1 Thursday, 23 October 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. 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. Good morning, everybody. Before we start,
9 are there any matters that the parties would like to bring to the
10 attention of this Bench?
11 Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: I have one matter, Your Honour. And it's related
13 to the witness that we have an the stand at this point. Yesterday --
14 last -- yesterday evening, as I was going over and over the statement to
15 prepare and reprepare for the case, I realised that when he was -- when
16 the gentleman was questioned back on 30th June, 2002, they asked him --
17 they confronted him by -- that is, the OTP investigator, indicating that
18 there was a person who would -- who had placed him at the Kravica
19 warehouse during the period when the atrocities occurred, and it's on page
20 41, lines 6 through 9, of his statement. And -- in fact, I'll read it for
21 the record.
22 It says: "Apart from the footage and the photographic evidence
23 that we have, we also have a person," a person, I underscore that, "who
24 says you were at the warehouse during the execution phase. Can you
25 comment on that." And Mr. Gajic says "I was not there."
1 Later on as the interviews are about to end and I'm reading from
2 page 44 and line 19 and onwards: "And I must tell you, the version that
3 you have given us today does not completely match the version that we have
4 already from other people," I underscore that, other people meaning
5 plural, "and other information that we have. So before we take the
6 interview back with us, are you sure there is nothing else that you've
7 missed out that you haven't told us, because now is the time to tell us."
8 Mr. Gajic says: "That's how it was. That's the essence."
9 Based on that, it occurred to me that we need to -- I do not
10 recollect coming across anyone mentioning Mr. Gajic's name. I have a
11 Zylab programme, which has a search engine, and we have all the
12 information from the OTP in there. We spent the better part of the night
13 looking through that system trying to find any mentioning by of any
14 witness. Mr. Gajic, during the interview, requested the name of the
15 person and of course they didn't provide that information because it's a
16 confidential informant, a protected witness. Needless to say, we did not
17 come across any information of anyone or a person or people or other
18 evidence that would suggest that Mr. Gajic was there. And so perhaps it
19 was provided to us by the Prosecution and we don't have it or we haven't
20 been able to locate it. If that is the case, I would like to know what it
21 is, who is the person or persons and what other evidence they have.
22 If they do not have that information, I would object to any line
23 of questioning. Now, with [redacted], a similar question
24 was posed by the Prosecution and said, "What if I were to tell you that
25 there is a witness or people that place you at the Branjevo farm killing
1 on the 16th of July, 1995." I did not object to that question because
2 there was a good-faith basis for that question. I have that question and
3 I do concur and I agree with their theory that that gentleman was most
4 likely there during the executions, which is also referred to by one of
5 their other witnesses, Mr. Erdemovic. So that's why I did not object.
6 Here, however, unless there is a good-faith basis for that, I would object
7 to any line of questioning.
8 If there is a good-faith basis, I would ask that that be made on
9 the record at this point. If they do have information, if they could
10 provide it to us at this point. I apologise for bringing it up so
11 late, but we spent a better part of the night looking for it and we didn't
12 find it. I should also just add that when he was interviewed, Mr. Gajic
13 indicated that he was with two other individuals, a Goran Djuric and a
14 Dragan Bozic and in fact, it's also -- he repeated that in the proofing
15 notes. We also did a computerised search for those names and we did not
16 come across anything in our disclosure material that would give us the
17 impression that they were -- that they were interviewed by the OTP. And
18 Mr. Gajic indicated that when he went down to Kravica on that particular
19 day, I believe it was the 13th, although he gets -- the dates may be
20 wrong, he says the 14th. He says he was there for half an hour with these
21 two gentlemen, so one would expect that if he was a suspect when he was
22 interviewed, they would double-check it. We don't have that information.
23 So I don't know where they got this information, but I would ask that a
24 good-faith basis be made at this time. Thank you.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I believe that you have to
1 understand that the testimony of a live witness sometimes has some
2 discrepancies with any statements or interviews conducted before. We
3 believe that we could see how this witness will answer the questions posed
4 by the Prosecutor.
5 Are there any response from the Prosecution?
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, Mr. Karnavas said a lot. I don't
7 fully understand everything he was saying, but I do think that much of
8 this we can work out privately. A lot of it sounded like discovery
9 issues, things like that. I can say that I believe the people that the
10 questioner was referring to were the victims of the Kravica warehouse that
11 said there was a lot of killing going on. And as you'll hear, this
12 witness said he didn't see any of that. I think that's pretty clear. And
13 on the other matter, I will speak to Mr. Karnavas about. We'll research
14 the issues and see what the situation is.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think at this stage we'll allow the
16 Prosecution to put any questions concerning of the incident in that
17 warehouse. But at the same time, the Defence counsel has the full right
18 to cross-examine this witness thoroughly. Bear in mind that there are
19 always some discrepancies between the live testimony and the previous
20 statement and the conversations. That's why we only admitted the live
21 testimony into the evidence, other than any previous statement and
22 conversations unless there is extraordinary circumstances.
23 Mr. Karnavas, could we proceed on this line?
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour, and I agree with you totally that
25 there are always discrepancies. I just want to be abundantly clear,
1 because maybe I wasn't. They suggested, the OTP, Mr. Bursik in fact, said
2 that there was a person that places him. Now, I understand there are
3 witnesses that say they saw Serb soldiers, but if they're going to point
4 the finger at this person who is a member of the Bratunac Brigade, there
5 should at least be a good-faith basis, otherwise it's a fishing
6 expedition. And of course, I understand we're dealing with professional
7 Judges, and there will be no weight to the question being posed unless
8 there is a good-faith basis to substantiate that.
9 Nonetheless, I'm just bringing it to the Court's attention,
10 because I did a search and I don't have anything and I was wondering if
11 they have and if so I missed it and I needed to know and I'm just doing my
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe it all depends on how the witness will
14 answer the question posed by the Prosecution during the following
15 proceedings. Maybe this question is touched upon, maybe it is not. I
16 hope that during the breaks the parties could meet together and solve
17 these things out, other than we have a long debate in this courtroom.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for your cooperation.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE LIU: Could we have the witness, please.
22 [The witness entered court]
23 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, witness.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Morning.
25 JUDGE LIU: Did you have a good rest last night?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Quite a good rest, yes, thank you.
2 JUDGE LIU: So you're ready to continue?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am.
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
5 Ms. Davis.
6 MS. DAVIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 WITNESS: NIKOLA GAJIC [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Examined by Ms. Davis: [Continued]
10 Q. Mr. Gajic, you told us when we left off yesterday you had told us
11 that your section of the line of defence had moved south towards the
12 village of Cizmici. Let me ask you, were you aware when you were with
13 your platoon reinforcing the line of defence that Srebrenica had fallen?
14 A. Well, we didn't know for certain, but we did assume that
15 Srebrenica had fallen. We heard that.
16 Q. And when did you learn for certain that Srebrenica had fallen?
17 A. I can't remember exactly, but as soon as the UN checkpoint -- as
18 the UN withdrew from the checkpoint, the assumption was that Srebrenica
19 had fallen.
20 Q. Did there come a time when you confirmed with anyone that
21 Srebrenica had, in fact, fallen?
22 A. No, nothing specific.
23 MS. DAVIS: I would like to ask the usher to place P162, the map
24 we were looking at yesterday, on the ELMO again.
25 Q. And if you wouldn't mind, Mr. Gajic, if you could point out on the
1 map the location of your battalion command.
2 A. It was about here.
3 Q. Do you recall marking the map with the location of the Italian
4 command in our offices on Monday?
5 A. Yes, I remember that.
6 Q. And can you tell the Judges what letter you assigned the location
7 of the battalion command.
8 A. The letter B.
9 Q. How far is that command headquarters from the
10 Konjevic Polje/Bratunac road?
11 A. Perhaps between 500 metres and 1 kilometre.
12 Q. In these days after the fall of Srebrenica, when was the first
13 time that you returned to Magasici, to the battalion command.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if we could have -- if the question
15 could be rephrased, returned, returned from where?
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, if you may.
17 MS. DAVIS:
18 Q. Mr. Gajic, you've told us that you were on the line of defence in
19 the area of Cizmici in the days following the fall of Srebrenica. From
20 that time, when was the first time that you then returned to the battalion
21 command at Magasici?
22 A. Perhaps a day or two later, after we had moved.
23 Q. And tell me what happened after you arrived at the battalion
25 A. Well, the people there had already found out that Srebrenica had
1 fallen and we heard that there were many captured people.
2 Q. What did you hear about the captured people?
3 A. We heard that they had been put up in Kravica.
4 Q. Did you hear where in Kravica that they had been put in up?
5 A. The warehouse, the warehouse belonging to an agricultural
7 Q. When you said there were many captured people, to whom are you
9 A. Muslims.
10 Q. Who did you see when you were at the battalion command?
11 A. There were soldiers there, our soldiers. We who were there
12 throughout this period.
13 Q. When you say "our soldiers," were there soldiers from other units
14 within the Kravica Battalion?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Were there members of your platoon there at the battalion command?
17 A. Yes, some. We were together.
18 Q. And were there officers there at the battalion command?
19 A. No one in particular. All the people who had been there before.
20 Q. And who were they?
21 A. Well, I can't say exactly, but I would assume the battalion
22 commander Vidovic, his deputies, those people.
23 Q. When you -- how long did you stay at the command?
24 A. I don't know exactly. Not long, though.
25 Q. Can you give me an estimate? Was it a matter of hours?
1 A. Perhaps, yes. An hour or two.
2 Q. And when you left the command, where did you go?
3 A. To Kravica, Kravica.
4 Q. Why did you go to Kravica?
5 A. Out of sheer curiosity, because we heard what had happened and we
6 just walked over there to see if there was anyone there that we knew.
7 Q. Did you go alone?
8 A. I went with two other colleagues of mine.
9 Q. Who went with you?
10 A. The battalion driver and another man, another soldier, a friend.
11 Q. If you could refer again to P162, the map next to you, and
12 indicate the location of Kravica and the letter with which you marked
13 Kravica when you were in my offices on Monday.
14 A. Kravica is where the letter D stands.
15 Q. And approximately how far from the command battalion -- battalion
16 command at Magasici is Kravica?
17 A. 5 or 6 kilometres.
18 Q. Do you recall what time you arrived in the village of Kravica?
19 A. I don't know exactly, but it was in the afternoon. Perhaps at
20 3.00 or 4.00 in the afternoon.
21 Q. And how did you get there?
22 A. By car. We drove there.
23 Q. What route did you take?
24 A. We took the Bratunac/Konjevic Polje road.
25 Q. What did you see along the Bratunac/Konjevic Polje road as you
1 were driving to Kravica?
2 A. Nothing special.
3 Q. Were there soldiers along the road?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Were there vehicles along the road?
6 A. No. We may have driven past someone, but aside from that there
7 was nothing.
8 Q. Were there any groups of Muslim prisoners that you saw along the
10 A. No. We didn't see anyone.
11 Q. When you arrived in Kravica, what did you find?
12 A. We saw groups of Muslims at the warehouse, the warehouse belonging
13 to the agricultural company.
