1 Friday, 27 February 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. Court Deputy.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is Case Number
7 IT-02-60-T, The Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Before we have the witness, are there any
9 matters that the parties would like to bring to the attention? Yes,
10 Mr. McCloskey.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President, good afternoon. You may
12 notice from the proofing notes and from the statements, there's something
13 I just wanted to give a little background on. I've had a chance to
14 briefly speak to Mr. Karnavas about it, as it mainly deals with that part
15 of the case. And it has to do with protective measures and what exhibits
16 should be under seal. This -- in fact, could we go into private session
17 at this point.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go to private session, please.
19 [Private session]
12 Pages 7462 to 7468 – redacted – private session.
16 [Open session]
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stojanovic.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, we can move into open
19 session, Your Honours. I just would like to ask before we start to
20 question this witness, this is an administrative matter, we were planning
21 to return to Bosnia tomorrow, and we have our plane tickets booked due to
22 some obligations we have out in the field. However, in our conversation
23 with Mr. Karnavas, there is the possibility that this will not be finished
24 today. If this is to be the case, that would mean that we would have to
25 postpone our departure for Monday. So if you would permit us during the
1 break to deal with these administrative matters with the Registry so that
2 they could postpone our flight and put it off until Tuesday. I think this
3 would be the last opportunity to do so, because it's Friday and I think
4 the Registry is working only until 4.00 or perhaps 5.00 p.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour, do I anticipate finishing today.
7 Of course, we heard some additional information. And given this
8 additional information and Court's ruling, obviously I'm going to make
9 sure that we finish today. And if I need to go into areas, in other areas
10 which would prolong it, I will reserve those for another day. And of
11 course, those will be issues that will be of minor nature so it would not
12 impact on the case itself. Because I do realise that Mr. Blagojevic does
13 have a family visit, and we wanted to wrap this up. So I will do
14 everything I possibly can to finish today, and I'll leave it at that. I
15 anticipate the witness is going to be forthcoming, and I don't anticipate
16 Mr. McCloskey taking too long. But there is a lot of material that I want
17 to cover, and I will cover it in a rapid space of time.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. We will do our best to finish
19 this witness today. And I hope nobody will have a dinner party tonight as
20 we may sit a little bit longer so to wrap up the case.
21 Yes, could we have the witness please.
22 For the sake of the record, I would like to say that Judge Argibay
23 won't be able to be with us today. The remaining Judges decided to
24 continue the proceedings in accordance with Rule 15(B). This is just for
25 the sake of the record.
1 [The witness entered court]
2 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, Witness.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
4 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration, please.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
6 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
10 WITNESS: WITNESS P-206
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Examined by Mr. McCloskey:
13 Q. Good afternoon, Witness. I want to show you a piece of paper and
14 ask you if this is your name. But before that, can you just tell us -- I
15 don't need your date of birth -- but how old are you?
16 A. I'm 55. Yes, that is my name.
17 Q. And that is Exhibit Number 206, Your Honour. Sorry, that's 475.
18 And could you briefly outline where you grew up and what your
19 initial education was.
20 A. I grew up in the village in which I was born, in the Municipality
21 of Gradiska in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I completed the military academy
22 after completing secondary school. It's the command staff academy. So I
23 became a professional soldier.
24 Q. And what year was that?
25 A. When I completed the academy, it was in 1971.
1 Q. And so you became -- became a professional soldier with the -- at
2 that time JNA?
3 A. Yes, the Yugoslav People's Army.
4 Q. Can you just very briefly describe your career as it led up until
5 the outbreak of the war in Bosnia, just very briefly.
6 A. My first post was in Slovenia, the Republic of Slovenia, until
7 1988. Then I served in Belgrade in the centre of the high military
8 academies as a trainer in the inner military academy class. In 1993, on
9 the 8th of January, I was ordered to report to the Army of Republika
10 Srpska, and that is where I spent a period of my career, right until I
11 went -- until my retirement, in the Army of Republika Srpska.
12 Q. And when did you retire?
13 A. On the 28th of February 2002.
14 Q. At what rank?
15 A. The rank of colonel.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go into private session briefly for
17 some --
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go to private session, please.
19 [Private session]
12 Page 7473 – redacted – private session.
1 [Open session]
2 MR. McCLOSKEY:
3 Q. And at some point in July of 1995, did you receive any orders
4 relating to the operation to -- related to the Srebrenica enclave?
5 A. Yes. I did receive an order that from the brigade composition, I
6 should set aside certain troops which would be the equivalent of a
7 battalion, a battalion-strong unit that in structure there would be
8 various specialties, and that I should be ready to go into action in the
9 area between the Zepa and Srebrenica enclaves. And that was at the end of
10 June and the beginning of July 1995.
11 Q. Did you receive any order to go to a particular place around that
13 A. The order was that those men, the provisional formation, should go
14 to the area of Zelani Jadar, and Jasenova, which is a smaller village, and
15 that they should put up there and wait further orders and assignments.
16 Q. What about yourself? Did you personally receive an order to go
18 A. Yes, I did. I was supposed to report. I saw the unit off. I saw
19 that formation off, and I reported to the command post of the Bratunac
20 Brigade in Bratunac itself. And that was the 5th of July, in the
22 Q. And what happened at the Bratunac Brigade on the 5th of July when
23 you went there? You need to speak up. I don't think anyone heard you.
24 A. I don't know. I don't know what happened.
25 Q. Was there a meeting of officers related to the operation?
1 A. Yes, at that command post which I suppose was the forward command
2 post of the Drina Corps, everyone, including me, all the officers who were
3 supposed to receive assignments and take part in the operation, reported
4 to the commander of the operation there, General Krstic.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go into private session briefly.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go to private session, please.
7 [Private session]
1 [Open session]
2 MR. McCLOSKEY:
3 Q. And can you tell us just briefly what instructions the people that
4 were at this meeting received that day? This would be the 5th of July at
5 the Bratunac Brigade.
6 A. On that day, assignments were given for individual axes of
7 involvement, engagement for the units, the way in which they -- sanitary
8 and medical protection was to be provided, firepower protection --
9 preparation for the offensive, and other activities that were linked to
10 logistics, to reconnoitering and reconnaissance, and everything that is
11 generally taken in situations of this kind, and preparedness for the
12 launch of the operation itself.
13 Q. And I don't want to get into the details of the operation at this
14 point, but did you take part in the operation?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And on the 11th of July, did you actually have the opportunity to
17 go into the town of Srebrenica with other soldiers and officers?
18 A. Yes, I did.
19 Q. All right.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, we have a brief clip, but we should
21 play that in private session, if we could.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes. What's the reason for that?
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: I can answer that --
24 JUDGE LIU: In private session. Yes, we'll go to private session,
1 [Private session]
12 Pages 7477 to 7480 – redacted – private session.
16 [Open session]
17 MR. McCLOSKEY:
18 Q. Now, about what time did you go back to your base there and do
19 these basic things to get -- to get your -- to get straightened up,
20 straightened away?
21 A. I stayed with the unit while it was still daylight. And when it
22 became dark, I was already at Jasenova at the command post.
23 Q. Did you go anywhere that evening? Did you leave the command post
24 at Jasenova?
25 A. No, I didn't go anywhere. I had dinner and went to bed.
1 Q. Did you get any communications or any information about any
2 meetings in Bratunac or anywhere?
3 A. Not before I went to bed. However, in the morning I think it was,
4 when I woke up --
5 Q. This would be now the 12th of July.
6 A. Yes, the 12th of July, in the morning, at breakfast time or just
7 after I awoke, the signalsman conveyed to me the information that came out
8 from the command post asking me to report to the region of the repeater
9 station, and I think that was for 9.00 or 10.00. I think it was for 9.00.
10 Q. Can you just describe to us where this location was. I don't
11 think we need a map, if you can just describe to us how close it was to
13 A. About 2 or 3 kilometres. It's a curve, there's a curve there with
14 this repeater station, which is visible, up on an elevation, and that's
15 where I reported to General Krstic.
16 Q. What is that elevation called?
17 A. Bojna, or Rijina. I think it was Bojna.
18 Q. And so did you go there and meet General Krstic?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. What time did you meet General Krstic?
21 A. I think it was 9.00. And he didn't greet me separately, but I
22 went up to report to him. He -- Colonel Vicic issued assignments.
23 Q. And can you tell us just briefly who Vicic is?
24 A. Colonel Vicic was the operations man, the operations officer in
25 the Drina Corps command.
1 Q. And briefly, what were your orders?
2 A. My unit's assignment pursuant to those orders was to search the
3 area from Srebrenica through the village of Viogora towards a facility at
4 Jahorina. It was a mountain facility called Jahorina. The right-flank
5 communication, viewing it from Srebrenica towards Derventa, I believe. So
6 that was my daily assignment.
7 Q. And did you carry that out that day, the 12th of July?
8 A. Yes, I carried that assignment out, and I arrived with my unit.
9 We were -- had infantry men and reconnoitering men, and the deployment was
10 on a regular basis. We spread out to search the terrain. And we moved
11 towards the facility and performed the assignment sometime in the
13 Q. And sometime that afternoon, did you receive communication to do
14 something, to meet someone somewhere?
15 A. Yes. At around 1800 hours, I was told to return to the first
16 houses at the village of Viogora on the road there and to report there to
17 General Krstic who was waiting.
18 Q. And did you do that?
19 A. Yes. I arrived. I went back and met up with General Krstic.
20 Q. At what time did you meet the General?
21 A. I've already said that that was about 1800 hours.
22 Q. And what was said?
23 A. I reported to him how far the unit had come, what I saw, and he
24 conveyed to me -- or rather, he gave me the task that at night, at 2100
25 hours, I was to be at the command post, or rather the forward command post
1 of the Drina Corps at Bratunac, at the command of the Bratunac Brigade.
2 Q. And did he give you any other information about why you were to
3 report to the Bratunac Brigade that evening?
4 A. No.
5 Q. And did you report to the Bratunac Brigade that evening?
6 A. Of course, I did. And I arrived there at 2100 hours. I obeyed
8 Q. And what route did you drive from the area where you were around
9 Srebrenica to Bratunac?
10 A. I took the route, or rather, I went back to the Srebrenica
11 settlement and took the road leading to Srebrenica via Potocari, Bratunac,
12 and I passed there with my vehicle.
13 Q. And you say you arrived at the Bratunac Brigade headquarters at
14 about 2100 hours?
15 A. Yes, that's right.
16 Q. Can you describe to us what you were able to see when you drove
17 through Potocari shortly before that.
