a possibility of someone
25 coming from the superior command when this chain of command can be broken.
1 So on his decision, any link in the chain of command can be eliminated."
2 I believe you were talking about at that point if someone came
3 from main staff, then the normal chain of command we just went over for
4 the engineering department could be broken. Is that correct?
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Counsel has mentioned two different interviews,
8 and the same question. And the 2000 and 2003, and I'm not sure which one
9 it is.
10 MS. SINATRA: I'm sorry, I meant --
11 JUDGE LIU: I think Ms. Sinatra made a mistake in presenting the
12 document. I believe it's the interview in April 2000, instead of 2003.
13 MS. SINATRA: That's correct, Your Honour.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
15 MS. SINATRA: And I'm sorry. It was April 2nd, 2000. That's on
16 page 27.
17 Q. So this is an extraordinary situation that would break the normal
18 chain of command, wouldn't it, as you stated in your interview?
19 JUDGE LIU: Witness, do you have that document at your hand?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, Your Honours. I don't. I
21 have the one dated the 4th of June, 2003.
22 Yes, I've just received it. Thank you.
23 MS. SINATRA:
24 Q. And in the B/C/S version, I believe it's page --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please speak into the microphone.
1 MS. SINATRA: I'm sorry. In the B/C/S version, I believe it is on
2 page -- and the winner is... There's no page number, he said.
3 In the English version, it's page 27. And I don't have a page --
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm listening.
5 MS. SINATRA:
6 Q. But you remember stating that, that there is a possibility for
7 someone coming from the superior command, for this chain of command to be
8 broken. So on his decision any link in the chain of command could be
9 broken. Do you remember saying that?
10 A. I probably said. There is such a possibility indeed.
11 Q. Thank you. We can go on. I'd like to go to page 30 of the
12 English version. And I would like to have the coordinations with the
13 B/C/S version.
14 MS. SINATRA: I believe that the Defence team is telling me that
15 the OTP didn't number the B/C/S version of the statement, but I can't see
16 that it couldn't be numbered. Is that true?
17 JUDGE LIU: Is there any ERN numbers?
18 MS. SINATRA: Let us have the ERN number that coordinates with...
19 I'm on page 31.
20 Q. Krstan Simic clears up some of the things that you were talking
21 about during your interview with the OTP in 2000. And he explains the ERN
22 number on the English version is 01103595. The crisis situation: "In the
23 crisis situation, does the responsibility of the commander increase to
24 control the crisis situation?" And your answer was: "The commander's
25 responsibility is commander's responsibility. It exists always. It
1 always exists, and of course in critical situations, the outcome of the
2 struggle depends on the correctness of decisions if talking in principle."
3 Now, that statement also applies to the commander of the
4 engineering department, doesn't it?
5 A. It applies to every commander.
6 Q. Let me ask you, when you said that Dragan Jevtic was the acting
7 commander of the engineering company, by using the term "acting," you just
8 mean that he is the commander but he doesn't have the appropriate military
9 training or experience to hold that position? So he can't actually become
10 the commander; he's just called the acting commander because of his lack
11 of qualifications?
12 A. Maybe that was the reason why the commander decided that. In any
13 case, Jevtic did not have a rank. He did not complete his military
14 education. He was an engineer, an architect. There was not enough
15 officers at the time, and that may have been the reason.
16 Q. Okay. I would like now to refer to what's been marked as D23/3.
17 I believe it's from the Federal Secretariat of National Defence, rules on
18 utilising of the engineering department. It says on the exhibit list
19 1983, but in actuality, that was a mistake. It's 1988.
20 Mr. Obrenovic, have you seen this document before?
21 A. I saw this while I worked.
22 Q. While you were in command?
23 A. Even before that, when I was doing my military education, and
24 later on, and I also saw it when I was the commander. That's true.
25 Q. And this incorporates all the duties and work of the engineering
1 organ on preparation and organising engineering security. Paragraph 40,
2 duties of the engineering organ are as follows. Can you briefly summarise
3 by looking at this, and since you're familiar with the document, what the
4 duties of the engineering organ are?
5 A. Ms. Sinatra, this is the rule on the utilisation of engineers.
6 And an engineering organ in this specific case is the chief of engineers.
7 This is a regulation, and it speaks in general terms. This document here
8 lists his duties in Article 40. In principle, he is responsible for the
9 training of his men. Then he also keeps abreast of the issues pertaining
10 to his area of responsibility. He cooperates with the intelligence organ
11 on matters that have to do with engineers and issues; proposes to the
12 commander the most appropriate way of organising and utilisation of
13 engineers in order to complete a certain task; monitors the completion of
14 that task, and so on and so forth. Maybe the best thing for me to do
15 would be to read verbatim what it says here.
16 Q. Well, if you'd like to, sure, we would like to read that in the
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, this document speaks for itself.
21 It's not relevant to read it. It doesn't provide anything for the Court.
22 That is an undue consumption of time. There's no reason to read a that's
23 already before us. We'll stipulate this document into evidence if there's
24 an issue.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we have this document already, Ms. Sinatra. If
1 you have a question, you may put it directly to this witness. And later
2 on, if there's a need for reference to this document, we could come back.
3 MS. SINATRA: Okay, thank you. I will ask him some questions from
4 the document.
5 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, the engineering organ is an expert organ that
6 recommends things to the commander and the deputy commander, right? Or
7 the chief of staff?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. And in so, it says he "consults with the organs of the command,
10 makes recommendations to the organs of the command." And some of the
11 areas that he is involved with are anti-armour units, discussing, you
12 know, the plan to use anti-armour, and anti-descent combat activities. He
13 participants in making crypto protection documents, is that right, for the
14 engineering units?
15 A. That is right.
16 Q. He controls the tasks issued to subordinate engineering units, and
17 monitors the effectiveness of them?
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: If there was something specific, I wouldn't
21 object, but counsel just appears to be reading the document now. So I
22 don't -- this is again, unduly time-wasting. If there's a specific
23 question, I don't think Mr. Obrenovic disagrees with this document in any
24 way. And we would all -- a question is perfectly appropriate on any of
25 these topics, but this is just a recitation of the document.
1 JUDGE LIU: Ms. Sinatra, if you have some doubts, and if you want
2 to impeach this witness's testimony, you may put your question directly
3 which means that if you have any questions to put to this witness, just
4 put it.
5 MS. SINATRA: Well, Your Honour, I'm not going to impeach this
6 witness with this document, but I need him to confirm the duties of the
7 engineering organ. Since he is a military expert, he has had all the
8 training, and these are very important to the Defence of Mr. Jokic as to
9 what he had authority to do. The indictment alleges that he could do
10 anything from calling in the militia.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's just not true. Mr. Obrenovic clearly
14 explained the duties of the engineering officer, very much like is in this
15 document, on direct. He has redone it on cross, and now he is not
16 disagreeing with this document. I have no problem with a question of this
17 document or a particular duty. But my problem is the mere recitation of
18 the document is an unduly waste of time.
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think there is a point there; that is, we want
20 to know the function of Mr. Jokic at that time. If you have some
21 questions in this aspect, just put it directly to this witness.
22 MS. SINATRA: I will, Your Honour.
23 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, the truth is that as chief of engineering, you are
24 someone who advises and proposes to the commanders of the brigade. Right?
25 A. I apologise. I don't know whether the interpretation was good.
1 Did you just say that I was the chief of engineering? That's the
2 interpretation I'm getting.
3 Q. I'm sorry. The chief of engineering is an expert organ that
4 proposes and advises the commander and the deputy commander of the
5 brigade. Is that correct?
6 A. That is correct.
7 Q. And the commander or the deputy commander makes his decisions
8 based upon the information given him by the chief of engineering. Is that
10 A. I apologise. I need to explain this. I need to clarify this.
11 I've already said that the general principle in the army was the unity of
12 command. It could not be either the commander or the deputy. When the
13 commander is there, then it is the commander. When he is not there, then
14 the duties are assumed by his deputy. That's one thing.
15 And the second thing, the thing that you put to me in your
16 question, that is correct.
17 Q. Okay. Thank you. So he proposes and advises the commander,
18 whoever that might be at the time. Is that right? And then the commander
19 makes a decision and issues an order based upon that information that was
20 given to him by the expert. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes. A commander makes an assessment and decides whether to
22 accept this opinion or not, or change things. And then he makes a
23 decision; that is, issues an order.
24 Q. And then that order is transferred to the commander of the
25 engineering company who is to implement the order. Is that right?
1 A. This is also possible. But it is also possible that the commander
2 will make a decision and can issue a direct order to the commander of the
3 engineers, or the chief of engineers. And he can also tell the chief of
4 engineers to implement the thing that he previously proposed. It's up to
5 the commander to decide one or the other.
6 Q. But the chief of engineers does not issue the orders; the
7 commander issues the orders. Isn't that right?
8 A. Yes. The commander issues orders. And if he authorises the chief
9 of engineers, and not only the chief of engineers, but also the chief of
10 communications, for example, then on behalf of the commander, this
11 particular chief can exercise this authority and issue orders on behalf of
12 the commander if this has been granted by the commander by way of an
13 explicit order.
14 Q. I think we have a miscommunication here at this point, but to me,
15 and what I'm trying to say, is the chief of engineer receives the order
16 from the commander. Now, the chief of engineer cannot issue orders; he
17 can only implement the orders given by the commander. Is that correct?
18 He may issue tasks but not orders.
19 A. How can you issue tasks and not orders? Okay, let's agree that
20 that is the case. Let's not go into details of this.
21 Q. And the person who is chief of engineering has to stay updated on
22 all of the latest technical, engineering, continuing legal education so
23 that he can advise the commander properly. Is that true?
24 A. It is implied that one of the duties of the chief of engineers is
25 to keep abreast of all the technical advances and to keep abreast of all
1 that is happening in his area in order to be able to propose adequate
2 solutions to the commander as regards the use of engineers.
3 Q. Thank you. Now, the commander of the brigade and the commander of
4 engineering are the ones that issue and write the daily orders for the
5 engineering company, aren't they?
6 A. A daily order is an enactment of daily command. And everybody
7 writes their own daily orders. The commander of the brigade will do that
8 for the brigade, and the chief of engineers or commander of engineers will
9 do it for the company that he is in charge of.
10 Q. But the chief of engineering doesn't write the daily orders; the
11 commander of the engineering company writes the daily orders, doesn't he?
12 A. Yes, unless it has been regulated differently by the brigade
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Vagueness. I think there's some confusion on
17 whether or not you're talking about issuing the orders or actually writing
18 them down. This is an important distinction, and not clear from the
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think the witness also has some doubts about
21 issue tasks and not orders. Can you pursue it along this line,
22 Ms. Sinatra.
23 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour.
