1 Monday, 27 October 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, everybody. Mr. Court Deputy, would you
7 please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours, this is Case Number
9 IT-02-60-T, the Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
11 Witness, can you hear me?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE LIU: Did you have a good rest during the weekend?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. It was slightly
15 boring, though.
16 JUDGE LIU: Of course. Are you ready to proceed? We'll send you
17 home today, I hope.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Hopefully.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas, please continue.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
21 WITNESS: WITNESS P-140 [Resumed]
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Karnavas: [Continued]
24 Q. Good morning, sir.
25 A. Good morning.
1 Q. We left off on Friday when we were discussing the topic of the
2 civil protection and the public utilities company in Bratunac. Do you
3 recall that?
4 A. I do.
5 Q. Now, as I understand, Mr. Mirkovic was the director of the public
6 utilities company. Is that correct?
7 A. Yes. He was the director of the public utilities company.
8 Q. And that was the same company that was involved in sanitation?
9 A. Probably, yes. It was part of that. The public utilities company
10 was for cleaning the town, for repairing the water pipes and for the
11 asanacija, the sanitation of the terrain.
12 Q. And the asanacija, we said, was done by -- that was a function
13 that was carried out by the civil protection. Is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And according to Mr. Mirkovic when he gave a statement to the
16 Office of the Prosecution, the public utilities companies were established
17 by the municipalities. Is that your understanding?
18 A. Yes, this was probably the case that these companies were
19 established by the municipality.
20 Q. And that it was the Municipal Assembly, according to Mr. Mirkovic,
21 that appointed the director. Are you aware of that?
22 A. I do not know that, but ...
23 Q. All right. Mr. Mirkovic also stated to the Office of the
24 Prosecution when he gave a statement that Mr. Simic, who was president of
25 the Municipal Assembly, Mr. Davidovic, who was president of the executive
1 board, and Mr. Deronjic who was the President of the SDS party in Bratunac
2 were the ones who would submit or order the restoration of the terrain or
4 MS. ISSA: Your Honour.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
6 MS. ISSA: I'm going to object to this line of questioning. I
7 know Mr. Karnavas has asked a number of questions relating to
8 Mr. Mirkovic's statement. He's simply reciting a statement of a witness
9 who is not here. It's not testimony. In my respectful submission, it's
10 objectionable. He cannot simply recite another witness's statement in
11 this fashion. He's essentially testifying on behalf of the witness.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe that Defence counsel could ask any
13 questions which might go to the credibility of this witness or may go to
14 the point raised by the Prosecution in the direct. As for the reading of
15 the statement -- Mr. Karnavas, I think you have to ask a direct question
16 to this witness. If you did not get the answer you want, you may put your
17 case before this witness.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour. I wasn't reading by the
20 JUDGE LIU: But not the other way around.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Right. I understand. All right.
22 Q. As I have indicated, according to your komandir who was a director
23 of the public utilities and was also the komandir of the civil protection,
24 he indicated that the president of the Municipal Assembly, the president
25 of the executive board, and the president of the SDA party were the ones
1 that would order him to do sanitation. Is that your understanding?
2 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, Mr. Karnavas has just asked the same
3 question he asked previously which I objected to and as I understood your
4 ruling he wasn't permitted to put the form of the question in that manner.
5 I'm not sure I understand why Mr. Karnavas is continuing to ask the same
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honours, if I may respond.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well --
9 MR. KARNAVAS: The Prosecution has contended that this gentleman
10 and his supervisor were working under the military and not the civil
11 government. The objection that was raised, there was an assumption that I
12 was reading from the statement. I have not read from the statement. I've
13 indicated that his supervisor, his komandir has indicated that it was the
14 municipal authorities that were giving the orders.
15 JUDGE LIU: Let's go step by step. First off, you lay some
16 foundations for your questions.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: I believe I did do.
18 JUDGE LIU: I don't think so. You directly asked the witness what
19 somebody said. Lay some foundation.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay, okay. Very well, Your Honour. Very well.
21 Q. If we could go back to some of the topics that we covered on
22 Friday. Mr. Mirkovic was your komandir when he was the head of the civil
23 protection. Is that correct?
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 Q. And it was the civil protection that was engaged in the task of
1 asanacija. Is that correct?
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. And the civil protection relied on the use of the public utilities
4 company in carrying out those functions during that period. Is that
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. So would it be fair to say that Mr. Mirkovic, your komandir, would
8 be in a pretty good responsible to know who would be responsible for
9 giving the orders to him for asanacija. Is that correct?
10 A. Well, he was supposed to know; I wasn't.
11 Q. All right. Now, the Prosecution on Friday was trying to assert
12 that the task of asanacija was under the military.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. McCloskey can object. He doesn't need to
14 whisper to his co-counsel, your honour. I have no problems with either
15 one of them objecting. I really don't
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, we will acknowledge the formal objections, but
17 not whispers.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Now, was it your understanding that the civil protection was under
20 the military or was it part of the civilian authority?
21 A. I was not familiar with the chain of command, however, the civil
22 protection was only involved with the asanacija of the terrain and, as
23 I've already said, repairing the water and telephone lines. As for any
24 further structure of the government, I was not aware of it.
25 Q. All right. Now, you've indicated that you got your orders during
1 those days from Mr. Nikolic in the presence of your komandir,
2 Mr. Mirkovic. Is that correct?
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. Now, Mr. Mirkovic has indicated in his statement to the Office of
5 the Prosecution that he was personally ordered by Colonel Beara. Do you
6 know who Colonel Beara is?
7 A. No, I don't. I'm not familiar with those officers.
8 Q. So I take it that at no time during this period did you ever
9 receive an order from someone named Colonel Beara?
10 A. No, never.
11 Q. Okay. All right. Now, I want to talk to you a little bit about
12 your interview in Banja Luka. You were interviewed back on June 29th,
13 2002. Is that correct?
14 A. I don't know the exact date.
15 Q. All right. And I take it you had to go from Bratunac to Banja
17 A. Yes, I had to go.
18 Q. Did you drive or did you take a bus?
19 A. I drove in my own car.
20 Q. And is that a six- to eight-hour drive? Is that what it took you?
21 A. It takes at least six hours if you go through the Federation. If
22 you take the long way around, it takes at least eight to nine hours.
23 Q. All right. And which way did you go through?
24 A. I went across the Federation by Tuzla and Doboj.
25 Q. Okay. And I take it you got there the night before the interview?
1 A. No. I set out at 2.00 in the morning and I arrived in Banja Luka
2 at 7.30 or 8.00 the next morning.
3 Q. And the interview began around 9.00, did it not?
4 A. Yes, in the morning, around 9.00.
5 Q. And according to the transcript, it ended slightly after 5.00
6 p.m., some eight hours later?
7 A. Yes, at half past 4.00 or 5.00, the breaks were long, though.
8 Q. Right. Now -- and during the interview, you were interviewed by
9 two people, plus there was an interpreter in the room?
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. I believe one was a man and the other one was a woman?
12 A. That's right.
13 Q. And the man, Mr. Piekos, who was the investigator, did most of the
14 questioning, did he not?
15 A. Yes, the man was the one asking most of the questions.
16 Q. But occasionally the female, Ms. de la Torre, would interrupt and
17 ask questions as well. Is that right?
18 A. Yes. She asked some questions.
19 Q. And at times she would interrupt you and ask you to be more
21 A. Yes. There was something she couldn't understand, but that's how
22 it was.
23 Q. All right. Now, as the interview began, you were told that your
24 status -- you had the status of a suspect. Do you recall that?
25 A. That's what they said, yes.
1 Q. And they told you that depending on what they learned from you,
2 that perhaps your status might change further down the road?
3 A. Yes. Yes, that's precisely what they told me.
4 Q. All right. Would it be fair to say that made you somewhat
5 apprehensive and nervous?
6 A. It's a very unpleasant experience, yes. I didn't trust them.
7 Q. All right. But nonetheless you tried to answer their questions,
8 did you not?
9 A. I tried to answer all the questions, yes.
10 Q. Now, on Friday, the Prosecutor pointed out a segment in your
11 statement where you seemed to indicate that the -- when you were doing
12 this work as part of the asanacija, that you were under the Bratunac
13 Brigade and under the command of Vidoje Blagojevic. Do you recall that?
14 A. She asked me a question and I provided an answer. Now what the
15 answer was, I can't remember. Probably the public utilities company was
16 under the command of the Bratunac Brigade throughout that period of time.