14 Q. Were they -- when you say "groups of Muslims," were there more
15 than one group?
16 A. They were all there in the same place, at least those that I saw.
17 Q. Who else was in the area there in Kravica, near the warehouse?
18 A. I'm afraid I don't quite understand. Who do you mean?
19 Q. Was there anybody at Kravica, other than a group of Muslims?
20 A. Well, our soldiers were there.
21 Q. How many soldiers did you see there?
22 A. I don't know exactly. It was a small group.
23 Q. And how were these soldiers dressed?
24 A. Nothing special. They wore whatever they had to wear. Some had
25 regular olive-drab, some had regular camouflage uniform.
1 Q. Were there any soldiers with headgear, headwear?
2 A. I don't remember, but I don't think I noticed any wearing any
4 Q. Did you recognise the soldiers?
5 A. No, I didn't.
6 Q. Were the soldiers armed?
7 A. Mostly. Everyone was armed back then.
8 Q. What sorts of weapons did you notice on the soldiers?
9 A. Mostly automatic rifles.
10 Q. Did you talk to the soldiers or ask them what was going on there?
11 A. No, I didn't.
12 Q. You mentioned that there were "our soldiers there," when you said
13 "our soldiers," what did you mean by that?
14 A. Serbian soldiers, the soldiers of Republika Srpska.
15 Q. And roughly how many soldiers did you see at Kravica?
16 A. Perhaps a rather small platoon or thereabouts.
17 Q. How many would that be in a platoon?
18 A. I'm not sure, but maybe between 15 and 20 men, but I'm not sure.
19 Q. I'd like to refer you now to an exhibit that has previously been
20 admitted as P10.1. I am going to ask the usher to put it on the ELMO and
21 it will also appear on the monitors.
22 Mr. Gajic, do you recognise what's depicted in this photograph?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. And what is it?
25 A. That's the agricultural organisation.
1 Q. Is this the warehouse to which you've been referring?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And can you point -- because there's a number of buildings on the
4 photograph, can you point to the building that you recognise as the
5 warehouse using the pointer there.
6 A. This one here.
7 Q. Now, when you arrived at the warehouse, from which direction were
8 you coming in the car?
9 A. From the direction of Bratunac.
10 Q. And you say that you saw a group of Muslims. Can you, using the
11 pen, mark with a number 1 where you saw the group of Muslims.
12 A. [Marks]
13 Q. And how many Muslims were in this group of Muslims that you saw?
14 A. I'm not sure. I don't know the exact number. This part here -- I
15 don't know exactly how many.
16 Q. When you say "this part here," what do you mean by that?
17 A. They were in this part here, halfway up to this wall, but I don't
18 know exactly how many there were.
19 Q. You -- I asked you to mark with a 1 where you saw the Muslim men.
20 Is that the location where you were standing when you saw them or where
21 the Muslims were?
22 A. This is an open area here, so I was somewhere about here. I don't
23 know whether it was 1 metre in front or behind, but I was in this part and
24 I could see from there.
25 Q. And you indicated the left side of the building was where the
1 Muslim men were positioned. Is that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Were they sitting or standing?
4 A. They were sitting.
5 Q. And was the area full that you've indicated on the left-hand side
6 of the warehouse?
7 A. I think that it wasn't.
8 Q. Would you approximate, were there more than 100 men there?
9 A. I don't know exactly. I don't know the size of that area so that
10 I could work it out, but let's say there were about 100.
11 Q. How were the Muslims dressed?
12 A. It depends. Some were wearing civilian clothes, some in uniforms,
13 and so on.
14 Q. And the men that you saw in the warehouse, were they alive?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Are you aware that a number of prisoners were killed at Kravica
17 warehouse on the 13th of July?
18 A. I heard that.
19 Q. And what did you hear about that?
20 A. I heard that some people were killed there.
21 Q. From whom did you hear about this?
22 A. Mostly from the soldiers. Stories were going around, so that's
23 how I heard of it.
24 Q. Do you recall when you heard about the killings at Kravica
1 A. Perhaps a day afterwards or in the evening, something like that,
2 when I returned to Magasici again.
3 Q. Now, while you were at Kravica, were there any vehicles in the
5 A. In this part where I was, there weren't any. But before the
6 warehouse, I could see that there were some on the road; I saw that on my
7 way back.
8 Q. How far from the warehouse on the road were the vehicles?
9 A. About 500 metres, perhaps, a kilometre, something like that.
10 Q. Were they parked or were they moving?
11 A. Some were parked and some were just driving along slowly.
12 Q. What types of vehicles were they?
13 A. Mostly trucks and buses.
14 Q. And did you notice whether there were people in the vehicles,
15 aside from the driver?
16 A. I noticed, yes. There were people.
17 Q. Do you know who was in the vehicles?
18 A. I don't know personally, but I can assume.
19 Q. What do you assume?
20 A. I assume that they were Muslims.
21 Q. Turning back to the exhibit, the paragraph that's on the ELMO, you
22 mentioned that you saw some soldiers while you were at Kravica, where were
23 the soldiers that you saw?
24 A. Mostly along the road and in this area here.
25 Q. Can you please mark with a number 2 where you saw the soldiers.
1 A. I think it's right here.
2 Q. During the period that you were at Kravica, did you see any
3 photographers or film crews there?
4 A. I did notice cameramen.
5 Q. And where did you see the cameramen?
6 A. On the Konjevic Polje/Bratunac road in front of the warehouse.
7 Q. When you were interviewed by the OTP in June 2003, were you under
8 the impression that you had been photographed at Kravica?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. How long were you at the warehouse in Kravica on that day?
11 A. About 5, 6 minutes.
12 Q. Were any additional prisoners brought to the warehouse while you
13 were there?
14 A. I didn't notice anything during the time that I was there.
15 Q. Were any prisoners shot while you were there?
16 A. No.
17 Q. When you left the warehouse, where did you go?
18 A. To Magasici.
19 Q. When you say --
20 A. To the command.
21 Q. And what route did you take?
22 A. The same road, just going in the direction of Bratunac. So
23 Bratunac, Konjevic Polje, and then we went back.
24 Q. When you arrived back at the command, did you talk to anyone there
25 about what you saw -- had seen at Kravica, I should say?
1 A. Well, mostly to the soldiers. Of course, we soldiers talked
2 amongst ourselves.
3 Q. Did you speak to your commander about what you had seen?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Was he there when you arrived at the battalion command?
6 A. I don't remember. I don't know. We didn't really have any
7 special contacts, not even before that.
8 Q. And how long did you stay at the command?
9 A. I don't remember exactly. Perhaps I went back to the front lines
10 that same evening or the next morning.
11 Q. And how long were you on the front lines after that?
12 A. Perhaps for another two or three days.
13 Q. And then what happened?
14 A. Mostly nothing.
15 Q. What do you mean "mostly nothing"?
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I think it's self explanatory. Mostly
17 nothing means mostly nothing.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, we cannot be assisted by this question and
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour. Very well.
21 JUDGE LIU: Maybe, Ms. Davis, you could be more specific. What
22 happened is very broad.
23 MS. DAVIS: Very well, Your Honour.
24 Q. When you returned to the front lines, was there any combat
25 activity that your platoon was involved in?
1 A. No, no.
2 Q. Did you capture any prisoners?
3 A. No, we didn't, not anybody.
4 Q. What were your duties while you were on the defence line after you
5 returned from the battalion command?
6 A. Nothing in particular. We formed the line in the event of any
7 attacks, but specifically nothing happened. We were just fooling around,
8 sleeping, and so on.
9 Q. And how many -- for how many days did you remain there on the
10 front lines?
11 A. I said that already, perhaps for another two or three days.
12 Q. And then where did you go after that?
13 A. Back to Magasici again and then after that to Bratunac.
14 Q. And how long were you in Bratunac?
15 A. I don't know exactly, but perhaps for two or three days.
16 Q. Were these days off that you had?
17 A. Yeah, mostly I was off.
18 Q. Did you ever return to the front lines after your days off?
19 A. No, I did not, no.
20 Q. Where did you go?
21 A. To Serbia.
22 Q. Did you have permission to go to Serbia?
23 A. I didn't ask anyone for permission.
24 Q. And how long did you stay in Serbia?
25 A. About a month.
1 Q. Did you ever return to your platoon?
2 A. No.
3 MS. DAVIS: I have no further questions.
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
5 Any cross-examination, Mr. Karnavas?
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour.
7 Cross-examined by Mr. Karnavas:
8 Q. Good morning, sir.
9 A. Good morning.
10 Q. I understand that you were with the Bratunac Brigade. Is that
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. The 1st Battalion?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. The intervention unit?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And you had -- you're from that area, in fact, the Kravica area,
18 that's where you were born and raised?
19 A. That's right.
20 Q. And of course because of the war situation, you were expected to
21 serve in that particular area. Is that correct?
22 A. Yes, that's correct.
23 Q. And as I understand it from 1992 -- well, before 1992 you had
24 already served, you had done your national service with the JNA. Is that
1 A. That's right.
2 Q. And then when the war came, you began your service sometime around
3 1992 all the way until after the fall of Srebrenica?
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. And during that entire time that you were serving with the
6 Bratunac Brigade, you were located more or less in the same area?
7 A. That's right.
8 Q. And that was a defensive line?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And of course part of the reason for that being a defensive line
11 was because on the other side of the line there were Muslim soldiers
12 primarily in the Srebrenica area. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 Q. And of course, with the fall of Srebrenica there was no need for
15 you, I suspect, for you to be there any longer?
16 A. That's right.
17 Q. And I would suspect that might be the reason why after you -- the
18 fall of Srebrenica and after going to Serbia, you didn't return to your
19 battalion. Is that correct?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. All right. Now, on the -- before we get to the events, I want to
22 talk to you a little bit about your interview. Do you recall you were
23 interviewed back on June 30th, 2002. Is that correct?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. And during that period you were asked certain questions about the
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And you were asked particular questions with respect to you being
4 in Kravica sometime on the 13th or the 14th of July. Is that correct?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. And when you were asked those questions, you gave the best answers
7 or the answers that you thought were truthful and honest. Is that
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. For instance, you were asked with whom you had gone there. And
11 you were able to remember one name, I believe that was Goran Djuric,
13 A. Yes. That's correct.
14 Q. But you also indicated that you had -- that there was another man
15 present with you, but you did not recall his name. Is that correct?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. But you had indicated that you knew that while you were there you
18 had been filmed, videotaped?
19 A. That's right.
20 Q. And in fact, you requested to see the footage of the video so you
21 could assist the investigator of the OTP in order to give the name of the
22 individual with whom you were?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And initially, Investigator Bursik of the Office of the
25 Prosecution indicated to your request, and I quote on page 18 of your
1 statement --
2 MR. KARNAVAS: And for the record it's D65/1.
3 Q. And in your page it would be page 21, lines 1 to 23. You state:
4 "One was Goran Djuric. He was the driver in the battalion. I don't
5 remember the name of the second person. I'm not sure who that was. If
6 you have any footage to show me, then I would probably remember the person
7 or at least show you who that was."