24 Q. The chief of engineering that is an expert for the brigade, if the
25 commander signs an order, the chief of engineering may relay that order to
1 the commander of the engineer company. He can suggest tasks to help
2 implement and fill these orders, but he doesn't himself write orders to
3 the commander. The commander writes the orders, doesn't he, the daily
5 A. It's a very complex procedure. Usually, it is neither the
6 commander of the brigade nor the commander of the company who actually
7 write those orders. It is officers below them who do that. And the
8 higher commanders sign them in order to authenticate them, to give them
9 proper authority. I've already explained that if the chief of engineers
10 has no other duties but to be the chief of engineers, he is an advisory
11 body, so to say, to the commander of the engineers. And thus, he does not
12 have the right to be in command of the commander of the engineers. That's
13 one case scenario.
14 The second case scenario, I don't know what you're implying in
15 your question, the second possibility is that for certain reasons, the
16 commander estimates that the -- that Jevtic, whom we mentioned a little
17 while ago, was a layperson, in military terms. And then he issues an
18 order that the engineers company will be commanded by the chief of
19 engineers. That is the prerogative of the commander which he can use.
20 Our commander, Pandurevic, used this prerogative of his, and at such
21 moments if the commander issues an order to the chief, for example, the
22 chief of engineers in this specific case, to monitor the work and command
23 the engineers company, in that case, the chief of engineers is de facto
24 the superior officer to the commander of the engineers. And this is a
25 decision that can be made, and this happened in practice, in everyday
2 Q. If this were to take place, if the commander took the authority
3 away from the commander of the engineering company and transferred to the
4 chief of engineering, it would have to be a written order, a written
5 disposition, reflecting that change of command, wouldn't it?
6 A. It could be either a written order or a verbal order. They have
7 the same effect. And according to rules, a commander has the right to use
8 either/or. The commander can define this for a specific task. For
9 example, we are building a bridge, and the commander can say that the
10 chief of engineers will be in charge of the command of that. Or he can
11 appoint the chief of engineers to be in charge for a certain period of
12 time. For example, for a certain number of days or months.
13 Q. But that is an exception to the procedure as its written in the
14 exhibit that we've used on the rules of utilisation of the engineering
15 company. That's an exception. That's not the normal procedure.
16 A. You are right, that is an exception to the rules that we have
17 quoted a while ago. But we did not have enough officers at the time, and
18 Lieutenant-Colonel Pandurevic believed that Jevtic and Bogicevic had not
19 completed military education, so he believed that they had to have
20 somebody with qualifications, and that's why he made such a decision. And
21 this did not only apply to engineers; this applied to communications and
22 to some other units that we had at the time for that reason.
23 Q. You were deputy commander on the 13th, 14th, and 15th of July,
24 1995. You didn't issue any order that took the command of the engineering
25 company away from Dragan Jevtic, did you?
1 A. No, I didn't. There was a prior order issued by the commander
2 which was in effect throughout the war. And this order regulated this
4 Q. And that order was that Jokic was chief of engineering; Dragan
5 Jevtic was commander of engineering, and Slavko Bogicevic would be the
6 deputy commander of engineering. Is that correct?
7 A. Yes. And in addition to that, Jokic controlled the engineers
8 company in practical terms when it came to the professional part of their
10 Q. When you say "he controlled," he recommended and -- not initiated
11 but implemented orders from the commander. Is that right, which is part
12 of the description?
13 A. It was the commander who issued orders. It would be either
14 Pandurevic or myself.
15 Q. Okay. I have another document to introduce at this time. It is -
16 I'm sorry - D13/3. The Zvornik Brigade engineering company daily orders
18 MS. SINATRA: Do you see that, D13/3?
19 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, have you had a moment to review this? Do you
20 recognise this document?
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. And it's a duty officer of the engineering company logbook -- I
23 mean, a logbook for the engineering company?
24 A. This is a copy of the daily orders of the commander of the
25 engineers company.
1 Q. Thank you. And I just want to bring to your attention, each one
2 of these days has a duty officer at the company command. Just for the
3 Trial Chamber's information, there is a duty officer in each company, too,
4 which is different from the operational duty officer at command
5 headquarters. Isn't there?
6 A. That is correct.
7 Q. And there is also a duty officer that sits at the entrance gate,
8 the kiosk, when you come into the command, isn't there? Isn't he called
9 the duty officer also?
10 A. No, he isn't. He is a soldier on duty at the reception. It
11 depends largely on how things are regulated.
12 Q. I just want to ask you, say, on July 13th, the company commander,
13 Mr. Jevtic, signs that the engineering company had engaged in normal
14 engineering operations. They do lay mines, don't they? That's one of
15 their duties?
16 A. The 13th?
17 Q. This is the 13th.
18 A. There are five tasks here for the 13th. And the task that you
19 have mentioned is also there. And a group of 15 soldiers are mentioned
20 who set an ambush on the orders of the brigade command. This is not an
21 engineering task. This is the last line under item 6.
22 Q. And this is when you put together the remnant company to go help
23 defend at the front line which consisted of engineering company, combat
24 people, and you just took from every area that you could put together a
25 remnant company to defend. Is that correct?
1 A. Yes. The basic purpose of engineers is not to participate in
2 combat but to provide for the various logistics tasks, engineering tasks
3 for the life of units.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me one second. Just to try to clarify, the
6 translation says in task 6 "75 conscripts." Mr. Obrenovic said 15. It
7 might be a good idea to see which is correct.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, altogether, there are six tasks on that day. But
9 the witness said there are only five.
10 MS. SINATRA: I can clear that up, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
12 MS. SINATRA:
13 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, when you said 75 conscripts, did you mean all 75
14 came from the engineering unit, or just a portion of them came from the
15 engineering unit to be a part of the conscripts. Or is that number wrong?
16 A. I can't remember having said 75. It says 15, 15 soldiers of the
17 engineers company. The handwriting is very unclear. But certainly, there
18 were 15 of them. Whatever it says here.
19 Q. Okay. Thank you.
20 And can we go on to the 14th of July. The duty officer at the
21 engineering company command was Vojislav Sekanic, wasn't he?
22 A. Yes, that's when it says, second line.
23 Q. And we know that Dragan Jevtic, the commander, was not present.
24 So can we assume that Bogicevic was acting commander as deputy commander
25 that day in the engineering company?
1 A. That's how it was supposed to be.
2 Q. And then on the 15th, we have the duty officer as
3 Sergeant Damjan Lazarevic.
4 A. That's what it says.
5 Q. And the deputy commander on that day would have still been
6 Mr. Bogicevic, wouldn't it?
7 A. Yes, unless he was somewhere else, but he was supposed to be.
8 Q. And on the 16th, we have Marko Kljestan as duty officer, but
9 because Mr. Jevtic was still absent, Mr. Bogicevic was the
10 deputy commander. Right?
11 A. That's how it was supposed to be.
12 Q. And every one of these documents are confirmed and signed by the
13 company commander Dragan Jevtic. Right?
14 A. Well, it reads: "Dragan Jevtic." Then there's a signature
15 underneath the name. It's probably Jevtic's signature, but not that I can
16 actually remember what his signature looked like. This may be his
17 signature, but he was certainly at Snagovo, and he may have signed this
18 later upon his return. I'm not familiar with the details.
19 Q. Yes. Did you know that he backdated these and signed these
20 documents when he returned from the front?
21 A. Well, I was not exactly keeping track of these things then, at
22 that time. I was not really paying attention to that.
23 Q. But for the record, there is no signature of Dragan Jokic on any
24 of these engineering company logbook pages, are there?
25 A. It appears not. Major Jokic's signature cannot be found on any of
1 these documents.
2 Q. Thank you very much.
3 MS. SINATRA: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I'm trying to figure out
4 what this exhibit is. One second.
5 Your Honour, the next document that we'll be dealing with will be
6 D11/3. And it is the "Responsibility of the Duty Officer, Manual for the
7 Work of Commands and Staffs." We're going to leave the engineering
8 company now and go to the duty officer.
9 Q. Have you had time to look at this document, Mr. Obrenovic?
10 A. I've had a look briefly.
11 Q. Okay. You were asked by the Prosecution to describe the duties of
12 the duty officer, weren't you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And do you think that your answer conforms with the manual on the
15 work of command and staffs, paragraph 65?
16 A. I certainly can't claim that I was able to quote the exact duties
17 of the operations duty officer. I listed them by rote to the best of my
18 recollection at that moment. Certainly, what you should do in that
19 situation is go back to the rules and simply read them. I never claimed
20 that I knew all of the duties pertaining to the operations duty officer by
21 heart, and that I could just recite them off the top of my head.
22 Q. Thank you. I would like to go through and see if you confirm the
23 written rules concerning the duty officer. And we're talking about the
24 operations duty officer, because on the next pages there are descriptions
25 of other duty officers. But the one we're concerned with is the
1 operations duty officer. Is that right?
2 A. Yes. The exact reference to what we had in the brigade would be
3 the operations duty officer of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade.
4 Q. And the duty operations officer always has an assistant when he's
5 operating on his 24-hour shift, doesn't he?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And I believe you confirmed that the assistant takes over
8 somewhere between midnight and 6.00 in the morning. Is that correct?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. And the operational duty at the command post, it's organised by
11 the chief of staff, isn't it? Or is that just the chief of staff at the
12 logistics command post?
13 A. No, we have -- we -- there are two things. One thing is the
14 operations duty officer, and the other thing is the operations duty for
15 operative issues, which is carried out by the operations duty team. And
16 then one of the officers is appointed. These are simply two different
18 Q. The duty shift is served in the duty officer's operations rooms,
19 isn't it?
20 A. The duty officer is on duty in the office, the office we pointed
21 out, both yesterday and this morning. We called it the duty room of the
22 operations duty officer.
23 Q. And for clarification, that office was next to the stairs on the
24 first level of the building. Right?
25 A. Yes, like I said, there's the staircase, and then the first room
1 on the right-hand side.
2 Q. And they have a little bed in there, too, where they can rest so
3 they don't have to leave their location at any time. Isn't that true?
4 A. Used to be a bed in it for a while. I can't remember when
5 exactly. And then the commander had it removed. Certainly there was a
6 table inside, a handful of chairs, a metal cupboard, a TV set, some
7 phones. And for a while, there was a bed, but I think that was early, not
8 towards the end of the war. I think by that time it was gone.
9 Q. And the switchboard for the brigade headquarters is located up on
10 the third floor, not in the duty officer's room, isn't it?
11 A. The in-house switchboard with two or three people manning it, two
12 a shift, I believe, it was on the last floor, second floor if I'm looking
13 correctly. And down the corridor to the left, the last room on the
14 right-hand side.
15 Q. Thank you. I'm just going to ask you to verify the duties of the
16 operational duty officer. He's one to monitor the course of combat
17 operations. Right? And to inform the commander of major changes. He's
18 the information person that relays information to the commander.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I guess we're just going to go
21 through the same problem as before. But if we are going to do this, she
22 should at least complete the sentence because she left off a key part of
23 that first sentence. So...
24 MS. SINATRA: I'm not sure what key part Mr. McCloskey is
25 referring to, Your Honour. I'm just using the verbs mainly, to monitor,
1 to inform, to be familiar with.