18 A. Along the road en route, there was movement on the part of the
19 civilian population, but in Potocari there was a general mass of people,
20 people were assembling. There was a crowd. There were vehicles. People
21 were loading up. There was the civilian and military police regulating
22 traffic, the passage of vehicles and people. I assumed that some food
23 supplies were coming in. But I didn't stop. I just passed through,
24 taking the road through the settlement.
25 Q. You say you saw military police. How do you know they were
1 military police?
2 A. Judging by their uniforms that they wore, and the cross belts that
3 the police wore. It was obvious that this was the military police.
4 Q. What colour were the belts that you saw these people wearing?
5 A. White.
6 Q. What were the military police doing that you saw?
7 A. At the time that I passed by, I had the impression that they were
8 maintaining order, so that the road would be kept clear since there was
9 such a mass of people there. So to make sure that the road was clear,
10 that passage was clear. I don't know. They probably had some other
11 assignments, allocation, recordkeeping, but I don't know who was doing
12 what and what their assignments were when I was passing along that road.
13 Q. Can you give us an idea roughly what time it was when you went
14 through Potocari.
15 A. It was still daylight. It wasn't dark yet. It was summertime,
16 the 12th of July. I had to be in Bratunac at 9.00, so it was about 8.30
17 or a quarter to 9.00. I think that that was about the time period.
18 Q. Do you have any memory of how many different military police
19 officers you saw there?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Do you know what unit those military police officers were from?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Now, when you got to the Bratunac Brigade command, where did you
24 go in the command?
25 A. I went to the operations room, to the duty officer. Each command
1 post had a duty officer in the operations room. And I asked him where I
2 was supposed to report to, where the meeting would be held. So he
3 directed me to the room where the meeting was to be held.
4 Q. And who did you go with, if anyone, to the Bratunac Brigade
5 command from your command post?
6 A. No one came along. It was just me and the driver to that meeting.
7 Q. Okay. And what did you do and who did you see after checking in
8 with the duty officer?
9 A. I went to that room. The others were there, the other officers
10 who had received the same assignment as myself. We talked, greeted each
11 other. I think that we reported on the situation in the units and on the
12 problems that we were burdened with since it was already the seventh or
13 the eighth day that we were in that area, outside of our area -- home-base
14 area, private area.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we go to private session again, please.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go to private session.
17 [Private session]
12 Pages 7487 to 7493 – redacted – private session.
18 [Open session]
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we are now in open session.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY:
21 Q. You had mentioned that Mladic had arrived at the Bratunac Brigade
22 at about 10.00 and described some of the things that you recall him
23 saying. How long did that period last where the people like yourself were
24 gathered there listening to General Mladic and discussing the things
25 you've talked to us about?
1 A. I cannot tell you precisely for how long, but I think it was less
2 than an hour. The meeting was short with specific tasks issued. I don't
3 remember any other discussions in particular. There was a dinner
4 organised afterwards in the room or the facility which served as a
5 restaurant in that building. So from the arrival of myself until
6 General Mladic came and until the dinner, I don't think that this -- all
7 of this took longer than two or two and a half hours. So I assume that
8 the meeting was not long.
9 Q. So after the meeting, there was a dinner. Were there any speeches
10 at the dinner?
11 A. The dinner was a purely military affair, if I can put it that way,
12 not much conversation or discussion about assignments or any specific
13 conversations generally. It was a short dinner held in a separate room,
14 not in the dining hall, a self-service dining hall. We were actually
15 served dinner by the cooks or whoever, the staff serving dinner in the
16 restaurant generally.
17 Q. But was General Mladic at this dinner?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And was -- who else was at the dinner?
20 A. The same people who were at the meeting, General Krstic and the
21 rest, the others who attended the meeting.
22 Q. Any new people in addition to those that attended the meeting?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Do you recall anything significant, any significant information
25 you received at that dinner?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Did you go -- what did you do after the dinner?
3 A. You mean me personally?
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. After dinner, I took the opportunity to use a telephone, a fixed
6 telephone line to call my wife.
7 Q. All right. And after that, what did you do?
8 A. After that, I went to my command post.
9 Q. Do you remember about what time you left the brigade that night?
10 A. I went from the brigade. I left the brigade, or to the brigade.
11 What do you mean?
12 Q. What time did you leave the Bratunac Brigade that evening after
13 dinner and the phone call?
14 A. Oh, yes, I understand. Well, I arrived there a little after
15 midnight, at about 12.30. I arrived at my command post, and it took me
16 half an hour or 45 minutes. So that means that I left at about half past
17 11.00 or quarter to 12.00. That was when I left the Bratunac Brigade.
18 Q. Did you go through Potocari?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. What did you see, if anything, in Potocari?
21 A. I don't think I saw anything. I slept or dozed. I was very
22 tired. I had been working the whole day, so I dozed.
23 Q. The next morning, can you tell us what happened.
24 A. The next morning, I gathered up my unit since the order was that
25 around 10.00 in the region of the village of Vijogora, General Mladic
1 would address my troops, so I went to the area, gathered up my men in
2 order to be able to report and to welcome General Mladic and General
4 Q. Okay. And what happened?
5 A. General Mladic addressed the fighters. He congratulated them, and
6 he told them of their new assignment to which this part of my unit was to
7 be assigned.
8 Q. Did General Krstic say anything?
9 A. I don't think so. The soldiers heard what he said, they accepted
10 it, they got into their own vehicles and left.
11 Q. And then what did you do?
12 A. It was my task to organise a march to the next region from which
13 the unit, that particular composition of the unit, was to be deployed and
14 engaged. And that's what I did. I issued assignments, issued assignments
15 with regard to security for transport vehicles, and I started off after
16 seeing off my men into a column. I also moved towards the broader region
17 around Zepa.
18 Q. Can you tell us what route the men took and what route you took.
19 A. The unit took, or rather, when everything had been prepared, the
20 unit took the direction taking it across Derventa and the bauxite mines,
21 and then the main road at Milici. And then from Vlasenica, Han Pijesak to
22 the region of Zepa. The broader region around the Zepa, or rather the
23 area that was designated for us to reach and report to. And I set off in
24 my own vehicle through Srebrenica up to Bratunac, where I had lunch in
25 that same dining hall, the self-service area this time, and continued on
1 my journey to the same area to meet up with my unit.
2 Q. Do you remember - this would be on the 13th of July - about what
3 time you went through Potocari on your way to Bratunac and then on to
5 A. It was in the afternoon. I arrived in the area of Krivaca or
6 Kusici - I can't quite remember the name - at around 1900 our 2000 hours.
7 So that is five or six hours later.
8 Q. What did you see when you went through Potocari that day?
9 A. In Potocari, there was a mass of people. They were loading up,
10 boarding various vehicles. There were buses there, and trucks. And my
11 own vehicle, once I had passed by, made up the column of these vehicles
12 conducting the evacuation. So I was in that same column.
13 Q. Now, on the 13th, did you see any VRS troops in the area of
14 Potocari when you went through?
15 A. I think they were the policemen, both military and civilian, who
16 were seeing to law and order during the loading. And you had to introduce
17 a bit of order because not everybody could get on at the same time, all at
18 once. So they were there to see to that. And then along the road, you
19 would see a soldier here and there or a policeman at intervals. And I
20 suppose there were the curious, too, who perhaps didn't have an assignment
21 but who were just there to see what was going on.
22 Q. In Potocari, you said you think that there were policemen and
23 military police. Is there some doubt in your mind of what you saw there?
24 A. No, there were. They were there to see to law and order, and they
25 were conducting the boarding. They would make groups of people, and they
1 were present while these people were boarding. But they were there to see
2 that everything was in order. Yes, they were there, and they provided
3 security and free passage, of course.
4 Q. And when you say "they," who do you mean?
5 A. Those same people, the policemen whose job it was generally
6 speaking to see that the roads were kept free, that people didn't jam the
8 Q. When you say "policemen," can you be more specific, what kind of
9 policemen? We know there's military police, there's civilian police.
10 A. There were both.
11 Q. Can you give us any kind of an estimate of how many military
12 policemen you saw?
13 A. On that short section of road, there weren't more than 10 to 15 of
15 Q. And civilian police -- when you say "short section of road" what
16 do you mean?
17 A. Where the facility was, whether it was a company, an enterprise of
18 some sort, and the parking lot belonging to that company. So one or two
19 hundred metres around that where the crowds of people were mostly located,
20 and on the other side the vehicles would be parked and the people would
21 board the vehicles there, on the opposite side of the road. So there were
22 the people on one side, the transport vehicles on the other. So in
23 boarding the vehicles, that's where the policemen were, to see that all
24 this was done in order, so they were seeing to that area. That's what I
1 Q. Again, you say "policemen." Can you tell us which policemen, or
2 again, if it's both, were there to supervise the boarding?
3 A. Well, believe me when I say I don't know. I passed by and saw
4 that they were there. Some of them were on the left-hand side; the others
5 were on the right-hand side.
6 Q. Okay. I think you say around -- is it 10 or 15 military police?
7 Can you give us an estimate of civilian police in the same area at the
8 same time?
9 A. I don't know.
10 Q. Okay. Did you see any Muslim men being separated from the crowd
11 of Muslims?
12 A. Apart of the area where I passed by in my vehicle, and we were
13 driving at about 30 kilometres per hour, didn't actually allow me to
14 assess something like that. I just passed by, passed along the road, and
15 didn't notice anything vital except to see that there were one and there
16 were the others and they were boarding the vehicles. Some vehicles had
17 already left, so I just -- we just drove in the column. And that's more
18 or less how it was. We drove behind them until Bratunac.
19 So I found myself in this column. There was a truck in front of
20 me with people in it, women and children. We didn't wave to each other,
21 but of course I could see who was on the truck and who was doing the
22 transporting. I don't know what was happening behind me, but there was a
23 truck of these people. They were men and women and children, some women
24 were older, others were younger. Young men. As I say, there were a lot
25 of people in that truck. I couldn't see those further ahead of me in the
1 column or behind me in the column. Just this one truck in front of me.
2 Q. You say you stopped at the Bratunac Brigade headquarters?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And what did you do there?
5 A. I had lunch.
6 Q. Did you see Commander Blagojevic when you checked into his brigade
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection. Objection. He never said that he
9 checked into the headquarters. He went there for lunch. There is a
10 distinction. So I just -- I want to make sure that he's not checking in.
11 Now he can ask him, Did you check in? There's a difference.
12 JUDGE LIU: Mr. McCloskey, you may rephrase your question.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
14 Q. Did you see Commander Blagojevic when you went to the brigade
15 headquarters for lunch?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Did you make any effort to check in with him or identify that you
18 were there?