17 I think that's what I said.
18 Q. Okay. But then when I questioned you, you indicated that it was
19 part of the civilian authority and not under the military. Do you
20 remember when I questioned you on Friday, you then indicated that it was
21 your understanding that the civil protection is under the civil authority
22 and not under the military authority?
23 A. That's what I said, however, as for that period of time when all
24 this was happening, whether it was under civilian or military command, I
25 really don't know. But that was indeed what my answer was.
1 Q. Okay. All right. That's your answer today as well, you're
3 A. The structure of the chain of command while all this was
4 happening -- I'm not precisely familiar with it, but that's how it was.
5 Q. All right. Well, Colonel Blagojevic was the commander of the
6 Bratunac Brigade. Do you recall that?
7 A. Yes, I do recall that he was the brigade commander.
8 Q. He never gave you an order, did he?
9 A. No, never. Never.
10 Q. He never asked you to do any asanacija, did he?
11 A. No, never.
12 Q. And when Mr. Nikolic came to you in front of Mr. Mirkovic and
13 ordered you, Mr. Nikolic never said that he had an order from the
14 commander of the Bratunac Brigade for you to carry out, did he?
15 A. He never said that to us. What he did say was for us to do it,
16 but he never said who had ordered him to carry this out. I'm not aware of
18 Q. And of course you knew Mr. Nikolic from before when, as I
19 understand it, you had indicated he was the commander of the brigade or
20 the Territorial Defence. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes. That's correct. Before all these events, he was in the
22 military department and for a while he was a teacher, that sort of thing.
23 That's what I knew him from.
24 Q. Right. But you indicated to the Prosecution that he had been the
25 first commander when the war broke out?
1 A. I don't remember having said that.
2 Q. All right. But if it was in the transcript of your statement, you
3 would have no reason to doubt that you had stated that? If it was in your
4 transcript that you gave, you would have no reason to doubt that, would
6 A. If that's what I said, I would have no reason to doubt that. But
7 frankly, I don't remember.
8 Q. Okay. Well, just for the record let me read what you said in from
9 your statement and I'm reading from the updated, revised, corrected
10 version of your transcript given to us by the Office of the Prosecution.
11 It's on page 37, line 18.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: And incidentally, Your Honours, I don't believe
13 there was a Prosecution number given to this particular exhibit. So I
14 believe that we may need to give it a number. And since we're introducing
15 it, it should come under D66/1 for identification.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Mr. Karnavas, can I interrupt you, please, it will
17 be D67/1 ID.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you for correcting me.
19 Q. You indicate: "At the beginning of the war, the brigade commander
20 was Momir Nikolic."
21 And then on page 38 -- in the B/C/S version, it would be on page
22 22 sort of in the middle of the page. And I'll wait for you to get it.
23 You were asked a question, this is on page -- I'm reading from page 37,
24 line 16. In your version it would be page 22, and it's around line 8.
25 "Do you know the members of the command of the Bratunac Brigade?"
1 Answer: "At the beginning of the war, the brigade commander was
2 Momir Nikolic."
3 And then on page 38, further down in your text you say: "At the
4 beginning of the war he was the one who commanded the brigade and during
5 the time when the operation of Srebrenica, I think it was Blagojevic,
7 So I take it that you knew Mr. Nikolic to be someone of authority
8 in Bratunac. Is that correct?
9 A. Well, that's what I assumed, but that's precisely what I said,
10 that he was.
11 Q. Right. Exactly. Now, since we're talking about Mr. Nikolic, as I
12 understand it, at some point after the burials and prior to the reburials,
13 you began receiving anonymous phone calls, your family, you and your
15 A. Yes, that's correct.
16 Q. And those phone calls were threats of what would happen to you and
17 your children. Is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And you took those threats quite seriously, didn't you?
20 A. I took them seriously, yes.
21 Q. And then after the threats came Momir Nikolic to visit you? After
22 the anonymous phone calls, at some point Momir Nikolic came to visit you
23 to direct you to do the reburials?
24 A. No, not home.
25 Q. No, not at home. But as I understand it, the sequencing of it was
1 there anonymous phone calls and then at some point Momir Nikolic again
2 gave you an order that you had to do the reburial.
3 A. Yes. It was outside the wooden shack where the police were.
4 That's where he wanted us to come. That's where he called us, not at
6 Q. Right. And I'm not suggesting that he was calling you at home.
7 But I want to make sure that we all understand that first you got the
8 anonymous phone calls threatening your family if you did not participate
9 in the activities they wanted you to participate in. And then after that,
10 at some point it was Momir Nikolic who came and ordered you to carry out
11 the activities for which you and your family had been threatened?
12 A. Yes. We were ordered to do the reburial.
13 Q. All right. And I take it the anonymous phone calls stopped once
14 you agreed to carry out the orders given to you by Mr. Nikolic? You
15 didn't receive any threatening calls, any anonymous calls after you agreed
16 to carry out the orders?
17 A. There were no further calls, no.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
20 Any cross-examination, Mr. Stojanovic?
21 MR. KARNAVAS: With the Court's permission, if I could return.
22 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we would like to
23 clarify two dilemmas concerning Friday's testimony by this witness and
24 today's testimony by this witness.
25 Cross-examined by Mr. Stojanovic:
1 Q. [Interpretation] (redacted).
2 A. Good morning.
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we shall keep this
4 very brief. Can we have the usher's assistance, please?
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Could I just ask to have his statement put before him, the one
9 that was exhibited a few moments ago.
10 Mr. Witness, could you just look at the B/C/S version of your
11 statement on page 3. I'm going to read out part of your statement, that
12 particular part, so then let's comment upon it together. In response to
13 the question put by the investigator: "We are looking for the main
14 perpetrators which does not preclude the possibility of --"
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please slow down, the interpreters
16 do not have the text.
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. "-- the main perpetrators, but this does not mean that those who
19 are of minor importance are of interest as well." Answer: "What I did
20 with the machine that's a different story, but I was an ordinary grave
21 digger, if I can put it that way."
22 Have you found this section?
23 A. Yes, I have.
24 Q. In the English original version, it is page 4, Your Honours. And
25 now I would just like to ask you to look at page 13 of the B/C/S version.
1 On page 8 of the B/C/S version, which is page 13 of the English version,
2 the original version. You say the following: "I did not even enter
3 Srebrenica because I went down to the asphalt road below Vidikovac and
4 then the military Motorola asked me to come to Bratunac, because on both
5 sides there were dead people. They were supposed to be buried in order to
6 prevent an infection."
7 Did you manage to read that?
8 A. Yes, I found this.
9 Q. Now, in relation to this particular section of your statement, I
10 would just like to put a few questions to you.
11 A. That's all right.
12 Q. You were treated by them as a suspect. Is that right?
13 A. Yes, that's right.
14 Q. You said that you did not know why you were a suspect in view of
15 the work you had done?
16 A. That's right.
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Stojanovic. Take your time and we need to
18 have the proper translation. Please make a pause after you hear the
19 answer of this witness.
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. These two answers, are they precisely the result of this fact why
22 you did not feel guilty, you wanted to avoid an infection from breaking
23 out and you simply had to do this job, that is to say bury the dead?
24 A. Yes. That's correct. I don't feel guilty because I was involved
25 in a humanitarian matter in order to prevent an infection from breaking
2 Q. Thank you. And I'll just try to clarify another question. On
3 Friday you spoke about a machine BGH-900 and it had the lettering Vodovod
4 Zvornik on it and it had been there for a longer period of time in order
5 to deal with the river bed. Is that right?
6 A. That's right.
7 Q. During those days when you worked in Glogova, did you see any one
8 of the machinists from Zvornik use this particular machine or does your
9 knowledge pertain to the fact that you used the machine only?
10 A. Nobody came from Zvornik. Nobody was there. I was the only one
11 who during that period of time when I was told that this machine had to be
12 used -- I mean, they brought it there. I worked with it on the second
14 Q. So I'm correct if I infer that you did not see anyone from Zvornik
15 operating that machine?
16 A. There was no one else there. Yes, that's right.
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, thank you, I have
18 no further questions. Thank you.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
20 Any redirect? Ms. Issa?
21 MS. ISSA: Yes, Your Honour, thank you.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Blagojevic?
23 THE ACCUSED BLAGOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, by your
24 leave I would just like to draw your attention to one thing. I have no
25 special questions, I'm not going to raise anything, but I would just like
1 to draw your attention to one thing.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, is it a procedural matter or is the matter
3 concerning of the substantial issues?
