1 Tuesday, 4 May 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case please, Mr. Court Deputy.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is Case Number
8 IT-02-60-T, the Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
10 Ms. Issa, are you ready for the cross-examination?
11 MS. ISSA: I am, Your Honour. Good morning.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please proceed.
13 MS. ISSA: Thank you.
14 WITNESS: MICO GAVRIC [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 Cross-examined by Ms. Issa:
17 Q. Good morning, Mr. Gavric.
18 A. Good morning.
19 Q. I just want to start off briefly by asking you how long you knew
20 Colonel Blagojevic. How long have you known him?
21 A. I knew him before he arrived in the Bratunac Brigade, when he was
22 a lower-ranking officer. And I knew him in my private life because we
23 originate from the same place, lived there.
24 Q. And when you say he was a lower-ranking officer, where was he
25 working before he came to the Bratunac Brigade?
1 A. Colonel Blagojevic was in the Drina Corps. After that, he came to
2 the Bratunac Brigade. As far as I know previously, I think he served in
4 Q. Okay. And you say you've known him from your private life. So
5 did you grow up with him?
6 A. No. He's older than me. He is my brother's generation; they're
7 about ten years older than me. As I was younger, I knew the older people,
8 of course, better than I knew the younger ones.
9 Q. All right. And can you tell us, sir, what was his position in the
10 Drina Corps?
11 A. I don't know exactly, but I think he was an engineers man. I
12 assumed that because we never actually discussed this topic.
13 Q. Okay. How did you know then that he was a lower-ranking officer
14 in the corps?
15 A. You misunderstood me or perhaps I didn't explain it very well. I
16 knew him previously, before he arrived in the Drina Corps, when he was
17 serving in the former JNA.
18 Q. Okay. All right. Do you consider him a friend of yours?
19 A. You can't consider someone a personal friend unless you socialise
20 every day, but yes I would say he was a friend in any case.
21 Q. Okay. Now, sir, I'd like to go back to the -- what we -- what you
22 briefly discussed yesterday relating to the artillery. And I understand
23 during the period of 6 and 11 July you said that your units were located
24 in the area in the rear behind the front end of the Bratunac Brigade. Is
25 that right?
1 A. No, you misunderstood that. Our units were behind the front end
2 of the Bratunac Brigade, and that's as it should be.
3 Q. Okay. And from your position, sir, could you actually see
5 A. Extremely well and very precisely.
6 Q. Okay. You could see the buildings there. Right?
7 A. If you understood my testimony yesterday, I was far away from
8 Potocari as a village. As the crow flies, it was about 2 and a half to 3
9 kilometres away or 2 and a half to 3.000 metres.
10 Q. I understand that, sir. My question was: You could see the
11 buildings in Potocari. You just told us that you could see Potocari very
12 well. Right?
13 A. You could see every important building in Potocari from that
14 observation point.
15 Q. Okay. Now, could you see the impact of artillery falling around
16 Potocari or in Potocari?
17 A. Every hit and every projectile fired from our positions was
18 something I could see. That's how it's supposed to be done. You cannot
19 just fire off the top of your head; you have to see where the projectiles
21 Q. All right. Well, you testified, sir, that you could also see the
22 road where the Muslims were walking towards Potocari. Do you remember
23 telling us that, you saw those Muslims walking towards Potocari?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did you see the rounds that were dropping near the Muslims as they
1 were walking towards Potocari?
2 A. Not a single round fell near the Muslims walking along the road
3 toward Potocari.
4 Q. All right. Well, do you know why then the DutchBat and the
5 Muslims would say that there were rounds being dropped near the Muslims
6 toward Potocari?
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if we're going to conduct this kind of
9 cross-examination, as I've said last week and I keep -- continue to say,
10 especially when Ms. Issa does cross-examination, she can point to the
11 record, who said what, and give him an opportunity. And I think
12 there's -- there must be a disconnect as well because the gentleman is
13 under the impression that his hits are in that direction. But if she's
14 going to go in that direction, she should at least say, "So-and-so said
15 such-and-such, what do you say?" As opposed to paraphrasing what she
16 understands the testimony to be.
17 JUDGE LIU: Ms. Issa, I think there's some problem in your
18 question. You just asked the witness to speculate.
19 MS. ISSA: Well --
20 JUDGE LIU: Maybe you could rephrase your question.
21 MS. ISSA: All right, Your Honour. I will try to do that.
22 Q. Are you aware, sir, that members of the DutchBat and Muslim
23 population said in their statements to the -- to investigators and
24 testimony that there were rounds being dropped around the Muslims as they
25 were walking towards Potocari?
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Same objection, Your Honour. Who are these
3 DutchBat? What are these Muslims?
4 MS. ISSA: Well --
5 JUDGE LIU: Same problem, Ms. Issa. Put your question another
7 MS. ISSA: I asked him if he was aware of that. I'm not sure of
8 what you're trying to tell me. I didn't think that was speculative.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I don't mean to be disputatious and I
11 certainly don't want to be disruptive to Ms. Issa's cross, but generally
12 speaking, if one is going to pose that question they would have readily
13 available a part of the transcript or a statement that would say
14 such-and-such. So in the event some disputatious lawyer like myself jumps
15 up and objects, they can say, well, it's right here. But in all fairness
16 to this witness, they could just say, the DutchBat who was there said
17 such-and-such, you're telling us today this and that. Now, could you give
18 us an explanation. That way on the record we don't have the lawyer's
19 representation what's in the testimony, but we have the actual record,
20 where it is, who said what, and the witness then can be given a fair
21 opportunity to answer. That's all I'm asking for.
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Issa, you may put a very simple question to
23 this witness just to say that: Do you know the reactions of the Muslim
24 population when they were walking towards Potocari like this?
25 MS. ISSA: All right, Your Honour. I'll take Your Honour's
2 Q. Sir, were you able to see how the Muslims were reacting as they
3 were walking towards Potocari?
4 A. All the citizens of Srebrenica who were moving from the direction
5 of Srebrenica towards Bratunac, or rather, the industrial zone where they
6 stopped, walked normally without any panic, at a normal pace, because
7 nobody from our side was disturbing them in any way.
8 Q. So you're telling us, sir, that they didn't look like they were
9 afraid as they were going to Potocari? You didn't see any fear or panic
10 or chaos on the part of the Muslims?
11 A. I couldn't see that because you can see fear or panic in someone's
12 face if you see them from close up, not from 2.000 metres away.
13 Q. But you just told us that they walked normally towards Potocari.
14 How did you know they were walking normally, as you put it?
15 A. You consider that a man is walking normally when they are walking,
16 not running, when they're not walking too slow or too fast. If a man
17 goes 4 or 5 kilometres an hour, that means he's walking normally.
18 Q. Okay. So that's your definition of it.
19 Moving on then to another area, sir. Did any communication occur
20 between you and the command on the 11th of July?
21 A. What command are you referring to?
22 Q. The Bratunac Brigade, sir, your command.
23 A. No. On the 11th, I went out in the morning to the observation
24 post, and I did not contact anyone from the Bratunac Brigade command from
25 the observation post.
1 Q. So you had no communication about the NATO planes, no warnings
2 that the NATO planes were in the area?
3 A. I personally saw the NATO planes from my observation post at about
4 1300 hours, when they were flying over the firing area of my unit, the
5 town of Bratunac, and the town of Srebrenica. At one point, I noticed a
6 plane falling, or rather, firing two rockets. I just noticed a lot of
7 thick smoke.
8 Q. But before you saw that, sir, you didn't receive any communication
9 from the command that NATO planes were -- or had just arrived or were
10 arriving or were coming. Is that right?
11 A. I didn't receive this. I was at the front end, near the front
12 end, where I would have been among the first to observe the arrival of
13 NATO planes.
14 Q. Oh, I see. And did you not contact the command and let them know
15 that you observed the arrival of the NATO planes?
16 A. No, I didn't contact the command. I didn't report to them,
17 because there was another unit whose duty it was to observe the air space
18 and to report.
19 Q. But I thought you just said, sir, you were one of the first people
20 to observe the NATO planes. Didn't you think it was your obligation to
21 contact the command and let them know?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Okay. Turning then to the 6th of July report, sir, the daily
24 combat report that you looked at yesterday. And maybe we can look at it
25 again just to refresh our memory.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may be of some assistance.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: This one is in complete working order.
4 MS. ISSA: Thank you very much. That would be very helpful.
5 It seems to be falling apart here, Your Honour. Thank you.
6 Q. And just record, the report we're looking at is exhibit number
7 P411. Now, we looked at this yesterday, sir, and in particular I think
8 Mr. Karnavas drew your attention to paragraph 2, the second part of that
9 paragraph 2, which states: "Firing support against set targets was
10 provided by 50 kilogrammes shell launcher (school in Potocari, 11 of March
11 factory, and the wide area of the village of Potocari)"
12 And I understand, sir, that you explained - and I'm going to go
13 straight to your statement, testimony - that there was an error made by
14 the duty officer in drafting this report. And I think you stated at page
15 32, line 19, of your testimony: "To clarify, within the composition of
16 the brigade, there is a brigade artillery; whereas, I said there is a
17 122-millimetre gun battery; 105-millimetre Howitzer; and B1 76-millimetre
18 guns. Within the battalion, as battalion artillery support, there are
19 platoons of 82-millimetre mortars; 120-millimetre mortars; and recoilless
21 "Looking at this paragraph of the combat report," and you're
22 referring to the 7th of July, "I can see that the duty officer who drew up
23 this report does not distinguish between the battalion firing group and
24 the brigade artillery group."
25 Do you remember saying that, giving us that explanation? Did you
1 hear my question, sir?
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter has not finished interpretation.
3 MS. ISSA: I'm sorry. I apologise.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do remember and if necessary, I
5 can explain it again.
6 MS. ISSA:
7 Q. That won't be necessary, sir, I just wanted to refresh our
8 memories as to what your testimony was yesterday, all right? Now,
9 according to the UNMO report, and I'm going to specifically refer to the
10 July 6th report, the UNMO report basically states, and this is at Exhibit
11 782 for the record, tab 10: "Team Srebrenica reported a BSA offensive
12 launched and ongoing within the enclave as reported under separate cover.
13 The BSA used tanks, artillery, mortars, rockets, and have targeted the
14 DutchBat headquarters. The Bandera triangle, the DutchBat OPs, U and S,
15 and south of OP H, the Potocari township, the Srebrenica township."
16 Now, in this report, sir, they are referring to more than simply
17 mortars or recoilless guns. They're referring to artillery and tanks and
18 rockets. Right?
19 A. The tanks were not under my command. If they fired from
20 somewhere, I am unaware of it. 120-millimetre mortars, that was the
21 calibre of my guns; the same calibre, detonation, destructive power. So
22 what your report says, I know that from my observation post and my unit,
23 we did not observe this.
24 Q. Well, first of all, sir, it's not my report, it's the UNMO report.
25 And, in addition to tanks, they also referred to artillery and rockets.
1 Now, didn't you testify yesterday that the rocket platoon was under your
3 A. I said it was under my command but that I did not issue orders for
4 it to fire. And I don't remember that it fired at all.
5 Q. And what about the artillery, sir? Was that not part of your
7 A. Yesterday I explained that the 82-millimetre mortars and the
8 120-millimetre mortars were in the artillery group for support of infantry
9 battalions; they were not part of the brigade artillery.
10 Q. Yes, well the report, sir, specifically refers to -- makes a
11 distinction between artillery and mortars. That's the point, sir. So
12 mortars refers to the battalion infantry units, and artillery would refer
13 to your unit, would it not?
14 A. I have to reiterate. The brigade artillery consisted of a
15 105-millimetre Howitzer battery, a gun platoon, 122-M 31 through 31 and
16 B176-millimetre battery.
17 Q. All right. Well, there's another report also in July 1995, and I
18 believe it refers to 6 July. And it specifically states: "The Potocari
19 compound was targeted several times during the day. It was hit by several
20 tank -- tanks which caused great damage to the watchtower. No UN
21 casualties were reported and Srebrenica enclave, and artillery impact
22 killed a civilian and injured a boy."
23 Do you know anything about that?
24 A. No.
25 Q. All right. The 7 July UNMO report states: "Team Srebrenica
1 reported that the Bosnian Serb army continued their offensive on the
2 enclave with heavy weapons since early this morning. DutchBat reported
3 heavy shelling around their compound in Potocari, and as a result three
4 men were injured and brought by MSF to the hospital."
5 It continues on. And at the end it says: "We cannot analyse the
6 craters at the moment due to the continuous shelling, but we assess that
7 the Bosnian Serb army are still using mortars, rockets, artillery, and
9 Do you know anything about that?
10 A. I am not aware of that.
11 Q. All right. 8 July. The report states: "Shelling started in
12 Srebrenica village this morning at 8.00. They seem to be concentrating
13 more on the densely populated areas like Potocari town and CP 640847."
14 Are you aware of that?
15 A. No.
16 Q. The 9 July report states: "UNMO team Srebrenica reportedly heard
17 78 explosions in Srebrenica town alone. More than 70 per cent of the
18 explosions were in the centre of the town."
19 Are you aware of that occurring on 9 July?
20 A. No.
21 Q. 10 July report states: "Two heavy shells, probably 155-millimetre
22 artillery shells, hit the direct surrounding of the hospital at 1100
23 hours. All the windows are smashed and shrapnel had showered the walls
24 and rooms of the hospital. The surgery is very difficult to proceed. The
25 number of casualties and wounded we don't know yet, but we will inform you
1 as soon as possible. It looks as if the Bosnian Serb army are now
2 targeting the hospital and the surroundings. This means also our former
3 location, PTT building, is now not safe to return to. More to follow."
