1 Friday, 21 May 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Court Deputy, call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
7 IT-02-60-T, the Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Good morning, everybody. I'm very sorry
9 to say that Judge Argibay won't be able to be with us this morning. In
10 accordance with Rule 15 bis, the remaining Judges decided to continue the
11 proceedings today.
12 Before we hear the witness, are there any matters that the parties
13 would like to raise?
14 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: And just--
16 MR. LUKIC: Excuse me, Your Honour. Just a second.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
18 MR. LUKIC: There is no transcript, because -- I cannot see the
20 JUDGE LIU: Oh, yes.
21 MR. LUKIC: So I don't know. Maybe we should wait for a second.
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, I heard that we have a back-up in the back room,
23 and they will make the transcript unless we need it right now, and I
24 believe that the court reporter will be here in a minute. Shall we go on
25 or shall we wait?
1 MR. KARNAVAS: We're prepared to go on, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No problem whatsoever,
4 Your Honours.
5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you for your cooperation.
6 Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: I just had a little business, as I think the Court
8 is aware. If we could go into private session for just a second, and it
9 doesn't -- we don't need the court reporter for this.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll go to the private session, please.
11 [Private session]
12 Page 9665 redacted, private session
12 Page 9666 redacted, private session
12 Page 9667 redacted, private session
12 Page 9668 redacted, private session
20 [Open session]
21 JUDGE LIU: I was told that our court reporter is missing at this
22 stage, so we are going to hear the witness. At this stage I would like to
23 seek the views of the parties, whether you would like to have the witness
24 or we'll break.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, I think, and I'm sure the
1 Prosecution will probably join me, that it's best to be able to track the
2 testimony as it goes along because sometimes there may be a problem with
3 the translation or -- they've been marvelous. I don't want to give any
4 impression that they, you know -- but -- and also, sometimes where counsel
5 needs to go back to a particular answer in order to be accurate with the
6 witness, and fair, it's very useful to be able to look at and see. So, at
7 least for our point of view, we think we would be disadvantaged at this
8 point. And as you know, I am rather exuberant at times in making my
9 record, so I do need that.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Mr. McCloskey.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think that's correct. And the -- additionally,
12 we would need to make a record of it anyway, meaning that we -- someone
13 would have to transcribe the tapes, which is a very time-consuming and
14 difficult process and would probably create more work in the long-run.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Mr. Stojanovic.
16 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] For professional and wholly
17 understandable reasons, Your Honours, I subscribe to the suggestions of
18 both the Prosecution and the Defence of Mr. Blagojevic.
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, we are promised to get a court reporter as soon
20 as possible. I hope they are -- they don't think today is a vacation,
21 it's a holiday.
22 We will have a break, and we will resume at quarter to ten.
23 --- Recess taken at 9.20 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 9.45 a.m.
25 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, witness.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
2 JUDGE LIU: I apologise to you for the delay. We had some
3 problems in this courtroom, and to tell the truth, it is the first time
4 for me to come across this kind of problem during my four-year stay at
5 this Tribunal. I hope you don't mind.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, perhaps I jinxed it.
7 JUDGE LIU: Are you ready to start?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm ready, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
10 Mr. Waespi.
11 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 WITNESS: JOVAN IVIC [Continued]
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 Cross-examined by Mr. Waespi: [Resumed]
15 Q. Good morning, Mr. Ivic.
16 A. Good morning.
17 Q. It will be very short, so you can leave very soon. I just would
18 like to clarify a few issues with you. Now, you told us yesterday that
19 the convoy with the wounded people who came to your checkpoint, Zuti Most,
20 it was the Dutch convoy, I believe you said. And my question is, was it
21 accompanied by Dutch people, by Dutch soldiers?
22 A. Yes. There were soldiers, the vehicles were Dutch, and the
23 personnel was Dutch. And they were transporting Muslim -- the Muslim
24 wounded, severely wounded.
25 Q. Now, another point I would like to clarify or just raise with you,
1 you told us that, and I quote you: "The convoy was returned from the
2 Muslim-controlled territory. The Muslims did not want to take their own
3 people in, at least that's what the explanation that the leader of the
4 convoy gave to me." Do you remember that you told us that?
5 A. Yes, that is what I told you, and that is what somebody from the
6 convoy told me, that at the separation line after they had reached Muslim
7 territory, they would not take in them, the representatives of the Muslims
8 at that checkpoint wouldn't take them in because these people were
9 practically dead, so they didn't know what to do with them, and they
10 turned them back. This is what somebody from the convoy told me.
11 Q. Let me just put to you what the two Dutch reports are saying about
12 that, and perhaps you have heard this explanation as well. They are
13 saying that the convoy with the wounded never reached Muslim territory,
14 but they were stopped at the border, as you say, by VRS soldiers and
15 officers. And then even beaten, and they had to return the Dutch persons
16 with -- they lost some vehicles -- had to return, and then finally reached
17 your checkpoint. Have you heard this explanation as well, for the return
18 of the convoy?
19 A. This is the first time I hear of it. There was a lady, a Muslim
20 woman, who was with the convoy, on the convoy. She told me that they were
21 returned by the Muslims, turned back by the Muslims, that they didn't want
22 to receive them. I hear this for the first time. I don't know what
23 happened afterwards, but this was told me by a lady from the convoy, what
24 I related to you.
25 MR. WAESPI: Your Honours, I paraphrased Prosecution Exhibit 851,
1 that's the Dutch report which we have quoted a couple of times, on page 58
2 and 59. And you may remember we had some debate whether to be admitted
3 into evidence, it's not. But I just put that to the witness.
4 Q. Now, Mr. Ivic, let me clarify another aspect in relation to this
5 convoy. You told us yesterday, and I quote you: "And I called the
6 brigade. I called Momir Nikolic. There was no one there to help me. I
7 called the duty officer, and I explained the situation to him." Now, my
8 question to you, was that the duty officer of the Bratunac Brigade?
9 A. Whenever I called, I called the duty officer of the brigade, that
10 was the procedure always. I could not call the commander or immediately
11 call Nikolic or any commander. Always whenever I called the duty officer
12 would reply. And as often as not, he would not even introduce himself. I
13 didn't know who he was. I would just dial that particular number, talk to
14 him, and then I would say: "Please pass Nikolic on to me," or somebody
15 else, as the case was.
16 Q. And you had a direct line to the Bratunac Brigade, then?
17 A. Yes, I did have a direct connection with the duty officer in the
18 brigade, just that one line. Or perhaps it was the communications service
19 in the bringing. I'm not quite sure, of course. I usually called the
20 brigade on that number. Perhaps it was the communications system, but
21 anyway, the duty officer of the brigade would always reply, and then I
22 would state my business to him.
23 Q. Just a last issue, is the following: When you talked to the
24 brigade duty officer or operations officer, did you tell them, this person
25 on the other side of the line, that you had these wounded people who
1 were -- needed desperate care? Did you tell that to that person?
2 A. I did. Of course I did. And I looked left, right, and centre in
3 order to do something. And it also went -- reached Mladic, but somebody
4 told me that he was asleep, and that they couldn't wake him up. And I
5 couldn't let the convoy pass because I didn't have any orders to that
6 effect. So I was asking for help. But nobody helped me until the next
7 day when Mladic came, when he arrived in Potocari.
8 Q. And you do remember that the Dutch almost on their knees begged
9 you to allow the wounded to be treated. Do you remember that?
10 A. I remember that. But I was helpless. As I said yesterday, this
11 convoy leader, as far as I can recall, told me that in the night three had
12 died in the vehicles, and he asked me what he was to do. And I said to
13 him, "I can't do anything. I've done everything in my power, but I cannot
14 take any decisions in my own." For all the goodwill that I had, I had no
15 way to act in any different way. I could not proceed otherwise.
16 Q. So you were just following orders.
17 A. What else could I do? If I perhaps just kept company to this
18 leader of the convoy, but there was nothing I could actually undertake,
19 something which would be meaningful to my mind. And something which would
20 perhaps also be of bearing on my future. Perhaps they would not only
21 remove me from the post, maybe they would send me to battle or something.
22 I don't know.
23 MR. WAESPI: Thank you very much for your answers, Mr. Ivic. I
24 have no further questions.
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Any redirect?
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes.
2 Re-examined by Mr. Karnavas:
3 Q. Just sticking with that point, why didn't you ask for
4 Colonel Blagojevic, the commander of the Bratunac Brigade, why didn't you
5 inform him that these wounded were there?
6 A. Well, I'm repeating for the umpteenth time, that the commander of
7 the brigade, Mr. Blagojevic, did not have, was in no way involved with the
8 passages via Zuti Most. And I said this, that I never was issued any
9 orders from Commander Blagojevic in connection with these passages via
10 Zuti Most. In fact, I practically hardly knew the man because as far as I
11 can remember, Mr. Blagojevic, a short while -- was appointed commander
12 only a short while prior to the fall of Srebrenica. So that I practically
13 had no dealings, no contact with Mr. Blagojevic, nor did Mr. Blagojevic
14 exert any influence on the passages of the convoys. He is absolutely
15 clean as far as that is concerned. He had no influence on it whatsoever.
16 Nikolic was in charge of this, and I have already spoken about that. If I
17 have not managed to solve this problem, to manage to solve problems with
18 Nikolic, if I couldn't do, that I would call the corps. So also, we had
19 the previous commander, Ognjenovic, who was involved to a certain extent,
20 but Mr. Blagojevic never, not to any extent.
21 Q. Now, yesterday, it was implied, perhaps unintentionally, but
22 nonetheless it was implied that you were a terrorist, engaged in convoy
23 terrorism, denying the citizens of Srebrenica of necessary food. Do you
24 recall that exchange?
25 A. Yes, I do. And really, I really was hurt by it and I cannot
1 forgive it. Your Honour, Mr. Judge, I don't know how to address you.
2 This is my very first experience in a courtroom. I believe that you did
3 not have sufficient information about what had happened when you asked me
4 this kind of a question. And I regret it. But if you want to solve a
5 problem, you must know all the details of a problem. You perfectly know,
6 I believe, what terrorism implies. You know when that plane hit the Trade
7 Centre. I really behaved in dignified fashion at Zuti Most, although I
8 did have some reason to act otherwise. I have two sisters and both of
9 them lost their 25-year-old sons, so I had reason to behave in all sorts
10 of fashions. But I helped these people who were going out. I threw them
11 cigarettes. I was even reprimanded for what I was doing. Personally,
12 Mr. Ognjenovic told me, "you cannot man the Zuti Most post because you are
13 too much of a man, you are too good of a man." I was criticised for that,
14 and the Dutch can confirm that. And then all of a sudden you put this
15 question to me, if at least you had any proof. I was really hurt.