19 A. No, I didn't look for him. I just went to the duty officer in the
20 operations room to ask him where I could have lunch. And I was told that
21 I could go into the dining hall, the one that they used otherwise.
22 Q. That was in the headquarters building, the dining hall?
23 A. Yes, in the headquarters building.
24 Q. Did you see any officers or soldiers of any units that you
1 A. No.
2 Q. So you just had lunch and then left?
3 A. I had lunch and left, yes.
4 Q. Do you remember about what time you left the Bratunac Brigade
5 headquarters that afternoon? This would be now the 13th.
6 A. Yes, that was the 13th of July, and I've already said that I
7 arrived in the region between 1900 and 2000 hours. I don't know what time
8 it was exactly, of course.
9 Q. Well I -- I know what time you got to Zepa. But can you help us
10 on what time you would have left the Bratunac Brigade headquarters?
11 Because we're not as familiar. We know it may have been a difficult drive
12 that day.
13 A. Well, let's say it was around 1700 and 1800 hours.
14 Q. Okay. Now, from the drive from Bratunac to Konjevic Polje, did
15 you see anything of significance?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Did you see any groupings of Muslim men?
18 A. Around Konjevic Polje, no, I did not.
19 Q. Or between Bratunac and Konjevic Polje?
20 A. No, I did not.
21 Q. How about from Konjevic Polje on towards Milici? Did you see
22 anything of significance?
23 A. Yes, I did. In the settlement called Nova Kasaba on the
24 playground or stadium -- in the playground, I saw some men who had been
25 assembled there.
1 Q. Were those -- what kind of men?
2 A. Men sitting on the football field.
3 Q. And was this a football field -- how big was the football field?
4 A. I don't know the exact dimensions, but like any other ordinary
5 football field. It wasn't a top league that this team from this small
6 place played in, but generally that was the size.
7 Q. Okay. So it wasn't a tiny children's football field; it was a
8 football field that adults played football on?
9 A. Yes, it was an adults' football field used by the Kasaba team, I
11 Q. Were these Muslim men?
12 A. I assume so because they were along the road, and there was some
13 military police there providing security, I assume.
14 Q. How much of the football field was covered with these men sitting
15 as you've described?
16 A. I think the whole field was covered with men sitting down.
17 Q. All right. And after that, did you go on to the -- to the area of
18 the Zepa operations?
19 A. Yes, towards Zepa.
20 Q. Did you stop anywhere?
21 A. Yes. Rather, no. I did not stop anywhere until the designated
22 spot which was where the unit was to be deployed from which it was to go
23 on further on assignment.
24 Q. All right. And then did you continue in the Zepa activities on
25 the following day, the 14th, through other days?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. All right. And now I want to take you back to a -- I believe you
3 met with me and an investigator, Ken Corlett on the 21st of January 2002.
4 Do you recall having a diary of events from that time period with you
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And did you take some notes out of that diary that you provided
8 for us at the time about some of the important days?
9 A. Yes, I remember that.
10 Q. If I could show you a photocopy of something, I want you to -- it
11 should be Exhibit 474. And if you could just show the B/C/S version.
12 Do you recognise the handwriting on those notes?
13 A. Yes, it's my handwriting.
14 Q. And did you write down those notes from your actual diary that day
15 you met with us?
16 A. Yes. Based on my diary.
17 Q. Can you tell us a little bit about your diary, when the events in
18 it were filled out and what purpose you used it for.
19 A. Since -- in view of the tasks I was given and my participation or
20 my unit's participation in the assignment, every night I would write in
21 the basics, the basic events that took place that day. I'd write that
22 down in my diary, the ones I took part in, the outlines. And the object
23 of keeping a diary like that was just to keep a record of what was going
24 on and perhaps this gave me an opportunity to put pen to paper and put it
25 all down in writing.
1 Q. Okay. And so this -- these pieces of paper that are in front of
2 you now, did you write those down as you reviewed your original diary?
3 A. Yes. I wrote it down in chronological order as corresponded to
4 the diary.
5 Q. Okay. And I don't think I will ask you to go over those details.
6 But just to say, are those details that you've written down and given to
7 us reflect correctly the entries in your original diary?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. All right.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, if we could go into private
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go to private session, please.
13 [Private session]
12 Pages 7506 to 7513 – redacted – private session.
12 [Open session]
13 Cross-examined by Mr. Karnavas:
14 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
15 A. Good afternoon.
16 Q. I just want to start a little bit by asking you some background
17 information. In particular, as I understand it from hearing you, you
18 spent approximately five years teaching at the military academy in
19 Belgrade. Is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. May I ask what exactly you were teaching, what subjects or at what
23 A. I taught in the tactics department. I taught artillery tactics at
24 the military academy for a year and a half. And from 1990, 1st of
25 September, I was the chief or the head of the class of the military
1 academy which came to the academy of that year. That was the 47th class
2 to the academy. And then from that post, I was transferred to duty in the
4 Q. Okay. Now, I take it in teaching, you were -- you had to refer to
5 the rules and regulations on occasion. Is that correct?
6 A. Not occasionally; as much as possible in any case. I did not want
7 to omit them.
8 Q. Okay. And so I take it that you're pretty familiar with the rules
9 and the regulations specifically as they might relate to the corps or to
10 brigades. Correct?
11 A. Of course, yes.
12 Q. Now, I take it it has been some time since you've taught. And as
13 I understand it, you're in retirement. But would it be fair to say that
14 you still remember the rules or understand them?
15 A. Is that a question, or my personal position, or something else?
16 Q. My question is, if I were to ask you about the rules --
17 A. Could you please be more specific.
18 Q. Okay. If I were to ask you concretely about the rules of the
19 corps, could we have a discussion on them? Yes or no.
20 A. We can discuss it if I can, if I'm able to.
21 Q. That's my question. Because of the passage of time, you're not
22 teaching and you're out of the profession, do you still recall the rules?
23 A. Of course, I remember that. But it's not something that I deal
24 with on a daily basis. But in view of my experience, I am even -- I even
25 avoid talking about them now.
1 Q. Okay. And I take it if we wanted to discuss the brigade rules,
2 given your past experience, you will probably be even more familiar with
3 not just what's on paper but also what was -- how they applied in
4 practice. Correct?
5 A. Please do not make me draw conclusions. Just ask what you're
6 interested in knowing.
7 Q. Okay. Well, how am I asking you to draw a conclusion? I'm simply
8 asking you whether you are able, capable, perhaps even willing to discuss
9 the brigade rules given your previous position and experience in the
11 A. Very well.
12 Q. Okay. Now, in your position, did you have a zone of
14 A. Yes, I did.
15 Q. Now, was that zone of responsibility based on the rules, the
16 brigade rules?
17 A. In this case, no. The area was much broader than the brigades
18 would be assigned to in accordance with the rules.
19 Q. Okay. Well, having looked at the rules and discussed the rules
20 extensively here in court, we have not been able to find anywhere in the
21 rules anything that specifies that a brigade has a zone of responsibility.
22 Am I correct?
23 A. A brigade is, in the implementation of its tasks, is given a zone
24 or area of defence. As we mainly held defensive positions, specifically
25 this brigade, this brigade carried out tasks of a defensive nature, and we
1 could say that that was its area of its responsibility. Everything that
2 happens as a rule in a defensive area or area of defence, everything that
3 happens in that quadrant or in those facilities in accordance with the
4 depth and width of the area is called area of responsibility, all the
5 things that happen within the area.
6 Q. Okay. So your understanding is that's the area of responsibility.
7 Would that be similar to saying that's the zone of defence? Am I using
8 the correct terminology?
9 A. I think that you are.
10 Q. Okay. Would that -- if I were to use the term "zone of
11 operation," would that be similar?
12 A. Yes, you could consider it to be the same thing.
13 Q. Now, if you are to look at the Bratunac Brigade zone, we know that
14 they were -- you had the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Battalion. They were
15 lined in a particular geographical area. If I understand you correctly,
16 what you're telling us is that their zone of operation or zone of defence
17 would have entailed a certain width, a certain depth. Correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Okay. Now, you were asked to put together a battalion in order to
20 join in the operation, the attack of Srebrenica. Was that battalion
21 operating in the zone of operation or zone of defence of the Bratunac
22 Brigade as you understand those terms?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Okay. And if I understand you correctly, the Bratunac Brigade was
25 not one of your neighbours during the attack.
1 A. No. With your permission, may I just be allowed to say the
2 following: The attack in the direction of the Srebrenica settlement as a
3 term in this specific operation, after the regrouping of units, and this
4 happened on the 10th or rather the 11th -- on the morning of the 11th, the
5 assignments were changed for my unit. It was moved to the right, to the
6 northwesterly reaches above the town. Up until then, there was no talk of
7 an attack on Srebrenica.
8 Q. Right. The initial operation was to separate even more the two
9 enclaves, Zepa and Srebrenica. Correct?
10 A. Yes. And to narrow down the enclaves, in view of the events that
11 took place before the decision in which I participated with my unit.
12 Q. And when you say "the events," we're talking about where members
13 of the 28th Division under the protection of the UN while in Srebrenica
14 would leave the enclave and would commit atrocities against the Serb
15 villages surrounding that area. Is that correct?
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, there's no occasion that the UN is
17 protecting Naser Oric in his attacks. That's a little theatrical at this
19 MR. KARNAVAS: 28th Division was inside -- was inside Srebrenica
20 and certainly they made no effort to completely demilitarise that enclave
21 as they were required to, and this had been ongoing for many years. So I
22 don't think there's any dispute here.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, but Mr. Karnavas, I think you should put your
24 questions strictly to this witness.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
1 Q. Am I correct, sir, you're referring to the attacks by the 28th,
2 members of the 28th Division going out and committing atrocities outside
3 the enclave?
4 A. Yes, I'm aware of that.
5 Q. Okay.
6 A. From the information.
7 Q. Now -- and then as you indicated, at some point when it appeared
8 that there was very little resistance, if any, that the possibility of
9 taking over Srebrenica was a reality, the orders shifted. Correct?
10 A. Yes. Yes.
11 Q. And then we see on the -- on July 11th, we see members of the
12 VRS --
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, we hear the B/C/S. I think it's the wrong
15 Mr. Karnavas, can you try it again.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes.
17 Q. And then on the 11th, we see certain members, officers of the VRS,
18 in Srebrenica as a result of it falling. Correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. When Srebrenica fell, as far as you knew, it was still a mystery
21 as to where members of the 28th Division actually were. Is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. In other words, if you didn't come across the 28th Division when
24 you got to Srebrenica -- and we know that they weren't in Potocari.