2 JUDGE LIU: Ms. Sinatra, the way you are introducing the document
3 is a little bit strange to me, at least. Earlier you asked a question to
4 the witness, and if you did not get the answer you need, you may show him
5 a document pointing to certain, you know, discrepancies between the
6 statement, documents, and the testimony of this witness. But it seems to
7 me that you make it the other way around. So I don't know whether it's a
8 good practice or not.
9 If you want to ask some relevant questions, just put it direct to
10 this witness. Then you may show him the documents.
11 MS. SINATRA: Okay, Your Honour. I thought also that the use of
12 documents was for verification, authentication, by the witness, and I was
13 just having him verify and authenticate that these are the rules that they
14 go by at the Zvornik Brigade headquarters.
15 JUDGE LIU: These rules are already there, and I believe that it's
16 kind of public, you know, in that brigade, public document in that
17 brigade. So I don't think it's necessary to verify those documents
18 through this witness.
19 MS. SINATRA: Okay, well I'll ask him a general question about it,
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
22 MS. SINATRA:
23 Q. The operational duty officer at the brigade headquarters cannot
24 issue orders; he can only relay messages and information. Isn't that
1 A. No, that's not true. As I said last week, and as the rules
2 clearly state, the work of the operations duty officer has two components,
3 if that's the right expression, it has two distinct elements or two
4 functions if you like. Internal duty, like the duty officer for
5 engineering at brigade level, and as the name itself clearly says, there's
6 the operative function. And what that means is simply command.
7 Therefore, the operations duty officer can, under a certain set of
8 circumstances, on behalf of the commander or deputy commander or on behalf
9 of the operations duty officer of the Drina Corps issue certain orders to
10 the extent that he is authorised to do so. This would be putting it as
11 succinctly as possible.
12 Q. You said that he could issue orders on behalf of the commander.
13 When you say that he's not really issuing an order, the commander has told
14 him to issue an order, he's just relaying it on, isn't that right? So the
15 order is actually coming from the commander, not the duty officer.
16 A. As I said, the operations duty officer specifically of the Zvornik
17 Brigade could issue orders on behalf of the commander and on behalf of the
18 duty officer, operations duty officer of the Drina Corps. I've said this
19 two or three times at least today, the principle of unity of command. The
20 brigade commander is the brigade commander. It can't be 15 different
21 people in the brigade to give orders. Only the commander does.
22 At the same time, this is not a purely mechanic procedure. The
23 remaining people down the chain of command are not merely couriers in
24 relaying these orders. So it was within this framework that we carried
25 out certain activities, and the same applies to the operations duty
1 officer. The commander is responsible for me issuing an order on his
2 behalf also. This does not relieve him of his responsibility. And the
3 same applies to the operations duty officer.
4 Q. But the operations duty officer doesn't create an order on his
5 own. He has to have been given the mandate by the commander to write an
6 order on his behalf and transfer it somewhere else, doesn't he?
7 A. At certain critical moments in the commander's absence, then he
8 could issue an order in the spirit of previous plans and ideas. However,
9 he's duty-bound to inform the commander as soon as possible, inform the
10 commander or the operations duty officer of the Drina Corps, or as was
11 most frequently the case, both of these officers.
12 Q. Let me ask you about -- it says the duty officer -- operations
13 duty officer must have the instruction for work, the plan for the
14 immediate security and defence of the command post. So for anything he
15 does, there's a plan given to him ahead of time that he has to implement
16 in case of an emergency, like a fire marshal. Is that what that
18 A. Our operations duty officer, the one we're talking about, there
19 was an order by the command of the Drina Corps envisaging point by point
20 the documents that the operations duty officer was supposed to keep at all
21 times. And we were supposed to follow these instructions closely. Many
22 of those plans had been drawn up. I can't list them all right now. Maybe
23 I could remember a number of those. But still, it's impossible to foresee
24 everything. It was wartime situation. So if your question was that he
25 could do nothing on his own but instead had to consistently apply a
1 previously envisaged plan, then my answer is it is impossible to predict
2 everything. It is impossible to foresee everything.
3 Q. But let me refresh your memory about one of the documents that the
4 operational duty officer was to keep, and the last sentence says: "The
5 handover of duty is recorded in the operations logbook." Doesn't it? And
6 that operations logbook is missing, isn't it, the duty-shift change book?
7 A. Yes. As I've already explained, this duty-shift change book was
8 not among the documents that I handed over to the Office of the
9 Prosecutor. I simply didn't find it. Perhaps because it wasn't there.
10 But that's the long and short of it, that's why I didn't hand it over.
11 This book records the change of shift of the operations duty officer.
12 Q. In fact, last week in your direct testimony, you listed the
13 documents that the duty officer was responsible for maintaining. I
14 believe they included the logbook, the shift book, and a workbook. Is
15 that correct?
16 A. Precisely, also the regular and interim reports included there.
17 Q. And the logbook, shift book, and workbook are documents that had
18 been in your possession for about four years during the investigation of
19 this case, weren't they?
20 A. In addition to other documents, I did have those, too, yes, since
21 spring 1999.
22 Q. I'd like to refer again to your 2002 statement, which is D28/3.
23 And you stated on page -- I guess it's ERN number 10008161.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Do you have the English?
25 MS. SINATRA: I just have an ERN number. I'm looking for the page
1 myself. It's 10008161.
2 And Your Honours, I don't find it in here.
3 Q. But do you remember in your statement saying that as a military
4 expert, you know that the operations duty officer can never become a
5 superior to the battalion commander?
6 A. I don't remember ever having stated that I was a military expert.
7 I completed a certain degree of military education, and I've detailed this
8 for you. As you said earlier, in all units, there was the position of
9 duty officer. In a battalion, you had the battalion duty officer. In the
10 brigade, we had the operations duty officer. In independent companies,
11 they also had duty officers such as the military police unit you have
12 referred to. So that was the line of communication in terms of duty and
13 duty officers across the units. Now, as to how the operations duty
14 officer related to the brigade commander, much in the same way at his own
15 level, of course, the operations duty officer of a battalion would have
16 related to the commander of that particular battalion. So that's what
17 this refers to.
18 Q. I'd like to go in the 2000 transcript to page 40 in the English
19 version where Krstan Simic clears up your statement by saying "by having
20 the status of duty officer, is he in a superior position or is he just a
21 link between units on the ground and a commander?" And your answer on
22 page 40, line 22 is that "he is not in a superior position, but" --
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Sorry. My April 2000, I don't have any such thing
25 on page 40. Perhaps I'm looking in the wrong place.
1 MS. SINATRA: Page 40, line 18, Krstan Simic is talking first.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
3 MS. SINATRA: You're welcome.
4 Q. And then Dragan Obrenovic says: "He is not in a superior
5 position, but he is in a certain position of being a link." And I think
6 Mr. Simic helped you clear that up. And that's pretty much what the duty
7 officer is, is he's a link between command and the rest of the brigade,
8 isn't he?
9 A. We're speaking about two different things here. We can't -- if we
10 look in the same way at two different things, then the result would be
11 that there are only five commanders -- that there are as many as five
12 commanders in a unit, in a military unit. The next rule concerning the
13 unity of command, only the brigade commander can be superior to the
14 battalion commander, directly superior. And that's how it was.
15 The operations duty officer, now that's an internal position of
16 duty. And as such, he has certain rights based on his duties. He also
17 has obligations based on these duties. And certainly, the operations duty
18 officer is not superior to the battalion commander. His superior would
19 have been in this specific case the brigade commander. But if you look at
20 the duties, the duties you showed me some time ago, you will see that
21 there are certain moments specified by orders where the operations duty
22 officer can issue orders on behalf of the commander or of the operations
23 duty officer of the unit in charge. Now, whether he goes directly to the
24 commander or through the battalion, that's a different thing. That's what
25 I meant when I said that the operations duty officer was not superior to
1 the battalion commander because the brigade commander would have been.
2 Q. Thank you very much. Is it a duty of the duty officer to know
3 where his commander is at all times?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, I'm going to go to another subject right now.
6 The capture of prisoners --
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, it's time for a break.
8 MS. SINATRA: Okay. Perfect.
9 JUDGE LIU: We could come to another subject after the break.
10 We will resume at 12.30.
11 --- Recess taken at 12.00 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 12.34 p.m.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Sinatra, before you start, I think I have to
14 remind you or everybody that we have only one hour left for the morning
15 session. We have to break at 1.30.
16 MS. SINATRA: Thank you, Your Honour. There's a housekeeping
17 issue, too. Interpretation came down and said that in the transcript
18 today marked at 11:52:47, I think, that when I was questioning
19 Mr. Obrenovic about the documents that are the responsibility of the
20 duty officer, he said "logbook, shift book, and workbook." And they
21 didn't get shift book into the interpretation, at 11:52:47.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes. But from the English transcript, I see that we
23 have three, logbook, shift book, and workbook.
24 MS. SINATRA: I'm just going by the note she made for me. If it's
25 correct, I don't know if I need to reask the question.
1 JUDGE LIU: I think the best way is for you to reask this
3 MS. SINATRA: Because I don't know if he heard the question at the
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, I understand.
6 MS. SINATRA: Okay.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Shift, logbook was not interpreted into B/C/S.
8 MS. SINATRA:
9 Q. You basically stated in your prior testimony that your
10 responsibilities for recording and reporting of the duty officer, the
11 operation duty officer, was to maintain a logbook, a shift book, and a
12 workbook. Isn't that correct?
13 A. Yes, and also daily reports and interim reports as needed.
14 Q. I'm sorry. I'll have to read it from the transcript.
15 Okay. Thank you. I think we covered that answer. Thank you very
17 I'm going to move forward. I would like to bring out what's been
18 marked -- no, never mind. I'm going to another subject now. I wanted to
19 ask you with your knowledge and training in the Geneva Convention that you
20 received in military school, you are aware that the capture of prisoners
21 of war or prisoners during a combat operation is a legitimate military
22 operation, isn't it?
23 A. Yes, it is.
24 Q. And the transportation of refugees whose lives might be in danger
25 if they stayed in a combat situation is a legitimate military operation,
1 too, isn't it?
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. I now want to move to the engineering equipment available in July
4 1995. As deputy commander, you're familiar with the equipment that
5 belonged to the engineering company, aren't you?
6 A. Yes, it may be said so.
7 Q. Well, in July of 1995, the engineering company didn't have that
8 much -- not very much heavy equipment that was owned by the engineering
9 company, did they?
10 A. A little while ago, I provided some explanation about that. The
11 engineers company and the logistics had at their disposal technical
12 equipment from two sources. One source was the fund of the army of
13 Republika Srpska, so this was our ownership. There were lots of lorries.
14 I don't know how many. And a few other machines. I can't remember
15 exactly what they were. Those things were our ownership which we could
16 use at any time, and we could also use equipment from civilian companies
17 in Zvornik in case of mobilisation or something like that.
18 Q. Well, I think you're confusing the equipment that was owned by the
19 Zvornik Brigade with the equipment that could be readily requisitioned
20 from the civilian sector, from the factories that were located there. Is
21 that true?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you. I'd like to bring out what's been marked for
24 identification purposes as D12/3. It's the Zvornik Brigade Engineering
25 Summary report for 1995. We received this document from Mr. Obrenovic on
1 27th of September, 2003.