16 Q. Thank you. Now I'm going to show you concretely a passage from a
17 report prepared by the Dutch themselves in light of the line of
18 questioning that was posed to you. This is from the NIAD report, chapter
19 4. We've looked at it before, or portions of it.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: If I could have the assistance of Madam usher. If
21 we could put it on the ELMO. I apologise to the interpreters for not
22 having copies.
23 JUDGE LIU: The number of this document is P851, I suppose?
24 MR. KARNAVAS: This would be -- this, Your Honour, because it's a
25 separate section, a different section, will -- I think perhaps should have
1 a D number of 178.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
3 MR. KARNAVAS:
4 Q. Now, you told us, and you tried to explain yesterday, and I think
5 you even tried to explain today, about your position at the Zuti Most and
6 how you had no real authority. And for the record, I want to read a
7 portion of this report. I want you to follow along, and then I will ask
8 you some questions. Okay?
9 A. Okay. Okay. I wish this report was in Serbian, however.
10 Q. It's not. I apologise. The Dutch haven't got around to
11 translating it in Serbian, and we're quite lucky to have it in English,
12 actually. So, you're going to hear it, and I'll go slowly.
13 A. All right.
14 Q. It says here, and I'm reading from the third paragraph, and I'll
15 continue on: "These upper echelons were hard at work on the matter,
16 Akashi and Ogata (the high commissioner for the refugees), wrote in a
17 joint letter to Karadzic about the poor conditions for the population in
18 Sarajevo, Bihac, Gorazde, Srebrenica, and Zepa. Whole families are crying
19 out for food. We can no longer tolerate the violations and exhaustive
20 negotiated agreements. We refuse to accept lame excuses, false
21 allegations, and suspicions or references to uncontrolled elements to
22 justify interference with the free movement of humanitarian goods and
23 stuff. Also, on 4 June, Janvier and Mladic spoke to each other in Zvornik
24 (see the previous chapter), and this agenda included the supplies to the
25 enclaves. In this, Mladic made a link between the supplies to the enclave
1 and the present blockage of the supplies to the Bosnian Serbs from
2 Serbia. As a gesture of goodwill, Mladic was prepared to permit UNPROFOR
3 to be supplied by road from Yugoslavia (which was already the case for
4 UNHCR transport). It was agreed on 6 June that there would be further
5 contact on the matter. Janvier and Mladic agreed that for the eastern
6 enclaves meetings would be held at established venues regarding the need
7 for food and fuel for the UNPROFOR units and the need for humanitarian aid
8 for the population to be supplied by UNHCR.
9 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, please slow down.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: For DutchBat, the further course of events was that
11 UNHCR and MSF, which stands for Medecins Sans Frontieres provided Deputy
12 Battalion Commander Franken with data on their need for food, fuel, and
13 medicine for the population. On June 6, Franken indeed handed over a list
14 of the population's and UNPROFOR's needs to the VRS liaison officer for
15 DutchBat, Major Momir Nikolic. Nikolic received the list without comment.
16 Consultation with him on this occasion led to nothing. He had no
17 authority to take decisions. Ultimately, it was not the local military
18 authority that decided whether convoys were allowed through, but Pale.
19 Nikolic's answer that he had no authority would therefore not have come as
20 a surprise. After all, Nikolic's task was only that of a liaison officer.
21 His duty was to communicate requests from the VRS command to (in this
22 case), DutchBat, and to bring the reply back to his command.
23 Otherwise, it was usually not clear to the local VRS commanders
24 why convoys were or were not allowed through. For instance, the VRS
25 commander of the Yellow Bridge checkpoint to the north of the enclave
1 border, Jovan Ivic, also known as Jovo, said that he only received a telex
2 from his command containing detailed instructions, and what he could and
3 could not allow through his checkpoint. The seriousness of the situation
4 had apparently convinced Pale. On the day after discussions with Nikolic,
5 another UNHCR convoy arrived with ten trucks carrying 72 tonnes of food
6 for the population of the enclave. The VRS authorities had scrapped one
7 truck, the one with teaching materials for the schools. Meanwhile,
8 DutchBat supply problems persisted."
9 Let me stop here.
10 Q. Mr. Ivic, in my reading this portion from the official Dutch
11 report that was conducted by the Dutch government as a result of the
12 events surrounding the fall of Srebrenica, were you able to follow it?
13 A. I think I was able to follow it.
14 Q. What the Dutch are saying here in their report, does it not
15 correspond with what you told us here, and that is that decisions were
16 being made at the highest level of the VRS, and not at the local level,
17 such as at the brigade?
18 A. Yes. Yes, that is quite correct. I repeat, none of the military
19 authorities of Bratunac could have affected the passage of convoys. The
20 civilian authorities couldn't either. It is the Main Staff of the Army of
21 Republika Srpska that decided upon the passage of convoys. No one from
22 Bratunac could decide about that, civilian or military authorities. This
23 has to do with our town, of course, Bratunac.
24 Q. Now, yesterday you also said that when -- that you had heard that
25 there had been storage of food or goods after Srebrenica fell. Do you
1 recall making that statement?
2 A. I remember it well. I think there are records of that. I don't
3 know whether they were accessible to you, to the effect that when the
4 Dutch Battalion left Srebrenica there were tonnes of food that the
5 military police took from their base. People talked about this, and they
6 also said that there was not a single Muslim house in Srebrenica that they
7 did not find enormous quantities of flour in, believe me. Enormous
8 supplies of flour in every house. That's what people said. As a matter
9 of fact, I even saw some people transporting this flour from Srebrenica to
11 Q. Mr. Ivic, I just have a few questions. If you could be as direct
12 as possible so I can walk you step by step. Okay? Now, you were also
13 asked whether you were tracking the convoys once they left your
14 checkpoint, whether you knew for a fact that the humanitarian aid had been
15 delivered. Do you recall being asked that question?
16 A. I remember that.
17 Q. Were you allowed to go past your post at the Zuti Most to go into
18 Srebrenica to see whether the humanitarian aid was indeed distributed in a
19 manner in which it was intended?
20 A. I had no authority whatsoever to make a single move from the
21 checkpoint where I was into the territory that was under Muslim control.
22 I found that question very strange because this was general knowledge.
23 How could I run that kind of risk? You wouldn't dare move in that
24 direction. They would shoot if they would notice you. So why? When the
25 convoy or a convoy would pass by my checkpoint and move on towards Muslim
1 territory, that's where the Dutch checkpoint was, that's where the
2 territory under Muslim control started as well. From that moment, when
3 the convoy would reach the Dutch, or rather as soon as they'd leave me, I
4 would have nothing to do whatsoever with the convoy. I did not have any
5 authority. I did not have any obligations, and it was not possible to
6 begin with. I had finished my job, and then the other side was waiting
7 for them over there. What happened there is something I did not know
9 Q. Thank you. Now, I want to continue to read the next paragraph
10 from the report itself because it may have something to do with your
11 previous answer. "In the meantime, the ABiH in Srebrenica appeared to be
12 taking good care of itself. In May, the ABiH separated approximately 40
13 tonnes of goods from UNHCR aid that had reached the enclave from the aid
14 to the population. This implied a considerable risk. If the Bosnian
15 Serbs were to find out the aid to the population could be limited even
16 further. It was also noteworthy that the chief of the defence sector in
17 the enclave, Professor Suljo Hasanovic, reported from the enclave to the
18 defence secretariat of the Ministry of Defence of the Tuzla canton that
19 the ABiH had also received some food from DutchBat. For the same reason,
20 if the Bosnian Serbs were to intercept this message traffic, which was not
21 unlikely, irrespective of whether this message was true, it can give the
22 VRS an additional reason for tightening the thumb screws on DutchBat."
23 Now, have you been --
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
25 MR. WAESPI: I believe that's now beyond the scope of
1 cross-examination and certainly beyond the knowledge of this witness. How
2 could he comment on even intercepted traffic between warring parties? I
3 don't think that's appropriate.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may respond, Mr. Waespi accused
5 the man of being a terrorist, of engaging in --
6 MR. WAESPI: That's simply not true.
7 JUDGE LIU: That's not true. We used the convoy "terror convoy,"
8 but we didn't say or even imply anything beyond that. I hope you can
9 understand that. I did not point out that during your first question to
10 this witness. But it's an unnecessary misunderstanding.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. The question was posed, however, by
12 Mr. Waespi: What happened to the food afterwards? And also, Mr. Waespi
13 made a point that this gentleman was intentionally trying to starve out
14 the people in Srebrenica. Now --
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe that the witness has answered this
16 question many times yesterday and today. I don't think you could ask this
17 witness some questions which he did not know.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I'm merely trying to confirm his
19 answer to the Prosecution on redirect that once it left, how was he to
20 know that the BiH army was starving its own people by taking the goods,
21 the humanitarian goods themselves and not distributing it the citizens of
23 JUDGE LIU: How could this witness know?
24 MR. KARNAVAS: That's the whole point which is exactly what I'm
25 trying to point out, the illogic in the Prosecution's question,
1 Your Honour.
2 JUDGE LIU: I believe this witness has already answered that
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
5 Q. Just one last question: You were at this checkpoint at Zuti Most.
6 It's a small bridge, is it not?
7 A. Yes, yes. Small one.
8 Q. It's on the asphalt road. Correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, you were asked a series of questions about land mines. Do
11 you remember?
12 A. Yes, I do remember.
13 Q. Were you -- as part of your duties, were you to patrol that area
14 beyond the asphalt road to areas or territory where there would be mines?
15 Was that part of your function?
16 A. No, it wasn't. Next to our checkpoint, on the other side of the
17 asphalt road, right by us, 10 metres away was a trench full of soldiers
18 who were in combat formation, who were holding the lines. So on my left,
19 towards Srebrenica, about 10 metres away from me, there were ten soldiers,
20 a unit of ten soldiers. They controlled everything else as far as combat
21 was concerned, weapons, any kind of operations. I was just there for
22 checking what went into Srebrenica and out of Srebrenica. I did not have
23 any authority, even if a mine had been placed 10 metres away from me. I
24 did not have the authority to touch it or to affect it in any way. That
25 was somebody else's job.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you very much. I have no further questions,
2 Mr. President.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
4 Well, at this stage, are there any documents to tender,
5 Mr. Karnavas?
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Mr. President. D173, which is the VRS Main
7 Staff notice of agreement. I believe it's dated 2 April 1995; D174, again
8 another VRS Main Staff notice dated 26 May 1995; D175, another notice
9 dated 30 June 1995; D176, a regular combat report dated 4 July 1995;
10 D176 -- the previous one was 176.1; D176.2, which was the daily combat
11 report, this would have been from the Bratunac Brigade, dated 4 July 1995;
12 D177.1, which is a plan on the realisation of approved project, I believe
13 it's dated 19 May 1995; D177.2, which is the regular combat report dated
14 21 May 1995; and of course, D178, this portion of the NIAD report which is
15 part 3, chapter 4, section 2, which relates to the humanitarian aid and
16 verifies what the gentleman has testified to, that that was -- he had no
17 control at the brigade level to do anything with the goods, and that this
18 was handled by the VRS Main Staff.