4 THE ACCUSED BLAGOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it has to do
5 with P-160.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Blagojevic, I think we have already passed
7 that witness already. Now this witness is P-140.
8 THE ACCUSED BLAGOJEVIC: [Interpretation] No, but I meant exhibit
9 P-160 that was mentioned here on Thursday.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, yes, Mr. Blagojevic, you may raise a question or
11 make a statement, but I have to warn you that anything you said may be
12 used as evidence against you, and you voluntarily give up your right to
13 remain silent. You have to understand that before you make any
15 THE ACCUSED BLAGOJEVIC: [Interpretation] I understand that, Your
17 JUDGE LIU: And we have already advised you that if you have any
18 questions or issues, you may write down on a piece of paper and pass it to
19 your counsel. Are you going to still make that intervention?
20 THE ACCUSED BLAGOJEVIC: [Interpretation] I still wish to
21 intervene, Your Honour. I have already presented my position, but I
22 don't want to repeat it every morning here in respect of whether I have a
23 lawyer or not here. I think that this can be found in the transcript and
24 I don't want to tire the Trial Chamber here time and again. I abide by
25 the position I've already taken.
1 I wish to --
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, so long as you understand the legal consequences,
3 you may proceed, Mr. Blagojevic.
4 THE ACCUSED BLAGOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, everything I
5 am doing I am doing with good intentions, I mean in respect of myself and
6 the institution. So this is what it has to do with: As far as this
7 particular exhibit is concerned, the Prosecution Exhibit P-160, and it has
8 to do with -- I think it was a copy that was shown here on the ELMO, a
9 copy of the document, a certificate that the witness brought here. I
10 would like to state here that if we look at the institution that is
11 mentioned in the upper left-hand corner of this document and the person
12 who signed this document and is mentioned in the lower right-hand corner
13 of that document, that person is not authorised to issue this kind of
14 document, or rather, a document with this kind of substance. A document
15 of this kind of substance or with a similar substance should have been
16 issued by the Bratunac Brigade. And then it would be authentic. This has
17 to do with some other matters. I could comment on that, too, but I would
18 not wish to because from the very outset I have to say that I think this
19 is a document that is worthless, bearing in mind the institution that the
20 mentioned in the upper left-hand corner and also the person that signed
21 the document on the -- in the lower right-hand corner, because this is not
22 a person who commanded the Bratunac Brigade and this is not a person that
23 had anything to do with the Bratunac Brigade. That is what I wish to say
24 to you, Your Honours, and I thank you.
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
1 THE ACCUSED BLAGOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Issa, you may proceed.
3 MS. ISSA: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Re-examined by Ms. Issa:
5 Q. Now, sir, in your statement when you gave your statement at Banja
6 Luka to investigators on the 29th of June, 2002, did you tell them at that
7 point that Dragan Mirkovic was working under the supervision of the
8 Bratunac Brigade in July of 1995?
9 A. I don't know whether I said this, but Dragan Mirkovic was in this
10 public utilities company.
11 Q. Did you tell them that the public utilities company was working
12 under the supervision of the Bratunac Brigade?
13 A. Perhaps I said that because I understood the system, but then
14 perhaps that was not the system, of command I mean.
15 Q. Did you say to the investigators that perhaps that that was not
16 the system of command at that time?
17 A. I said earlier on that I don't know this system, but I did say
18 that the public utilities company worked on this sanitisation and the
19 repairs and everything. Now, whether it was within the Bratunac Brigade,
20 perhaps I did say it was.
21 Q. All right. Well, just to clarify, I'm going to refer to that.
22 MS. ISSA: I would ask the usher to please hand a copy of the
23 B/C/S version to the witness. Thank you.
24 I'm referring, Your Honour, to the bottom of page -- starting with
25 page 35, line 19.
1 Q. And in your version, sir, page 21, line 25. And you were asked
2 the following.
3 Q. Could you explain to me the chain of command over yourself.
4 First of all, you told that your commander was Mr.
6 A. Yes, he was in charge of the Workers' Battalion. When I was
7 in Oblovac at the front lines this Nedjo Mladjenovic was
9 Q. Does it mean, that you changed your unit or responsibility
10 also command upon arrival to Bratunac?
11 A. Yes, I had to change because we were being in the Workers'
12 Battalion, and this company that was doing the public
13 utilities was also part of that. So when I would serve at the
14 lines, I would serve under Nedjo and when I --
15 JUDGE LIU: No, no. Too fast.
16 MS. ISSA: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I will slow down.
17 Q. A. So when I would serve at the lines, I would serve under Nedjo
18 and when I would go there, I would be under the command of
19 Dragan Mirkovic who was in charge of that particular unit.
20 Q. Is it correct that Mr. Mirkovic, Dragan, was your permanent
21 commander and was under supervision of the command of Bratunac
23 A. That is correct. He was the commander, officer in the public
24 utilities and he was the one who gave me the orders and he was
25 receiving the orders from the command.
1 Q. Do you know specifically whom he was subordinated to?
2 A. I don't know. I didn't take interest in that. I don't know.
3 Somebody in the command, but I don't know who it was.
4 Q. Do you know the members of the command of the Bratunac
6 And then you begin to say:
7 A. At the beginning of the war it was Momir Nikolic and then it
8 was Vidoje Blagojevic.
9 Do you recall being asked those questions and giving those
10 answers, sir? Do you recall being asked those questions and giving those
12 A. Yes, yes, that's right. Those were the answers given.
13 Q. All right. Just for further clarification, I would like to refer
14 to page 8, starting at line 10. Page 6 in the B/C/S version, starting at
15 line 9. You were asked the following question, sir, and gave the
16 following answers:
17 Q. What did you do at the beginning of the war? Your activities
18 between 1992 and 1995, up to July 1995?
19 A. At the beginning of the war, I received my draft note and I
20 was immediately put into the engineering unit. I was working
21 on the asanacija of the terrain, meaning --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speaker please slow down. It is too
24 MS. ISSA: I'm sorry.
25 Q. -- meaning I was mostly burying the dead from both sides of the
1 battle, both the Serbian side of the --
2 Then it says indiscernible.
3 Q. What was the Engineering Unit, what brigade was it?
4 A. That was the only brigade from the Bratunac Brigade. That was
5 the only engineering company in the Bratunac Brigade and it
6 actually belongs -- it's part of the public utilities
8 Do you recall, sir, giving -- being asked those questions and
9 giving those answers?
10 A. Yes, those were the questions that were put and those were the
11 answers given, that the Bratunac public utilities company -- I mean, I
12 belonged to this Bratunac utility company, and this was a unit that was
13 involved in the sanitisation of the terrain.
14 Q. And it also says that unit was part of the Bratunac Brigade at the
15 time, doesn't it?
16 A. In that structure I didn't know that, that's what I said. But if
17 this structure is correct or then if it's not correct, I mean I don't
19 MS. ISSA: If I could have the Court's indulgence. I just want to
20 refer to my notes for a moment, Your Honour. Sorry, Your Honour, I just
21 misplaced a document for a moment. Thank you for your indulgence.
22 Q. Now, sir, I'm going to show you a document which is marked P-160,
23 page 5. And if I can ask the assistance of the usher to place this on the
25 MS. ISSA: And perhaps, Your Honour, we can go into closed session
1 briefly before we do that.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go to the private session.
3 MS. ISSA: Actually, I think it should be closed session, Your
4 Honour, because it will be placed on the ELMO.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the closed session.
6 [Closed session]
12 Pages 3475 to 3488 redacted, closed session
23 [Open session]
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we are now in the open session.
25 Witness, you may answer that question.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that time I was ordered by Dragan
2 Mirkovic, who was my superior, to dig that pit in Glogova. Present there
3 was also Momir Nikolic.
4 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And when you were told to dig this ditch, what
6 A. I don't think I gave the exact date. That was following the fall
7 of Srebrenica, two or three days after the burial of the Serb soldiers,
8 which would make it the third day after the fall of Srebrenica.
9 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: After the fall or before the fall? You stated
10 that you were not to dig a ditch before the fall of Srebrenica.
11 A. No. That's not when this was said, nor would this have been
12 possible because I was on the line back then. That was after my arrival
13 back in the public utilities company on the 13th or the 14th, I was told
14 to report back to the public utilities company on the 15th to go and dig
15 the graves in Glogova. That was after the fall of Srebrenica.
16 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you. I have no more questions.