4 Are you aware of that, sir?
5 A. No.
6 Q. And finally, sir, just to give you a little more specificity on
7 that same day, 10 July, the report states that: "The Srebrenica township
8 is still undergoing a very heavy shelling. So far we have recorded
9 figures of 49 shells since 1250 hours to 1353 hours. This afternoon with
10 figure 9 rockets launched into the town and exchanges of occasionally HMG
11 and SA firing. We estimate the current situation to be getting worse."
12 Are you aware of that, sir?
13 A. No.
14 Q. And although you said you were able to observe the buildings in
15 Potocari, were you not able to see the impact on those buildings?
16 A. You asked me about the hits in Srebrenica around the hospital,
17 post office, and densely populated town area. From my observation post,
18 you couldn't see that.
19 Q. Well, that was a different question, though, sir. The question
20 was: You weren't able to see any impact in Potocari?
21 A. No. I did not see any impact in Potocari, none at all, until I
22 worked with my artillery on the 11th.
23 Q. All right. Now, sir, I think you testified yesterday that between
24 the 6th and 11 July you did not fire into the enclave. Did you fire into
25 the enclave before the 6th of July, before that period?
1 A. From the 17th of April, 1993, the Army of Republika Srpska, or
2 rather, the Bratunac Brigade did not fire at all in the direction of the
3 enclave until 1995.
4 Q. All right. Turning then to the exhibit P397, and I'm going to ask
5 Madam Usher to provide you with the copy of the B/C/S. Perhaps we can put
6 the English version on the ELMO.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Ms. Issa, for the record, the previous exhibit was
8 P782, tab 10.
9 MS. ISSA: Thank you very much.
10 Q. Sir, before we go to that, can you just clarify when in 1995. You
11 said that the Bratunac Brigade did not fire at all in the direction of the
12 enclave until 1995. When did they start firing in the direction of the
14 A. The Bratunac Brigade, I'm talking about the Bratunac artillery
15 battery, in fact, did not fire in the direction of the enclave until the
16 11th of July, 1995.
17 Q. Okay. Let's then go to that exhibit which is P397. And I believe
18 it's -- you have the B/C/S version in front of you and it's now on the
19 ELMO. Now, if we look at paragraph 2, first of all that's dated 25 May,
20 1995, at the top. Do you see that there? Yes?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And if you look at paragraph 2, the first line of that paragraph
23 says: "Our forces did not open fire towards the demilitarised zone," and
24 it goes on.
25 Now, from reading that, sir, does that mean that on occasion the
1 Bratunac Brigade did open fire on Srebrenica?
2 A. As far as I remember, all the combat reports which were written on
3 the 17th of March, 1993 - and that's how it was - up until the beginning
4 of the operation in 1995, in the month of July, there is this point that
5 says: "Our forces did not open fire," during that period of time. So
6 that paragraph is contained in all of them.
7 Q. I see. So what does it mean, sir? Are you saying that it doesn't
8 mean that on occasion the brigade has opened fire?
9 A. No. A moment ago when I was explaining this, I said that from the
10 17th of March, 2003 [as interpreted], until July 1995, as the enclave was
11 not fired at.
12 Q. Okay. Well, let's go to the next exhibit, P855. Now, we're just
13 putting the English version on the ELMO. Now, that's dated 25 May, 1995.
14 Strictly confidential. It says: "Very urgent," and addressed to the
15 Drina Corps.
16 Now, do you see your name down there at the bottom of this letter?
17 It says: "Artillery chief, Captain Mico Gavric."
18 A. Just a moment, please. It has my signature. May I just be
19 allowed to read through it?
20 Q. Yes, please. Go ahead. All right. I'm just going to read it so
21 we all -- we're all on the same page. It states: "At 1907 hours, we
22 opened fire on Srebrenica on Colonel Lazic's orders. As the first missile
23 was being fired from the 105-millimetre Howitzer, number 1120, the recoil
24 was greater than usual and the back section became stuck in the back
25 position. It is necessary that you immediately send artillery repairmen
1 to our brigade to fix this fault."
2 Now, it appears, sir, that according to you on May 25th, 1995, you
3 fired on Srebrenica. Isn't that what it says?
4 A. It says that on the 25th -- I can guarantee now as to what was
5 fired at in a certain locality. I am trying to rewind the film in my
6 mind. But this document isn't clear to me. It appears that I signed it.
7 I know that there was back recoil and I had some people injured. Now, as
8 far as I can remember - I can't believe that it was in 1995, although,
9 yes, indeed it does say in 1995 - an enemy tank did fire at us from the
10 front of the Muslim defence lines, from the first Muslim defence lines.
11 And probably, 99 per cent certainty, we probably did respond. Now, the
12 anti-armour and anti-armour projectile was used to try to destroy the
13 tank. Well, I suppose I wrote this, but I really don't remember that that
14 was in 1995 at all. I really can't remember that.
15 Q. All right. Well, you wrote it and it's dated 1995, so I think
16 it's safe to say that that's what happened in 1995. Right?
17 A. Judging by the date, yes; but judging by my recollections, no. I
18 remember that people were injured and I remember that this back section
19 became stuck and so on. When I think about it now and turn my mind back
20 to those days, I remember that we were fired at from the Budak defence
21 lines by an enemy tank on my fire positions, because there was a group
22 that had been filtered in, a group of their reconnaissance men. And when
23 we saw this fire, we did target the tank, but I really don't remember that
24 that was in 1995. And if it says we opened fire, then I suppose we did.
25 Q. Okay. Let's then go to the next exhibit. That's P856/A, for the
1 record. I think that's the English version.
2 I'm just providing you, sir, with the B/C/S copy. Now, that's
3 again from the command of the Bratunac Brigade marked strictly
4 confidential dated 25 May 1995. And it appears to be an interim combat
5 report. Do you see that there, sir?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And it -- and on the bottom it says: "Commander Vidoje
8 Blagojevic." Do you see that there?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And if we look at the first paragraph, sir, it appears to be an
11 interim combat report to the command of the Drina Corps. And it states:
12 "Pursuant to Colonel Lazic's verbal order, we fired two times, two
13 projectiles (in total four) from Howitzer 105-millimetre on the Srebrenica
14 town. Projectiles were fired at 1907 hours. Artillery observers from
15 Pribicevac reported that two projectiles fell in the vicinity of the
16 Domavija building. Other two projectiles were not observed, but they
17 definitely fell in Srebrenica."
18 Now, that appears to relate to the same incident that you noted in
19 the previous report that we just saw. Isn't that right?
20 A. This combat report was probably compiled on the basis of this
21 section, this passage, where I said that the equipment had broken down.
22 But I really can't remember -- I remember a lot, but I really can't
23 remember this. I just can't remember the period, whether it was 1995. I
24 just don't remember it being in May 1995. That's it.
25 Q. Okay. Well perhaps, sir, we can then move on to another area.
1 Did you participate, sir, in the demining of the Zuti Most area on
2 11 July of 1995?
3 A. No.
4 Q. You don't remember doing that?
5 A. I assume that if it says so somewhere in some document that I
6 have -- that a man of the same age and the same name and he worked as an
7 engineer's man, but we have -- we're not related at all. But I do know
8 that such a man exists.
9 Q. Okay. Well, let me refer you to the passage so we can clear that
10 up. We can go to Exhibit P159, page 2. Now, sir, what was the rank of
11 this man that you just mentioned who may have the same name?
12 A. I think his name is Milos Gavric. Whether he had a rank or not, I
13 don't remember.
14 Q. Okay. Now, this is the report which has a signature on the bottom
15 that says Ljubisa Borovcanin at the very end of the report. And if we
16 look at paragraph 2, at page 2, you see that it says: "Between 0500 and
17 0630 hours, the pioneers of the Bratunac Brigade, led by Captain Gavric,
18 cleared a passage through a minefield or groups of mines towards Budak or
19 immediately around the Zuti Most/Potocari road. Members of the
20 1st Company of the Zvornik special police unit, led by a pioneer from the
21 Bratunac Brigade, set off through the cleared passages towards Potocari to
22 concrete conditions for the introduction of hardware. As personnel were
23 being introduced, a sapper stepped on a PROM, anti-personnel bouncing
24 fragmentation mine. He was taken to the Bratunac health centre, where he
25 died." And then it goes on.
1 Do you recall this incident?
2 A. My answer a moment ago was correct. It was Milos Gavric. I don't
3 think he had the rank of captain, just Gavric. And I remember that that
4 particular unit was -- did do the demining of this area and that one of
5 the soldiers was killed. I think it was from the 2nd Battalion, an
6 engineer's man. I know nothing more than that. It was to the left of my
7 observation post; I wasn't able to see all that.
8 Q. And this Milos Gavric, you're saying, is part of the 2nd Battalion
9 of the Bratunac Brigade? Is that what you were just saying? Is that
11 A. No, the soldier who was killed I assume was from the
12 2nd Battalion, and I think they had an engineer's department in that
14 Q. And where -- what unit was Milos Gavric part of?
15 A. The Bratunac Brigade, yes. Now, whether he was part of the
16 2nd Battalion or an independent unit, I really don't know.
17 Q. Okay. Now, do you have an officer at the brigade command? Or at
18 that time did you have an office at the brigade command?
19 A. Looking at this document, I'm surprised how come it says
20 Milos Gavric when there was a second lieutenant by the name of Pejic, as
21 far as I recall who was there.
22 Q. First of all, it doesn't say Milos Gavric; we just want to be
23 clear for the record. It says Captain Gavric. That's what it says.
24 Right? That's what the document says.
25 A. It says Captain Gavric in the document, yes. But you probably
1 thought it was me, but it wasn't. And I never worked on this demining
2 process. I'm not an engineer's man. There was an engineer's office in
3 the brigade. So all I know is to the best of my recollections is that
4 Milos Gavric at one point was a part of that engineer's unit.
5 Q. You already told us that, sir, and that wasn't my question. I
6 moved on from that point. My question was: Did you have an office at the
7 brigade command during that period of time, during the July 1995 period?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And where was your office in the brigade command? Where was it?
10 A. At the brigade command, there was Pejic, the engineer's man, as
11 far as I remember.
12 Q. I'm asking you the location of your office, sir. I'm not -- and
13 you seem to be answering something I didn't ask you. I'm not sure what
14 you're referring to, but what was the location of your office?
15 A. I did not understand your question. I didn't have a separate
16 office. We had a joint office or premises, the operations hall, where we
17 would sit around frequently if we had to prepare any papers or anything
18 like that. We'd do that in the premises of the Kaolin factory of
20 Q. Okay. And where were you during the days of 11, 12, and 13 July?
21 A. On the 11th, I was at the observation post, and that's when
22 Srebrenica fell. On the 12th, I was at the firing lines collecting
23 materiel and equipment, not me but the soldiers. I was present there.
24 And on the 13th, I was also in my original unit where we were collecting
25 up materiel and equipment, because we hadn't completed that part of the
1 work in the Bratunac Brigade as regards defence.
2 Q. Okay. And during that period of time, were you at any point at
3 the brigade command? Did you go to the brigade command during that
5 A. Yes, I'm sure I did from time to time. But it wasn't binding; I
6 didn't have the duty to do that. I had no need to do that. I just saw to
7 it that the equipment was collected for the three firing positions.
8 Q. Okay. Now, on 12 and 13 July, did you see General Krstic or
9 Mladic at the brigade command?
10 A. As to General Krstic, I met him one afternoon. I bumped into him
11 briefly. Now, whether that was the 12th -- I think it was probably the
12 12th or perhaps on the 11th towards evening or the evening of the 12th.
13 But I would say it was the 11th actually, towards evening.
14 Q. And did you see -- this was at the brigade command that you saw
16 A. We bumped into each other in the hall or the operations hall. He
17 asked me something, that kind of thing.
18 Q. All right. And did you see General Mladic during that period at
19 the command?
20 A. General Mladic, yes, I did see him.
21 Q. Okay. And where did you see him?
22 A. At the command of the Bratunac Brigade.
23 Q. Do you recall how many times you saw him?
24 A. Well, I didn't count the number of times, but I wasn't near him at
25 all. I didn't have occasion to be near him, nor was that indicated.
1 Q. Okay. But you saw him more than once at the brigade command
2 during those days?
3 A. Once, certainly; twice, I don't know.
4 Q. Okay. And where did you spend your nights during those days, sir,
5 11, 12, and 13 July? Where did you spend your evening?
6 A. I spent every night, unless I was the duty officer -- if I was on
7 duty, I slept -- if I wasn't on duty, I would sleep in my family home.
8 Q. Okay. And where was your family home?
9 A. 200 metres to the west of the command of the Bratunac Brigade.
10 Q. Okay. Do you recall, sir, when it -- which day you saw
11 General Mladic?
12 A. I think it was on the 11th, that famous day. I think I saw him
13 before he left for the Fontana meeting.
14 Q. Okay. And there was a meeting at the Fontana Hotel that afternoon
15 or evening?
16 A. I think that it was that particular evening; that's why I assume
17 it was probably the 11th. Yes, I think it was in the evening on the 11th.
18 Q. Did you see Colonel Blagojevic during that period?
19 A. Colonel Blagojevic, I can't remember the day I saw him. I did see
20 him once. I know he was tired. He sort of looked all dark and
21 unnatural-looking from the tiredness, from the general fatigue. But it
22 was not a marathon meeting.
23 Q. Now, when you say "it was not a marathon meeting," I didn't quite
24 catch that, sir. What are you referring to?
25 A. A meeting. That is to say it was a brief meeting. We just said:
1 "Hello," nothing lengthy.
2 Q. All right. You're referring to your meeting with
3 Colonel Blagojevic?
4 A. Yes. Just the meeting; whereas, the actual meeting with
5 Colonel Blagojevic, I don't remember. The 14th in the evening, the 15th.
6 The other was just a brief encounter.
7 Q. And where did you see him when you had this brief encounter?
8 A. I think we bumped into each other in the hall of the brigade
9 command, in the hallway. He was coming and I was going.