2 Mr. Obrenovic, while you're looking at this document, this is a
3 document that you're very familiar with as being commander of the Zvornik
4 Brigade because this is a report that's written every year by the chief of
5 engineering, isn't it?
6 A. The commander of the Zvornik Brigade was Lieutenant-Colonel Vinko
7 Pandurevic. And I specified when I was the one discharging these duties,
8 I also said when I became commander of the 303rd Motorised Brigade. But
9 as the chief of staff and the superior to Jokic, you are right. I knew in
10 rough outlines via these reports what was going on, and these reports were
11 drafted either towards the end of the year or at the beginning of the next
12 year, and then forwarded to whomever it was forwarded to.
13 Q. And these are what we call standard operating procedure for the
14 brigade, aren't they?
15 A. Truth be told, whether they are standard or not, I don't know.
16 Probably there was some order issued by the corps command, something that
17 was to serve their annual summary. I believe that this was preceded by an
18 order issued by the corps command.
19 Q. Okay.
20 A. Here in the heading, the order is actually quoted.
21 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, to be realistic about it, though, in
22 December of 1995, even though you didn't assume the official position of
23 commander of the Zvornik Brigade until 1996, in December you were acting
24 commander of the brigade, weren't you?
25 A. December? I don't remember.
1 Q. The report basically gives an inventory and a list of the tasks
2 that the engineering department had been engaged in for 1995. Is that
3 what this includes?
4 A. Here the units are itemised.
5 Q. Right.
6 A. Engineering fortification work in 1995, data on wounded.
7 Q. Legitimate --
8 THE INTERPRETER: May the counsel speak into the microphone,
10 MS. SINATRA:
11 Q. Legitimate operations that the engineering company should be
12 involved in, such as construction of defensive positions, laying mines and
13 defence lines? Now they're involved in the infantry and actually involved
14 in combat operations in 1995. Right?
15 A. Some 15 soldiers from the engineering company participated in the
16 combat on Snagovo. If a unit, some other unit, was to be sent out of the
17 zone of responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade, some of the engineering
18 troops were added to those troops, and they then maybe participated in the
19 combat that was taking place in that area. But most of the time, they did
20 their own engineering work.
21 Q. And part of that engineering work includes using the large
22 equipment to build things such as trenches or barriers between combat
23 fronts, between positions on the front -- of the combat operation?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. In fact, that would be fortification of positions. That would
1 include mining, digging trenches, anything that they can do to help
2 strengthen the position of the VRS during a combat operation.
3 A. You're right there.
4 Q. And if you see on number 8, it lists the equipment that was
5 available via the VRS at that time. And according to the list, it's on
6 page 4 under number 8, it says the things that were army contingent that
7 belonged to the VRS. That was a tugboat, a motorboat, eight chainsaws,
8 two Tomos - whatever that is - one mine detector, and three sets of
9 mine-laying and mine-lifting equipment. Is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And if we --
12 A. That's what it says here.
13 Q. And if we go to B, we go to much heavier equipment that says it
14 came from the requisitioned fund. Isn't that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And the requisition fund would be heavy equipment that had been
17 requisitioned by some superior from the civilian division to operate and
18 be used by the engineering department, or by the Zvornik Brigade. It
19 doesn't mean it was necessarily used by the engineering department,
21 A. Yes, it may be said so.
22 Q. And then we have here: "One bulldozer, TG 140." I don't know --
23 is that a torpedo? One bulldozer, TG 220. The first one, 12 years old.
24 The second one, 7 years old. One bulldozer, TG 75; 20 years old and
25 broken. One bulldozer, TG 110; 6 years and working. One excavator, a
1 torpedo skip; 15 years, working. One excavator, a BGH 7; 10 years old and
2 working. And two carryall trailers.
3 Is that what it says was the equipment that the engineering
4 department may have had access to, not belonging to the VRS but
5 requisitioned from the civilian portion of Zvornik Municipality?
6 A. Truth be told, I'm not clear whether what is listed here under B
7 is just a possibility, what can be requisitioned, or whether this lists
8 the things that had already been requisitioned by that time. I believe
9 that at the moment when this report was being drawn up, that all these
10 things had already been requisitioned. But it may mean both things. This
11 is the way I interpret it.
12 Q. So what you're saying is that these are things that maybe were
13 available in the civilian community to be requisitioned, but not
14 necessarily requisitioned at that time by the Zvornik Brigade. Is that
16 A. Yes. It is not clear whether this list refers to the things that
17 could be requisitioned at any given moment, or whether this refers to the
18 things that had been requisitioned by the time when this report was drawn
19 up. I am inclined to believe that the second case is true. At the
20 moment, when this report was drafted, all these things had already been in
21 the possession of our unit. But it doesn't transpire clearly from the
23 Q. Thank you very much.
24 Can you tell me, we have the next list, C, which is war booty.
25 Right? And under war booty, I assume these are pieces of equipment that
1 were seized from the BiH army, either the 2nd Battalion or the 28th
2 Division. Is that right? And I see under the --
3 A. It doesn't have to mean that. This was seized from the enemy, and
4 we cannot say for a fact from which unit those things were seized.
5 Q. Okay. But the only units operating in the area was the 2nd
6 Battalion and the 28th Division. Is that right?
7 A. The 2nd Corps, and the 28th Division.
8 Q. Thank you. We have under this list of booty one machine called an
9 excavator King, broken. Do you see that? It's at the bottom of the list
10 of war booty.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Are you familiar with that piece of equipment, the King?
13 A. It's a small excavator, looking like a tractor. It has a spoon in
14 the front, claws in the front, and a claw in the back. I don't know
15 whether I'm using the right terms when I'm describing this piece of
16 equipment. I'm a layperson when it comes to that.
17 Q. Well, I just wanted to ask you, again, after the war, you were, in
18 fact, the subject of an investigation while you were commander regarding
19 this King equipment, weren't you?
20 A. No, no. When it came to the King, no.
21 Q. So you're claiming there would be no written reports from
22 Sergeant Savic, the security officer of the Zvornik Brigade, relating to
23 an investigation regarding you and this piece of equipment. Right?
24 A. I don't know what he did. He never showed me any such thing. I
25 know that there was investigation, but not involving this piece of
1 equipment. Whether he ever investigated anything that involved this piece
2 of equipment, I don't know. It is possible, but he never showed it to me.
3 Q. So you're saying you never marked this piece of equipment as
4 broken and sold it on the black market, did you?
5 A. There was a prescribed procedure in order to do these things.
6 First of all, a thing had to be written off in case a piece of equipment
7 was broken. The corps command would then sell it. So this is just in
8 short outlines. If you're interested in any more details, be my guest.
9 Q. That's the standard procedure for this. But this piece of King
10 equipment was the subject of an investigation that did not follow standard
11 procedure for used or broken equipment, did it?
12 A. I don't know any of the details. Savic never informed me about
14 Q. After the investigation was halted by General Andric, isn't it
15 true that you tried to have Sergeant Savic removed as security officer of
16 the Zvornik Brigade?
17 A. No, it was just the other way around. The security officers --
18 actually, I tried to place the security officers under Savic's control. I
19 wanted to implement the things that Lieutenant-Colonel Pandurevic had
20 wanted at one point. I didn't succeed, and then they came up with things
21 like this King and other things, but they never informed me about that.
22 Q. During July 1995 and August 1995, was it really you and Major
23 Galic that requisitioned the earth-moving equipment from the civilian
24 companies, from Glinica, the aluminum company, and from Novi Izvor, the
25 brick-making company?
1 A. General Galic, are you referring to this person who is in jail
2 here in the Detention Unit, this Galic?
3 Q. My correction, it's Major Galic. Thank you.
4 A. I don't think that what you're saying is correct. Not only that I
5 don't think that, but I am absolutely sure that this is not correct. On
6 the 14th, I was in Snagovo, as you already know. And if my memory serves
7 me well, Major Galic replaced the forward command post, Drago Nikolic.
8 And two or three days ago, we saw a handwritten note written by him from
9 the forward command post. I don't know whether he was in the position to
10 requisition anything at that time. As far as I know, he was at the
11 forward command post at the time. And I myself was on Snagovo, so I also
12 did not requisition any equipment. In any case, it is not the chief of
13 staff who is in the position to do the requisitioning.
14 Q. During that time you were deputy commander, weren't you, or
15 commander, acting commander?
16 A. On the 14th, I was deputy commander. This was my role at the
18 Q. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Obrenovic.
19 The requisition process is a really strict process in order to
20 requisition civilian equipment, isn't it?
21 A. There is a very strict procedure, yes.
22 Q. And doesn't the requisition have to come through the Ministry of
23 Defence for approval?
24 A. As I said, if you stick to the rules, then the procedure is
25 prescribed very accurately, what you do. And if you abide by the rules,
1 you must go to the Ministry of Defence, or rather, one of its local
2 departments in Zvornik.
3 Q. The chief of engineering could never directly requisition anything
4 from the civilian companies, could he?
5 A. As a rule, no. In practice, yes.
6 Q. You mean he could requisition items from the civilian companies?
7 I mean, has there ever been any moment where you saw an order from the
8 chief of engineering to requisition equipment from the brick-laying
9 company or the aluminum company?
10 A. I didn't see any such order. I have seen requests, not as to the
11 14th. But the period before and after that, engineers would write a
12 request signed by Jokic or another of their commanders over there,
13 depending who was there at the time. They would sometimes forward this to
14 Galic, or rather the personnel department. And sometimes they would go
15 directly to the Ministry of Defence and sometimes directly to the factory
16 itself. They're probably best placed to tell you about this, the
17 engineers over there.
18 Q. Okay. You're probably right. But the chief of engineer
19 definitely doesn't have the authority under any rule to requisition
20 equipment from the civilian population, does he?
21 A. Strictly speaking, under the rules, yes.
22 Q. Okay. I'm going to move on to another subject. You are aware
23 that there were several meetings held at the Zvornik Brigade headquarters
24 while you were acting commander to organise the testimony that everybody
25 was going to present to the Office of the Prosecutor who had just sent
1 invitations to members of the Zvornik Brigade. Is that right?
2 A. I've heard of these meetings.
3 Q. You never participated in any of the meetings?
4 A. No, not official meetings. I'm not sure if when you say
5 "meeting," you mean for example when I met Major Jokic showing him parts
6 of the workbook? Maybe it's possible for you to refer to something like
7 that as a meeting. There are many such occasions, but if you have in mind
8 an official occasion, more official occasion as in meeting an official...
9 Q. Yes, I do. I have more in mind an official meeting that was
10 called by either Miletic or Andric from the main staff organisation to --
11 and the Drina Corps to organise and talk to all of the potential witnesses
12 that had been called by the Office of the Prosecutor.