8 And Mr. Bursik answered: "I've got some footage, but we'll get to
9 that later if you can continue with the story."
10 Do you recall Mr. Bursik telling you that he had the footage and
11 that you and he would get to it later on?
12 A. Yes, I recall.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: There's an objection, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Davis.
15 MS. DAVIS: Sorry. I believe Mr. Karnavas said that
16 Mr. Bursik -- read correctly from the transcript that Mr. Bursik said he
17 had "some" footage and in Mr. Karnavas's question he suggests that he told
18 him he had "the" footage. I just want to be clear that Mr. Bursik did
19 indicate only that he had "some" footage of Kravica warehouse.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, thank you.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: For the record let me read it again because it's a
22 critical point and thank my colleague for pointing that out.
23 Q. Getting back to page 18, stay with me, sir, Mr. Bursik says:
24 "I've got some footage but we'll get to that later."
25 Do you recall Mr. Bursik saying that, "we will get to that later"?
1 A. Yes, I recall that.
2 Q. I gather that when he told you he would get to the footage later
3 with you, you expected that he would show you some footage. Right?
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. Right. Now, let's go to page 42. And in your page it would be
6 page 50. And I'll read a little bit. And I will start from line 20 on
7 page 42 at the bottom, you indicate, somewhere on page 50, sir, you
8 indicate to a question: "I don't know because I think the photograph of
9 the shots were taken from the vehicle." You're being asked about a person
10 taking the video.
11 Mr. Bursik, that is on page 43, line 1: "Okay. Did this vehicle
12 pass or did it stop and so that people got out" -- line 16, sir.
13 Your answer: "I think that the vehicle just passed by."
14 Mr. Bursik: "Okay. I'm going to give you the opportunity now to
15 clarify anything that we have said in this interview which you feel that
16 you have not properly been able to express yourself."
17 You state: "If you have that footage or a photograph or whatever
18 of the place, because I would like to see it as I am not sure who the
19 third person was."
20 Mr. Bursik of the Office of the Prosecution: "We are not going to
21 show you that footage now because the other that -- there's two other
22 teams with the interviews so they have all the footage with them at the
24 Your answer: "Nema problema, not a problem."
25 Then Mr. Bursik: "Also, it's not really going to serve too much
1 purpose to show you the same footage, I mean, you were there already."
2 You respond: "The reason I'm asking that is I'm not sure about
3 the people that were with me. I'm sure about Djuric, but I'm not sure
4 about the third one and that's why I'm not sure."
5 And Mr. Bursik says: "Okay."
6 Do you recall that exchange, sir?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. Did you get the impression after that that there was no
9 inclination on the part of the Office of the Prosecution or this
10 particular investigator to ever show you the footage so that you could
11 identify the person you were with just in case they may wish to contact
12 them to verify what you had told them?
13 A. Specifically just that investigator, so ...
14 Q. Now, during that investigation, sir, is it not a fact that they
15 had indicated to you that there was a person who had seen you there during
16 the time when executions were taking place?
17 MS. DAVIS: Objection.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's what I was told.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
20 MS. DAVIS: I'm not sure that's what it states.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm just doing the general. I'm going to get to
22 the specific.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Davis.
24 MS. DAVIS: I believe it's just a question of wording. He
25 indicated someone had seem him there during the executions. I think
1 someone placed him there but --
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Davis. Let's come to that specific
3 paragraph first.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Page 41 of the transcript, I must apologise, sir, I don't have the
6 number. If I can just read it and then we'll try to find the page in
7 Srpski. "Apart from the footage and the photographic evidence that we
8 have, we have a person who says you were at the warehouse during the
9 execution phase. Can you comment on that?" It's on page 48, sir, line
10 14. That's where I'm reading, and I apologise for not being more
11 prepared, Your Honours.
12 "Apart from the footage and the photographic evidence that we
13 have, we also have a person who says that you were at the warehouse during
14 the execution phase. Can you comment on that?"
15 And your answer was: "I was not there."
16 Mr. Bursik: "Why would someone falsely implicate you?"
17 Your answer: "I would like to see that person. If that person
18 could confirm that in front of me because I was not there."
19 Mr. Bursik: "Unfortunately he's a protected witness. I just
20 wanted to let you know that is why we are treating you as a suspect
22 And your answer, or your response: "I was not there. I did not
23 fire a single shot in that area."
24 Do you recall that exchange, sir?
25 A. I recall that.
1 Q. They never gave you the name of the person, did they?
2 A. No.
3 Q. They never gave you any other information that would at least give
4 some confirmation that you were there?
5 A. No.
6 Q. They just accused you?
7 A. That's right.
8 Q. Now, I want to talk a little bit about you being there. First,
9 serving in the 1st Battalion, there were several commanders that were
10 above you. Is that correct?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. The commander of the 1st Battalion was Mr. Ostojic?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And then there was a deputy commander, I believe his name was
15 Vasic, Lazo Vasic, I might get the pronunciation wrong.
16 A. That's right, Vasic.
17 Q. Then I believe in your platoon there was a platoon commander by
18 the name of, I'll skip his first name, Djukanovic is his last name.
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. And I take it Mr. Djukanovic was your immediate commander, since
22 you were in that platoon, he was your immediate commander. Right?
23 A. That's right.
24 Q. Now, on the 13th of July, you had heard that there was some people
25 in the warehouse in the area in which you had grown up in. Is that
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. And would it be fair to say that one of the reasons you and your
4 friends went there was because you were curious to see who was there and
5 whether you would recognise anyone?
6 A. Out of sheer curiosity.
7 Q. You had been on the line for quite a long time. The imminent
8 threat was no longer there, and out of curiosity you decided to take a
9 drive down there. Right?
10 A. That's a fair assessment, yes.
11 Q. As I understand it, when you were interviewed by the Office of the
12 Prosecution, you informed them that you were there 15 to 20 minutes
13 sometime between the hours of 3.00 or 4.00, although you're not sure?
14 A. Maybe that's the total amount of time that I was there, but I
15 spent less time near the warehouse. But, yes, that all was happening at
16 about 3.00 or 4.00 in the afternoon.
17 Q. So you took a look, you saw what was happening, you didn't see
18 anyone that you recognised, and then you left?
19 A. Precisely.
20 Q. And of course before going there, before going there, you did not
21 ask permission to leave the area in which you were stationed. Right?
22 A. No, no. I didn't ask any kind of permission. That's true.
23 Q. And I take it nobody or your platoon commander did not notice your
24 absence during the period that it took for you to drive there, take a
25 look, and drive back. Is that correct?
1 A. Even if he'd noticed, it wouldn't have meant anything. It was
2 just time off that we had.
3 Q. All right. But fair to say, it's fair to say that you went there
4 without permission? You were on your own for that period of time?
5 A. That's a fair statement.
6 Q. All right. And we certainly can't -- we certainly can say that
7 you were not ordered to go there. That we can say for certain, right?
8 A. Yes, that's certain.
9 Q. And you were not sent there on some reconnaissance mission to find
10 out what was happening?
11 A. No, no, by no means. It was just for curiosity.
12 Q. Okay. Now, let's move back a little bit. We talked about you
13 being on this line from 1992 to 1995, that line of defence. Sir, during
14 the attack on Srebrenica, did you and your platoon advance at all between,
15 say, the 6th and the 10th -- 11th of July. Did your line advance toward
16 Srebrenica to try to capture Srebrenica?
17 A. No.
18 Q. And in fact, at some time, either during the late evening of the
19 10th, sometime in the 11th, you and members of your platoon, most likely
20 members of your battalion, noticed a large movement of Muslims leaving the
21 Srebrenica area. Is that correct?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. And they were heading towards Zvornik?
24 A. In the general direction, yes.
25 Q. In the general direction. And we could safely say that from
1 Zvornik they would probably be heading towards Tuzla, because that was the
2 route that one would take in that area. Is that correct?
3 A. I assume so. Tuzla was their final destination, but I don't know,
4 but it was their territory.
5 Q. And from where you were, they were approximately 2 or 3 kilometres
7 A. Yes, you could say that.
8 Q. And you could see this large group of people passing through?
9 A. Yes. Yes, on accountant of the lay of the land as I say.
10 Q. And the lay of the land is more like no man's land; in other
11 words, nobody's sitting there guarding that line. It's in between lines,
12 is it not?
13 A. Yes, that's correct. No one was covering that area, none of our
15 Q. All right. But at some point, your commander, Mr. Ostojic asked
16 you to strengthen the line, is that correct, strengthen the line where you
17 were situated?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. And the reason for that was, and correct me if I'm wrong, in the
20 eventuality that that large group of Muslims came towards your location.
21 Is that correct?
22 A. That's correct. That's the reason.
23 Q. And none came?
24 A. No.
25 Q. And you didn't advance forward?
1 A. No, we didn't.
2 Q. You weren't asked, say, like the allied forces or the American
3 soldiers in Afghanistan or Iraq to hunt down or chase and kill that group
4 of people that were walking or passing through that area, were you?
5 A. No, we were not. None of us.
6 Q. And, in fact, -- and in fact, they all went through and not a
7 single shot was fired at that large group of people from your platoon.
8 Isn't that a fact?
9 A. Certainly not by our platoon or battalion. That space was left
10 for them to pass through.
11 Q. And you never received any orders to advance toward that group of
12 people that were walking by in order to capture or to ambush or to kill.
13 Isn't that a fact?
14 A. We never received any order like that.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
17 Mr. Stojanovic, your cross-examination, if you have.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have no
19 questions for this witness. This witness has nothing to do with the
20 defence of my client. Thank you very much, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
22 Any re-direct, Ms. Davis?
23 MS. DAVIS: Very briefly, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
25 Re-examined by Ms. Davis:
1 Q. Mr. Gajic, you did, in fact, advance on the UN checkpoint, isn't
2 that right?
3 A. I did say that yesterday, but it was a day or two after that. We
4 had moved as far as the village of Cizmici.
5 Q. And your portion of the line in fact moved south in the direction
6 of Srebrenica toward the UN checkpoint. Isn't that right?
7 A. That's right.
8 MS. DAVIS: I have no further questions.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
10 Judge Vassylenko.
11 Questioned by the Court:
12 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Mr. Gajic, you said that you went to Kravica
13 out of curiosity. My question: What caused your curiosity?
14 A. Well, I had been born in the area, you know, born and bred. There
15 were Muslims there who were my schoolmates, and that was the sole reason
16 for my curiosity. I might as well have seen someone I knew.
17 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: But your schoolmates were in Kravica before,
18 yes, but why at that very moment you remembered that your schoolmates were
19 in Kravica and decided to go to Kravica.
20 A. I'm not sure what you mean when you say "before."
21 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Well, your schoolmates lived in Kravica, yes,
22 before --
23 A. Not in Kravica.
24 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: -- before Srebrenica had fallen and why did you
25 go to see Kravica just when Srebrenica was fallen?
1 A. Because we heard that there were many Muslims there who had
2 surrendered. That was the only reason.
3 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And when Muslims were surrendered, then what?