10 Q. Okay. And on what day was this?
11 A. I really can't remember exactly. Probably there's somebody who'd
12 be able to tell you better. Now, whether Colonel Blagojevic came on the
13 11th or the 12th, I don't know. I think he returned from the terrain on
14 the evening of the 11th, as far as I remember.
15 Q. Okay. Now, how did you know, sir, about the meeting that took
16 place at the Fontana Hotel the night of the 11th?
17 A. As to that meeting, I didn't know about it then. Today, everybody
18 knows about it, so I do too.
19 Q. But earlier I thought you said you saw Mladic before he went to
20 the meeting?
21 MR. KARNAVAS: That's a mischaracterisation of the evidence. You
22 can play back the testimony. That's not what he said. He speculated that
23 he thinks that it was on the 11th because on that day he went to the
24 meeting at Hotel Fontana. It's a total mischaracterisation.
25 MS. ISSA: It's not a mischaracterisation. I believe that is what
1 the witness said and I'm asking him to clarify. I don't think
2 Mr. Karnavas needs to give his opinion.
3 JUDGE LIU: Maybe you could find in the transcript what the
4 witness said. We have a Defence counsel very picky.
5 MS. ISSA: Well, I'm not going to be able to find it in the
6 transcript, Your Honours. So what I can perhaps do is rephrase the
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
9 MS. ISSA:
10 Q. Now, sir, did you not tell us earlier that you saw General Mladic
11 before he went to the Hotel Fontana on the 11th of July?
12 A. Everything I said, I shall repeat. I don't remember exactly
13 whether I saw General Mladic on the 11th or on the 12th, but I seem to
14 feel that I saw him in the afternoon of the 11th. Now, as to the meeting
15 at the Fontana, which he held, I know about that now. But at that time, I
16 was far too low down the chain of command and it wasn't up to me and my
17 competence to know where -- General Mladic's whereabouts and who he was
18 having a meeting with.
19 Q. All right. Well, I'm going to -- I've now found the portion of
20 the transcript, sir, and I'm going to read it out to you what you just
21 told us earlier. I believe that's at page 21, line -- starting at line 3.
22 The question was: "Okay. Do you recall, sir, which day you saw General
24 Answer: "I think it was on the 11th, that famous day. I think I
25 saw him before he left for the Fontana meeting."
1 So you seem to know, sir, from that response that he was leaving
2 for the Fontana meeting. So the question is: How did you know that he
3 was leaving for the Fontana meeting?
4 A. I'm saying, after so much time has gone by, I know now many
5 things, many more things than I knew then. Because none of us knew about
6 that at that particular point in time. Perhaps I misunderstood your
7 question. I know now about the meeting that took place; everybody knows
8 about the meeting. But 1 million per cent at the time, I didn't know
9 about the meeting. How would I know who the general was holding meetings
11 Q. I see. All right. Moving on then to another area.
12 You were interviewed by the Office of the Prosecutor investigators
13 I believe in 2001, in November. Is that right, sir?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And you've told us yesterday that you've reviewed your transcript.
16 Is that right? Before testifying, you've reviewed the transcript?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And at the time, sir, when you were being asked questions by the
19 investigator, you knew it was important to give as complete and as
20 accurate information as possible. Isn't that right?
21 A. If this was a job I dealt with professionally, then it would have
22 been 100 per cent correct. But speaking to someone three years later and
23 then four years later, I can't put everything into chronological order. I
24 abide 100 per cent by what I'm saying today, because now I know a lot more
25 than I did then.
1 Q. All right. So you're telling us, sir, that in three
2 years -- rather, in 2001, you don't abide 100 per cent by what you said to
3 the investigator?
4 A. No, no. What I'm saying is: I can't put my replies in
5 chronological order like that. Memories are not always the same. I do
6 stand by the essence of what I said.
7 Q. All right. But it would be fair to say, sir, that your memory
8 would have been better about these events in 2001 than they are now.
9 Isn't that right?
10 A. I wouldn't agree with you, because there are some things I didn't
11 know then but I do now.
12 Q. Well, I'm not asking you about the things that you've learned
13 since that time, sir. I'm asking you about your memory of the events as
14 you knew them at the time that the events occurred. Isn't it fair to say
15 that your memory of these events at that time would have been better in
16 2001 than they are now?
17 A. It's hard to estimate that realistically.
18 Q. Are you saying your memory could have improved with time? Are you
19 saying your memory is better now with these events than they were in 2001?
20 A. The details that stuck in my mind are something I will not forget
21 for as long as I live, but I have probably forgotten some details.
22 Q. Well, it would be fair to say, sir, that your memory of the events
23 now would be -- would not be as clear as your memory of the events in
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection. This calls for speculation. This has
1 been asked and answered as well.
2 JUDGE LIU: No, I don't think so.
3 You may proceed, Ms. Issa.
4 MS. ISSA: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Can you answer that question, sir?
6 A. Would you please repeat your question.
7 Q. It would be fair to say, sir, that your memory of the events now
8 would not be as clear as your memory of the events in 2001?
9 A. No, no. No. I think that my memory is about the same.
10 Q. Okay. Now, when you did -- when you spoke to the investigators,
11 sir, in 2001, did you try to be as complete and accurate as possible in
12 your answers?
13 A. Probably yes, just as I am today.
14 Q. Okay. Well, yesterday, sir, you testified that Dragan Trisic was
15 present when you received the order from Colonel Blagojevic to go to
16 Zvornik. And you never mentioned that to the investigator when he
17 initially interviewed you, did you?
18 A. At that point in time, I couldn't recall this. Afterwards, I sat
19 down with Dragan Trisic because we live in the same village or town, and
20 we discussed the topic. And then I recalled this and he confirmed it. I
21 recall that he was there, but he was there briefly and then he left. And
22 I said that yesterday.
23 Q. Well, I know you said it yesterday. My question was: You didn't
24 say it -- you didn't tell the investigator at the time that you were
25 interviewed in 2001. Isn't that right?
1 A. Probably I felt it was not so important to mention Dragan Trisic.
2 I thought it was more important to talk about my relationship with the
4 Q. Okay. Now, you also told us yesterday, sir, that you saw
5 Major Eskic at Zvornik in the morning of 15 July. Do you remember telling
6 us that yesterday?
7 A. I do remember that, yes.
8 Q. You didn't mention that to the OTP investigator when he asked you
9 in 2001, did you?
10 A. It's correct, I didn't mention it, because I felt this detail was
11 less important, whether Zoran Kovacevic or Major Eskic came. What was
12 important to me was that the commander respected what we had agreed on,
13 that I should return to my home unit.
14 Q. Well, sir, I'm going to give you a copy of your transcript in the
15 B/C/S version. And I'm going to ask you to turn to page 56.
16 MS. ISSA: And in the English version, Your Honours, it's page 56,
17 line 22.
18 Q. The B/C/S version is page 56, paragraph 1 -- sorry, paragraph 3.
19 The question at line 22, sir, is: "Did you see anyone from outside of the
20 Zvornik Brigade, from Bratunac, from Sokolac, from the corps?"
21 And you answered: "No. I was there at the time when Srebrenica
22 was being finished and in the meantime probably the operation on Zepa was
23 prepared and there was an exchange of units, defensive and operative
25 So you were asked a specific question about this, whether you saw
1 anyone from outside the Zvornik Brigade, weren't you?
2 A. I said then as I say now, that I didn't see anyone except the
3 assistant duty officer.
4 Q. But you were asked a general question, sir, whether you saw anyone
5 from the Zvornik Brigade, from Bratunac, from Sokolac, from the corps,
6 from outside the Zvornik Brigade.
7 And you've told us yesterday that in the morning you saw
8 Major Eskic and Kovacevic. Isn't that right?
9 A. I think the question you put to me was whether I saw them when I
10 arrived in Zvornik or when I left Zvornik.
11 Q. Well, that wasn't the question that I put to you, sir. I think
12 the question -- the question -- it was an answer that you answered
13 yesterday from your in-chief testimony where you were asked who else was
14 there in Zvornik. Do you remember that?
15 A. In Zvornik when I was enumerating who was there, there was no one
16 from the Bratunac Brigade in Zvornik. Rather, the officers who came to
17 replace me were Major Dragan Eskic and Mr. Kovacevic.
18 Q. All right. So what you told us yesterday, sir, is that you saw
19 those officers in Zvornik on the morning of the 15th yesterday. Isn't
20 that right?
21 A. Not in the morning. I think I said between 11.00 and 12.00,
22 because then I was able to see them because they had arrived from Bratunac
23 to the command of the Zvornik Brigade to relieve me.
24 Q. Okay. But you did not tell that to the investigator at the time
25 that he interviewed you in 2001. Isn't that right?
1 A. I felt there was no need, but I did tell the investigator that
2 Commander Blagojevic fulfilled his promise and sent me relief. But who
3 arrived --
4 Q. But that wasn't the question. You were asked if you had seen
5 anybody else; that was the question. Now, I'm going to move on to another
7 A. Very well.
8 Q. Before the break, I just have one more question. You also told us
9 yesterday, sir, you mentioned that you requested on the 17th of July, you
10 requested buses from Momir Nikolic, and you said that Momir told you that
11 the prisoners were to be sent to Konjevic Polje. Do you remember telling
12 us that?
13 A. When I asked the command of the Bratunac Brigade, when I asked for
14 them, I spoke I think to Momir Nikolic, I asked him to send us buses
15 because there were prisoners, and he said the prisoners should go to
16 Konjevic Polje. And I assume it was logical for him to tell me that.
17 Q. Okay. And that's what you testified to yesterday. Now, you never
18 mentioned that to the investigator when he interviewed you in 2001, that
19 you spoke to Momir Nikolic and that he told you to do this, did you?
20 A. I didn't say that. That was the first time I was being officially
21 interviewed, as can be seen from the statement. And I didn't know what
22 was supposed to be said, because it would have lasted for days and days
23 and days.
24 Q. Okay. But you said yesterday, sir, that Momir -- that the -- that
25 you handed over the men to Dusko Jevic was Momir Nikolic told you to do
1 that, to take -- and he was to take them to Konjevic Polje. Isn't that
3 A. I handed those people over to Dusko Jevic, because Dusko Jevic was
4 going with his unit in the direction of Konjevic Polje. And Momir, at the
5 same time, was one of the main people as regards my brigade whom I could
6 ask, because I think the commander then had gone off to Zepa.
7 Q. Okay. Now, when you were asked, sir, and this is at page 31 of
8 the English transcript, and in yours page 30, paragraph 12. At line 9,
9 sir, you were asked: "And the reason you handed them over to Jevic is
10 because he is a police officer?"
11 And you said: "No, no. After the operation was completed and the
12 task was carried out, I had to return to my unit. I ordered them to call
13 Bratunac and to send a bus to bring the soldiers back."
14 And then you continue: "I think that" --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please slow down when reading.
16 We don't have the text.
17 MS. ISSA:
18 Q. I'm sorry. "I think, but I'm not sure that Jevic's unit was
19 stationed in the area of Konjevic Polje during the operation." And then
20 you go on. Nowhere there, sir, do you mention Momir Nikolic or getting in
21 touch with him, do you?
22 A. Probably I omitted or forgot to say that.
23 Q. Okay.
24 MS. ISSA: I see that, Your Honour, it is time for the break and I
25 am about to move to another area. Perhaps it might be a good time to
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll resume at quarter to 11.00.
3 --- Recess taken at 10.15 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 10.47 a.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Issa.
6 MS. ISSA: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Now, sir, I do have a few questions relating to when you arrived
8 in Zvornik. Now, in your examination-in-chief you said when you were
9 there that the deputy duty officer told you Obrenovic was sleeping. Do
10 you remember you told us that?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, you didn't actually see Obrenovic, did you, sir?
13 A. No. I didn't see him.
14 Q. So you don't really know where he was, do you?
15 A. Only from what the assistant duty officer told me, and he said
16 that he was asleep, or rather, resting.
17 Q. Okay. So aside from being told that he was asleep, you personally
18 have no idea where he was at the time. Isn't that right?
19 A. I had no idea, no. This was the only information I had.
20 Q. All right. Now, when you were at Zvornik, you said that you spent
21 most of the time outside because it was summertime. You were outside for
22 a period of time. Isn't that right?
23 A. It was morning. I wasn't asleep. The soldiers were in one of the
24 rooms. I was outside. There were benches, and we used to sit there.
25 Q. Okay. And while you were there, sir, did you see a bus full of
1 Muslims there?
2 A. I didn't see that bus.
3 Q. Okay. Well, maybe if we can go to exhibit number P134. If I can
4 ask the assistance of Madam Usher. If we can put page 6 on the ELMO and
5 provide a copy in the B/C/S version of that page to the witness. Okay.
6 Now, you see towards the bottom of that report which is -- it's
7 the barracks -- just for the record, it's the barracks report from
8 Zvornik. And what we're looking at is the date of 14, 15 July, 1995. And
9 it's entitled: "Report on situation in the barracks to the commander."
10 Towards the bottom of that report, it states: "A bus with the
11 prisoners stayed overnight at the compound of the barracks." And it
12 continues: "A body of troops at the barracks was not counted due to the
13 activities in the field and practically only operations duty officer, duty
14 officer and guards were at the barracks."
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: If she can lay a foundation as to whether the
18 gentleman was at the barracks or where the barracks are in relation to the
19 headquarters. Because the gentleman, as I understand it, never indicated
20 that he was at any barracks and maybe the barracks are adjacent to the
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, from the previous answer. The witness said: "I
23 was outside. There were benches, and we used to sit there."