19 JUDGE LIU: Any objections from the Prosecution?
20 MR. WAESPI: No, Mr. President. Just two points: The first one
21 relates to Exhibit D176.2/2, and as the Defence rightly pointed out,
22 that's already been admitted under P405. And in relation to the NIAD
23 report, we would suggest, I think it's about two or three pages, that
24 chapter, which includes the footnotes, the sources for what Mr. Karnavas
25 has read out, so I think it assists the Judges to see where that comes
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, absolutely.
4 JUDGE LIU: Your microphone, please.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Absolutely, Your Honour. I believe that the
6 footnotes are included in the document. When you print it out, they come
7 as endnotes. But they are attached to the document.
8 JUDGE LIU: What's the relationship between this document and the
9 Prosecution's document which is P851?
10 MR. WAESPI: If I can assist, there are two reports basically.
11 One is the Dutch debriefing report of, I believe, October 1995 by a Dutch
12 general, about a hundred pages. That's what you just referred to,
13 Prosecution Exhibit P851, which hasn't been admitted in its entirety yet.
14 And the report Mr. Karnavas is quoting today, that's the Dutch NIAD
15 report, that's the Dutch institute for, I think, war documentation which
16 published a report a couple of years ago, three big volumes. I believe
17 that's what Mr. Karnavas quoted from.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: That's 8.000 pages. I haven't moved for the entire
19 document yet. But there's a possibility. But I'm not suggesting that
20 that's the case. But a little reading material for everybody.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Those documents are admitted into
22 evidence. As for Document D176.2, we might have two numbers on that
24 At this stage, are there any documents to tender on the part of
25 the Prosecution?
1 MR. WAESPI: No, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE LIU: How about the document P851?
3 MR. WAESPI: We would suggest to have it admitted. There was some
4 debate last time. I think Mr. Karnavas said, you know, he needed to have
5 a close look at the whole document before he could allow it in. I think
6 we reserve -- you reserved the decision for some time later.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, Your Honour, just to update, I had
9 promised the Court that we would tell you how many times Mr. Butler cited
10 that in his report so that you could get a little more context with it.
11 Because that's something we did offer into evidence with Butler's stuff.
12 But it was declined at that time. That has been prepared. I haven't, you
13 know, had time to get it to the Court yet. But it has been cited many
14 times by Mr. Butler. And I can provide that very soon. In fact, I will
15 excuse myself with this witness with your indulgence so I can get some of
16 this work done.
17 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, did you have a close look at this
19 MR. KARNAVAS: I had a close look at it, Your Honour. And if I
20 could restate my position very briefly, obviously I don't mind portions of
21 the document coming in, for instance, when Mr. Waespi made reference to
22 it, if he had chosen to say, for instance, put it on the ELMO or read a
23 portion of it, and for that portion to come in. Obviously portions that
24 Mr. Butler has made references to, those specific paragraphs, I have no
25 objections to. But for the entire report to come in, then it invites sort
1 of a response from the Defence such as with the NIAD report, do I get to
2 put in all 8.000 pages because I'm using snippets of it? I have no
3 objection. I do think that it would raise somewhat of a concern of
4 everyone if I tried to move in the entire document of 8.000 pages simply
5 because I'm using a chapter or two. Those have been my reservations.
6 Now, I haven't -- we haven't sat with the Prosecution to discuss
7 this matter. I would like to see what the Prosecution has to present as
8 far as what portions of it they really believe are necessary. And again,
9 if they're cited in Butler's report, I think they should be coming in if
10 for no other reason because they are cited. And obviously, the analyst, I
11 choose that word with rather some reservation, included it in his report.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Could I make a temporary
13 decision at this stage because we could not have a document pending for a
14 long time, and I believe those relevant parts of this report are admitted
15 into evidence, which may be added or reduced in the future in accordance
16 with the proceedings or the citing in some other documents. It is so
17 decided. So this document, P851, is admitted into evidence, the relevant
18 parts of that report. Thank you.
19 Well, Witness, thank you very much for coming to The Hague to give
20 your evidence. We wish you a pleasant journey back home. The usher will
21 show you out of the room.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too. It was a pleasure
23 to meet, well, most of you.
24 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: And Mr. President, if I could be excused as well.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, of course.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 JUDGE LIU: We'll sit until 11.00. So we still have about 35
4 minutes to go. Are there any protective measures for the next witness?
5 MR. KARNAVAS: None, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Is it possible for us to finish this
7 witness today?
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, yes, absolutely. That's why we switched the
9 witnesses, Your Honour, so that this witness could be finished. Of
10 course, we may have a little extra time left over, and I was going to
11 suggest that in light of the fact that the next witness is rather longer
12 that we not start him until Monday.
13 JUDGE LIU: But I have to remind you that we are one witness
14 behind schedule. I wonder whether we could make it up next week.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I believe that we would be able to. What I
16 was suggesting, Your Honour, and obviously I'm at the Court's control,
17 that if we had a half hour left, for instance, not to begin with the
18 gentleman and wait until Monday. That's what I was merely suggesting only
19 because it would allow us, for instance, to meet with him again. And I
20 think -- I would not wish to break up his testimony, not to mention it
21 would cause him more anxiety than he's under.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. It is our intention to finish the
23 witness -- the next witness today. And it will be very undesirable to
24 have a witness spend the weekend under the oath during the weekend. So we
25 might stay in the courtroom a little bit longer. So whenever we finish
1 the next witness, we'll break. Is that agreeable?
2 MR. KARNAVAS: That will be fine, Your Honour.
3 [The witness entered court]
4 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Witness.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
6 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration in
7 accordance with the paper Madam Usher is showing to you.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
9 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may sit down, please.
11 Yes, Mr. Karnavas. The witness is yours.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honour.
13 WITNESS: LJUBOMIR BEATOVIC
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 Examined by Mr. Karnavas:
16 Q. Good morning, sir. Can you hear me?
17 A. Yes, I can.
18 Q. Okay. Now, there's no need to be nervous. You can just sort of
19 sit back and relax. Could you please tell us what your name is.
20 A. Ljubomir Beatovic.
21 Q. Can you please tell us your last name letter by letter.
22 A. B-e-a-t-o-v-i-c.
23 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Beatovic. Where are you from?
24 A. I'm from Bratunac.
25 Q. And is that where you grew up?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. What is your educational background?
3 A. I'm a mechanical engineer.
4 Q. Did you do your JNA service?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. Can you please tell us what year that was.
7 A. 1960, in Maribor, in the Republic of Slovenia.
8 Q. Could you please tell us what sort of training or what functions
9 did you carry out when you were doing your JNA service?
10 A. I attended a six-month course, and I was trained to be a company
11 orderly, a nurse.
12 Q. Okay. Now were you mobilised in 1992 when the war broke out?
13 A. Yes, I was.
14 Q. Before the war, could you just describe to us very briefly what
15 your -- what you did. What was your occupation?
16 A. I worked as an engineer in the timber industry within the system
17 of the Sipad company headquartered in Sarajevo, but their office in
18 Bratunac. I was the technical director and manager of the factory for the
19 processing of wood and timber.
20 Q. I want to focus your attention to July 1995, that period of time.
21 All right? And you need to speak up a little bit, just a little bit, so
22 we can pick up on the record what you're saying.
23 Could you please tell us whether you were a member of the
24 Bratunac Brigade in July 1995.
25 A. Yes, I was.
1 Q. Could you please tell us what position within the Bratunac Brigade
2 you held.
3 A. Initially, I was just a plain soldier on the front line. After
4 that, I worked as a company orderly in the 2nd Battalion of the
5 Bratunac Brigade. And after that, for health reasons, because I had the
6 rank of sergeant and had been trained as company orderly, I was appointed
7 desk officer in the Bratunac Brigade at which post I stayed until the end.
8 Q. All right. Now, you say that you were appointed desk officer.
9 What -- could you please -- well first of all, how long -- for how long
10 had you held this position prior to July 1995?
11 A. Well, perhaps for about a year.
12 Q. Now, did you have a commanding officer?
13 A. Yes, I did have a commanding officer because according to
14 establishment, I could not be that, because I was not a doctor, and we had
15 a doctor. So he was the one; namely, I did my work with him.
16 Q. Who was your commanding officer, your immediate commanding
18 A. My immediate superior was the assistant commander,
19 Dragoslav Trisic.
20 Q. And he was the assistant commander for rear services. Correct?
21 A. Yes, yes, that's true.
22 Q. And so you would have been within that sector, that unit of the
23 Bratunac Brigade, the rear services?
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 Q. Now, could you please describe to us what your functions were.
1 A. Well, my functions were mostly the following: To take care about
2 the manning of the --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Rather, correction of the interpreter,
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- the battalion with medical
6 supplies, with painkillers, with bandages, with stretchers, everything
7 which was required for preventive medical action. And I was also in
8 charge of seeing to the fitness, the health condition of the combatants,
9 to monitor their health status, and if there were any one of them falling
10 sick I would take them to the military doctor in Bratunac. We had a small
11 ward attached to the medical centre with some 10 to 12 beds where mostly
12 soldiers who ran a high fever or similar would be stationed there. I saw
13 to them being properly looked after, cared for, and so on.
14 Q. Now, aside from the training that you had received when you were
15 in the JNA, did you receive --
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. -- aside from that, did you receive any additional training in
18 order to qualify for this particular position?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Technically speaking, did you fit the qualifications for this
22 A. No.
23 Q. What was required in order to hold that position, the one that you
24 were holding? What sort of a degree or work experience?
25 A. Well, as a rule, it was doctors that were envisaged for that
1 particular position. But I held it because -- we did have a doctor, but I
2 was just his assistant. That's how it worked.
3 Q. You indicated in your earlier answer that you would look after the
4 health and fitness of the soldiers, check up on their condition.
5 A. That's right.
6 Q. Could you please explain how is it if you were not a medical
7 doctor that you could carry out this function?
8 A. Because, first of all, it was the obligation of the soldiers to
9 report to me as the first instance if they didn't feel well, and then I
10 would check to see whether that was indeed the case. Then I would take
11 them to the military doctor, who would examine them, prescribe the
12 necessary therapy for them, if any was required. So my job was to
13 actually inspect the soldiers on the front line to see whether they were
14 properly bathed, whether they were clean, whether they maintained personal
15 hygiene, whether they needed any painkillers for their headaches or
16 toothaches or what have you. And that was it.
17 Q. In light of this answer, may I ask whether as part of your
18 functions you would visit the front line, the trenches where the men were,
19 of the various battalions?
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. What exactly would you do when you would pay these visits?