4 You just wanted to go to Kravica to see surrendered Muslims?
5 A. Well, yes. The story was -- the story started circulating that
6 there were people there who had surrendered and we just wanted to go there
7 to see if there were any people that we knew among those.
8 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: I have no more questions.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
10 Any questions out of Judges questions? Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: I do, Your Honour. Just to clarify a point that
12 Judge Vassylenko was asking.
13 Further cross-examination by Mr. Karnavas:
14 Q. Prior to the war there were Muslims residing there, were there
16 A. Near Kravica in the area, yes. I'm not sure what belongs to the
17 Kravica area. You mean the local commune of Kravica, yes, there were
18 Muslims living there.
19 Q. And you had friends that were living there?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And I take it during the war, they left and went to other areas,
22 one of them being Srebrenica?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, during those days, you had also heard that a friend of yours
25 who was a Muslim was at the health centre who was a soldier. Is that
1 correct? Abid Sinanovic.
2 A. Abid Sinanovic.
3 Q. And isn't it a fact that you went to the health centre to see him
4 and also to give him cigarettes?
5 A. He asked questions about where I was and I, on the other hand,
6 heard that he was there, so I went there to see him.
7 Q. And you offered him some cigarettes, right? You talked?
8 A. We talked briefly, and yes, I gave him cigarettes.
9 Q. And you told this to the Prosecution, to the Office of the
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE LIU: Ms. Davis.
14 MS. DAVIS: I don't have any further questions, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
16 Mr. Stojanovic?
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No questions, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
19 At this stage are there any documents to tender? Ms. Davis?
20 MS. DAVIS: Your Honour, we have two exhibits that we would like
21 to tender. P162, which is the map of the northern portion of the
22 Srebrenica enclave that was marked by the witness in our offices that he's
23 been referring to during his testimony. The second is now numbered as
24 P163. This is the aerial of Kravica warehouse that was marked by the
25 witness that was previously admitted unmarked as P10.1.
1 JUDGE LIU: Any objections?
2 MR. KARNAVAS: I have no objections, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Stojanovic, any objections?
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I have no objections.
5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. These two documents are admitted into the
7 Are there any documents on the Defence part?
8 MR. KARNAVAS: I have nothing, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, thank you very much for coming to
10 The Hague for giving your evidence. The usher will show you out of the
11 room and we wish you a pleasant journey back home. Thank you.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
13 [The witness withdrew]
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, as for the next witness, could somebody brief us
15 about any protective machines.
16 MS. ISSA: Yes, good morning, Your Honour, the next witness we
17 would like a pseudonym as well as face distortion.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, I think we should set up some preparations during
19 the break. Now we'll break and we'll resume at 10 minutes to 11.00.
20 --- Recess taken at 10.17 a.m.
21 [The witness entered court]
22 --- On resuming at 10.52 a.m.
23 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Witness.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
25 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration in
1 accordance with the paper the usher is showing to you.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
3 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much, you may sit down, please.
5 Before we start, I have to tell you that you may object to making
6 any statement that might intend to incriminate yourself. But however, the
7 Chamber could compel you to answer the question. The testimony compelled
8 in this way should not be used as evidence in a subsequent prosecution
9 against you for any offense, other than the false testimony. Do you
10 understand that?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, very much.
13 Ms. Issa, are you ready to proceed?
14 MS. ISSA: I am, Your Honour, thank you.
15 JUDGE LIU: You may.
16 WITNESS: WITNESS P-140
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 Examined by Ms. Issa:
19 Q. Good morning, sir. I'm just going to start off, sir, by asking
20 you what your ethnic background or nationality is?
21 A. I'm a Serb.
22 Q. And what is your educational background?
23 A. I have completed secondary education and I am a trained worker
24 with construction equipment.
25 Q. And during the war, sir, through July of 1995, where did you work?
1 A. During the war, I worked with water plumbing, repairing the water
2 lines and the asanacija of the terrain.
3 JUDGE LIU: Ms. Issa, you have to bear in mind that this witness
4 is a protected witness. If you want to ask some background questions, we
5 might go to private session.
6 MS. ISSA: I agree, Your Honour, and I was going to get to that at
7 some point. I think at this point it may not be a problem.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
9 MS. ISSA: And perhaps out of an abundance of caution, we may just
10 start going to private session.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go to private session.
12 [Private session]
13 Pages 3396-3402 – redacted – private session
23 [Open session]
24 JUDGE LIU: Now we are in open session. You may proceed.
25 MS. ISSA: Thank you.
1 Q. Can you tell us what your tasks were, sir, during the period of
2 July 1995.
3 A. When I left the line or before?
4 Q. When you left the line.
5 A. -- What my tasks were. Okay, thank you. When I came down from
6 the Obli Vis line, I reported to the command of the communal utilities
7 company. I found Dragan Mirkovic there and he told me that there were a
8 lot of dead from the fighting between the two armies, that the next day
9 they were to be buried at our Serbian cemetery, the Serbian soldiers and
10 the civilians. And then when I finished that, there were orders that
11 followed from the same person, from this Dragan Mirkovic.
12 Q. Okay. Now, do you recall, sir, the date or when you were given
13 the orders to bury the dead, the Serbian nationals that you referred to?
14 A. This could have been on the 12th or the 13th of July in the
15 evening, after the fall of Srebrenica. Those boys -- those men, those
16 soldiers, had to be buried.
17 Q. And do you remember how long it took you to complete that task?
18 A. At least a day or two was needed to complete all of these burials
19 of Serbian soldiers at our cemetery, and that is something that nobody
20 asks any questions about.
21 Q. Okay. And after you completed your work at the cemetery burying
22 the Serb nationals, what was the next order that you were given?
23 A. The next order was to then proceed with the burial of the dead
24 Muslims who were killed in the combat in Glogova.
25 Q. And when did you receive this order?
1 A. I received this order after the burial of the Serbian soldiers at
2 the cemetery, so it would be on the second or the third day.
3 Q. Okay. And who gave you the order?
4 A. Dragan Mirkovic issued the order and took me in front of the
5 command where there was a kind of wooden shack where the military police
6 was, and that's where Momir Nikolic confirmed this order.
7 Q. And do you recall, sir, what Momir Nikolic said to you when he
8 confirmed the order?
9 A. There wasn't really too much talk. This job had to be done. It
10 had to be completed because disease was spreading in the area around
11 Bratunac. There was combat going on, and disease was spreading. There
12 was a lot to be done and it had to be done.
13 Q. Okay. Now, before I ask you the next question, sir, I'm just
14 going to ask you to put aside your transcript for the moment and we'll
15 refer to it as needed if you need to refresh your memory. Just leave it
16 there, that's fine. Okay?
17 A. I don't need it. Everything is written up here in my head.
18 Q. Okay. Was there anybody else with Dragan Mirkovic and
19 Momir Nikolic at the time that you had this conversation?
20 A. There was nobody there at the time.
21 Q. Perhaps, sir, to assist you in refreshing your memory, I would ask
22 you to refer to page 18, line 7, of your transcript.
23 MS. ISSA: And in the English version, Your Honour, it's page 30,
24 lines 1 to 2.
25 Q. Have you read that to yourself, sir? Do you now recall as to
1 whether or not there was anyone else with Dragan Mirkovic and
2 Momir Nikolic when you had this conversation or you were given the order?
3 A. It states there Nikolic and then in front of that it says Jole.
4 Jole was in Kravica when they were loading at the agricultural
5 cooperative. He was the director of that company.
6 Q. And was he there initially before you went to Kravica? Was he
7 there, just to clarify, when you received the initial order?
8 A. It states there that he was, so it's possible that he was there.
9 Q. But you don't recall?
10 A. I don't recall that. There are many similar answers here in these
11 papers, so yesterday when I was reading that over, there are a lot of
12 repeated or double responses.
13 Q. Okay. That's fine, sir. You can now put that away for the time
14 being. Could you describe the location, sir, when you met with
15 Mr. Momir Nikolic and Dragan Mirkovic and you had the conversation or you
16 were given the order.
17 A. You are persistent with this. I told you, in front of the wooden
18 shack which was there, that's where the military police was. And this is
19 where I met them and that's where they issued the order to me. I've
20 already said that once.
21 Q. Okay. What happened, what did you do after you were given this
23 A. Just like any soldier, I had to receive this order, accept this
24 order, and I set out to implement the task.
25 Q. And where did you go?
1 A. I went in the direction of Glogova.
2 Q. And how did you know to go there or to go to that specific
3 location of Glogova?
4 A. Because that's what they said, to go to Glogova, and they went in
5 their car, they went in front. And I was driving slowly in my machine
6 behind them.
7 Q. Okay. And around -- do you recall around what time you reached
9 A. Perhaps an hour or an hour and 15 minutes after them, so it was
10 around 8.00, because the order was received in the morning, so we set out
11 in the morning.
12 Q. And what happened when you reached your location?
13 A. I arrived there. They were already there and they showed me where
14 the grave was to be dug, in which direction. It was a large mass grave
15 about 10, 15, or 20 metres long and about 2 metres wide.
16 Q. And can you describe the location, sir, where it was to be dug.
17 A. Yes, yes, I can describe it. It was parallel with the road. It
18 was a village path road towards Glogova and Konjevic Polje. Investigators
19 were already there.
20 Q. Okay. And you said, sir, that they showed you the location. Can
21 you tell us who were they.
22 A. When I say "they," I mean Dragan Mirkovic, my superior, and
23 Momir Nikolic.
24 Q. Right, sir, referring then to Prosecutor Exhibit P164. I'm just
25 going to ask that that be placed on the ELMO.
1 MS. ISSA: If I can just have the Court's indulgence for a moment,
2 Your Honour.
3 Q. Now, you see that diagram, sir, that's been placed on the machine
4 next to you. Can you tell us first of all, sir, where this diagram came
6 A. I made the diagram when the investigators in Banja Luka asked me
7 about this. This is a diagram that I did.
8 Q. And can you tell us, sir, what the diagram depicts.
9 A. The diagram depicts the place where pits one and two were dug in
10 order to bury the Muslim soldiers.
11 Q. Okay. Now, we're going to get to pit number two, but for the time
12 being can you point to the first grave that you dug or the location that
13 you were shown and that you ultimately dug.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Can you take the pointer and point to that, sir.
16 A. [Indicates]
17 MS. ISSA: Just for the record, Your Honour, he is pointing to a
18 location that is on the left-hand side from the direction of Bratunac and
20 Q. Thank you.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, at this stage, I want to ask for some
22 clarifications. The document is the P164 and we are provided with another
23 document P161 with the name of this witness. Are they the same document?
24 MS. ISSA: They are, Your Honour. What we've done was we simply
25 folded that part over such so that the name of the witness would not
1 appear on the screen.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for this clarification.
3 MS. ISSA:
4 Q. All right. Thank you, sir. Now, after you were shown the
5 location of this grave by Dragan Mirkovic and Momir Nikolic, what did you
7 A. They told me what to do, so I started to work. I started to dig
8 the graves. I was digging for a long time. I was digging practically for
9 the whole day. Trucks were bringing in bodies for burial.