24 So this is the foundation.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, benches and barracks; barracks are usually
1 where people sleep, Your Honour. I don't know whether the barracks are
2 adjacent to this industrial compound called Standard. Because if she's
3 trying to impeach the gentleman, at least he should be given an
4 opportunity to know where these barracks are.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, I don't think there is a big problem there.
6 Let's see how the witness will answer that question, then we'll see
7 whether we need further foundations for that question.
8 MS. ISSA:
9 Q. So you didn't see the bus with the prisoners there, sir?
10 A. No, no.
11 Q. Okay. Now, I'd like you to turn then to the next page, which is
12 dated 15, 16 July, page 7. If we can put that page on the ELMO, please.
13 Now, just looking at the second --
14 A. Just a moment, please. You mean the 15th to the 16th?
15 Q. Yes. That's the page we're looking at. Have you found it there?
16 All right.
17 A. Yes, yes.
18 Q. Now, if I can draw your attention, sir, to the second line or
19 second paragraph at that page. It says: "About 1000 hours, or 1000
20 hours, a new shift of the Bratunac Brigade arrived which was sent to the
21 field some time later."
22 Do you see that there?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, is this the group that came up with Zoran Kovacevic?
25 A. Precisely that group, that's what I said in my testimony of
2 Q. Okay. I'd like us, sir, to deal a little bit with what happened
3 on the 15th of July, morning of the 15th of July. You told us that you
4 met Milan Lukic there? Right? You can put that away now. We're not
5 dealing with the documents. It's okay.
6 A. I did say I saw Lukic. I didn't know his first name was Milan,
7 but I saw him at the gate, at the entry to the command of the
8 Zvornik Brigade.
9 Q. Okay. And you did say that he was from Visegrad. Is that right?
10 A. I said I didn't know where he was from, but that I know now that
11 he's from the area of Visegrad.
12 Q. Okay. Can you tell us a -- tell us again what happened about this
13 meeting that you had with him.
14 A. When I was awaiting the other shift to arrive, I was at the gate.
15 I met him there. There was a group of my soldiers behind me because we
16 were waiting to go back. And he said: "You have to give me a certain
17 number of men to go out on the ground with me." And I said: "No, this is
18 my unit. You can't take my men. I can't give my men to anyone without
19 orders from my commander."
20 In this situation, Drago Nikolic was close by; I think he was a
21 security officer, and the late Dule Nikolic, a schoolmate of mine. And
22 they came across the say hello and told him to go away, that he had no
23 business with me.
24 Q. Okay. Did you see Colonel Beara there at Zvornik?
25 A. I didn't see that man. I don't think I know the man at all.
1 Q. Well, did you see a very tall, big man, older gentleman perhaps,
2 with white hair, in addition to the people that you've mentioned?
3 A. I don't think I came across or saw him.
4 Q. Did you know, sir, that Milan Lukic belonged to the intervention
5 unit as part of the Visegrad Brigade or unit?
6 A. No, no.
7 Q. This was part of the Drina Corps?
8 A. No. I thought of him as -- how shall I put it? A freelancer,
9 someone who goes out to loot. I didn't know he belonged to a brigade of
10 the Army of Republika Srpska. This is the first time I'm hearing such a
12 Q. Well, didn't you tell us later you found out he was part of the
13 Visegrad unit?
14 A. No, I didn't say that. What I said was that I heard he was from
15 Visegrad, or rather, the area of Visegrad.
16 Q. Okay. Did you know Boban Indic?
17 A. I have never heard of that name or nickname.
18 Q. Okay. Now, what did you think that Milan Lukic wanted your troops
20 A. I can't say exactly. I don't know what he wanted, but he couldn't
21 come and take soldiers I was responsible for. I assume he was up to no
23 Q. Well, didn't you ask him?
24 A. You think he would have told me?
25 Q. Did you ask him?
1 A. No. No, I didn't ask him. As I said, I told him he couldn't get
2 any men from me, and that was the end of our conversation.
3 Q. Why didn't you ask him?
4 A. Sometimes, if I can say, it's better to keep out of the way than
5 go somewhere you're not supposed to go, because people like him could do
6 anything at any moment.
7 Q. What made you think that?
8 A. I thought he was not on my level of education or position, and I
9 didn't feel I ought to talk to him at all.
10 Q. All right. Were you, sir, in the Bratunac Brigade command on 13
12 A. On the 13th of July, I probably did occasionally go to the
13 Bratunac Brigade. But then, I was on the firing lines of my units.
14 Q. Okay. Did you know that Milan Lukic's intervention platoon was
15 supposed to be at the Bratunac Brigade command on that day?
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection, Your Honour. If there is foundation for
17 this, I would like the young lady to put it on the ELMO so we can all see
18 it. What she thinks is irrelevant. So she can show us the document that
19 says that Lukic was supposed to be there, that he had authorisation from
20 Krstic, from Blagojevic, from Mladic, from Beara, from Kosoric, whoever
21 she thinks. But this line of questioning is totally improper,
22 Your Honour.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, I don't think so. This is a cross-examination.
24 I believe that the party conducting cross-examination could ask any
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, not if there is a lack of foundation.
2 I would like to know where she is deriving this information that Lukic was
3 supposed to be on the Bratunac Brigade on that point, on that day.
4 JUDGE LIU: Did we hear some testimony in your case --
5 MS. ISSA: Yes --
6 JUDGE LIU: -- that Lukic was there.
7 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, there were some intercepts in the
8 Prosecution's case. I will be referring to them. I will be getting
9 there. And I think Mr. Karnavas is a little impatient. And we are
10 getting to that.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well --
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, with all due respect, as I indicated
13 earlier, I would like the young lady to present the evidence to the
14 gentleman, here is an intercept, here's what it says, what do you have to
15 say. As opposed to asking him to speculate as to what somebody else is
16 supposed to be doing based on an intercept. And I would like to know if
17 there is some connection between that intercept and reality, what actually
18 is happening on the ground.
19 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, first of all, I do have a name. And I
20 would ask Mr. Karnavas to treat me as respectfully as I treat him.
21 Secondly, there is nothing improper with that question at all. We are
22 getting to that. It's a step-by-step process, as Mr. Karnavas, I'm sure,
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe the Prosecution is asking a question
25 to see whether this person is there and whether the witness saw this
1 person or not. And we'll see whether we need any further foundations when
2 the question is going on.
3 You may proceed.
4 MS. ISSA: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Now, sir, did you know that Milan Lukic's intervention platoon was
6 supposed to be at the Bratunac Brigade command on the 13th of July?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Do you know that the bus broke down -- their bus broke down that
10 A. No.
11 Q. All right. Well, I'm going to refer then to Exhibit P216 and ask
12 that the English version be placed on the ELMO.
13 Now, you see that there, sir? There's a conversation going on at
14 1919 on that day, and it says: "Do you have any bus there?
15 "I have this one which is a reserve.
16 "Send it. Send that bus towards Visegrad, Podromanija, Rogatica,
17 and further. When he comes across a bus with a group of soldiers, those
18 are the ones from Visegrad. Boban is their commander."
19 "Say again?
20 "Boban Indic. And then bring them to the command in Bratunac."
21 So you weren't aware of that. Is that right, sir?
22 A. I have never heard of this.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Again, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: This was posed in a manner that somehow Lukic was
1 being tied into it. I suspect there's another intercept. I don't know.
2 I don't see any Lukic here.
3 MS. ISSA: We are getting to that, Your Honour.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Also I object on the grounds of relevancy. What
5 does this gentleman have to do with this particular intercept? Also I
6 don't see who is identified as X and Y. Who are these people?
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, maybe the matter will be more clear when is
8 proceeding is going on.
9 MS. ISSA: Thank you.
10 Q. Perhaps we can go to exhibit P245. If we can put that on the
11 ELMO, please. Now, sir, there's a conversation on 15 July, 0957 between
12 Colonel Beara and Krstic. This is Beara speaking. If you look at the
13 very middle of the conversation, about 18 lines down.
14 It says: "Look. I need 15 to 30 men with Boban Indic. I can't
15 do anything. Yes."
16 And then the next line says: "Indic, Indic, Lukic's deputy, 15 to
17 30 men. I can't do anything."
18 Do you see that's there, sir?
19 A. Did you know that Radomir Furtula was Lukic's commander.
20 A. No.
21 Q. Well, let's go to the next intercept. Did you know that Furtula
22 was the commander at the Visegrad Brigade of the Drina Corps?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. All right. Going then to P244. And if we can have the English
25 version placed on the ELMO. Thank you, Madam Usher.
1 At 954 hours, 15 July. It's a conversation between
2 General Zivanovic and Colonel Beara. You see about halfway through the
3 page, Beara says: "You know that day, I informed the commander about it,
4 Furtula didn't send Lukic's intervention platoon."
5 Zivanovic says: "And Lukic is waiting at Blagojevic."
6 Beara: "Lukic is here with me and his driver and we urged that."
7 Zivanovic: "Yes."
8 Beara: "Yesterday, Furtula sent one soldier without an arm and
9 another one that Lukic knows is a drunk," and it goes on.
10 Do you know why, sir, General Zivanovic thinks Lukic was at the
11 Bratunac Brigade?
12 MR. KARNAVAS: I object on the grounds that it calls for
14 MS. ISSA: Well, he can tell us, Your Honour, whether he knows or
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, there may be some speculations, but it doesn't
17 matter if you put this question to this witness. Proceed.
18 MS. ISSA: Thank you.
19 Q. Can you answer that question?
20 A. I don't know anything from this area on that matter.
21 Q. If a unit, sir, comes from Bratunac -- from another command, would
22 it be normal for them to report to the Bratunac Brigade command?
23 A. He would report to the duty officer according to some sort of
24 order, if it came on the basis of command responsibility. Now, because,
25 as I've been telling you that I was on that day a long way from the
1 command, maybe I came in from time to time. Who was there I wouldn't
2 really notice. I would come in on my own business; if I had to come it
3 was for a purpose. And then I would just come and go back.
4 Q. Okay. Now, you see in this intercept, in this conversation, sir,
5 it also says that -- Beara says that: "Lukic is here with me and his
7 Do you see that there?
8 A. Yes. Had I seen Lukic, I would have been Beara. But as I didn't
9 see Lukic - and I said I saw him in the morning in Zvornik - I didn't see
10 him after that at all.
11 Q. Well, this conversation was -- as the evidence shows, sir, that
12 Beara was in Zvornik on that day. And you say you didn't see Beara?
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, Zvornik is a big place. The command
14 is a big place.
15 JUDGE LIU: We understand that.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I think --
17 JUDGE LIU: We understand that. We'll hear what the witness is
18 going to tell us.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not see either in Zvornik or
20 Bratunac, Mr. Beara.
21 MS. ISSA:
22 Q. All right. Now, it's the Prosecution contention, sir, that
23 Mr. Beara was with Dragan Nikolic and Milan Lukic at Zvornik and you
24 didn't see them there?
25 A. With Dragan Nikolic, I don't think so. Perhaps with
1 Drago Nikolic, but that's not within my area.
2 Q. Okay. Perhaps we can then move on to the 17 July. On your
3 examination-in-chief yesterday, sir, you told us that you were in charge
4 of the soldiers and that Dusko Jevic was in charge of the police and that
5 you were, in fact, equal partners. Do you remember telling us that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Well, Dusko Jevic has said that he was actually resubordinated to
8 the Bratunac Brigade because he was receiving orders from them. Do you
9 know anything about that?
10 A. I don't know anything about that really.
11 Q. Did you know that during that period of time Colonel Blagojevic
12 was in command of the MUP units and other units along the road?
13 A. All I knew was that Colonel Blagojevic was the commander of the
14 Bratunac Brigade, but not about the individual units. And I don't know
15 that that was how it was to this day.
16 Q. All right. Well, let's go to Exhibit 495. Now, if you look at
17 page 1 of that exhibit under the heading: "Proposal." And I believe it's
18 towards the end of that first page. It says: "To authorise and appoint
19 the commander of the Bratunac Brigade as commander of all forces, which
20 participating in searching the terrain and sweeping the battlefield to the
21 east of the road (and in control of the Kasaba/Drinjaca road), because we
22 have no one to appoint from the command of the Drina Corps."
23 Do you see that there?
24 A. I didn't know about this order. This is the first time I see it.
25 Q. And this is an order from Colonel Milanovic regarding the
1 engagement of forces and searching the terrain in the direction of Zepa.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection. It's not an order; it's a proposal.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, we haven't seen the first part of this document.
4 We just see this paragraph it's entitled with: "Proposal."
5 MR. KARNAVAS: It's a proposal, not an order. This gentleman
6 cannot order. He makes a proposal to General Krstic. General Krstic then
7 can order, but he's not in a position to give orders.
8 JUDGE LIU: Okay. Let's take it as a proposal. You may proceed
9 MS. ISSA: That's fine, Your Honour.
10 Q. And it's dated 15 July, for the record.
11 Do you see that there, sir?
12 A. I see that, yes.
13 Q. Okay. Well, let's go to Exhibit P496. Now, if we go to paragraph
14 2 -- first of all, this is from the command of the Bratunac Brigade, and
15 it's dated 16 July 1995. It's a daily combat report. Do you see that
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. The name of the commander, Blagojevic, is on the bottom. Right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, if we go to paragraph 2, at about the fifth line in that
21 paragraph, it says: "We made preparations to dispatch two companies of
22 the Zvornik Light Infantry Brigade (100 soldiers) and the reconnaissance
23 platoon of the Infantry Battalion. During the day, the brigade commander
24 visited all units which are blocking the enemy retreat (the 1st Milici
25 Light Infantry Brigade, units of the 65th Protection Motorised Regiment,
1 parts of the MUP, and the 5th Engineering Battalion), defined their tasks
2 and organised their joint action and communications. Because of the
3 engagement of forces of the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade and the
4 Milici Brigade on other tasks and assignments, execution of the task of
5 searching the terrain has been slowed down and actions to block enemy
6 forces in the aforementioned area have been hampered."