17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
18 MS. ISSA: I'm sorry, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
20 MS. ISSA: I don't mean to interrupt, but I just want to clarify
21 Judge Vassylenko I believe was referring to the Redzici grave in 1992,
22 which is the subject of the information report. It seems to me that
23 perhaps the witness misunderstood and was referring to the graves that
24 he's already testified about, the Glogova graves. I wanted to clarify
25 that because I noticed that the witness perhaps did not understand the
1 question. Thank you.
5 MS. ISSA: Yes, I understand, Your Honour. I just wanted to
6 perhaps refer Your Honour to the very last page that reflects the comments
7 of the investigator, deals with the -- it says it relates to a 1992 grave.
8 I hope I've clarified matters, Your Honour. I was just trying to assist.
9 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, do you have any questions out of Judge's
12 MS. ISSA: No, I don't. Thank you.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
14 Mr. Karnavas?
15 MR. KARNAVAS: No, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
17 Mr. Stojanovic?
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No further questions, Your
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
21 At this stage are there any documents to tender on the side of the
23 MS. ISSA: Yes, Your Honour. I'll be tendering the following
24 documents under seal, P-160, that's the full package of documents that I
25 referred to earlier. P-164, P-165, and I believe P-161 refers to the name
1 of the witness.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
3 MS. ISSA: Thank you.
4 JUDGE LIU: But here we have a witness under the protective
5 measures. If you want to tender P-161, I believe that before your direct
6 examination you have to show this piece of the paper to the witness
7 himself, to the party -- to the other party, and to the Judges.
8 MS. ISSA: Well, perhaps it was my mistake, Your Honour, but I was
9 under the impression that he was shown the paper and I acknowledged that
10 name as being himself. And perhaps I just misrecollected that. And if
11 that's the case, we can simply do that at this point. I don't believe
12 that would be in dispute.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, I don't think there is any dispute. It's just
14 the procedural matters. We'll see if there's any objections from the
15 other side. If there's no objections, why should we --
16 MS. ISSA: I agree, Your Honour. Thank you.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas. Do you have any objections?
18 MR. KARNAVAS: I don't have any objections, however, I concur with
19 your remarks with respect to 161. It's my recollection that it was never
20 shown, his name on the document, and I think that we should follow the
21 established procedure, just to be on the safe side.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
23 Mr. Stojanovic, do you have any objections to those four
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] As for our Defence team, no, Your
1 Honour. There are no objections, nor do we challenge anything related to
2 this document.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. These four documents are
4 admitted into evidence under seal, because all the documents bear the name
5 of this witness.
6 At this stage, are there any documents to tender on the Defence
7 part? Mr. Karnavas?
8 MR. KARNAVAS: No, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
10 Mr. Stojanovic?
11 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No, not from us, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
13 Well, Witness, thank you very much for coming to The Hague to give
14 your evidence.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE LIU: When the usher pulls up the blinds, she will take you
17 out of the courtroom and we wish you a pleasant journey back home.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
20 [The witness withdrew]
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. McCloskey, I believe that the next witness
22 is also under the protective measures.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, that's correct, Mr. President. He has asked
24 for a pseudonym and face distortion. And could we go into -- well are we
25 still in private session just by the looks of things or could we go to
1 private session?
2 JUDGE LIU: No, no. We could go to private session, please.
3 [Private session]
12 Pages 3495 to 3502 redacted, private session
21 [Open session]
22 JUDGE LIU: Now we are in open session. You may proceed.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
24 Q. Witness, on -- did you receive any kind of an assignment related
25 to security in the Hotel Fontana around the time of the attack on
2 A. At the Hotel Fontana was the command post of the Main Staff of the
3 Army of Republika Srpska. So I received orders to provide security for
4 that command post.
5 Q. And when did you receive orders to provide security for the Hotel
7 A. It was when those main officers came, the officers from the Main
8 Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska. This was maybe a few days before
9 the fall of Srebrenica. I don't remember exactly, but ...
10 Q. Okay. And who gave you the orders to secure the hotel?
11 A. That order was issued by Momir Nikolic.
12 Q. And you say the Hotel Fontana was a command post. Were there
13 any -- was there any communications equipment for the command to use to
14 communicate outside the Hotel Fontana?
15 A. I don't know. I didn't enter the hotel, and at that time it was
16 not allowed to enter the hotel. So the military police provided security
17 in front of this facility, I mean Fontana.
18 Q. So did you have any idea what was going on inside the hotel when
19 there was superior officers there?
20 A. I just know that two or three meetings were held. I know that the
21 representatives of the Muslim people came to this one meeting, then the
22 representatives of the United Nations.
23 Q. Okay. Let me ask you about that. The day or evening that the
24 Muslim representatives came to that hotel with the representatives of the
25 United Nations, were you asked or ordered, excuse me, to provide any more
1 security for the Hotel Fontana?
2 A. Yes. Orders were given then to reinforce the security of the
3 Fontana Hotel and members of the civilian police took part in this as
4 well, of the police station in Bratunac.
5 Q. And did you yourself go to the hotel to help with security?
6 A. No. I just came once to see the place. It was not allowed to
8 Q. And where were you coming from before going to the Hotel Fontana?
9 A. I came from the facility where the military police headquarters
11 Q. And where was that?
12 A. This is in front of the brigade command. This is a facility that
13 was outside the compound belonging to brigade headquarters.
14 Q. Okay. On that day that you left the MP post and went over to the
15 Hotel Fontana to check on security, do you know where your commander,
16 Blagojevic, was?
17 A. I did not know where he was.
18 Q. So where did you go after going to the Hotel Fontana?
19 A. I went back to the military police headquarters up there.
20 Q. And about what time did you get back to the military police
22 A. I think this was in the evening. I don't know. Perhaps about
23 2200 hours, something like that. I don't know.
24 Q. And what did you do that evening after getting back from checking
25 on the security of the Hotel Fontana?
1 A. When this security was over, when this meeting was over, the
2 policemen who were engaged in providing security there returned to this
3 facility, and they were on the ready. Because orders were given
4 prohibiting anyone to leave the premises, I mean the place where the
5 military police was.
6 Q. Did any superior officers come back to the Bratunac Brigade
7 command that night to your knowledge or come to it, I should say?
8 A. I don't know about that. I don't know. I didn't have the right
9 to know whether anybody returned to the brigade command or not.
10 Q. Were your military police units assigned to providing any security
11 for superior officers that were in the area at that time?
12 A. I don't know which time you mean.
13 Q. The evening of the Hotel Fontana and the next day and the next
15 A. I've already said that before that, there was security at the
16 Fontana Hotel and afterwards, too. For as long as the command was there,
17 or rather, members from the Main Staff -- for as long as the officers of
18 the Main Staff were there, the military police secured the facility.
19 Q. Did you -- were any military policemen assigned to be with General
20 Mladic to travel with him as his security as he went around the area
21 around Bratunac on those days?
22 A. Yes. The military police provided security for his movements
23 every day. Wherever he went, they provided security for him as well as
24 along the route that he would take.
25 Q. How about for General Krstic, did your military -- did the
1 Bratunac Brigade military police provide security for General Krstic
2 during this time?
3 A. I don't know. I know that they provided security for all the
4 officers of the Main Staff and of the corps, but I know also that there
5 was military police from the corps. It was called the battalion of the
6 military police from the corps, and there were some of them who came there
7 with them. And they also provided security.
8 Q. And who was the commander of the corps of the military police?
9 A. I don't know what his name was. I've forgotten his name.
10 Q. And how many military policemen from the corps were there in
11 Bratunac during these days?
12 A. I don't know. I didn't know them anyway. I knew this commander
13 of that detachment of the military police of the battalion, but I don't
14 know. I didn't know these men, so I cannot say what their number was.
15 Q. Can you give us a rough idea, just a rough estimate. More than a
17 A. I don't know. I really don't know.
18 Q. You have no idea whatsoever?
19 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the answer.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY:
21 Q. You have no idea whatsoever? You need to speak into the mike,
23 A. I don't know. I'm saying that I didn't know them. I mean, if I
24 saw some soldiers there, how could I know who they belonged to and which
25 unit they belonged to, perhaps I didn't even see them. I mean, if I would
1 see them at one place, how can I know whether they're not in another
2 place, too. Perhaps they're providing security for somebody else from the
3 corps, too. How can I say? I cannot give any figure because I would be
4 making a mistake.
5 Q. Did you know if General Mladic came to the Bratunac Brigade
6 command the night that the Muslims and the Dutch met at the Hotel Fontana?
7 A. I don't know. I didn't see him. I mean, I was not in a position
8 to see him.