10 Q. Okay. And we'll get to that, but can you first tell us how large
11 was the grave that you dug?
12 A. As I said a moment ago, between 10, 15, maybe 20 metres in length,
13 2 metres across. It was a metre and a half deep at most.
14 Q. And why did you dig those particular dimensions?
15 A. Because the lorry had to enter some way down the pit and tip the
16 bodies inside.
17 Q. Okay. And did anybody instruct you to dig the grave in any
18 particular manner or give you the particular dimensions?
19 A. No, no one. They said generally dig in that direction. I have
20 dug 20 such Serb graves, identical ones.
21 Q. Okay. Perhaps, sir, to assist you in refreshing your memory, I
22 would like you to refer to page 26, line 21 through 31 of your transcript.
23 MS. ISSA: And in the English version, Your Honour, it's page 44,
24 line 16 through 18.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: The page and the line that is reflecting --
3 JUDGE LIU: I think you have to speak directly into your
5 MR. KARNAVAS: I apologise. The page and the line that I have
6 doesn't seem to comport with what is being asked. I wonder if the
7 pagination is correct or is there another version that...
8 MS. ISSA: Yes, Your Honour, I believe there was a revised version
9 that was disclosed to Defence counsel last week, I think Thursday. It
10 does not substantially change anything from the first version. There may
11 be a couple of words added here and there and that may have affected the
12 pagination. I'm referring to the original.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm looking at the revised version.
14 JUDGE LIU: Is that the correct page. Maybe you could repeat the
15 page in the English version.
16 MS. ISSA: I'm looking at the original version, Your Honour. It's
17 page 44, line 16 through 18.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll plug along, Your Honour, but I assume that
19 since we had a revised version we would be going through the revised
20 version and my old version doesn't have any lines, but I'll manage.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
22 MS. ISSA:
23 Q. Does that, sir, assist you in refreshing your memory whether or
24 not you received instructions as to the particular dimensions of the
1 A. Well, it's the same thing that I said. It wasn't specified, they
2 just told us about the area, how big an area, I said about 20 metres, 2
3 metres across. That's exactly what I said.
4 Q. Okay. And what happened, sir, after you started to dig the grave?
5 A. I dug -- I kept digging for about four or five hours without
6 completing my work. The lorries kept bringing in bodies, bodies of men
7 who had been killed in battle. I moved aside for the lorries to tip the
8 bodies into the pit.
9 Q. And before we get to the lorries, sir, can you describe the type
10 of machine you were using when you were digging the grave.
11 A. That time, I was using a tipper owned by the Bratunac public
12 utilities company. And the tipper is still being -- the tipper truck is
13 still being used. It's still in use. It's not very often that it's
14 actually in good working order, but it's still being used for repairing
15 the water lines and also for digging graves.
16 Q. Can you tell us what this looks like, what does the machine look
18 A. I can. This machine has a claw in front that can -- that has the
19 capacity for a certain amount of material, and in the back it has another
20 arm that's about 4 metres long, which is at the back of this machine.
21 That's also used for a number of different operations.
22 Q. Okay.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Issa, I think we have been provided with a
24 kind of graphic pictures on those machines. I don't know whether you have
25 it at your hands. Maybe you could provide it to the witness and ask him
1 to identify what kind of machine he was using at that time.
2 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, we -- I'll be able to do that, I suppose,
3 momentarily. I'm just going to obtain those photographs momentarily.
4 Thank you.
5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
6 MS. ISSA:
7 Q. Was anybody present, sir, while you were digging the grave?
8 A. No, not at that time. I was the only one doing that. Who would
9 have wanted to be there with that smell of decomposing bodies, to stand
10 by, to watch, to breathe the air? I was actually wearing a mask as I was
11 doing this.
12 Q. All right. You indicated earlier, sir, that there were lorries
13 coming and bringing the dead bodies at the time while you were digging the
14 graves. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes. Every now and then the lorries would arrive to tip the
16 bodies into the grave.
17 Q. And how many lorries or trucks do you recall being there?
18 A. There were two yellow lorries and two red ones. One of the red
19 ones was often out of order and it wasn't being used that much.
20 Q. Okay. Do you know -- starting then with the two yellow lorries,
21 do you know which -- where these lorries came from?
22 A. What do you mean where they came from? Who they belonged to; is
23 that what you mean?
24 Q. Yes, who they belonged to.
25 A. One of the yellow lorries belonged to the same unit of the public
1 utilities company that I was in. It was used to clean the streets of the
2 town. That's what I was used for. And the other one was owned by the
3 brick factory in Bratunac.
4 Q. And what about the two red ones?
5 A. The two red ones were property of the Sasa [phoen] mines, which I
6 believe also belongs to Bratunac.
7 Q. And can you tell us, sir, who were the drivers of these -- of the
8 lorries, starting with the yellow truck from the public utilities company.
9 A. Yes. The public utilities lorry was driven by a colleague of mine
10 named Cvjetinovic.
11 Q. Do you know do you know what his first name is?
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I'm willing to be somewhat flexible in
23 these instances, so I don't object to counsel giving him the name and
24 saying would this be correct? I think it would move the process along
25 somewhat, but only in these limited instances.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you for your cooperation and the suggestion.
2 MS. ISSA: I'm just not sure if there was an objection there, Your
4 JUDGE LIU: No, no, it's not an objection. It's trying to help
5 you with this situation. You may say the name to this witness and ask him
6 whether this was the person.
7 MS. ISSA:
8 MS. ISSA: And for the record, Your Honour, I'm referring to page
9 52, line 13 of the original version. And while the witness is doing that,
10 Your Honour, I just want to indicate that I do believe that a letter was
11 sent to counsel indicating that I will be referring to the original
12 version of the transcript. So he was advised of that.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, the original version does not have
14 lines. Also, we were just informed that when they did the transcript back
15 in -- when this man was interviewed back on 29 June, 2003, it was just
16 revealed to us a couple of days ago that apparently part of the interview
17 was not even tape recorded because they had double taped on one of the
18 tapes of the interview. This is new information to us. Now, if they want
19 to provide us with an old version with lines, I can follow along, but the
20 one I have received from the OTP does not have lines, the new one does.
21 Nonetheless, I've indicated that I'm willing to work with counsel to
22 manage to find the appropriate sections. They seem to be approximately
23 half a page down the road. Once she begins reading, I can find it. So
24 there's no problem.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe you could count these lines by
2 MS. ISSA:
17 Q. All right. Do you recall, sir, what time the trucks arrived that
19 A. They kept arriving for a time in the afternoon one after the
20 other. I can't give you the precise period of time, but it was in the
22 Q. And what happened when the trucks arrived?
23 A. Once the trucks had arrived, I moved my equipment to the side so
24 they could get down into the pit and tip the bodies.
25 Q. Could you estimate the number of bodies that were placed into the
2 A. I can't give you the exact number of bodies, but say, for example,
3 you could fit between 15 and 20 bodies into the yellow trucks, and they
4 did two or three rounds each. So you can multiply that and see what the
5 result is. I don't know.
6 Q. And what about the red trucks, how many bodies could you fit in
7 those trucks?
8 A. The red ones were somewhat larger than the yellow ones, about 15
9 bodies, but probably even more, more bodies than the yellow ones.
10 Q. Do you recall how many times they returned with bodies?
11 A. As I said a minute ago, they did two or three rounds on that day
12 and the following day, too; one round each.
13 Q. Did the bodies fill the capacity of the grave?
14 A. Perhaps they did fill the capacity, perhaps not, but I would turn
15 those bodies gradually.
16 Q. What do you mean you would turn those bodies?
17 A. I was covering them up with earth, forming a layer of earth on
18 top, and then I would put the finishing touch to the grave the next day
19 with another layer of earth.
20 Q. Did you speak with the drivers at the time that the bodies were
21 being placed into the pit?
22 A. I wish you were there to try take off your mask and breathe the
23 air that was there. Of course I couldn't speak to the driver. You
24 couldn't even keep your eyes open, let alone speak to anyone. The
25 horrible stench of decomposing bodies that was there.
1 Q. Sir, just so you understand, I have to ask you these questions so
2 the Court can understand what happened. Do you understand that?
3 A. Yes, yes, I understand all of that.
4 Q. Okay. What was the condition of the bodies when you -- when they
5 were thrown into the pit?
6 A. The bodies had been in that shape for about three or four days
7 decomposing and infection was spreading and you had to bury them as soon
8 as possible.
9 Q. Do you recall what the -- what clothing were on the bodies? Can
10 you describe the clothing.
11 A. There were military uniforms there. The bodies were spattered
12 with blood and there were civilian clothes on some of the bodies, too,
13 because the soldiers would change their clothing in the woods and dump
14 civilian clothes, as opposed to military uniform.
15 Q. Is that what you said when you were asked this question by the
16 investigators in Banja Luka?
17 A. Maybe not in these same words, but I did say that the bodies were
18 spattered with blood and some of the bodies at uniforms on and some of the
19 bodies had civilian clothes on. I'm sure that's what I said.
20 Q. What happened after the grave was filled with bodies?
21 A. Once the grave was filled with bodies, I kept working laying on
22 the second layer of earth over those bodies.
23 Q. And when did you complete covering up the grave?
24 A. I don't think I was able to complete that day. I kept working the
25 next day, but I believe I've already said this.
1 Q. Okay. And what did you do at the end of that day before you
2 returned the next day to cover up the graves?
9 Q. Okay. And who is this man?
10 A. This man was a military policeman. We didn't know him. In the
11 evening, I think it was about 10.00 in the evening, he came in a black
12 uniform and he had what I believed was a Sarajevo accent, but that's all I
13 knew. He threatened us, told us that we had to go. We weren't brave
14 enough to go because it was night and the front lines were near, so we
15 only set out the next morning.
16 Q. Okay. And can you tell us, sir, what he was referring to, you had
17 to go where and do what?
18 A. Yes, he threatened us and told us that we should go to Kravica and
19 load there the bodies from the agricultural cooperative, the bodies that
20 were there, those, too, he said should be buried in the grave. We tried
21 to defend ourselves by saying that we had no fuel to go there.
22 Q. And did that work?
23 A. It didn't work. The lorry with fuel arrived and after about half
24 an hour of us trying to convince him, we had to go. We went ahead, a
25 kilometre perhaps, but then we took shelter, because we weren't brave
1 enough to proceed in the dark.
2 Q. All right. Well, just to be clear, sir, to clarify, did you go to
3 Kravica that evening or the next morning?
4 A. The next morning at dawn we set out with our machines. It would
5 have taken us at least one and a half hours, up to two hours, to reach
6 Kravica. As soon as dawn cracked, we set out, and the machines were
7 parked near our houses by the roadside.
8 Q. Okay. Do you know to what brigade or unit or part of the army
9 that this military policeman was attached to?
10 MR. KARNAVAS: It's been asked and answered, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: It's been asked and answered. He indicated that he
13 thought he was a police officer, he was dressed in black, and he has a
14 Sarajevo accent.
15 JUDGE LIU: But that particular question was not asked.
16 You may proceed, Ms. Issa.
17 MS. ISSA: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. Can you answer that question, sir? Do you know what army or
19 unit -- what part of the army or brigade he was attached to.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: I object. It's leading in nature now. What army.