7 Were you aware that Colonel Blagojevic visited these units?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Okay. And doesn't that say, sir, that Colonel Blagojevic was
10 commander of these forces that were searching the terrain?
11 A. I didn't read this combat report, and I'm not informed about it.
12 I'm not aware of it.
13 Q. All right. Can you tell us, sir, what happened to the captured
14 men on 17 July, the Muslim men.
15 A. You mean on that 17th, when I was with the units of the Bratunac
16 Brigade and with Dusko Jevic?
17 Q. Yes.
18 A. As far as I remember, and I said yesterday that those units, or
19 rather, those men were taken to Konjevic Polje, to the crossroads there,
20 the Zvornik/Sarajevo crossroads, where there was an old warehouse. And in
21 a day or two, I was going privately to Sokolac, and I happened to pass by
22 and see those people there. And they were being secured by a special
23 police unit. I wanted to see those people, whether they were the people.
24 So I crossed. A policeman tried to stop me, but somebody shouted out to
25 him to let me pass by. I saw the people, they were there. And some of
1 those people were collecting up some papers around the building, and the
2 others were sitting inside. That's as far as I know.
3 Q. Okay. Now, when you say you saw them at this warehouse, is that
4 where there is a gas station there today?
5 A. Yes, that's precisely it.
6 Q. Okay. And what happened to these men thereafter, ultimately?
7 A. I don't know. Because I went up to Sokolac privately. And when I
8 came back in the evening -- I don't remember the details, I don't think I
9 paid any attention because I was going about my own business. I really
10 don't know. I can't say.
11 Q. Okay. Now, you said that you handed these men over to Dusko Jevic
12 initially on the 17th of July. Is that right?
13 A. Yes -- well, Dusko Jevic -- I said I handed them over to
14 Dusko Jevic. He was there with me, so it was an operation. Dusko Jevic
15 took those people up officially, and I'm sure that can be confirmed by
16 him. Dule will bear me out there. That's how it was and that's what I
17 told you.
18 Q. According to Dusko Jevic, sir, he says he doesn't know what
19 happened to the men and that he didn't take custody of them?
20 A. Well, Dusko Jevic can come here into this courtroom and say that
21 to me.
22 Q. All right. Can you tell us, sir, how many prisoners were captured
23 on the 17th of July?
24 A. 35 to 38, or rather, a total of 38, of those three children, and
25 35 adults, I think.
1 Q. According to Dusko Jevic, there was approximately 200 men that
2 were captured. Do you agree with that?
3 A. Perhaps Dusko captured them somewhere. As far as I remember, this
4 is how it was.
5 Q. Well, he was referring to the men that were captured on the 17th
6 of July when you were there, sir.
7 A. Up until noon, 12.00, by the time I arrived, what he had done
8 before that and where he had taken them, I don't know. But when I
9 arrived - and I'm sure Zekic can confirm that - that it's just how I said
10 it was.
11 Q. Well, didn't you see the men before you left, sir?
12 A. I can count fairly well, and had I looked in the warehouse and
13 seen 200 people, I would have known about it. But to get 200 people in
14 that kind of warehouse, well, it's rather a feat.
15 Q. I'm not talking about the warehouse, sir, I'm talking about the
16 17th of July when you and Dusko Jevic and Zekic were there and captured
17 these men.
18 A. And at that time there was a total of 38, of which three were
20 Q. And those children, sir, said that there were -- there was more
21 than 38. There were hundreds. Do you have anything to say about that?
22 A. All I had to say was what I already said, and that is that I
23 received information that there was a settling of accounts. Now, how many
24 people were there by the school, the children can tell you that. But I
25 know how many people surrendered.
1 Q. Did you report the soldier who you've told us about wanted to kill
2 some of the Muslims?
3 A. As to that soldier, when I was at the command -- well, the man
4 died two or three days later in a looting operation, so the whole thing
5 ended tragically, as I warned him it might.
6 Q. My question was: Did you report him to anyone?
7 A. No, I did not report him to anyone. My commander was absent.
8 There was just me. I had -- I came to the command and told the colleagues
9 about it, those who were there, or rather, I think Pilipovic was there,
10 Major Pilipovic.
11 Q. Who was Major Pilipovic?
12 A. Well, Major Pilipovic was a man who wrote lots of things. What he
13 actually did is not clear to this day after so many years have gone by.
14 Q. You don't know what he did -- he was at the command, but you don't
15 know what he did there, or what his position was?
16 A. I don't know. I really don't know what his position was. I would
17 always see him writing something, but I didn't listen. When we had
18 reporting, he never took part in the discussions, so I don't know what his
19 official assignments were.
20 Q. Did you report it to the duty officer?
21 A. After that, after Commander Blagojevic left to Zepa and further,
22 because he was ill as far as I understood it, he had a heart ailment, he
23 was in the operations hall all the time, nonstop.
24 Q. Okay. Well, you see, I need you to focus on the question, sir.
25 The question is: Did you report the soldier that wanted to kill the
1 Muslims to the duty officer? It's a very simple question, and you can
2 answer it by saying yes or no.
3 A. I reported to Major Pilipovic what had happened on the ground and
4 what was going on.
5 Q. And was he acting as the duty officer on that day?
6 A. The whole time during that period, he was the duty officer.
7 Q. Okay. Can you spell his name for us, for the record, please.
8 A. Yes, I can. I can spell the surname. P-i-l-i-p-o-v-i-c. I don't
9 know his first name to this day.
10 Q. Okay. Did you inform anyone of the capture of the men during the
11 search of the terrain?
12 A. I think that Pilipovic in his report must have written down what I
13 conveyed to him when I got there.
14 Q. And what is it that you conveyed to him?
15 A. I conveyed to him that 37 had been captured, or rather, 38. I beg
16 your pardon. And of that number, three children, they were in -- with the
17 military police, and that the others had left in the direction of
18 Konjevic Polje with Dusko Jevic because somebody was, I suppose, supposed
19 to send some buses to take them to Bijeljina.
20 Q. And you say he must have written it down because you knew him to
21 be a very precise man. Isn't that right?
22 A. He was a man who wrote the war diary of the Bratunac Brigade. I
23 personally had an opportunity of seeing that diary when I was in
24 Banja Luka. He showed me the diary, so I assume he would have written
25 everything down.
1 Q. And that was his job, is to write these things down. Right?
2 A. I can't say that. I don't know what his job was, but every time I
3 saw him, he would be writing something down.
4 Q. Okay. And was it your obligation to inform the duty officer of
5 the captured men?
6 A. As soon as I arrived at the Bratunac Brigade and the operations
7 hall, he was sitting at a table there with the duty logbook. So he, as
8 far as I was concerned, was the duty officer. So I told him about this
9 and automatically had discharged my duties that way.
10 Q. So when you say you automatically had discharged your duties, it
11 was your duty to inform the duty officer. Isn't that right?
12 A. Yes, that's quite right, and that's what I did. So Pilipovic, as
13 far as I was concerned, was the duty officer at the time.
14 Q. Okay. And telling the duty officer is effectively as good as
15 telling the commander. Isn't that right?
16 A. Yes, that's quite right. And since I couldn't tell that to the
17 commander, because my commander was already at Zepa at that time.
18 Q. Okay. Now, the next day when you say you went by and saw the men
19 that you had captured on the 17th of July at the warehouse in
20 Konjevic Polje, can you explain why you went there.
21 A. Why I went there, you mean?
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. I went there to see whether they were those people who were there,
24 because I would probably recognise some of those people if I were to meet
25 them, someone from that group, because I saw them personally at that time.
1 Q. Were you ordered to go there?
2 A. No, I went privately. I said a moment ago I was on my way to
3 Sokolac privately, and I would go that way frequently because I used to
4 work there. So I was preparing for my job, and I went out of curiosity,
5 to have a look. And I was wearing civilian clothes when I went that way.
6 Q. Okay. And who was guarding the men?
7 A. The special police, judging by their uniforms. They were a little
8 more elegantly dressed from the regular soldiers, if I can put it that
10 Q. All right. Didn't you also say to the OTP or the Office of the
11 Prosecutor investigator - and I'm referring to page 32 in the English
12 version, lines 9 through 12. And perhaps somebody can give you your B/C/S
13 version, if I can ask Madam Usher for her assistance, at page 32,
14 paragraph 1 - didn't you also say, sir, that you knew that the men who
15 were guarding the prisoners at the warehouse were not soldiers because,
16 and I'm quoting you at line 10, page 32: "I think they were members of
17 some of those attached units, the units from the MUP. They were for sure
18 not soldiers, because that was the zone of responsibility of our brigade."
19 Isn't that how you knew?
20 A. I wasn't thinking on the basis of that, and I said very well that
21 they weren't soldiers. And I claim now that they weren't soldiers but
22 were members of the MUP. The special police, the civilian police, that
23 was the MUP for me as far as I was concerned at that point in time. Now,
24 the responsibility of the Bratunac Brigade, if we look at that part, they
25 had already stepped out of the municipality, the border of the Bratunac
1 municipality, because the border goes up to Konjevic Polje, that road. So
2 you can say that that already belonged, as far as I knew, topographically
3 speaking, to Zvornik, or Milici. I don't know. That's where the boundary
4 is, somewhere there.
5 Q. That's not what you said, sir. You told the investigator very
6 clearly: "Because that was the zone of responsibility of our brigade."
7 Those are your words, aren't they?
8 A. Well, I don't think I can agree with that. I told the
9 investigator that they weren't soldiers, that they were from the MUP, but
10 he didn't ask me to explain whether it was the Bratunac municipality or
11 not. I know it's the border belt; I know that for a fact myself because I
12 lived in the area, so that's how I know.
13 Q. And notwithstanding that he asked you to explain, sir, you said:
14 "It was the zone of responsibility of our brigade." This is something you
15 told him, notwithstanding that he didn't ask you. Isn't that right? It's
16 a very simple question.
17 A. Well, possibly I said it that way, if it says that in the
18 translation, but I assume I went on to say -- or rather, that that's what
19 I said. But that facility, topographically speaking, was in the Zvornik
20 or Milici area. But that's not important. The important thing is that
21 when I came by, those people were in that facility and we captured
22 them -- as many as had been captured.
23 Q. Well, let's move on to something else then, sir. Now, on 14 July
24 when you were on your way to Zvornik, did you happen to pass by the
25 Kravica warehouse?
1 A. I passed by on the 15th, towards the end of the 14th -- during the
2 night between the 14th and the 15th, actually.
3 Q. Okay. Did you see bodies in front of the warehouse?
4 A. I did not see bodies. It was night-time, and the Bratunac/Kravica
5 road, Oka, is on the left. There's a fence there. And I didn't know what
6 had happened on that day had actually happened at Oka. And the
7 investigator asked me about that, and I said I didn't see, as indeed I did
8 not see.
9 Q. Okay. Did you not smell anything that perhaps would have caught
10 your attention as you were passing by the warehouse?
11 A. No, because it was night. But when I came back the next day, on
12 the 15th that is, then along the road from Konjevic Polje to Bratunac, you
13 could feel this in the air, smell this in the air.
14 Q. So you could smell it in the air on your way back is what you're
15 saying, but not on the way there, you didn't?
16 A. Yes, on my way back from Zvornik, from Konjevic Polje towards
17 Bratunac. That's what I said.
18 Q. Okay. Well, about almost 1.000 people were killed at the Kravica
19 warehouse, sir. Were you aware of that?
20 A. Not at that point in time, no.
21 Q. And when you were driving by at night, you didn't see the loaders
22 that were picking up the bodies and putting them in trucks and burying
23 them in graves in Glogova. Is that right?
24 A. No, I did not see the trucks or the loaders on my way.
25 Q. Were you aware that there were mass graves in Glogova, where over
1 1.000 bodies were buried?
2 A. If I tell you here and now - and this is the truth and absolutely
3 correct, what I'm going to tell you now - during that period I didn't deal
4 with that at all. I wasn't interested in that, but everybody who worked
5 and has the right to respond, be responsible, but I learnt about this
7 Q. Okay. Now, sir, when -- going back to the 17th of July, you
8 ordered the separation of the children from the rest of the men. Is that
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And it was -- what you were concerned with was persons born after
12 1980. Those are the children you wanted to -- you separated. Isn't that
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And you made no effort to separate the elderly men? Those were
16 not -- they were not separated. Right?
17 A. In that group, the average age was certainly about 40 to 45. I
18 don't think I'm exaggerating, if I say that.
19 Q. Okay. Did you see anybody that was wounded in that group?
20 A. Nobody was wounded. Had they been wounded, they would certainly
21 have been separated and taken to Bratunac where there was a room at the
22 health centre where they would have been taken.
23 Q. Okay. Would it surprise you to know, sir, that the three children
24 you separated were, in fact, around 15 or 16 years old? Those were their
1 A. None of them had any documents on them. All I could do was judge
2 by what they looked like, and the blond boy who said he was from Kasaba
3 sort of looked older. And the ones who were nice-looking and nicely
4 dressed, the twins, they might have been 10 or 11, but I don't really
5 know. I wasn't interested in their age. I saw they were children; that
6 was the important thing.
7 Q. Did you receive orders to separate the boys?
8 A. No, no. I didn't receive orders. I decided on my own, because I
9 thought it would be a pity to leave those children to spend the night
10 where the others were spending the night.
11 Q. Were you aware that the boys were used for media purposes, that
12 they were filmed for the media?
13 A. I was one of the initiators of having those children filmed by way
14 of proof and evidence, because regardless of the fact that they had left
15 together with Mr. Miso I was responsible for them if I had brought them
16 there. So that's what I wanted.