1 A. Me personally, you mean?
2 Q. You and the other VRS officers. We're talking about the 11th now.
3 A. No, we didn't know where they were. It was assumed that they had
4 taken to the hills.
5 Q. Okay. And you being on the ground there, can you tell us when you
6 first became aware as to where they might be located or in which direction
7 they're headed toward?
8 A. The members of the BH army, you mean?
9 Q. Right.
10 A. Well, I think that on the basis of the order to secure the roads
11 that we were supposed to pass through towards Tuzla and Kladanj, those
12 roads, that line of communication, we assumed that they wouldn't go to the
13 south in view of the fact that the forces in securing the enclave were
14 there. I don't know when I learned of this exactly, but it was the
15 conclusion of every officer that they wanted to join up with their own
16 forces in the other area, the Tuzla/Kladanj area, in fact.
17 Q. Okay. Now, on the -- after the fall of Srebrenica on the 11th,
18 that afternoon and evening, where did you spend it?
19 A. After the fall of Srebrenica, I was in my own unit while it was
20 daylight, during the day, to organise security on the line we had reached,
21 to deploy units along the line, and to establish contacts with our
22 neighbours. And after that, I went to my command post.
23 Q. And how far was your command post from there?
24 A. Not far. I can't tell you exactly now. But not far.
25 Q. I take it that you gave -- go ahead. I'm sorry.
1 A. It's -- from Srebrenica, you pass the repeater station, and then
2 Zelani Jadar, and then up again, up a hill. But the road was an asphalt
3 one, so it didn't take you long to get there.
4 Q. Okay. Now, the battalion that you put together, how many men
5 approximately were under your command when you led this mission?
6 A. About 300, perhaps a little more. But approximately 300 men.
7 Q. And could you tell us, were you able during that period of time to
8 know where every one of those 300 men were?
9 A. Not every single man, but where the officers and their groups
10 were, it was normal for me to know which region they were in.
11 Q. All right. And I take it that after the fall of Srebrenica when
12 you went to visit your officers, one of the reasons was to give them some
13 instructions as to what to do. Correct?
14 A. When I arrived at the command post, or rather when I had left the
15 Srebrenica settlement, then, is that what you mean? What period of time.
16 Q. That period. That period. The fall of -- Srebrenica has fallen.
17 I take it that you must have visited or contacted your officers to let
18 them know what to do next, which might have been do nothing, hold your
20 A. No. I've already said that I went to the unit and issued
21 assignments for the night, what they should do, how they should organise
22 themselves. And when everything was made clear to them, I went to my
23 command post.
24 Q. Okay. Now, we know that there was a lot of looting in Srebrenica
25 after it fell. And I believe one of the terms that you use for folks that
1 might have gone -- some of the folks that were in Potocari were "the
2 curious." Do you know for certain whether any of your soldiers on their
3 own, without instructions, might have been one of those that either looted
4 or just were curious and went off on their own just to take a look? Can
5 you tell us?
6 A. There were such men, yes.
7 Q. Okay. Not that any orders were given; in fact, the orders were
8 probably the opposite, to maintain their positions. But nonetheless, from
9 experience, as you well know, some individuals sometimes do not follow
10 orders. Correct?
11 A. Correct, right.
12 Q. Now, just to be absolutely certain, on July 11th, that evening,
13 okay, this is the day that Srebrenica fell, that evening, you were not at
14 the Bratunac Brigade headquarters. Correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And you did not attend any meetings that particular night?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Now, the Prosecution has argued repeatedly before this Trial
19 Chamber that their theory is that on the night of the 11th to the 12th,
20 sometime during that period --
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry to interrupt, but using "the
22 Prosecution's theory" to present an -- a witness is absolutely improper.
23 There's ways of getting to any factual question, but pitting him against
24 the Prosecution in some sort of personal way is just not appropriate.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: I think Mr. McCloskey is a little sensitive.
1 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, we are under time constraint. Just put
2 your question directly, and we'll take whatever the witness answers.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: All right. I'm doing my best. I'm doing my best.
4 Q. It has been argued --
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: This is absolutely irrelevant.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Let me -- I'll rephrase it.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yeah, rephrase it, please.
8 MR. KARNAVAS:
9 Q. From the night -- during night of the 11th, between the night of
10 the 11th and the morning of the 12th, did you and other Serb officers,
11 Mladic, Krstic, Andric and the others, get together and plan to execute
12 and kill all the Muslim men from age 16 to 60?
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, Your Honour. That misstates anything
14 that has been in the record. Nobody has ever suggested this officer was
15 involved in any plot. And the impression this leaves is, again, trying to
16 make it personal.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yeah, but this time, you know, Mr. Karnavas did not
18 indicate who put up this kind of theory. He just asked a question to this
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: But he's assuming that this person is involved in
21 such a plot. There's no fact in evidence that suggests that. And so it
22 cannot -- it's not a fair question.
23 JUDGE LIU: Maybe on Mr. Karnavas' part. Do you?
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I could -- if we could just rewind
25 the tape back to yesterday where we heard the Prosecution express what
1 they believe happened and when it happened, and that this idea occurred
2 sometime between the night of the 11th and the morning of the 12th, and
3 that there is a clear distinction. Might I also remind the Trial Chamber
4 that there was a specific question asked of this witness with regard to
5 whether he saw anything on his way to Zepa on the 13th. I think that I'm
6 entitled -- they opened the door. First of all, I'm entitled to ask him
7 whether he participated in any meeting. That's the first question.
8 Second question, does he know of anything.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, just ask the question whether this witness took
10 part in any meeting on the 11th at night. If the witness's answer is yes,
11 then ask the contents.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. I see. Thank you, Your Honour. I see.
13 We'll go step by step. Okay.
14 Q. Did you attend any meetings on the night of the 11th, between the
15 night of the 11th and the morning of the 12th, sir?
16 A. Before I answer that question, I should like to ask you that once
17 you hear my answer to give me a chance to rest for a bit. Take a rest.
18 My answer is no, I did not part in any meeting during the night, or
19 rather, in the night between the 11th and the 12th.
20 Q. All right. We'll take a rest. We're about ready for a break
21 anyway. So if there's any time you want a break, you tell us.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll take a 20-minute break. We'll resume at 20
23 minutes to 6.00.
24 --- Recess taken at 5.17 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 5.42 p.m.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas, please continue.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honour.
3 Q. Okay, sir, let's talk about the 12th of July. Okay? Now, on the
4 morning of the 12th, as I understand it, you were given a particular task
5 by General Krstic. Correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And part of -- that order --
8 A. 12th.
9 Q. I take it that was an oral order, not written?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And you indicated that you're not certain who else was present or
12 who else received the order, but you recall the location where it was when
13 you received that order. Correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And that location is Bojna? If you could pronounce it for us.
16 A. Bojna.
17 Q. Bojna.
18 A. The repeater.
19 Q. Right. And how far is Bojna from the headquarters of the Bratunac
21 A. I don't know exactly.
22 Q. Okay. How long would it take to drive there under the conditions
23 back then?
24 A. To be honest, I didn't live in the area, and I don't know. I
25 don't know how many kilometres it is from Vlasenica to Srebrenica, but
1 it's near Srebrenica anyway. It all depends. I really don't know. Half
2 an hour, perhaps a little more.
3 Q. All right. Now, what time exactly was it that General Krstic came
5 A. On the 12th in the morning, the tasks were set by Colonel Vicic.
6 General Krstic, I think, was there when we reported in that locality. But
7 the tasks were set by Colonel Vicic.
8 Q. Was it tasked at that particular location? Is that where you
9 received the order?
10 A. Yes, orally.
11 Q. And could you -- if you recall what time it might have been in the
13 A. 9.00, 10.00.
14 Q. All right.
15 A. Before noon anyway.
16 Q. Now, I take it, since you were going to be searching the terrain,
17 that you must have been given coordinates on the map.
18 A. They didn't give us coordinates, but the general axis for the
19 units' engagement and the boundaries for the roads. I was supposed to
20 take the right-hand side across the village of Vijogora towards the
21 Jahorina facility. Geographically speaking, this was called Jahorina.
22 And on my left was the 1st Birac Brigade, so to the left of that road to
23 break through the Jastrebaca facility.
24 Q. Did you have a neighbour on your right?
25 A. I don't remember. I didn't establish contact with anybody on that
2 Q. Were you given a particular location that you had to reach by the
3 end of the day, on the terrain?
4 A. I just said, Jahorina was the destination.
5 Q. So as soon as you reached that point, you were supposed to stop
6 and --
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Okay. Now I take it from listening to your testimony, you're not
9 aware whether any other brigades that might have been involved in the
10 attack on Srebrenica were also issued, other than the ones that you've
11 mentioned, were also issued orders to search?
12 A. I don't remember. But I know that I was given the task.
13 Q. And of course --
14 A. And that, if I might be allowed to finish, that the Zvornik
15 Brigade, I think, was tasked to remain in reserve. Whether it sent a part
16 of its force out to search, I don't really know. But that's what I can
17 say for sure. As to the rest, the others, I don't know.
18 Q. So you don't know given the line the -- the zone of operation or
19 zone of defence of the Bratunac Brigade, you don't know whether on that
20 particular day the commander of the Bratunac Brigade was also given oral
21 orders to have his troops advance, searching the terrain, up to a certain
23 A. I don't know.
24 Q. Without asking you to speculate, given the circumstances on the
25 ground, would you expect such an order to be also given to the Bratunac
1 Brigade in light of their location and in light of what was happening?
2 A. Of course.
3 Q. All right. Now, at some point on that particular day, you were
4 informed that you had to make yourself available at the headquarters of
5 the Bratunac Brigade at 2100 hours. Correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And in fact, you were told exactly the purpose for that meeting.
8 In other words, you were told that you -- to go there because a meeting
9 would be held. Correct?
10 A. To come to a meeting, but I wasn't told what was to be discussed,
11 just to report there at 2100 hours.
12 Q. On that particular day, sir, was it your impression that the
13 Bratunac Brigade headquarters was serving as the forward command post for
14 the Drina Corps?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And what gave you that impression, sir?
17 A. Because the first assignment and the first assembly with respect
18 to the task around the enclaves was given to me at the headquarters of the
19 Bratunac Brigade. And I'm quite sure that that was the forward command
20 post of the corps.
21 Q. Okay. Now, are we speaking of the orders that you received on
22 July 5, 1995? When you say the first orders you received, is that what
23 you're referring to?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Okay. Now, we know that General Mladic was in the area. And we
1 also know that some of his officers were also in the area, on or about
2 those days, and I'm talking about after the fall of Srebrenica. Do you
3 know whether the Bratunac Brigade also served as a forward command post
4 for General Mladic when he was in that location?