13 A. I did not attend the meeting organised by General Andric or
14 General Miletic. I was at the time in Belgrade in school. Had I been in
15 Zvornik at the time, I probably would have attended the meeting.
16 Q. And this was in 1999 you were in Belgrade in school, fall?
17 A. This additional education began in early 1998 and went on
18 throughout 1999, yes.
19 Q. So then you weren't fighting on the front -- okay, I can see in
20 1999. But in 1999, you didn't attend the meeting, and you didn't attend
21 the meeting that was arranged in 2000 either. Is that what you're saying?
22 A. I'm telling you that I did not attend the meeting chaired by
23 General Miletic or that chaired by General Andric. I attended a number of
24 meetings with General Andric because he was our commander. Now,
1 Q. Specifically, during your interview with the OTP in April of 2000,
2 you were represented by an attorney named Krstan Simic from Banja Luka,
3 weren't you?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And you also know that Mr. Simic represented Mr. Jokic in December
6 of 1999 and in April of 2002. You know that, don't you?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. And you knew that at the time, in 1999 and 2000?
9 A. I didn't know that in 1999. But I did in 2000.
10 Q. And, in fact, Mr. Simic not only represented you and Mr. Jokic,
11 but he also represented Mr. Jevtic, who was commander of the engineering
12 department, right, engineering company? Is that right?
13 A. Jevtic was indeed the commander of the engineering company. And
14 he was represented by him. Mr. Krstan Simic also represented Ms. Plavsic,
15 as far as I remember. He represented everyone. At the Ministry of
16 Defence of Republika Srpska, Mr. Krstan Simic was recommended to me as
17 counsel, but I had never even heard of him up to that point. It was their
18 choice really.
19 Q. He was not the Ministry of Defence for the Republic of Srpska in
20 1999 and 2000. That's something that has happened since those dates,
21 isn't it?
22 A. Do you mean Mr. Simic, Krstan Simic?
23 Q. Yes, yes, Mr. Obrenovic.
24 A. I must apologise. I never said that he was the
25 Ministry of Defence for the Republic of Srpska. What I wanted to say -
1 and maybe I did not express myself too clearly - the summons was handed to
2 me via the Ministry of Defence. And when I was physically there at the
3 Ministry of Defence to consult about these issues being an active officer,
4 as I was, issues regarding my potential counsel, they, the
5 Ministry of Defence of Republika Srpska, told me, or rather advised me
6 that Mr. Krstan Simic had been appointed as my counsel, and mine and also
7 appointed to represent everyone else. So that's how I found, how I came
8 across Krstan Simic because I had not known him before.
9 Q. Right. And these meetings that were held --
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes, Mr. McCloskey.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, before we go too much deeply into
12 counsel and choice of counsel, if we could have some statement of the
13 relevancy. This is a rather sensitive and important topic, the right to
14 counsel. And if there is some relevance, I have no objection. But at
15 this point, there is no relevance established, and I don't see the point.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, Ms. Sinatra, what's your case? What's your
17 position on that?
18 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour. The relevance is that because
19 they were all assigned Krstan Simic, with conflicts of interest between
20 all the parties, then they effectively did not have the right to choose
21 counsel. This is all part of the motion to express the statements
22 which -- if you want to go into private session for this line of
23 questioning, I would be happy to. But I do have a lot of questions about
24 Mr. Simic, and then I have questions about someone else that the
25 Prosecution has asked me to go into private session about. So if you want
1 to take this whole line of questioning in private session, I do not
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, let's go into private session.
4 [Private session]
24 [Open session]
25 MS. SINATRA:
1 Q. Mr. Simic told you what Mr. Jokic has said in his 1999 interview,
2 didn't he?
3 A. No, for the most part not.
4 Q. "For the most part not"?
5 A. For the most part, not. Maybe, you know, in two or three
6 sentences, three at most.
7 Q. When you went to have your interview with the OTP in Banja Luka,
8 you and Dragan Jevtic rode together for the interviews, didn't you?
9 A. The interview on the 2nd of April, 2000 -- no, I did not ride
10 together with Dragan Jevtic. Rather, I went there with my brother.
11 Mr. Jokic was interviewed the day before. I can't remember when Jevtic
12 was interviewed, but I did go together with Jevtic to Banja Luka, but that
13 was on a later occasion, not when the interviews took place. If I
14 remember correctly, I reached Banja Luka on the 1st of April in the
16 Q. And you met with your attorney at that time?
17 A. We met in a cafe on the 1st, in the evening. It was night
18 actually already. He came together with Dragan Jokic. We sat in a cafe,
19 and the two of them came along.
20 Q. And then you're saying that Dragan Jevtic did not ride with you to
21 the interview on the following day?
22 A. On the 2nd, we had -- that's, I had my interview in Trnje [phoen],
23 near Banja Luka. And I rode there on my own, certainly not with Jevtic.
24 I remember that I did ride to Banja Luka with Jevtic, but that was at a
25 later date. That was later. That was not for the interview that took
1 place on the 1st, or rather 2nd of April.
2 Q. So if Jevtic said that he rode with you to the interview, he would
3 be mistaken. Right?
4 A. The interview, as long as we're talking about the interview which
5 took place on the 2nd of April, 2000, to the best of my recollection, I
6 rode accompanied by my brother. And we set out on the 1st of April in the
7 afternoon hours. I don't think Jevtic was with me then. To the best of
8 my recollection, I did ride with Jevtic to Banja Luka, but that was later.
9 And that was not for the interview.
10 Q. Okay. Thank you.
11 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, I would like to distribute to the
12 witness now what has been marked as D2/3a and b for identification
13 purposes. And there's a B/C/S version and an English version, with the
14 assistance of Mr. Usher.
15 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, have you seen this document before? I'm showing
16 you what's marked D2/3a and b for identification purposes.
17 A. I don't remember having seen this. I may have, but I really can't
18 remember now.
19 Q. So this is a letter from the Republic of Srpska Ministry of
20 Defence dated June 26th, 2000. And it's written on your behalf, isn't it?
21 A. Yes, yes, my name is there.
22 Q. So you're saying that the government didn't copy you on a letter
23 that they were writing on your behalf?
24 A. This document was not written on my behalf. In the header you can
25 see "Republika Srpska Ministry of Defence." But the document was drafted
1 by someone on behalf of the minister of defence. In item 1, in addition
2 to other six names, you can see my name. But I'm telling you I don't
3 recall that. I may have received this, but frankly I don't remember.
4 Q. And the subject of why you're mentioned in the letter is because
5 of the OTP rescheduling your interview. Right?
6 A. As I said, the first interview was supposed to take place in
7 March, rather, in early March 2000. The gentlemen from the Office of the
8 Prosecutor were not there. Then I came back on the 2nd of April. I was
9 interviewed. And this is a document from June. In August, there was a
10 further interview.
11 Q. Well, when you had your interview on 2nd of April, 2000, it ended
12 with that you were going to be interviewed again at a future date. And so
13 this is rescheduling your future date interview, isn't it? Because it
14 says that these people have not received summons yet.
15 A. I think it was sometime in August, the second interview. It may
16 have been the 19th of August, but I am certain, however, that it was in
18 Q. This letter was written between your first interview and your
19 second interview, wasn't it?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And as commander of the Zvornik Brigade, you didn't receive a copy
22 of it?
23 A. As I said, I don't remember. I may have. I may not have. A
24 summons for an interview with a number of documents enclosed, yes, I did
25 get those. Now, whether I got this particular document as part of that
1 attachment, I don't know. There was a summons. There was some sort of an
2 explanation that we would not be arrested during the 24 hours preceding
3 and after the interview. There was a bundle of documents.
4 Q. And this one is signed by the minister Manojlo Milovanovic?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And you were aware that the Republika Srpska was not happy with
7 the techniques used by the Prosecutor to interview witnesses from the
8 Republic of Srpska?
9 A. Well, to be quite honest, I was not familiar with some of the
10 details because they didn't tell us. My impression, though, was that at
11 the time, there was some form of silent pressure, tacit pressure, applied
12 for as few people to end up going. That's -- that was my impression.
13 What they told us was it's down to you. It's your decision. But then,
14 next, next thing we knew, they would tell us, you'd better not go. Those
15 who end up going are finished and done for. But the decisions that were
16 taken at the level of government, I really can't say. I really can't
17 speak about that. And the same thing goes for the main staff.
18 Q. Well, I think you're talking about coercive tactics or pressure
19 put on potential suspects by the VRS. This letter, from your minister, is
20 talking about improper techniques used by the Prosecutor when interviewing
21 witnesses. Are you familiar -- have you heard that there was complaints
22 from the witnesses that the OTP was pressuring them during their
24 A. I heard no such thing. Later, after my second -- after my
25 interview on the 2nd of April, when I talked to my superior officers, they
1 made remarks along the lines of why I, myself, or rather Mr. Krstan had
2 allowed for the interview to go for that long, and that it should have
3 been interrupted and done in two or three days. This is information that
4 reached me eventually. As for the other things that may have been
5 discussed, I really can't say.
6 Q. Let me ask you if since this letter was written between your first
7 and your second interview, if there were changes in the interviewing
8 techniques based upon this letter. According to their allegations during
9 interviews, human dignity and spiritual integrity are being insulted.
10 "Interviews are exhausting, up to 12 hours in duration. Threats
11 of arrest are incessantly resorted to. It is impossible to consume food.
12 And in general, there is a humiliating treatment on the part of the
13 investigators. In regard to this, and in accordance with Articles 12, 13,
14 and 14 of the RS constitution, Articles 5, 6, and 10 of general
15 declaration on human rights, as well as with Resolution 217A (iii) of
16 General Assembly dating from 1 December 1948, we demand that you inform
17 the Prosecutor's Office of The Hague Tribunal about this so that a fair
18 and correct treatment during interviews would be provided.
19 "We also deem it necessary that the interviewed persons should be
20 enabled to read and sign the minutes of the interviews, or provided with
21 tape recordings of the interviews. We also demand that you provide
22 through the Office of the Tribunal the defrayal of costs of interviewed
23 persons." And it's signed the minister.
24 Based on this letter that was written on behalf of all of the
25 persons who were being interviewed by the OTP at that time, and based on
1 the fact that you are one of the citizens of the Republic of Srpska, did
2 you see a difference between the technique of interviewing you on the 2nd
3 April versus August 2000?
4 A. No, none whatsoever. The interview may have even taken place in
5 the same room, and everything was the same.
6 Q. So it was the same technique?
7 A. It was just a room with two desks, a small tape recorder. So the
8 interview was audiorecorded. No pictures were taken. But you have
9 minutes of all that. I can find this in our transcripts. In my case,
10 that was the case. At the end, we were paid expenses, the first time and
11 the second time. I was given two fruit juices at a time. I didn't drink
12 coffee. I also was given sandwich during the interview. And it was the
13 same the first time and the second time. As far as I'm concerned, the
14 situation was very similar on both occasions.
15 Q. Okay. Thank you very much.
16 JUDGE LIU: It's time for a break. And we'll resume at 3.00.
17 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.
18 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.37 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 3.01 p.m.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Sinatra, shall we continue.