17 Q. It is the Prosecution's position, sir, that these boys were taken
18 out, they were separated as part of an organised programme to keep the
19 men, and to show the world that nothing was going on, that the men weren't
20 murdered. Do you agree with that?
21 A. I do not agree with that.
22 Q. Let's go to another exhibit, Exhibit P501. Now, this is from the
23 command of the Bratunac Brigade, and it's dated 17 July 1995, addressed to
24 the Drina Corps. The name on the bottom is Vidoje Blagojevic, and it
25 states: "Among the Muslim prisoners there are four underage children
1 (aged between 8 and 14) who are being held in military custody in
2 Bratunac. One of them told the commander of the unit that was searching
3 the area about a large number of Muslim troops committing suicide or
4 killing each other. We propose that this testimony be recorded by cameras
5 of your press centre."
6 Is that something that you proposed, sir?
7 A. I proposed -- or rather, I ordered. First of all, I ordered that
8 the military police, that the children, as I said, should be given food to
9 eat, be given a bath, a change of clothing, and then showed them the
10 premises where they would be. Then when I came to the operations hall, I
11 said that those children should be medically examined, and as far as I am
12 concerned that was proof that these children, thank heaven, are alive
13 today and that they can come and sit down with me and say: "You, sir" --
14 that they won't say: "You, sir, are not telling how it was." That is why
15 I took advantage of the occasion to be with Naser Oric on the 1st of
16 September 2002 because I learned that they were his children.
17 Q. Sir, that wasn't my question, and maybe I can be more specific.
18 The document says one of them, one of the children, told the commander of
19 the unit that was searching the area about a large number of Muslim troops
20 committing suicide.
21 And then it follows: "We propose that this testimony be used by
22 cameras of your press centre."
23 The question is: Did you make that proposal? You were the
24 commander of the unit at the time, weren't you?
25 A. I was the commander of that unit. I said they should be filmed.
1 I said that it should be said that besides the murders, atrocities, there
2 were also mutual killings, people settling accounts among themselves.
3 Q. Well, it doesn't say: Besides the murders and atrocities, though,
4 does it?
5 A. That was what I thought. I thought that when those children
6 testify to what I have said yesterday and today, that when we pass through
7 the area there were people killing each other, I'm not denying that there
8 were also the other things. But as far as I am concerned and my
9 operation, certainly none of the prisoners were killed.
10 Q. One of the children, sir, has given names of some of the men that
11 were missing to investigators of the Office of the Prosecutor. Are you
12 aware of that?
13 MR. KARNAVAS: May I ask the relevancy, unless the next question
14 is that in the statement that there is some indication that this gentleman
15 was responsible for the missing of those individuals or for the killing of
16 those individuals. I would like to know what the relevancy is.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes. That is the question also in our mind.
18 MS. ISSA: Well, I believe, Your Honour, the witness just said he
19 doesn't know -- I think earlier he said he doesn't know what happened to
20 the individuals, and I would like to know whether he's aware of the
21 following information that we've received subsequently.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: It's been asked and answered. He said he doesn't
23 know. That's the answer. Now, whether the children say otherwise, his
24 answer remains the same, he doesn't know. And she's trying to bootstrap
25 somehow to tie him in to what happened to those people later on. He
1 indicated --
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas. We agree with you.
3 You may move on, Ms. Issa.
4 MS. ISSA: All right, Your Honour.
5 Q. Now, sir, you've told us earlier that you were sleeping in the
6 Bratunac town on 12 and 13th July. Isn't that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. While you were there, did you see the hundreds of men who were
9 imprisoned on buses and in the schools?
10 A. My family house where I slept is 5 or 600 metres away from those
11 schools, and those schools are to the east of the town centre. Therefore,
12 I did not pass by there. And on that evening, I didn't see anything. On
13 the following day - I can't say whether it was the 12th or the 13th - I
14 went to the command and I saw a bus near the ceramics factory. I met two
15 buses. And I assume those were buses used to begin the transport of
16 civilians from Potocari.
17 Q. Did you see men detained on the buses?
18 A. To be quite truthful, I passed by in my vehicle and I didn't pay
19 attention. I didn't look to see whether there were men, women, or
20 children. I really didn't pay attention, because when you're driving 60
21 or 50 kilometres an hour, you're looking at your own lane. I saw buses,
22 yes, but I don't know who was inside of them.
23 Q. Were you aware, sir, that about 200 men were detained in the Vuk
24 Karadzic school and some of them were murdered on 12, 13 July there?
25 A. At that point in time, no. But I did hear about it later.
1 Q. Were you aware, sir, that over 50 men -- there were over 50 bodies
2 of men found in and around the Vuk Karadzic school the evening of 13 and
3 14 July?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Are you aware that they were guarded by members of the Bratunac
6 Brigade military police and others?
7 A. I don't know who guarded them. I know it wasn't my unit. I don't
8 know who did.
9 Q. Were you aware of the murders of 150 people in the Cerska Valley,
10 the 16 people by the banks of the Jadar River, and the 16 people around
11 the Sandici meadow on the 13th of July?
12 A. No.
13 Q. All right. Thank you, sir.
14 MS. ISSA: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
16 Any re-direct?
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, and it will be -- it will take some time,
18 Your Honour. And also it was brought to our attention that there was a
19 map prepared by the following witness, the witness following this witness,
20 that was never disclosed to us. They didn't -- the Prosecution wasn't
21 able to get it to us yesterday. So if we could have maybe a slightly
22 additional time during this break period so I could go over that, show the
23 map to the individual -- to the next witness, so at least he's aware of
24 the map. So I need about 10 additional minutes with that witness.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, let's finish this witness first. Could we
1 finish this witness in 10 minutes?
2 MR. KARNAVAS: It may take a little bit longer, Your Honour, and
3 there are other reasons why it might be a good idea to perhaps break at
4 this point in time.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, I'm very much concerned about the time schedule.
6 We are almost five sittings behind.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: We're on schedule, Your Honour. We're on schedule.
8 We'll finish our witnesses for the week.
9 JUDGE LIU: And this week we have six witnesses on the list?
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, but we'll be on time, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE LIU: You're sure of that?
12 MR. KARNAVAS: I don't want to guarantee, but I'm sure,
13 Your Honour.
14 JUDGE LIU: So you need a longer break?
15 MR. KARNAVAS: A longer break.
16 JUDGE LIU: When do you suggest we resume?
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, if we could -- if we could resume say 25 to,
18 25 minutes to 1.00.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll resume at 25 minutes to 1.00.
20 --- Recess taken at 11.54 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 12.34 p.m.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
24 Re-examined by Mr. Karnavas:
25 Q. Good morning, Mr. Gavric.
1 A. Good morning.
2 Q. I have a few questions for you. I want to go back to the first
3 document. We're going to go through several documents. These sets of
4 documents deal with 25 May 1995. So I would like you to first look at
5 what has been marked as P39 -- I mean, P397, I'm sorry. 397. This was a
6 document that was shown to you earlier. Now, if we look at the second
7 paragraph, it says here: "At 1000 hours, the transfer of duties of
8 commander of the 1st Bratunac Brigade was carried out in the presence of
9 the commander of the Drina Corps, Major General Zivanovic, and the
10 president of the Bratunac Municipal Assembly, Ljubo Simic."
11 Sir, from this paragraph here, can we conclude that this was the
12 day when Mr. Blagojevic became the commander of the Bratunac Brigade?
13 A. In this combat report, that's what it says. And that's how it
14 should be. On the 25th of May, whether that was the day Mr. Blagojevic
15 assumed his duties, well it says here that it happened at 1000 hours.
16 Q. All right. And if we go all the way down to the bottom, we can
17 see the time, can we not, when this document was submitted to the
18 Drina Corps command at the bottom right-hand. Do you see it?
19 A. 1630.
20 Q. Okay. And that would be 4.30 in the afternoon, which is about the
21 time when daily reports generally go out. Correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, if I could show you now -- I'm going to walk you one by one.
24 The next document, same day, 25 May 1995, Prosecution Exhibit 855. This
25 was the document that had your name on it. Right? Now, if we look at the
1 first line it says: "At 1907," so that would be what time? That's 7.00
2 in the evening, is it not?
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 Q. This would be after the daily report had been submitted to the
5 Drina Corps. Correct?
6 A. After that.
7 Q. All right. Now, if we go down to the bottom, we see that this was
8 submitted, though the incident occurred at 1907, this report was submitted
9 at 2010 hours, meaning 8.10 p.m. Correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, was there a Colonel Lazic in the Bratunac Brigade at that
12 point in time?
13 A. Colonel Lazic arrived in the Bratunac Brigade, and I think he was
14 in the Main Staff or in the Drina Corps. I know the man personally, but
15 I'm not sure what his duty was.
16 Q. All right. If I were to tell you that based on a document
17 generated by the Prosecution office, that in the chart he is listed as
18 being with the Drina Corps in the operations, the Drina Corps staff.
19 Would that be consistent with your memory?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. All right. Now, according to this it would appear, would it not,
22 sir, that it was not Colonel Blagojevic, the new commander of the
23 Bratunac Brigade, who had just been installed that particular day, but
24 rather a Colonel Lazic from the Drina Corps who had issued the order?
25 A. This document confirms that. It says that Colonel Lazic ordered
2 Q. All right. Do you -- can you recall having a conversation with
3 Colonel Lazic ordering you, and do you know whether his order was
4 transmitted to members of the Bratunac Brigade and then passed on to you?
5 A. I don't remember this detail very well. My memory of it is really
6 poor. I've thought about it all this time. Perhaps if I could see some
7 of the combat reports. I know that we were targeted at our firing
8 position then. Whether an enemy unit was infiltrated on that day and
9 Bokser was killed, I remember that. I don't know if that could have been
10 that day and that point in time.
11 Q. My question now is: Why would Colonel Lazic be giving you an
12 order, commander of the artillery unit? And why wouldn't that order not
13 come from Blagojevic?
14 A. Because --
15 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, I'm going to object.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Issa.
17 MS. ISSA: I think that's a mischaracterisation of what this said.
18 It doesn't say that Colonel Lazic gave Mr. Gavric an order.
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, it says: "We opened fire on Srebrenica on
20 Colonel Lazic's order."
21 MS. ISSA: That's different than saying Colonel Lazic gave an
22 order directly to Mr. Gavric.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think Defence counsel is trying to clarify
24 this issue through some questions to this witness.
25 You may proceed, Mr. Karnavas.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
2 Q. Do you recall getting an order directly from Colonel Lazic or
3 getting an order from your new commander, Colonel Blagojevic?
4 A. I don't remember, but here it says at 1907 hours we opened fire on
5 Srebrenica on orders from Colonel Lazic.
6 Q. Okay. Now, let's go to the next document. And now I will be
7 referring to what has been marked as P856. And I believe it's for
8 identification, as was the other. This was shown to you as well.
9 Now, from here, again this is the top part, it says: "25 May
10 1995," does it not? The very top part, sir?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, if we go all the way to the bottom it says that it was sent
13 or transmitted that same day at 2110 hours, which would have been, if we
14 look at the previous document, one hour after you had submitted your
15 report. Correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Right. And if we look at the very first paragraph, it says:
18 "Pursuant to Colonel Lazic's verbal order we fired ..."
19 Does it not say that?
20 A. It does, because this is an extraordinary -- an interim report.
21 Q. Right. Okay. And if we go down to the second paragraph, the
22 first line it says: "Brigade units are ordered to be in full combat
24 Does it not say that?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, searching back, rewinding the tape, as you put it, do you
2 recall anything that would have placed the brigade on that particular day
3 or that evening - because when we look at the normal daily report up until
4 4.00 there's nothing going on, or 4.30 - do you recall what might have
5 happened between 4.30 when the daily combat report was sent off and 7.00
6 to have caused Colonel Lazic to issue an order, and also for the
7 commander, the newly installed commander, to put the entire brigade units
8 on full combat readiness.
9 A. I think that on that day an enemy group was infiltrated behind our
10 defence lines, and that a man whom we called Bokser in the 1st Battalion
11 was killed, I think, on that day. And that's why I think Lazic issued
12 this order.
13 Q. All right. Now, let me show you what has been marked as P857 for
14 identification purposes. Now, this dates 26 May 1995, does it not?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Okay. And if we go all the way down to the bottom, it looks like
17 it was submitted at 1455. Correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Okay. And if we look at -- and this is a daily combat report, is
20 it not, the title of it?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Under number 2, it says: "The combat readiness of our unit is in
23 accordance with the measures ordered by the superior command."
24 Correct? Who would the superior command be?
25 A. I assume that a handover was -- took place between
1 Colonel Blagojevic and the command of the Drina Corps, and that Blagojevic
2 in this period did not take over command over us until he had made a tour
3 of the units and seen what the situation was.
4 Q. All right. It says under number 3: "Situation in the territory
5 of the brigade's area of responsibility is normal."
6 Do you see that?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And that would -- so it would appear, at least in looking at
9 paragraph number 3, that the situation is calmed down somewhat from the
10 previous day as a result of having the units in full combat readiness,
11 would it not?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. All right. Now, I don't have a B/C/S version, but let me share
14 with you what will be marked as D133 for identification purposes. And
15 it's a chapter from the report prepared, the Nijad report, prepared by the
16 Dutch government with respect to the fall of Srebrenica. And if we could
17 put the second page on the ELMO, it's page 2 of 7. It states here -- I'll
18 read it slowly.
19 "Much of the Bosnian Serb revenge followed the NATO bombing of
20 Pale on the 25 and 26 May concentrated on Sarajevo, but the eastern
21 enclaves were not spared. This also had repercussions on the situation
22 around Srebrenica. On May 25, as immediate retaliation, a number of
23 shells landed close to a school in Srebrenica. There were one dead and
24 three wounded. The VRS also opened fire on the south-western part of the
1 Now --
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, before your question, if this is a
3 new document, document P133?