5 A. I can only assume because he arrived that day to that locality and
6 issued certain tasks.
7 Q. Well, I know this may sound like a silly question. But would
8 General Mladic or General Krstic have to get permission from
9 Colonel Blagojevic to use his headquarters as their forward command post?
10 A. According to hierarchy, I don't think. It is the superior who can
11 regulate matters that way.
12 Q. And knowing General Mladic the way you knew him, and we can see
13 some of his charismatic behaviour on tape, was General Mladic the type
14 that would request the commander of the Bratunac Brigade's permission to
15 use his facilities or even to order any of his men to carry out any tasks
16 he thought needed to be done on the spot?
17 A. That's a complex question.
18 Q. Okay.
19 A. Could you simplify, please.
20 Q. Okay. Well, do you think General Mladic would -- given the
21 personality that he was, was he the type that would go up to Colonel
22 Blagojevic and ask him for permission to use his headquarters as his
23 forward command post?
24 A. I'm going to resort to what I taught when I taught tactics and
25 what I recommended to future officers and higher, advanced students. I
1 don't think there was any need, and I don't think there is a need for a
2 superior in combat operations, in operations generally, to request
3 something of somebody. But that he regulates where he's going to develop
4 his action, with respect to the infrastructure, the communications
5 available, the roads available, how to communicate with his headquarters
6 and his units in the field. And that he can regulate this by issuing
7 orders, so that he can use that command post and the superior command in
8 order to realise his role in the area, if I have been clear enough.
9 Q. Okay. Now, I take it given your answer that that would also apply
10 to General Krstic or General Zivanovic when they were --
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Okay. And just while we're on the topic, we had a discussion here
13 in this court on the concept of functional relationships as they are noted
14 in the rules. Are you familiar with that concept?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. So I take it if the chief of the rear services or the head of the
17 rear services of the Drina Corps, for instance, were to ask the assistant
18 commander of the rear services of the brigade, the Bratunac Brigade, to
19 carry out a function that is within, within the rear services, that would
20 be possible, would it not, without having to actually go and seek
21 permission first from the commander of the brigade?
22 A. Yes, that is possible. But he is duty-bound, that is to say, the
23 assistant of that subordinated unit who has been tasked to inform his
24 commander on the assignment he is using the men and resources for, or
25 anything else, so that he would be able -- the commander would be able
1 follow developments and to avoid having him placed in a situation to try
2 and do something else whereas the assistant for the rear has already
3 assigned a portion of men to somebody who requested him to do that, with
4 the proviso that I'm quite sure that the assistant for the rear can, down
5 the chain of command, suggest and say that he hasn't got enough men
6 available. So he doesn't have to carry out everything literally as was
8 Q. Okay. And I take it that principle would apply if, for instance,
9 as you have the Bratunac Brigade headquarters serving as the forward
10 command post of the Drina Corps, where you have General Krstic, who is the
11 head of the Drina Corps there, the commander of the Drina Corps, and his
12 assistant commander for rear services, if they're all located in the
13 Bratunac Brigade headquarters working out of there, that principle would
14 apply, would it not?
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. Hypotheticals need to have some basis
17 in fact. I don't believe General Krstic was ever at the Bratunac Brigade
18 when he was commander. He didn't become commander until he went to
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas. It's a hypothetical question, you
21 know. In this situation, it's not proper.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. Okay, Your Honours. I'm confused a
23 little bit, though, because I thought on the 13th the Prosecution has
24 argued that General Krstic has become commander because we have some
25 orders. But I'll back off on that one.
1 Q. All right. Now, getting back on the 12th, you arrive at the
2 Bratunac Brigade headquarters on time, as you were ordered to do so.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And having searched your memory because you were questioned once
6 in 2000, another time in 2002, again yesterday, and now today, you only
7 recall certain personalities being there, certain officers. Correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And for those that you've indicated that were there for sure,
10 you're certain about. Correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. I take it one of the reasons is because you had an opportunity to
13 observe them, perhaps talk to them, hear them, and maybe even break bread
14 with them, eat with them later on. Correct?
15 A. Of course. That's correct.
16 Q. All right. Now, the assumption or presumption that you've always
17 made is that Colonel Blagojevic would have been there also since these
18 were his headquarters. Correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. So in a sense, even though they were now serving as a forward
21 command post of the Drina Corps and perhaps the Main Staff,
22 Colonel Blagojevic was still the host in a sense, was he not?
23 A. Of course.
24 Q. And as a host commander, you would expect him to greet you.
1 A. Perhaps in this case, it was a little bit different. We dropped
2 by. I was personally told - I'm not speaking on behalf of the others -
3 where the meeting would be held, in which room. The meeting was not held
4 in the room where it would be logical, where the command -- the brigade
5 commander would sit. Since him, if he were at this meeting, and this was
6 an assumption, it's not an assertion because the assumption is that all
7 the brigade commanders, just like myself, were supposed to attend the
8 meeting, then he was also supposed to be up there. The room was up on the
9 floor. So he should have been in that room or in front of the room. I
10 don't remember particularly greeting each individual present, and I do not
11 wish to say whether this person or that person was here or who sent whom,
12 but I know that Pandurevic was there because we both asked a question, and
13 that is why this is not something that I am doubting.
14 Q. Okay.
15 A. In relation to Pandurevic.
16 Q. All right. I was merely asking the question because given the
17 culture, it's normally customary to, when you walk into somebody's command
18 post or house, to greet them and maybe even make a little small talk, and
19 especially if you're going to be having dinner with them. Correct?
20 A. In this case, yes, it was customary for this to happen. But the
21 situation was such that we were supposed to go to a certain room where the
22 meeting was supposed to be held. And so in this case, customary things
23 were or could have been ruled out.
24 Q. Okay. At least there; certainly not at the dinner later on.
25 A. The dinner was as dinner was. The seats were empty. We filled
1 them. We were given dinner. There was some conversation. Most often the
2 conversation was about the problems that we were dealing with. We were
3 talking as we were eating, what was it that we were having troubles with
4 as we were preparing for this assignment. This was not planned before.
5 It was expected -- I personally expected that once we had completed the
6 tasks, we would return to our own areas in order to carry out tasks in our
7 areas. So this is what the conversation was about.
8 Q. Now, if at that meeting that took place on the evening of the 12th
9 an argument had taken place between General Krstic and Colonel Blagojevic
10 in front of General Mladic where there were complaints lodged against
11 Colonel Blagojevic's men, the Bratunac Brigade, and the argument got so
12 heated that Colonel Blagojevic walked out of both commanders, Mladic and
13 Krstic, would that be an event that would stick in your mind?
14 A. I assume that it would. But I don't recall anything like that.
15 Q. All right.
16 A. Whether it's just a question of having forgotten, I don't know.
17 Q. Would you forget if there was a -- if there was an argument of
18 such a nature on the 12th where a colonel would walk out in front of
19 Mladic and Krstic out of protest, certainly that would be a significant
20 event that would stick in your mind, would it not?
21 A. I've already said that I don't remember any other details from
22 that meeting, other than these two or three that I actually noted down as
23 something that was important to me at the time.
24 Q. Very well. Now, we've had testimony here that -- from a driver
25 that was with Mr. -- Colonel Blagojevic on that particular day who
1 indicated that it was after 10.00 p.m., 2200 hours, that they arrived in
2 Bratunac Brigade on the 12th. Might that explain why when you arrived at
3 2100 hours that particular evening Colonel Blagojevic wasn't there and
4 doesn't stick in your mind as being there?
5 A. It's just an assumption of mine. But I don't know everything
6 about the persons that I noted and whom I believe were there at the time
7 or took part in something. Everything else is just a question of
8 speculation or assumption, of course as far as I'm concerned.
9 Q. And we've also heard testimony that while -- that on this
10 particular day, Colonel Blagojevic went and inspected some of his troops.
11 Given the circumstances of what had just happened, that is, on the 11th,
12 would you expect the brigade commander in that particular area as one of
13 his functions to be visiting his troops, ensuring that everything was in
14 proper order and perhaps even giving orders such as the ones that you had
16 A. Of course, just as I and the others after each task had to
17 report -- had to convey this to our subordinates, and then go out and see
18 them in the field. This is something that was customary.
19 Q. All right. We also heard testimony that while he was out there
20 performing these tasks, there was no radio -- there was no radio available
21 in the vehicle and no one can remember whether there was a Motorola.
22 Could that explain also why perhaps Colonel Blagojevic wasn't at the
23 meeting on July --
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I think this is speculation.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm just stating the facts, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE LIU: No, no. You're asking this witness to guess the
2 reason why Mr. Blagojevic was there. You see, it's far beyond the ability
3 of this witness.
4 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, I agree, Your Honour. But also, it's really
6 irrelevant whether we've heard testimony on something or not. This is not
7 something that is a question for this witness. That's irrelevant as well
8 as, I mean, Mr. Karnavas of course can argue all these things, but as the
9 witness himself has pointed out...
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please drop this question.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: I will, Your Honour. As far as the relevancy with
12 respect to the argument that allegedly ensued, I think it does go to the
13 credibility of one of the star witnesses of the Prosecution, and that's
14 why I thought it was relevant to delve into that, and also to perhaps give
15 the Trial Chamber an opportunity to, you know, make a decision as to why
16 the gentleman may not recall Colonel Blagojevic being there.
17 Q. Now, on the evening of the 12th, as I understand it, you received
18 certain orders. Correct?
19 A. On the 12th, in the evening, I did not receive any orders except
20 for General Krstic who was told that by 8.00 on the 13th he was to prepare
21 a decision to carry out the Zepa operation. Out of that decision, it was
22 normal to accept -- to expect that the units would be given tasks if this
23 decision was approved. We were just present during this act.
24 Q. Okay. Thank you for clarifying that. And I take it one of the
25 reasons why you were present was so that you, as one of the commanders, or
1 the commanders that were there might be able to provide some input as to
2 whether that particular operation was feasible under the circumstances.
3 A. Yes, that's how we reacted. Yes, that's how I personally reacted,
4 that we should not continue further operations with these forces.
5 Q. And one of the reasons was that the forces had -- were tired and
6 needed some rest, and perhaps you wanted to get fresh troops for a --
7 another operation. Correct?
8 A. Yes, I've already said that.
9 Q. But I take it you walked away from the meeting that evening
10 realising that your concerns were not being listened to because afterwards
11 you had requested General Krstic to come and personally inform the troops.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. That's a misstatement of the evidence.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I can go step by step.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
16 MR. KARNAVAS:
17 Q. Was the decision made that evening that the operation to Zepa
18 would take place as soon as possible?