9 Q. You said he was provided security by your people. Wouldn't your
10 people have reported to you his movements?
11 A. I'm not authorised to check on where the General is going. So
12 they did not have the duty to inform me about that, about his movements.
13 Q. Your military police officers did not have a duty to report to you
14 about what they had been doing with General Mladic. Is that what you're
15 telling us?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Well, what are you telling us?
18 A. I don't know what I'm supposed to say.
19 Q. Just do your best to answer the questions and tell the truth.
20 What else did you do that night when you got back from the Hotel
22 A. I don't know what I did. I don't know.
23 Q. You have no idea?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Okay. How about the next morning, which would be the 12th July.
1 What did you do the morning of the 12th July?
2 A. I cannot remember those dates. I cannot remember that time, I
3 mean because it's been quite a while since then.
4 Q. Now, don't worry about the dates. That's why I've made an effort
5 to say the day after the night of the Hotel Fontana meeting with the
6 Muslims and the UN. What did you do the next day? Were you aware of
7 another meeting at the Hotel Fontana that morning of that next day?
8 A. Well, I don't know. I've already said that there were two or
9 three meetings, perhaps even more. I don't know. I don't know what the
10 first one was, whether the first one was with these representatives of the
11 United Nations and of the Muslim people or whether that was the last
12 meeting. I mean, I don't know. I can't remember the exact order.
13 Q. Well, just tell us about the morning after the evening of the
14 first meeting. Were you on duty? This is the day that the VRS first went
15 into Potocari, just to help refresh your recollection.
16 A. I know that one night I was assistant duty officer for Momir
17 Nikolic. Now, which night that was and what the date was, I can't
19 Q. Okay. Well, we'll get to that, but first I want to talk about --
20 you're aware that the VRS went into Potocari one morning, weren't you?
21 Were you aware that the VRS one morning went into Potocari?
22 A. I knew that.
23 Q. What were you doing that morning that the VRS went into Potocari?
24 A. I did not even know that this action was being prepared. I did
25 not even know that an action was being prepared to attack Srebrenica.
1 When General Mladic left, I don't know which day that was, which date that
2 was, when he went up to Srebrenica -- no, not to Srebrenica, to Potocari,
3 to Potocari. When he went to Potocari, military police security went with
4 him. And then he was giving something out to the Muslim people who were
5 gathered there in Potocari.
6 Q. Okay. That day that General Mladic first went to Potocari, how
7 many of the Bratunac Brigade military police went with him as security?
8 A. Well, I don't know. I know that he himself could have returned a
9 number of military policemen. He could have said, I don't need you,
10 something like that. So this number changed.
11 Q. Mr. Witness, please, just listen. It's a simple question. How
12 many Bratunac Brigade military police went to secure General Mladic that
13 first day he went into Potocari, if you know?
14 A. I don't know that number, I don't. Perhaps four or five, perhaps
15 more. I really don't know.
16 Q. Did you give -- excuse me. Did the military police have an
17 assignment separate from securing General Mladic in Potocari that day?
18 A. No, no. It did not have a separate assignment. They accompanied
19 him and they were providing security along the route. Which date that
20 was, I can't remember. It was the route towards Pribicevac. So the
21 military police secured the road to Pribicevac and they accompanied
22 General Mladic. So there were some who directly accompanied him and
23 others provided security along the road to Pribicevac.
24 Q. Were there any Bratunac Brigade military police securing the crowd
25 of Muslim refugees that was in Potocari that first day?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Were there any Bratunac Brigade military police assisting the
3 Muslim refugees to getting on the buses and transported out of Potocari
4 that first day?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Did you receive any reports from anyone that Bratunac Brigade
7 military police were securing Muslim people in Potocari that day,
8 besides ...
9 A. No, they did not have that task. Their task was to accompany
10 General Mladic to provide security for him personally, not for somebody
11 else who happened to be there.
12 Q. Do you know if military police separated Muslim men from the crowd
13 of Muslims in Potocari that first day?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Did you order Bratunac Brigade military police to secure the crowd
16 of Muslims in Potocari that first day?
17 A. No. The military police did not secure the Muslims on that day at
18 all in Potocari.
19 Q. Did you give them any orders, the military police, any orders to
20 secure Muslims in Potocari that day?
21 A. No, no.
22 Q. How about the next day, the second day that Muslims were
23 transported out of Potocari, were the -- did you know whether the military
24 police were involved in securing the Muslims on that second day?
25 A. The military police did not have that task at all to take part in
1 this transport or to separate people, board them, anything. They did not
2 have that duty.
3 Q. Did you ever hear any reports that they were involved in that?
4 A. No.
5 Q. So that first day that Mladic went into Potocari, did you go into
7 A. I only went to the point where the entrance was into the UN base,
8 or the base of the Dutch Battalion.
9 Q. Why did you go there?
10 A. I went there just to see whether the military policemen were still
11 there, the ones who were providing security for General Mladic.
12 Q. And what did you find?
13 A. There were many members of the United Nations there, of the Dutch
14 Battalion, that is. There were a lot of troops from some units that I
15 didn't even know who that were not from the Bratunac Brigade. I saw
16 General Mladic at a distance of about 50 to 100 metres by a fence, which
17 was on the left-hand side when facing Srebrenica, where there were
18 Muslims, primarily women and children. And he was giving them something
19 across this fence.
20 Q. So did you see any of your military -- did you see any military
21 police officers from the Bratunac Brigade?
22 A. At that time there were military policemen who were providing
23 security for General Mladic personally.
24 Q. And who were they?
25 A. I don't know. I can't remember who they were.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, it looks like it's our break time.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will resume at 12.30.
3 --- Break taken at 11.59 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 12.31 p.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Mr. McCloskey, please proceed.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. So, Mr. Witness, when you were in Potocari and you said you were
8 watching General Mladic, did you issue any orders at that time to anyone?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Did you receive any orders from anyone at that time?
11 A. No.
12 Q. So what did you do next?
13 A. I returned to the police building.
14 Q. And what did you do there that day?
15 A. Nothing.
16 Q. Not a thing? Did you issue any orders? Receive any orders?
17 A. I can't remember.
18 Q. Did you receive any reports from any military police from the
19 Bratunac Brigade?
20 A. I can't remember really.
21 Q. Okay. Let's go to Exhibit P-92, and if we could give the witness
22 the 12 July -- in B/C/S it says 12, 13 July. This is the -- one of the
23 daily -- well, we'll let you see what this is and ask you about it. Do we
24 have the English that we could put on the ELMO for the -- it says 12, 13
25 of July.
1 JUDGE LIU: Well, we are in the open session. Is it safe?
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes.
3 Q. Now, Witness, you're looking at the original B/C/S version of this
4 page. Can you tell us what this is that's dated 12, 13 July 1995.
5 A. This is an operations logbook for the duty operations officer of
6 the military police.
7 Q. And how is it normally filled in? Who does it and when?
8 A. This is done by the duty officer of the military police.
9 Q. Is it done the same time each day?
10 A. That's how it should be done.
11 Q. Roughly what time should it be done each day if you're doing it
12 according to the rules or the practices that you worked by?
13 A. This is usually written down before another duty officer takes
14 over. I think it was at 7.00 in the morning.
15 Q. So this says on this particular one, 12, 13 July. What time do
16 you think these notes would have -- or what day do you think these notes
17 would have been written down?
18 A. These notes were written down on the 13th, because it says here
19 12th of July, 13th of July 1995.
20 Q. Okay. So let's go over some of the information in here. So would
21 this information -- it was written down at 7.00 a.m., the 13th of July. I
22 take it this information would have been for the 12th of July then?
23 A. That's how it should be.
24 Q. Okay. And let's look at that first sentence. "The police were
25 engaged in securing the UNHCR and the surrender of Muslim people from
1 Srebrenica in Zuti Most to the Serb soldiers in Bratunac."
2 Let me ask you about the first part of that, "The police were
3 engaged in securing the UNHCR." Do you know what is meant by that?
4 A. Can I just have a look. I don't know. This perhaps refers to the
5 members of the international forces. I don't know. The UN or the UNHCR,
6 maybe the International Red Cross. As for the surrender of Muslims from
7 Srebrenica and Zuti Most, at Zuti Most there was a checkpoint manned by
8 the military police. They were there all the time securing the
9 checkpoint. That's where the confrontation line was between Bratunac and
10 the Srebrenica enclave.
11 Q. Were Muslims surrendering to them at Zuti Most? What does that
12 reference mean?