21 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour. But I'd like to put something on
22 the record in private session for a moment, please.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll go to the private session, please.
24 [Private session]
13 Page 2962 – redacted – private session
4 [Open session]
5 MS. SINATRA:
6 Q. Sorry, I can't get the microphone closer.
7 Hello, Mr. Obrenovic. I hope you had a nice lunch break.
8 A. Good afternoon. Yes, thank you, I have.
9 Q. Before the Zvornik Brigade headquarters were searched, the ICTY or
10 the SFOR sent SFOR -- the commissioner of the high representative or
11 whatever, sent a memo to the Ministry of Defence asking permission to
12 search the Zvornik Brigade headquarters, didn't they?
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: The high representative of the United Nations,
16 SFOR, and the ICTY are three very distinct organisations. Form of the
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Sinatra, please rephrase your question.
19 MS. SINATRA:
20 Q. Before the Zvornik Brigade headquarters were searched, a notice
21 was sent to the Ministry of Defence by members of SFOR, weren't they?
22 A. I didn't work in the Ministry of Defence, so I really don't know
23 what they were sent. I saw the investigators, including Mr. McCloskey, on
24 that first morning when they arrived. Perhaps the ministry did receive
25 some notice, but the Zvornik Brigade didn't.
1 Q. But the search was conducted in coordination of SFOR forces and
2 evidently of the Office of the Prosecutor. Right?
3 A. On the morning of the 6th of March, 1998, a group of people turned
4 up, perhaps 10 to 15 of them, I don't really remember. There were several
5 senior officers from SFOR, and the rest were wearing civilian clothes.
6 And Mr. McCloskey was among them.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could have a statement of relevant or
11 foundation for this. If this is a challenge to the search warrant or a
12 motion to not have the material admissible, I think it's a little late.
13 Otherwise, the relevancy of this line of question, if we could at least
14 have some idea of where we're going.
15 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, I'll be happy --
16 JUDGE LIU: It is very clear to me, at least, because the Defence
17 counsel made some allegations concerning the custody of the documents, as
18 well as the chain of the custody of the documents. I believe this is the
19 beginning. Let's begin from here to see how far that we could go.
20 You may proceed, Ms. Sinatra.
21 MS. SINATRA: Thank you, Your Honour. And I just wanted to make
22 sure that I'm clear on this. These documents have not been admitted into
23 evidence as yet. They are simply submitted by the Prosecutor at this
24 point, so their admissibility is still at question.
25 JUDGE LIU: You may proceed.
1 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.
2 Q. The searches of the Zvornik Brigade headquarters were granted by
3 M. Milovanovic and Jokic, the minister, weren't they? And he's the same
4 person that signed the other document, wasn't he?
5 A. I don't know about those details. When I was told what it was
6 about, I spoke over the phone with the corps command. And after some time
7 had passed, they sent me to talk to a general in the general staff. And I
8 did talk to him. This might have been roughly speaking half an hour
9 later, one of those generals conveyed a message to me. He said everything
10 was all right, and that I should allow the search to go ahead. As you
11 said, the offices and the documents in the building. And they gave me
12 certain instructions as to how this should be organised.
13 What he got from the ministry, I really can't say.
14 Q. Okay. But you, as commander of the Zvornik Brigade, were informed
15 about the impending search of the premises three days before the search
16 actually occurred, weren't you?
17 A. No, I was not.
18 Q. So how many days were you informed before the search occurred?
19 A. That morning, when they arrived at the entrance. I said that a
20 minute ago.
21 Q. So it's your testimony today that you had no advance notice that
22 the search was going to occur at the Zvornik Brigade headquarters?
23 A. In specific terms, nobody ordered me anything along those lines.
24 I did know that a search had been conducted in Banja Luka on some
25 premises, army premises there. But I was able to see that from the
1 information media. But I really don't remember anybody having ordered me
2 to do anything. And I saw on the news bulletin just like everything else
3 that sometime prior to that period, they had searched some premises in
4 Banja Luka. And that's all I knew.
5 Q. So we're not talking about a direct order. But you found out
6 informally that the Zvornik Brigade headquarters was going to be searched
7 ahead of time, didn't you?
8 A. No. I didn't say that. I learned about it, like everybody else,
9 from the information media that a search had been conducted on the
10 premises of one of the commands in Banja Luka. I didn't mention the
11 Zvornik Brigade at all.
12 Q. So when you found the search was taking place in Banja Luka, you
13 then went through the Zvornik Brigade headquarters and took all of the
14 documents and materials that might be relevant to your Defence or to what
15 happened in Zvornik Brigade headquarters? You took them, and you
16 deposited them with General Miletic, didn't you?
17 A. No.
18 Q. General Miletic came to the Zvornik Brigade and took the
19 documents, didn't he?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Okay. Let's talk about Mr. Jokic's quest for these documents.
22 You know that all through these proceedings, requests for disclosure of
23 the documents from the Zvornik Brigade have been made by Defence counsel.
25 A. No, I don't.
1 Q. The documents --
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't know what the factual basis of that
5 question was, but the material from the Zvornik Brigade was provided in a
6 searchable CD years ago.
7 JUDGE LIU: No, no, I think the Defence counsel is not talking
8 about the documents disclosed by the OTP, but the documents in the custody
9 of Mr. Obrenovic.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: If that's the case, Your Honour, there has been no
11 request whatsoever that I can recall that she is talking about.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well --
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: In a historical context, very recently when we
14 found out about it, yes, those were delivered. But she is going back into
15 some sort of bizarre historical context that does not exist.
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Sinatra, I understand that there's a point
17 in your question. But you have to put it in a proper form.
18 MS. SINATRA: Well, I will just let the historical public
19 documents of this case, starting from the request for disclosure of
20 materials under Rule 68, and disclosure of all documents, including the
21 duty officer's book, the duty logbooks, which have been requested long --
22 at least a year ago in this case. And it's reflected in the public record
23 of this trial.
24 JUDGE LIU: But that's a different matter. Right?
25 MS. SINATRA: Yes.
1 JUDGE LIU: Because the OTP just got those documents before the
3 MS. SINATRA: May I proceed.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, of course.
5 MS. SINATRA: I'm sorry.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
7 MS. SINATRA:
8 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, you have been in custody at the UN Detention Centre
9 for how long?
10 A. Since the 15th of April, 2001.
11 Q. And you had custody of some documents from the Zvornik Brigade
12 from 1999 until 2003, June, when you decided to disclose them. Isn't that
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And all the documents that you disclosed to the OTP after pleading
16 guilty, plus the documents that you just disclosed on September 26th of
17 2003, have been in your custody during that four-year period. Right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. In fact, I want to go through exactly what happened to the
20 documents that we're talking about. You picked up the documents in the
21 spring of 1999 in Mali Zvornik, which is Serbia, before the NATO bombing
22 campaign, didn't you?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And these documents were taken from the Mali Zvornik military
25 storage warehouse located there, and it's a VRS warehouse located across
1 the river in Serbia. Isn't it?
2 A. They are facilities -- actually, it's not a warehouse belonging to
3 the army of Republika Srpska. It was a barracks belonging to the Yugoslav
4 army. And in one of the rooms, they stored not only the documents you
5 mentioned, but many others as well.
6 Q. But it wasn't in Republic of Srpska; it was outside of the
7 Republic of Srpska in what is now Serbia and Montenegro. Right?
8 A. Yes, yes.
9 Q. And you collected these documents on two separate occasions with
10 the assistance of General Miletic.
11 A. Without the assistance of General Miletic on two occasions.
12 Q. Well, you had gone to Mali Zvornik, and you met with General
13 Miletic. You discussed the documents; he showed you the documents. And
14 then you went home and thought about it for a little while. Right?
15 A. No, that's not how it was. I can explain what actually happened.
16 I have already explained once. If need be, I'm ready to explain again.
17 Q. Sorry, Mr. Obrenovic, you have explained it once to the Office of
18 the Prosecutor. But the Trial Chamber has never heard this explanation,
19 so that's why we're doing it again.
20 So actually, you went to Mali Zvornik on two separate occasions.
21 And along with General Miletic, you selected documents, and he copied
22 documents. Isn't that true?
23 A. No, that's not true.
24 Q. Okay. Well, tell me what happened, then. How did you get those
25 documents from Mali Zvornik?
1 A. This is how it was: In the barracks in Mali Zvornik, I had two
2 meetings with General Miletic. And as I've already explained, following
3 orders from the corps commander, General Andric, I went to the barracks at
4 Mali Zvornik, and I didn't know who there was at all. So that I could
5 ensure for the man working there - I didn't who it was - to supply him
6 with accommodation and food. When I went to the barracks in the
7 afternoon, I came across General Miletic there with two other men I didn't
8 know and they were looking through something, some documents. And they
9 were copying some as well. I went up to him to tell him where my
10 assignment was, and told him where he would find accommodation and food.
11 And we sat down and had a cup of coffee, and sat to the side of the room,
12 and I didn't have an opportunity, nor did he offer to do so, nor did I ask
13 him whether I could look at any of the documents at all. That was one of
14 my meetings with General Miletic.
15 After a short space of time, I left. And perhaps several days
16 later, let's say two or three, I turned up once again in the afternoon to
17 see whether the general had any comments to make about his accommodation
18 or anything of that sort. We had a brief conversation, an informal one,
19 and once again, I didn't look at any documents. He didn't offer any
20 documents to me, nor did I ask to see any. So during those two meetings,
21 I did see that there were some documents there. To be quite frank, I
22 found it rather strange. And as you said, that gave me the idea after
23 giving it some thought that it would be a good idea if I saw what was
24 there, because nobody told me about it, nor did I know anything about what
25 was there.
1 So after some time, I tried to get to the same room. General
2 Miletic was there for five or six days. I don't know exactly how long,
3 perhaps seven. And then he left. After some time had gone by, I went to
4 try and look through those documents myself, alone. But I didn't succeed
5 in doing so because the guards on duty there didn't let me pass without
6 written permission from the corps commander. I phoned him up and asked
7 him whether he would give the okay for me to do that. And he said yes, he
8 would. And I received two written permits or letters of permission that
9 he, the corps commander, was granting permission for me to be able to go
10 and take a look at -- or rather, he gave permission for access to those
12 So on two occasions during the day, I took advantage of that
13 opportunity. I gave them my permit. I was allowed to pass, and I went
14 there twice. So that was my third and fourth arrival there. I was alone
15 on this occasion. Miletic wasn't there, and Miletic didn't, in fact,
16 know, unless he was told by General Andric that I had been granted
17 permission and had gone through the documents on that subsequent occasion.
18 So the first two times, I was able to access the premises with the
19 permit that I was given. I went through the documents. There were piles
20 of documents. And the ones I managed to secure are the ones that I passed
21 over to the Prosecutor, to the OTP. That is in general terms what
23 Q. Okay. So General Miletic was there on his own copying and
24 searching mission in Serbia with the documents that were stored there in
25 one room as part of the JNA. Right?
1 A. General Miletic was there with two other individuals. On both
2 occasions when I went there, he was there with two other men.