19 A. I've already said that. General Krstic was given the task of
20 preparing a decision by 8.00 on the 13th.
21 Q. Okay. Sometimes I have to repeat the question, so don't get
22 irritated with me. It's not for any other reason.
23 Now, the following -- did you request that evening for anyone to
24 address the troops regarding this new order that was going to be coming
25 your way?
1 A. Yes, at the meeting.
2 Q. Okay. Right. And as I understand it, it was General Mladic who
3 actually came out and gave the speech to the men.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And that was to motivate them. Correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And I take it after that, the men that might have been inspired by
8 the speech given by Mladic were not too happy to go on to Zepa. Is that
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. But the order remained as it was. Correct?
12 A. I'm a soldier, and the order remained, of course.
13 Q. Do you know whether on that particular evening the Bratunac
14 Brigade was also ordered -- or the next day was ordered to go to Zepa?
15 A. I don't know.
16 Q. Do you know if the Bratunac Brigade sent a -- I believe a company
17 with the chief of staff of the Bratunac Brigade at some point towards
19 A. I don't know about that order. But I know that at the end of the
20 Zepa operation there were parts, or actually one unit from the Bratunac
21 Brigade as part of the forces which were completing that process of the
22 Zepa operation. When they arrived is something that I don't know.
23 Q. All right. Now, you indicate -- you were shown a document from
24 your diary which reflects that -- I believe searching operations. Do you
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And it's your understanding that upon reflection and looking at
3 that particular note, that that notation with respect to searching was an
4 extension or a continuation of the searching of the terrain as was
5 requested of you as early as the morning of July 12th.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Would that be a proper military activity under the circumstances,
8 searching the terrain?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And why so?
11 A. Because the area of responsibility - I'm coming back to that - of
12 the Bratunac and the Milici Brigade had to do with holding the lines
13 towards the Srebrenica enclave. And it was logical to -- for that unit to
14 continue doing the same task.
15 Q. All right. Now, you say zone of responsibility, and I want to
16 make sure that we don't get confused because I thought we agreed earlier
17 on that the rules do not state anything about a zone of responsibility for
18 the brigades.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. This has been asked and answered
20 several times. This is just repetitive.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas, I think there's no
22 misunderstanding. We all know that. We could refer to the previous
23 questions and answers.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour. I just want to be on the
25 safe side.
1 JUDGE LIU: You are safe enough.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay, thank you. Thank you.
3 Q. All right. Now, let me switch to another topic. On the 13th you
4 indicated that you drove through Potocari, and you were able to see the
5 trucks with some men or women, children, and others. Correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And I believe, if I'm not mistaken, that you would have seen them
8 as well on the 12th. Maybe not that same activity, but you would have
9 seen some people gathered there on the 12th.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. Asking him to speculate what he would
12 have seen, and that's just not a question. And given the time frame he
13 said he went through Potocari, it doesn't really reflect the reality on
14 the ground either.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: All right. Maybe there wasn't anybody on the 12th
16 in Potocari, if that's what this Prosecutor is suggesting. I don't know.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: In the evening when we went through, I don't think
18 they were loading any more. But if you want to suggest they were, that's
20 MR. KARNAVAS: I didn't suggest they were loading.
21 JUDGE LIU: The parties should not argue in front of the witness.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well.
23 Q. Sir, did you drive through Potocari on the 12th?
24 A. I did.
25 Q. Did you notice anybody in Potocari, any Muslims?
1 A. Of course that I noticed, and this is what I said earlier today.
2 Q. Precisely. That's what I was driving at. And you saw some on the
3 13th as well. Correct?
4 A. I did.
5 Q. Now, you having -- you being in that area, part of the Drina
6 Corps, could you please tell us who was in charge of that operation,
7 taking care of all of those people? Was it Mladic, the Main Staff; was it
8 Zivanovic, Krstic at some point? Was it Vidoje Blagojevic, the commander
9 of the Bratunac Brigade? Who was responsible tore these people that you
10 know of, if you know?
11 A. Which people? The ones that I saw, the civilians.
12 Q. Exactly.
13 A. I don't know who was responsible.
14 Q. Do you know who ordered the various police and military police to
15 be there? Do you know?
16 A. If General Mladic in the course of that meeting of the 12th in the
17 evening talked with somebody regarding the evacuation and said that he
18 would secure the vehicles and that the other side should secure the fuel,
19 then I assume that everything regarding the evacuation, the assembly, and
20 the boarding came out of that order of his, and that there was some kind
21 of signature or something of his on that order and that there was somebody
22 who was supposed to implement the lower orders and the activities arising
23 out of that regarding the evacuation of the population.
24 Q. So I take it specifically you don't know?
25 A. No, specifically no.
1 Q. Exactly. Concretely, you don't know. All right.
2 Now, we know from the testimony that we've had here that the men
3 were separated and were detained and transported at some point to various
4 detention places in Bratunac. Some remained on buses, others went to
5 schools or other places. Do you know who issued that order?
6 A. I don't know.
7 Q. Would the fact that they were in these buses and in the school in
8 Bratunac or other facilities, would that place them under the
9 responsibility of the Bratunac Brigade commander while at the same time
10 you have either Mladic or Krstic and their men in and around Bratunac
11 during that period?
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, Your Honour. He said he doesn't know
13 who is responsible, and I mean --
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- we know where this witness fits in. This could
16 go on forever.
17 JUDGE LIU: It's a very difficult question, by the way.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: It is indeed, Your Honour. It is indeed. It is
20 JUDGE LIU: I hope you could move on because we don't have much
21 time left.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: I understand, Your Honour. It's physically
23 impossible to finish today. But I will try to hit the high points.
24 That's what I'm trying to do.
25 Q. All right, let's get on to another topic. I want to talk to you a
1 little bit about the functions of the chief of intelligence and security.
2 All right. I'm speaking in a general sense.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, Your Honour. At this point, that's
4 very much beyond the scope of direct, and at this point in the trial, this
5 exploratory mission into trying to make him a potential expert is
6 inappropriate. We have time. He has spoken specifically on specific
7 acts. I generally have not objected to this, because it's -- out of
8 convenience it's easier to get this material now out of a witness than
9 bring him back. But at this point with only this much time, an exploratory
10 effort into expertise that's not related to his testimony is --
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: May I be heard, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I am deeply unmoved - unmoved - by the time.
15 Because the Prosecutor took his time. He could have brought this witness
16 earlier. I have been patient. I allowed them to take as long as they
17 wanted. They chose Friday so I shouldn't be rushed at this point.
18 Secondly, the Prosecutor went into the gentleman's background. The
19 gentleman not only is a -- you know, has the experience and the
20 background, but he taught this. This is a major point. This is a
21 Prosecution witness. We've heard several Prosecution witnesses with
22 respect to this. I'm merely trying to get into the meat and potatoes of
23 the case. Also, when they took the gentleman's statement, when they
24 took -- although they didn't elicit the information today, they asked him
25 specifically about the security officer. Now, just because today they
1 decided that tactically speaking it wasn't worth it, it doesn't mean that
2 I can't get into it. And they certainly thought he was expert enough to
3 elicit that information from him when they took his statement, and the
4 question, might I add, is posed by Mr. McCloskey himself.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I think that this Trial Chamber
6 promised you that if in the future you need this witness, we will do our
7 best to bring this witness back as your witness in your case. And I only
8 allowed you to ask two questions in this area. I hope your question
9 should be as concise as possible.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Maybe I'll just leave that for the next time.
11 Because two questions, I can't guarantee it. And I don't want to violate
12 your directive.
13 Q. Let me move on to another area, sir. While you were serving with
14 the Drina Corps and during this period of time and afterwards, did you
15 come across any information, whether it's hearsay, third-hand,
16 fourth-hand, who cares, that Mr. Blagojevic, Colonel Blagojevic, was
17 directly involved in any of the atrocities that occurred after the fall of
19 A. No, I did not.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: In light of the Court's ruling, Your Honour, at
21 this point I will stop, with the understanding that I will be bringing the
22 gentleman back during the case in-chief. I understand that he will be
23 making himself available, and we also need to get into his -- into the
24 other aspects of the case that have not -- have yet to be translated.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I think you have to ask a question
1 directly to this witness whether this witness is willing to come as your
2 witness in the future.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: I was relying on the Court's promises.
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, our promise will be the last resort.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. Very well, Your Honour.
6 Q. Sir, in light of some of the documents that you brought here
7 yesterday, because they haven't been translated and because of the time,
8 and we want to get you back home, would you be willing to come back at a
9 later time, again, let me stress to you that your status is not going to
10 change, but would you be willing to come back at a later time to help us
11 out with a little bit more information in this very, very important case?
12 A. I don't know what the procedure is with respect to this
13 possibility of testifying. But I have nothing against participating in
14 learning the truth, or rather what happened to the best of my knowledge.
15 I shall contribute.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you very, very much, sir. And I apologise
17 for this inconvenience.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, Mr. Karnavas.
19 Mr. Stojanovic.
20 Cross-examined by Mr. Stojanovic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Good evening, Colonel. I apologise, I'm going to
22 have to look at this from this angle. The screen's in the way. But since
23 we're in closed session or, rather, private session, Your Honour, I'm going
24 to ask the witness three or four questions relating his CV,and (redacted)
12 Page 7547 – redacted, order from the Trial Chamber.
3 [Open session]
4 JUDGE LIU: Now we are in open session.
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 Q. I can see in view of your impressive CV that you will be able to
7 help us with respect to the application of the rules and regulation that
8 we discussed here. If I say I'm right, that it is the duty of all
9 superior officers to raise the flag, including the commander of the
10 brigade in the morning hours, would that be correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can you explain to us briefly all the activities in the command of
13 your 2nd Romanija Brigade specifically, what you do in the morning?
14 A. Apart from those who were up at the front line in their positions,
15 all the rest, which is the smaller portion of men, engage in activities as
16 do any other armies in the world, I assume. That is to say the reveille,
17 they get up, they wash, see to their personal hygiene, have breakfast, the
18 flag is then raised, the flag-raising ceremony, and the regular activities
19 that ensue and have to be accomplished during that day. During the war,
20 meant supplies, seeing to supplies for the units and supplies of the
21 different units from the different warehouses, store houses, providing
22 food, clothing, footwear, and requirements of that kind. Catering to the
23 needs of the unit generally.