13 A. No. The Muslims were not surrendering at Zuti Most. This
14 probably refers to a convoy that was coming from the Potocari area into
15 the area of Bratunac municipality.
16 Q. Convoy of what? You mentioned a convoy, sir, a convoy of what?
17 A. A convoy with the refugees from Srebrenica. The people who were
18 transported -- or rather, from Potocari, who had been in Potocari.
19 Q. Then the next sentence says: "One part of the police forces
20 secured the sick and wounded in the clinic."
21 First of all, who were the sick and wounded?
22 A. The sick and wounded were Muslim people, the Muslim population who
23 had been wounded around Srebrenica and then transported to the health
24 centre in Bratunac.
25 Q. Okay. And then it says: "One part of the police forces secured
1 the sick and wounded in the clinic, and the passage of trucks transporting
2 refugees from the Srebrenica enclave through Bratunac."
3 So what in particular, if you know, is meant by "Securing the
4 passage of trucks transporting refugees from the Srebrenica enclave
5 through Bratunac"?
6 A. The families of civilians who had been killed and soldiers who had
7 been killed, too, from the municipality of Bratunac were furious, furious
8 with the Muslim people, because they would not allow them through the
9 territory of Bratunac. They stoned the convoy. So in order to prevent
10 that from happening, the police provided security for those vehicles to
11 pass through safely.
12 Q. Why was the Serb population furious with the Muslim population at
13 that time?
14 A. Because on several occasions there were attacks from the protected
15 enclave of Srebrenica and the zone around Srebrenica, attacks by armed
16 groups coming out of Srebrenica attacking villages such as Bjelovac,
17 Kravica, and other towns in Bratunac municipality.
18 Q. So how well known was it that the Serb populations were very
19 angry with the Muslims were these attacks?
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Just a minor clarification. He's referring to Serb
22 population as if it's the entire Serb -- everybody who was Serb in that
23 area. I believe the gentleman indicated that families of soldiers who had
24 been killed as opposed to the Serb population. I just want to make sure
25 that the record doesn't reflect that there's some kind of collective, you
1 know, Serb outrage out there.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, is that an important issue?
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I think at some point it does become an
4 important issue, because now we're talking about the entire Serb
5 population being against the Muslim population. I thought this entire
6 process was so that we get away from collective guilt and we focus on
7 individual responsibility, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE LIU: I don't think there is any doubt about that, but
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. I don't know why that
11 allegation needs to raise its head at me. It's certainly not anything I'm
12 trying to suggest.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm not raising an allegation. I'm just asking
14 that he be a little more precise. That's all
15 JUDGE LIU: Maybe, Mr. McCloskey, you can ask some questions of
16 this to clarify the issue.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY:
18 Q. This feeling, this wartime -- I take it this is a wartime feeling
19 that the families of those killed by the Muslims felt. Is that right?
20 A. This was felt by the Serb people, those in particular whose family
21 members had been killed. Both civilian victims -- because many civilians
22 had been killed and soldiers, Serb soldiers, that had been killed by the
23 Muslims from Srebrenica.
24 Q. So as far as you know, did both the Muslims and the Serbs have
25 many friends and family killed on both sides in this war?
1 A. Yes, that's correct.
2 Q. And you were aware that there were some rather hard feelings felt
3 in Bratunac town on this particular day when the Muslims were being
4 transported through it. Is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Okay. The next reference is: "Night duty in Fontana."
7 Is that the security you've talked about earlier because of the
8 superior officers staying there?
9 A. Yes. Yes, that's the security for the Fontana Hotel. And here it
10 says "the UNHCR school." I think that's security being provided -- well,
11 it reads UNHCR, but I think that's a mistake, probably the reference is to
12 DutchBat, members of the Dutch Battalion who were being billeted at the
13 secondary school building, the secondary school centre in Bratunac, that's
14 where they were billeted, so that's where security was being provided.
15 Breakfast and lunch at the brigade headquarters.
16 Q. Okay. Now, the evening of the 12th of July, this first day that
17 Muslims were transported out of Potocari towards Kladanj, what was your
18 assignment in the evening, besides what we see from that logbook? What
19 were you personally doing?
20 A. I don't think I understood your question.
21 Q. What were you doing this night, this first day that Muslims were
23 A. I don't know. I may have been on duty that night. I know that I
24 was the assistant duty officer at the brigade headquarters, at the
25 operations centre, one of those nights, and this may have been the night.
1 Q. Was there any superior officers at the brigade command when you
2 were assistant duty officer?
3 A. No.
4 Q. What time would you have begun your assistant duty officer job at
5 the brigade command?
6 A. The duty was 24 hours, around the clock, from 7.00 in the morning
7 the first day until 7.00 in the morning the next day. Momir Nikolic was
8 the duty officer and I was the assistant. So as a rule before this
9 situation arose, as part of our regular activities, he would have been on
10 duty for 12 hours between 7.00 in the morning and 7.00 in the evening, and
11 then I would have taken over at 7.00 in the evening and 7.00 the next
12 morning. However, when these activities began related to Srebrenica, and
13 during the day he would call me if he needed me, and then I would take
14 over and stand in for him. And then he would return, and as soon as he
15 returned, he would tell me, "I'm taking over, you can go and get some rest
17 So, I couldn't give you the exact hours when I was on duty and
18 when Nikolic was on duty, respectively. I can't know for sure.
19 Q. When you were in Potocari that first day and when you saw
20 General Mladic, did you see Momir Nikolic in Potocari?
21 A. I don't remember that.
22 Q. Were you on duty as assistant duty officer in the evening hours of
23 that first day of the transportation of Muslims?
24 A. I was on duty. I'm not sure if it was the first or the second
25 day, but I know that I was assistant duty officer for one day during the
1 night and morning.
2 Q. Where was the assistant duty officer's office in the brigade
3 headquarters, roughly just? What floor, to begin with?
4 A. The duty room, the duty operations room was on the ground floor of
5 the building where the Bratunac Brigade headquarters was.
6 Q. And how close to the entry way where people enter into the brigade
7 headquarters was it?
8 A. Well, between 30 and 50 metres, 40 metres from there, perhaps 30.
9 Q. That evening you were duty officer, what do you recall -- what
10 information do you recall receiving regarding the whereabouts of
11 General Mladic?
12 A. I can't remember any information. It was written the same way as
13 the operations logbook. There was another duty book detailing all
14 activities and reports received from units or officers. This was all
15 recorded in the duty logbook.
16 Q. That evening that you were duty officer, did you know where your
17 commander, Blagojevic, was?
18 A. No. I can't remember.
19 Q. The next day, which is the second day that people were transported
20 out of Potocari, Muslim people, what were you doing in the morning? Were
21 you on duty?
22 A. I'm not sure which day you're referring to, but I know that I was
23 on duty until 7.00 or 8.00 on that day, as long as we're talking about the
24 13th. I think -- I don't know. I was on duty that day but not the
25 following day.
1 Q. All right. If we could -- I want to show you a conversation. I
2 know you've seen it before. And we don't want to put it on the ELMO, but
3 if you could --
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: In fact, Your Honour, we should probably go into
5 private session I think for this brief line of questioning.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go to private session, please.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: So it might be a good idea to put it on the ELMO
8 just to assist us.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, if you want to put it on the ELMO, we'll have to
10 go to closed session.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Does everybody have a copy?
12 JUDGE LIU: I believe so.
13 [Private session]
12 Pages 3522 to 3525 redacted, private session
24 [Open session]
25 JUDGE LIU: Witness, you may answer the question, we are in open
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what I did that day. I
3 can't remember.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY:
5 Q. Okay. Do you remember in my office on Sunday telling me --
6 beginning an account regarding something you did that day?
7 A. I can't remember what I did exactly on each one of those days.
8 Now, one day I went to Konjevic Polje. Is that the day? I mean, I don't
9 know whether that's the day.
10 Q. Well, the day that you went to Konjevic Polje, was that the same
11 day that you went up towards Zvornik?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Which day was it in relation to when you went up towards Zvornik?
14 A. The day before I went to Zvornik, the day before that I went to
15 Konjevic Polje.
16 Q. Okay. Well, tell us about that day then, the day you went to
17 Konjevic Polje, and tell us what you first recall. Did you notice any
18 senior officers anywhere that day?