3 Q. And then you went back with your permission slip from General
4 Andric to look at the documents that were stored in Serbia and Montenegro.
6 A. Yes. This might have been some ten days later. General Miletic
7 had finished what he was doing, and after some time had elapsed, I managed
8 to get the permission slip from Andric. And then I was able to go there
9 on my own.
10 Q. You were aware that these were documents that the people from the
11 SFOR search were really looking for, weren't you?
12 A. I did not know what they did there. There were documents from
13 various brigades, from the Drina Corps, some documents about the Drina
14 Corps. So by and large, there was part of the archives there from the
15 whole mass of documents that I've just mentioned.
16 Q. Stored in another country, separate from the Republic of Srpska.
18 A. Yes, obviously.
19 Q. Now, you took the original documents after two days of searching
20 from Mali Zvornik, and you took them back to your home in Zvornik, didn't
22 A. Yes, and there weren't two days of searching. I just spent
23 several hours there at a time. I didn't spent the whole day there because
24 I thought I'd be able to return and go through them again. So perhaps
25 several hours each day.
1 Q. But my question was you took the documents with you back to
2 Zvornik, across the border, didn't you?
3 A. Yes, I took them to my apartment.
4 Q. And then you kept them at your apartment for about a month, right?
5 A. Roughly, yes.
6 Q. And then you said you taped the box up. And after a month --
7 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, I think we may need to go into private
8 session now.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go to the private session, please.
10 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.
11 [Private session]
13 Pages 2974-2982 – redacted – private session
4 [Open session]
5 MS. SINATRA:
6 Q. Now, Mr. Obrenovic, the ones that you didn't turn over in June of
7 2003 included Zvornik Brigade documents that you knew were relevant to
8 Mr. Jokic's defence. Right?
9 A. I've explained how the selection was made. I never stopped to
10 think about any sort of relevance. I was looking at my agreement with the
11 OTP, which spoke about all sorts of cooperation regarding Srebrenica and
12 the time defined in that agreement. And that's how I turned over
13 documents in the first batch.
14 Q. Now, on June 3rd, 2003, when these documents first surfaced, the
15 Prosecutor did ask you if this was all of the documents, didn't he?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And you replied "yes, these are all the documents"?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And the ones you just turned over on 26 of September, 2003, the
20 Prosecutor just asked you "now, are these all the documents." Right?
21 A. I handed over everything that I had up to then. I have nothing
22 else with me. I handed over everything, even those which according to my
23 estimate were relevant to my agreement, everything that had been taken
24 from Mali Zvornik. If you look at the contents of these documents, some
25 of this has nothing whatsoever to do with the time when things happened or
1 the place when things happened. Some of them are relevant, some of them
3 Q. Some of them are relevant. But the truth is, the Prosecutor asked
4 you after you pled guilty and it entered into their agreement to tell the
5 truth. They said on June 3rd are these all of the documents, and you said
6 "yes," didn't you?
7 A. Yes, and I explained why.
8 Q. And that was after your agreement to fully cooperate. Isn't that
10 And in fact, you didn't tell the truth on June 3rd, 2003, did you?
11 A. I misunderstood my obligations. And hence, my mistake.
12 Q. And you may not have told the truth on the 26th of September when
13 you said these are all the documents. Right?
14 A. I said that those where will all the documents because there's no
15 reason for me to either hide them or to keep them for something else.
16 Q. But we are still missing the Zvornik Brigade duty officer's shift
17 book for July, aren't we?
18 A. It is missing because I never found it there. If I had found it,
19 it would have made part of the first group of documents because it would
20 be obvious that the dates indicated in my agreement with the OTP would be
21 mentioned in it. However, I didn't find it in Mali Zvornik; it was never
22 in my position. That's why I could not hand it over.
23 Q. But again, you did tell the Prosecutor that you didn't have any
24 more documents in your possession on June 3rd, 2003, didn't you?
25 JUDGE LIU: Ms. Sinatra, this is the third time you asked the same
2 MS. SINATRA:
3 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, when are you going to turn over all the documents?
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, this is the point where it is
5 argumentative on argumentative. She has made the point. The witness has
6 answered. It's all very clear.
7 JUDGE LIU: I agree with you. I'm sorry.
8 MS. SINATRA: I'm going to go to another topic.
9 I would like to bring out the IKM duty officer's logbook, and that
10 is marked P118, I believe.
11 Well, if you don't have a complete version of it to give the
12 witness... These have already been marked for identification as P118, I
14 Q. Are you familiar with this logbook?
15 A. I saw a copy of this within the documents that I turned over to
16 the Prosecutor.
17 Q. And which time did you turn this over to the Prosecutor? Was it
18 in June or the end of September?
19 A. It was not me who turned over to the Prosecutor. It was the other
20 way around. It was the Prosecutor who turned over these documents to us
21 on CDs.
22 Q. Okay. My mistake. This is for identification purposes, it's
23 P118. It's the forward command post operations duty logbook. And I don't
24 know if I can bring to your attention in that copy, but can you go to 15
25 July 1995.
1 Okay -- well, we can't -- are you familiar with the logbook? Did
2 you see who filled out the summaries on July 15th, 1995? Was it Major
4 A. I don't know. If this is what it says here, then I suppose it
5 was. I can look at the handwriting. I'm sure I would be able to
6 recognise it because he has very characteristic handwriting. If I were to
7 be shown this handwriting, then I could be more precise in my answer.
8 Q. Well, we'll have to pass that one. I'm trying to move on quickly.
9 I would like to bring out what's been marked as P137a. I think
10 it's the Zvornik Brigade duty officer's logbook. P137a.
11 I know you've seen this document before. You saw it during your
12 direct testimony. It has 11th July, 1995, doesn't it? And then it has 12
13 July, 1995.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Summarised and signed by Milan Maric. And then 13th and 14th are
16 missing, aren't they?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And then it goes to the 15th of July, doesn't it?
19 A. Yes, there are a few entries made on the 15th.
20 Q. And they are all signed by Drago Nikolic, aren't they?
21 A. Yes. It seems like his signature.
22 Q. And it's confirmed by Drago Nikolic. Right?
23 A. I don't know.
24 Q. Well, the signature's column is where they sign. But isn't it
25 supposed to be an independent person that confirms it under "remarks"?
1 A. The person who wrote this should have signed it. This looks to me
2 like Lieutenant Nikolic's signature. He was the security officer, the
3 Second-Lieutenant Nikolic.
4 Q. That's what I wanted to ask you. He was chief of security for the
5 Zvornik Brigade, wasn't he?
6 A. [No Interpretation].
7 Q. And he signed as duty officer on the 15th. Right? And that's his
8 writing on the 15th in the summaries?
9 A. Probably, yes.
10 Q. You know that on the 15th of July, Nenad Simic was the duty
11 officer, not Drago Nikolic, wasn't he?
12 A. He was supposed to be the duty officer. Maybe he even was for a
13 while. Maybe he was later on replaced by Nikolic. But as I've already
14 said, around 1300 hours, I left the command. The commander stayed on. I
15 went to Baljkovice. Now what happened later in the headquarters, I don't
17 Q. You saw Nenad Simic on the morning of the 15th as duty officer,
18 didn't you?
19 A. I don't remember. When I first arrived, the duty officer was
20 Dragan Jokic. That was in the morning. When I arrived, he was still
21 there, and his last entry in the notebook was made at 11.30. That was the
22 entry made by Major Jokic.
23 Q. Well, there's no writing, no handwriting and no signature, by
24 Nenad Simic for the 15th, is there?
25 A. Not in this here, no.
1 Q. Since we have --
2 A. In this log, we have what we see.
3 Q. Well, we have the 13th of July missing, and that should have had
4 Sreten Milosevic's summary and signature, shouldn't it? Because he was
5 the duty officer for the 13th, wasn't he?
6 A. That's how it should be.
7 Q. [Previous interpretation continues] ...
8 A. No, it isn't.
9 Q. And on the 14th, you should have the handwriting and signature
10 of -- summaries and signature of Dragan Jokic because he was the duty
11 officer on the 14th. Right?
12 A. Yes, certainly. He should have entered that. Why he didn't, I
13 don't know.
14 Q. But it isn't there, is it?
15 A. Obviously not.
16 Q. And the 15th should have Nenad Simic's summaries and signatures,
17 because he was the duty officer on the 15th. But there's no signature or
18 handwriting of Nenad Simic, is there?
19 A. There should have been Simic's, and if Nikolic replaced him, then
20 there should have been Nikolic's, too. As I said, I didn't remain at
21 headquarters. Perhaps Nenad Simic was attending various funerals. I
22 don't know what it says in his statement.
23 Q. And of course you know the standard procedure would be that the
24 commander would be signing a duty shift book each time this took place,
25 but that's missing, too, isn't it?
1 A. As a rule, yes, he should sign it if he's there, but what happens
2 fairly often is that the commander isn't there, that I'm not there either.
3 And that we had to do some reporting so that the duty officers replaced
4 themselves to cover each other's shifts themselves. It was wartime, you
5 know, and that's how it was.
6 Q. My question is the shift book is missing. Right?
7 A. Yes, the shift book, duty shift book of the operations duty
8 officer is missing, yes. That's right.
9 MS. SINATRA: Your Honours, I'd like to go to -- just a moment.
10 May I have one second.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Sinatra, turn off your mic, please.
12 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, for the record, we were missing the
13 15th in the IKM command headquarters forward command logbook. And just
14 for the record, I'd like to go ahead and introduce these documents. They
15 are -- they were missing, but if I could hand them to Mr. Obrenovic, we
16 can identify them by the ERN number. And I could ask about him whether he
17 recognises Major Galic's handwriting.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
19 MS. SINATRA: Thank you. Those are missing from the original.
20 Thank you.
21 Okay. Thank you. I've already taken care of the engineering
22 company logbook. I'm sorry, Your Honour. I'm a little -- I'm trying to
23 wrap this up as soon as possible.
24 Q. Okay. I want to go to the communications capabilities of the VRS.
25 The VRS and the JNA had very sophisticated intercept equipment, didn't
2 A. As I've already said, I'm a tankist, not a communications man,
3 signalsman. But I do know something about communications and signals.
4 They did have some sort of equipment. Now, if you're asking me as a
5 layman, then my view is that they didn't have any good equipment because
6 all the equipment dated back to the 1960s, and the most recent was 1980.
7 So in electrical engineering, any equipment which is 15 years old would
8 not be state of the art. It would be out of date, so that we used what we
9 had, mostly taken over from the JNA.
10 Q. Right. But by contrast to the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
11 their equipment was very rudimentary compared to the equipment that
12 belonged to the JNA and belonged to the VRS at the time. Right?
13 A. Once again, my knowledge as to what the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina
14 had was from what I read in the papers and what Vukotic told me. And
15 according to what Vukotic said, I do know that the Srebrenica division had
16 links with the other corps with an S package, which was a very modern
17 device which we did not have. But as I say, all my knowledge on the
18 subject is very superficial.