24 Q. Would you agree with me when I say that the morning briefings were
25 customary where the command of the brigade would meet and assign the daily
2 A. Yes, that would be after the flag-raising ceremony. And as I say,
3 the working day would begin with this morning briefing which would mean a
4 short meeting to hear what had happened in the meantime, since the rest
5 period to the morning, to brief the subordinates, and if we're talking
6 about the war period, what took place during the night, whether there were
7 any problems up at the front line, if everybody -- and everybody would be
8 informed of this state of affairs and the assignments given. The
9 meetings, these briefings were very short.
10 Q. Thank you. Now, could you helps and give us your comments on
11 paragraph 114.
12 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] And I should like the usher to
13 help us here, please, to give the colonel a copy and the other copies to
14 be distributed to Their Honours and the Court.
15 Your Honours, this is a document, an exhibit, it is P394, in
16 actual fact. Exhibit P394, instructions for the work of the staffs, and
17 this exhibit has been tendered into evidence and presented through the
18 testimony of Mr. Richard Butler.
19 Q. Colonel, let's try and comment paragraph or Rule 114 in the
20 instructions. It states clearly here that this deals with decision-making
21 by the commander without previous consultations with the command. And it
22 says that in the case of sudden enemy activity in the course of combat
23 operations when the situation changes rapidly and in other circumstances
24 when there's not enough time to consult the command organs at all, the
25 commander has the right and duty without consultations to make his own
2 Am I correct in saying, Colonel, that in July 1995, the
3 circumstances were such when many commanders were put in that position?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You personally, through force of circumstance, did you ever find
6 yourself in a position of that kind, in July 1995?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. Now, I have a specific question. For example, the engineers unit
9 needs to be used in your brigade or some other brigade, a situation like
10 that occurs, for instance. We have an extraordinary situation, intensive
11 combat operations are underway, and as this rule states, the situation
12 changes rapidly from one moment to the next. Would you agree with me that
13 it is quite a feasible situation in which the commander without consulting
14 the staff officer from the engineering field takes a decision to deploy
15 the engineers unit, his engineers unit?
16 A. Yes, that is quite possible.
17 Q. So these, then, could be tasks as much as mining or demining the
18 terrain, or erecting fortification or any other activities that the
19 engineers' unit is in charge of?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you, Colonel.
22 I'd like to move on. I won't be using that exhibit any longer.
23 Thank you. I'm going to ask you several hypotheticals now. Let's look at
24 some hypothetical situations which could have taken place, and then help
25 us on the basis of the rules and give us an explanation.
1 As brigade commander, you arrive in your unit, and at the entrance
2 to the building of the headquarters or on the staircase, for example,
3 somebody comes up to you from behind, a duty officer approaches you from
4 behind, at that point in time, would it be in keeping with the rules and
5 regulations that he, that is to say, the duty officer, speaks to you there
6 on the staircase in the hallway? Would you stay back and hear what he has
7 to report, or, according to the rules of conduct between a superior and
8 his subordinate, would he have the duty of reporting to you in the duty
9 officer's room about the events that came to pass?
10 A. During the war, and I assume your question implies wartime, the
11 duty officer who would otherwise be in the operations room of the
12 headquarters or command would not go out to inform on the situation. He
13 just got up, opened the door, and in the operations room he would inform
14 me of the role -- of the state in the units. Now, if there was a duty
15 officer in the brigade, not in the staff, then this duty officer at a
16 command post in the rear or staff command or anything like that, they
17 would receive reports outside the premises to hear how the soldiers spent
18 the night, what tasks were accomplished and what -- which weren't, tasks
19 not tied to the fight line and basic combat orders for the units.
20 Q. Thank you, Colonel. May I just for the transcript clarify this.
21 So the duty operations officer cannot leave his official premises, his
22 office, the place where he performs his duty. He can only report to you
23 in those premises, in that room. Am I right in saying that?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 Colonel, I now have a question for you linked to the interview
2 granted here by one of the accused from this case, later on after
3 pronouncing himself. I'm talking about Lieutenant Colonel Dragan
4 Obrenovic in actual fact. In an interview in which he granted to
5 Mr. McCloskey, the conversation took the following lines: Mr. McCloskey
6 asked him the following: "The decision as to the fate of those
7 prisoners - and he meant the prisoners coming to Zvornik - was Obrenovic's
8 decision, it was up to him." And Obrenovic says that he received
9 information that this order had come from Mladic, and that Mr. Popovic
10 would put it into practice, whereas I then represented the brigade
11 commander. That's what he says.
12 Mr. McCloskey then went on to ask him the following. He said that
13 the decision to carry everything out, the killings in the area of
14 responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade rested on him, Obrenovic, and that
15 he accepted his responsibility; that is to say, that the members of his
16 brigade participate in the killing of those people. And Obrenovic's
17 answer to that was yes, he did accept responsibility for his brigade to
18 take part in the killings.
19 Now, my question to you is as follows: On the basis of the rules
20 and regulations, would my conclusion be correct, that is, that Dragan
21 Obrenovic by accepting responsibility for killing these men, that that
22 would mean that his soldiers could not do that without his order, without
23 an order from him? Would I be right in saying that?
24 A. Well, without his order, or rather somebody's order, quite
25 certainly that could not have been put into practice. That is my
2 Q. Thank you.
3 Colonel, if the brigade commander in the area of responsibility
4 or, as we like to call it, the zone of defence, in line with the rules the
5 brigade is at his position raising the soldiers' morale, is engaged in
6 commanding, according to the rules, is he in the field, in the terrain, or
7 is he considered to be present in the brigade?
8 A. Present in the brigade.
9 Q. Would I be right in saying, then, that from your answer I can
10 deduce that in the list of those present in the brigade recording the
11 presence of people in the brigade there should be a plus, meaning yes,
12 presence in the brigade, not T, meaning on the terrain or absence or away
13 from the brigade. Would that be correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And help me out with one more point, please: If an assistant to
16 the commander, one of the assistants to the brigade commander, that means
17 an assistant for the rear, for example, or for intelligence or for
18 security, for moral guidance, is at the forward command post on duty
19 there, according to the rules is that person then considered to be present
20 in the brigade, or is he considered to be T, in the terrain -- on the
22 A. Within the frameworks of his zone or assignment?
23 Q. Yes, within the area of his brigade or zone of his brigade and
24 within his regular assignment of being on duty at the forward command
1 A. He is considered to be present in the brigade.
2 Q. Once again, let's recapitulate. So in the book of -- in the
3 register or in the log, it would say Krstic [as interpreted] present, and
4 there wouldn't be a capital T denoting he was outside the brigade zone on
5 the terrain. Is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour. When I
8 said -- Krstic, I meant cross, not the surname Krstic. When I said
9 Krstic, I meant small cross, not the surname Krstic. So could that be
10 corrected, please. Thank you.
11 And I just have a few more questions for the end. I think
12 Mr. McCloskey would agree with me that I was right to put that right, to
13 correct that.
14 Q. Colonel, thank you. Just a few more questions, please. Bear with
16 You went to your assignment, combat assignment in Srebrenica. You
17 are outside the zone of defence of your brigade. Now, your absence from
18 the zone, from the zone of defence of the brigade, is that registered in
19 the corps as well?
20 A. That I'm absent from the brigade?
21 Q. That's right.
22 A. Well, if I'm with part of my unit, I'm still considered to be in
23 the brigade, if I understand you.
24 Q. The question was if you are absent, outside the zone of the
25 brigade's defence, you've gone in the terrain, you've gone to another area
1 with your unit, should this be registered, your absence, be registered in
2 the corps?
3 A. Yes, certainly.
4 Q. And this brings me to my next question. If you're in the terrain,
5 in the field, and the chief of staff or deputy commander of the brigade
6 remains in the brigade, can he now go outside the zone of the defence of
7 the brigade without the corps command knowing about it?
8 A. Yes, in an undisciplined unit.
9 Q. And the conclusion would be that in any disciplined unit and army,
10 this would not be possible. Is that right?
11 A. That's right, it would not be possible.
12 Q. Thank you. And I have just two more questions for the end. Help
13 me out here, please, Colonel: According to the rules, who replaces duty
14 operations officers?
15 A. The commander.
16 Q. And if there is no -- the commander is not there?
17 A. Then the person who performance the duty, the deputy commander or
18 chief of staff, if such a post exists formation-wise.
19 Q. In an organised and well-disciplined army as we said a moment ago,
20 can the following happen, that this replacement or the handover between
21 the superior duty officer and the incoming duty officer be done without
22 the presence of the commander who is in the brigade and who says, for
23 example, "you can replace each other yourselves," and that the duty
24 officer can come up and receive assignments? Is that possible according
25 to the rules?
1 A. It is not usual, not customary. But as a possibility, it can
2 happen if at the command post a superior commander has arrived and meets
3 with him, and the commander is informed in the morning by the outgoing
4 duty officer about the situation and at the time when the shift takes
5 place. He will not interrupt this conversation with his superior. But
6 once the situation has become clear, once he is clear on what has
7 happened, then he can say "sign the documents and effect the shift." And
8 when the man goes out, he can say "I'll call you to be more specific as to
9 the assignments." Otherwise not.
10 Q. So this answer of yours indicates that the commander's presence is
11 necessary in this handover and takeover of duty. Thank you, Colonel.
12 Now, please don't take this as a personal question, but as a
13 hypothetical. In the zone of defence of your unit or any unit, and there
14 are civilians who have been taken prisoner, secured by the police unit
15 under your command and pursuant to your orders can the following happen in
16 an organised, well-disciplined army: That a soldier or group of soldiers
17 from that same unit of yours on his own decision kills these POWs without
18 the knowledge of the commander of the unit? Can that happen ever?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Would you agree with me that such a major event can only take
21 place with the commander's knowledge?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And can this be an incident?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. One that the commander need not know about it?
1 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat his last answer,
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, we didn't pick up your answer for the
4 last question.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you repeat the question,
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stojanovic, please repeat your question.
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. My last question was this: Is it possible for a situation of this
10 kind to occur as an incident?
11 A. Yes, that is possible.
12 Q. Without the commander's knowledge? And I think your answer was
14 A. Yes.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
16 Any redirect, Mr. McCloskey?
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
19 At this stage, are there any documents to tender?
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. And I would say P473, it's
21 under seal. It's -- maybe we should go into private session if I'm going
22 to talk about these.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, let's go to private session, please.
24 [Private session]
24 [Open session]
25 JUDGE LIU: Now we are in open session.
1 The Trial Chamber has noticed that there are two outstanding
2 issues before it.