21 It could have been that he was with MUP, dressed in black carrying
23 JUDGE LIU: I understand, I understand. Well, we'd better use the
24 neutral words, maybe unit or something like this, not army or troop or
1 MS. ISSA: I just want to clarify, Your Honour, that military
2 police can only be soldiers and they can't be with MUP as my friend has
3 suggested, but I will use different language if Your Honour would like me
4 to proceed with this line of questioning.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
6 MS. ISSA:
7 Q. Sir, do you know what unit this military policeman was attached
8 to --
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Again, I object. She can ask the question which
10 unit. He can then say if he was a military police or he was MUP. He was
11 dressed in black.
12 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, he's already said he was a military
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, I think the witness already told us that he's a
15 military policeman. There's no problem about that. You may proceed,
16 Ms. Issa.
17 MS. ISSA:
18 Q. Can you answer that question, sir? Do you know what unit he was
19 attached to?
20 A. No. I didn't know then and I don't know now which unit he was
21 attached to.
22 Q. Okay. Just getting back to what you were telling us earlier, sir,
23 when you were digging the grave, that first grave, did you see
24 Dragan Mirkovic at any point in time at any point during the day?
25 A. Yes. He came over on that day, and on the next day. He came over
1 to see me.
2 Q. And did he say anything to you on that day, sir?
3 A. The next day he said that there were dead bodies in Kravica to be
4 dealt with.
5 Q. Did he say anything else? Did he tell you what you were supposed
6 to do that day?
7 A. Well, I don't know if he said anything else. He only said that
8 and nothing else. Maybe he did say another word or two, but I don't
9 believe so. He said that there was work to be done in Kravica and bodies
10 to be taken away.
11 Q. Okay. And was that before or after the military policeman came to
12 see you?
13 A. The police officer came on that second night, but this happened on
14 that second day during the day. So Mirkovic came before.
20 Q. Okay. All right, sir, I'm going to show you a photograph of a
21 machine and ask you whether you recognise it. Do you recognise that
22 photograph, sir?
23 A. Yes, of course I recognise it. These are machines that I know how
24 to operate; that's my profession. And this is a loader, a ULT-200. The
25 one that we see depicted here was not used but there was one similar to it
1 that was used. It was 160-ULT loader.
2 Q. Okay. And when you're referring to the 160-ULT loader, when was
3 that used? Was that used for the first grave or the second grave?
4 A. It was used for loading the bodies from Kravica. It was a
5 ULT-160B. I think it had a B marking, but it doesn't matter. It could be
6 a B or a C. It's just a series model indication.
7 Q. All right. Thank you.
8 MS. ISSA: For the record, Your Honour, that was Exhibit P63.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, do you have a photograph of a tipper?
10 MS. ISSA: I believe I do, Your Honour, and perhaps I can just
11 show that to the witness at this point.
12 Q. Sir, do you recognise that photograph?
13 A. Yes, I recognise this. This is a bulldozer with caterpillar
14 wheels, but the same model depicted here was not used. This type of
15 bucket is not used in assignments like this. The bucket would be facing
16 the other way in this kind of assignment.
17 Q. All right. So are you saying that you did not use this type of
18 model in your diggings at all?
19 A. I did use a machine like this to dig the second grave. It's a
20 BGH-900, and it has a very long arm that extends 8 to 10 metres, except
21 the bucket is turned towards the vehicle rather than out -- facing out
22 from the vehicle. So it's a different type of machine.
23 Q. Okay.
24 MS. ISSA: And for the record, Your Honour, that was Exhibit P62.
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Well, before we go to the details in that
1 incident, could we have a break?
2 MS. ISSA: Certainly, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll resume at 12.30.
4 --- Recess taken at 12.04 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 12.33 p.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Issa. You may proceed.
7 MS. ISSA: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Now, sir, before we turn to your tasks at Kravica warehouse, going
9 back to when you finished digging the first grave and you said you went
10 home with your machine, can you tell us where did you park your machine
12 A. I said before that I parked it in front of the public utilities
13 company near the petrol station and the fire station. That's where the
14 area is where I parked the machine.
15 Q. Okay. So then, dealing with your tasks at the Kravica warehouse,
16 you indicated that Dragan Mirkovic, the day before, gave you instructions
17 to go to the Kravica warehouse. Did you meet with Dragan Mirkovic the day
18 that you went to Kravica warehouse?
19 A. Dragan Mirkovic was together with me in the period when I was
20 covering up, burying the bodies, and when we set out for this assignment
21 that morning, he drove in front of me in his own vehicle.
22 Q. And what did you do upon arrival to Kravica?
23 A. When we came to Kravica, we started loading. I began to load with
24 my small machine. I was working with a mask.
25 Q. And when you say you began to load, what are you referring to,
1 loading what and from where?
2 A. I started to load the bodies of dead Muslims who were there in
3 that area, in that building.
4 Q. Okay. And where did you load them, on to what?
5 A. I loaded them on the trucks which came in the meantime, the same
6 trucks which were there the previous day.
7 Q. And who was driving those trucks?
8 A. Cvjetinovic drove those trucks, the yellow truck, Stanojevic drove
9 the red truck, and Ivan drove another truck which kept breaking down. He
10 switched with Simic because Simic was with me with a loader on that
11 assignment. So Ivan drove that truck.
12 Q. And how long did you -- how much time did you spend loading the
13 bodies from the warehouse on to the trucks?
14 A. I started loading the bodies, then I felt sick because of the
15 stench. It was seeping through the mask, so I wasn't able to load up the
16 full truck. They took me to one side so that I could recover, because I
17 was feeling very sick because of the stench. I wanted to throw up.
18 Q. And where did you go when you felt sick?
19 A. I was taken back to town to take up some rest. [redacted]
20 [redacted]. When I recovered, they took me back again in the
21 small tipper so that I could start digging the other large grave in
23 Q. And who took you back to the town to recover?
24 A. I was taken back in some car. I don't know, it was some type of
25 military vehicle. I don't know what kind.
1 Q. Well, do you know who was driving?
2 A. No, because I wasn't really quite conscious, so I really don't
3 know who drove the car.
4 Q. Can you describe, sir, precisely where you were at the Kravica
5 warehouse, where exactly it's located?
6 A. The Kravica warehouse is an agricultural cooperative and it's on
7 the Bratunac/Konjevic Polje road. When you are going from the direction
8 of the Bratunac, it is located on the left-hand side.
9 Q. Turning then to Prosecution Exhibit 10.1, I'm going to ask you if
10 you can identify where you were.
11 A. This is a diagram of the Kravica agricultural cooperative, and
12 this area between the cement walls, that's where it was, that's where my
13 machine was when I started loading. It was at this middle entrance, so to
15 Q. And are you referring then, sir, to the building on the far right
16 of the photograph?
17 A. Yes, yes, that's the large building where there's this large open
18 area without doors. That's where the bodies were.
19 MS. ISSA: Perhaps, Your Honour, given the importance of the
20 evidence I'm going to ask that the photograph be placed on the ELMO and
21 the witness point to it precisely.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you may.
23 MS. ISSA:
24 Q. Can you point out, sir, where you were loading the bodies.
25 A. This is the road leading to the building, then you can see four
1 entrances. This is where they used to keep something. I don't know what
2 they used to keep there. That's where the bodies were at this second
3 entrance, that's where I would go in with the machine, then I would back
4 out. There was a truck parked next to the machine and I would load the
5 bodies there.
6 Q. Okay.
7 MS. ISSA: And just for the record the witness is referring to the
8 second entrance from the right of the warehouse.
9 Q. Thank you, sir. You indicated, sir, that you returned to dig the
10 second grave at some point. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And when did you return to dig the second grave?
13 A. I returned when I had recovered. I had begun to feel better, so I
14 came back. That was in the afternoon. I don't know whether that was at
15 11.00, 12.00, 12.30, I really don't know. Nobody was looking at the time,
16 least of all me.
17 Q. Okay. And how did you know where you were to dig the second
18 grave? How did you know what the location was of the second grave?
19 A. When the first grave was being dug, Mirkovic and Nikolic said to
20 start digging the second grave nearby in an area adjacent to it, to the
22 Q. All right, sir, I'm going to ask you then to refer to your
23 diagram. Perhaps Mr. Usher can assist us on placing that on the ELMO.
24 MS. ISSA: For the record, that is Prosecution Exhibit P164.
25 Q. Can you show us, sir, where you were instructed to dig the second
1 grave, and where you in fact dug the second grave.
2 A. The second grave was dug just opposite from the first one, perhaps
3 a metre or two diagonally from it because there was a small wood there, so
4 it wasn't possible to dig immediately next to the first grave. So it was
5 a few, maybe up to 5 metres, further away that the digging began.
6 MS. ISSA: And for the record, Your Honour, the witness is
7 pointing to the right of the road.
8 Q. Thank you, sir. And when you returned, sir, to dig the second
9 grave, what machine did you use?
10 A. The second grave I started digging with the same small machine
11 that I used while digging the first grave.
12 Q. Did you use any other machine while you were digging?
13 A. At the time I did not use any other machine, just that one.
14 Q. Did you see any other machine located near the location of that
16 A. No. There were no other machines located near the graves at that
18 Q. When you and I met, sir, the other day, I gave you an information
19 report to read over to assist you in refreshing your memory. Do you
20 recall that?
21 A. Yes, yes, I do.
22 Q. Perhaps then, sir, I'm going to give you a copy of the information
23 report in your own language and ask you to read it to yourself. I'll be
24 asking you, sir, to read the second paragraph from the bottom.
25 A. Yes, I've read it.
1 Q. Does that assist you in refreshing your memory as to whether or
2 not there was another machine at that site?
3 A. It states here: "The next day during the night," this is already
4 the night, it's not that day, "an excavator was brought which was used to
5 dig the water pipes, trenches for that. Before that, I was using my small
6 machine to work on the redirection of the flow of the river, so that
7 is -- and this other machine was used for that as well. So that is how I
8 knew about that machine."
9 Q. Does that assist -- does that paragraph, sir, assist you if you
10 look at the last line of the paragraph to refresh your memory as to
11 whether or not you used this machine to dig this second grave?
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I don't mean to be picky about this. I suspect
15 everyone has this information report. It was generated as a result of the
16 tape recording not functioning, as I understand it. So if that is the
17 case, first perhaps the witness should be asked if he did indicate this to
18 the investigator at the time when he was being interviewed, if he recalls.
19 And then if the answer is yes, does this refresh his memory, something to
20 that effect. At least we can have some foundational steps laid down,
21 otherwise we would have to have this individual come in here and lay some
22 foundation at some other point.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I think we have been working with
24 this report for a while and we'll hear what the witness is going to tell
25 us. Of course you have the right to cross-examine this person when your
1 turn is coming.
2 MS. ISSA: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Now, sir, have you read that entire paragraph now to yourself?
4 A. Yes, I have.
5 Q. Does that assist you in refreshing your memory as to what machine
6 you used in digging that second grave?