19 Q. But you do know that you had a communications centre right above
20 the Zvornik Brigade headquarters that was stationary, that could receive
21 and send signals under most any circumstances. Right?
22 A. Yes, we had a communications centre up on the hill. I've
23 forgotten what that mount or hill is called now. It was to the northwest
24 of this building, these headquarters. Above Zvornik. There was a
25 container there with some equipment, and three soldiers manned it. It was
1 a stationary communications centre for us.
2 Q. For the Trial Chamber's information, a tactical intercept versus a
3 regular intercept means that a tactical intercept is some soldier right
4 there on the front climbing on his belly dodging bullets while he's
5 carrying his radio. Isn't that true?
6 A. I don't know how this was organised in the army of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Radio reconnaissance and counter-reconnaissance and
8 intelligence. We organised it at the brigade level by having an intercept
9 centre at Gucevo, and we were able to tap in for the needs of the Zvornik
10 Brigade to the ultrasound and VV bands. And the Drina Corps had a fourth
11 radio reconnaissance device with three intercept stationed, but they were
12 under the command of the Drina Corps. That's how it was where we were.
13 Now what the opposite side, the enemy side had, I really can't say. I saw
14 from the papers given us what was in there.
15 Q. I'm sorry. And the JNA had their locations, stationary locations
16 right there, maybe not even 3 kilometres from your locations in Zvornik,
17 across the river, where they had very sophisticated equipment to gather --
18 intercept information, didn't they?
19 A. This is the first time I hear of it. Our intercept group was up
20 at Gucevo where the JNA, or rather at that time in 1995, it was the army
21 of Yugoslavia, no longer the JNA, where they had their intercept groups.
22 And as chief of staff at my level, I didn't another where the army of
23 Yugoslavia had its intercept groups. If it did some 3 kilometres away, I
24 don't know. So I don't know what equipment they had. All I know is that
25 they were under an embargo.
1 Q. Well, let's just go back to the VRS equipment. You have never
2 seen or heard any of the VRS intercepts that took place on July 13th,
3 14th, and 15th of 1995, have you?
4 A. Could you repeat that. I didn't follow your question. I never
5 saw or heard what?
6 Q. Let's go back. The only intercepts that you've seen provided by
7 the OTP were intercepts from the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Right?
8 A. No. I saw during those days, that is to say, when I returned on
9 the 19th probably, I saw some of those intercepts, intercepted by our 4th
10 radio reconnaissance platoon from Vlasenica. They would send it to us on
11 a piece of paper, like a telegram. It was encoded. And that's what I
12 saw. And later on, Captain Vukotic would show me excerpts from some of
13 those intercepts. Not too often. The intercepts taped by the radio
14 reconnaissance platoon of the 4th Corps because there was one from the
15 Eastern Bosnian Corps, and they would send us something from time to time.
16 So that's what I saw. But our men at Gucevo wouldn't write it down that
17 often. They would ring us up and give us the information by phone.
18 Q. Thank you for that information because we have been trying to
19 request and get hold of the VRS intercept information from that period of
20 time, and now it's nice to know that it exists. Thank you very much.
21 Now, on the night of the 13th and 14th, you did state that the
22 airwaves were very crowded, and it was very difficult to receive any
23 communication that evening. Right? Especially on the 14th.
24 A. If I said anything about that, then that referred to the radio
25 devices that I had, the RUP 12, R-U-P 12. And there were about ten of us
1 up at that ambush there, the different commanders, komandir. And some of
2 them were higher officers, but many of them were not trained. So yes, you
3 could say you're right because it was rather crowded, the airwaves.
4 Q. And I believe you said on page 36 of your debriefing that "it can
5 take -- such a situation can occur in the corps, most important officers
6 of the corps come, and even more likely someone of the main staff,
7 officers of the main staff, to come to a unit and to issue an order
8 without any kind of explanation, especially if he was accompanied by
9 someone from the corps command. The unit should report to the commander
10 when they find the time, but in principle, it doesn't have to ask for the
11 person who came from the superior command. It's not obliged to give any
12 explanation for data protection. The main staff officer can prevent any
13 communications with the brigade, the commanders, and/or the duty officer."
14 Is that right?
15 A. Right.
16 Q. I want to ask you about the procedure for encrypted messages. An
17 encrypted message is one that goes by what we know as telegraph, isn't it?
18 A. Once again, I'm not a communications man. But by the way, let me
19 tell you this: This is a device which was called a teleprinter device
20 encoded. Perhaps it was the M63. It was a code teleprinter device. I'm
21 not sure what the numbers were. It is an electromechanical device which
22 does the encoding via the perforated paper tapes or bands. And that was
23 connected to the radio relay device, north 800. And it used the same
24 bands that the Muslims intercepted, that they used to intercept all our
25 conversations. However, it didn't convey the open text, but like a
1 telegraph, roughly. I'm not sure that my explanations are that precise.
2 But yes, it sent outline radio signals, and the same device would scramble
3 this and turn it back to the original text. That was, if I understand it
4 correctly, what the encoding was like using the teleprinter station up
5 there on the third floor of this building. There were three men there who
6 were especially trained for the job, and that's what they did.
7 Q. So one of those little Motorolas that you communicated with
8 couldn't accept encrypted messages, could it?
9 A. No.
10 Q. And the duty officer didn't have any way to send encrypted
11 messages from his office, did he? Only from upstairs.
12 A. Yes. Everything that was sent out coded had to be written down.
13 So you would have to write using your own hand or computer or typewriter.
14 You could -- you had to have written it down, and then they would encode
15 it and send it on further. It couldn't encode speech the way we're
16 talking now. We didn't have a device that could do that anyway at the
18 Q. Let me ask you, if you remember: The 2nd Battalion of the
19 Zvornik Brigade, they didn't have any way of receiving encrypted messages,
20 did they?
21 A. I don't think so. Everything that other people did and that I did
22 at Snagovo is that we used documents for secret commanding of troops. I
23 think that's what it was referred to. And it was a table of signals and
24 an encoded card. Briefly speaking we would prepare reserve frequencies,
25 and then keep moving, shifting frequencies. Or we would state that
1 certain parts on the map would not be Snagovo, but we would be referred to
2 as 61, for example, or something similar.
3 There was another document that was called the conversation book,
4 and this would record the most frequent sentences which would have
5 numbers, sentences given the equivalent of numbers. This was fairly
6 complicated. And when combat started, nobody adhered to any of these
7 things much. And there were few well-trained people. That's why there
8 were so many intercepted conversations, in fact. But otherwise, my answer
9 to your question, once again, the 2nd Battalion did not have any special
10 device. It didn't have an encryption teleprinter station. Only the
11 brigade headquarters had that kind of machinery.
12 Q. Thank you. And you already said that Zvornik is in a valley, and
13 so you had to have your communication system put up on the mountain so
14 that you could have communications with the rest of the Drina Corps. Is
15 that right?
16 A. Not only with the Drina Corps, but with anybody else, with our
17 battalions, too. That would go via that radio communication system as
19 Q. And there was a communication plan that was made each week that
20 would give call names or signals or how you were going to communicate.
21 And it was changed each week by Miroslav Petrovic. Is that true?
22 A. I think this was every ten days, a month was divided into three
23 parts, from 1 to 10, et cetera. And with Petrovic, yes, we did make
24 plans, communication plans at the brigade with the subordinate units. But
25 with the brigade commander and the corps, we received a communications
1 plan from the communications man in the Drina Corps.
2 Q. So the call names and everything were devised by the Drina Corps
3 communications person that gives you a plan for a ten-day period?
4 A. Yes, for communications between the corps command and brigade
5 command. So they devise this concept of Zlatar, Palma, Badem, and all the
6 other code names, call signs that we mentioned. But Miroslav, or rather
7 our communications man devised a communication plan for the brigade
8 command up to the battalions, all for a given assignment such as my own at
10 Q. Now, the brigade command, Zvornik Brigade, under exceptional,
11 extraordinary circumstances like occurred on the 13th and 14th, those call
12 names are subject to change depending on the circumstances and what
13 information reconnaissance has found out has leaked. Is that right? That
14 wasn't very clear, but I hope you understand it.
15 A. The call names or signs were given to us with the plan, and we
16 would shift frequencies more often.
17 Q. Those call names having to do with the Drina Corps, locally within
18 the Zvornik Brigade, within a company or a platoon, if there were leaks or
19 problems that occurred, those call names could change within your small
20 zone of communication, couldn't it?
21 A. May I just explain. We had a communications plan, and an
22 organisations plan from the corps command to the brigade command. So the
23 Drina Corps, the, Zvornik, Bratunac, Sejkovici, Rogisa and all other
24 brigades. So that was one system of communication. Independently of that
25 the other communication system was between the headquarters of the Zvornik
1 Brigade and each of its battalions, 11 battalions and the 4 others. So
2 each battalion had a communications line and had another plan going
3 towards its companies on different frequencies. Now, if something were to
4 leak out, then the name would be changed, each of these people at their
5 own level would change the names. In our brigade, I remember well the
6 names, call names, were changed every ten days. I might be wrong, but I
7 think it was every ten days, yes.
8 Q. In combat, if reconnaissance found out there was a leak, you could
9 change it, depending on the circumstances of the emergency. Right?
10 A. Well, during combat, what we were able to do was to move to a
11 different frequency. Perhaps during a lull, a new communications plan
12 would be devised. Otherwise, there would be confusion. If someone
13 changed, others didn't. We would usually move to a different channel.
14 And during a lull in the fighting when we could get together, we would
15 reorganise and change. But yes, such situations did occur.
16 Q. And very rarely were complete conversations intercepted by the
17 BiH army because of this constant changing frequency. Right?
18 A. Well, from this series of intercepted conversations, we can see
19 that they were quite successful in what they were doing. Sometimes they
20 recorded part of a conversation; at other times, a whole one, depending on
21 the situation. But obviously, at higher levels, they recorded and taped
22 everything. At lower levels, they intercepted only part of the
24 Q. A tactical intercept would be less likely to be complete than an
25 intercept from a communications system -- I mean communications centre.
2 A. Yes, you're right.
3 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, I'm going to have about 45 more minutes
4 of questioning that's going into a new subject. If I could just ask for
5 the Court's indulgence to give me a few moments in the morning, I would be
6 able to wrap this up.
7 JUDGE LIU: How about 30 minutes tomorrow morning?
8 MS. SINATRA: I will go home and try to work on direct questions,
9 Your Honour.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes. So I give you 30 minutes tomorrow morning
11 because tomorrow, we will have the redirect by the Prosecution, the
12 Judges' questions. And after that, the parties are allowed to ask some
13 questions arising from Judges' questions. Then we'll have the admission
14 of the evidence.
15 And by the way, I asked the parties to submit me with a new list
16 of the documents, because almost every day I got an updated list. At this
17 moment, I am myself confused with those lists. So I want the parties to
18 submit a list of the documents they are going to tender through this
20 So having said that, we are adjourned until tomorrow morning, at
22 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
24 4.27 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday, the
25 10th day of October, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.