19 A. As for senior officers, I saw General Mladic and Colonel Popovic,
20 Vujadin Popovic. I saw them within the compound of the brigade
22 Q. And did you want to correct a mistake you made. I think you
23 testified to it earlier, but it was it was pretty out of context. Some
24 people may have caught it, about when you first saw General Mladic and
25 General Popovic.
1 A. You mean before the work concerning Srebrenica started?
2 Q. No. You -- to help refresh your recollection, you've told us in
3 Banja Luka that you saw General Mladic and Colonel Popovic the same day
4 that you took people up to Zvornik. And you have, I believe, changed your
5 account on that a little bit. Can you tell me about when you first saw
6 General Mladic and General Popovic.
7 A. When -- I mean, I know that I took an APC. I did not remember
8 that in Banja Luka, and I did not say that I went to Konjevic Polje,
9 because I know that I saw then -- I mean, when I first rode in this APC, I
10 first saw General -- Colonel Popovic and General Ratko Mladic. That's
11 when I first saw them.
12 Q. So you saw General Mladic and Colonel Popovic that for the first
13 time when you took the APC to Konjevic Polje. Is that what you're saying?
14 A. Yes. Yes.
15 Q. Okay. So where was it when you first saw General Mladic and
16 Colonel Popovic? Where were you? Where were they?
17 A. I was at the entrance into the brigade headquarters. There's a
18 policemen on duty there at the entrance, at the gate, leading into brigade
20 Q. Were you outside the building of the headquarters or inside the
21 building at this time?
22 A. Outside the compound, outside the compound of the brigade
23 headquarters and outside the building, too.
24 Q. Okay. And who did you see?
25 A. I saw General Mladic and Colonel Popovic.
1 Q. About what time of day was this?
2 A. Well, I don't know. Maybe around noon. I don't know what time it
4 Q. Okay. And what's the first thing you remember happening when you
5 saw these guys?
6 A. General Mladic swore at Colonel Popovic, and he said that he
7 should be more active in terms of doing something, that he shouldn't just
8 go around in circles there, whatever. I mean, I cannot say this
9 specifically now.
10 Q. Did Mladic do something to Popovic?
11 A. He kicked him. He kicked him in the rear.
12 Q. Do you recall what Mladic said to Popovic regarding what he should
13 be doing?
14 A. I didn't understand that. I just heard him say that he should do
15 something, that he shouldn't just be walking around. Do I have to say
17 Q. Well, the Court's heard everything. They've heard all kinds of
18 things, so I don't think that's a problem. Tell us the whole story.
19 A. He said, "Don't walk around there. Don't chase women's skirts.
20 Do something."
21 Q. Were there any other superior officers that you noticed around at
22 that time?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Where was your commander, Mr. Blagojevic?
25 A. I don't know where Commander Blagojevic was.
1 Q. So what happened next?
2 A. Popovic found Nikolic, then they went to the APCs that were behind
3 the brigade headquarters. And soon after that, the crew came -- a crew
4 from the Bratunac Brigade that had manned an APC of the Army of Republika
5 Srpska -- or rather, they did not come on an APC. They just came there.
6 It was just this crew that came.
7 Q. How many? How many crew members?
8 A. I don't know. There were about four or five of them there. They
9 wanted to get the APC moving. They had a lot of trouble. They didn't
10 succeed. I walked up. Momir spoke to me and I walked up to one of these
11 APCs and I managed to get it going.
12 Q. Can you tell us what kind of APCs that was that you got going.
13 What kind of an APC was it, in terms of who did it belong to?
14 A. It was an armoured personnel carrier of the UN, of the Dutch
16 Q. What colour was it?
17 A. White with black UN lettering.
18 Q. What did you do after you got that APC started up?
19 A. When I got the APC started up, Nikolic came and sat in the APC
20 with me. And Mile Petrovic did, too. Nikolic probably called him to come
21 along with us, as well, and he said to me that we should drive in the
22 direction of Konjevic Polje.
23 Q. And so what did you do?
24 A. I think that this other APC went behind us, the one that was
25 driven by this crew.
1 Q. What kind of APC was that, the other one?
2 A. The same one, the same one like the previous one, the one that I
4 Q. So you drove this -- the one you started up and this crew drove
5 another one. Is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Were there any other vehicles with this -- with you and the other
9 A. I don't understand. Are you asking me whether some other vehicle
10 also went to Konjevic Polje or whether there were some other vehicles over
12 Q. Well, just tell me what vehicles went to Konjevic Polje.
13 A. I don't know. I'm not sure. I'm not sure, so I cannot say. I
14 know that these two APCs went. I drove the first one. I don't know who
15 drove the second one, one of the crew members. I'm trying to remember,
16 and I tried to on Sunday as well when we talked. But I cannot say. I
17 think -- I say I think, and it's hard to make any statements that I'm not
18 sure of. I think that Colonel Popovic went in a Golf, in a navy blue
19 Golf. Again I'm saying I'm not sure and I don't know because I confuse
20 Zvornik -- I mean, when I went to Zvornik and when I went to Konjevic
22 Q. Okay. What were Nikolic's orders to you on this -- for this trip
23 to Konjevic Polje?
24 A. Nothing, just to go to Konjevic Polje. Once we got there, he
25 ordered -- first he came out and he had a word with someone, someone. And
1 then he said to follow the Golf driven by the civilian police. It was
2 blue and white with a police light on the roof and a loudspeaker, a PA
3 system, mounted on it. Once the Golf drove off perhaps 200 or 300 metres,
4 he told us to follow it. You could hear some sound coming through the PA
5 system from the police vehicle; however, the noise from the engines and
6 the caterpillar on the asphalt was too loud, so you couldn't understand
7 what was being said on the PA system.
8 Q. Who was around to hear anything from a PA system?
9 A. I don't know who and where people were. I do know that there were
10 soldiers lining the road. As for any other persons there, I really can't
12 Q. What was the purpose of this trip where you were following a MUP
13 vehicle with a loud speaker that's making some sort of announcement over
14 the airway? What was the purpose of that?
15 A. I don't know what the purpose was. My understanding was that this
16 was just for the security of that vehicle, because the wood was the -- the
17 trees in the woods were beginning to bloom, so it was difficult to see.
18 There were people hiding in the woods who may have been shooting at the
19 vehicles. That was my interpretation, and that was the only reason I
20 could see for them to send the APC after that vehicle.
21 Q. Did you get an order to drive that APC down the road, that UN APC,
22 to try to trick Muslims into surrendering to the UN?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did you get such an order?
25 A. No. No.
1 Q. Was it possible that was the purpose of your trip?
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection. It calls for speculation.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would suggest this witness is somewhat on the
4 adverse side of things, and I think a little help might be appreciated.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I think we already discussed this at the very
6 beginning of the proceedings. I believe the question along these lines is
7 allowed. You may proceed.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. Is it possible that this trip in the UN vehicle with the
10 loudspeaker was to announce to the Muslims to surrender themselves to the
11 United Nations?
12 A. I don't know what the purpose of that was. No one ever told me
13 what those people were saying, what they would say, that they would say
14 anything to begin with over the loudspeaker. I didn't know who was in
15 this vehicle. This vehicle was just there. I didn't know who was inside
16 it. It just drove off. Once it did, I was told to follow it. What the
17 purpose of the whole thing was, I really couldn't say.
18 Q. Where did you first see this police vehicle and start following
20 A. I think the vehicle was there at the junction when we came. It
21 was there -- we didn't start out straight off. We spent some time there
22 and then the other APC went towards Milici, Kasaba Milici, and we were
23 there. Suddenly this vehicle drove off in the direction of Bratunac. Who
24 was in it, I don't know. And once it was 200 or 300 metres from where we
25 were, I was told to start up the APC and follow it without catching up,
1 however, because the vehicle was moving quite slowly. So once we drove
2 away from the junction, perhaps 200 or 300 metres away, up to 500 metres,
3 I heard sounds coming from the loudspeaker. Something was being said, but
4 there was too much background noise for me to understand what exactly was
5 being said.
6 Q. When you were at the intersection of Konjevic Polje at this time,
7 did you see any Muslim prisoners anywhere?
8 A. I'm not getting any interpretation. I'm sorry.
9 Q. Okay. Let's try again. When you were at the Konjevic Polje
10 intersection at this time, did you see any Muslim prisoners?
11 A. Yes. There was a feature just across the way from the -- if you
12 come from the general direction of Bratunac, you cross the street and
13 there was a building there. There was some soldiers, soldiers I didn't
14 recognise. There was some members of the MUP whom I didn't know either,
15 and there was a building just before the junction to the right of the road
16 where there were also people inside.