7 A. Yes, it does, because the next day I continued to dig that grave
8 with that same machine.
9 Q. Okay. And what is that -- what machine did you use to dig that
11 A. I think that it was a loader, a Caterpillar bulldozer or loader,
12 but the bucket is facing the actual body of the vehicle and not facing out
13 from it, like the one that you showed us.
14 Q. Okay. Well, perhaps we can refer to that photograph again just so
15 that we understand what you're telling us.
16 MS. ISSA: And I believe it was Exhibit P62.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a similar machine to the one
18 I used, but this bucket does not face outward for loading but it faces
19 towards the cabin, that is the difference between the two machines, and it
20 has a broader, a wider, range and it works faster.
21 Q. Okay, thank you. Do you know, sir, where this machine was brought
23 A. I think that this machine was in Bratunac. I said that before.
24 When we were redirecting the flow of a river before these events; this was
25 a river that flooded the school, so we had to redirect the bed, the flow,
1 of the river by about 2 to 300 metres in order to prevent the flooding.
2 Q. Did this machine have any particular markings on it that you
3 noticed that indicates to you where it was from, where it's origin is
5 A. Yes. I've said before that the water pipes of -- Zvornik, it had
6 a marking on it "Zvornik SO," it's a plate, a licence plate on the vehicle
7 identifying it.
8 Q. And what colour was it?
9 A. It was yellow, just like all the other machinery.
10 Q. Okay. And what was the size of the second grave that you dug?
11 A. It says here that it was about 20 metres long, about 10 to 15
12 metres wide, and maybe 2 to 3 metres deep, because this is a larger
13 machine, so the bucket has a larger capacity and the arm is longer.
14 Q. When you were first given the order, sir, to dig this second
15 grave, were you told why or the reason as to why a second grave was
17 A. The reason that was given was that that building which was located
18 at the agricultural cooperative contained bodies of Muslims which needed
19 to be buried in this pit, in this grave.
20 Q. And when you say "the reason that was given," who gave you that
21 reason? Who told you that?
22 A. Dragan Mirkovic and Momir Nikolic explained this to me. The other
23 Nikolic was also present, the one who was the director of the cooperative.
24 Q. And what's his first name?
25 A. It is noted there as Jole.
1 Q. Okay. I'm actually going to just ask you to put that piece of
2 paper aside, sir. And where were you when Dragan Mirkovic, Momir Nikolic,
3 and Jole Nikolic were present and it was explained to you the reason why a
4 second grave was required?
5 A. Where was I?
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. I was digging the first grave when Mirkovic was telling me that,
8 and then the next day when I started up the loading of the bodies from the
9 cooperative, I was told that again in front of that same building, in
10 front of the second entrance.
11 Q. And just to clarify, sir, was anybody with Dragan Mirkovic the
12 first day when you were digging the first grave when you were first told
13 to dig a second grave, was there anyone else present besides
14 Dragan Mirkovic that first time?
15 A. Dragan came once or twice during the course of that day to see how
16 I was doing, to see if the machine was working, and so on, and he was by
17 himself on that occasion.
18 Q. Okay. And once you started or completed digging the second grave,
19 sir, what happened at that point?
20 A. When the digging of the second grave was finished, the trucks from
21 the Kravica cooperative that were waiting there came one by one, brought
22 the bodies, and tipped them into the grave.
23 Q. And approximately how many bodies were placed into the grave?
24 A. The exact number is not known. I don't know it. Nobody was
25 counting, and if the trucks came back two or three times, multiply the
1 number of the bodies that were in the trucks and how many can fit into the
2 grave. You just need to multiply that.
3 Q. Okay. What did you do after the bodies were placed in the pit?
4 A. After the bodies were placed in the pit, I gradually, using the
5 machine, the large machine, grabbed the earth from one pile that had
6 been -- of excavated earth and layer by layer was spreading it into the
8 Q. And when did you do that, sir? When did you cover up the grave?
9 A. The grave was covered up only late on the second day. That's when
10 it was completely finished.
11 Q. Okay. Was there anybody present during your process of covering
12 up the grave?
13 A. I don't believe anyone was present. The stench was too strong and
14 the infection was spreading. I think I was the only person around.
15 Q. With respect to both the first and second graves, sir, did you see
16 any military police while you were digging the graves or while you were
17 covering up the graves?
18 A. No. I didn't see anyone then, at least where I was. My radius of
19 work was between 5 and 10 metres and I was not exactly looking left and
20 right as I was working.
21 Q. Okay. Were you given any orders to dig other graves after you
22 completed the second grave at Kravica?
23 A. There were perhaps several bodies left that were there. When
24 people returned to their homes, they found the bodies and reported this.
25 So the yellow lorry belonging to the public utilities company would bring
1 those bodies on the next day. So these additional bodies were buried next
2 to the first grave, maybe five or six bodies.
3 Q. And how long after the huge burial operation did you dig these
4 smaller graves?
5 A. It was over the next couple of days, perhaps one or two days
6 later. I think the next day, the third, fourth, fifth, or sixth day.
7 Q. Do you remember how many bodies were brought to the smaller
9 A. As I said, five or six bodies, roughly speaking.
10 Q. Okay. Then referring again to your diagram, sir, P164, if I can
11 ask the usher to assist us, please. Can you indicate, sir, on the diagram
12 where you dug the smaller graves, using the pointer.
13 A. Here, it was an extension of the first grave, several metres, 2 or
14 3 metres.
15 Q. Okay. And how many graves did you dig? How many smaller graves
16 did you dig?
17 A. Here you mean?
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. As I said, five or six graves in a line. It was here, like an
21 Q. Okay.
22 MS. ISSA: And just for the record, Your Honour, the witness has
23 referred to the right of the first grave that was -- that's been depicted
24 on the photograph or on the diagram.
25 Q. Do you recall, sir, how many bodies were brought to these smaller
2 A. As I said, five or six bodies.
3 Q. Okay. I thought you said you were talking about five or six
4 smaller graves. I just want to clarify that.
5 A. Which other ones do you mean?
6 Q. Are you saying you dug five or six smaller graves or there were
7 five or six bodies brought to these smaller graves?
8 A. Five or six bodies brought to those graves and five or six bodies
9 buried in a line, where the extension of this grave was.
10 Q. Okay. Now, after this period of time, sir, were you asked to
11 participate in the digging or digging up of these same graves at any point
12 in time?
13 A. Yes. It was requested after a certain time when there was no
14 longer any imminent threat of war and when I alongside with other people
15 started living a normal life, we were back to normal life, Momir Nikolic
16 was requested to have the graves dug up again, to be transferred to a
17 different location for fear of an infection spreading. People were
18 beginning to return to their homes which were near the graves.
19 Q. Okay. And when did this occur, sir?
20 A. As I said, maybe a month or two. It was autumn. I can't remember
21 the exact date. Some people may know the date. Maybe Momir knows the
22 exact date, but when we received this order we protested. The same team
23 was called back. No one was there to assist us, to protect us from this
24 order. We had to do it and that was that.
25 Q. And when you say, sir, the same team was called back, what do you
1 mean by that specifically? Who was that team?
2 A. This same team with the lorries and machines.
3 Q. Okay. And where did you -- where were you when you were given
4 this order by Momir Nikolic?
5 A. We were outside the wooden shack. He came to pick us up and he
6 gave us this order.
7 Q. And when you refer, sir, to the wooden shack, is that the same
8 place that you referred to earlier, the military police building? You
9 have to speak into the microphone, sir.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Okay. And who was present when Momir Nikolic gave these -- this
13 A. When Momir gave us this order, present there were the lorry
14 drivers led by the men who were operating the machines.
15 Q. Was there anyone else present, aside from the lorry drivers and
17 A. I believe Mirkovic was there, too.
18 Q. Anybody else, sir, that you recall?
19 A. Not that I can recall now, but I don't think so.
20 Q. Well, to assist you in refreshing your memory, sir, I'm going to
21 ask you to refer to your transcript, which is on the table there, and to
22 refer to specifically page 53 in your transcript, lines 20 through 21.
23 MS. ISSA: And in the English version, Your Honour, page 74, lines
24 19 through 21.
25 Q. You can actually start, sir, with the question at line 18 in your
2 A. Yes, I've had a look.
3 Q. Does that assist you in refreshing your memory as to whether or
4 not there was anybody else present, aside from the persons you've
6 A. Yes. It's stated very clearly here. Momir Nikolic, the men who
7 operated the machines, the lorry drivers, and his escort, his two
8 policemen. He knows who they were; I don't.
9 Q. And when you say "policemen," sir, what specifically, what type of
10 policemen are you referring to?
11 A. Military policemen who were with him. I don't know who they were.
12 Q. Okay. Was there another -- any other drivers, sir, aside from the
13 drivers that you've named earlier that were involved in the reburial
15 A. Not to my knowledge.
16 Q. All right. What did you do once you received these orders?
17 A. Once we had received this order, it was in the afternoon, we were
18 taken to the petrol station to get fuel for the machines and lorries.
19 Q. Did you start working that same night?
20 A. Yes. That same night we started work.
21 Q. And what did you do specifically? What was the work that you did?
22 A. I was digging, lifting bodies out of the grave using my equipment.
23 There was another excavator being used, operated by the other colleague
24 who was there working with me.
25 Q. Okay. And which graves did you lift the bodies out of?
1 A. The grave to the left, number one, and grave number two. Those
2 were the graves from which we were lifting bodies.
3 Q. Those are the graves you were referring to earlier at Glogova. Is
4 that correct?
5 A. Yes, that's correct, in Glogova. Yes, those were the graves.
6 Q. And can you describe the machine you were using to lift the bodies
7 out of the graves?
8 A. Yes, I can. I can describe the machine. It's very much like the
9 one in your sketch, except that the type is 160B or C, which doesn't
10 really make any difference. It's a loader belonging to the brickworks.
11 Q. Were the same trucks used for the reburial operation that were
12 used in the initial burial at Glogova?
13 A. Yes, the same lorries.
14 Q. Do you know where the bodies were taken to?
15 A. The bodies travelled down that street. I wish you could have been
16 there to see for yourself, because you could hardly see in the dark where
17 they were taking the bodies, could you.
18 Q. Okay, sir, we're just trying to understand what happened. Can you
19 tell us when you say the bodies travelled down that street, what street
20 are you referring to?
21 A. They came out of that street and came on to the main road to
23 Q. Perhaps it might help you, sir, to refer to your diagram to show
24 us what street. Would that assist you?
25 Okay, if we can then refer to Prosecution Exhibit 164, please.
1 A. We were lifting bodies from this first grave. They took this
2 small street and then got on to the main road for Bratunac passing through
3 Konjevic Polje.
4 Q. So you're indicating, sir, that the bodies went to the direction
5 of Bratunac?
6 A. Yes. It was dark. The lorries started out, took this road
7 towards Bratunac. They came out onto the main road to Bratunac.
8 Q. Okay. Thank you. During the course of the reburial operation,
9 sir, did you notice whether or not there were any military police present
10 at that time?