22 A. I took with me the necessary quantities of medications, the first
23 bandage, ordinary bandage to dress wounds, if people got wounded. And
24 then mainly painkillers, pills to improve the quality of water, also some
25 powder in order to prevent them from getting lousy, I mean the soldiers in
1 the trenches, for delousing purposes. So it was mostly preventive action
2 on my part.
3 Q. Were you qualified to dispense this sort of medication, the
4 painkillers, for instance?
5 A. Well, these were ordinary medicines for headaches or toothaches
6 that any normal person knows how to use. And of course, I was also
7 trained in that particular respect during the course. Of course, I could
8 not administer any antibiotics or any injections; that would have been
9 dangerous. That could only be prescribed by the doctor and administered
10 by him.
11 Q. As part of your job, were you required to prepare reports or to
13 A. Yes, I was.
14 Q. To whom would you report?
15 A. Well, I would report to the assistant commander. And a number of
16 occasions, I also attended meetings of the brigade where I accentuated
17 whatever problems I had encountered in terms of the supplies -- medical
18 supplies, that is, bandages and such. And I compiled monthly reports in
19 that respect and sent them to the corps describing the health condition of
20 the men. But mostly, I prepared these reports with help from the doctor.
21 Q. All right. Now, did you have an office within the brigade command
22 at the Kaolin factory?
23 A. Yes, later, I had one. But in the beginning, I had premises, a
24 small office, rather, in the medical centre in Bratunac. It was rather a
25 storehouse where the bandages and the pills were kept, and the basic
1 medical necessities as well. Otherwise, the soldiers would be
2 administered medicines in the medical centre itself with assistance from
3 the medical staff, especially in terms of injections and such treatment.
4 Q. Now, could you please describe to us your normal day. How would
5 you carry out your functions, your duties on a normal day, if there was
6 such a thing during the war?
7 A. Well, it was my obligation in the morning to report at 7.00 to the
8 command. My working day consisted mainly of the following: In the
9 morning, we would usually have coffee, and then we would be assigned
10 specific tasks. Even though I had my usual daily routine programme, I had
11 to go to the medical centre anyway to see whether any sick men had turned
12 up for checkups. I would report to the military doctor there, and I would
13 stay with him for most of the day. After that -- most of the time. After
14 that, I would return to the command for breakfast. And then I would
15 return to the medical centre, and there I spent 90 per cent of the rest of
16 my day.
17 Q. You said that you would be given tasks or specific tasks. Who
18 would assign you these specific tasks?
19 A. Well, my immediate superior was Dragoslav Trisic, and normally I
20 reported to him every morning. And after having reported to him, I would
21 go there. But he knew where I was, so if he needed me, he would call me
22 at the medical centre. Every seven days or so, I also visited the front
23 lines. I went to see and check out the health condition of the soldiers
24 to see what is it that they needed in that particular respect and so on.
25 Q. All right. What about those who were on sick leave, who were
1 convalescing as it were. Would you check up on them?
2 A. Yes, I would. In fact, those who were -- who lived near, I went
3 to see and check on them in the houses to see whether they were indeed
4 using the therapy prescribed them by the doctor. And those who were not
5 very sick would mainly be treated at home, whereas those who had a high
6 fever and were being given injections, they would be treated in the ward
7 which was attached to the medical centre.
8 Q. All right, thank you. I want to focus your attention to the
9 period dealing with the events surrounding Srebrenica. And I'm going to
10 give you two dates for reference purposes, the first one being July 6,
11 1995, an established date as to when the activities regarding Srebrenica
12 commenced, and July 11, 1995, which is the day that Srebrenica fell.
13 So my first question is prior to the events commencing concerning
14 Srebrenica, that is, prior to July 6, 1995, were you, sir, given any
15 particular or special or out-of-the-ordinary instructions?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Were you informed in any way that battle activities were about to
18 commence and for you to be on the ready?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Do you recall whether the health centre where you spent, as you've
21 indicated, some 90 per cent of your time, had received any additional
22 medication or medical supplies in anticipation of casualties that might
23 ensue from some ongoing or about-to-commence battle activities?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Now, the day that the activities began, July 6, I'm going to walk
1 you day by day from 6 to the 11 and then onwards. On July 6th, did
2 anything unusual, out of the ordinary, occur as far as you were concerned?
3 A. No, nothing that I know of.
4 Q. May I ask, where were you on that particular day? Because I
5 believe you told us on occasion, every seven days or so, you would check
6 up on the men on the front lines. Do you recall where you were?
7 A. I was at the command of the brigade, at the headquarters of the
8 brigade, and in the medical centre. I didn't feel that there was any need
9 for me to go out in the field.
10 Q. And I take it that it wasn't one of -- that period, at least on
11 the 6th, it wasn't the time for you to be visiting anyone at the front
12 line. Is that it?
13 A. No, it wasn't.
14 Q. Okay. On the 7th, the next day, realising that we're speaking
15 close to ten years later, did anything happen that was unusual?
16 A. No, no. I don't know of anything.
17 Q. What about the 8th?
18 A. The same answer.
19 Q. All right. The 9th?
20 A. No, the same answer.
21 Q. And the day before Srebrenica fell, anything unusual?
22 A. Likewise.
23 Q. All right. Now, the fall of Srebrenica would have been a rather
24 momentous occasion in light of the ongoing activities for the past three
25 years there. Do you recall that particular day? Does it stick out in
1 your mind?
2 A. On that day, in the morning I was at the medical centre. No one
3 knew what was going on in Srebrenica. No one of the medical staff, that
4 is. Around 9.00, I went to the brigade where I found Dragoslav Trisic
5 sitting in his office. And he told me, he asked me: "Do you know that an
6 operation is underway against Srebrenica?" And I said: "I have no idea.
7 No one is saying anything about it, either in the medical centre or in
8 Bratunac." However, after that, stories, reports started arriving, and it
9 all happened the way it happened. That's it.
10 Q. Now, if somebody, if someone from the Bratunac Brigade had been
11 injured in the front line and had been brought to the medical centre and
12 had been treated by the medical doctor, a real doctor, if I could say
13 that, you know, with no disrespect to you, sir, would you be involved on
14 that particular occasion, or would you leave it up to the doctors, the
15 trained physicians to take care of those seriously wounded?
16 A. Normally I would be involved, but also I couldn't do anything
17 without a doctor. I could only assist him in the physical sense, for
18 instance, to transport the wounded or something similar. But on that day,
19 we had no such cases as far as I can remember, at least not until 15
20 hours. After 15 hours, I went home. I mean, 1500 hours, sorry.
21 Q. Was that your routine? At 1500 hours you would stroll back to
22 your home and rest for the rest of the day?
23 A. Yes, yes, and to sleep.
24 Q. Okay. Now, going back to July 11th, aside from Major Trisic, the
25 assistant commander for the rear services, your immediate superior
1 informing you about what was happening in Srebrenica, did anything else
2 unusual happen that day that you recollect?
3 A. I think that nothing else happened. I don't recall anything else
4 happening. Everything appeared to be normal.
5 Q. All right. Now, what about the 12th of July 1995? Do you recall
6 that day? That would have been Petrovdan, St. Peter's Day, the day after
7 the fall of Srebrenica. Do you recall that day?
8 A. As far as I can recall, it was a normal day more or less. Nothing
9 unusual had been going on in Bratunac. I cannot remember anything
10 specific or interesting in that regard.
11 Q. Would that have been -- would you have followed your normal or
12 usual routine, that is, going to the brigade command in the morning,
13 having your coffee, maybe getting some instructions, and then going on to
14 the health centre?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you recall whether on that particular day, sir, you ventured
17 into Potocari?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Were you aware, sir, that at Potocari on that particular day there
20 was a mass of people, Muslim men, women, children, young, old?
21 A. Yes, I heard about that.
22 Q. Were you aware of it on that particular day, and were you ever
23 required or requested, I should say, requested to go to Potocari to see
24 what if anything you could do?
25 A. No.
1 Q. All right. Do you recall -- I just want to make sure that we have
2 a clear record on this. Do you recall whether you learned that the mass
3 of people -- that you learned on that particular day that the mass of
4 people were there?
5 A. Yes, I did hear that.
6 Q. Now, on that day, did you see -- on that day, the 12th, that is,
7 did you come into contact with the commander of the Bratunac Brigade,
8 Colonel Blagojevic?
9 A. No, I did not.
10 Q. Did you come into contact with General Mladic?
11 A. No, no. I certainly did not.
12 Q. What about General Krstic?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Colonel Beara?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Now, before we get into July 13, which is the next day, it might
17 be time for a break.
18 JUDGE LIU: Did you finish the events on the 12th of July?
19 MR. KARNAVAS: I believe I did. I believe I did, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We will have our break, and then we will resume
21 at 11.30.
22 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
23 --- On resuming at 11.31 a.m.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas, let's come to the 13th of July.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Q. Mr. Beatovic, we left off, we just finished the events of July
2 12th. So now it's the next day, 13th July 1995. Could you please tell us
3 if you recall that day.
4 A. The 13th of July 1995 was somewhat different in relation to the
5 previous days. As previously, it was my obligation to report to the
6 headquarters in the morning, which I did. Then after I left the office, I
7 dropped in on the duty officer's office. When I opened the door, I saw
8 our commander there, Mr. Blagojevic. He was sitting there, and he, of
9 course, noticed me as I was coming in. He told me, he said to me:
10 "Beatovic, do you have medicines?" And I said: "Yes, I do." I didn't
11 know what particular medicine he wanted. He told me to go to the school.
12 He told me there was a group of people there from Srebrenica, that I was
13 to visit them to take medicaments there and to see what their health
14 condition was, whether there were any wounded or sick people among them.
15 And that is what I did. I went to the medical centre --
16 Q. Let me stop you there. I want to go step by step.
17 A. All right.
18 Q. Okay. Now, do you recall what time in the morning that would have
19 been on 13 July 1995 when you went to the duty officer's office and you
20 found Mr. Blagojevic there?
21 A. I believe it was about 11.00 in the morning. It was in the
22 morning hours, around 11.00 or noon. I cannot recall with precision, but
24 Q. Do you recall seeing anyone else in the duty officer's office?
25 A. Yes, yes, I did. There were two or three men standing in the
1 office. I cannot recall their names at this point. I believe that they
2 were our men.
3 Q. Did you see any officers from the Main Staff or the Drina Corps
4 that you recognised?
5 A. No, no. No, not on that day.
6 Q. Now, after you were told by Mr. Blagojevic or asked whether you
7 had any medicine and to see whether you could go to the school to check up
8 on those people, what did you do? What was the first thing that you did?
9 A. The first thing which I did was to go to the medical centre, and I
10 went up to the store and took some medicines from there, some pills. And
11 I stayed there for a while. And then I went on to the school. I arrived
12 there, and those people were there.