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, what's this document -- would you please tell us
6 some foundations or background to this document.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour. I pulled this off the Internet.
8 It's part of the Nijad report, the report by the Dutch government, where
9 they had lengthy investigations. They generated, I believe, it's an
10 8.000-page report on the fall of Srebrenica or on Srebrenica itself. And
11 so it -- the Dutch version has been published in volumes. The English
12 version is available on the Internet. And we have made references to this
13 particular report when the DutchBat soldiers were being questioned.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you may proceed.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
16 Q. Now, it would appear from reading this that NATO on May 25 and 26,
17 just as it had bombed Belgrade, buildings, bridges, diplomatic missions,
18 here was bombing Pale on 25 and 26 May, 1995. And according to the
19 report, that there might have been a -- or there was a retaliation. Does
20 this now cause you to recollect why you might have been ordered by
21 Colonel Lazic to fire the artillery, as you so indicate in your report?
22 A. I can't recall. I really can't recall that detail. I'm sure we
23 fired. I know we were targeted that day from a tank and that we returned
24 anti-armour fire. One of our artillery pieces was destroyed. Some of my
25 men were injured, but I'm sorry, I really can't remember. I don't know.
1 Q. All right. Now, I want to move on to another section, and that
2 was with respect to the artillery, your unit, and the questioning by the
3 Prosecution with respect to the shells that were landing on and about
4 Srebrenica and Potocari. First of all, sir, do you know whether there
5 were any other artillery units operating in that vicinity -- and when I'm
6 talking about the vicinity, I'm talking about the general Srebrenica area
7 concerning the attack on Srebrenica that started on 6th July 1995.
8 A. If you recall in my testimony of yesterday, I said that all the
9 units that were operational in that area had their own artillery fire
10 support of their own forces. Each unit had brought its own artillery with
12 Q. All right. Now, I want to show you what has been marked and
13 entered through evidence as D42. And we have an English version, or we
14 should. We can put this on the ELMO, if necessary.
15 And if you could take a look at that. Take a look at it first.
16 And for the sake of time, let me tell you that this report was generated
17 by Mr. Pandurevic at the time when he was the commander of the
18 Zvornik Brigade. This is an order. If you could look at it, look it
20 A. I have seen it.
21 Q. Okay.
22 A. There's no need to look any further, because you can see from this
23 order that there was 122 Howitzer, which means it was the Zvornik Brigade.
24 Q. All right. But I want to go through it in detail, because there
25 are other -- we might see some other things that might be of interest to
1 the Prosecution in light of their questioning. Where it says "order," we
2 do see a Howitzer platoon of 122, do we not, under 1(e), right? Under
3 (d), we see armoured mechanised company. Correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, is there anything else on this page that might be of
6 interest? If not, let's go to the next page. At the very bottom we see a
7 tank platoon, four tanks, four T-55 tanks at the very bottom under 2.4(a).
8 You see that?
9 A. Yes, yes, I do.
10 Q. Okay. And then if we can go on to (b), armoured mechanised
11 platoon, four armoured personnel carriers. The one right after that, do
12 you see it?
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 Q. Now if we go to (c), we see an anti-aircraft gun, and we see a
15 Praga with crew.
16 A. Yes, I see it.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
18 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, I'm going to object to this line of
19 questioning. It didn't really arise out of cross-examination. It's not
20 relevant as part of our cross-examination. I believe that the issue is
21 not who fired the shelling -- the shells. The issue is what this witness
22 saw. And I believe he testified to that in the cross-examination. So at
23 this point, we're just going into an irrelevant sideline of -- in
24 questioning in the re-examination. And I don't believe -- I believe it
25 falls outside the scope of the cross-examination.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: It's well within the scope.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, I also wondered the relevance of this line of
3 questions, Mr. Karnavas.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, the relevance, in my opinion, is rather
5 clear, Your Honour. During the cross, during the cross, they read -- or
6 she read an accounting of how many shells, where they landed, and so on
7 and so forth. One would give the impression that they all came from the
8 Bratunac Brigade or came from this gentleman's unit. What I'm trying to
9 demonstrate here is: You have other units operating, that they well know,
10 that are using the same kind of equipment, if not more. That -- and a
11 close look at this particular order, because we know that the attack on
12 Srebrenica was led -- was spearheaded, might I say, by the Zvornik Brigade
13 or the elements that were led by Mr. Pandurevic. And here I'm trying to
14 demonstrate that all this hardware existed with other units, and those
15 units might have been responsible for any shells and not the
16 Bratunac Brigade.
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, I don't think there's any disputes on this
18 issue. We heard evidence that there was many units circling the
19 Srebrenica area with the heavy weapons.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, if there's a concession, Your Honour, by the
21 Prosecution that all those shells that they recounted had nothing to do
22 with the Bratunac Brigade and didn't come from the Bratunac Brigade, then
23 I have no need to go over this, but I don't hear a concession on their
24 part here.
25 JUDGE LIU: We can't say that. We just say that there are many,
1 many Serb units circling Srebrenica with heavy weapons, including the
2 Bratunac Brigade. You can't say that all the ammunitions are not from
3 the -- that particular brigade.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I brought the gentleman here so he
5 could testify as to what the Bratunac Brigade had. They then went into
6 all these other irrelevant matters. I stood up. I objected. I'm told,
7 it's cross, it's not relevant -- or it's cross, it's permitted. On
8 re-direct, I'm only trying to point the other picture. But since the
9 document is in and it appears the Trial Chamber has understood the point
10 that I'm trying to convey, I'll move on.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please move on.
12 MR. KARNAVAS:
13 Q. You were asked some questions about Mr. Pilipovic. Do you recall?
14 You were asked some questions?
15 A. Yes, yes.
16 Q. Now, you -- is it not a fact that you mentioned his name when you
17 gave a statement to the Prosecution back on 28 November 2001? Is that not
18 in your statement, his name?
19 A. I think Pilipovic's name should be there, because he showed me the
20 report, not the combat one but the war one, which he wrote at his own
21 initiative, I assume, and sent out to someone, I assume.
22 Q. But my question is: Did you not mention him when you spoke to the
23 Prosecutor, so it would not be a surprise to you who this man is and how
24 to spell his name, since you mentioned him on the 28th of November, 2001?
25 A. Well, I forgot his name. We parted a long time ago and ...
1 Q. Okay. All right. Now, you were asked some questions about
2 intercepts, what they meant, what you were aware of. Were you aware that
3 the Prosecution during the Krstic trial relied on an intercept and later
4 on appeal that intercept proved to be wrong and as a result the Appeals
5 Chamber has corrected the Trial Chamber based on their interpretation of
6 the Prosecution --
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Issa.
8 MS. ISSA: This is completely irrelevant and outside of the scope
9 of the cross-examination. I don't see how that refers to the intercepts
10 that I referred to in the cross-examinations.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm driving the point home, Your Honour, if we're
12 going to ask people about intercepts that they have no absolutely idea
13 with, that they were not part of that conversation, then it's all fair
14 game, and the fair game is that they relied on an intercept during the
15 Krstic trial that proved to be a false interpretation.
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think that's your position. And it is useless
17 to ask this kind of question to this witness. How could this witness know
18 whether there is a judgement -- Appeals Judgement from the Krstic court?
19 MR. KARNAVAS: I don't whether he knows, just about how would he
20 know about that intercept between Indic and whoever else was talking.
21 That was my point. But it's not my opinion. The judgement was very clear
22 as to the Appeals Chamber interpretation of that intercept and its value.
23 JUDGE LIU: In that intercept, a particular person's name was
24 mentioned, so that maybe corroborates with the testimony of this witness
25 or not.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour. I have no further --
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, it's absolutely uncalled-for him to
4 be mentioning any Appeals Judgements, and his version of them in front of
5 any witnesses, let alone make an argument. If we want to exchange views
6 of the Krstic judgement and what it found, I mean I would gladly do that
7 in this case. And in the end, his client would be convicted. But it's
8 obscene for him to be doing that in this context, in this Chamber.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, let's save the discussion of that judgement for
10 a later stage, maybe at the closing arguments.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
12 Other than that, I have no further questions, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
14 Mr. Stojanovic, do you have any re-direct?
15 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Just a few
16 questions which result from the cross-examination.
17 Further cross-examination by Mr. Stojanovic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Gavric, may we clarify certain points that
19 have emerged from the cross-examination led my Ms. Issa. On page 46 of
20 the transcript of the LiveNote today, line 22, you were asked who
21 Major Pilipovic was. And your answer was as follows: "He was a man who
22 wrote a lot, did a lot of writing. Now, what he actually did, what his
23 job was, I don't know to this day."
24 Now, on page 47, line 16, of today's LiveNote, you go on to state
25 the following: "In my opinion, that whole time, he was the duty officer."
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Can you try and clear that up for us, please. Do you think he was
3 the duty officer throughout those days, or did you draw the conclusion
4 based on some concrete specific order of appointment as duty officer?
5 A. I don't think there was an order of appointment of any kind. I
6 think Pilipovic, as he was not a well man, couldn't go into the field, on
7 the ground. I don't know whether I was clear enough; I'll try to be
8 clearer now in explaining this. I don't know what position he held or
9 whether he held any appointment, but as I say, as we were all engaged in
10 our own affairs in those days, he spent most time at the command at the
11 headquarters. And he performed the duty of duty officer in the operations
12 hall for that time.
13 Q. That means that you're not quite sure that Major Pilipovic on the
14 17th of July, when you returned from your assignment, was actually the
15 duty officer as the Bratunac Brigade?
16 A. I came across him there. He was inside, but I don't know whether
17 he was actually the duty officer, no.
18 Q. So it would be possible that he wasn't the duty officer on the
20 A. I'm sure there is a piece of paper that would bear that out. I
21 don't know. I really can't remember after so much time has gone by. I
22 can't say.
23 Q. Could you help us out with this, please: Whose responsibility was
24 it, the security of prisoners?
25 A. The chief of intelligence, the security of the brigade, and in
1 this case, probably as it was an operation of the Drina Corps, the Main
2 Staff, then it must have been those people from the security.
3 Q. Whose responsibility was it?
4 A. The chief of intelligence security.
5 Q. I understand, yes. May I -- may we just take things slowly, and
6 as you know everything has to be translated, the questions and answers,
7 and we speak the same language, you and I.
8 Now my question again: Whose duty was it or responsibility to
9 take on responsibility or sanctions against somebody who unlawfully
10 behaves towards the security of prisoners or criminally?
11 A. Once again, the chief of security.
12 Q. So it was certainly not the job of the duty officer?
13 A. No, quite certainly it was not.
14 Q. Who sent you on this assignment specifically? Who told you to go
15 and search the terrain on the 17th of July?
16 A. Colonel Blagojevic.
17 Q. Was it then your duty and responsibility to inform the person you
18 were responsible to about the activities, about the task you had
20 A. If my commander on that day went to Zepa, as he did do, the duty
21 officer remained. So the duty officer in this case, as I encountered him
22 there, was Mr. Pilipovic. So when I told him everything, Pilipovic was in
23 charge and it was his responsibility to call the security officer to tell
24 him what needed to be done. And this wasn't my duty.
25 Q. Yes, that's just it. I have before we Exhibit -- Defence Exhibit
1 D11. It's instructions to the work of commands and staffs, providing for
2 the duties of the duty officer. So am I right in saying what you have
3 just actually told us, that it is the duty of the duty officer to convey
4 further on what you had told him?
5 A. Yes, that's precisely the case.
6 Q. So it cannot be the responsibility of the commanding staff -- the
7 commanding staff and the duty officer don't have the same duties, do they,
8 and responsibilities?
9 A. No, they don't. That's right.
10 Q. And just let me go back to a point again and check it out.
11 Sanctions against anybody engaged in unlawful conduct towards prisoners or
12 to take steps against these persons would come under the duties of the
13 duty officer. Is that right?
14 A. Yes, that's right.
15 Q. It wouldn't be the duty of the duty officer?
16 A. [No interpretation]
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have
18 no further questions.
19 JUDGE LIU: Judge Vassylenko.
20 Questioned by the Court:
21 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Gospodin Gavric, I have only one question.
22 Were you aware of the killing operations which resulted in the murder of
23 several thousand able-bodied Muslim men in the Srebrenica enclave in July
25 A. No.
1 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Hvala. I have no more questions.
2 JUDGE LIU: At this stage, are there any documents to tender?
3 Mr. Karnavas?
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour. I believe the one document you
5 had suggested that we tender, that would be D132, that's the
6 Bratunac Brigade -- it shouldn't read "Report," it should read
7 "Information," dated 4 July 1994. And I believe D131, which is the
8 "Consumption of Materiel and Equipment Submitted to the Drina Corps
9 Command." And there is 134, which is the: "Daily combat report of 26
10 May, 1995." And there's D133 -- at least that portion of the paragraph
11 read to the gentleman with respect to the NATO bombings of Pale on 25 or
12 26 May.
13 JUDGE LIU: Any objections? Ms. Issa?
14 MS. ISSA: None, Your Honour. Thank you.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
16 Yes, Mr. Stojanovic.
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour. I have
18 no exhibits to tender, but I have been warned that on page 74, line 24, of
19 the transcript the answer was recorded that the witness did not give.
20 That is to say that through my question, to confirm, that the security
21 organ was the person who was intended to take steps against such persons;
22 whereas, it states "duty officer." So I just wanted to put that right, to
23 correct that.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes. Thank you very much.
25 Well, the document D131, D132, D133, and D134 are admitted into
2 Are there any documents on the part of the Prosecution to tender
3 at this stage?