11 A. It was dark. I couldn't notice anyone around me in my
12 surroundings from where I was sitting inside the machine, with the
13 exception of my colleague who was there operating his own machine.
14 Q. And just by way of clean-up, Your Honour, I just have a couple
15 more questions to go back to.
16 Sir, can you tell us when you -- just going back to the initial
17 grave, the grave number two, at Kravica, when you said you were sick and
18 you went home and you returned back to Glogova to dig that second grave,
19 how did you get back to Glogova?
20 A. As I said, I was driven there in a car. I was driven to Glogova.
21 Q. Do you know who drove you back to Glogova?
22 A. I think it was the lorries, this colleague who came to pick me up.
23 Q. And who is this colleague, sir?
24 A. The one who worked with me in the public utilities company,
1 Q. And, sir, when you initially returned the machine to the town, to
2 the public utilities company, after you completed digging the first grave
3 at Glogova, did you clean the machine at that time?
4 A. We didn't have the equipment we needed to clean the machine. Some
5 of the earth came off the bucket by itself, but we couldn't clean anything
6 that was still left there.
7 Q. Did you clean the machine, sir, after you completed the digging of
8 the second grave at Glogova?
9 A. I don't think the machine was cleaned even then. Perhaps later,
10 once the excavation and secondary excavation had been done and the
11 machines had been washed from the smell of dead bodies, because the stench
12 had penetrated the cabin and all other parts of the machine.
13 MS. ISSA: If I can just have the Court's indulgence for a moment,
15 Sorry, Your Honour, I do just have one more area that I'd like to
17 Q. Can you tell us, sir, how did you react when you received the
18 order to dig up the bodies from the graves in the fall?
19 A. We all had the same reaction: Why us? Why us again receiving the
20 same kind of orders as before? However, there was nothing you could do
21 about it. They just told us, you, the same team who had done the digging
22 the last time around, you should do it again. We did try to speak out
23 against this, we did try to make a stand, but it was to no avail.
24 Q. Did you feel you had a choice in the matter at all?
25 A. How am I supposed to know whether I had a choice? That certainly
1 wasn't my impression. Our pleas were no use. Our pleas did not help us
2 to avoid this fate.
3 Q. Did anything happen, sir, before -- just before you were given the
4 order to cause you to feel you didn't have a choice in the matter?
5 A. Well, there were invitations -- or rather, calls that I talked
6 about the investigator in Banja Luka. There were threats, all kinds of
7 things, and we just sort of put two and two together in our heads. We saw
8 that the situation was like that and we simply had to get the job done.
9 Q. All right. So when you say there were threats, there were calls,
10 can you clarify that. When did these calls occur?
11 A. That autumn before the bodies were moved -- you know what
12 telephones are like, how on earth was I to know who the caller was, but
13 there were threats to the safety of my family. Those were threats.
14 That's what it was and that's how we saw the situation.
15 Q. What made you think that the threats were related to the reburial
17 A. I don't know why we felt that way, but we put two and two
19 MS. ISSA: Thank you, Your Honour. I have nothing further.
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
21 Cross-examination. Mr. Karnavas.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour, although I don't know if
23 I'll be able to finish with the amount of time that we have, but I can
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, just start normally to see how far you go.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour. And if I could move over.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
3 Cross-examined by Mr. Karnavas:
4 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
5 A. Good afternoon.
6 Q. I want to pick up just in the area where you left off, dealing
7 with the reburials. As I understand it, when you were asked to perform
8 that task, you had indicated that you were back to your normal life. Is
9 that correct?
10 A. Yes, that's correct.
11 Q. And by that, should I also assume that you were back to doing your
12 civilian work?
13 A. Yes, civilian work, because the infrastructure for civilians had
14 been completely destroyed, the telephone lines and all those of things,
15 and I would go up and down with the tipper truck. They were repairing the
16 water pipes, the phone lines, to get the infrastructure of civilian life
17 in Srebrenica up and running at that time.
18 Q. And who were you working for at that time in your civilian life?
19 A. My civilian life, I was again with the public utilities unit, and
20 I went to the public utilities established in Srebrenica to repair the
21 water pipes as well as PTT that had been set up in Srebrenica. You had to
22 get the phone lines working again, because they had been destroyed.
23 Q. And who was your supervisor at that point?
24 A. Dragan Mirkovic was also with the public utilities.
25 Q. The same Dragan Nikolic that you have been referring to all day
1 that morning?
2 A. Mirkovic, Dragan Mirkovic.
3 Q. Mirkovic. Thank you. So if I understand you correctly, you're
4 not with the Bratunac Brigade Workers' Battalion when they come back to
5 you and they say, you have to go back and do some reburials. Is that
7 A. Yes, that's correct. I was no longer with the Workers' Battalion
8 when the first grave was being dug up, and then the second one. I was no
9 longer with the Workers' Battalion, I was only part of the public
10 utilities unit.
11 Q. Okay. We're going to talk about the first one later on, because
12 we have those dates that you've indicated. But I just want to focus now
13 on the reburial aspect. As I understand it, prior to getting that
14 assignment, your family began receiving some threatening calls. Is that
16 A. Yes, that's correct. Others were, too.
17 Q. Others were, too. And it was made clear that the safety of your
18 wife and your children was at risk if you did not go ahead and carry out
19 the orders that you were about to receive. Is that correct?
20 A. That's correct, yes. That's how I thought it was.
21 Q. All right. And we're trying to make a record, so you have to
22 answer -- as opposed to just shaking your head to make sure.
23 So here you were in civilian life when Momir Nikolic comes to you
24 and gives you the order. Is that correct?
25 A. Yes, that's correct.
1 Q. And I assume that since you had these threats that perhaps
2 Momir Nikolic was the one behind those threats to you and your loved ones.
3 A. I don't know who was behind those threats.
4 Q. But Momir Nikolic was the one that came to you and told you that
5 you had no choice but to perform those duties. Is that correct?
6 A. That's correct, yes.
7 Q. And you protested?
8 A. That's correct, we did.
9 Q. You and the others told Momir Nikolic that you did not want to
10 participate in this activity. Is that correct?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. And Momir Nikolic told you you had no choice.
13 A. I think that's precisely what he said.
14 Q. And in fact, you knew you had no choice because you had been
15 receiving threats, you and your family had been receiving threats what
16 would happen to your family if you refused the order which ultimately came
17 from Momir Nikolic?
18 A. That was our idea of the whole situation, yes.
19 Q. And Momir Nikolic was still in the army, was he not? He was still
20 in service?
21 A. Yes, he was.
22 Q. And you were not?
23 A. I was back to civilian life with the public utilities.
24 Q. Okay. Now, was the public utilities also part of the civil
25 protection unit? Were they involved in civil protection?
1 A. Yes, it was part of the civilian protection, taking part in the
2 asanacija of the terrain, repairing phone lines and everything else in the
4 Q. And that's part of the civilian authority, is it not, not the
5 military authority?
6 A. Yes, it was part of the civilian authority, and it still is.
7 Q. Correct. And it's part of the -- the civil authority is
8 responsible for what is commonly known as asanacija?
9 A. Probably so, yes.
10 Q. And you had been familiar with that type of work, even prior to
11 July 1995. Isn't that right? Before July 1995, you had been familiar
12 with asanacija, the work performed?
13 A. Yes, I was in the asanacija unit of the civilian protection and
14 the public utilities company, so I was familiar with that work.
15 Q. Okay. And that was part of your contribution to the war effort.
16 Rather than being a soldier on the front, you were part of the civil
17 protection unit performing the task of asanacija when necessary?
18 A. Yes, that's right.
19 Q. And then there came a time when you were also called upon to be a
20 member of the Workers' Battalion. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. And in fact we have the paperwork that you've shown us, that there
23 was a period of time when you were officially called on and signed in to
24 be performing your duties in the Workers' Battalion. Right?
25 A. Yes, that's right. I have that document and the Prosecution also
1 has it.
2 Q. Right. And the Workers' Battalion wasn't in charge of or
3 responsible for asanacija, was it?
4 A. I think that the Workers' Battalion at the time was just on the
5 line. It wasn't responsible for asanacija, just the same as me.
6 Q. Right. And when you -- I'm having a hard time hearing the
8 When you were on the front line, you were performing duties
9 similar to any other combat soldier?
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. You're sitting there, waiting for something to happen, right?
12 A. Yes. And if I'm caught by a bullet, who would be responsible?
14 Q. All right. And there you were sitting on the front line waiting
15 for something to happen when all of a sudden Srebrenica falls. Right?
16 A. Yes, that's right.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Do you know exactly who it was that gave that message to pass on
25 to you?
1 A. I don't know who gave the message, but the messenger had found us
2 in the woods where we were on the line that day and the commander,
3 Nedjo Mladjenovic, told Djurkovic to go back along the line, back to town,
4 because you're needed in town for asanacija.
5 Q. Okay. So he merely passed on --
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Sorry, Your Honour, if we could just take a break
7 for a minute. It might be helpful just to resolve some issues that we
8 have related to some exhibits.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: I find this rather unusual.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, unless you give me the sufficient reasons for
11 that, Mr. McCloskey.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: I just want to --
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. I think I get the gist of it. I get the
14 gist of it. My colleague --
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: I can withdraw it, Your Honour, thank you.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. McCloskey is absolutely correct, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, I'm doing some make-up work right now, but you
18 have to be very cautious.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: I agree, Your Honour, and I must apologise because
20 I'm a little tired and not familiar with -- not used to going in and out,
21 so to speak.
22 Q. Okay. So you received a call to go back to town. Correct?
23 A. Yes, that's correct.
24 Q. Now, do you know exactly who it was that passed on the message,
25 who requested you to come to town?
1 A. I don't know who it was exactly, but I only got the message from
2 Commander Nedjo to return to town.
3 Q. And Komandir Nedjo, he was merely passing on a message to you.
5 A. Yes, he was just passing the message on via a radio station,
7 Q. Right. In other words, he wasn't ordering you, he wasn't giving
8 you an order on behalf of the Workers' Battalion of the Bratunac Brigade,
9 but area he was transmitting a message to you?
10 A. [redacted]
11 [redacted] You are requested or you are needed for the asanacija of the
12 terrain and this is what I was told and that's what I did.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, well.
14 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, I wonder if we could go into private
15 session just very briefly.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, let's go into the private session. I think this
17 is the safest way to conduct the cross-examination.
18 [Private session]
13 Page 3449 – redacted – private session
13 Page 3450 – redacted – private session
13 Page 3451 – redacted – private session
4 [Open session]
5 JUDGE LIU: Now we are in the open session.
6 Witness, I'm sorry to say that we did not finish your testimony
7 today and you have to stay in The Hague for three days more. And during
8 that period, I want to know -- I want you to know that you are still under
9 the oath, so do not talk to anybody about your testimony and do not let
10 anybody talk to you about your testimony. Do you understand that?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand that.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
13 We will resume on Monday morning at 9.00 in the same courtroom.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
15 at 1.45 p.m. to be reconvened on Monday,
16 the 27th day of October, 2003,
17 at 9.00 a.m.