13 Q. Mr. Beatovic, I'm going to ask you kindly to let me walk you
14 through this because I want all the details. Okay? So, could you please
15 tell us what pills did you take with you?
16 A. Mostly painkillers for headaches, for toothache. Generally
17 speaking, painkillers. That is the only medication that I could
18 administer to them to help them. I wouldn't dare give them anything else.
19 Q. Where did you store this medicine? Where did you have it when you
20 went -- when you left the health centre?
21 A. I had them in my pocket. This was not a large quantity, just a
22 couple of boxes of pills.
23 Q. Okay. You say your pocket. Was it one pocket or more than one
24 pocket? Where were these pockets --
25 A. Well, two pockets, in fact. My two pockets. And as they were
1 camouflage-uniform pockets, I could put a lot of medication in there.
2 Q. Do you recall how long you were at the health centre before you
4 A. Not more than five or ten minutes most probably. I just went
5 inside, and the people were sitting on the floor there with their heads
6 bowed --
7 Q. Mr. Beatovic, please listen to the question. I know you're
8 nervous. But let me walk you through this. I'm asking you how long were
9 you at the health centre before you left for the school.
10 A. Between five and ten minutes.
11 Q. While you were at the health centre, do you know whether there
12 were any doctors there?
13 A. Yes, there were.
14 Q. Did you speak to any doctors to let them know that you had this
15 order from Colonel Blagojevic to go visit the school?
16 A. No, I did not.
17 Q. Would you please tell us from the Bratunac Brigade headquarters to
18 the health centre, how did you get there?
19 A. I walked, on foot.
20 Q. Now, from the health centre to the school, how did you get there?
21 A. On foot.
22 Q. By foot. Okay. How long would it have taken you?
23 A. Five minutes.
24 Q. Now, when you got to the school, could you please tell us first of
25 all what did you notice on the outside of the school? What and who, if
1 anyone or anything?
2 A. There was nobody outside the school.
3 Q. All right. Nobody guarding?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Now, did you go inside the school?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Which school are we speaking about?
8 A. We're speaking about the school, what is now the school. Once
9 upon a time it used to be Vuk Karadzic School, and now it's called
10 Branko Radicevic School.
11 Q. Can you please tell us which entrance you went into the school,
12 which side of the building?
13 A. The main entrance.
14 Q. When you got inside the building, could you please tell us what
15 you saw.
16 A. There were guards standing there guarding those people. There
17 were about three of them, policemen, military policemen, and two of them
18 were soldiers.
19 Q. Okay. Now, before we get -- before we go on, I just want to make
20 sure that we have a clear answer. You said there were three of them. You
21 said policemen, military policemen, and two of them were soldiers. So if
22 the exact number of those guarding the people were three, how many of them
23 were civilian police?
24 A. No. Not one of them.
25 Q. Okay. How many of them were military police, if you know?
1 A. Three.
2 Q. Okay. And how did you know that they were military police?
3 A. By their insignia, by the kind of uniform they were wearing.
4 Q. And could you please describe the uniform that they were wearing.
5 A. Camouflage uniform, the whole thing from head to feet. That's
6 what two of the men were wearing. They were coveralls. And one of
7 them --
8 Q. What about the other one, the third one?
9 A. He had the usual kind of camouflage uniform.
10 Q. All right. Did you recognise these people that were guarding the
11 folks inside the school?
12 A. Yes, I did. I used to see them quite often. I didn't know their
13 names, though. They were younger people. Therefore, I was not exactly in
14 touch with them.
15 Q. Now, where had you seen them before?
16 A. In the street.
17 Q. In Bratunac?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And from that, did you form any conclusions as to where they were
20 from and what unit they belonged to?
21 A. No. Those three men before from our military police, from the
22 brigade. And those two soldiers were also members of our battalion.
23 Their faces were familiar, but not their names.
24 Q. All right. Now, you're saying "those two soldiers." So are you
25 saying that in addition to three military police, there were also two
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Okay. So it would have been five people in total in the school
4 when you went there?
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 Q. Now, when you got there, could you please describe to us, other
7 than those five that you saw, what else did you notice?
8 A. Nothing else. I noticed there were prisoners there. They were
9 sitting on the floor, heads down, nothing else. They were silent.
10 Q. Can you please tell us first of all where they were located.
11 A. They were located in a small sports hall and two classrooms, a
12 gym, rather.
13 Q. Could you please tell us how many approximately you were able to
15 A. I think about a hundred.
16 Q. Now, you said that they were on the floor sitting down, heads
17 bowed down. From that, did you form any conclusion as to at least their
18 state of mind?
19 A. They were in a state of shock. They were frightened actually.
20 Q. All right. Now, what did you do in light of the instructions or
21 orders that you had received from your commander?
22 A. I passed by them. I halted. And I asked loudly: "Does anyone
23 have any health problems? Does anyone need help?" I told them they
24 should speak to me so I could help them in whichever way I could.
25 However, there was no reaction from those people. No one spoke. So I
1 stayed for a short while, I went out, and I never came back.
2 Q. All right. Could you please tell us how you addressed them.
3 A. I asked them in a loud voice: "Is there anyone here with health
4 problems? Is there anyone here who has pains? Is there anyone here who
5 is injured? Should I dress anyone's wounds?" Whatever problems they had,
6 I was prepared if anyone was injured to take them back to the health
7 centre so they could be helped. However, no one spoke, and there was
8 nothing else for me to do there.
9 Q. Did you use any negative terms such as calling them Turks or
10 balija or in any other way that would further degrade those people?
11 A. No. No. Because I had been born in Bratunac, and this is not the
12 kind of thing I could ever do. It's not my style in general as a human
13 being. I would never insult anyone because I was never insulted by
15 Q. Did you recognise anyone there?
16 A. No, no. There was no way I could. They had their heads down.
17 Q. Did you notice whether any of them needed the sort of medical
18 attention or treatment that you were clearly incapable of rendering and
19 that would require the assistance of a physician, a trained physician?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Did you notice whether those guarding the individuals were in any
22 way mistreating, either verbally or physically, those individuals --
23 A. No.
24 Q. Did you speak to those people that were guarding the Muslims that
25 were in the school? Did you speak to the soldiers or the military police?
1 A. No. I just greeted them in passing, and that was all.
2 Q. Did you inform -- did you inquire from them as to why these people
3 were being held in that location?
4 A. No, no.
5 Q. When the commander of the Bratunac Brigade had ordered you to
6 check up and to see whether you could provide any medical assistance,
7 painkillers or what have you, the sort of assistance that you were capable
8 of and had been distributing to soldiers of the Bratunac Brigade, did you
9 make any inquiries from the commander as to why those people were being
10 held at that school?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Did the commander in any way tell you as to why they were there?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Did anybody inform you that they were being held there so that
15 they could be executed later on?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Did you suspect in any way that that was the purpose for keeping
18 them there, so later on they could be executed?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Did that ever cross your mind, sir?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Now, after you left, in light of the order that had been given to
23 you and, in fact, you had carried out, did you then go back to the
24 Bratunac Brigade to report to your commander?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Did you write a report of any sort that would at least --
2 A. No. No, I didn't believe that was necessary. I don't know.
3 Q. Do you know whether you informed your immediate commander, Trisic,
4 so that at least you could justify to him how you had spent that time and
5 the reasons for you visiting that particular school on that particular
7 A. No.
8 Q. After that visit to the school, which I believe you indicated you
9 were there for a very short time, five or ten minutes, what did you do?
10 A. I don't think I understand your question. Sorry.
11 Q. All right. Let me back up. How long were you at the school?
12 A. Between five and ten minutes.
13 Q. From there, where did you go?
14 A. I went to the health centre.
15 Q. How long did you stay at the health centre?
16 A. I stayed until 1500 hours.
17 Q. Could you tell us approximately how long that would have been? If
18 you recollect.
19 A. Well, perhaps for an hour, about one hour.
20 Q. During that one-hour period that you were there at the health
21 centre, did you by any chance inform anyone at the health centre, be that
22 person a nurse or a doctor, what you had seen and what you had done?
23 A. No. I thought there was no need to cause panic. They were not
24 the ones I was supposed to answer to anyway.
25 Q. All right. And after that, you said you stayed there until
1 approximately 1500 hours. And then what? Where did you go?
2 A. I went home.
3 Q. Now, where is your house located, just so we know?
4 A. Heading out of the town centre, it's at a distance of about five
5 or six hundred metres in the direction of Srebrenica to the right of the
7 Q. From your house to where the school is located, are you able, with
8 the naked eye, to see it? Are you able to --
9 A. No.
10 Q. Now, after you went home on that particular day, which you have
11 stated would have been approximately 1500 hours, did you go out again,
12 take a walk around the town?
13 A. No.
14 Q. You didn't go --
15 A. No.
16 Q. You didn't go out to have coffee or a drink or socialise?
17 A. No. No. I was busy back home, so I didn't go out.
18 Q. The next day, the 14th, do you recall that day?
19 A. It was just an ordinary day, just like the 11th or the 12th. Only
20 the 13th was a bit strenuous.
21 Q. All right. Now, on the 14th, did you go to the headquarters as
22 was your habit to go there sometime in the early morning hours?
23 A. Yes, I did, at 7.00 in the morning. And I stayed for a while.
24 And then I went back to the health centre. And that's where I spent most
25 of my time, about two-thirds of my time.
1 Q. On that particular morning, did you have an opportunity to see
2 Colonel Blagojevic?
3 A. No.
4 Q. On that day, do you recall whether you reported either to him or
5 to your immediate superior commander, Mr. Trisic, as to what you had seen
6 and what you had done the day before, the 13th of July 1995?
7 A. No, I didn't. No one asked anything.
8 Q. Now, in walking from the brigade command post to the health
9 centre, as was your habit, would you have gone by the Vuk Karadzic school?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Would you have been able to see the Vuk Karadzic school during
12 that route, the one that you would normally take from the command post to
13 go to the health centre?
14 A. Yes, you can see it from there. But the distance must be about at
15 least 200 metres. But I didn't notice anything there.
16 Q. That was going to be my next question, whether you had noticed any
17 buses or trucks or anything unusual happening about the time when you were
18 walking from the brigade command post to the health centre.
19 A. No.
20 Q. Now, the day before, the 13th, do you recall whether you had seen
21 any buses or any trucks that would have been parked in and around
23 A. No, there were no buses parked in Bratunac.
24 Q. That you were able to see?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Now, did you ever see any traffic of buses or trucks carrying
3 A. Yes. But that was on the 12th. I did see a couple of buses.
4 Q. Could you please tell us who was in the buses.
5 A. Well, there were people on those buses. I was standing outside
6 the health centre, and that's where I saw them pass by. But the distance
7 between the health centre and the road they took must be at least about
8 100 metres.