3 [The witness withdrew]
4 JUDGE LIU: The first relates to the Prosecution's notice of
5 filing of 92 bis statement of February 5th 2004 concerning the statement
6 of Witness W152. The Trial Chamber made a decision before on 30th of June
7 2003, but the Trial Chamber further noted that it would reserve this
8 decision concerning whether cross-examination of the witness would be
9 required. At this stage, we would like to say that the Trial Chamber sees
10 no reason for the cross-examination of Witness 152. This statement is
11 admitted into the evidence and seeks to put this into the record. It is
12 so decided.
13 The second matter relates to the decision on the Prosecution's
14 motion for judicial notice of adjudicated facts and documentary evidence
15 of 19th December 2003. It's about the so-called report of the
16 Secretary-General entitled "The Fall of Srebrenica" in which documents in
17 Tab B of the Prosecution's motion of August 6th 2003 were admitted. Tab B
18 relates to the documents to which all the parties agree. It has come to
19 the notice of the Trial Chamber that the documents with 65 ter number 657,
20 658, which is the same report in tab B of the Prosecution's motion as well
21 as in the tab C. These documents are objected to by the Jokic's Defence
22 during a 65 ter Conference. Therefore, the Trial Chamber would like to
23 seek some clarifications on this matter from the Jokic Defence.
24 Mr. Stojanovic, are you still objecting to the admission of this
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I must admit
2 that at this point I don't have the document with me, but in view of the
3 arguments that we stated at that time, I stand by that objection.
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Stojanovic, this document is a United
5 Nations report. It's kind of an official document. We may not agree with
6 the views expressed in it, but this document is a very famous document.
7 Almost everybody who knows Srebrenica knows this document.
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. And that was
9 not the reason why we put in our objection. After the 65 ter
10 considerations, we said that some of the things that are stated in this
11 document are practically counter to the facts that we have here already in
12 the documents of the case. The question whether it was or was not
13 demilitarised and whether there were or there were no organised military
14 personnel in the Srebrenica zone, and finally what is the final objective,
15 the starting and the final objective of the Krivaja 1995 operation. These
16 are the reasons, and not the authenticity of the statement of such an
17 eminent party such as the United Nations.
18 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Stojanovic, I understand that this document is
19 just about the background information, the massacre which had happened.
20 It does not go directly to the factual conduct of your client, Mr. Jokic.
21 I don't think his name was mentioned there at all. Of course, concerning
22 the situations, different parties may have different views, you know. But
23 that is not the subject matter of this very case. So this Trial Chamber
24 will make a decision that this document is admitted into the evidence, and
25 the Registrar could assign an exhibit number to this document.
1 Mr. Stojanovic, I think in your case, in the Defence case, you may
2 present any evidence you like to rebut any claims which are listed in that
3 document and which are related to your client.
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I understand, Your Honour. And I
5 know that you are dominus litis of this procedure. I respect your
6 decision. And after considering all the elements from the combat reports
7 of the BH army, perhaps there won't be any need for us to deal with that
8 when the time comes for us to present our case. Thank you very much.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for your cooperation.
10 Mr. Karnavas, I think yesterday you mentioned something about a
11 scheduling order. Now, it's time.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour. Thank you. As you know,
13 the case took a little bit longer than it had originally been told it
14 would take. These were circumstances beyond the control of either party.
15 We didn't object. We didn't object for the reasons that we thought it was
16 important, to give the Prosecution every opportunity to put on their
17 entire case. We don't object if they want to go on further. But I think
18 they're going to be resting today. In any event, because of this
19 additional testimony, it has been extremely difficult for us to be out
20 there in the terrain at the same time. We do believe that we will able to
21 get the 98 bis motion in on time, although frankly I would appreciate if
22 we could just amend it slightly to have -- for us to be able to have it
23 in, say, 10.00 on Tuesday morning. So I know we had three days. And
24 frankly, I think it would be fair to start with Monday, so it is due on
25 Wednesday. But I'm not seeking to conclude Saturday and Sunday. But If
1 we could have until, say, Tuesday at 10.00, we will have it in. And I
2 don't think that's going to delay anything.
3 We do need to go out in the field. We do need to make a list of
4 our witnesses and do all the other necessary things that are required of
5 us, such as summary of witnesses and what have you. We believe that a
6 more realistic date for us would be somewhere around the 16th of March to
7 present a list of witnesses. And I can probably assure the Court that the
8 list is going to be tentative because there probably will be -- we'll be
9 asking for additions to that list. We believe the Prosecution has done
10 this. We haven't objected. And I think as long as we provide adequate
11 notice, that it's not going to interfere with the Prosecution at all. And
12 of course, it's always subject to the Court's decision whether those
13 witnesses would be necessary. But I just want to let you know.
14 As far as for the actual commencement of the Defence case,
15 thinking in -- I just read recently that Mr. Milosevic was given 150 days.
16 Now, granted, he has got a bigger case. But then again, he has got three
17 amici, he has got his own -- armada of his own, you know, although they
18 are not necessarily in Court. And of course, he does have his health. So
19 given that, I think asking for a commencement date of April 5 for us is
20 pretty reasonable, and I think that because we also need to make an
21 opening statement, and that's going to take some time. We got to be out
22 in the field. So -- and I've consulted with Mr. Stojanovic, and I think
23 he's in total agreement with us starting at that point. I don't believe
24 that Mr. McCloskey would object. In fact, I ran it by him, and he didn't
25 seem to express any reservations, though he might have some. I just
1 didn't pick up on any of them.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Mr. Stojanovic, do you agree
3 with the submissions by Mr. Karnavas?
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. If I may just
5 say something, we have prepared our submissions according to 98 bis. But
6 we need a day or two to coordinate that with the sessions of today and
7 yesterday. It's quite understandable in view of the fact that we have to
8 go out into the field, that the deadlines that Mr. Karnavas spoke about,
9 the 16th in order to submit a preliminary witness list and for the
10 beginning of trial, are not excessive, are not unrealistic. So I support
11 what he said wholly.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, which days do you think is proper for you if you
13 want to submit your list? Or you prefer to do it at a later stage?
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, of course each wise
15 and cautious man would try to have the date as late as possible. There's
16 no dilemma there. But as far as the submissions are concerned, I've
17 already said, that we have no problem with that. So objectively, our case
18 is smaller than that of Mr. Karnavas, so it's quite understandable that my
19 colleague Branko and I have already done most of our work by dividing up
20 our Defence tasks.
21 As far as the witness list is concerned, I know best what the
22 situation is like in the field. I know where all of these people are.
23 And if we wish to respect 65 ter, we must take their statement to see
24 whether they will testify viva voce or via videolink or under 92 bis. So
25 this implies for us to revisit all of those witnesses. So I propose that
1 it is the 16th, as far as the witness list. And as far as the beginning
2 of the trial, again, I support the 5th, as Mr. Karnavas said. Of course,
3 reserving the right, if you permit us, that we can also perhaps provide
4 you with a list of our witnesses after this list is provided by
5 Mr. Karnavas.
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Mr. McCloskey, do you have any
7 objections to the dates proposed by the Defence?
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, I don't. I especially appreciate both
9 Defence's indulgence in this last week. And I certainly know what it's
10 like trying to get ready for the beginning of a case.
11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Well, I think, you know, we are
12 in a position to make a decision orally, and a written decision will
13 follow concerning the scheduling order.
14 The Defence should submit their 98 bis submissions on the 2nd of
15 March, 4.00, before 4.00 that afternoon. And the Prosecution has ten days
16 for the response. That will be the 12th of March before 4.00.
17 And the Defence should submit their 65 ter submissions on the 18th
18 of March. I have to say that it is a preliminary list which will be
19 subject to the further discussions with the parties and with the Chamber
20 and subject to any further changes in the future. And Defence conference
21 will start on the 5th of April, which is the Monday, and the Defence case
22 will start on the 6th of April, which is a Tuesday. Here, I have to
23 remind the Defence that on the 9th to 12th will be the Easter break. We
24 hope you could have a one-day witness as your first witness. It is so
25 decided. A written scheduling order will be issued next week.
1 Yes, Mr. Blagojevic.
2 THE ACCUSED BLAGOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, for the
3 record, I would like to make my position clear. I'm not convinced in the
4 success of the next phase of my Defence, and I energetically refuse the
5 engagement of the persons from the Defence which is imposed upon me and
6 which I do not accept. And please, in this sense, I would like certain
7 steps be taken in order for my confidence to be restored. It has been
8 destroyed. And the proof of that is also the public and revised decision
9 of the Appeals Chamber in which I can see that something is not quite
10 right there. And some things have remained very -- as very big secrets.
11 And I do not wish to have any secrets. I wish everything to be out in the
12 open. Thank you very much.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, Mr. Blagojevic. I think your statement is
14 correctly reflected in the transcript. And of course, we'll send this
15 transcript to the Appeals Chamber to see what they could do. But at this
16 moment, for Judges in the Trial Chamber, we cannot do very much but only
17 submit this transcript to the Appeals Chamber. Thank you. But we'll bear
18 your concern in mind.
19 Mr. McCloskey.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Your Honour. One question regarding the 98
21 bis filings, there had been some discussion about the page limit.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, it has been decided. Altogether 30 pages.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Both Defence can put in 30 pages.
24 JUDGE LIU: They will each have 30 pages.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can the Prosecution just respond once with 60
2 JUDGE LIU: No, no, I don't think so. Well, it depends on whether
3 you respond separately or all together.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'd like to respond together. The fundamental
5 facts don't need to be repeated but as you're aware these are two very
6 different separate cases, so -- and I don't -- I'm sure you know by now we
7 don't try to mount on the pages, and I certainly hope it won't be anywhere
8 near 60, but....
9 JUDGE LIU: So could I regard this for an application for
10 explanation of pages on your side?
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think it's only fair that -- yes, if that's the
12 way you want to consider it, but if they can both -- two separate motions
13 with 30 each, we should be able to respond in kind to what they are --
14 JUDGE LIU: Since there are many issues common, common issues in
15 both cases, so I don't think you can have 60 pages. We'll give you 45
16 pages altogether. Thank you.
17 Mr. McCloskey, could I regard that this is the last witness for
18 your case, and you will rest for your case from this moment?
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. The Prosecution rests.
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
21 Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Just one last matter, and I haven't raised this
23 before, but are we going to be allowed to present oral argument on the 98
24 bis motion? I know that some --
25 JUDGE LIU: I don't think so. It's not the European practice,
1 it's not the European practice unless you specifically request and there
2 is a reason behind it. Generally speaking, not.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. Well, I know that other Trial Chambers
4 allow it.
5 JUDGE LIU: I understand that.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Right. Very well, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
8 So I declare that the Prosecution's case is closed. And the
9 hearing is adjourned.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.22 p.m.