17 Q. Did you see a MUP officer named Nenad Djokic there?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Do you know who Nenad Djokic is?
20 A. Nenad Djokic was -- I know a man named Nenad Djokic who was a
21 member of the military police platoon but not a member of the MUP, Nenad
22 Djokic. There was a Nenad Djokic with the military police.
23 Q. How about Nenad Deronjic?
24 A. No. I don't remember having seen him.
25 Q. Do you know a Nenad Deronjic that was with MUP?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. Did you see Nenad Deronjic in Konjevic Polje that day?
3 A. No, I don't remember seeing him there.
4 Q. He was a member of the Bratunac MUP, wasn't he, at that time?
5 A. Yes, he was and he still is a member of the Bratunac MUP. I think
6 he still is.
7 Q. Were you aware that he was identified by a Muslim survivor of an
8 execution that occurred a short distance from Konjevic Polje that day as
9 one of his executioners?
10 A. No. I was not aware of that.
11 Q. Have you ever heard the allegation that some 16 Muslim prisoners
12 were taken from Konjevic Polje intersection on a bus driven up a kilometre
13 or two and shot by the banks of the Jadar River at about 11.00 a.m. on the
14 morning of the 13th. Have you ever heard of that?
15 A. No, I have never heard of that. The only thing I do know is that
16 the vehicles that were -- the buses, the lorries, mostly buses, though,
17 that were passing through Konjevic Polje while I was still at the junction
18 there, they were passing through on their way to Konjevic Polje, or
19 rather, on their way to Milici. They were transporting women and
20 children, very few men, too, especially able-bodied men. There weren't
21 too many on those buses. They were passing through without hindrance. No
22 one stopped them. No one pulled up in Konjevic Polje. They were passing
23 through and taking a left turn. Driving in front of them was always an UN
24 jeep, a jeep belonging to the Dutch Battalion.
25 Q. While you were in Konjevic Polje, did you see three buses full of
1 Muslim men followed by a green APC, and shortly after that followed by an
2 excavator, not heading in the direction of Milici but heading in the
3 direction of -- excuse me, heading in the direction of Milici towards
4 Cerska. Did you see that?
5 A. No, I didn't. I did not see any APCs pass through, I'm sure about
6 that. Although, I wasn't really paying attention, but I didn't see an
7 excavator either, but I was paying attention to the buses and who was in
9 Q. Okay. Getting back to your -- now, you say you've left Konjevic
10 Polje following a police vehicle with a megaphone, where did you go?
11 A. We went perhaps 2 or 3 kilometres further down the road toward
12 Bratunac when the vehicle turned around in the middle of the road. As
13 soon as it started turning, I stopped and I waited for it to finish
14 turning around. So once this vehicle was done turning around, I drove to
15 where I had enough space to turn around my own rather large vehicle which
16 I was then driving for the first time. I turned around and drove back to
17 Konjevic Polje, crossing the same distance as I had on the way to
18 Bratunac. I returned to Konjevic Polje.
19 Q. Were you following that same police vehicle again?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And its loudspeaker was continuing the whole time you were
22 following it?
23 A. I know they were speaking on the way to Bratunac. Whether they
24 were also speaking on the way back, I can't quite remember.
25 Q. And what happened when you got to Konjevic Polje?
1 A. When I got to Konjevic Polje, I parked the APC where it had been.
2 This other vehicle, I don't remember the other police vehicle being
3 there. I wasn't sure where they had gone to, whether to Zvornik or
4 Milici. I didn't know. Maybe it was parked behind some buildings
5 somewhere I couldn't see it, but I know that when I came back I no longer
6 saw it there.
7 Q. And what happened in Konjevic Polje?
8 A. Two soldiers came along from the Dutch Battalion. Whether they
9 got out of the vehicle or perhaps they, as far as I understood, came down
10 from a checkpoint somewhere, if they had arrived on foot or wearing their
11 equipment, I don't know, but they saw their own vehicle there. They came
12 closer. I was all the time standing by the APC so that no one could steal
13 any equipment from the vehicle. They said they wanted to be with us.
14 They stayed with us for a while. A soldier came. I'm not sure from which
15 unit. He wanted to trade a rifle with one of those soldiers, and the
16 other soldier agreed immediately. When I saw what was happening, I told
17 the soldier that it was absolutely out of the question for him to trade
18 equipment with that other soldier. So we got into the APC and they wanted
19 to go for a spin with us or whatever, and we headed back to Bratunac. We
20 drove for about 2 or 3 kilometres, and again returned to Konjevic Polje.
21 We started out towards Bratunac, but then we turned around and went back
22 to Konjevic Polje.
23 Back in Konjevic Polje, after a while, a convoy arrived of
24 vehicles that were carrying women, children, from Srebrenica. The convoy
25 was headed by a jeep, an all terrain vehicle, with two Dutch soldiers in
1 it. They stopped right there. They were pulled up, and those two
2 soldiers who were with us got into the jeep and drove off to Milisic [as
3 interpreted] they never returned.
4 Q. Was Momir Nikolic with you when you were with these Dutch soldiers
5 driving around in your APC -- in their APC?
6 A. Momir Nikolic was there when we followed the police vehicle.
7 Whether he was there when the two Dutch soldiers were with us, I don't
8 know. I can't remember. He drove to Bratunac in a vehicle, some vehicle,
9 during that time. But I believe he went to Bratunac and then returned
10 there. And we were there all the while. Whether he came with us when the
11 two Dutch soldiers were there, I really can't remember.
12 Q. When you say "with us," who else was with you when you were
13 driving around with the Dutch soldiers?
14 A. I said when we set out from Bratunac he was there with me. I was
15 driving the APC. Momir Nikolic was there and Mile Petrovic was there too.
16 Q. Was Mile Petrovic with you when you were driving with the Dutch
18 A. Yes, he was.
19 Q. Did Mile Petrovic have a close family member that was killed by
20 the Muslims during the war?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Who was that?
23 A. His brother.
24 Q. In what action was his brother killed?
25 A. His brother was killed when an attack took place on Bjelovac from
1 the enclave which at that time was an UN protected zone. The village of
2 Bjelovac, the village in which he was born, his family was there. He
3 lived there.
4 Q. During your travels in this APC, did you get any Muslims -- any
5 Muslims turn themselves in or did you capture them?
6 A. It wasn't our assignment to capture anyone. I saw the detained
7 Muslims, but as we were driving -- the Dutch soldiers may have been there.
8 I'm not sure. I was driving, Momir Nikolic was there and Petrovic. On
9 our way to Bratunac you couldn't hear a thing inside the APC. Momir
10 Nikolic pulled me by the collar and he told me to pull over because two
11 persons were noticed coming down towards the road. Two persons reached
12 the road, the asphalt road, from a path through the forest. It was a wide
13 path, a gravel track, and they reached the APC and someone opened the
14 door. It was Mile or Nikolic and let them into the APC. We drove back to
15 Konjevic Polje and we stopped there. Someone took those people away, some
16 of the soldiers took them to the right where the other people were
17 standing and there was a house there, a building.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: One last question, Your Honour.
19 Q. Do you have any knowledge that Mile Petrovic was involved in
20 killing any Muslim prisoners that day around Konjevic Polje?
21 A. No.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think it's break time or end time.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I could.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Given the last question, if the Prosecutor could
2 pose it with a little more directness given the facts that he was aware of
3 from his star witness Nikolic's testimony, because Nikolic said they
4 captured six, they were in that APC and so on and so forth. So I would
5 like to have that question posed directly to this witness at this point
6 before we break for the day. Because the way it was posed, it is rather a
7 general question and not very specific tailored to the facts, as we all
8 know them to have been stated by Mr. Nikolic in this courtroom, Your
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, I don't think that is relevant at this moment,
11 Mr. Karnavas. If you are going to ask this question, you have the full
12 right at a stage.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: I was merely trying to assist the Court, Your
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, we may find another opportunity.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, we have to stop here and the hearing will resume
18 tomorrow at 9.00 in the same courtroom.
19 And, Witness, I have to tell you that while you are in The Hague,
20 you are still under the oath, so do not talk to anybody and do not let
21 anybody talk to you about your testimony. You understand that? And
22 please remain seated --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do, I do.
24 JUDGE LIU: -- when we leave this courtroom, and the usher will
25 pull down the blinds and take you out of this courtroom, just out of the
1 consideration of the caution.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand that.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 JUDGE LIU: The hearing is adjourned.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
7 at 1.47 p.m. to be reconvened on Tuesday,
8 the 28th day of October, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.