9 Q. Did anyone inform you as to who was in those buses?
10 A. No, no.
11 Q. Did you ever learn who was in those buses?
12 A. Yes, later. When the whole thing happened.
13 Q. Do you recall how many buses exactly you would have seen?
14 A. No. I didn't count them.
15 Q. Do you recall about what time of day that would have been? These
16 are all questions that the Prosecution I'm sure is keen to ask, which is
17 why I'm asking them.
18 A. Well, I don't know. It was throughout the day. But it could have
19 been at about 12.00 or 1.00 p.m., or thereabouts. It's been a long time,
20 after all.
21 Q. On the 13th, I failed to ask you whether you had ventured into
23 A. No.
24 Q. So not on the 12th and not on the 13th?
25 A. No, no.
1 Q. All right. Could you please tell us whether you had heard about
2 an incident that occurred at the Kravica agricultural warehouse? Would
3 you have heard about it? And we're going to go step by step. Have you
4 ever --
5 A. No, no. I heard nothing about that.
6 Q. Okay. So do you know -- as you sit here today, do you know
7 whether something happened at that Kravica warehouse? I'm not saying
8 whether you saw it, or that you were there when it was occurring, but
9 whether you have learned of an incident?
10 A. Later, four or five days later after that event.
11 Q. Okay. Now, did you learn who was involved in that incident?
12 A. No.
13 Q. You told us about visiting the Muslim men that were at the school,
14 the Vuk Karadzic school, on the 13th, when you had been ordered by your
15 commander to see if anyone needed some medical treatment that you were
16 able to dispense. Could you please tell us, if you know, what happened to
17 those people.
18 A. I don't know. I only know that they were driven towards Kladanj,
19 Zvornik, and so on. That's what I heard, that most of them were to be
20 exchanged. I don't know their final destination. I did hear about it
21 later on, but that was sometime after. I did hear what had had happened
22 to those people, and that's all.
23 Q. What did you hear had happened to those people?
24 A. I heard that most of them had been killed, that they had ended up
25 in Zvornik, those villages over there. That sort of thing.
1 Q. Now, after the 14th of July, do you recall what you did for the
2 rest of the week, the 15th, the 16th, the 17th? Do you recall if there
3 was anything unusual that sticks out in your mind as you've told us about
4 the 13th of July?
5 A. Well, not much. Those were very ordinary days. After all of
6 that, I was expecting every day to be called up to return to work where I
7 used to work, the company. That sort of thing. There was no combat
8 activity, no tension, no fear any more. Everything was sort of back to
9 normal in the town itself there.
10 Q. Why was it back to normal?
11 A. Well, in some way people were no longer -- well, there you have
12 it. They were no longer afraid. They were no longer afraid of shooting.
13 They believed that the whole thing was finally over.
14 Q. Okay. Now, we know, and it has been established, that at some
15 point, the 17th of July, in fact, a portion of -- the majority of the
16 Bratunac Brigade went off to Zepa. Did you by any chance go off there to
17 that location?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Did you eventually return back to work?
20 A. No, I didn't. I went back to work. I was in Bratunac, spent some
21 time at the command, some time at the health centre. And that's how time
22 went by.
23 Q. How much longer were you in the Bratunac Brigade before you went
24 back to work?
25 A. I can't remember exactly the date when I left, but I had a little
1 problem because there was no one to hand the storage room over to, or the
2 remainder of the medicines that were being kept there. I did go back to
3 work, however, but I still kept the key with me. I believe it was a month
4 and a half or two months later that I handed the key over and returned my
6 Q. Okay. Now, I want to show you a document that has previously been
7 admitted as D165. If you could help us out here, if you could please just
8 look at this document first, just look at it. And I will walk you through
9 step by step with some questions. No drama.
10 Do you see this document, sir?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, this document, and I'm referring, again, for the record, to
13 D165, purports to be notes from a working meeting of commanders with
14 command staff and battalion commanders. Do you see that at the top?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And in fact, we have a date, and the date is 16 October 1995.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Okay. Now, do you see your name in this document, sir?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And that's where it says that -- talks about those who attended.
21 We see Nikolic, that would have been Momir, Micic, Trisic, Cvjetinovic,
22 Jovanovic, Beatovic, Petrovic, and Ostojic.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. First of all, you were within the post or the unit of the rear
25 services. Correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And we've already established that Mr. Trisic was your commanding
3 officer. Correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. So if the commanding officer is there, why would you also be at
6 this particular meeting, if you recall?
7 A. The reason for my attendance, for me being there with my superior
8 commander Trisic was that I would usually report on the problems in terms
9 of our medical work, the shortage of medicines and the rest. I would
10 report in detail. I would go there to attend for Mr. Blagojevic, to hear
11 it personally. That was the purpose of my being there. May I continue
12 now? May I continue?
13 Q. Go ahead, since you're on a roll.
14 A. Yes. Because very often, at such meetings, I would be criticised
15 by battalion commanders because the soldiers often took ill. There were
16 too few soldiers along the front lines, and they would criticise me as
17 though it was something that I tolerated or if I allowed the soldiers to
18 do so. Therefore, I needed to be personally present there in order to
19 deny false accusations. I wouldn't say for too long at those meetings,
20 and I believe that that was not my place to be after all. It was only in
21 exceptional cases that I came. After all, my superior commander was there
22 at those meetings, and I believed there was no need for me to be there,
23 too. So much for that.
24 Q. Thank you for that full explanation. Now, I just want to draw
25 your attention to one matter in this document, and then I believe we're
1 pretty much through. If we look at the bottom of the page, the last item
2 where we have Nikolic, I believe these are Mr. Nikolic's notes, it says
3 here: "We are currently engaged in tasks issued by the Army of
4 Republika Srpska General Staff" and in parenthesis, it says "sanitation,"
5 or the way he has put it is: "Asanacija." Do you see that?
6 A. Asanacija.
7 Q. Do you recall this being mentioned at that meeting, if you recall?
8 A. No.
9 Q. So you cannot help us out here as to what, if anything,
10 Mr. Nikolic --
11 A. No.
12 Q. All right, okay. Well, I needed to get that out of the way. As I
13 said. No drama.
14 I want to thank you very much, sir. I have no further questions.
15 I believe there may be some questions, though I doubt it, from Mr. Jokic's
16 attorney. The Prosecution perhaps, and maybe even from the Judges. I
17 want to thank you for being frank and honest with me, and I would hope
18 that you could be as frank and honest with them as you have been with me.
19 Thank you very much.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: No further questions, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
22 Any questions, Mr. Stojanovic?
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Beatovic.
24 Your Honours, we have no questions for this witness.
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Ms. Issa, any cross-examination?
1 MS. ISSA: Yes, thank you, Your Honour. Good morning. I do have
2 a few questions.
3 Cross-examined by Ms. Issa:
4 Q. Good morning, sir. Sir, I believe in your examination-in-chief,
5 you said that before the 6th of July, you were not aware of the pending
6 attack on Srebrenica. Is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So what you're saying is you had no idea that Srebrenica was going
9 to be attacked until it actually fell before the fall of Srebrenica. Is
10 that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Okay. So when precisely did you know, just to clarify, that
13 Srebrenica was, in fact, attacked?
14 A. On the 11th.
15 Q. On the 11th.
16 A. On the 11th of July. Yes.
17 Q. And prior to that, you hadn't heard anything?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. All right. I'd like to take you, sir, to your transcript. I'll
20 give you a copy in the B/C/S version.
21 MS. ISSA: Thank you, Madam Usher.
22 Q. Now, in the B/C/S version, sir, I'd like you to turn to page 5
23 starting at line 17. Then we're going to go through to page 6.
24 MS. ISSA: In English, Your Honour, we're at page 5, starting at
25 about line 18.
1 Q. And I'll just read it slowly. Line 18, sir, you say in response
2 to a question whether it was the 12th or the 14th, where would you have
3 been at that period, where were you on those two days? You say: "I heard
4 maybe a few days before. I heard that there will be an attack on
5 Srebrenica, that they were supposed to do that, an attack on Srebrenica.
6 However, that day, I was at the health centre. One of the nurses asked
7 me, so what's going on? Has Srebrenica fallen already? And I told her I
8 have no idea." And then the question goes on. And it says: "Okay. And
9 who told you or how did you find out a few days before Srebrenica there
10 would be an attack?" And your answer is: "It was a rumour. Everybody
11 was talking about it. People were talking about it. It was city
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes, Mr. Karnavas.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I don't know whether I'm reading from the same
15 text. But on line 21, it says "I told her I have no idea. And around
16 12.00, I heard that they entered Srebrenica." And this could give the
17 impression, at least, that this conversation is taking place on the 11th,
18 at least -- and that portion wasn't read by the Prosecutor.
19 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, I was building up to the second part of
20 the next question, and I think I was trying to put it into context.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Mr. Karnavas, what's your objection?
22 MR. KARNAVAS: My objection is if she is going to read his answer,
23 not to skip over the vital aspect of the answer that is critical to what
24 he's saying. She skipped the portion that said "I have no idea," and then
25 he goes on, "and around 12.00 I heard that they entered Srebrenica."
1 That's the portion that somehow, coincidentally, rather intentionally, was
3 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, really, that is just -- that's an
4 outrageous allegation. We all have the text in front of us. It's clear
5 from the text that, you know, he was talking about the 11th when he said:
6 "However that day I was at the health centre and continued on." The
7 investigator continued with the next question to clarify it and asked him
8 about the few days before that, and that's what I was getting to.
9 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, I think you're too soon to make your
10 objection. I believe Ms. Issa would like to walk this witness through the
11 whole page. Eventually she will come to that vital aspect.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Hopefully, yes. Yes.
13 JUDGE LIU: You may proceed, Ms. Issa.
14 MS. ISSA: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Now, that's what you told the investigators at that time, sir.
16 Isn't that right?
17 A. My apologies. I'm not sure what the question is.
18 Q. That was what you told the investigators, what I just read out.
19 Those were your answers. You were asked those questions and you gave
20 those answers. Isn't that right?
21 A. What I said is true.
22 Q. So you're saying now that you had heard about the attack on
23 Srebrenica a few days before the attack actually took place?
24 A. No. No. No, not a few days.
25 Q. But isn't that what you were asked by the investigator in
1 Banja Luka on December -- in December 2001?
2 A. Yes, that's right.
3 Q. And at that time, you answered that it was a rumour. Everybody
4 was talking about it and people were talking about it. Isn't that right?
5 A. Yes. Yes, people were talking about it in town. But that was all
6 unofficial. It was almost as if the birds were singing that tune, but
7 that was nothing official.
8 Q. So when you say it was almost as though the birds were singing
9 that tune, what you're really telling us, sir, is that everybody knew
10 about it. It was such common knowledge that even the birds knew. Right?