4 MS. ISSA: Yes, Your Honour. We would like to tender documents
5 P855 and 856.
6 JUDGE LIU: Any objections?
7 MR. KARNAVAS: No objections, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Those two documents are admitted into the
10 Well, Witness, thank you very much for coming to The Hague to give
11 your evidence. The usher will show you out of the room. We wish you a
12 pleasant journey back home.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With the Court's indulgence, may I
14 be allowed to express my gratitude to you for enabling me to come to this
15 courtroom and to present the truth that I knew about and to facilitate the
16 work of you, as the Judges. Thank you.
17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may go now.
18 [The witness withdrew]
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, before we have the next witness, there's one
20 matter I would like to draw to the attention of the parties. In the
21 proceedings, in order to avoid any unnecessary disputes between the
22 parties, I hope whenever the parties address each other, they should
23 address their counterparts by names or by positions, rather than by
24 something else. I understand there must be some courtroom differences, so
25 that's why I want both parties to abide by this ruling.
1 Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE LIU: Do you have the next witness?
4 MR. KARNAVAS: I do. He should be here someplace in the building.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Are there any protective measures?
6 MR. KARNAVAS: None, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
8 Yes, Ms. Issa?
9 MS. ISSA: Yes, Your Honour, I wonder if I may be excused for this
10 portion of the testimony, given that I'm finished with the
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, you're not doing the cross-examination for the
13 next witness, I suppose?
14 MS. ISSA: No, I'm not; it's Mr. McCloskey.
15 JUDGE LIU: Of course.
16 MS. ISSA: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, Witness.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
20 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration in
21 accordance with the paper the usher is showing to you.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Okay.
23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
25 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
1 WITNESS: ZORAN KOVACEVIC
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may sit down, please.
4 Mr. Karnavas.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Mr. President.
6 Examined by Mr. Karnavas:
7 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
8 A. Good afternoon.
9 Q. If you could please tell us what your name is and tell us
10 your -- just tell us your name.
11 A. Zoran Kovacevic.
12 Q. Would you please tell us your last name letter by letter.
13 A. K-o-v-a-c-e-v-i-c.
14 Q. Okay. Mr. Kovacevic, where are you from?
15 A. I'm from Bratunac.
16 Q. And where did you grow up?
17 A. Bjelovac, a village 6 kilometres from Bratunac.
18 Q. All right. Now, could you please tell us a little bit about your
19 educational background.
20 A. I went to primary school in Bjelovac, and then eight years of
21 secondary school in Bratunac. And then secondary catering school in
23 Q. Could you please tell us about your work experience.
24 A. From 1970, I worked for two years in Budva, that's the Montenegrin
25 coast, as a waiter. And then 16 months later, I went to the Yugoslav
1 People's Army. When I returned to Bratunac, where I started working in a
2 catering establishment called Podrinje, which is where I worked until the
3 war, and I'm working there now.
4 Q. When you did your military service, could you tell us what was
5 that all about? What did you do?
6 A. I went to the school for reserve officers during my military
7 service. It's a three-month course, after which I went to my unit. And I
8 was the komandir of the department for recoilless guns.
9 Q. Now, from the time you left the JNA, your military service, until
10 the time I assume you were mobilised, were you a reservist?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And what rank, if any, did you hold?
13 A. I was a non-commissioned officer, and I had the rank of
14 2nd lieutenant.
15 Q. All right. And during that period of time, did you do any drills
16 as part of your reserve military service?
17 A. Mostly every other year we would have drills, us officers and
18 NCOs. These would last for seven days. And the following seven days, we
19 would be working with the army.
20 Q. Now, when the war broke out, were you mobilised?
21 A. Yes. In April, 1992.
22 Q. And where were you mobilised?
23 A. The Territorial Defence of Bratunac.
24 Q. What position did you hold, if any, when you --
25 A. I was the komandir of the 3rd Company.
1 Q. All right. And now, in that company how many soldiers were there?
2 A. I had about 100 soldiers.
3 Q. And to which company -- or this company belonged to which other
5 A. It belonged to -- well, first of all, within the Territorial
6 Defence. And later on when the brigade was established, we were in the
7 composition of the 2nd Battalion of the Bratunac Brigade.
8 Q. All right. So -- now, when the brigade was formed and this
9 company became part of the 2nd Battalion, did it remain the 3rd Company?
10 A. Yes. All the men, everything remained the same, in its entirety.
11 Q. Was it still the 3rd Company, or was it renamed -- given another
13 A. It was still the 3rd Company.
14 Q. Okay. And were you still the komandir?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Who was your komandant at that point in time?
17 A. At that time the commander of the battalion -- well, I can't
18 remember his name exactly. But the deputy battalion commander was
19 Zoran -- Lieutenant Zoran Jovanovic throughout. They would replace each
20 other. Battalion commanders moved around, so I can't remember exactly.
21 Q. All right. Now, could you please tell us where the 3rd Company of
22 the 2nd Battalion was situated when the brigade was formed.
23 A. We were situated in the area from Zuti Most towards Voljevica,
24 that is to say under Caus hill.
25 Q. Now, Zuti Most is on the road, is it not?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, how far from the road or from the yellow bridge, the
3 Zuti Most, how far from this location was your company located?
4 A. My unit linked up the area from Zuti Most along the river itself
5 to the part towards Voljevica, some 3 to 3 and a half kilometres.
6 Q. So now, if we get to the Zuti Most and we're heading towards
7 Potocari or Srebrenica, on which side of the road would you be located?
8 A. On the left-hand side of the road, moving from Bratunac to
10 Q. All right. Now, did this position ever change?
11 A. This position remained that until 1993.
12 Q. All right. Now, I want to focus your attention to the month of
13 July 1995. Were you still with the Bratunac Brigade at that point in
15 A. I was. However, I was the komandir of the 4th Company of that
16 same battalion.
17 Q. All right. Now, could you please tell us where the 4th Company
18 was situated.
19 A. The 4th Company was situated from the bottom of Caus hill along
20 Obadi and Zalazi, along that line.
21 Q. Well, some of us haven't been there, so if you could show us or
22 just describe to us. If you are by the Zuti Most, by the bridge, how far
23 from there does your line begin?
24 A. From Zuti Most, looking towards Srebrenica, it would be on the
25 left-hand side. It is the Caus elevation, and Caus is a hill, and I would
1 say that's 1 and a half kilometres as the crow flies. And then we go
2 further to the left, about 300 metres from Caus on the other side, down
3 the other slope, and that's where my unit went towards Zalazi, about 3
5 Q. So you're over the hill on the other side?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And would I be correct in stating that from where you were
8 situated, where the 3rd Company was situated, you could not look down and
9 see the Zuti Most or see Potocari?
10 A. It wasn't the 3rd, but the 4th. Yes, that's correct. You
11 couldn't see.
12 Q. Okay. Now, how long had you been with the 4th Company?
13 A. I remained in the 4th Company practically until the end of the
15 Q. All right. And how many men did the 4th Company have when it was
16 at its position?
17 A. The company numbered 60 or 65 soldiers, it depended. They came
18 and went. On the average, it was about 62 men.
19 Q. How long of a territory did you cover? What was the distance of
20 the company?
21 A. Well, approximately 2 and a half or 3 kilometres.
22 Q. So if I understand you correctly, for 2 and a half to 3
23 kilometres, 60 men or 65 men would be spread out covering that line of
25 A. We had only seven or eight trenches with four or five men in each.
1 There were places where we held only the elevations, and there might have
2 been 7 or 800 metres between the -- one point and another. In normal
3 conditions you would need 100 to 120 men to hold that line.
4 Q. What were the means of communications available to you?
5 A. We had only telephone -- wire communication. We did have some
6 radio equipment, but it wasn't working.
7 Q. Did you have a Motorola?
8 A. No.
9 Q. And where was -- did you have a command post, so to speak, that
10 is, the 4th Company?
11 A. Yes, in the village of Obadi.
12 Q. And just for the record, where was the command post for the
13 2nd Battalion?
14 A. Near the Bratunac/Srebrenica road, in the village of Borici.
15 Q. Would that be on the other side of the mountain?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now, with your means of communication, where were you able to
18 communicate? With whom?
19 A. In every trench, we had field telephones, wire communications, and
20 I was able to communicate with the battalion command.
21 Q. Were you able to communicate with the headquarters in Bratunac?
22 A. No. Only through the battalion command.
23 Q. All right. Now, you might have answered the question, but let me
24 ask it anyway. Were you able to communicate with the 3rd Battalion
25 forward command post that was in Pribicevac?
1 A. I had no communications with the 3rd Battalion.
2 Q. And was that true also during the period of time when Srebrenica
3 was attacked?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, if you could tell us -- well, let me just say about that.
6 July 11th, 1995, is used as a reference point as the day when Srebrenica
7 fell. Now, looking back from July 11, it's fairly established that July 6
8 is when the campaign against Srebrenica began. So from the 6th to the
9 11th, could you please describe to us the activities of your company, the
10 4th Company, of the 2nd Battalion of the Bratunac Brigade.
11 A. Nothing essential changed. I think three or four days before I
12 received an order from the battalion that I should set aside four or five
13 men to strengthen the lines of defence in the 3rd Battalion. Everything
14 else remained the same.
15 Q. All right. You said that you: "Needed to set aside four or five
16 men to strengthen the lines of defence in the 3rd Battalion."
17 What did you mean by that?
18 A. The command probably considered that there might be a
19 counterattack on the lines of the 3rd Battalion, and most probably for
20 this reason they needed to strengthen those lines. For this reason, they
21 asked me to send some men, and so we did.
22 Q. All right. Now, incidentally, who was your neighbor to your
24 A. Looking towards Srebrenica, my neighbor was an independent
25 detachment - or what should I call it - with 15 or 20 men. They held the
1 elevation of Caus.
2 Q. What about on the opposite side? Who was your neighbour there?
3 A. On the other side, from the Oblo hill, there was the
4 3rd Battalion. I don't know what unit.
5 Q. Now, could you tell us what military hardware you had available at
6 that location.
7 A. You mean artillery pieces?
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. We had only infantry weapons.
10 Q. All right. Now, during that period, did you come into contact
11 with enemy forces?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Would you please tell us where you were on July 11th, 1995.
14 A. I was in my unit at the line of defence among the men.
15 Q. Could you please tell us when it was that you learn that
16 Srebrenica had fallen.
17 A. I think this was through conversations with the communications
18 squad in the battalion command, and I think it was only in the afternoon
19 or the evening.
20 Q. That would be the evening of the 11th, July 11th?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. On that particular afternoon or evening, do you recall whether you
23 received any orders for your company?
24 A. During the evening, I received orders from the battalion
25 containing my tasks for the next day, that is the 12th, and what the unit
1 was to do.
2 Q. All right. Now, before we talk about the 12th, would you please
3 tell us: Where did you spend that evening?
4 A. In the command of the company, the unit, at Obadi.
5 Q. All right. Now, from that location to where your house is
6 located, what is the distance?
7 A. It's about 2 kilometres between the headquarters and my house.
8 But because it's a slope, you need about an hour to walk there.
9 Q. And where is your house located in relation to Bratunac town?
10 A. My house is about 700 metres in the direction of Bratunac from the
11 battalion command, or about 1 kilometre and 200 metres from the centre of
12 the town of Bratunac in the direction of Srebrenica.
13 Q. All right. And to the best of your recollection, that day, the
14 day that Srebrenica fell, you did not go home, but rather you stayed with
15 your unit?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Okay. Now, the -- the next day, the 12th, do you recall what you
18 did, you and your company.
19 A. I acted on the orders we had received the previous evening. That
20 is, after the units that had taken that part, I set out toward Potocari
21 along a part of the woods, and so I came down to Potocari.
22 Q. First, could you please tell us who gave you those orders.
23 A. I received the orders from the battalion command.
24 Q. Do you recall whether you spoke to -- did you receive them
25 personally or did you receive them from one of your men who was in
1 communication with the command?
2 A. By telephone from people in the battalion.
3 Q. Do you recall whether it was the battalion commander himself that
4 you spoke with, or did you speak with someone else?
5 A. I'm not sure, but the order came from the battalion commander. It
6 was his command.
7 Q. All right. Now, if you could be as clear as possible, to the best
8 of your recollection what exactly were you ordered to do?
9 A. We were ordered, when the units taking that part passed by, to
10 follow them, to go down the right-hand side. This was below our defence
11 line. It was a wood that nobody was holding. So to go through the wood
12 and comb it, to make sure there were no enemy units or men in there, that
13 was a strict order and that was our task.
14 Q. Okay. Now, which unit are we talking about?
15 A. We're talking about my company, the 4th Company. And the other
16 units were those who were doing Srebrenica. They weren't mentioned by
17 name, but mention was just made of the units that would pass by.
18 Q. All right. Now, I just want to be very clear on this. Was this
19 unit -- were you to follow this unit or were you working in conjunction
20 with this unit?
21 A. We were to follow after that unit.
22 Q. And to the best of your recollection, do you know where this unit
23 came from? Was it from the Bratunac Brigade? The Zvornik Brigade? Some
24 other part of the Drina Corps? Main Staff?
25 A. All I know is that it was not a unit from the Bratunac Brigade,
1 but I don't know anything else.
2 Q. All right. And just one last question before we break for the
3 day. Did you have an opportunity to speak with the commander of that
5 A. You mean the komandirs of some of those units? No. I had no
6 close contact with them. No, I didn't.
7 Q. Okay. Well, thank you very much. I apologise for starting so
8 late. And in light of the time, we'll -- I guess --
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Witness, I'm afraid we have to keep you here in
10 The Hague for another day. And as I did to other witnesses in this trial,
11 please do not talk to anybody and please do not let anybody talk to you
12 about your testimony. You understand that?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
15 The hearing for today is adjourned.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
17 at 1.46 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday,
18 the 4th day of May, 2004,
19 at 9.00 a.m.