11 A. Well, it wasn't quite like that. But... I'm not sure what to say
13 Q. Well, sir, I'm simply repeating your answer when you just told us
14 a moment ago, when you said it was like the birds singing the tune. And I
15 understood that to mean that it was pretty common knowledge, wasn't it?
17 A. Well, people know everything.
18 Q. Okay. Let's move on to something else.
19 Now, when you were interviewed by the investigators in December of
20 2001, you never told them, you never mentioned that on 13 July,
21 Colonel Blagojevic told you to check on the prisoners, did you?
22 A. No. Because in some way, that question was not asked. What
23 happened in Banja Luka, this is -- well, how should I know? There were no
24 questions about anything really serious. I think what was mentioned is
25 that I had given a statement and that I had gone there, but I did not
1 mention General Blagojevic. Had there been no order for me to go, I could
2 not have gone there in the first place.
3 Q. All right. Let's go to the transcript. If we can turn to page 14
4 in the English version, at about line 7; page 16 for you, sir, line 27
5 until the end, and then up to page 17. And you were asked the following
7 Question: "Were you aware that many hundreds of Muslim men were
8 held prisoners in Bratunac in the school, in the halls and hangars and
10 Your answer was: "No."
11 Question: "Are you sure?"
12 Answer: "Yes, I'm sure."
13 Do you remember telling the investigator, sir, that you had no
14 idea that there were Muslim prisoners in the schools?
15 A. I don't know where it says that.
16 Q. Referring to page 16 --
17 A. What page is that? 16.
18 Q. Yes. Line 27.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: I would ask that he be given an opportunity to read
20 the previous portion, and the previous portion be read by the Prosecutor
21 for context purposes. Because it's being taken out of context.
22 JUDGE LIU: Of course.
23 MS. ISSA: I don't see how this has been taken out of context,
24 Your Honour. It's pretty clear. But in any event, we can give the
25 gentleman the opportunity to read that to himself.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Which item?
2 MS. ISSA:
3 Q. Page 16, sir, line 27 and following.
4 A. I knew about the school, the Vuk Karadzic school. About the other
5 one, I didn't know about that one. What I thought was that there was a
6 minor group of people, something like that. As for the hangars and all of
7 that, I really didn't know.
8 Q. Well, sir, you were specifically asked about a school, halls,
9 hangars, and buildings. That's a pretty general question. And you said
10 you were sure you had no idea. Now, it goes on, and the question after
11 that says: "Many people in Bratunac knew this. Thousands of men held
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you asked: "Where could they put them if there were
16 And the answer that the investigator gave you: "Buses and trucks
17 in the street. See the photo I showed you. Vuk Karadzic school. The
18 hangar of Vuk Karadzic school. Did you know about it?"
19 And you say: "No, I saw them here passing by. This is what I
20 refer when they" - then it's unintelligible - "this is what I've seen,
21 going towards Vlasenica and Kladanj."
22 Nowhere there, sir, do you say that your commander,
23 Colonel Blagojevic, told you to check on the prisoners at the Vuk Karadzic
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection, Your Honour. Where is it, and I would
3 like the Prosecutor to show us, where is it that he is specifically asked
4 about going there? The question wasn't posed, and the gentleman said,
5 since it wasn't posed, he didn't give any answer. Now she's trying to
6 twist and turn. If she can show me where the question was posed and where
7 the gentleman declined to give a truthful answer, I would like that on the
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, that I believe the Prosecutor
10 recited whatever in that previous statement. And the question asked by
11 the investigator at that time was a very general question. If this
12 gentleman had said that he knew nothing about the prisoners in those
13 schools, hangars, you know, in the Bratunac town, so there's no need to
14 ask the follow-up questions.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour. I'll walk the gentleman
16 through his statement in redirect.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, of course. I believe that Ms. Issa will leave
18 some contents for your redirect.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: I think it's more than that, Your Honour. I think
20 I need to be fair with the gentleman. That's what I believe.
21 JUDGE LIU: Of course. You may proceed, Ms. Issa.
22 MS. ISSA: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Now, sir, when you went inside the school on the 13th of July, did
24 you see bodies there?
25 A. I saw people. They were still alive. I didn't see bodies. No
1 one had been killed.
2 Q. Did you see anyone seriously or almost mortally wounded there?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Were you aware of the 50 bodies that were found inside the
5 classrooms in the school, in and around the Vuk Karadzic school on the
6 13th of July?
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection. They weren't found on the 13th of July,
8 and I would like to know from what part of the record the Prosecution is
9 reading from. Where has it been established that on the 13th of July that
10 they were found there? Again, it would seem to be making up facts, Your
11 Honour. I think we need to be fair with these witnesses. After the
12 prisoners left, we heard testimony, that's when bodies were found, and
13 that's when there was asanacija. I think it's mischaracterising the
14 evidence, and we're trying to turn this witness into a liar.
15 JUDGE LIU: I believe the witness has already answered the
16 question. So it's over.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: I agree with you. But I would like, at least when
18 this particular Prosecutor conducts her examination, not just to state
19 facts off the top of her head, but rather to pinpoint, because there seems
20 to be a tendency, inadvertently or advertently, to try to mischaracterise
21 the evidence. And I find it difficult to just sit here like a potted
22 plant and not react.
23 JUDGE LIU: I believe Ms. Issa will put the evidence as precise as
24 possible to this witness in the future. But Witness, would you please
25 repeat your answer. I don't think the transcript reflected it.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not see any bodies there at
2 the time, when I entered the school because there had been no killings of
3 any sort at that time. If you refer to bodies that were found around the
4 school, that was perhaps after my departure. But there was no shooting.
5 I would have heard something like that. There was nothing. I don't know
6 what bodies you are talking about. I don't know.
7 MS. ISSA:
8 Q. Let me clarify it, sir, then. The question was were you aware
9 that there were bodies that were found at that school in the classrooms,
10 around the school?
11 A. No, I wasn't.
12 Q. But you never heard about that after the fact?
13 A. No.
14 Q. All right. Were you aware whether Muslims in the school were
15 being beaten and abused?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Didn't the Muslims, when you got there, ask you for food or water?
18 A. No, they didn't.
19 Q. Now, there were buses parked all over Bratunac on the 12th and
20 13th of July, including near the Vuk Karadzic school. Did you not see
22 A. The only thing which I saw is that the -- when the buses were
23 leaving Srebrenica, they were making a turn in the centre of
24 Vlasenica -- in the centre of Bratunac towards Vlasenica and Kladanj. But
25 where they were parked, I don't know. Probably they were also parked by
1 the school saying that there were Muslims prisoners in the school. They
2 didn't park any buses in the centre of the city; perhaps in the periphery
3 or in some other place.
4 Q. All right. So you never saw them parked there with the Muslim men
5 inside the buses around Bratunac?
6 A. No, no. Not in the centre.
7 Q. Okay. Getting back to the earlier point of going to the school,
8 you were asked on page 13, line 8, a question, I think for you it would be
9 around page 7: "So in the ten days" --
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me, let the witness please find the
11 location. Let's be fair to the witness. Let's be fair to the witness.
12 MS. ISSA: This is totally unnecessary, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, for the convenience of the witness.
14 Witness, did you find the right page and right line?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Page 13, did you say?
16 MS. ISSA:
17 Q. Yes. I haven't --
18 A. Number 6. Right?
19 MR. KARNAVAS: The Prosecutor indicated that she, I think for you,
20 it would be around page 7, which is why I reacted, because the pages are
21 not that far off.
22 MS. ISSA: I should have said line 7, Your Honour. And I
23 misspoke. But I think before I was able to correct myself, Mr. Karnavas
24 jumped up. In the English translation, it's on page 13 at line 8. And
25 unfortunately, I don't happen to have the precise line in the B/C/S
1 version. But I believe it's on page 12 in the B/C/S version. Perhaps
2 what might speed up the process, Your Honour, and this is what I was going
3 to suggest also, perhaps if I can simply read it in the English version
4 into the record, and then we can give the gentleman an opportunity to look
5 for it if he wishes to do so.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
7 MS. ISSA:
8 Q. Question: "So in the ten days from the fall of Srebrenica, did
9 you go anywhere except the health centre and the Bratunac Brigade
11 And you said: "No. There was no need for that. After all of
12 that, when they started removing people, there were buses and trucks,
13 people passing by. I saw the buses full. The trucks, people on trucks, I
14 really removed, walked away. I was afraid because a lot of Muslims knew
15 me, and I didn't want them to say the next day, 'Oh, I saw Ljubo there as
16 well,' so I didn't."
17 Do you remember saying that, sir?
18 A. I do, yes.
19 Q. So you were asked specifically by the investigator whether after
20 the fall of Srebrenica you went anywhere, aside from the health centre in
21 the Bratunac Brigade headquarters?
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Not "and the Bratunac," but "in the Bratunac
23 Brigade headquarters."
24 MS. ISSA: I did say the word "in," Your Honour. Perhaps
25 Mr. Karnavas can listen more carefully. And it's in the transcript.
1 JUDGE LIU: Look at the transcript.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: I see the transcript, and I'm listening very
3 carefully, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may proceed, Ms. Issa.
5 MS. ISSA:
6 Q. So you see there, sir, you were asked a specific question. And
7 when you were asked whether you went anywhere aside from that location,
8 you never told the investigator that you went to the Vuk Karadzic school
9 pursuant to orders by Colonel Blagojevic, did you?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Just go to the last area, Your Honour. I don't know when you wish
12 to take the break. I only have a few more questions.
13 JUDGE LIU: We may proceed until we finish this witness, if we
15 MS. ISSA: Okay, certainly.
16 JUDGE LIU: I did not, you know, prejudge in the time the redirect
17 will use.
18 MS. ISSA:
19 Q. Before we do leave this area, you also told investigators, sir,
20 that in fact you hadn't had much contact with Blagojevic during those
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Do you recall saying that?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. All right. Now, getting back to the meeting, of October 16, and
1 drawing your attention again to the very last line of that meeting, D165/1
2 for the record, do you have that document in front of you, sir?
3 I wonder if perhaps the witness can be provided -- thank you very
4 much, Madam Usher.
5 Now, you see that last line there, sir, that was read out to you
6 in the examination-in-chief? Do you see that there?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now, that specifically states that "we are currently engaged in
9 tasks issued by the Army of Republika Srpska General Staff, asanacija."
10 That states that they were at the time referring to the word "currently"
11 engaged in tasks of asanacija. You don't recall that happening at that
13 A. No. I attended this meeting, but it is also quite possible that I
14 left early. And I do not remember this particular note, this particular
15 record that that was mentioned at the time, this reference which you made.
16 Perhaps I had left the meeting early. From this particular record, I only
17 remember that it referred to soldiers, the supply of wood and uniforms and
18 things of that kind, because I insisted for the families of the soldiers
19 to be supplied with fuel and wood. As regards this thing discussed under
20 item 3, I have no recollection whatsoever of it. That was a long time
21 ago. And frankly speaking, I cannot give you any comment on it because I
22 do not remember anything in regard of that particular case.
23 Q. All right. Were you aware of the decomposing bodies that were
24 driven through Bratunac at that time?
25 A. No.
1 Q. You didn't smell anything in the town during those days?
2 A. No. No.
3 Q. Had you heard about it at that time from another source aside from
4 the meeting?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Were you aware of the Muslim prisoners at the health centre,
7 brought to the health centre, sir?
8 A. Yes, I was. In fact, I arrived there, and I believe that is also
9 mentioned in the statement. I came this one day. I don't remember the
10 date. I came to the health centre and entered the storage room where I
11 kept my medicines and had this tiny office. In the hall, there were about
12 four or five of them. And among them was an acquaintance of mine.
13 Q. Okay. What day was this? What day was this?
14 A. I don't know. I cannot remember.
15 Q. This was after the fall of Srebrenica?
16 A. Before. I think it was before the fall, but I'm not sure.
17 Q. All right. Well, I'm asking you, sir, whether or not you were
18 aware of Muslim prisoners brought to the health centre.
19 A. Well, I'm actually telling you about these five men that I saw.
20 Q. I'm talking about after the fall of Srebrenica, just to clarify.
21 A. No. No.
22 Q. Okay.
23 MS. ISSA: I don't believe I have anything further, Your Honour.
24 Thank you.
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
1 Any redirect, Mr. Karnavas?
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, and I think we can keep it rather short. Just
3 try to put matters into context for fairness.
4 Re-examined by Mr. Karnavas:
5 MR. KARNAVAS: If I could direct the gentleman to his statement,
6 this would be page 5 at around line 11. And for us in English, it would
7 be page 5, line 9. Do we have an extra one for the ELMO? I want to
8 apologise to the translation booth for not having one for the ELMO. I'll
9 go slow. Maybe we can put the B/C/S on the ELMO, and then the gentleman
10 can read from the screen. I just want to make it convenient.
11 Q. Sir, if you could -- I'm going to go down, and I'm going to read a
12 portion of it. Now, it states here, you were asked some questions as
13 to -- about knowing about the events of Srebrenica, when they commenced
14 and when Srebrenica fell. Now, please correct me if I'm wrong. Do you
15 recall being asked: "So I'm specifically interested in the period just
16 before Srebrenica fell and afterwards. Do you recall when Srebrenica
18 Your answer was: "I don't know if it was 12 or 14."
19 Question: "Of?"
20 "I think July."
21 "What year?"
22 It says: "1995."
23 "Whether it was the 12th or the 14th, where would you have been at
24 that period? Where were you on those two days?"
25 And you state: "I heard maybe a few days before, I heard that
1 there would be an attack on Srebrenica, that they were supposed to do
2 that, an attack on Srebrenica. However, that day I was at the health
3 centre. One of the nurses asked me, 'So, what's going on? Has Srebrenica
4 fallen already?' And I told her, 'I have no idea.' At around 12.00, I
5 heard that they entered Srebrenica."
6 Next question: "Okay. And who told you or how did you find out a
7 few days before Srebrenica there would be an attack?"
8 And you state: "It was a rumour. Everybody was talking about it.
9 People were talking about it. It was city stories."
10 In your statement here, sir, it would appear, would it not, that
11 you had heard rumours and had not heard it from anyone at the command
12 post. Would that be a fair assessment of what you said?
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, that is totally leading. Mr. Karnavas
15 knows that that would be an improper form of the question in
17 MR. KARNAVAS: I think it's totally proper, Your Honour. I'm
18 trying to put it into context.
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I think we have heard this
20 evidence in the cross-examination.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll go on to the next one, Your Honour. I'll take
22 it sequentially, in the manner in which these questions were posed.
23 Q. Now, you were read a portion of your statement on page 14. I want
24 to direct your attention, this would be page 16, and I'm going to be
25 looking at lines 23 to 25. That's in the Srpski version, or B/C/S as we
1 say here. And for us, it would be 14. I'm going to start actually on
2 line 1, just so we have context.
3 Dean Manning: "Do you recall the period when buses and trucks
4 full of men were parked in Bratunac, full of prisoners in Bratunac?"
5 And your answer is: "They went one after another, and they were
6 making turns and going towards Vlasenica."
7 Question: "And how long did this continue for? Hours or days?"
8 Your answer is, in English is: "I don't know what to tell you.
9 But it seems to me it was done just one day."
10 Now, in your version, could you please read out slowly what you
11 told Dean Manning when Dean Manning asked you: "How long did this
12 continue for, hours or days?" What was your response? That would be line
13 23 to 25, could you please read out those lines on page 16.
14 A. What I told him, and I was slightly vulgar, in fact --
15 Q. Just read out what you said.
16 A. "Well, I don't know." And then I used this vulgar phrase and
17 said: "What shall I tell you? I believe this was only that one day. And
18 I believe that it was just that day. And that's how it was. So it wasn't
19 a number of days, no. This was just that one day."
20 Then he asked me --
21 Q. I'm going to go to the next question. I just wanted to make sure
22 that we had a full record because it's not reflected in the translation
23 that we were provided, at least the draft transcript. I don't know if it
24 was corrected in the other one. But it would give us at least your full
1 Now, you were then asked: "Were you aware that many hundreds of
2 Muslim were held prisoner in Bratunac in the schools and in the halls and
3 hangars and buildings?" Sir, when you were asked that question, do you
4 know whether the gentleman was referring as to whether you were aware at
5 that time or whether you were aware at the time when the Prosecution got
6 around to come to questioning you, which would have been 2 December 2001,
7 close to two years after they had indicted --
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Issa.
9 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, first of all it's totally leading and it
10 doesn't really arise out of the cross-examination. I mean, I don't think
11 that was the point. But it's completely leading.
12 JUDGE LIU: I think this paragraph was read out by you to this
13 witness. And Mr. Karnavas raises a very interesting question. We would
14 like to hear how the witness is going to answer it.
15 MR. KARNAVAS:
16 Q. When the question was posed to you, how did you understand that
17 question to be? Was it that you were aware at the time, that is, back in
18 July 1995, or whether you were aware at the time you were being questioned
19 on 2001? How did you understand his question?
20 A. I knew that in July 1995. But I didn't know that the prisoners
21 were on a number of sites such as the hangars, the buildings, et cetera.
22 I don't know what to tell you.
23 Q. I'm sorry.
24 A. That is all.
25 Q. When did you become aware? Was it when they were actually
1 physically in those places or afterwards?
2 A. I became aware when I went there to see those people, but before
3 that I didn't know that they were there. That was in 1995, after they had
4 been brought there from Srebrenica. And I just went to the school to see
5 these people. And as for these other people indicated here as being in
6 various different places, in these hangars, I didn't know about those. I
7 only went to the school. I didn't know that there were any other people
8 or that there were more people in these other places.
9 Q. One last area: I want to go to page 13. This would be page 15 in
10 your case. And I'm going to be reading from page 13, line 1. And for
11 you, it would be page 15, it will be somewhere around line 10. Perhaps a
12 little earlier.
13 You're posed a question. This is line 3 actually. "When
14 Srebrenica fell, did you go to Potocari?"
15 A. No.
16 Q. I'm reading from the transcript. We heard you, and now you told
17 them that at the same time. But let me continue. I just want to make
18 sure we get it into context. So your answer was no.
19 Then you were asked: "Not at all during that, say, ten-day period
20 after Srebrenica fell?"
21 Answer: "No. No one asked me to because battalions, every
22 battalion had their own medics, so if someone went there, they went."
23 Then the next question is: "So, in the ten days from the fall of
24 Srebrenica, did you go anywhere except in the health centre in or and the
25 Bratunac Brigade headquarters?"
1 Then you give the answer: "No, there was no need for that. After
2 all..." And then so on.
3 When you were asked that question, when you were asked that
4 question, so in the ten days from the fall of Srebrenica, did you go
5 anywhere, in light of the previous questions, how did you understand that
6 question? Was it whether you had --
7 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, this is outrageous. He's just -- it's
8 totally leading.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm asking --
10 JUDGE LIU: Let's hear the question.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: I haven't finished the question. It's outrageous
12 that I'm being interrupted by the Prosecutor. She posed this question.
13 She wants to take it out of context. The gentleman is entitled to give an
14 explanation how he understood the question.
15 JUDGE LIU: Let the witness answer this question.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. When the question was being posed in light of the previous
18 questions as to whether you had gone to Potocari, did you understand his
19 question to be whether you had gone anywhere in Bratunac, or whether you
20 had gone to Potocari or elsewhere outside of Bratunac? How did you
21 understand his question? In reading the sequencing in the manner in which
22 Dean Manning was posing them?
23 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, Mr. Karnavas is essentially testifying
24 now. He's pointing --
25 JUDGE LIU: I understand. It's all in the transcript. Do you see
1 that? I want to hear how the witness will answer that question.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I did not go to Potocari. I
3 was, as written here, in Bratunac in the command, in the health centre.
4 That was the area within which I moved. I didn't go outside Bratunac or
5 anywhere else, and I felt there was no need for me to do so.
6 MR. KARNAVAS:
7 Q. All right. Can you point anywhere in your transcript where
8 Dean Manning asked you concretely whether you went anywhere inside
9 Bratunac other than the health centre and the brigade command?
10 Concretely, which as I understand is the way people speak in that country.
11 A. Yes. Sometimes I would spend more time at home. And there you
13 Q. Sir, had Mr. Manning, when questioning you, asked you whether you
14 had gone anywhere within Bratunac, would you have informed him about --
15 A. No.
16 Q. Let me ask the question. If -- assuming he wanted to ask you as
17 to whether you had been anywhere inside Bratunac --
18 JUDGE LIU: This is assuming. This is out of the scope.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. It's very clear from the question, though,
20 that it was never asked concretely.
21 Q. Just one last question: Have you any reasons to lie for
22 Mr. Blagojevic?
23 A. No.
24 JUDGE LIU: This question is also out of the scope of the
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I believe, Your Honour, it's slightly in the
2 scope in light of what was being insinuated, that he fabricated this whole
3 notion about being told to go to the health centre. So I think it's
4 tangentially --
5 JUDGE LIU: Your next question, if you have any.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: I have none, Your Honour, that was my last
8 JUDGE LIU: At this stage, are there any documents to tender,
9 Mr. Karnavas?
10 MR. KARNAVAS: No, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE LIU: Ms. Issa?
12 MS. ISSA: No, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, thank you very much for coming to
14 The Hague to give your evidence. When the Court is adjourned, the usher
15 will show you out of the room. We wish you a pleasant journey back home.
16 The hearing is adjourned until next Monday.
17 [The witness withdrew]
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.00 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Monday, the 24th day of May,
20 2004, at 9.00 a.m.